Sunday, July 25, 2021

To Love and Dance the Light Fantastic

There was a time when I was young - just after the dinosaurs met their demise.  While not a great beauty, I was considered quite pretty and intelligent.  I could always turn a gentleman's head, but relationships never lasted long, as the man was so wrong as far as the rest of my life was concerned.

I dragged around a collection of dirty old suitcases stuffed with baggage from my childhood, much like old Bob Cratchit of Dicken's Christmas Carol.  Feelings of insecurity and low self worth stunted my progress at the things I considered most important in my life.

I was raised not to be sustainable on my own, but to get married if I wanted the finer things in life.  I worked hard at jobs where at least 65% of my income went towards tacky housing in seedy neighborhoods.  I felt a prisoner in a life I could only except.

I managed to put myself through one year of college, but it became my goal of survival to marry into more money than I made myself to pull myself out of poverty.  It's a story that doesn't have too happy of an ending, but I'm ancient now; and although not rich, I have many comforts of life.

A Common Eastern Bumblebee, I think.

Wild onion beginning to bloom

Black Stink Bug

Small flowers on American Beautyberry

Lacewing Larvae with its shield of dead bug carcasses .
These insects are seen quite a bit around here.

Native Wild Petunia
Flowers fade and drop off by mid afternoon.

"Laura" Phlox

Joe Pye Weed beginning to bloom

Daylily "Aabachee"
I love this one.

A life like mine has many stories to tell, and some I wish to never tell.  While I poured my heart out in the early years of this blog about much of the unhappiness I carried through my life, no words of these writings exist now.  I chose it to be that way.

suppose this blog is a personal one, and also a garden one at times.  Since I never garden 24 hours a day, I find writing about only one subject a bit of a bore for me.  I stress myself striving for my version of perfection in the production of my stories before one ever goes to print.  It's the artist in me, to never give up until satisfied.  I garden that way also...worse luck :(  It's exhausting.

Tonight is about fond memories one year while working in what I called the Woolworth of casinos.  Only the old will remember these five and ten-cent stores.  It was a  rundown casino owned by an old grumpy man with ties to the mafia at some time in his life.  

His wife would often accompany him from their living quarters above, and stand in the main cashier cage to survey their workers and customers.  Their two mean old crooked toothed schnauzers would mill around the cage nipping at our heels at times.  I worked the main cashier cage, then the credit department area of the cage.  Crap jobs, but the pay came with benefits.

Hibiscus moscheutos

With the Rose Mallow Bee
(Ptilothrix bombiformis)

Bumblebee resting in the heat of day in slowly closing mallow flower.

After much searching, I think this is an Assassin Bug,
maybe Stenolemus bituberus.  I saw it finish eating a spider,
and what's left of the spider is underneath it.

Lilium superbum

Black ground beetle taking a swim before dinner.
He was rescued and thanked me by scurrying for his life.

Orange Butterflyweed (Milkweed)

Since I mostly dealt with frustrated scared angry people as a credit cashier, the job was riddled with reasons to toss in the towel and move back home to start over again, but failure had a nasty taste in my mouth; therefore, I never allowed myself to move backwards unless a gun was pointed at my head.  I dosed with Excedrin for the headaches, and tossed the job in the trash can on my days off.

It was during one of these encounters with an angered man who threw himself across the counter in a fit of rage and grabbed me by my neck, that I met the love of my life for the next year and a half.  Please keep your head out of the clouds, as this isn't a romance centered around lust.

Saved by a somewhat good looking security guard twice my age, business settled back down to the usual.  He became my friendly confident, a person I could trust with all my thoughts.  We talked in spare moments on the job when business was slower than usual.

Dinners eventually entered the picture, and I guess one could say I was slowly... very slowly swept off my feet.  He became the person I always wanted to be with, the person who lite up my life like slow burning embers.

Autumn Minaret Daylily with Planthopper insect.
I think these insects originally came from Australia. 

Hard life for this echinacea cone flower.

Caught raiding the sack of soiled seed leavings from the bird feeder cleaning.
Just look at him waiting for me to go back into the house,
so he can continue his thievery :)

No longer remember the type of lily this is.
A free small bulb during Master Gardener year,
and it is still alive with a bit of a struggle.

Bumblebee with Clematis Viorna

Yellow Blackberry Lily

One knows how love is in the're floating on pure emotions.  The world is glossed over in perfection, and nothing ever gets the best of you.  It's like Nirvana, where all is as it should be and life is pure happiness.

His mother had been one of the Ziegfeld Follies in the twenties, and to dance with him was as if the music was wrapping itself around us as we barely touched the floor.  He was addictive, but eventually I floated right out of his arms into reality.

Struggling from a divorce, he was living in his camper truck and I gradually had to let go of the illusion there would be any future between us.  He was my piece of resistance while at that old casino, and he will always be remembered with fondness.

We live...we die.  In the in-between the ultimate quest is to love and be loved.  I've accomplished the former many times, the latter few times, but to keep score isn't the point.  To be happy is, and while I had my dancing partner, I felt like the happiest lady on earth.  

Cicada song in the background 

Take Care

This post is linked to:


  1. ...enjoying nature's details makes life sweet!

  2. Hello,
    Your garden images are lovely, so many beautiful blooms. Great captures of the insects. Your dog is a cutie! Have a happy day and a great new week!

  3. As you say, Yvonne, we live and we die, and that's pretty much all there is to it, but we owe it to ourselves to make the most of the span in between those two events. I suspect that on balance you have done so, a few hiccups along the way, perhaps, but that's true for all of us. May what remains continue to satisfy!

  4. What gorgeous flowers and photos! I enjoyed your story too.

  5. I wish for you that he could have been the partner you deserved in all facets of your life and not only on the dance floor.


  6. Your posts are always interesting, Yvonne. Like gardens, life presents an endless series of challenges. Beyond moments here and there, I don't believe perfection is possible, either in a garden or in life. I watched my mother's search for perfection stall her enjoyment of what she had and, although I have a perfectionist streak in my own character, I like to think I've learned to find joy - and move forward - without it.

  7. I love your photos, especially the macros. I've never heard of yellow blackberry lily; I have the orange type and it is so interesting, from the blooms to the blackberry-looking seed pods in the fall). I'm sorry I don't know what your mystery lily is. Thank you for visiting my blog!

  8. Beautiful photos from your garden! And what a gripping story. We live and we die, that's the only thing we know for sure about our lives.
    Wish you a lovely week! /Birgitta

  9. I read these lines with great pleasure. I love how you intertwined garden life with your life.
    In life, as in the garden: a lot of beauty, but also a bad-smelling beetle, a beautiful thief (squirrel) and a reliable friend: Dustin. In life, as in nature, they all have a purpose.
    I wish you happy days!

  10. I always enjoy reading your beautiful posts and once again, you blew me away with your stunning photo series.

    Sometimes we die a little before we grow again.

    Happy Tuesday, Yvonne!

  11. Many things to recognize.
    Wonderful shots from your garden.

  12. I loved reading this slice of life and thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life with us. It's a wonderful story and all the better because it is true. And your illustrations with your fabulous photos just blew me away -- so technically sharp and beautifully composed! What a garden you have.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog yesterday! It's always fun when you come by.

  13. Interesting photos and a very interesting read too!

  14. Stunning floral photos and a touching story. We all make mistakes in our life and get disappointed in love & relations. All the best to you!

  15. What beautiful garden photos!

  16. Your photos are amazing and there are a perfect background for your story.
    I love your wisdom. And if we pay attention, there are so many moments of joy around us, even the times are difficult. ... And it's so important that you have a dancing partner with whom you share all your discoveries!
    Happy days and new amazing photos!

  17. How lovely your garden looks! And the photos are gorgeous.

  18. Oops I typed a message and it disappeared. I love your garden so much, especially the bees and the chilling squirrel. Such fascinating blooms too.

    I love your post so much that I am taking the liberty of adding it to my #WordlessWednesday linky. Hope it's okay?

    Was really good to see you Yvonne, in my little corner at Natasha Musing. It's been a while

  19. Your garden is fabulous--the result of your yearning for perfection (kinda like mine!). I enjoyed your story from the past. It reminded me of my 'one that I wish had ended differently' story :)

    Thanks for sharing your link at My Corner of the World this week!

  20. I liked your gritty story interspersed with your beautiful photos. A contrast in emotions and visions.

  21. Hello Yvonne
    Life has so many ups and downs, I try to live my life doing things that make me happy. Your garden is just beautiful, lovely collection of flowers and photos. Great captures of the insects and your cute pup! Thank you for linking up your post today. Take care, have a happy weekend! PS, thank you for the comment on my blog.

  22. Nice shot of the insects and the different flowers.
    Your dog is a sweetheart.
    Greetings Irma

  23. Enjoyed seeing the many detailed closeups of insects. They are all beautiful. Loved reading the interspersed story.

  24. So many ups and downs in life but thankfully I have no real regrets.
    Beautiful photos, keep safe and enjoy what there is in life, Diane

  25. Oh such magnificent floral shots ~ favorite are the lilies and the doggie ~ Xo

    Living in the Moment,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  26. Hi Yvonne, Wow, I enjoyed all the photos and the story of working in the casino, the hazards thereof, and meeting the love of your life. Yes, you are an artist, and you did a great job painting this post. I especially loved your closing paragraph … keeping score isn’t the point … to be happy is. Thanks for sharing your blog and for your kind comment on mine. Wishing you a fine week ahead! John

  27. Beautiful photos of the blooms and bees!

  28. much beauty in your post. Both flowers and wildlife. I would love to visit your garden. :)

  29. You have a beautiful garden and you take great shots of the lovely flowers and critters visiting your garden. I like about how you shared your personal story with us. We are imperfect beings and we all live imperfect lives. Our lives' mistakes is to help us grow stronger and wiser. Our experiences both good and bad enriches us to be better person.

  30. Dearest Nicole,
    Life is a dance. Sometimes wild and boisterous, sometimes tender, slow and romantic, sometimes without a trace of rhythm, sometimes tragic and tiring, sometimes euphoric and full of happiness ... The individual sequences of the dance come together to form a film that we can watch while looking back. And I think it's good if we don't get bored with retrospectively watching this movie. Your story clearly sounds like a non-boring life. Complicated, yes, with ups and downs, but definitely not bland. And so is your garden. Full of life and not boring at all. That's real perfection in my eyes. And it's so wonderful to see the drinking bumblebee at the Clematis...
    Thank you for your sweet comment. You never need to apologize <3
    Hugs and sweet caress to your animals and all the best to you

  31. The planthopper looks just like a leaf. Nature is such a marvel.

  32. Oh Yvonne I loved your story -- You made that "Woolworth" Casino job so real -- I could almost feel those little toothy dog nibbles on my ankles! And I can visualize your dance (figuratively and literally) with your love-at-the-time). (I prefer not to dwell on the way you met him, as I'm sure you do too.). All in all a perfect story and I appreciate your sharing it. (Reminds me of how hard it is to find good novels featuring the viewpoint of anyone older than you were at the time. I wish you would write one!!!). .... Loved this post. Oh and the flowers photos are wonderful. Of course.

  33. Awesome collection of photographs Yvonne!

  34. Beautiful photographs and such lovely and meaningful words. Live every moment to its fullest.

  35. Yvonne, I had left a comment here the previous week, but don't see it. I loved your garden, the adorable squirrel, the endearing bees and the stunning blooms not to forget.

    Do join me on #WW this week. I have some lovely blooms to offer with the onset of monsoons. Love and light.


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