Come home safe
where trees flower,
and flowers bloom,
...and clouds dance,
...and sunsets happen.

Yeah, like that...

We headed out of town much later than we'd planned, but sometimes life works that way. We hit the local Subway for "dinner on the way" and the Starbucks down the road for Brad and me. ...and heading down the highway and out into the rural, I put a Lloyd Webber compilation in the CD player and shifted though the cuts as we ate and talked and watched the traffic sort itself out around us.

Wispy clouds filled the southeastern skies and streaks of heavier stuff obscured the sun to the west as the fields flowed past. Corn was browned out and ready for silage harvest; the grape clusters were easily visible from the roadway. By the next county down, the fields were bare: stripped and tilled under and ready for the next planting. "Flagman ahead" slowed us to a stop for a time, but allowed for a few better cloud pictures than the ones I'd been trying for. ...and once again the traffic tried to sort itself out, but to what end? Kettleman slows all traffic to a crawl as you approach I-5.

The music had changed to Chris LeDoux's live album from 1997; it was much more appropriate for the vast spaces of the Central Valley and the brown hills lining its western side. The sun was riding low and throwing shadows from one hill onto the next in a cascading effect. ...and as I turned off the well-traveled road to the slower one, I kicked the music to yet another style and Mark O'Connor's 'fiddle' provided the background music for the trip through the scrub oak to watch the deer feeding. ..and to watch those wisps in the eastern sky fade through red to pink while the cotton ropes to the west lit up in a golden glow.

Darkness was falling as we slid through the back route into Atascadero; and the music played on as we looked for owls in the the open spaces above the trees that overhung the road into the last hills before the coast. The strains of the "Orange Blossom Special", with the haunting sounds of the wheels and the whistle, spilled over us as Morro Bay marked the turn toward home. ...and the melancholy words of "Now it Belongs to You", the story of a fiddle passed down from father to son, filled the night air as we pulled into this sleepy seaside town.

Now, even if the pictures from the camera are a little blurry from road motion, I can still say, "Yeah, like that..."

8/8/2003, 0245

Any thoughts on that?
Friday 8/8/2003, 0132

The Thursday Threesome...

Onesome: Two- Hey, we did 'threes' last week; let's try 'twos' this week. When you think of pairs, what comes to mind? ...and 'Bartletts' is the only wrong answer <g>! My two boys; they're a pair to draw to... Sheesh.

Twosome: Day- Which day of the week do you live for? Is it getting back to work on Monday (right!) or maybe Friday, so you're gone! One of the weekend days? Which day works for you? Saturday mornings!!!! The only day of the week I can even hope to sleep in! Yeah!

Threesome: Sale- Are you one of those people who will wait until something is on sale before you buy it? ...even if it's like forever? ...or do you just haul on down to the store whenever the urge hits? Hmmm? Planner, immediate or impulse? What type of buyer are you? I'm constantly watching sales and clearance events. ...and yeah, I'll hold off quite a while if it's for the right item.

How about you? What are you thinking? Let us know, over on The Back Porch...

Come on over and chat!
8/7/2003, 2359

Any thoughts on that?
Thursday 8/7/2003, 2350

Morning sun...

Sometimes it doesn't take much to allow growth...

8/6/2003, 2359

Any thoughts on that?
Wednesday 8/6/2003, 2350

Just a pretty...

From the Cambria side trip...

8/5/2003, 2359

Any thoughts on that?
Tuesday 8/5/2003, 2350

Unknown child...

The other week I posted the picture below and asked for any input people might have...

Not even glued on, just sitting there...

You know, I'd just automatically blown off "Charon's Fee" as being a little old fashioned, but that and one other theme stayed rather constant:


I live in VT and the tradition with the kids is to leave something of yourself when you visit a grave. Often that is in the form of change from your pocket.

My daughter lost a friend, Lindsay, when she was about 20...she visits every time she is home, often leaving something meaningful, most recently it was a laminated copy of her college graduation announcement.

Maybe it is the youger generations version of flowers.

Hope this helps.

I believe this is a French tradition on graves.

My old auntie (81 years old) tells me the coins are to pay the passage to the other side, and the keys are to unlock the gates of Heaven.

Sounds good to me!
Don Armstrong:

I don't KNOW, but I will assume that keys symbolise the keys to heaven - a means for a possibly unbaptised child (if that were important) to enter the heavenly gates.

The coins are almost certainly a simple statement. In your case (USA) they say (read it) "In God we trust". Again, possibly for mercy on an infant.

You posted about a headstone with coins in your blog? I looked it up and found this... "It is an old tradition to leave a penny as a gesture of deep love and missing. It also means 'rest-in-peace' for those who have left our world. Basically, it is a sign of good will and respect". I also found where some will leave a penny to mean "speed to heaven and peace".

A part of the custom may be a simple request for luck or aid in a task. The students from a local university will often leave a penny or other trinket on the tomb of the school's founder, most frequently during exams.

It was also the custom of 19th century undertakers to place a couple of coins on the eyes of the deceased. This was done to keep the eyelids closed until the muscles had finished all their postmortem tricks.

This is, of course, reminiscent of the ancient practice of placing gold coins on the eyes of the departed as payment for their passage with Charon, the ferryman across the River Styx.

Its an old European tradition to leave such things on the graves of loved ones or people who you respect. The coins are for Charon and the keys are also a currancy he has been known to accept. Rocks traditionally are placed by people of Jewish decent on top of a grave as a sign of affection (one does not always have coins or keys) Additionally it shows that the grave is well visited. Victorians started the tradition of flowers at the grave - they were all about Romance. Native Americans leave tobbaco, feathers and beads as tribute at the borders of their burial grounds.

What a lovely and sad picture.

Agreed, Lily, and this is one very well tended grave for an unknown. Someone, perhaps the local school children?. We explore further when we go back...

Thank you, everyone!

8/4/2003, 2359

Any thoughts on that?
Monday 8/4/2003, 2100

Art 101...

Close up of the grand project!

Valid. Asking what that could be is certainly valid. A little background: The other day, "MacArthur Park" arrived, a gift, courtesy of liz:

Art from bits and pieces of daily life

Much discussion ensued, with the eldest identifying bits and pieces and declaring, "If that's art, I just don't get it", but with the youngest staring at it for the longest time and then taking over the kitchen table to produce this:

Brad's piece...

Thanks, liz; I think you've triggered off something special here...

8/3/2003, 2359

From the coast trip...

Pollen dropping on the leaf below...

8/3/2003, 2119

Any thoughts on that?
Sunday 8/3/2003, 2100

"A dim memory of what she will be at night, ..."

... but there, nonetheless, dim and misty, hard and white. At night, there is only the moon, the sun is nowhere to be seen. There are no distractions when the moon rules the night sky. (Laurell K. Hamilton)

Just a sunset cloud?

Until then...

...tucked under the left side.

Yes, bobbi, I'll be quiet about the camera now...

8/2/2003, 1759

Any thoughts on that?
Saturday 8/2/2003, 1704