Picture Perfect: My Favorite Flower

A favorite movie can earn its rank for any number of reasons.  The story itself can have special meaning for you, or you might connect with the characters.  It might become a favorite because of when or where you first saw it, or because you can watch it over and over and never get tired of it.  (And a shout-out to New Jersey always good too – Hello, New Jersey!)  For all of these reasons, and many more, You’ve Got Mail is my favorite movie.

Daisies in Colonial Park

For the last ten-plus years (has it really been that long?) I’ve loved this movie for its simple story, for the beautifully written characters, for all of the books, and the daisies.  Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan’s character) loves daisies in the movie, and they’re my favorite flower, too.  I just watched the movie again the other night, and it got me craving a bouquet of fresh daisies for my kitchen table.

For now, I’ll settle for the next best thing and share this photo of daisies I took a little while ago.  It’s from Colonial Park, and – as any picture with daisies in it is – it’s Picture Perfect to me…

The Jersey Girl

Picture Perfect: A Sense of Vacation

The other day, several of my students were (needlessly) gathered around my desk.  I pointed this out, and asked them to please vacate the area and return to their own desks.  They (proceeded to do what they do whenever I use a word they don’t know, and) stopped in their tracks, stared at me, and waited for the explanation.  A teachable moment emerged, and so we discussed what it means to “vacate” and how the word is similar to the word “vacation.”

On vacation in Colonial Park

That conversation from earlier in the week has had me thinking a lot about vacations.  To me, a vacation doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to go very far or even physically leave, but that I get to have a break from my routine, a temporary escape.  With summer on its way, especially, I am ready for a vacation!

I took this Picture Perfect photo in Colonial Park in Franklin Township, NJ when I truly felt a sense of vacation.  I was outside, on a warm and breezy day, in a comfy place to sit, and had a good book – with most of the pages still ahead of me…

The Jersey Girl

Colonial Park, Franklin Township

Thankfully, the weather cooperated very nicely yesterday!

Colonial Park, Franklin Township

Colonial Park, Franklin Township

When I arrived at Colonial Park around 8 o’clock in the morning, there were already plenty of other people there, walking their dogs, sitting and chatting with friends on benches, or exercising.  (The latter is what I should have really been doing myself!)

I packed a bag with the map of the park, my camera, voice recorder, pen and paper, a novel, and some snacks.  Because I had the map ahead of time, I had a general sense of where I was going.  I parked my car near the entrance to the Lois Howe Nature Trail.  Until recently, I have not been much of a hiker.  My first true hiking experience was the nearly seven mile hike through the Cinque Terre in Italy earlier this summer (not a bad first hike, if I say so). The idea of intentionally setting out to explore a trail in the woods is still a new notion of mine, and so I carried a bit of trepidation with me as I started the trail.  The ground was damp and increasingly growing hotter with the intense morning sun.  It was a lot buggier than I had thought it might be.  Normally bugs don’t bother with me.  These did.  So, it took me a few seconds to become accustomed to walking with them landing on me every now and then.  I think one of them actually bit me above my right knee.  Pretty soon though, none of that mattered. Continue reading