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When the Going Gets Tough (redux) …

I go for a bike ride at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. But, first, an update.

Many thanks to everyone who offered kind, loving words to my last post.

I’m doing well because of you.

I’m doing well because the cold/heat therapy has really helped my arm/shoulder/neck (I guess the problem originates in my neck but is felt in my arm and shoulder. Nice.) An MRI has not been entirely ruled out, but I’m grateful I can sleep at night, the ache in my arm and shoulder completely gone.

I’m doing well because I’m grateful for the time we had with Maxine and all the many happy and funny memories I have of her.

I’m doing well because I’m becoming reengaged with writing. A new publication for book reviews has opened up on Medium–The Book Cafe–and I plan to publish some of my “old” book reviews there as well as new ones. I’ve been more active with another Medium publication–Crow’s Feet. Not just writing but also meeting with other writers and sharing hopes and dreams for the future of Crow’s Feet. I also have an essay in the works with yet another band of Medium writers. More importantly, while I was on my walk this morning, I voice-recorded an idea for my novel. Yup, these smartphones can be handy when you’re not smart enough to carry paper and pen with you. 

I’m doing well because almost every morning this month, I’ve walked second thing in the morning (the first thing is feeding my furbabies). I listen to the birds rather than podcasts. I greet our resident red-shouldered hawks as they swoop by me and land on wires or fences. Through an app called Merlin Bird ID, I’ve learned that a large variety of birds grace my neighborhood: Carolina wren, cardinal, blue jay, pine warbler, cedar waxwings, robin, Baltimore oriole, downy woodpecker, house finches, goldfinches, to name a few. Some of these I might see at our bird feeders, but not all.   

I’m doing well because several days ago, we went on a bike ride to the refuge and didn’t have one single mishap. Here are some of the sights. 

A favorite spot to stop and have some tea and cake.

If you look at the center of the grassy field, you should see a tall lone tree with a couple of smaller ones near. Whenever we stop here, I fantasize about having a house on stilts way out there. Of course, it’s not possible to have a house way out there. It’s probably more marsh than field anyway. That’s why it’s only a fantasy, but one I always indulge in.

My bike with the moon!

It was a bit past 3:30 when I took this photo. I really like how the moon is “posed” between the handlebars.

No public entry to the most beautiful bayou in Florida.

You can imagine my deep disappointment when we found our way blocked. I had even brought my tripod for the sole purpose of photographing the birds that the sign is likely protecting. No worries, though. St. Marks has more than enough beauty to please my eye.

Panoramic at the corner of two trails.

I love taking panoramics, especially at the refuge.

Yet another panoramic.

We hadn’t gone far when I took another panoramic. In times like this, I feel the most peace with the world.

Another moon shot, this over Cypress trees.

On our way out, here’s another moon shot.

I hope you enjoyed viewing these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. Again, my warmest thank-yous for the support you all have given me. I leave you with Raji in one of his favorite spots.

Raji in a cabinet.

Categories: life

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

39 replies

    1. Oh, Cheryl, I wish I could have a home there! That’s a view I could look at all day and never get tired of. But it’s part of the refuge so not allowed … and I should be okay with that because, well, Nature needs her space 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You’re definitely on the right track! I know how losing a furbaby can really knock you for a loop (Hitch’s anniversary was just a few days ago.) Nature always works best, balmwise.

    I love how Raji has settled in, recalling his intro to the household!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad I got to meet Hitch (even though the feeling probably wasn’t mutual … lol).
      Although Raji has settled in, he still retains some “feralness.” He’s lightning-fast when he wants to get away from either of us. Getting him to the vet is something we have to start preparing for weeks ahead of time 😉


    1. I so agree with you, Jill. Being outside, especially when the sun is shining, is the best medicine. I still might wind up getting an MRI. The more I think about it — and I’ve gotten lots of good advice on how to survive one — the more I think it would be a good idea. Just to be safe. But we’ll see 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One thing that works best for me when having an MRI is to close my eyes before they start to load me into the tube. 🙂 I’ve learned to suck it up and get the MRI after being told nothing was wrong with my back, but after an MRI, I was told I had a ruptured disc. They tell the true story.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Good to know, Jill. My husband feels the same way. It was his MRI (not the x-rays) of his back that showed the true severity of the stenosis. I am hoping, though, that an MRI will only show me as having an “age-appropriate” neck 😉


  2. Seems like I’ve come in mid-conversation, but that you’re doing what even the ancient Greeks felt was the best remedy “Nature itself is the best physician.” And as much as I liked the photos with the wide-open spaces and clear open skies, the one of Raji in the cabinet is my favorite 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for taking us along on your bike ride. Such beautiful shots! Hope the shoulder situation gets resolved soon.
    Glad you are feeling well despite it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dale! One thing I did this time that I usually don’t do is have patience … lol. The cold/heat therapy required patience since the healing effects take time. I’m trying to make the therapy a habit in the hopes that it will help me avoid a reoccurence. Fingers crossed 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice, Marie! Love the thinking and feelings and the getting of OUT! The refuge is a wonderful destination. I kind of loved the posting in the middle of the road to stop anyone from going on. Oh well, I guess they HAD to do it. Put it off limits, I mean. Looks pretty cool out there. Your photos convey the idea of the place-quiet, going on forever… and I like the idea of the house on stilts. Kampongs (traditional villages) in Malaysia were like that. Simple, clean and little TV. That was in the 60’s! Everyone. ad a house. Go Figure. Stay well. Be happy, looks like you are….Lotsa Love… feel the Reiki!/Leopoldo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Leo! Yeah, my heart sank when I saw the sign, but, gee, I can’t begrudge nesting birds (assuming that’s why the sign was there). But the diversion was just as lovely. There are a lot of houses on stilts around here, especially nearer the coast. You know, hurricanes and tropical storms do come through sometimes 😉 Most of those are vacation homes, though, not my forever home in the middle of a refuge.

      Lots of love to you too!!!


  5. Raji! You little booboobear! Marie, this is such a wonderfully positive post–I am so glad you are feeling better. Lovely photos, of course, but even lovelier is that you are reviving. That book review thing on Medium is cool–great idea! I have been meaning to ask you a question: how the heck do you knit with cats in the house?! hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Perry doesn’t want me to knit! He keeps walking into the needles. And I am only knitting two rows every single day. No way could I just sit there and knit with these guys, especially him.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I used to have that problem, but Junior and Wendy now just want to sleep all the time, and Raji still keeps his distance. Although he has tried to get at the yarn in the bag. I have to keep an eye on him … lol.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s what Perry wants–the yarn! Yes, keep an eye on him because Perry will try to chew and maybe swallow the yarn even if it’s not the end–anywhere in the “middle.”

            Liked by 1 person

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