A Volunteer spent a portion of the morning with Mary Ann today.  I had a chance to head to a spot that often provides some quiet renewal time for reading, meditation, and watching for interesting birds.

This morning provided an odd combination of wildlilfe and human activity.  I enjoy sitting by a large reservoire to do some reading and thinking.  When I arrived in my spot, the weather was great.  I opened the windows, got out the binoculars and a devotional book.

There were lots of flying insects that surrounded and entered the van through the open windows, especially flies and mayflies.  I decided that since I was in their territory, I would not swat them and spend my limited time chasing them.  Actually, I realized that their presence was what was providing me with the aerial show by large numbers of Barn Swallows all around me. There were clusters of Killdeer that came noisily through at intervals.  I spotted some Cedar Waxwings in a nearby pine tree, along with lots of Kingbirds.

There were a few gulls on the water and flying around.  Later when I moved to the area below the dam, gulls were feeding at the overflow outlet where a loud rushing torrent was being released.

The Human entertainment included a fisherman not far from me.  There were lots of powerboats on the water.  There was one pulling a young woman who was tubing.  Then came the large, powerful speed boat with three young men on it.  It took a while to figure out what they were doing.  First of all, it became clear that the large objects across the back of the boat attached to a high bar, were loudspeakers producing ten or fifty or a hundred thousand decibels.  So much for the meditation.  It was the sort of music young people enjoy and old people can’t stand!

Then they started doing what they had come to do.  They were ski boarding — not just following behind the boat, but moving back and forth doing somersaults in the air.  It turned out to be genuinely entertaining.

As I watched all that activity, there was a rumbling off in the distance that got louder and louder.  I looked up at the dam, and there coming across were motorcycles — not just a few but what I would imagine was somewhere between two and three hundred of them in single file.  They were followed by about half as many cars of all sorts and colors and vintages.  In terms of my spirituality, I am something of a contemplative.  Not this morning!

After spending about as much time as was available to me, first next to the lake and then below the dam in a wildlife area, I headed up to drive across the dam. I had spotted what appeared to be a juvenile American Bald Eagle up above the dam, so I thought I would check it out.  I was treated to about fifteen minutes of that bird’s activity.  I have never before seen an eagle flying in place, sort of helicopter style.  This young Eagle did so more than once.

As I slowly continued across the top of the dam, I could see a dozen or so sail boats on the lake.  The day was exceptionally beautiful, and the white sails moving across the water added still more beauty to the experience.

As I left the lake and headed on a gravel road back to the highway, I was treated to a group of wild turkeys strutting around on the top of the hill by the road.

I was grateful for a good morning.  The day before had included an outing to a smaller lake with Mary Ann, but the night had been another restless one.  Yesterday, for some reason I had gotten in my mind that I could be more assertive in keeping us active, doing some self-care by exercising, maybe squeezing in some stimulating outings.  The sleepless night had revealed a certain futility in those hopes.

Yesterday, we both thought we had missed the Parkinson’s Symposium in Kansas City.  Mary Ann had indicated that she was not interested in going because it would demand our leaving here very early in the day, she dislikes large group activities, and she doesn’t get much out of the presentations.  I had thought about trying to go anyway, since I find them so valuable.  When I thought we had missed it today, I realized just how much I had wanted to go.  The good news is that the Symposium is next Saturday.  I decided to be assertive about our going and added the treat of checking with our KC friends about celebrating some birthdays at lunch after the Symposium.  At the moment, that is the plan.

All in all, it has been a weekend that has included some pleasant moments and some not so pleasant moments.  I guess that is the way life usually goes, no matter one’s circumstances. As always, tomorrow is another day.

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