Ah, a story finished and another to go. My travel feature about a spring road trip Louie and I took to Paso Robles will release with Creators Syndicate on August 1.
But before immersing into my next travel story deadline – Claremont, California, for TraveLife (Canada) -- I took some time to “smell the roses.”
Thank goodness for pets. While our Lola is no longer with us to wake me up each morning with her sweet barely audible whimper, I still greet the morning sun when I check on Lawrence, our tortoise, in her fenced natural habitat. And I noticed right away that the outdoor temperature was cooler and wonderfully pleasant.
So, I spotted Miss Lawrence still asleep in Den #2, where she had checked in last night. The last few nights she has had preference for Den #3 at the end of her “alley.” I quietly walked away to pour fresh water into her bowl and put out a nice salad of dandelion greens as she will be waking up soon to roam around until it gets too hot at which time, she retreats to one of her four dens.
In the coolness of the morning, I took my time hitting the keyboard and instead admired the colorful desert flowers planted a year ago, which along with dried weeds are nutritious for Lawrence. Then, other things caught my eye: Sunflowers for Lola on the front yard table. In the back patio, the conch shell I found on a beach while on a press trip in Fiji eons ago sitting beside my favorite whisk broom found at a local gift shop. And in the mudroom, storybook-like figurines creating a sweet Mexican vignette that I usually pass with barely a glance as I move quickly in and out the back door. But not this time.
Finally, I started making my coffee. But through the side of my eye, I saw the empty Pie Life Pizza box from last night’s dinner. Before doing anything else, my tidy instincts just had to get rid of the pizza box. Outside I went to put it in the trash bin.
Just as I was about to open the gate to Lawrence’s yard, I stopped immediately. There at the lavender plant was a hummingbird happily fluttering about feeding on the flowers’ nectar.
I quietly rushed back inside to get my smartphone to capture this moment. And I did – sort of. The result is more like a “Where’s Waldo” challenge.
The hummingbird might be but a blur, but it was those few minutes of the quiet morning that made it so magical.