Weekly Photo Challenge: (Life is a) Blur

The background blurs as the boys run playfully by …. years ago …. life is a blur as the years fly …..

Life is a blur .....

These boys are now teens — one in college and the other a high school junior off to college visits later this week.  And yet, on some days memories like this snowy October day at the cabin over 8 years ago seems like yesterday.  I would love to be able to say I have treasured every moment, lived mindfully each day along the way … but I haven’t.  And that’s OK.  Life is an imperfect journey, and we sometimes just do the best we can on any given day.

Doing the best we can is all we can ask.  That means on some days we yell at our kids, are short-tempered with our spouse, don’t make time for a friend, and regrettably, sometimes learn there is no “next time” to make it up to them.  Reminders of the fragility of life come more frequently as we age, but I think as we mature we also learn to appreciate the moments that make up life that much more.

We recognize that the blur of life when slowed and viewed frame-by-frame is not only the major milestones of life — the births, the weddings, the deaths, the celebrations in between — but more than anything, it’s the walk with the dog on a quiet wooded trail; it’s watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “A Christmas Story” every holiday as a family even though we’ve all seen them countless times; it’s banter and debate that grows more interesting over the years as the boys grow up, prompted by programs on Minnesota Public Radio as we drive those couple hours to the cabin and back again; it’s the long talks over a meal about dreams, and hopes, and goals …. it’s the blur of life.

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Blur” was this week’s theme.  Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

Life is full … all good, but full … so bear with me as I go through another phase of sporadic posting.  A little late to the orange party, but “orange you glad” I posted anyway?!

Happy Friday, all!

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Orange” was this week’s theme.  Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.

It’s Not Too Late for the Party: Day-Tripping to the Apostle Islands Ice Caves

Kat at travelgardeneat:

The Apostle Islands Ice Caves open today! I published three posts on our day there last year, if you are interested in trekking tips and photos. Ice cleats or something similar are essential this year!
Ciao! ~ Kat

Originally posted on Travel. Garden. Eat.:

Winter Sunrise on Lake Sperior ~ Duluth, Minnesota

Getting up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning just about killed this night owl, but I was determined to view the ice caves at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore before it was too late.  Lake Superior is a moody, unpredictable body of water, and the ice is unlikely to remain stable for foot traffic for much longer, as we optimistically hope that signs of Spring start to appear in the month ahead.

Meyers Beach Road ~ Parking at Apostle Islands Ice Caves  Meyers Beach Road ~ Parking at Apostle Islands Ice Caves

It has been an amazing year for the ice caves, with an estimated 78,000 people visiting a natural wonder that has not been accessible for winter foot traffic since 2009.  The parking lot at the entrance to the ice caves quickly fills, and the .4 mile length of Meyers Beach Road connecting the parking lot to Highway 13 incrementally adds walk distance and time to your trip.  Given the weekend crowds, we wanted our time at the ice…

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Wordless Wednesday: Blue Skies Smiling At Me

Blue Skies Smiling at Me

Ciao! ~ Kat

Afternoon Dose of Vitamin D

Breaking free from cabin fever seems to have been the theme this month with some of my fellow northern bloggers.  Earlier this month, Heather from “Our Adventures Up North” expressed the frustration of these often gray winter days, in this post, while Kathy of “Lake Superior Spirit” shared deep-winter thoughts from her side of the Big Lake, here, along with photos of the impressive ice fields resulting from the extended cold temperatures.

Saturday was a window of opportunity of sunshine and warmer temps for many of us craving them, and I was not alone in getting outside to soak up the much-needed Vitamin D.  Heather also enjoyed the beauty of the frozen outdoors on Saturday, from the shores of a different Great Lake, Lake Michigan (enjoy her writing and photos in her post, “A Day in the Sun.”)

Ellingson Island, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park houses both the historic site with the Lighthouse and a lovely set of trails and scenic campsites year-round.  Ellingson Island is located a short distance from the shoreline trail, and only seasonally accessible to foot travel.  In all the years of living in northern Minnesota and exploring Split Rock’s park and trails, I had never wandered onto the island itself.  While I noted the footprints crossing the frozen bay to the island, I initially took the conservative path where the points of land were closest to each other (as seen in the last photo).

Rounding the southern side of the island, the vast frozen expanse of Lake Superior stretched seemingly forever.

View from Split Rock's Ellingson Island

I shared with you a photo of my handsome outdoor companion in this week’s response to the Daily Post’s photo challenge, “Rule of Thirds.” While clambering over the snow- and ice-covered rocky shoreline on the eastern side of the island, we were provided an elevated view of the frozen bay extending to the iconic Lighthouse. Animal and human tracks criss-crossed the ice, creeping much closer to open water than I dared.

Split Rock Lighthouse, Lake Superior

The icicles sparkled in the changing light, as the sun moved across the sky.

Icicles on Ellingson Island, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Corbin and I had planned to make a short stop at Split Rock before driving further up the North Shore to Temperance River or Tettegouche State Park, but we instead found ourselves enjoying a leisurely hike and simply appreciating the frozen beauty surrounding us.

Split Rock Framed by Icicles

The sun sank lower and shadows grew long.

Silhouettes by Split Rock

Soon, the sky began to glow a soft pink and purple with the sunset, and the forecasted return of bitter cold could already be felt in the air again.

Winter Sunset by Ellingson Island

“She felt an enveloping happiness to be alive, a joy made stronger by the certainty that someday it would all come to an end. Afterward she felt a little foolish, and never spoke to anyone about it. Now, however, she knows she wasn’t being foolish. She realizes that for no particular reason she stumbled into the core of what it is to be human. It’s a rare gift to understand that your life is wondrous, and that it won’t last forever. ” ~ Steven Galloway, The Cellist of Sarajevo

Ciao! ~ Kat