Do you recognize this sculpture? Have you been here before? Even if you have no idea where this was taken, I’m sure you will instantly recognize the letters subtly peeking through. Coffee anyone?
When I first saw the subject for this week’s challenge, I was a little disappointed. “Letters”? Huh? I couldn’t imagine what sort of image would capture this idea. But as I was going through some shots of my recent trip, I found several that fit the bill perfectly. So here is my sneaky way of sharing my vacation photos with you:) The last photo of the week will reveal the location in the “letters”. No cheating!
This photo was taken at the top of Looking Glass Mountain near Asheville. Annoyed with being the one to always plan family outings, I left it up to my husband to figure out the day’s activity. At the time, we were both overweight and out of shape. So what did he come up with? A six mile hike, straight up a mountainside. Sweating profusely and out of breath, we finally reached the summit to find this outstanding panoramic view.
Terrified of heights and “edges”, I stood in the background and captured the moment. My daughter, who was 8 at the time, ventured fearlessly onward and sat atop this precarious perch (it’s not as bad as it looks).
I was pregnant with my youngest daughter on this day, but wouldn’t find out until the next week. She must have been wondering what kind of crazy family she had gotten herself into!
Ahhh, summertime! I can feel you so near, yet you tease me like a child playing peek-a-boo behind a picket fence, just out of reach. How I long to spend lazy days with my face turned toward the sun’s warmth, one toe dangling effortlessly in a cool, crisp stream.
And summer is the season of grand adventures, big and small. Whether on the road or in my own backyard, I am a curious wanderer, always seeking new experiences to feed my soul.
The pictures above were taken during a recent glorious stretch of warm summer-like days at a Mennonite farm less than 30 minutes from my house. The family lives in the top story of a white farmhouse, while the bottom holds a country store and deli. They bake bread and pies daily in the “garage” and sell non-homogenized milk, free-range eggs, and a myriad of jams, pickles, and dry goods. A friend and I ate delicious sandwiches on the wide front porch while gazing through the gardens at the blue mountains in the distance.
Summertime….haven’t we waited long enough?
What could be more natural than a Spartan running down the boardwalk in Wilmington, NC? In Asheville, this wouldn’t even turn heads. Actually, there was a logical reason (I suppose) behind the costume. You see, this was the marathon portion of an Ironman Triathlon.
In true Greek spirit, this guy re-enacted the heroic tale of Pheidippides, the fleet-footed warrior who is fabled to have run 25 miles to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. Of course, we didn’t have the heart to tell him that Pheidippides dropped dead right after.
What is an Ironman, you ask? It isn’t for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. The full Ironman distance consists of the following:
2.4 mile swim (in the Atlantic ocean for this race)
112 mile bike ride
26.2 mile run
My brother did this race in 2012 in a little over 13 hours, so he still holds the family record for athletic prowess.
If you’ve never witnessed this event, I strongly encourage you to get out and watch one. The atmosphere is electric, as hundreds of excited spectators mingle against a colorful backdrop of music, food and street vendors.
You can feel the nervous tension of the athletes at the starting line, like thoroughbreds twitching behind the gates at the Kentucky Derby. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it, and the adrenaline stayed with me long after.
Do I sense a new goal starting to take shape??? My heart says “Yes, yes!” but the little men with spears under my chest where my tissue expanders are say “Later, later (maybe)!!”
My grandmother always used to say that she loved flying because her problems seemed to vanish as she soared above the clouds. She once flew from Miami to San Francisco and back, never stepping foot outside the cabin, just for the sheer joy of the journey. I smile when I think of her. She embraced life without fear, shooting straight from the hip and drinking in every moment with unabashed enthusiasm. I know that she’s looking down on me and wishing she could kick me in the ass. “Stop thinking about your life and get busy living it!” I’m a work in progress.