Category Archives: Travel

A moment to ponder at the Niagara

 

The 2chicks are returning here with perhaps a few tricks up their sleeves. The following is a short story, set along the banks of the Niagara River, on Grand Island, New York, in Beaver Island State Park. If you are coming to the area, certainly google it for more information. Please, read on and enjoy!

Written by Sherrie Robins

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Evening fell over the Niagara.
There was a hush and an echo, that reverberated as sunlight on the whimpering waves.

A heron was standing in the marsh along river’s edge, aware of my presence. Silhouetted as a statue, she was unwilling to move a muscle…until I got too close. That was when she spread her wings wide and with a leap and an arc, soared toward the setting sun.

 

In the distance, a dog’s bark preempted the quiet, perking my ears up, bringing me to attention.

I was rather irritated by now. My ethereal moment, my commune with nature had been interrupted, and I can’t say that I liked it.

I was sorry my bird (how did I think she was mine?) had flown off. I was sorry a pet was in the vicinity…and a man.

I turned my head back towards the water, and the sun, the glow and the calm and tried to reemerge.
A warm evening breeze caressed my face, in a seeming attempt to calm. The least I could do was respond. Drawing a deep breath, I listened. There was a far off bird call. Perhaps MY heron. Maybe she would come back, and this dog and his man would disappear.
The now cooling sand was fresh between my toes and the nip of a mosquito pricked my neck.

It hadn’t been a particularly good day. Nor week…nor year. This place was my calm. My restoration. It filled me up when I was running low.

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The end of the season was my favorite; the kids were back in school and their parents hovered with them, over homework. Family tourism was over and the only tourists still around were not interested in a river beach, they were here for the big bang Niagara Falls had to offer.

Several boats were still moored, but mostly empty, waiting for weekend attention. No, weeknights in September belonged to me.

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The docks were inviting. I loved stepping out on the wooden planks. They were rough and springy with the dank smell of tall wooden posts, long immersed in the underwater world of mud and clay.

My mind wandered. It slithered as a water snake along the golden shimmer, touching on my troubles and problems, seemingly without solution; problems that I had allowed to seep into my soul and had sunk deep and dark into my mud and clay.

I shook my head, where was that Heron, anyway. I could use the distraction of her call…

Instead I heard a bark. And it was close. And a man…his dog…and interference. The hair on the back of my neck ruffled in irritation. This was MY sanctuary.

He came out onto the dock. The dog was young and full of bounce and friendly. I didn’t want bounce. I most certainly did NOT want friendly. But my Mother had conditioned me to “nice”.

“Hello” he said. “Hello” she bounced and licked, jumping up in my space. She landed squarely on my bare feet with her sharp toenails, drawing a neat red line from ankle to toes.

“Ouch”! I yelled. I was going to “nice” but now I wasn’t. I didn’t care. My problems. My sanctuary. My space, My foot.

“I am SO sorry” he said. He was irritatingly sincere.

I sat down on the dock and put my feet in the water. “That’s okay. But do you think you could manage to control your dog”? She was jumping with those toenails, precariously close. I continued to not like her. Or him.

But he spoke up “Again, I’m very sorry. Is there anything I can do for your foot? My car is in the lot and I have a first aid kit”…

“That’s okay. I’ll be fine”.

“I’m really trying to manage her. I’m not usually the one to take her for a walk. I do apologize”.

“Nice” insisted on speaking up. Thanks Mom. “Oh…you got stuck with the job”? It was the best I could do.

“Well…in a manner of speaking”.

My foot was throbbing, but my Mother continued…”Oh”?

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He hesitated.

I noticed him for the first time: middle aged, graying hair, glasses, trim. He looked pleasant enough, for a man whose dog had just punctured my foot.

“I didn’t mean to pry”…

“It’s just this is my first time walking my Wife’s dog here. Leona is a rescue, and she was just beginning to get her under control…when…” His face hinted of pain and began to contort, before he turned away.

Oh no…what had I gotten myself into?

“I’m so sorry, I, uh…”

“No” he sniffled. “It’s my fault”.

“I’m really sorry, apparently there is more to this and I didn’t mean to”… I trailed off, overwhelmed with awkward, and just a little sympathy.

He straightened up and stood tall. “Look. I don’t know you and I am truly sorry I interrupted your reverie here. But you have no reason to feel bad. I’m the one who came here and interrupted your alone time. I’m the one that made you feel uncomfortable. I am most sorry my dog hurt your foot. And mostly, I’m sorry for this awkward  moment. But I just lost my wife tonight. She had been sick for a long time and we knew it was coming. I have family at home, so I’ll be okay, but Leona and I needed to get out. I just felt I needed to tell you.
Now, won’t you please excuse us? Please have a good evening”… He turned abruptly, sniffing a little, clearing his throat.

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They walked a little further on, down the main dock and out onto one of the several protruding finger piers. Leona was sniffing around, satisfied with the varied smells, but he stood still, staring in the direction of the sun setting over the water…as unmoving as My heron had been.

He hadn’t even given me time to respond. I couldn’t tell him I was sorry.

I didn’t bother to move as I was frankly, thunderstruck. What could I do? If I moved I might interrupt his reverie. No. I could give him that much.

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After a few moments, Leona pulled at the leash and the man came back to himself. I saw him wiping his cheek as he turned. They walked back down the main dock and off into the darkening horizon.

The sun was nearly down and I was shivering as I pulled my feet out of the wet. I wasn’t sure where I left my shoes, and that mosquito had returned with his companions.

But I was experiencing a paradigm shift.  No. It was time for me to leave his dock, his beach, his park.

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I would let the sun sink low, I would return the heron to herself, I would give the man his sanctuary… maybe even realize my Mother had a point.

It was time to pull the supports from their entombment and give my head a shake. Most problems were only that. Problems. I would save my sorrow and self-pity for the bigger things of life.

 

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Happy New Year, from Niagara!

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Remember when Niagara was frozen, ‘real good’? Hoping for a warmer winter this year…

From the 2chicks, here in Niagara, to you, whichever corner of the world you may be in, we wish you a very Happy, Joyous, and Hopeful New Year!

Autumn in Chagrin Falls, a quiet beauty

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The sun is setting, silhouetting trees and shades and golden hues of color. Glimmering leaves dazzle, shimmer in the breeze or float peacefully past rocks or broken branches. The sound of water dashes hard. It pummels and penetrates the lower banks, creating a second home.

The church bell chimes, the town hall tower shines, the square defers. Muted colors, softly enclose in preparation of a bolder season of celebration, ahead. Christmas and the holidays are drawing near, and chopped evergreens subtly await, still slumbering, hidden in back alleys or along building’s edges.

Shopkeepers anticipate the cold bite of winter, while shoppers shiver and pull their coats a little bit closer.

We open a door and warm air rushes out, greeting us with genial arms of invitation. Though the hour has not yet come, we are welcomed with tea, cheer, and a cozy fire. Through sprawling windows we see the long, wide drop of inspiration.

A sip and a nudge. A view, and a bite. With you by the fire, the world once again, right.

Find beauty ’round the corner, just beyond the bend,
Or in the eyes of loved ones near or far,  

Past, present, in the future, For always in the end,

We n’er leave ourselves behind,
Create your joy, your love, your friends.

Sherrie

Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Just beyond… Cleveland.

 

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A sampling of shops,  Inn and Restaurants of Chagrin, Ohio, listed below:
https://www.facebook.com/Winds-of-Change-111953242215815/

http://innofchagrin.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nola-True/159967410692272https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nola-True/159967410692272

http://hedgeschagrinfalls.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Toni-In-Style-195127467202003/
http://www.jekyllskitchen.com/

http://www.sugarmedesserterie.com/

Or contact https://yourhometownchagrinfalls.com/

Also, for more 2chicks information:

https://www.facebook.com/sherrierobinsart/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

https://www.facebook.com/2chicks2go/

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sherrie-robins.html?tab=artwork

https://twitter.com/Tweaterpated

 

 

 

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2chicks Photos ~Light on the Marsh

Light on the Marsh

A calm weekday evening, a few people milling about, but mostly quiet, nature, silence and beauty. A heron flies low and lands just out of reach. I wonder what else is happening out of our view? The sun is getting tired from a long day’s work, but still has some show left in her. “Do you mind if I take a picture of a smidge of your work, oh sunshine, fair”?

Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve and Marina, Mentor, Ohio

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https://twitter.com/Tweaterpated

2chicks2go Facebook

Sherrie Robins’ Art Facebook

Sherrie Robins’ Art Fine Art America (Purchase of art, available here. *Requests taken).

2chicks2go Pinterest

2chicksNiagara ~ Whale Breaches Niagara?

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Whale Breeches Niagara?

#Really ? #NotReally

The Arteest in the 2chicks came out to play. 

Enjoy your hot July summer’s day

Think of the cool refreshing Niagara

And the mysterious whale who says ‘back atch’ya’! 😉

(You were wondering what THAT rhyme was gonna be, weren’t you)??

#original #art #SherrieRobinsArt

 

2chicks Niagara ~ Gorgeous Gorge

For the Beauty of the Earth.

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The wind curves ’round the bend,

The Hawk and eagle glide on by,

The water rushes down below,

My heart it soars, touching the sky.

Sherrie Robins

 

#ForBeautySake #NiagaraGorge #NiagaraRiver #NiagaraFalls #SherrieRobinsArt
#2chicks2go #WhirlpoolStatePark #DevilsHole #IloveNewYork

2chicks Canada ~ Having a Tea Party!

Niagara on the Lake is History come alive. But sometimes it’s just plain fun history. Like Alice In Wonderland kind of fun. Mad Hatter Tea Party kind of crazy.

This is a two-parter blog post. First the tea party, because we just couldn’t resist. Our next blog post on Niagara on the Lake, will be “History alive”. But isn’t that kind of the same thing? So we shall just begin at the beginning.

It all starts with the Shaw Festival and their play, Alice in Wonderland. Here is the link including dates and showtimes. This really is something you wouldn’t care to miss. Surely you’d better hurry and not be late…for a very important date! http://www.shawfest.com/playbill/alice-in-wonderland/

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The Shaw Festival across from Fort George. Everything old is new again.

Secondly, all in strictly proper timing, we’re sure, Beau Chapeau has the most felicitous of window dressings. You will be missing out if you don’t drop by for a look-see. And while looking you may just want to stop inside and find the very hat you’ve been looking for, from a by-gone era or not. https://beauchapeau.com/  (3 slide-show below. Click arrows if you’re still late)…

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See how that crazy Mad Hatter worked on his tea-potion to blend the old and new? What a guy! Gotta tip your hat to him. 😉

Lastly, nothing like a sample of the real deal. A real tea party, done up in Mad Hatter style. An homage to the Shaw and the Carroll, Alice and the Queen.

Let’s stroll down the Avenue to meet the Prince: Prince of Wales that is, the dreamy little Hotel hosting this gem of a party in their very own Tea Room.

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Step back into yesteryear and enter the upside down world of the Hatter. The Queen will be sure to greet you. The Queen of Hearts, that is.

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She will beguile you with her charms and entice you with the aroma of sugar and spice and everything nice.

For your pleasure, another quick slide-show, below, 4 photos.

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With a tower of tea sandwiches, pastries, buttery croissants and muffins set before you, who would not surely be happy? Mouth watering house made scones with devonshire cream and strawberry jam? Specialty teas? Served by a Queen? Oh my!
http://www.vintage-hotels.com/princeofwales/downloads/menus/pw-alice-wonderland-menu.pdf

All in all, if in Niagara on the Lake and you see a cute little rabbit dashing down a hole, we would suggest that you “begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end, then stop”.

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