Tonight's picture was taken at the US Arboretum in April of 2005. The memorable part about the Arboretum for me are the azaleas. The azaleas are always in full bloom at this park during Mattie's birthday. My commentary to Mattie was that they bloomed as a birthday present to him each year. He liked that notion and loved exploring the paths at the gardens that meandered through hundreds of azaleas in all sorts of shapes and colors. Colors that can only be produced by nature. It seems hard to imagine that this bright, healthy, and lively little boy then developed cancer and died. This just doesn't seem possible, and yet this is our daily reality.
Quote of the day: I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death. ~ Robert Fulghum
As promised, the question of the day is....................................................
Have you voted for Tricia (Mattie's nurse) today?
(Remember you can vote ONCE every 24 hours!!!)
For more information about the Johnson and Johnson Amazing Nurse Contest, please read my September 28, 2011 blog posting. Your daily vote is important and will bring Tricia closer to becoming a finalist.
Click on this link to vote for Patricia Grusholt: http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/157336/voteable_entries
Today was a busy touring day for Peter and I. We toured around for hours and walked several miles along the way. Peter reminds me that we are getting very unseasonably warm weather on the Cape this weekend. By the afternoon, it was in the 70s, and simply beautiful. I will describe our day through pictures for you!
This morning, as we drove down to the end of the house's driveway, I was determined to get out of the car and walk around to find the road sign! You may recall that last evening when we arrived at the house, we NEVER saw the street sign. Here is why!!!! The street sign is a little wooden sign attached in a slanted manner to a telephone poll.
Our first stop today was to Ballston Beach. This is the closest Atlantic Ocean beach to us and the owners of the house we are staying in left us a note suggesting we might like this beach. Peter and I did not only like this beach we LOVED it. I have never seen a beach like this for many reasons. First of all, there was sand for as far as the eye could see. It was pristine and basically other than fisherman, there was no one on the beach. But here is what makes this beach unique to me. As you walk closer to the water, look what happens (picture below).
There is MAJOR sand erosion! In order to walk down by the water, which we did, we literally had to slide down this sand bank. It was a true experience! I then went to put my feet in the water and practically screamed. The water was frigid.
However, here is the sight that made our visit extraordinary! A sight I have never seen in nature before! While Peter was walking down the beach and collecting things like shells and drift wood, I was staring out into the water. All of a sudden, I saw something. I screamed and flagged Peter down. He came running over and I told him I thought I saw a dolphin. However, this was NO dolphin. I saw three seals.
Peter got a close up of one of the seals! While we were appreciating these wonderful creatures, we approached an older woman who was watching along side us. We learned that this woman worked for IBM for 37 years, along with her husband. When she and her husband retired, they moved from NY to Truro, MA. However, the sad part is her husband died five years ago. She was telling us that her husband built her the Cape Cod house but they did not get to enjoy it together. She told me she still hasn't gotten over his loss, that it can be very depressing, however, being by the ocean makes her feel better and more connected to her husband. In fact, she said that nature makes her feel better. I did not tell her about Mattie, and I suppose she was telling me this because she looked at me as being a young person who may not understand the significance of such a loss. The irony is I understood all too well, and completely relate to her feelings about nature and the ocean.
After our amazing walk and beach sighting, we then drove to Highland Lighthouse. This lighthouse was built in 1797 and is the OLDEST lighthouse on the Cape. In July of 1996, the lighthouse was moved 453 feet back from the edge of the eroding cliff to save it from falling into the ocean. I love Henry Thoreau's quote about this lighthouse. He said, "A man can stand here and put all of America behind him." Since we are standing on the most Eastern part of the US, this statement is literally true!
After we walked around the outside of the lighthouse, I urged Peter to take a tour inside the lighthouse. I told him you can't go to a lighthouse and NOT go up! Being a lighthouse affectionato, I love learning about their history and the lives of those who maintained these beacons of light. I snapped a picture of Peter climbing up the 69 steps. Though that isn't a lot of steps, they were incredibly steep! At the top, a ranger met us and shared some information with us about Highland Light. This lighthouse's light flashes every five seconds and the color of the light is CLEAR. I learned today that every lighthouse has a different lighting timing and a different color it emits (some emit a white or red light for example).
This picture was taken at Pilgrim's Pond in North Truro. This sight marks the spot where 16 pilgrims in November of 1620, camped and spent their second night on American soil. After spending time in Truro, we then drove to Provincetown. However, everyone and their cousin was there and we couldn't find a solitary place to park. So we quickly left the congestion and went to the town of Wellfleet. Wellfleet was charming and we had a lovely lunch outside on a terrace at a restaurant called Winslow's Tavern. Winslow's Tavern is named after a Pilgrim family who visited Wellfleet in 1620. The historic building was first constructed in 1805 as a home for a sea captain, and was once the home of former Massachusetts' Governor Channing Cox. It was during this time in the 1920's that then President Calvin Coolidge was a guest for the night. The building has been a restaurant for over 40 years.
After lunch we drove to Great Island, which is a park that is part of the National Seashore. As we walked out to Cape Cod Bay, we were surrounded by low tide which produced incredible tidal flats for as far as the eye could see. We walked on this and collected all sorts of shells and rocks.
Walking on these tidal flats was an experience and right along side us were seagulls and lots of children digging in the sand. The last sign of nature that shocked us along our journey today, was a flock of wild turkeys eating along the side of the road. We were driving when I saw them and we had cars behind us, otherwise, I would have been capturing them in photos too!