Where have I been? Well...so many places (actually three). I've been busy...which I will explain. But I've also been disconnected (figuratively and literally). I'm being cryptic, I know. --Sorry.
Okay, I have to type fast because I am in danger of either losing power or losing the Internet connection at any moment. (My literal disconnection). Crazy that the electronic connectivity is so volatile in the middle of the Metropolis of Atlanta! It's not NYC, I know,...but it IS a major city. I'm in a very nice hotel room and have refused to pay the price of the hotel's Wi-Fi. I'm relying on alternative connectivity which is spotty. I could pay the WiFi fee...but, yesterday, hubby paid the fee and the connection was just as slow.
ARGH. Case in point: I just lost my connection and had to log back in. Luckily, the blog written so far was saved as a draft. --I'm telling you...I don't know that I would have regained my train of thought or my stamina to start again. But enough with my whining about the diminished connection to the Internet. I should remember that the mere fact that there is any connection at all or that I have a laptop to work with is a luxury. (Here I'm batting my eyelashes for effect). --But seriously...have I grown that accustomed to technology that I'm sort of lost without it? (Yep).
Funny, in the "good old days", not so long ago, I would be concerned about having a Television in my hotel room. One with a remote, a good picture and preferably good cable. Wait, that was yesterday. (I kid.) Actually, interestingly, the Hubster and I didn't watch TV at all during our four day weekend. And...we haven't watched it again since landing in ATL on Monday. (Today is Wednesday).
The Hubs and I spent our four day weekend in the Pisgah National Forest in NC. We went with several fellow photographers to photograph waterfalls. There was no cell phone reception in the National Park itself. (Much less WiFi). It's in the NC Blue Ridge Mountains where, thankfully, I did not see any cell towers. (Because, really? How awful would that be?) I found that I was so thankful for the time I spent outside, in the forest, hiking to the waterfalls...totally disconnected from the "real world". It was so peaceful!
I haven't had a "remote" vacation in quite some time. The last time was 17 years ago, when I went with a group to the mountains of Kentucky to refurbish homes for residents in need. That was a "working" vacation. Painting houses, tarring roofs, replacing siding, tearing down a rotten porch and building a new one. I loved every minute of it. And at night, after a shower and a change of clothes, we would sit outside and listen to the frogs sing. (There was no TV in our cottage. But I would not have wanted to miss the music of the mountains anyway.) Plus, my body was heavy with fatigue and my mind quiet. I've never tried meditation, but I wonder if that zen like state of pure quiet and serenity from working hard and sitting in nature is similar.
This past weekend I did not have to "work". My mission was to photograph the majesty of what I had not seen before. Photography is something I am pursuing seriously. My BFA hubby provides good feedback and coaching. I am working towards becoming a serious pro-amateur. ("Pro-sumer" they are called: Professional/Consumer). Digital photography now affords me the ability to pursue this hobby passionately.
Photos of waterfalls will follow. (When I get home and can download them off the camera).
After the waterfall mountain trip, Hubs and I made the 6 hour drive to Charlottesville, VA. Why embark on a six hour drive from NC Blue Ridge Mountains to arrive at Foothills of VA Blue Ridge Mountains? Two amazing reasons: 1) We had vacation time scheduled, so we wanted to add a visit to our favorite people in all of Virginia to our week and 2) We purchased tickets to go to the Photography Festival. (Are we seeing a theme to this vacay?)
To see more about this year's Festival go to this link: Look3 Festival of the Photograph
The visit was wonderful. They have such a lovely home in such a lovely setting. And they are such wonderful hosts. But even better...we just L.O.V.E. them! Really truly. And we have fun with them. I usually end up in hysterical inappropriate giggles with one of them. This sometimes lasts even after our husbands have given us their disapproving stares. --Can't help it! We're usually laughing at them to start with. The stares only make it harder to stifle.
We also good naturedly challenge each other's ideas and world view (which serves to both broaden and strengthen our own views). We tell each other "what's new", and in this case, it included "show and tell". For instance, they've started a vegetable garden as well as now composting. We also got to see their new tools, i.e. lawn mower and snow blower. (Which are way cool!) I even saw a John Deere hat hanging in the mud room.
Last week's themes were: Commune with Nature. Commune with Loved Ones. and Commune with Self. (How deep am I?) I was able to take myself out of my normal environment and routines and free myself of my typical day to day thoughts (and worries) and focus on admiring the beauty and majesty of the forest, mountains and waterfalls! I was able to listen to artists and hear a fresh (to me) point of view. I was able to spend quality time with special people to share thoughts, dreams and much laughter. All of this has brought me "back" refreshed and energized.
I feel so like Julia Roberts/Elizabeth Gilbert of "Eat, Pray, Love": I actually went someplace where I was able to MARVEL at something. And, it was good.
P.P.S. Waterfall photographs to follow. After I get home and get them off the camera. Oh...I said that already. Point is: Be looking out for photos.