Looking for answers to life's questions

Permanence

This has been a year where many have faced extreme challenges in so many areas.  Seeing some of it is hard on the heart. We, as humans are creatures of habit and like things to be the way they have always been.

My neighbors house directly across from me

I’m no different but life and 35 moves has forced me to learn to be more adaptable than most. I’m extremely grateful for that ability as it makes life so much easier to cope when things change and change they will.

Last spring, I mentioned the heavy rains we received here in the Portland, Oregon area. I love the rain and would really like some of it now though others are praying for it to cease. I was in a place, that for a bit of time, gave me pause for concern. As it turned out, my neighbor directly across the street was not as fortunate in location as I turned out to be in. She ended up losing a good portion of her back yard as land eroded from under her.

The land washed away

Giant hole too hard to tell from here.

Owner and management waited most of the summer for the ground to dry out and finally we were inundated with workers preparing to remove the house she was forced to move out of and start stabilizing the ground. There are two other homes on either side they don’t want to have to remove. There were months of negotiations while they found someone to purchase the vacated home and pay to move it elsewhere. That was only the beginning.

Men doing the hard work

If you are not familiar with manufactured homes, they are brought in and out, in sections. There are a lot of preparations to make the house itself moveable. All plumbing and power must be disconnected and then the concrete blocks they are sitting on are removed and axles and tires are placed back underneath.

Axles have to be reattached.

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I spent the best part of the last few weeks watching the comings and goings here. Any wonder why I accomplished little else? It was quite entertaining as I observed the conflab between the powers that be around here making decisions with Engineers, heavy equipment operators and assorted professional crews including tree removers. So many trees had to go. Many precariously held to the earth, many already dead. NOTHING is permanent.

Lots of trees cut down and trucked away.

 

It’s hard to watch all the changes for some people but today I had a sign that things are still very much under control. Just not by me.

Aster’s are September’s flower. I planted these that had been in a pot when I first moved into my apartment five years ago and then put them in the ground here two summers ago. Today is September 1. I looked out the kitchen window and saw the very first bloom on my Aster plant. Do they have a calendar or what?

This Aster has its own calendar

 

How do you deal with impermanence?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "Permanence" (54)

  1. Impermanence is part of life, I guess. You are blessed to be so flexible with your thinking and attitude. And that is the most beautiful aster I have ever seen ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so right but I know so many that can’t get there. Impermanence is part of life. Makes life a lot easy if you can go with the flow. I’m glad you liked my Aster’s, Jill. There are more buds on but the first one bloomed on the first. Here they represent September birthdays. Thank you for stopping by.

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  2. We too moved around a lot in my youth, so like you I got good at it. That said, this is the longest I’ve lived anywhere and I really like it. I’m so sorry for your neighbor, Marlene. It’s as if if her home were literally pulled out from under her. I’m glad she got out of there safely, but as you say, no smooth sailing. I imagine watching all this work is both intriguing and distracting. I know I would be fascinated by the process. I once saw an entire house moved across a busy intersection. It was really something.

    I’m so happy the Aster is in bloom, just around the corner from your birthday. If I could I would send you a light rain and a gentle breeze.

    All of these natural disasters have given me pause to reflect. We’ve been warned about “the big quake” for as long as I can remember. We’ve done the obvious things like strapping the water heater to the wall, setting aside a first aid kit and fresh water, etc. but there are so many unknowns with a quake. You can only do so much. I hope you see many more of those beautiful asters throughout the month. Hugs xo

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    • I knew you would understand my point here. I too wanted so much to put down deep roots here but now I see that roots can still only hold so long before changes happen. My mother bought a triple wide and we put it on the acre lot we owned next to us . Watching them get everything ready and place it was worth several hundred photos. To watch the trucks hydraulic the house sideways astounded me. The Aster decided it was September and popped open the first bloom. I see many buds on it. It is a wonderful birthday present. Daughter is taking me to the metaphysical bookstore downtown to peruse and then to and early lunch so we can be home before it hits 100 degrees. This whole week is going to be that way. You have my sympathies as I see your temps will be higher. A light rain and gentle breeze would be the perfect gift for both of us. 😉 The neighbor is just up at the end of the block now. She didn’t want to leave the neighborhood. As for earthquakes, we went through the Northridge quake. Not fun. We were located better than my daughter. She left Calif shortly after. They were lucky. Hugs.

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      • I remember the Northridge quake, though I lived in the Bay Area at the time. It’s been an alarming time for natural disasters, so much so that it is hard to keep track. Such devastation. I can’t help thinking we’re next, not to invite trouble, but because I think we’re overdue.

        It must have been fascinating watching your mother’s triple wide go into place.

        I hope you enjoyed your birthday celebration and your time at the metaphysical book store. I remember you enjoying that in the past.

        Is the smoke-filled air any better? It’s been oddly humid here, something we’re not used to, but the smoke from the Gilroy fire cleared with a heavy wind last Monday. Such a relief. Hugs.

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      • Good gravy! Gilroy was on fire? That would worry me. I loved the area as it always smelled like tomato soup. We are overdue here as well. I’ve been glued to the news and hoping for the best. A great reminder that Mother Nature is in charge here.

        Yes, the smoke finally cleared out and we got RAIN!!! It started over the fires first and them dropped down here. The air has been heavy/humid for a couple of days so far. Hard to walk in it but better to have the air clean.

        I think I took a thousand photos of my mother’s house going in and it was fascinating. Watching them hydraulic the trailer this way and that just inches to get passed old established trees we did not want to lose. Those guys are artists in their own way. It was like a dance.

        I did enjoy my birthday but had not been feeling particularly well for a few before and after. I had tomatoes ripen and wanted to eat a few so I put them on toasted whole grain bread. An old favorite. Apparently, my body no longer tolerates bread well and I pay for it. So I’ve been giving the tomatoes to neighbors and friends. Sigh. 😦 It could be the tomato too. Getting old is interesting. The bookstore is always fun for both of us. Especially since we both lean more that way. I was a window shopper that day. I sent you an e-mail. Hope you got it. Glad your air is better too. 🙂 Hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hello, Marlene. I’m sorry to be absent from comments and blogging for so long. It turns out that I *can’t* do it all! Who knew? I’m sorry to hear you’ve been under the weather so to speak. I had dinner with someone recently who’s struggled with wheat and gluten. She say’s she’s used to it now, but she had to give up a lot to finally feel better. Our bodies do not like the changes this century and the last have made to our diets. It’s really problematic for so many people. Hugs! I will email soon. xo

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      • Glad I’m not alone in the “can’t do it all” arena. My poor body just wants sugar but isn’t happy when I give in. I’ll beat it yet. Not to worry, I see you are still alive and well on FB. 🙂

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      • Thank you, Marlene! Today was a garden day. It was hot for most of the summer, so lots of pruning, removing of dead leaves, a few weeds and general cleanup. After the heat subsided we had a crazy windstorm, nearly unheard of in the summer. That rained down a massive amount of pine needles from the neighbors tree, creating more garden clean up. I love it though, so no complaints. My older son returned to college this weekend and my younger son now drives, freeing up a lot of time all at once.

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      • I’m glad you are getting a little more free time to play in the garden but I know you miss the boys. Everyone is experiencing upside down weather. The fire is 46% contained now and may be better in the next couple of day. I have no complaints either. I’m not experiencing a hurricane, earthquake or tornado. All is well here.

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  3. Still getting over 35 moves, even if I include little moves as a student that comes to a mere 16. My husband is amused by me when we go away because I unpack properly and make say a hotel bedroom our home even for just a few days. He would quite cheerfully live out of a suitcase. When my sons went on school trips and would worry abot being homesick, I would tell them to look at the moon, I would also be looking at the moon, and no matter where we were it is the same moon and a shared experience. So thta is how I cope, home is where I am, and the moon is always there.
    I loved seeing how that house was moved, no wonder you were engrossed watching it. I wonder what happens next!
    I am very fond of bluebells and one thing I love about them is that if growing conditions aren’t right they remain dormant, and when they are back come the bluebells. So I plant bluebells, knowing that a part of me is there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 16 moves is a lot by many standards. As a military child and wife, I never had any say about the moves. But I did experience many continents which most never get to even visit. I’ve never missed a house, just friends left behind. You have some lovely coping skills. I’m like your husband in that I don’t unpack. Always ready to run at a moments notice. 🙂 As for what happens next, they will spend this year reinforcing the canyon back there but no home will go back in that spot. At least not in the foreseeable future. I will have to look up bluebells. Leaving part of you in the garden is a lovely thought. Thanks for visiting.

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  4. Having upheaved a fairly well established life in London, I packed everything I couldn’t live without into 5 cubic metres and emigrated 18,000 miles to the other side of the world, leaving behind friends, family and everything I knew. It taught me the valuable lesson that home is where I am, and I just need some familiar things around me to feel comfortable.
    I must say, I’d have been glued to the window watching the works too, building is a marvellous spectator sport.

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    • You are quite adaptable and many things in your life have required that of you. My father always said home was where you hang your hat. It changed so very often. But this earth moves around too. More than most realize. I’ve experienced almost every form of natural disaster and would prefer to never experience them again. Most certainly not at the level of many in the world. That goes for the disaster of illness as well. Deconstruction is fun to watch too. They will not be putting another house there so I get to see the trees that are left. Keep taking care of yourself and thanks for the visit. I will catch up. 😉

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  5. Mostly I like weather watching,seasons changing and things happening to houses – nature reminds me constantly that nothing is permanent and houses being knocked down,built up, renovated, vacated and moved into are all sign of change too. I am, generally speaking, okay with all of it. Though I hate to see people suffer through events such as your neighbour has undergone. Like you I have moved a lot – around the country, across the world and back again and around this city more than ever before. I can’t compare numbers to you though. I remember making my first garden when my children were very young and designing it to be the garden they would get married from……… That was an early lesson in impermanence 🙂

    This is a subject that has been under much discussion around here of late as my daughter deals with sudden and unexpected changes in her professional life. There’s a time for everything, everything has its time and change is inevitable. Being able to let go with grace is just another of those things we have to learn to do. And then a flower blooms and we are reminded there are blessings everywhere.

    I hope you have a wonderful birthday Marlene – I was, once more, behind in sending a card.
    So look again for an e-card. Some habits, it appears are harder to change than others 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are on the same page here. I knew you would understand this. I hate to see those who have lost everything. I’ve had to shut off the news and as you can tell, I’m not sleeping tonight. I know that at any moment, it could be me. My daughter too struggled with employment for many years. Going with the flow is the only easy way to go. As for my neighbor, she is just up the street in a nice house that her family pulled together to get her into. She had been complaining about them not being there for her. Now she knows they are. Thank you for the birthday wishes. I did not get a card off to you either though you have been on my mind daily. Your birthday in just a few days has the Aster as your flower as well. I sent a card to my aunt in Australia the first of August and it has still not arrived. Gifts often don’t make it either way. 😦 My daughter is taking me downtown to the Metaphysical bookstore and then to lunch with a decadent dessert. 🙂 After which, we will come home and hide from the heat. ;( Alys will beat us in temps but not by much. Have a wonderfilled weekend. Hugs.

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  6. That Aster is so lovely. What a beautiful flower and perhaps a few more to come. Growing up I’ve always moved towns and countries, and impermanence was something I got used to. Like you, moving has taught me to be adaptable and be thankful of who I meet along the way. It’s hard for me to call a certain place home, but I just make myself as comfortable as where I am.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A fellow gypsy! I knew I wasn’t alone in this and it’s good to see you also have found the benefits of the constant shifting. The earth moves often as well and most don’t understand it is part of life experience. Home is where my books are. 🙂 Or where I lay my head most often. Yes, there are more buds getting ready to open but I honestly looked at that plant the day before and there were no flowers opening on it. What a surprise to see it open on the first of Sept. Thanks for the visit, Mabel.

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      • For a big part of my life I didn’t like moving because it meant leaving things behind and also, people. But these days I just take it in my stride, and looking back I gained and learned so much. For me, my bed at night is where my home is – soft, cozy and comfy 🙂 Hope you have a nice collection of books there and they always keep you occupied, Marlene 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for stopping by, Mabel. It was very hard to do so much moving when I was younger. I’m glad it’s easier for you now than before. A comfy bed makes all the difference. I do have a LOT of books here and I loan out many of them. Lots are reference books that I want to keep, many have been read and plenty to keep me through a winter. 🙂 I’m trying to visit more of your posts as well. That’s why I love the winter months, Not chores outside to distract me. 🙂

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  7. Thirty-five moves…wow! You certainly don’t let any grass grow under your feet, do you? 🙂 As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized change is a part of life and I needed to learn to embrace it and look forward to the surprises it might bring. Thanks for sharing your lovely Aster, Marlene!

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    • Grass, what grass? I’m trying hard to put down deep roots here but I’m not sure it’s in the Bigger plan. :/ I was an Army brat and an Army wife for starters then life just ran me here and there. I’ve got a bit of a gypsy soul. 😉 I couldn’t believe the Aster, which is Septembers flower would actually open it’s first bloom on Sept first!!! What a shock for me. Maybe because I’m more aware these days.

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  8. As you know I’ve moved a lot too. I rather enjoy it as it always brings new adventures. But, now I’ve come to a time in my life I rather have more solid roots somewhere. Who knows, though, what the future will bring? I stay ready at all times. 😉
    Like you, I’ve never missed houses, just people. I’ve always been a loner, so there aren’t too many of those I’ve missed either. I love your gardens, Marlene. And what great pics of moving the house! Always fascinated me how they did it. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend. ❤

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    • I almost missed this comment. Some wandered away in the shuffle. I wanted roots too. Maybe it’s all the baggage I’ve got that keeps me from wanting to move it. I took a video of the moving of the house but someone was asking me a question while it was happening I did way too much talking to post it. Watching the truck hydraulic the trailer sideways just inches at a time was just incredible. I watched them move my mother’s onto the lot. It was a triple wide and they had to hydraulic it between the trees. Now I wish I had that on video. But it took hours. Such precision. I like being alone more than most. I had someone here all day yesterday and last night. After I was alone again, I had to rest. It exhausts me. Don’t know what I’ll do when I have to have someone here full time. 😦 The cabin in the woods or on the beach sounds good but I’m not sure I could do it. I’m nosy. :/

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  9. Your neighbor was lucky not to be harmed when that sink hole opened up. How scary. I’ve watched double wides being set up and taken apart it’s amazing. Those drivers fun enough for me to watch too. I love driving trucks and am pretty good at getting around but don’t think I could set up homes, that takes skill. When I had to move my single wide I was thankful the preparations were easier. Yes, we had to unhook everything, take dishes out of cabinets and remove the tank from the toilet but the entire move took one day.

    Your moves have me beat. I had to stop and count mine, total so far is 29. One thing is I’m a pro at packing. I have a system set up that my boys are still amazed with and so I get called to help with packing when they need to move. Their wives love how easy to unpack and set up a house it is after I do the packing. Lol I do hope this will be my last move although with my disability it’s possible there will be at least one more.

    Love your aster. My mums have started to bloom while I still wait for my marigolds to open. Crazy!

    When we lost our home to an electrical fire, I realized that all my moves had prepared me for that day. I was so thankful we were all safe the stuff and even the home didn’t matter to me. Sure, it hurt watching my children lose things they felt were important to them but the material things that hurt me the most was knowing all the groceries I’d just purchased the day before were gone along with the money I’d invested in them. Still, I knew we would be fine and what we needed would be there for us and it was.

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  10. This post has me thinking so many things! First, those asters. WOW! What incredibleness! And your neighbor’s land. WOW! What a lesson in impermanence. If there’s anything “permanent” about this life, it is impermanence. I guess Buddha was right in practicing the “art of non-attachment” – I’m definitely a student in that regard: I know I’m attached to plenty of things. Hmm…but writing that here has planted a seed of an idea for a future project…. lol.
    And the rains, wow…(I know I keep saying that, but I genuinely am wowed). We’ve had a lot of rain, my thoughts are with Texas and Louisiana, and now I’m thinking of your neighbor. But that slideshow you have there is incredible! What fun it was to see them moving everything so quickly. Ah…impermanence, eh? In any case, glad to see you back up and running. Sending you big hugs! ❤

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Cynthia. The Buddha was right about so many things. As a child, I had a hard time with the lack of stability but soon found the gift in it. We want moderation in all things, especially our weather. 🙂 Non attachment is always easier said than done but I’ve learned the hard way. Can’t tell you home much I have left behind. Glad I was able to trigger an idea for you. That’s where many of mine come from. Have a great week.

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  11. Marlene, this is so profound and thought provoking. For someone like your neighbor who has not undergone change, it is paralyzing. For someone (you) who has withstood change, it is “yet one more”. Your attitude is a role model for all of us. The aster is a perfect example. I rest my case. 🙂

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  12. Your poor neighbor! I was glad to read, though, that she is still in the neighborhood, which cuts down on the upheaval to her life. The removal of the house must’ve been fascinating to watch–like reality TV but really reality!

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Kerry. Yes, at her age and in her health condition, it was best not to do a major upheaval. Though I can’t say I mind Her Grumpiness a little further up the road. That’s taking the expression, “moving house” to a whole new level. These kinds of places are becoming so much more common as the cost is considerably less than a normal place.

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  13. Change is good! I like change. It keeps one nimble and ready to act on just about anything. Change also facilitates personal growth, exposes one to new experiences and people in unfamiliar environments. I have moved over 20 times, mostly as an adult, and am happy about all the things I learned from those adventures. And I’d have to agree on home is where the heart and books are, except for adding a garden and friends. Each place I lived in gave me a chance to forge new friendships. Some ever-lasting, others not. I believe that in the end, it’s what one makes of it. The aster is beautiful and right on time! I’m waiting for my naked ladies to bloom. This summer has been perfect for them to thrive.
    Have a good week Marlene! 🙋

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    • I so agree, change is good. I like adding a garden to the list. As a Virgo, being in the dirt is vital. Friendships are hard to form. I can meet 200 people and be fortunate if one turns out to be a friend that I want to keep. Like you. As for those naked ladies, they must love the heat. 🙂 Hiding indoors until Wed. Lots of reading and writing to do. Enjoy yours too.

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  14. Hey Marlene – I’m always so impressed with how you seem to take everything in stride. Certainly, if we look around, we see others who are in need and experiencing the impermanence of life.

    I deal better with my own situations when I take my eyes off myself and see what’s going on around me. Thanks for the gentle reminder. Have a great week!

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Missy. I take things in stride because I know I’m not in charge. I don’t see the big plan so I’ve learned the hard way not to interfere with it. There is a greater mind at work here so I take care of what is placed in front of me and let the rest work out as it is supposed to happen. I feel things way too deeply to allow myself to get caught up in it. It’s been a long, hard education. Hope you are having a terrific weekend. We are feeling the heat. 😦

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  15. Hello Marlene – in reading through the comments, I see that there are many like you, and like me, who have moved alot throughout life. I’ve always appreciated the moves as adventure, an opportunity to explore new places and make new friends.
    Having said that, we want to make the CHOICE to move … not be forced to do so through job loss, illness, or natural disaster.
    My thoughts have turned to you, and my other WP friends in the weeks that I’ve been away.
    Stay cool, my friend

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Laurie. I know how full your life is and I fully understand. Life moves you when it needs to be done. I hated it as a child, always leaving friends that I worked so hard to make behind. I’m thinking my lesson this time is non attachment. I’m hoping this is my last move but if not, another adventure on the horizon. 🙂 I did not realize you had to move a great deal too. Hmmm. I think I’ve missed something. 🙂 Disasters, etc. often have their own silver lining once you can see it. Learned many lessons in my old age. Hope you are taking care of yourself.

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  16. Such a beautiful aster, and I wish you many more magnificent blossoms!

    Life is certainly impermanent (I’d have laughed if someone had told me while I was in Ireland that I’d live in various parts of Africa and then on a tropical island!). But you’re right, moving is one of the things that makes us more adaptable.

    Thanks so much for the fabulous photos, wow! I was absolutely fascinated by the whole procedure with that house, I’m delighted you shared it all with us – thank you!

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    • I’ve been living in that kind of a house for 3 years now. My mother owned one that was on a lot we owned many years ago. Watching them bring it in and set it was hours worth of entertainment. These houses are the most impermanent of all. Life just keeps on finding ways to move us whether we like it or not. Thanks for stopping by, Clare.

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  17. I would have been equally fascinated by the proceedings of moving a whole house! There aren’t any prefabricated houses in Germany at least not to my knowledge. What a show! But it’s sad that the cause for this was so much sadness and trouble…
    And I also think it’s one of the most beautiful asters I have ever seen! 😄🌺

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  18. Hi Marlene! I just tried responding to your comment on my blog… POOF! It somehow just disappeared…my response and your comment!!! No idea how that happened…but thank you! I love asters…although I did not know what they were ;
    Hope that you are well…I can tell you are better than your neighbor…but it being right there and your big heart…I am sure it is affecting you.
    Sending lots of love and hugs ❤ ❤

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    • I’ve had comments and responses disappear as well. I find them when I go to my dashboard and look at the comments there. They are often popped into the trash and can be retrieved. It made me panic the first time it happened. I really did feel for my neighbor but there was a silver lining. All her children who didn’t have time for “Her Royal Crankiness” showed up to help. She now has less to take of, yard wise and she is closer to the area where she walks her dog. Everything has a plus to equal or surpass the minus. Sometimes, you just have to look real hard. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderfilled week.

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      • I will look there Marlene…thanks for the suggestion 😁 I tend to panicky when technology appears to have a life of its own!!
        I know you always find a way to see the plus….it certainly is a kinder…more gentle way to live. Sending lots of love! 💜💜

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  19. Oh…and as far as change goes…ADAPT…that is all I can say…we can not stop it from happening. Ah! ❤

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  20. Marlene what a fascinating process and your photos have captured the whole thing beautifully.. We have a few spots only dotted around the UK where these mobile homes are in place.. So to see the action needed to re-locate one had my attention..
    I hope your neighbours home is soon fully stabilised and the ground secure beneath .
    Sending Hugs your way and much Love Marlene..
    Sue

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    • I’m glad to learn you have them there as well. It’s all I could afford and less expensive then renting an apartment because the rents kept going up. As a single woman with limited means, It was my best option and I make the best of it. They will probably never put another house on the lot. Then neighbor moved to another house up the street and the house was sold to an individual who moved it out of the park to an independently owned lot in another city. It could take more than a year to stabilize that ground. Thanks for the visit. Smoke is gone today so I could get outside again. More photos. 🙂

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  21. Holy cow Marlene-ee, your poor neighbour. That’s just too disappointing, disruptive must really be so expensive. Did your neighbour own or lease her lot? I’ve had nightmares of our house floating away. Especially when we lived at the lake. It’s handy that the house can be split in two though. I’m happy you weren’t living there! That sounds terribly un-empathetic to the poor home owner but honestly, I would be so worrried for you.
    How fab for your aster to make an appearance, all be it, late-for-the-party. Maybe next year it’ll go nuts?! Let’s hope. My garden is slowly going to sleep. I bought mums for a party two weekends ago and they too are fading. I chopped back some perrenials the other day and so I’m almost ready for a garden break. But today was 29 C…..crazy for mid September. Did I tell you I have the whole month off? It’s been so nice, working on my projects and spending time with Jim. And looking forward to time with Alys too. Big hugs xoxo

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    • I am so happy you have a month off to catch your breath and enjoy life a bit more slowly. We had 32.C yesterday and I’m so ready for autumn. It is cooling down this week with possible rain next week That may help our fires.
      The Aster is Septembers flower because that is when it comes into bloom. Obviously not a day before. Right now the whole bush is in bloom and I took a photo of it. It will be spent by the end of the month. I too am getting the garden ready for rest but we are just too warm right now for it to happen.
      As for my neighbor, we all lease the property our homes are on. The park owns the land, We own the house. Hers was sold to someone willing to move it out of the park to their own property. If I could afford land, I would do that too but I really like having neighbors around. She bought another place up the street with no drop off behind her. I looked carefully at this location before I purchased this place. But the earth moves all the time so there are no guarantees. Have a lovely month of visits and fun. Giant squishy hugs.

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