Monthly Archives: January 2012

In low lighting, you can only see the things that really stand out; furniture, large decorations and people. The eye skips over the little details, not realizing what they are until afterwards. The only immediate prominent feature is a collection of strange looking remote controls sitting on a square ottoman. Leaning forward, I can’t really make out their function. The buttons and words all look out of place. None of them make any sense.

I look up to see a figure sitting in a chair across from me, peering back at me with a secretive smile. It’s been years since I’ve seen that smile. Towards the end of her life, they were tight and infrequent. I could tell that she was trying to make everything look ok, but it kept getting harder. She was always exhausted. It was so difficult to witness her slowly fade away, pain consuming any everyday activities, eating away at her quality of life. It took everything she loved from her, and still she was left behind, until she was finally allowed to cross over.

It’s good to see her like this, in her fourties, young and vibrant again. I can feel tears sting the corners of my eyes, but they never fall. Her voice is warm and welcoming, and we talk at length about many reassuring things that I cannot now remember in detail. One moment in particular stands out, still strong in my waking hours.

There’s such love and and an almost…eagerness in her eyes as she talks.

“There’s so much I want to tell you – so much I want to share, but you wouldn’t understand until you get here.”
I nod, understanding – but still wishing to hear it all. I don’t bother pressing her to tell me as I smile back at her, somehow knowing that she’s right. A small tinge of sadness follows her words, but then the playfulness is back, as is her smile.

More is said between us, but nothing that I can remember now. What remains is a strong feeling of love, pride and a sense of knowing that she’s always there watching me, as if from another room just behind a pebbled glass window that becomes clear from time to time when I really need her. Or when she really misses me.

It is these small moments in dreams that I treasure now that my mother is gone.

I love you mom. Although it feels that I cannot wait to hear your secrets, there’s still lots more I need to do here. When I get there, though – man, oh man. What stories we’ll share.man. What stories we’ll share.

TRAVELOG: Austin Adventures, pt 2

First location of the day: The Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve. I’d been wanting to check this place out since fall of last year. The pictures I’d seen online presented a jade colored pool covered by a flat cave mouth that extends out and over a portion of the pond. I didn’t expect to see much in the way of greenery, being that it’s the middle of winter, but still wanted to go check it out while I was here. I’m so happy I did! It was worth every minute of the trip to get there…

[more here]

Road Chronicles

Up and packing – ready for a morning excursion out to Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve :) Then depending on what time I swing back through Austin after that, I’ll decide whether I have the time to track down the Museum of the Wierd or to hike up Mount Bonnel in 80 degree heat. Definitely going to hit Natural Bridge Caverns and Stonehenge II on my way back north though :)

TRAVELOG: Austin Adventures, pt 1

A lot has transpired since my last post, and I haven’t really gotten my thoughts together about all of it. I’ve been staying with my brother and his family out in Texas since the end of November, and it’s been… really, intensely cool to spend the last month and a half or so with my niece and nephews. I had been delinquent in actually spending any time with my brother and his family, so I feel a great deal better at having had the time to do so. It’s been very healing and awesome…

[more here]

Road Chronicles

One one of my trips back to the van from utilizing the camp facilities last night, I spotted a large owl perched on the edge of a children’s swing set. I said hello to it, and it flew past me and off into the darkness. Was a very cool moment.

TRAVELOG: Cave of the Mounds – Blue Mounds, WI

Cave of the Mounds [http://caveofthemounds.com/] is a natural limestone cave that was discovered back in 1939. It opened as an attraction in 1940.

According to WIKIPedia – “The Chicago Academy of Sciences considers the Cave of the Mounds to be “the significant cave of the upper Midwest” because of its beauty, and it is promoted as the “jewel box” of major American caves.”
 
I will say that, out of the caves that I’ve visited so far throughout the country, while it’s not overwhelming in size, the sheer beauty of this cave system is really outstanding…