(Another) Haiku for Dad, On His Second Birthday in Heaven

My dad was born 80 years ago today in West Texas as the Great Depression was coming to an end in the shadow of another Great War in Europe, a time before regular Americans realized we’d be involved in that war.

With that backdrop and two incredible and resourceful parents, Dad was raised to be frugal, honest, fair and humble. To use his wits, respect people, and figure out a Plan B for everything. To find the humor and bright side in everything, even if you had no money and had to wash your clothes in the sink. The second of four kids, Dad worshipped his older brother and protected and respected his younger sisters.

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Around 1942, the Harvell family when it was only the two boys; my grandmother’s dress was hand-sewn
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1953/4/5-ish, the whole family
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A band and baseball high school letter jacket and the male version of a Mona Lisa smile

Graduating high school in 1957, Dad attended the University of North Texas for a semester or two before realizing that he’d need help financing that dream of a college education and enlisted in the Army. He was innocent, idealistic and somehow, cool. Check him out with his trumpet in 1958; he called this picture Frank Cool.

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Dad with his trumpet looking all Joe-College cool; a year or two later he burst a lung playing and had to put it away
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Dad in his Army uniform looking very official

Dad met my mom on a blind “coke date” and they married soon after, even though they said later that they initially didn’t like each other!

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I joined Mom and Dad just a year later as he was finishing his service in the army. And then my brother Steve came along.

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That Firebird was my mom’s pride and joy; don’t we all look like we’re in an episode of Mad Men?

We were a close family. Steve and I were always going to write a book called Surviving a Happy Childhood. Maybe I still will.  Dad was my role model, rock and mentor. Lots and lots of years, happy times and memories later, after Mom and my Steve each took their last bows, Dad and I grew even closer. He was immeasurably important to me.

Kim and Dad Thanksgiving 2015
Dad and me, Thanksgiving, 2015

Then Dad went over the rainbow in June of 2017. The grief was breath-taking, harsh and immediate, and yet…there aren’t words to express my gratitude that he was born into this world on October 16, 1938, and that I was born to him and my mom. My life has been incredibly blessed, parent-wise.

So sadness and grief take a distant second place today as I celebrate Dad’s second birthday in heaven. Happy memories take center stage, and this haiku and photo from last year’s Dad’s-Birthday-Post still seem just right.

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just a normal day in my childhood with the best dad ever, circa 1968

Haiku for Dad

you nudged me into
everything I’ve ever done
you believed in me

Happy birthday, Dad, and I’ll see you on the other side.

© 2018, Glover Gardens

Rooster Ballet Haiku

I met this rooster over the weekend in Wimberley, Texas. He’s quite handsome, isn’t he?

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I think in ballet, this position is called a Tendu.

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This Hill Country rooster was so grand that he deserved a haiku.

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cock’s-comb silhouette ballet
a rooster tendu

© 2018 Glover Gardens

p.s Remind me to tell you the story about “Chicken”. I’m the only one left who lived it.

 

 

Autumn Haiku: My Eyes Were Happy

it all just grabbed me
trees sky mountains fence road shed
“my eyes were happy”

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Outside of Jefferson, Colorado. Beautiful, peaceful, inspiring. Credit for the phrase “my eyes were happy” goes to The Girl Who is Always Hungry (as she’s know in the Glover Gardens blog), after seeing similar sights in Jefferson last autumn.

Which reminds me…we also had the Blizzard on a Train last autumn in Colorado while trying to check out the fall color…one year ago today.

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Nature supplies constant wonderment, doesn’t it?

© 2018 Glover Gardens

 

Place Victor Hugo in Paris: Take a Stroll with Me (and a haiku)

A few weeks ago in Paris, when the day’s work was over and my time was my own, I strolled through the busy streets with camera in hand. Dinner can wait, I thought, as I took in the champagne-tinted light on the buildings during rush hour. The image below inspired the post Something about the Light in Paris.

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And now I’d like to share the rest of my little jaunt. A little boy and his grandfather out on their own evening walk stopped to say hello on a quiet residential street.

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As I approached it, Place Victor Hugo captured my fancy. Take a stroll with me around the circle that honors the famous French author and politician, and you’ll see why.

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The sky was dark and interesting, a perfect backdrop for the roundabout and its fountain.

Fountain

There were cars and buses and taxis whizzing by atop the charming and picturesque cobblestones.

There were motorcyclists doing dinner deliveries, and others zipping through the traffic.

Friends
Stopped for a chat
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Keeping out of the way of the bus

There were brave bicyclists, everywhere.

Delivery on Bicycle
A silhouette by the fountain
Brave Bicyclist
Fitting in between the cars
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Taking advantage of a lull in the traffic

Pedestrians were pausing to stare at their cell phones, perhaps waiting to hear where to meet companions for a glass of rosé.

There was a big fruit and vegetable market, and a small one. The vendor at the small one was very friendly and posed for me.

The customers at the larger produce stand were on the phone, perhaps asking what to pick up for dinner.

There were people lingering by the Victor Hugo metro entrance, and others rushing to get to platform, passing under the gorgeous art deco archway sign. This metro stop has been open since 1900.

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Street crossings happened only on green; traffic lights were well-respected in this busy roundabout.

Waiting at the Light

Dogs were being walked.

After catching the sun’s last golden rays on the buildings (see the first photo above or Something about the Light in Paris), I finally stopped for a quick dinner of smoked salmon at one of the canopied little bistros.

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I have realized that I perceive my surroundings more clearly when I’m out snapping pics. What a wonderful unintended result.

i see more of life
looking through the camera’s lens
framing it for you

Life is good.

For more Glover Gardens posts about the City of Light, click here.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

Happy Fall Equinox and a Haiku from Pike National Forest

We’re at Little House in the Rockies enjoying the fall colors splashed across central Colorado and glorious azure skies.

To celebrate the fall equinox, here are couple of quick shots from yesterday’s day trip exploring Bald Mountain and Montgomery Reservoir in and around Pike National Forest.

ecotourism:
nature’s rugged perfection
on vivid display

 

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Montgomery Reservoir

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The mountain road along Montgomery Reservoir, dotted with aspen and pines in the rocks
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Looking north from Bald Mountain in Pike National Forest at the majestic ranges near Breckenridge

More to come! We’re headed out now in search of an aspen canopy near Como and then lunch in Bailey at Aspen Peak Cellars.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

The Little Brown Social Birds of Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, Scotland

I’m in a birdy mood! Yesterday’s post had a haiku and a variety of our feathered friends. Today, I’m sharing the social networking of just one flock of birds who fascinated me on a recent trip to Scotland’s Aberdeenshire region.

fullsizeoutput_2a92The ruins of Dunnotar Castle in Stonehaven are surrounded by nature’s beauty: the sea, fields of heather dancing in the wind, gorgeous grain meadows and huge open skies. I’ve got a lot more to show you from the castle, but today, it’s just about that flock of fun little birds.

They swooped in en masse and settled on tall grasses, chirping and squawking. It seemed like they were talking.

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Birds in the field
Hanging Out
Hanging out
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Wait for me!
The Castle
The castle backdrop
Bird, Watching, Waiting
Sentry
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Togetherness
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Fluffy little thing

I got too close and scared them, so they moved their party to the tree.

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Watching, waiting
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Going the same direction

Aren’t they marvelous?

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Like Christmas tree ornaments

I’ve done my homework trying to identify the species who gave me so much pleasure that afternoon, and I’m not quite sure…I think they are twites, but I look to my Scottish readers to correct me.

And now I see an easy haiku in this:

a treasure trove of
twites in a tree near the sea
in Aberdeenshire

© Glover Gardens

Birdsong Haiku and Bird Appreciation 101

First the haiku:

hoot, screech, squawk, chirp, cheep,
caw-caw, honk, quack, trill and peep –
backyard birdsong bliss

I really, really like birds.  Looking at and listening to them makes me feel calm and contented, as though I’m on the front row observing a fluttering and dynamic ecosystem in fluid motion.

I’m not a good bird-watcher yet – I don’t even think I rise to the level of amateur – but I think it is in my future.

Likewise, I’m not great at bird photography, either, but I like trying and learning from my efforts.

So here are some happy bird pictures, just because.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

 

 

Haiku: Something about the Light in Paris

“only in Paris” ~
or at least, that’s how it feels
when you’re in its glow

There’s something about the light in Paris.

Even on a gray day, there’s a champagne tint as daylight turns to dusk.

Check it out with me in the photos below, a simple view down a typical street in the City of Light.  A weak evening sun shines pale gold like bubbly on the buildings. fullsizeoutput_2a63

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I could’ve stood there for hours, watching the light slowly change, and the Parisians pass by.

© 2018 Glover Gardens