Day 19: Mail I almost always send holiday cards through the mail. Usually they are late, but this year I’ve mailed them all before Christmas! I order my cards from Shutterfly and couldn’t imagine what to send in this coronavirus year! The one I chose was amusing & appropriate, I thought – it just said “Well, That was CRAZY! Happy 2021 (finally)”. It included four photos, one a selfie of me and Dale in masks, one of Hazel, our cat, and two scenic. (I am unable to copy and paste it here and I used up all the cards!) I had Shutterfly print our return address on the back of the envelope, so sending them was easy! I only had to add my half-page letter, address, stamp, seal, and mail!
Day 20: Toys
Day 21: Snow We haven’t had any (yet)! But here are some photos from last winter.
Day 22: Night Last night, for the first time in 800 years, Saturn and Jupiter were to line up in the night sky, and we would see them as one brightish light near the horizon. We were going to go to a park after dark to look at this phenomenon, but alas! It was cloudy!
What I like about night at Christmas time is all the holiday lights that brighten up the darkness when the days are short and the sun sets before 4:30 p.m.!
One of my favorite gifts that Harry Potter received came from the Weasley Twins; and was “Mrs. Mooney’s Marauder’s Map”. This magical document showed every classroom, hallway and secret corner in all of Hogwarts. It also showed you the location- by name- of every person in Hogwarts. If you had such a magical map of your town, what would you use it for? If you would not use it, is there another person to whom you would gift it?
I think this makes more sense to have at a school or at a large company, both of which are rife with gossip and in both places, you might like to know where everyone is so you can continue the gossip! As for my town, GPS does well for me.
When was the last time you made a snowball? Were in a snowball fight?
I don’t like snowball fights – I’ve always been a wimp! The last time I was in a “snowball fight” was at Yosemite (pronounced yo-SEH-mih-tee, in case you, like Trump, have never heard of this place!) National Park in 1998. Our family was on a trip to California for our nephew’s wedding and we did some traveling around in the state. Even though it was early July, we thought it was really cool to find snow in the upper altitudes of Yosemite – so the kids and I got out of the car and started throwing snow at each other – very ad hoc, not really “snowballs.” The last time I made a snowball was probably two years ago at another national park – Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, where again at the higher elevations there was snow. I think I just made a snowball with my bare hands just to prove to myself that it was indeed snow, in spite of hot weather down below! I promptly dropped it because why would I have gloves with me when traveling in June?
Many cultures set great value in each child of the family having godparents. Did you have godparents? Are you a godparent yourself? I may have had godparents, I don’t know. I am not a godparent, at least I hope not…I did actually agree to be the godparent for the daughter of a sort-of friend who was very persuasive and I remember attending an informal “ceremony” in her living room. I lost touch with her soon after that (for which I am grateful) and never saw nor heard from her or the little girl again.
You have found a secret tunnel under your house. Where does it go? Someplace where it’s warm when it’s winter here, where there is no or minimal Covid-19, that I could crawl to without having to get on an airplane. (New Zealand, here I come!!)
Muggle Questions (of a more philosophical bent this week):
Is intelligence or wisdom more useful? Both are useful. Intelligence can lead to wisdom, but intelligence can exist without wisdom, at least early in one’s life. Wisdom requires that you have had experiences in life that you learned lessons from and you can look back on. Intelligence is just having knowledge and knowing how to apply it. So children may have intelligence, but only when they are older will they obtain wisdom. How important is play in living a healthy and fulfilling life? Play is as important as work. Play is when you learn things while enjoying yourself, or engaging in a hobby or interest. Breaks from work are necessary to be healthy, physically or mentally. Some workaholics would say they have a fulfilling life, I guess if their work has given them that fulfillment – I think one would have to have a job they really love to feel fulfilled, unless one was lying to oneself. I’m all for play! Take a vay-cay!!
Is happiness just chemicals flowing through your brain or something more? If you study happiness scientifically as to how it manifests itself in the brain, then the former may be true. But for most people, happiness is an important part of life, without which you would probably be rather unhealthy. Positive emotions are necessary in order to have a satisfying and healthy life. I think everyone seeks happiness. I sometimes ask myself if I am happy – not just that day, but in general. I always want the answer to be yes, but it isn’t always, if I’m honest with myself… I think a lot of people reflect on this because happiness is something we all strive for.
GRATITUDE SECTION (Always optional) I’m grateful for: happiness the ability to play (i.e. find enjoyment in life) living a fulfilling life both intelligence and wisdom it being currently summer with no possibility to be hit with a snowball!
My car is a source of several types of reflections:
Reflections of holiday lights on its hood
Light from its headlights reflecting on snowfall
An image in its driver’s side mirror (Rocky Mountain National Park)
Bodies of water are also great sources for photographing reflections:
One of the ponds at our senior community – the reflection was clearer on the water side (left) than the ice side (right).
Hippo and its reflection (Serengeti National Park, Tanzania)
Egrets on the edge of a lake (Tarangire National Park, Tanzania)
In this close-up of two geese that are part of a sculpture, the reflection of the top of the sculpture, geese in flight, can be seen in the pond. (Chicago Botanic Gardens)
Polished surfaces, such as glass and mirrors, are good places to look for reflections.
Glass pots on display at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington – the pattern at the bottom of the pot on the left is reflected on the platform.
Glass sculpture on the roof of the museum after a rainfall – the birds are actually reflected in the puddle – it reminded me of the egrets in Tanzania!
The polished floor in the courtyard of a mosque in Cairo, Egypt
It took me awhile looking at this photo to realize it was actually a mirror image I was photographing, at a restaurant in Cairo. There was also a mirror at the far end, where the actual scene of our group having dinner was reflected, in the second photo.
Finally, semi-spherical mirrors were used to enhance flower exhibits at the annual orchid show (Chicago Botanic Gardens). This photo is a bit blurry but I liked the reflection – and you can see my camera in my hand at left!
And now, a theme-related video of a golden oldie from the 1960s!