Our Fourth of July Holiday
Our Fireside Romance had a lovely little break away from the Bay Area over the July 4 holiday.
We have friends that have a nice cabin in the woods on Lake Almanor, some 260 miles from our door. It was a lovely drive once out of the traffic and get on Highway 5 heading north.
Seeing pockets of gum trees along the went made some locations look reminiscent of home, although they lack any of the accompanying wildlife I’m used to. Our trees love the hot, dry climate of the west slightly inland from the coast and benefit greatly from a good burn-off. The East Bay Area never really gets that hot, constantly tempered by winds and/or fog, but there are tons of gum trees. Whilst they flourish through a good burn and their oil acts as combustion liquid, the native trees do not replenish so well.
One thing the road trip lacked, giving it away as NOT being Ozzie, was the absence of something “BIG” lol.
Many of the pit stops on the Pacific Highway, are the milestone icons, such as The Big Banana, The Big Medieval Knight, The Big Avocado, The Big Pineapple, The Big Prawn and The Big Merino Sheep, just to name a few. As well as, The Dog on the Tuckerbox and The Black Stump. Attractions that grew up very organically within the local communities where they are encountered.
Larrie at the Big Banana and beneath the Big Prawn.
Of course, there are natural landmarks, fields of sunflowers full of glorious gold and green ( which just so happen to be Australian National Colours-even though our flag is red, white and blue!) We caught some great sights of the very tall, snow capped Mt Lassen, throughout our trip , but we also encountered a lot of smokey haze from one of those fires in Yolo County, obscuring hills and mountains on all sides of the vast valley plains.
We weren’t away for long and I had my heart set on seeing a sunrise on the water, since I hadn’t seen a sunrise at all since leaving home five months ago…and I was used to watching almost every day, and frequently over the Pacific Ocean. I was up early enough to enjoy two of the three mornings and had to walk a 30 minute down hill and 40 minute uphill trek to get them! Always worth it.
Our friends had a 4th of July party on the middle day which kept us busy from early till late. We had music and I videoed these three brothers (Bucky, Denny and Dave May), who were most entertaining. Our hosts videoed a little of us as well.
I collected a lot of photographic content for creating some momentos, and maybe gifts, but am yet to paint anything. Still, this is a version of a momento! 😊
Below is one popular view for local artists and their en plein aire adventures which I hope to capture in water colour as well. ( Will let you know when I do!)
My takeaway from this blog is…don’t wait to go away to enjoy the beauty around you. One thing I noticed is that I enjoyed being to relish the different conditions, but I take time every day to soak in and savour God’s creation wherever I am-sometimes from a simple flower, or fluttering butterflies, or beautiful skies. Whether tiny or vast, such things are so easily missed in the busyness of many peoples’ days. I make a point of looking for them!
Create beauty in your own little corner-just for you and God to share-your secret place, secret garden. Using your imagination to escape to a beautiful place, right where you are, has been proven to be the ‘stuff of holidays’. People who practice creativity do it as a lifestyle, losing themselves wholeheartedly in an expressive endeavor or project-however small. This is attested as having the affect of a holiday, disconnecting us from the cares and stresses of the days in which we live.
The whole hearted aspect is the critical component.
My challenge to you: take a holiday daily. Set your clock for however long you can give yourself, select a positive focus or activity (ANYthing) and get to it, abandoning all thought for everything else till your allotted time is up. Increase your time whenever you can.
Take note of the effects on your soul and psyche…and please…
Tell me all about it!