Winter does not empathize
with withered branches or
displaced birds fleeing waves
of frozen breath
Her howling wind is a laugh out loud
and she hasn’t the grace to cover her mouth.
A tease of holly and evergreen flicker
at the curve of her billowed boughs
glistening folds and hallowed mounds
drift in other worldly sighs
ensnared by her exquisite binds.

Silence--by-Karol-Bak[1]

art by Karol Bak

332 thoughts on “She’s Not A Lady

    1. We’re still warm here. A small cold front came through. Whoop! We’re very thin blooded though, we layer our clothes and shed them as the day heats up. 😊❤️

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      1. No doubt. We spent Christmas 2013 in the Keys and New Year’s 2014 in Naples. Christmas was fab but it rained non stop in Naples. We were also in Orlando in 2009. Froze our butts off!

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  1. Ah, dear Holly, you have made a beautiful metaphor of winter.
    Yes, winter is upon us in Canada, and in Florida; where sand will have to be your snow.
    Yet, I feel more at this moment in time. I feel like it is winter everywhere, even if it’s summer.
    Apropos, this winter you have penned, apropos!
    xxooxxooxxoo

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  2. Nice work my friend, I love this and the art piece as well.

    “Her howling wind is a laugh out loud
    and she hasn’t the grace to cover her mouth.”

    Great lines and your title is perfection. Hope all is well as you are obviously inspired. Have an amazing week. Love this poem, great work. Love and hugs, Joni

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  3. Oh how well you describe her, Rene. Love KB’s image, those steely cold eyes and your poem say it all. I think I’ll go to REI and buy another jacket just to be safe. 🌬🥶

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    1. Thank you dear Dan. By all means bundle up. I was working a puzzle and the clue was a sporting good store that starts with R. we don’t have REI here so you solved my puzzle! You are awesome and probably cold. KB is a favorite of mine .

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      1. Wowzer! Serendipity and synchronicity in one go. Glad I could be of help. It has to be the Floridian Pisces thing. I am awesomely cold. I took the trash to the curb and checked the mail and that was all it took to make me wish I’d worn my jacket. Just call me Burrrr Rabbit 🐰

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          1. LOL! I think it doesn’t matter the temperature, only that you are too hot or too cold and it’s time for some comfort in style. I get a kick out of the little costumes they make for dogs and cats. My favorite is the pirate outfit.

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          2. Bwaaa haaa haaa! I have a very clear mental picture of that. Tide would be the life of the party decked out in his outfit and riding with you to the Keys. Bagheera is just missing out on his chance to be an Internet celebrity with Tide.

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          3. Bagheera is a proud feline. Once they realize they are royalty, which is always at an early stage in life, they find it difficult to engage in common affairs. But offer them a good game of grocery bag hide and seek, and they return to their childhood playfulness quick as a wink. I definitely approve of your style and ride. You sense of leather and helmet fashion and your choice of wheels to ride is unmatched. I make myself dizzy thinking of you pulling into the favorite stop on The Dragon with your Indian Bike and shaking your hair out like a Huntress after a successful day riding the Dragon’s back with Tide looking about by your side. Bagheera, has to find another way to be so fabulous as that. 🐈‍⬛

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          4. You’re the best Dan, it’s not a bad life esp the cruise through the Blue Ridge and Deals Gap. I love my leathers, that’s part of the ambiance. Bagheera is a bit of a snob yet there isn’t a bag box or flower pot he won’t play in and he eats marigolds.

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          5. LOL! Bagheera seems to be into plant based healing powers. That, or he just wants to show them who’s boss around the yard. He is definitely no ordinary cat. I love the Blue Ridge Mountains and Parkway. I like to go when the high traffic times are at a minimum so I don’t have to focus on what I’m doing but more take it all in and of course never pass up an overlook. I can imagine it is even better on a bike.

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          6. I certainly am aware of Bagheera’s mesmerizing gaze peering out from that silky midnight fur. He probably charms everyone he meets. We share a common appreciation for the Blue Ridge, it’s practically next door. I will be embarrassed to live so close and not go back several times. If you happen to zip by, I’ll wave and give you four dragon thumbs up.

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          7. Oh yes! The more I escape the now, the faster it slips away into obscurity where it belongs. Perhaps down the road my great grandchildren will ask me what I did in 2020 and I’ll tell them a tale about a balloon trip. I don’t remember much of anything else.

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          8. I’ve heard rumors but never put any faith in wildly exaggerated rumors unless it’s me doing the wild and the imaginary. I think I was inside in my room that year. 🤔

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          9. Yes indeed! I created a refuge next to my bedroom window where I can see all that transpires and believe I am there as Mr. Squirrel observing Madame Goose as she struts with Monsieur Gander. The busy minnows in the creek dash about and the sky hosts a stampede of bovine clouds lumbering overhead. That, I remember well.

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          10. I miss that forest wonderland. I’m a prisoner of the sea both here and my escape in Merritt Island. I think that’s why I live Germany and my time spent in Al. And Upper NY. Winter is lovely there.

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          11. Ahhhh, those are the memories to cling to now. I’ve been to Rochester and north of Watertown along the lake where I could wave at Canadians on the other side. I loved it. It was quaint and quiet. Rochester was nice but still a city like many others. Merrit Island seems a nice getaway from the pictures. When you can travel again, you will, and it will rekindle that free spirit you keep hidden for special occasions.

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          12. I lived in Binghamton and in Poughkeepsie, such a beautiful region. I never got to Rochester but went into the city a few times. I love travel. I look forward to getting away. I do love Merritt. I think I’ll retire there. 😊

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          13. You definitely have seen your share of the blue planet. That makes all the difference in one’s perspective. I think retirement at Merritt Island is a great plan. Maybe you’ll see that light speed space craft launch. I’m not as road worthy as before but getting up and out is such a blessing. I know people from highschool that married young and are still together but never left the county and see no reason to but their view of the world is so small and beyond the reach of their thoughts. I just can’t imagine myself living like that although for them it makes all the sense in the world and they are not unhappy people. Something in me wants to jump in a viking longship, drink a little honey mead from a horn, and then walk the oars while singing a bawdy song of conquest. I want to go to green places but outer space will do. Valhalla and Valkyries are a bit out of reach now that my battle rhythm is locked up in the safe but there are still the mountains and oceans too. There are still more places to see and things to do than I can ever get to. I’m always telling my daughters to go with me and do some great outdoor adventure with the kids. I get, Daaaaaad, you need to adult more, the grandkids look up to you for stability and reasoning. Me? Are you kidding? Where did they get that idea?

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          14. That’s a heavy responsibility re the grand kids. I say Tosh on that. You raised your kids now it’s their turn and yours to just enjoy the little ankle biters so they can say my Grand Dad was awesome. He took us on the sling shot. Anyway, I’ll be by in the Ultra Light for you, there’s an echelon of Swallows needing a relief leader. 🕊

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          15. I’m definitely up for an ultralight adventure. One of my Army buddies who lives here, an old school Army Ranger, has one of those parasails and he wears a small motor with propeller on his back. He flies that thing all over the place. We had some very good times in the Army together. No mission to tough and when everything was churning and burning we were already planning some insane fun when we got back to base. He taught me a lot and he made learning a high adventure. Sooooo, I am definitely ready to sail with the swallows. We need to meet up at House of Heart and see what happens. 😎😎🪂🏍🚀

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          16. That’s fascinating. I’ve never parasailed. My friend went parasailing along the beach and her harness slipped. Not good. Since then I’ve decided against it. An ultralight would be fine though. 😎😎

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          17. I would definitely stick to ultralights with the enclosed cabin. They are so cool and tho you have to file a flight plan just like a private plane, you can go anywhere, take off and land nearly anywhere. Plus I think the Swallows would feel more comfortable. 😎😎

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          18. Indeed, picture the bouncing run across the local football field, soaring between the uprights. We high five with aviator gloved hands and feel the power of the engine and propeller behind us. You comment it’s just like riding a Harley. We circle over the trees down by the river where the Swallows are darting just above the branches in anticipation of our arrival. Seeing us, they rise in a cloud and swirl on the currents seemingly like some fantastical beast of air and feathers. You point out the head of the formation as it comes together and we swoop down and in front. They follow us as we set a pace for the long days ride. We are off to Italy, our adventure begins with a great following of nimble birds and a beautiful blue sky.

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          19. This adventure is truly exciting! I imagine racing across that field to hop into the passenger seat just as we are taking off. The swallows at first startled, recognize that we are going their way and one by one they form their echelon behind us coasting on the air stream, its going to be a great flight!

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          20. When you take the stick while I peer behind us at our feathered entourage, you know that straight level flight is a hazard brought on my the mesmerizing drone of the engine and the never varying horizon. For this reason you turn us upside down, right side up and swoop a bit left and right. I hold on to the framework for dear life with my light yellow aviators silk scarf fluttering in a panic out the open window. I consider how much I like how the scarf blends so fashionably with my explorer khakis. It would be a shame if it blew out the window with me still attached. I sit down hard as you right the craft back to straight level flight. Looking over at your stoic demeanor, I am fixed in a state of disbelief. You turn slowly toward me, in a moment you smile as one who has pulled of a historical heist and smile. Incredulous, I stare until you mouth the word, whoops. Then we laugh like children on the playground. I glance back and see our Swallow cloud is amused and more interested in keeping up. They know a fun adventure when they see one.

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          21. I am as free as the cloud of birds who stream silently behind us. To our surprise a wide winged swallow swoops above and in front of us to take the lead. Amazed and amused we pull back and allow him his rightful turn at lead. Laughing, we relax and Take our place among our V shaped shadow of fellow travelers.

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          22. This adventure is turning out to be quite the experience. While we remain constantly enthralled at our meandering ultralight’s sensitivity to wind and the view of the land below, I am captivated as we sail north along the narrow isthmus between North and South America. We can see the ocean on both sides as they disappear over the horizon. Ahead is the old Spanish San Juan Mission in Capistrano where our entourage flies inexorably, driven by a natural force of nature hard to imagine. My calculations say we are on time to be there on St. Joseph’s Day and the arrival of the Swallows marks a celebration of their journey that has continued since 1930. For now, it is growing late and I see our ever growing flock has descended to circle the crowns of a magnificent forest and settle in for the night. Shall we look for a landing spot on the beach nearby?

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          23. Awed we watch the Swallows descend into the tall trees. A few circle back to gather the last of their entourage and together they quietly disappear into the ancient crowns of trees somehow knowing they are nearing their destination and can finally rest. From our low altitude we see a beach of packed sand bordered by a cliff.
            Wary of the incoming tide, David circles the strip, willing to take our chances he lands our small aircraft with a skip and we roll to a stop near the cliff, far enough from the sea that later the incoming tide will not be a problem. Easing our cramped frames onto the sand we begin to plan how we will spend our evening and night on the deserted strip of beach. As I stroll the edge of the water with bare feet David searches the forest floor for tinder.

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          24. Our swallow friends have picked an excellent site to overnight. While the birds chatter and settle into the ritual of foraging for their dinner, Renate and I must do the same. I gather enough firewood to cook our meal for the evening and keep us comfortable at night. Two slender saplings do a fine job of holding up our tarp fashioned into a shelter. Renate returns from her walk carrying a coconut and papaya she found growing near the edge of the beach. We’ll feast well tonight. “I have a surprise for us,” I say. Renate’s face light’s up with a joyful intrigue as she offers me the treasures she found. “And I have a surprise as well.” We laugh and enjoy a playful banter as the long hours in the ultralight plane drain out of stiff muscles. I present the canopy we used on our balloon ride and spread it out under the tarp next to the fire. Then I bring out two small glasses and pour a portion of our beloved pear wine. While our skewer of of savory delights retrieved from our small ice chest roasts over the fire. We sit together and watch the sun set in magnificent display across an endless sea lapping at the shore in gentle waves and soothing sounds, our nature’s romantic symphony.

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          25. Lying back, we watch the stars that dance on the water like diamonds. Sipping the pear wine that goes right to her head, Renate listens intently to the night sounds, the rustle of palm fronds and the ocean waves rolling in like slick sea lions glimmering beneath the crescent moon.
            Her body aches from the long flight yet she is not tired but exhilarated. Suddenly, emboldened by the wine she strips off her outer clothing and ruffling David’s hair she hurries to the waters edge, motions for him to follow and dives beneath the dark waves.

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          26. This is why David’s romantic heart has fastened to Renate and refused to let go. Her love of life, adventure, and spontaneous free spirit is the essence of her beguiling magic. He watches as her feet kick up petite geysers of sand sparkling in the golden light. The last rays of day draw a sharp outline of her feminine beauty, and David wastes no time in loosing his khakis as he hurries after his love. They play like children in the surf, splashing, chasing, dodging, a choreography of desire and passion. Echoes of their laughter resound from the cliff rising out of the sand behind them drawing the attention of Swallows that watch motionless and feel the need to be closer to the each other. Finally, the enamored couple fall into each other’s arms settling into the water until it tickles their shoulders. The world grows quiet where only the sounds of nature resume except for the occasional sound of pleasure that only a deep and abiding love can make. As the sun disappears leaving the horizon to fade from blaze orange to powder blue under a cobalt sky, Renate and David walk hand in hand back to their shelter and resume their evening of celebration as the last flames of their fire flicker over a bed of crimson coals and the true beauty of the human form is displayed in contrasts of warm light by the fire and grasping darkness of dancing shadows and night.

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          27. When she’s with David all inhibition seem to slip away and she lives in the moment because that is what they have. No past or future just the infinite present.
            And she is wild and free and takes him with her into that sea that they do not fear but become part of.
            In those star lit waters they entwine like creatures beaconed by the gods of the seas, welcomed by this watery paradise .
            He carries her ashore as if she is a treasure just discovered and they lie down on the tarp of that faithful balloon . The swallows, their feathered heads beneath their wing , rest in the crowns high above and the enraptured lovers dream of the old mission that calls to them.

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          28. David awakens to a new dawn with the fragrant sizzle of smoked bacon mingling in his mind. The rich aroma of campfire coffee and sweet yeasty biscuits merge with the bacon in the chill air and David’s stomach rumbles it’s approval. The reflection of sun off the calm water paints Renate in a golden glow. She focuses on her skillet in the fire and offers her neck as David wraps his arms around her and teases Renate with soft kisses. “I’m having eggs, bacon, biscuits and coffee, she says. What do you plan to have for breakfast?” She teases and pulls away slightly. David pretends to pull her back from the skillet she is so intent on watching and whispers, “I’m having you, but I’ll wait until you are well fed,” they laugh at their lover’s game but protest is not what the glow on Renate’s face portrays. After breakfast and time to enjoy the morning quiet, it is time to go. The birds are beginning to stir and it won’t be long before the forest erupts in a whirlwind of black on white feathers with rust red neckbands filling the air in a cacophony of shrill calls to come, take flight, and follow me. David services their ultralight plane while Renate packs their few belongings. The engine roars to life and bumps down the beach before lifting the nose and soaring up against the incoming winds, turning on a hard bank, and circling over the trees to gather the swallows. More have joined over night and the cloud of birds twists and turns like a giant dragon’s tail a mile long.

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          29. We have been flying for several hours, the swallows have gathered by the hundreds, perhaps thousands, the sky is silent but for the whir of our small aircraft and the flock that follows. They are nearing the end of their journey and we can hear the bells ringing in honor of St. Joseph and the swallows. David and I smile knowing we have arrived at exactly the moment. Ceremonies have begun, a party of celebrators , native dancers and Tushmal Singers fill the air with Ajachemen Prayer Songs. We are overwhelmed with the sight and knowing we are but an interloper in this ancient tradition we find a small runway and slowly glide to a stop in the grassy path. The Swallows perform a Mission Flyover and I could swear they tip a wing in our direction. We hold each other, laugh and kiss, overwhelmed by this journey and amazing adventure to witness a glorious phenomenon.
            Later we visit the “Jewel of the Missions,” built by native Americans and the Serra Chapel. We are growing tired but will not rest until we explore the Great Stone Church and the original padres’ quarters of the South Wing Mission.
            Along the route of the celebration we pick up bites to eat and drink. At dusk we sense that the time has come for us to procure fuel and head back to the light aircraft that seems to wait patiently for us. Dan fills the small tank and using his hands hoists me up to the passenger seat and then seats himself behind the wheel. He pushes the throttle with his right foot to get thrust and pushes out the bar to get lift and we are off, the lights reflect off the indigo waters as we trace the route we arrived on. The scent of night air, sea and salt is exhilarating. I place my hands on Davids shoulders and gently massage his tense neck muscles, we have a long way to travel but smile in agreement, it has been well worth it.

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          30. Again, Renate adds the perfect glow to a perfect ending. Even as they race across the sky, the ground below seemingly moves with a slow, deliberate undulation beckoning to the next adventure. The racing sloop they just invested in is only an evenings flight up the coast. It sits low in the water, still and lonely at port and has no lively energy until they arrive and bring their sloop to life. They discuss the need to name her before they depart for another island hopping adventure. They decide to overnight in their sloop and give it a thought over their first dinner on a new adventure.

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          31. Hi Rene, this is perfect. I’ll capture all and sew it together as before. I think from each story we are close to writing a beautiful novel that has a continuity between trips. What do you think? Should we capture it all in a book of chapters, each a view into a unique romantic escape?

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          32. I know! I did the math and counting Sad Café, Balloon Ride, and The Swallows of Capistrano, we have almost 19,000 words. 40,000 more and we have a good novel. That gives us plenty of room for lots of thrilling times. I’m really growing fond of D & R.

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          33. They are an eternal pair. I think any era in history would suit them, especially the Rennaissance and of course the Romantic Era where the exploration of life and free expression gave rise to modern art, poetry, and literature. They can only get better at what they do best.

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          34. Ooohhh! We are on to something. I wonder if David and Renate stopped at an uncharted island on their sailing adventure and found an ancient temple that suddenly transported them back to the Rennaissance with a map to other secret temples, each with it’s own era to explore. Hmmmmm, the visions are unfolding and emerging from the mist of antiquity.

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          35. What an adventure that will be to see the great names of the Rennaisance strolling the cobblestone side streets at the market looking for materials and food to feed their art and curious minds.

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          36. I know! I’m already rolling it around in my head and we haven’t started weighed anchor with the racing sloop yet. Muse on fire 🔥

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          37. I actually thought you wore your Wonder Woman suit under your regular clothes. No? Ahhh, I see the brilliance in that strategy. Unaware, the golden lasso, which is your poetry, holds us enthralled. Only then do we hear the music and realize we are Wonder Woman’s willing captive. The mystical dragons approve. 😉🦸‍♀️

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          38. Thank goodness for phone booths and linen closets or else super heroes would need a lot of Velcro mods to their street clothes. The dragons still approve and add 50 cool points for managing a clothes change in a phone booth. That can’t be easy.

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          39. If Wonder Woman pops out of the phone both while I’m waiting, I’m getting a selfie so I can brag to my friends. 🥰🦹. They will be soooo jealous.

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          40. I can imagine the only phone booths around are those repurposed for other commercial endeavors. I saw an ad on Instagram for a poncho you wear to the beach and change clothes inside the poncho and then hit the surf. When you come back, climb in the poncho and change back. That might work.

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          41. I think once one person wears this fashionable beach wear, it will take the beach by storm. Then, if one doesn’t have a beach poncho, they will be the standout. I’m suggesting a poncho for two with tropical prints to the owner. Not getting any pushback at all. Stay tuned, it may happen.

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          42. We can roll out a basic model geared toward the beach going community, then expand into the Bohemian craft life. Finally, with enough capital, we can start a luxury line with smartphone recharging and wireless 5G streaming built right in. We’ll get buy in from other markets so an avid poncho wearer can have a theme matching car, motorcycle, or shoes. We’ll know we have changed the world for the better when NASA orders special hemp ponchos for their astronauts. I can see it now.

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          43. LOL! You make me laugh too 😂. The really good part is I can visualize stuff in great detail. That just makes me giggle insanely all by myself. I tell people it’s the visions. I can’t say it’s the voices or they worry.

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          44. I’ve become quite adept at escaping this year. I prefer it over the daily happenings. I suppose after the holidays I’ll have to spend more time with reality. Not looking forward to that.

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          45. It’s a done deal. I’m learning more about this balloon touring and I’m a bit embarassed to have waited this long. Just to show my utter seriousness, I’m off to hike the wilderness on the west hip of the Great Smokie Mountains dead eye even with Cherokee National Forest on Saturday. It’s going to be windy, wet, cloudy, and 20 degrees. Just my kind of mild hiking weather. There is reported to be a dozen waterfalls all in that one little spot that serves as a watershed for Cherokee and Nantahala. You have once again inspired me to great heights to include geological elevations. 🤗🏔 pictures will follow.

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          46. A wonderful suggestion. They have them in Tennesee so the next step is to locate one of a particular patchwork color of the sunrise.

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          47. I’ve just finished watching the HBO series “Undoing”. A psychological thriller in 6 episodes. It’s really good and edge of the seat fare. I recommend it. For mature audiences. Language and nudity and violence. Not for kids. Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant ( now at 60 he is really proving to be an excellent dramatic actor) and Donald Southerland.

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          48. My eldest daughter is a kind person, she is going to let me watch it on her sister’s iMac. I got a tickle out of my two daughters coordination to get logged in on my last born’s computer so my first born could log into HBO. My tribe is awesome.

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          49. I think I live without great fears or worries because my little tribe of ladies are top notch good humans. I really like that about them. ☺️

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          50. I have to tell you this. The girls know that me and the youngest granddaughter are big buddies. We bonded over homework. So they sent her on a secret mission to find out what I wanted for Christmas. She was so cute in her serious interrogation so I jokingly told her I wanted a Felling axe. Later she comes back and asks if that is a brand or a type of axe. I told her it is a type of axe. I’m purposely not telling her too much. Later still she comes back and asks me what brand I wanted. This is where it gets interesting because some of those axes are over $500 dollars for the professional versions and $40 for your average homeowner. I could see the extreme worry on her face and no doubt her mother and auntie are worried. I told her it didn’t matter, they were all the same. She let out a sigh of relief and ran downstairs to report her findings. I was so tickled by this. I don’t need a felling axe but it gets them off the hook for something expensive and it’s not like axes are running out of stock due to high demand 😂 plus, it’s an edged tool and very manly with the wood chopping chores. Just my kind of present 😎 LOL!

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  4. Billow and prickle and sting –
    this misty, frozen, lightning thing…

    I can’t match your hands, your chill, your frosty breath, this year.
    I can’t match you.
    I’ve seen too many shades of snow, burning like icy fire in my veins. The blood is ringing in my ears, aching heavy in my head…
    I’m trapped in you, and in every demon conjured from your voice…
    your whisper.
    No way free now – not even through tears…
    I simply need to touch the love that shatters, bubble and shell-like at my fingertips…
    find
    what I still keep losing through my ribs –

    billow and prickle and… everything.

    (Which is what you leave on this blog, Holly. Everything)

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  5. That’s a dramatic picture you drew from winter. Would make a good thriller. It is true. I think there is no season that appears in such different ways. The ice-cold death-bringing breath and the romantic, peaceful feeling of falling snow.

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  6. Wow! Really loved this! Masterfully penned words!! Especially loved this – “A tease of holly” – Sorry but it reached out and grabbed me and made me smile!! Bellissimo, Holly Bellissimo!
    xoxox ❤🤗❤️

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      1. Always an honor and pleasure to read and share your posts, Holly!! Hope you are having a good day and are able to stay safe! I worry you may not be getting all the PPE you guys need there in Florida!!
        xoxo ❤🤗

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  7. Wonderful poetry Holly.. Loved the line displaced birds fleeing waves
    of frozen breath…… Its a chilly frosty start here today also.. Hope you are well…. and getting ready to enjoy the festive season.. As much as we are able…. We are to be let out of prison for five days for good behaviour here in the UK….
    Love and HUGE Hugs dear Holly…. Know I am thinking of you, even though I am not within blog land as often these past few weeks..
    Much Love.. Sue ❤

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