Heatherwritesablog

Imagine Yourself in Central Park

July 30, 2014
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Imagine yourself on the way to the most wonderful park in the whole wide world in late Spring.  Journeying from Brooklyn, the F train is cool, AC is on for the first time this season so it’s a little cooler than you expect- but don’t worry, they’ll get it right by the time summer is here.

There’s a man singing a song in French, he has a mole on his face. The woman next to you is reading something in Chinese on her kindle.  There’s a –hmm is that a grandfather or a father?- with a girl of about 7 year old.  She is so bright and smiley it’s contagious. Everyone is happy and excited to be going wherever they are going- it’s Spring in NY!

A few middle-aged women carry folded Palm leaves because it’s that Sunday today.  You’re trying to decide on the best place to settle into at the park, and before you know it, the train doors open at 57th street and you walk up and exit the north west side. Crowds of people with matching shirts, fanny packs, insert tourist group cliché here, block you from crossing the street until the walking man sign appears. “Get me to that park,” you think as you bite the straw of your iced coffee (such good iced coffee).

You have arrived. Every single horse and carriage is full; there’s lots of love going on up here.

Birds are singing the sweetest songs, reserved for the most flirtatious season which has finally arrived.  While appreciating their lovely melodies, you pass a couple sitting on a stone-carved bench with two bikes laying in front of them.  She says, “We can’t just keep riding if we don’t know where we’re going.” He says, “It’s a big circle, we’ll end up where we started.”  I hope they work that out. Makes you wonder if those singing birds are actually flirting or arguing.  Shake that drama off and keep walking.

On your aimless wonder you end up where you wanted to be, the Mall. So pretty, so busy, so perfect. You zigzag from one side to the other, focusing sight and sound senses interchangeable.  You make an expression of approval at the charcoal sketch drawn of a bald tourist- he is loving the attention.  You then remember there’s a bagel in your bag and you want to eat it. Can’t eat it in the mall, so you walk through to the end with purpose, seeking a green space to settle into.  Once parked you devour that bagel (poor bagel) and watch humans in wildlife like it’s a National Geographic special.  You then share a self-reflexive moment with a Robin, also surveying the scene.  You know exactly what he’s thinking “There goes the neighborhood.”

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There is a beautiful row of daffodils, curving close to a blooming Magnolia tree.  A couple sees the Magnolia tree in bloom and pose in front of it to take a selfie.  That happens again with another couple. And then again.  Repeat that about 14 times, sprinkled with engagement photo shoot, pregnancy photo shoot, baby’s first steps photo shoot, all in front of that Magnolia tree. Amazingly the photo shoots progress just like that song ‘love, marriage, baby carriage.’

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There’s a poor dog across the way who is so overweight you can’t imagine he’s actually enjoying this walk in the park. Occasionally there are cheers that raise and fall like the pitch of a passing police siren (those happen occasionally as well).  It’s probably from folks celebrating the successes of the Women’s half marathon runners. Congrats all!

There’s a man in his 40’s learning to skateboard. He’s not doing too bad, but you can tell he’s afraid to fall-way to give it a go dude.  In the patch of grass between you and the new skater, a man starts a game of catch with his son. “Come on, show me you ate your breakfast today!”

Okay, now wait a second. Do you know what those giant fuzzy floating things are? They are like dandelion seeds but of giant proportion. Where do they come from? There are hardly flowers in bloom yet, no giant dandelions in sight. Really, I don’t get it.  This is one reason I believe in magic. Ok back to imagining:

You hear the thud of a Frisbee before you realize it hit your foot outstretched on your picnic blanket.  And yup, there it is; your first craving for an ice cream treat from the vendor cart 50 yards away.  Is it weird to get SpongeBob pop because it’s most similar to Buffalo Bill one that you used to get from your neighborhood ice cream guy? No don’t do that, you get a lemon italian ice and enjoy it with a wooden spoon because that’s what today calls for.

Your left shoulder is starting to feel slightly sunburned; it’s time to go.  As you walk towards the hidden park exit, a cyclist rings his bell ahead of you to clear the crowd. Today is a good day!


Posted in I Love NY

Well orange you beautiful, Arizona!

September 6, 2011
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As the sun started setting we began the final leg of the day’s journey.  The dusty air had a glowing orange hue throughout the entire day, but it was nothing compared to the revelry of the headlining event.  As we drove east on US-160 to the sun’s westward journey, we passed 3 wild horses.  In the moment we crossed each other I remember thinking ‘I wish I could have a picture of this forever.’  I had my camera in my hands and didn’t even attempt it.  Even though I can’t share an actual picture here, I can tell you what it was.  2 horses walking, one horse standing still contemplating the scene; one small transparent cloud creeping into the left frame, one broken down Ikea chair obstructing half of the view through my rear window; everything is orange; the sun is moments away from crossing the horizon; the perspective lines created by the road meet one another as if we are all in another dimension. Zoom in, aperture set, shutter click-close and a memory picture is taken. It’s perfect right?

Without a room booked for the night we continued our hotel search passing through one small town after another.  Before the car decelerated to the speed limit of any given town, we had already passed the church, bar, Native American market and restaurant/post office/lingerie shop/barber that made up the respective highway stretch of each town.  Eventually we arrived at a city that was actually on the map.

Day 3

After 303 miles we arrived in Kayenta.  Throughout the day we saw enough animals to inspire a new farm animal children’s book, which made day 3 a success!  We covered some serious ground and landmarks along the Sunbelt region of these United States.  What better way to end it than with a proud American meal at Sonic?  Tatertots, Root Beer float and a Junior Double Cheese Burger. God Bless America!


We are all standing on the Land Before Time…

September 5, 2011
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And then we arrived in Tuba City: approximate population of 9,000 living humans, former population of thousands of footprint-making dinosaurs! Their impressions patterned the claystone desert road.  A hand-painted sign called out the designated parking area, but not the prints:

Tuba City - Dino Tracks

After scanning the ground and kicking the dirt a bit, a man appeared out of nowhere (maybe he was behind the parking sign, or hanging out inside the only other car that was parked in this extinct parking lot).  He moseyed over and casually pointed at the ground without saying a word. Like magic, we suddenly realized we were kicking dust upon the very Dino footprints that we had hyped up throughout the previous 20-mile stretch.

Aladar Sinclaire-they were everywhere! What a frantic mess of footprints.  We spent about 20-minutes taking photographs, calling up useless facts about tyrannosaurus (they actually lived in western part of North America, and many paleontologists believe the t-rex was a scavenger, not a predator!), surprising ourselves with how you actually spell pterodactyl, and guessing where the path to the Great Valley began.  On our way out we tipped our footprint guide and prepared for the last leg of day # 3 of this United States of Adventure.


Brachiopods, Mollusks and Donkeys, Oh My!

June 11, 2011
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We traveled along more than 60 of the 277 miles of the Grand Canyon, seeing one site after another along the Southern Rim of the Canyon.  At Mather Point (7120 ft) gypsy birds temptingly bopped along the cliff, hoping we would follow them for a hike. Instead we drove down Desert View Drive, walked through Grandview Trailhead, and visited Tusayan Ruin and Museum.  Despite the provoking chickadee, the alluring hiking trail loops and donkey rides, we departed The Grand Canyon National Park that afternoon.

There are not many things proven more patient for change than the Grand Canyon. The specific geologic processes and timing that formed the Grand Canyon are the subject of debate by geologists today. However, Marine fossils have been found in layers of rock in the Grand Canyon, indicating that it was once the bottom of a sea.  No dinosaur fossils were found in that mix; it was Sir. Mollusk and Madam Brachiopod who ruled while suspended in water above this now dry land.  The rock layers range from 1.2 Billion to 270 Million years old.  The Dinos were a little too late to be fossilized parts of  this natural world wonder, arriving nearby 230 Million years ago.  Then lazy ‘ol Colorado River dropped by about 130 Million years later, after the birth of the Rocky Mountains.

Disappointed that our expectations of dino fossil findings would come up short, we talked into existence exactly what we were hoping for-a Dinosaur Footprint Park! Yeah, only a few miles off our planned path, Tuba City was our next stop…


Wanted: Gouge of Earth

May 18, 2011
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Did I leave you dreaming about what it would be like to be flat? Cool, I hope you now have stories to rival Stanley’s!  Now, back to October 17th, 2010! On our way to the Grand Canyon we stopped at The Coconino National Forest.  We ascended the mountainous area one hairpin turn after another. By the end of it, my Prius was calling me mean names.

Overlooking the abysmal valleys below from the cliffs at the top of the ridge, my stomach was a little unsure of itself. I experienced that “I’m scared to death, hate this feeling but love this feeling because I can feel this feeling” kind of moment.  All you could see were treetops, and more treetops…it was incapacitatingly magnificent.  My stomach is telling me to move on..and also “get me some potato chips!”

Walking past craft stands and piles of pine needles that I wished I had rolled around in, we departed the Oak Creek ledge.  For a surreal few minutes approaching the Grand Canyon, the car sporadically collided with one grand rain drop after another.  One drop literally splashed across the entire windshield.  It was the strangest rainfall I can remember. It was a foreshadowing of what we would see next.

Passing through security (hi, what are you securing, it’s a hole?), map distributors, gates and parking barricades, we landed.  And then, beneath bursts of sunlight, among damp evergreens and extinguished campfire pits we saw this enormous gouge of earth missing from the space in front of us.

The Grand Canyon

Pictures don't do it justice.


This land was made for you and me

November 12, 2010
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In Flagstaff, Arizona I picked up my dad; my co-pilot for the next week. We settled into our nameless “Motel” next to the nameless “Restaurant” and had forgettable evening in our anonymous surroundings.

In the morning, my dad woke up at dawn and met up with a herd of cattle; we were in the country alright! The morning had a chilly dampness to the air so that made you aware of every breathe.  I wish I could have stored some of that air in a spare lung, but there were no spare lungs to be found.

On the Mooove

We drove toward Sedona and pulled off the road periodically at a number of scenic overlooks, all of which were humbling. I was reminded of what Mesas were (remember those from geography lessons?), and as we saw open land stretching through to the horizon.  Along the way we wondered who owns all of this land? Without an answer, we appropriated acres of it to each other in song: “This land is your land, This land is my land, From California to the New York Island.”

Along Route 89S

We sang real estate claims until we arrived in Sedona ready to chipmunk-out and collect as much energy from the famous vortexes as possible. The hike up Boynton Canyon was invigorating. We ate a cactus, followed a red ant in the red clay, chatted with a modern day American explorer, measured the degrees of ‘twist’ to Juniper trees, and finally arrived upon a knoll where we “gathered power.”  The trail and the view was moving, it was a peaceful place. There were several people meditating in the area, and some other people on cell phones-oh no wait that was only one person; my dad.

The Red Rocks of Sedona

Twisted Juniper Branch

Meditation from the peak of Cathedral Rock in Boynton Canyon

After our hike, we walked down the road and passed a lot of Flat Animals (who must be friends with Flat Stanley and Flat Jackie/Geneva).  We saw Flat Snake, Flat Skunk, and Flat Chipmunk.  With all of the mystical excess energy floating around you would think these Flat Animals would be able to spring back to life!  We waited for it.  We meditated for it. And it didn’t happen.  So now, since people usually get disinterested in stories after they stay flat, this post is over.


The dragonfly way to Flagstaff

October 21, 2010
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As I began to leave the Joshua Tree National Park, a huge dragonfly cut me off. He flew down the road, and I followed. It was such an amazing exit! I’m all about surreal-life experiences, but this dragonfly seriously lead me toward the park exit for almost a mile! He hovered over the road, dreaming of being a Mustang or Beemer. As magical as that was, I had to say Byeee-ya, 10mph was fun for a minute but I had to get on my real-life way.

Hitting the road I realized I was very excited about this trip. With a new hairstyle (windows down), and an already unbalanced left arm driver’s tan, I was driving across country with a front row seat!!

On the way to pick up my co-pilot father in Flagstaff, AZ I saw a few interesting things…

Mile # 155- First mirage
Mile # 177- Bambi’s Mom 😦
Mile # 230- 2 elderly men on electric scooters with American Flags waving behind them
Mile #308- Sign claiming “Fresh Jerky for Sale” in the high Mojave desert
Mile # 355- A random fence with shoes tied to them (maybe a homage to the shoe tree in Nevada)

Then trip itself was magnificent. The desert ranged from 70-90 degrees, but with the windows down it was perfect! Soon enough the Joshua trees subsided, then mountains of pebbles seemed to grow out of the flat desert plains. Pebble mounds were replaced by rolling hills spotted with randomly spaced out bushes, suddenly it felt like I was driving across a bag of Idaho potatoes. Longing for potato chips, I enjoyed the view and in the distance a foggy haze settled below the blue mountain background. Hello America!

Pebble Mounds

Half scrubby face, half potato

The background


To be a Joshua Tree

October 20, 2010
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First Stop: Joshua Tree.  I arrived in Yucca Valley the night before my sobering Joshua Tree visit.  The stars that lined the road were electrified, and once I hit the 10 there were usually no cars ahead or behind me.  I was extremely aware that I was extremely alone…but I needed a little solitude.

In the morning I was welcomed into the park by friendly rangers an hour after sunrise; the only unnatural substance in my body was caffeine (and morning Heather Glee!).  The trees were creatural-I wanted so badly to personify them. So I did.  Some were like “Hey sun, what’s up!”

Joshua

“Hey Sun, what’s up?”

Others had scoliosis…

The least interesting thing about them was that they were all named Joshua.

Heatherwritesafact: Joshua Trees can grow up to 30 ft and live for about 1,000 years!

The more I stared at the Joshuas the more I wanted to be like them.  So I posed as one for a few minutes.  Several cars passed but I don’t think any recognized the one Joshua that didn’t belong; my camouflage worked!   I blended in just like the lizards I saw scrambling about.

After Joshua bonding was over, I wondered over to a rock formation that was the original reason why I pulled off the road.

I climbed up this rock and have a time and space moment.  I perched myself 15 feet up and listened. I listened for the ants marching, the lizards hopping, the trees growing, the cacti thirsting, but I heard nothing.  The silence was deafening…there was nothing making ANY noise…all I could hear were my ears hurting!  It was intense.  So I recorded the silence and caught the faintest chirp of a bird, a call that went peacefully unanswered for the next 20 minutes.

After a meditative morning, I had to get on my way. I said goodbye to the Joshuas and headed for Flagstaff Arizona.


Hello again!

October 20, 2010
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After meaning to write in my blog for a year plus, I hope to finally have good enough reason and time to actually write again!  I haven’t yet been able to cope with the reality of leaving a lovely LA life, instead I’ve decided to focus all my energy on an exciting cross-country road trip from LA to NY….these are my stories!


A many-splendored love and hope story

August 11, 2009
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Superman and Lois LaneSo then there was Superman and his Lois Lane.  In this allegorical superhero story my Cardiologist and Internist are represented by this famous pair.  Although they didn’t do the hunting nor the cutting and correcting, these two gave light and warmth where it was needed…and they are married and in love.  Through the use of modern technology and know-how my Superman Doctor found the damaged tissue in my heart.  And my Lois Lane Doctor, she knew how to relate to me; regular human to regular human.

Superman Doctor was an interesting man because I imagine when he’s dressed in normal clothes, nobody would suspect him to be a doctor.  He’s a very soft-spoken man, so matter of fact with his diagnosis, you wonder if and how they could be true.  My doctor had a much easier time being who he was, he wasn’t burdened with a secret identity, and he didn’t labor anyone with long explanations of how he knew what he knew.  He had a white coat.  And like Superman’s signature spandex suit, that made him pretty credible.

Dr. Superman with his sparkling teeth and handsome voice located the most dangerous puzzle piece of all; the vegetation within my heart.  No, we’re not talking about vegetation like a carrot with a mean face telling my heart  to  “stick ‘em up.”  But that’s an interesting cartoon scene to let play out in your head.  The kind of vegetation I am referring to is built up dead bacteria tissue; unwanted, unnatural and the kind that causes inflammation of the heart valve. Once this build up of the dead bacteria was found, it had to be removed before it broke off and settled somewhere important, like in my veins, or gasp-in my brain.

Nerve racking stuff ay? I mean who wants to be held up by a vegetable?  Sometimes all of this medical talk, diagnoses, drugs and crazy cartoons going on in my head made me feel quite emotional, scared and lost.  Thank goodness for my Lois Lane Doctor. She was my Internist, and the sincerest of all my doctors.  Just because she’s not represented by a Superhero does not mean she lacks the moral fiber of the rest of the gang.  She was super in her own right, and kept all of the other hero egos in check.

She was so caring and the most relatable doctor.  Some might call it bedside manor but I recognized it as sincere consolation. Without the power to fly, an iron suit, or a Russian accent, she helped me by being a regular human being. My Lois Lane doctor was tough as nails, strong willed, and wanted me to be the same.  She kept me grounded and let me cry when I wanted to cry.  She even cried with me a few times.

These two doctors were wonderful together and apart.  I am so glad my heart was mended with a little love around.

I am beyond grateful for the whole team of doctors and nurses who gave me my life back, stitched and fixed.  For them, I’ll make sure to live life harder and better because thanks to them, I have a second chance!


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Hi! My name is Heather and I write a blog :) I hope you enjoy!

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