THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

Just flip flopping around

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My favorite footwear this time of year is flip-flops. Actually flip-flops represent about a 1/3 of my shoe wear. Someone has to balance out the 3 rooms of shoes my better half has. In my first week back to work from the beach, I felt like I was losing the karma of the visit. The sounds of waves were fading. The kids laughter on the beach was becoming faint.

By the 3rd day back, I had to schedule a few more days of vacation so I can make a return to the ocean over the next month and get that sand between my toes again. A cruise (day trip) down to the ocean is one of my favorite things to do. It’s a nice quiet day. It allows me to reflect and recharge.

Flip and Flop
Photo by Mike Hartley

I leave just before sunrise with the top down and music on. I also do this on a weekday so traffic is not an issue. Maybe I’ll stop at the Bay Bridge and do some shots of that amazing structure. Pulling into Ocean City still in the early morning hours allows for some beach time before prime baking (burning hours). A casual lunch, a cruise up coastal highway and then a stop for an ice cream soda to cool things down. A late meal at Fagers Island, watch the sunset over the bay and then the casual drive home.

Of course between those items I try to snap a few photos around town. I was thinking about taking one day and just concentrating on getting a few good images and maybe I’ll do that also.

This morning I went down to pay my respects to my parents at Arlington National Cemetery.  It was a bit different this time, I went there and just visited with them. I usually take a walk after my visit and some photos around the vast grounds. Maybe wander over to the Kennedy gravesite or the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At the minimum a drive around the grounds to see where they are expanding or maybe a spot I haven’t seen before. I had the cameras with me but I didn’t even take them out of the bags. I sat in the shade of a tree for a while and just talked to them.

I gave them updates on just about everything. I apologized for missing my spring visit. I watched the robins land on headstones beside them. I always say hello to their neighbors, (there is a Medal of Honor) gentleman buried right beside them. It was stressful coming into the cemetery and leaving as usual, but it was contentment while visiting. Its funny, some people I’m sure never go to a cemetery besides when a person is laid to rest. Others go dutifully. I don’t look at it as a duty at all. For some strange reason it feels like the right thing to do. Yes I occasionally look at their pictures on my walls and tell them about how proud I am of my children. Or that my better half is so special or just a thanks for the opportunities they gave me.

But my real talks with them are at graveside. That is why I like to go alone most of the time. For those of you who choose not to go. Please don’t think I’m passing any judgement. Sometimes I even have the thought that they are saying to me, don’t spend too much time here, concentrate on living life each moment. But for me spending a few moments a year together is living to me. It reminds me of the right path sometimes when I’m getting lost.

Random Thoughts of the Day

It feels good to be actively blogging again.

I have found a new favorite bread. Garlic Cheese bread.

Almost time to fire up the grill, going to do some Chicken today.

It was one of my best friends birthdays this week. When we were young we used to tease each other about being “Old as Dirt”. Its reminded me to make good use of the years we have left because that phrase is becoming more accurate.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

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