Norfolk Botanical Gardens (aka Plan C)

My favorite boy toy and I did some serious wandering last weekend.  We put the boys into the kennel as we knew we’d be leaving early and getting home way late.  Their Daddy took them in Friday afternoon – they were so eager to get to doggie day care they ran off without even looking back at him.  For sure, they didn’t miss us.

It took us four hours to get from our house to Chesapeake, Virginia, which is almost directly east of us.  Two hours to drive, an hour for breakfast after we were on the road for a while, and an hour waiting in traffic!  And that was the alternate route too – the first route we tried was backed up even worse.

Notice that the bridge is up? Had to wait for that too.

The game plan was to do some antiquing and then do one or two other things.  I really wanted to see the Norfolk Botanical Gardens; my boy toy was quite unenthused about it so we left it as Plan C.  I figured I could always go back later by myself.

So off we went antiquing.  We went to a store called the Home Emporium.  The reviews we read said it had unique stuff, great prices, but was a dump and in a dumpy neighborhood.  Well it was all of that.  But my husband found some things for his still life photography and was quite happy with it.

After a quick lunch, we tried to program into the GPS a historical village called Strawberry Banke.  It was in a town called Portsmouth which was in the same general area.  We finally had to look it up on the Internet.  Um, it was in Portsmouth alright.  Portsmouth New Hampshire, not Portsmouth Virginia.  Okay, scratch Plan B.

So the botanical gardens it was and we had a lovely time.

This sign set the expectation when we entered the grounds.
It worked too.

The day was clear, warm without being hot, a gentle breeze, and a beautiful sky.  We took a tram ride to see what all was there, then we took a pontoon boat ride on the lake.

By the way, we didn’t have to pay for admission.  Our membership at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens had reciprocity here and we were treated like any other member.  Sweet!

A great blue heron seen from the boat.

We saw so much on the lake, from seagulls swooping into the water to a bald eagle attacking an osprey that was fishing in its territory.

This was actually the seagull and not the osprey.
The colors were similar from the back though.

Although I have a lot of pictures from what we saw on the water, there was so much more there.  We saw three different brides and their families, there for wedding ceremonies.  We saw butterflies, spiders, flowers of all type, and walked along a boardwalk that overlooked the lake.

Cormorants are such odd looking birds.
They run on top of the water as they launch themselves into the air.

Since our plans were loosey goosey, I didn’t contact Patti at A New Day Dawns to let her know we were in her part of the world.  I felt bad about it as I’d like to get together with her, but I didn’t think we’d pull it off.

Found along the boardwalk.

So. . . guess who sat across from us on the pontoon?  And guess who was getting on the tram right behind us?  As my husband said, what are the odds you’d run into her and her husband?  Apparently 100% was my answer.

The ultimate in bumps on a log.

So Patti and I met!  We chatted for a few minutes on the tram ride and will try to get together another time.  If you’d like to see her pictures from that lovely day, head on over to here.

The day didn’t go as planned, but it was a wonderful day regardless.  Artistic inspirations, fresh air, beautiful scenery, and the chance to meet a friend – it certainly was a day to remember and a memory to savor.

Anyone’s life truly lived consists of work, sunshine,
exercise, soap, plenty of fresh air, and a happy contented spirit.
Lillie Langtry

Acting Guilty Does Not Equal Guilty

Today’s theme for Six Word Friday is “guilt”.

If my beagle could talk, he’d say:

Guilt?  Me?  I didn’t do it!

 Our dogs have such unique personalities.  I love them all, but handling guilt is probably one of the biggest differences between them.

Dog #1 feels guilt about everything, whether he did it or not.  When I give the withering mom stare, he’ll instantly go into full defensive mode and mope around until told he’s a good boy.

The beagle on the other hand, believes it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission.  He is the one that will say uh-uh, no guilt here – I did what I wanted and oh look, I’m too cute to resist.

The miniature pinscher is very self-centered.  It’s all about him.  Me, me, me is his mantra.  Guilt is what happens when he gets caught and yelled at and then locked in the crate.  Especially if he’s looking right at me when he lifts his leg to pee inside the house.  He’s still trying to figure out why that makes me screaming mad at him.  Isn’t that what the coffee table leg is for?

Of course, humans handle guilt differently too.  It’s good to remember that guilt or lack of guilt from someone doesn’t necessarily mean they did or didn’t do something.  It may simply mean they are processing their emotions differently than we are, whether it be a child, spouse or co-worker.  Guilt may also be triggered by an overactive sense of justice, while a lack of guilt may stem from someone who is simply a better liar about this kind of thing.

Agatha Christie did a brilliant mystery based on guilt called “Towards Zero“.  [SPOILER ALERT HERE – but the book is still worth reading.]  In the book, the police detective’s daughter is accused of something at school and confesses to it.  As he puzzles over why his daughter would do this, he’s trying to solve a crime.  When he realizes that the woman he thinks is guilty is being coerced into an admission of guilt, he realizes that his daughter was coerced as well.  For both, the confession was a relief even though neither of them did what they were accused of.  It was a fascinating psychological drama through to the end.

So the next time someone, human or otherwise, acts guilty, remember – that may or may not mean there is something to actually be guilty about.

Making time for our passions has been the topic the last few days at A Daily Life.  There’s a post about making time to do the things we want in life plus a review of Amy Andrew’s book, Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free.

Did you think there’d be another dog picture today?  No, I thought I’d use another animal that also demonstrates a lack of guilt about anything – the seagulls along the James River.  I took this during lunch earlier this week.

Have a good weekend!

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