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Monday, October 14, 2019

"History 2"

I started writing a post last week, complaining about being responsible, irritated I wasn't off partying when I had a perfectly lovely invite to NY.  The US president, Turkey, Putin, and Saudi Arabia were giving me migraines.  I was annoyed IF didn't give a new word.

I threw up my hands, made a quick call, packed my bag in minutes, and left my aggravations at home.  I'm pretty sure it was one of my better decisions even though my deadlines look a lot worse this week.  What's the point of living if everything we do is responsible?

The leaves between here and there are starting to turn.  I'm sure the drive would be even prettier next week, but it was pretty enough.  I ate a hearty breakfast with my friend and admired the view from the cafe window.  I took her dog for a walk and shot photos of apples just because.  I woke to the sound of Lake Chautauqua lapping at the shore just outside the bedroom window and heard the birds calling.  I quit thinking about deadlines.  Mostly.  I vented my frustrations of world affairs with like-minded people, drank wine, and enjoyed a BBQ.

My friend suggested a trip to Roger Tory Peterson Instituteof Natural History.  I was only mildly interested in going.  I grew up with Peterson's field guides; Dad and I used them all the time to identify the wildlife that surrounded us in the woods.  I just didn't think of Peterson's work as very exciting.  It's anatomically correct images s of the minute differences between birds and such.  Important, but kind of boring.

To be fair, I was right about my expectations on the 2nd floor of the museum.  It's full of carefully painted, perfect variations of birds.  The ground floor far exceeded my expectations.  Peterson painted much more than his field guides.  One painting shows a dragonfly carrying off a hummingbird.  I loved a painting of a majestic golden eagle, oh wait, I love the next painting more!

There is also a current exhibit of Guy Coheleach's art which I also greatly enjoyed.  I turned a corner and felt my heart leap at a fish painting.  Awesome, lovely, how did he do that?!  I peered at his paintings with the full intent of stealing, em, being inspired by, some of his techniques.  I happily pointed out various paintings by both artists to my friend with the suggestion that any of these would make great presents to me.

I wandered the halls and felt happy in a way I haven't felt in quite a while.  The RTP Institute is devoted to natural history and art, 2 topics very close to my heart.  The pretty building is nestled in the woods.  I was with a dear friend and a teenage girl who was wide open to the experience.  The guy who tended the museum is a doppelganger of my recently deceased friend, with the same kind of Labrador friendly attitude.  We chatted over a tank of Hellbenders and he affectionately told us all about these endangered giant salamanders and even posed for a picture so we had evidence of his spitting image to Danny (which I unfortunately don't have as it's on my friend's phone).

Lesson for the week: when invited to do fun things, go.  Some responsibilities can wait.


  1. Sounds wonderful, Linda! Good choice to go off and be unresponsible! I'm thinking I need more of that too. Love your swans.

  2. Thanks, though I'll admit I felt a little silly putting these swans on the same post as such masterful artists. I encourage your future irresponsibility!

  3. I hear ya! Sometimes, it's all too much.

    I love your swans, too! And nature/bird stories are always good. So nice that your Dad exposed you to appreciating the little creatures when you were a kid.

  4. I did enjoy searching the field guides with Dad. Maybe things in Washington would all go better if politicians were forced to look at the autumn leaves for a while?

  5. That was a good decision, Linda. I read your post with interest and your swans are lovely.

  6. The swan image is lovely. Thanks for your good wishes. My cancer diagnosis was a whirlwind of late. But, I should be cancer free now. In recovery mode and doing fine.

  7. Thanks Sharon. Wishing you only good news about your health and an easy recovery!

  8. I agree. We should be open for anything coming by our way - even if it creates some stress for the next deadline. As you write, we need to live, too.

    1. It seems like you're out living more than most Otto! I enjoy seeing your travels :)

  9. How brilliant Linda, I am so glad you went. Your swans are gorgeous xxx

  10. Thanks Jane! I'm sure I'll go again too :)