“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~ St. Augustine

 

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu

It’s 7:50 a.m., and I haven’t been to sleep yet.

Corey and I stayed up very late watching King Arthur with Clive Owen. I felt the need for a Clive fix, and I still wasn’t the least bit sleepy at 3, so I decided to watch another movie. Corey came into the bedroom right as I was starting the movie, and he decided to watch with me. As a result, we turned off the television at 6 a.m.

Corey went to sleep immediately. I, however, did not and have yet to close my eyes. During the movie I noticed that I was scratching my arms and neck but didn’t really think anything of it. Once the movie was over, I was in full-blown itch mode, and have yet to get it under control. I took a Benadryl around 6:15, hoping that it would stop the itching and put me to sleep. An hour and a half later, I’m still scratching and not asleep.  I just took another Benadryl, so I thought that I would write a bit until something kicks in—either a rash all over my body or sleep. Personally, I would prefer sleep.

Last night I was getting ready to insert my images into my post when the Internet went out. How annoying. I finally wrote a post (of sorts), and then couldn’t publish it. I was this close: formatted, quotes, song, but then bam. No Internet.

Today I had planned to write about traveling, as in if I could go anywhere in the world, where would I go and why? I’ve selected five places, all for very different reasons.

“Travelers, there is no path, paths are made by walking” ~ Antonio Machado

Irish Cliffs of Moher
Irish Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

Ireland: I have wanted to go to Ireland since I was a teenager. Ireland is the land of poets and writers. It’s the land of civilizations long gone and ancient ruins. I want to see the River Shannon and visit Limerick. Take pictures of the 8000-year-old Castle of St. John, and then to County Clare’s west coast to see the Cliffs of Moher. Then on to Derry and visit some pubs.

My friend Kathleen has an Irish heritage, and she was finally able to make the trip a few years ago. She says that Ireland is one of the most beautiful places that she has ever seen. I used to work with a photographer of some repute who actually lived in Ireland with his family and flew to the states for shoots. We talked about the advantages of living in Ireland and how it is a country that embraces its artists.

Australia Whitsundays Islands
Whitsundays Islands, Australia

Australia: Even though my dear friend Maureen lives in Australia, she is not my main reason for choosing this country. In fact, my ex and used to talk about moving to Australia. In particular, I would like to visit Queensland, see the Great Barrier Reef, and of course, visit the Whitsundays Islands.

I don’t know if I am generalizing, but it seems that Australia has so many more opportunities to get away from the hectic pace of life. And then there would be the opportunity to sit across the table from Maureen, sip tea, enjoy some of her baking, and talk for hours.

Greece: Ever since I first saw pictures of the white church domes against the blue sea, I have wanted to visit Greece—the cradle of Western civilization. This ancient country has so much to offer: The Acropolis with the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike; the Castellian Spring in Delphi. Even though it’s supposed to be a tourist trap, I would like to go to the island of Santorini.

Fira Santorini Greece
Fira Santorini, Greece

The landscape is beautiful, with the cliffs, the white houses with blue doors, and the black sand. I know that my idea of Greece is probably idealized, but that first image has stayed with me for years, and I know that some day I am going to see those blue and white domes overlooking the sea. I just don’t know when that will be.

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” ~ Jawaharial Nehru

France: The Louvre. I could stop there, but there is so much more. France is steeped in culture and fine cuisine. We visited briefly when I was a child and my father was in the Navy. But even that short stay still sticks in my mind. I want to see Paris when it isn’t overrun with tourists, and I want to visit the valleys that are lush with vineyards. I want to see the countryside of Aquitaine and the Bordeaux vineyards. Tour La Champagne and see the medieval castles and the Forest of Ardenne.

When I think of France, I think of expansive fields of lavender in Provence, fine art, and rich creamy sauces. I imagine myself sitting outside at a café, sipping coffee and listening to the bustle of people about me. Or walking the beaches of the Riviera, enjoying the sunshine and azure waters. It is an appealing image.

And finally, Italy: Rome. At one time, the Roman Empire stretched across Eurasia. So many aspects of contemporary life can be attributed to the Romans: our system of government, the architecture that reflects Roman influences, even the idea of arenas. Of course, I want to see the Colosseum in Rome, but just as enticing is Tuscany: the rolling hills, the museums in Florence (the Uffizi and the Accademia).

Venice Opera House
Venice Opera House

I would also like meander through Venice, see the mosaics in the Basilica di San Marco, visit the rebuilt Opera House, travel in the canals, and wander through the perilously narrow streets. Actually, there is far too much in Italy that I want to see. I would probably need months and months to satisfy my appetite.

Perhaps I should probably do a Mediterranean cruise. Then I would be able to see the hot spots without having to find hotels, which can be quite pricey. Come to think of it, I could do an an Australian cruise. And once I have completed all of my cruising, I could decide on where to relocate!

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” ~ Martin Buber

I know. I’m daydreaming, and I’m daydreaming quite extravagantly. Just imagine how much money would be involved . . . but the exercise was not to fret over cost but to consider where I would want to go, not how I would pay to go. That’s why it’s called daydreaming and not reality.

Oh well. I’ll just have to keep my passport valid and hope that one day I win the lottery.  No wait. You have to play in order to win, don’t you? Well I suppose that rules out that particularly unrealistic massive windfall.

How will I get to these places? I’ll think about that tomorrow . . . right now, I’m going to try to close my eyes and sleep. I’ll let you know how that whole peaceful dreams thing goes. I would love to know where you dream of going, which places you would like to see given the opportunity.

Piano music of George Winston . . .

 

More later. Peace.

“Carry with you maps and string, flashlights, friends who make you sing, and stars to help you find your place, music, hope, and amazing grace.” ~ Mary Chapin Carpenter

Stonehenge November Sunset

Stonehenge November Sunset

 

“Maybe what we leave
Is nothing but a tangled little mystery
Maybe what we take
Is nothing that has ever had a name”

Random thoughts about nothing at all:

Today has been one of those days that just seems to be a never-ending river of crapppola. Nothing really in particular, just a bad day, I guess.

Some good news: Vane Brothers called and unofficially offered Corey a tugboat job. The catch? It won’t be until the end of the year or beginning of next year. He has mixed emotions about it, which I understand. I mean, how can you get excited about a job that will probably happen, but no guarantees?

Clent Standing Stones Winter Sunset
Clent Standing Stones Winter Sunset

Alexis stopped by this evening. She was very chatty. Her doctor has adjusted her meds again, and she seems to be in better spirits emotionally. That makes one person in the family . . . So she’s talking about the holidays. Who is doing Thanksgiving. What she is buying for Christmas. Have I mentioned that I absolutely hate November?

Listening to my “Music to Work By” playlist. Jamie O’Neal’s “There Is No Arizona” is currently playing. I love that song. I love to sing that song. I love the words to that song. I miss singing. Maybe one of these days, Corey and I will be able to go to the karaoke bar that we used to go to, and I can get my singing fix.

I had wanted to watch the original Halloween movie in honor of, well, Halloween. But for some reason, the DVR did not record it even though I scheduled the recording. ‘Twas not meant to be. Just as well. Corey doesn’t really like it, and I didn’t want to watch it alone. I reminded him that I watch his scary movies with him and had him almost convinced he needed to watch with me, and then it wasn’t there. We watched some other scary movie instead, and it turned out to be totally predictable. I hate that.

Have I mentioned that I am out of reading material? Dream job: Own a bookstore that is just mine all mine. Then I can stock books that other people don’t have and read the stock. Of course, independent bookstores are going the way of the atmosphere and clean drinking water. It’s hard to compete against the Barnes & Nobles of the world.

“Maybe love will fade
Like the parchment pages of our history
Maybe life is made of flickers
From some brilliant, burnished flame”

Standing Stones of Stenness England
Standing Stones of Stenness, England

My friend Sarah had another round with the courts today. She is going through hell with the court system over her ex-son-in-law and his mother’s request for visitation  Apparently, his mother can still see the children, but the good news is that the ex (drug addict and cop assaulter) is not allowed to be present. Exactly how does one go about ensuring such a thing? Sometimes the laws that are supposed to protect minor children really bother me. Of course, everything varies city to city, state to state.

Tomorrow is election day. I managed to get my mother to say that she would go vote. I told her that we need all of the Democratic votes that we can get in this particular governor’s race. I’m not holding my breath, though. Virginia is far too fickle when it comes to politics, especially in governor’s races.

Social Security denied my disability claim—again. Essentially their reasoning was that since I can dress myself and move my arms and legs, I’m not entitled to disability. It’s a good thing that I’m covered by my insurer. However, I know that my insurer will want to appeal, which makes sense since coverage by Social Security would mean that the insurer no longer has to pay for me.

Still rainy and chilly here. I’m wearing a pair of red socks that have penguins all over them. I love my Christmas socks. Wearing them is one of the better things about the weather becoming cooler. I know, small things amuse me.

We received a nice surprise on Saturday. My sister-in-law in Germany sent us an early holiday box filled with German chocolates, cookies, marzipan, coffee, and a beer stein for Corey. He doesn’t drink beer that often, but he has always wanted an authentic German stein. Helma said that she wanted to send us treats because we always take such good care of Phillip and Hannah when they are visiting. The whole family really enjoys their visits, so spending time with my niece and nephew is never a chore.

I’ve been having strange dreams again, but I’m not remembering them as well. This may actually be a good thing because I’m hoping that it means I’m getting a more restful sleep. I told Corey that I would love to sleep for eight hours uninterrupted one night. No dogs nudging me, no waking up because I’m thirsty, no waking up because I hurt somewhere—just eight solid hours of sleep. One day, maybe.

I’m dreading the holidays this year. Normally, I love Christmas and hate Thanksgiving, but I think that Christmas this year might be just as bad as Christmas was last year, which was last minute and stressful. I really hope that I don’t become like my mother, who does nothing but bitch about the holidays. In all of my life, I think that my mom has only liked her Christmas present from me maybe three or four times. I’m not exaggerating. I love to buy special presents for those I love. It’s not spending money that makes me happy; more, it’s finding something that I think is really suited to the person for whom I am buying the present. We’ll just have to wait and see how this Christmas turns out.

A word about the images, since my last post on Druids, I have had standing stones on my mind, hence, the photos of several standing stones from across the United Kingdom, courtesy of Wiki Commons.

I stress too much over the strangest things and find pleasure in really tiny things. I don’t think that I’ll ever understand myself.

“Everybody strains to hear the sound
Of their heart’s calling
Now you can write yours down
It’s your life story” ~ All quotes from Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “It’s Your Life”

Callanish Standing Stones
Callanish Standing Stones

When I grow up, I want to be a ballerina . . . writer . . . doctor . . . lawyer . . . Broadway star . . . marine biologist . . . teacher . . . fabulously wealthy . . . writer . . . poet . . . farmer . . . Peace Corps volunteer . . . president. Now, I would settle for being debt-free, pain-free, and somewhat sane. Funny how things change. 

Check out the peace sign character that I’m using instead of a bullet or diamond. Again, small things . . .

Here is Jamie O’Neal singing “There Is No Arizona”:

 

 

More later. Peace.