Action in the air, on the ridge of the high mountains, and in the depth of the ocean – a conservative description of my husband.
My husband is adventurous. He is a helicopter pilot. He keeps his pilot license active but doesn’t fly anymore because the air traffic in southern California is too busy. When he flew, he had a close call experience with a police helicopter. Helicopters are not within the control of Air Traffic Control and pilots must use their judgments.
My hubby rode dirt bikes, but he quit before he got married because I worried to death about his safety. He broke his wrist and ankle three weeks before our wedding. Walking down the aisle with a crutch was the decision, that’s part of life.
He is a diver. Diving was something he continued to do until the Key West trip in 2011. He dived in Aruba, Australia, Maui in Hawaii several times, North Carolina, southern California, and Key West in Florida.
Diving is not my cup of tea, so when we were in Maui, we went jet skiing and kayaking. On all the other diving trips, I stayed in the boats. We saw dolphins on several trips. He swam with the dolphins a couple times. The deepest dive he had was a wreck diving at North Carolina. The guys went 120 feet deep. One guy stayed in the deep water for too long. When he came up to the surface, he had to decompress before getting out of the water.
The thrill of diving slows down and he doesn’t have the urge to do it anymore. Travel on land tour is what we do in the last several years.
The prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, September 1, 2018, is “round.” Use it as a word by itself or find a word that contains it. Bonus points if you start and/or finish your post with it. –Linda G. Hill
Roundabouts are where several junctions meet from a different direction. The design of roundabouts is to keep the traffic flowing. Traffic only flows in one direction around the island in the center of the roundabout. This circular road is a one-way street and may have one or more lanes. The traffic entering the roundabout must give way to traffic already on the roundabout unless directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic light.
The first time my husband encountered a roundabout was in Australia. He loved it because the traffic kept flowing.
It was also the first time he drove a car with the driver’s seat on the right. Even though I was in the passenger’s seat on the left, my eyes looked at the right when the car turned to left. When we walked across the pedestrian, there was a sign on the ground to remind people to look RIGHT for the oncoming cars.
I read the news about roundabouts in England. Some tourists were new to drive on roundabouts. They entered the roundabout but couldn’t decide which street to exit, so they kept going around and around on the roundabout. They drove slower because they tried to read the signs on the streets or the exits. The local folks were not happy about the hesitant drivers.
Roundabouts are not frequent road designs in the USA, one roundabout per 1,118 intersections. There are stop signs in the intersections. In a 4-way intersection, the car comes to the stop sign first has the right-of-way to cross, followed by the next car comes to the intersection. In the residential areas, there are no traffic lights but have the stop signs every few blocks. The drivers make many stop-and-goes before they go through the street.
I have a friend who drove his manual transmission Porsche to work. When he was ready to buy a new car, he counted that he made 147 stops from home to office. He later bought an automatic transmission new car.
In Orange County, California where I live, I have only seen three areas with roundabouts.
When we joined the Europe tour, our first stop was London and the second stop was Amsterdam.
The tour guide told us that Amsterdam is below sea level. This capital city of Netherlands has a Canal Ring of one hundred kilometers (62 miles) with 1,500 bridges. Amy at The World Is a Book has a post on “Life on the Water in Amsterdam.” She says there are about 2,500 houseboats in Amsterdam. Some boat owners have transformed their boats into Bed and Breakfast. You can read her post here. We took a boat ride to tour the Canal.
The first thing impressed me was the number of bicycles. It was mind-boggling to find out there are 881,000 bicycles and one of the parking structures accommodates 7,000 bicycles. When we arrived at a location and the tour members got off the coach, I almost got hit by a bicycle because I didn’t realize that the riders have the right-of-way. I saw one lady with the business skirt suit carrying a backpack and paddling the bicycle with the tennis shoes. It must be a common practice to change shoes when people arrive at their offices.
We visited the Anne Frank House. When I was teaching, my second-grade class read The Diary of Anne Frank. It was intriguing to find out more about the family’s hiding place. During World War II, Anne and her family hid from Nazi persecution in a hidden room at the rear of the 17th-century canal house. The room was hidden behind a movable bookcase. Anne Frank didn’t survive the war, but her wartime diary was published in 1947. The diary has been translated into 70 languages. We saw the original diary in the exhibit case on the ground floor.
One night we walked around in the Red-Light District. This area has the red neon lighted windows that display barely dressed prostitutes advertising their services; it’s acceptable when it stays inside this designated area of the city.
As we walked on the street in the same area, I saw a shop that has a potted plant display in the window. I made a comment to my husband on the nice look of the plant. He told me it was marijuana. We went inside the shop and found different sizes of packaging that looked like snack items.
It was a great experience to visit the diamond factory and learn about the different grades of the diamond. The factory guide explained that the value of the diamond goes higher with the increased facets of the diamond. She also pointed out that when reflecting the colors of the diamond, the blue color is more expensive. After she said that, the ladies moved their rings under the light to check on the reflecting colors.
Our other visits included a tour of the wooden thong factory, the cheese factory and the ceramic painting factory.
The last day of the tour we had a free afternoon. My husband and I wanted to walk around but there was pouring rain. We then took the free trolley to the Van Gogh Museum. It was an educational visit to learn about how Van Gogh developed his style of painting.
The prompt for the Stream of Conscious Saturday, August 25, 2018 is “Notice.”
My husband and I divide up the jobs of gardening. He mows the lawn once a week. I do everything else. I take care of twenty-four rose bushes, sixteen Date palms, three hibiscus trees, two plum trees, one apple tree, and all the smaller plants and annual flowers. The Date palms are getting taller than me. It takes a lot of energy to trim them. I let them grow for almost nine months without doing anything.
When we came back from our Portland trip before summer, I trimmed two or three palm trees a week. At least I could finish in five weeks. When I came to one palm, I trimmed the leaves from the lower ring and moved up. Out of a sudden, I NOTICE a bird nest. It horrified me. When female birds are incubating, they don’t like noises or movements. Trimming the palm leaves exposed the nest means the female bird wouldn’t come back to the nest.
I grabbed a bunch of leaves and arranged them to surround the nest. After that, I observed for the whole afternoon, peeking out the window. There were no birds nearby. I got a step stool and got up high enough to take a few photos of the nest. There was one small egg in it. I went on the website to search for similar eggs. The search showed the robin eggs look like the egg I found in the nest.
After observing the nest with the egg in it for many days, I decided that it was an abandoned egg. My research showed that some female bird senses something wrong in the eggs and abandon them. I wouldn’t find out the truth because we were not home when the birds built the nest and the female bird laid the egg.
August 23, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes magic.
“Danny, you’re my helper. Get me a chopstick and a cloth napkin.”
Uncle Pat shaped his left hand like a funnel, pushed the center of the napkin into it with the four corners flapping like petals. He poked the thin end of the chopstick into the napkin fiercely to the bottom, then pulled it through and shook the napkin in the air.