Happy Mother’s Day to moms throughout the world…Nine zebras came by this morning as a Mother’s Day surprise!…

This morning, Tom had two surprises for me, one consisting of nine zebras in the garden that he kept feeding as I showered and dressed. I rushed as fast as I could in order to watch the friendly visit of our striped friends. Fortunately, I made it in time before they left and was able to take some photos and a video which we’ve posted above. I did this in time before their departure and I was able to take some pictures and a video we posted above.

Sorry, but the second surprise is a tease. We’ll post it tomorrow with photos we’re excited to share. There’s a bit of editing necessary to present this second surprise and this morning, I’m rushing since we plan to go to Kruger National Park as soon as I get the zebra video uploaded, edited and posted in today’s story. It’s uploaded at this time on YouTube and is expected to be ready soon.

Zebras on the side of the veranda, begging for pellets.

I stopped typing to check and found the video was done, allowing me to continue on with this post which I will be rushing a bit in order for us to get on the road to Kruger National Park and see what treasures we’ll be able to behold while there. Sometimes, it’s a total bust and we don’t see much. Sometimes we are amazed at what is happening before our eyes.

We no longer worry about whether it’s a sunny or cloudy day to visit Kruger when in both cases we can take some decent pictures. Today is partially cloudy and it will be fine for us. It’s been very busy in Kruger the past few weeks, which prevented us from taking a chance and going.

This male must have been the dominant male. He came right up to the table to ask for more pellets.

Nothing is more disappointing than cars backed up, bumper-to-bumper when a sighting is being observed, which often times is wildlife we’ve seen regularly in our garden. For us, after all these years, as a rule, we do not stop at the impalas, warthogs, kudus and wildebeest that we frequently see in our garden.

Most often, we’re on a mission to see cats, elephants, Cape buffalo, rhinos, crocodiles, interesting birds and whatever other treasures and/or surprises the park may have to offer on any given day. As I mentioned a few days ago, it’s somewhat like fishing when patience and perseverance are necessary in order to “catch” anything, in this case, taking photos of some of our favorites.

The others watched him to see if he was successful, but we’d already given them so much, we had to stop.

We often stop at Lower Sabie on the Sabie River for a bathroom break and to take a few photos from the veranda at the Mugg & Bean Restaurant.

Speaking of dinner… Last night, we met Linda and Ken in a new restaurant that we hadn’t tried since our arrival nearly four months ago. The restaurant, Bos, is now in the space formerly occupied by Watergat, in the Bush Centre, just down the road. We’d dined  at Watergat  a few times in year’s past, but we were always disappointed.

Bos was a significant improvement. The service was fine and the food was decent. There were only a few items on the menu I could eat so I opted for roasted chicken and fried eggs. Tom had the ribs and the fries, but he said they’re not comparable to Jabula’s. For us, Jabula will always remain our favorite, but occasionally we can try other options. Our Friday night reservation at Jabula is always in place and always will be.

Then he made eye contact and I melted.

Tom just completed the forms/papers for us to enter Kruger, necessary for anyone, including those like us with an annual Wild Card. We always have to bring the forms and our passports with us in order to gain access.

I will conclude now since we are anxious to get on the road. It takes less than 30 minutes to get to the entrance of the Crocodile Bridge, then the fun begins.

To all the Mothers out there, may your day be filled with wonderful surprises. Happy day to all.

Photo from one year ago today, May 9, 2020:

The sights and sounds of Victoria Falls from both the Zambia and Zimbabwe sides were unlike anything we’ve seen in the past. For more year-ago photos, (which were “repeats” while in lockdown in Mumbai), please click here.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there…Have a beautiful day!…Expectations….

Could this Yellow Candle flower be more exquisite with its white blooms?

Special days such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can easily result in high expectations. Will the kids call?  Did they send a card or greeting? Will they show for a hug and expression of love? Will the Dad of the young ones make an effort to make them aware of this special day for Mom and, vise versa for Dad on Father’s Day?

We all make the assumption that most moms are anxiously waiting at home to be honored on this special day when for some, the day becomes sorrowful and disappointing. Then again, some moms have an expectation that the husband, partner or significant other will create a degree of hoopla only to be disappointed as the day wears on, that no such event or celebration will occur. I do not have that expectation.

Today, as a mom of two sons and step mom to a son and daughter all in their 40’s I have no expectations. We left. We left behind the circle of life and in doing so, perhaps all of those expectations were left behind. 

A single plumeria bloom.

We said we expected nor wanted cards or gifts and not to worry about birthdays and holidays. None of that is necessary to know we are loved. It’s all OK. (We continue to send gifts to our grandchildren on birthdays and holidays and acknowledge all of our children and significant others on their special days).

We chose this life. They did not. In their perfect world, we’d have been those available doting grandparents.  But, we chose a different path for these years of our lives after my decades of ill health. Do it while we can. Life is short. We’ll see them again in the future. We are not lost forever.

Regrets? None.

Do days like today make me sad? No, not at all. But, I do think of them a little more today than yesterday.  They are truly loved, all of them, and will always be loved.

A miniature daisy?

Tom and I both became parents in our teens. At such an early age, we had responsibilities resulting in few worldly experiences in our 20’s other than attempting to live up to those responsibilities. We were young. It wasn’t easy. We did our best. 

In reality, these facts brought Tom and me together. We had the commonality of being such young parents, working too much, and maybe had our priorities mixed up…work…provide…work…provide. 

As a single mom for many years after an early divorce, I did what I thought was right at the time. I was present and then again, I wasn’t. I was so wrapped up in surviving, let alone “making it” as a single parent that at times, I fell short. Tom expresses a similar sentiment.

Luscious hot pink blossoms.

We seldom traveled (one vacation in 20 years) due to my health and we lived a life of expectations that somehow could never be fulfilled. As we’ve aged, the expectations continue to grow…out of reach…perhaps unrealistic.

Still under the weather today, I’m reminded of how fragile our lives really are. One bad illness, surgery or injury and it all could be over, possibly for good. We could be forced to settle somewhere, living a life of doctor appointments, dealing with insurance, medications and medical care.

As much as we may try to avoid that possibility, I have to face the facts that I’ll be 70 in a few years and for many this is when ill health begins (or sooner for some). No matter what measures one may take to stay healthy, we still can fall prey to an unexpected illness.

Plumeria trees are on a blooming frenzy now that spring is here.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit concerned that I haven’t yet “turned the corner” after almost 48 hours on antibiotics. Our cruise departs two weeks from today. If I’m not on the mend by tomorrow, I’ll have no choice but to call for a different course of antibiotics which of course, I despise taking. Without them, it would only get worse.

Today, we continue to hunker down while I rest, drinking tons of water, hoping that at any moment, I’ll discover that the pain is gone and I’m on the mend. This, dear readers will be cause for celebration on this day or the next.

Again, we wish all of our mom readers a Happy Mother Day by lightening up on the expectations and living another fine day filled with love. I know I will.

                                              Photo from one year ago today, May 10, 2014:

Near the entrance to the Medina in Marrakech, we stopped at the ATM. For details as to why we wrote about “sexist steak portions,” please click here.

To all the Mums…Happy Mother’s Day…100 year anniversary of Mother’s Day today…

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms all over the world. This flower was blooming on the rooftop restaurant where we dined.

For me, a Skype call, email or Facebook message will fill my heart with all it needs. As world travelers we can’t receive cards and gifts, leaving us content with a simple acknowledgement. How we’ve changed.

Years ago, I’d await the arrival of the loved ones to make the day special. Even Tom fell prey to the expectation of purchasing flowers along with a well written card with lacy pink decorations to be sitting on the kitchen counter when I awoke, espousing the perfect phrase, magically applying to us. Yeah, for Hallmark!

Since he’d already been responsible for doing the dishes, I’d busy myself making a special meal ensuring whatever it was he’d also like. Tricky. Over many years the kids and grandkids would come to call. But in later years, as they created their own traditions, a card and or gift arrived another day. But the phone call always came. That’s how life is. We all make our own place in this world, doing what works best for us, for our family.

So, today, another Mother’s Day arrives and I have no regrets, no sorrow, just contentment. My son and daughter-in-law posted adorable photos for us on Facebook from grandson Miles’ 6th birthday party yesterday, a darling Lego theme that was so befitting his recent passion. Also, included was a video of our first of two granddaughters Maisie, singing and dancing on her first YouTube video. So sweet.

As the day awakens in that side of the world, I’m sure we’ll see more photos and wishes from my two stepchildren and three more grandchildren. That’s all I want or need. My  eldest son in Las Vegas, Nevada never fails to observe a special day with a Skype call or email. Expectations are minimal in this life we live. We appreciate the simplest acknowledgement.

Perhaps, it’s easier this way. Father’s Day will be no different as are all of the celebratory days of the year. A few words of acknowledgement, a token of love is all that is required for us in this vagabond life we live.

This morning after settling in on my seat on the uncomfortable sofa in the salon, onto which we’d added bed pillows long ago to soften the load, I looked at Tom and said, “Well, we’re waiting.” (A favorite line of my sons from their favorite movie as kids, Caddy Shack).

He looked at me in amazement wondering what I could possibly be “expecting.” Several minutes passed and finally I saved him from his bewilderment, “Say, Happy Mother’s Day,” I muttered. We both chuckled.

Roses grown in Morocco are beautiful in the spring. (Previously posted).

He said, “Oh, yeah, Happy Mother’s Day, Sweetie!” I know every year he’d think that I’m not his mother (rest her dear soul) and such wishes were unnecessary. In our old lives, he fell prey to my expectations. Not so much now. It no longer bothers me.

Why would it bother me? In a mere four days I’m going to the resort island of Madeira for two and a half months and then off for two weeks in Paris, then two weeks in London, then two weeks on a cruise to see the Northern Lights in Iceland.  Who’s complaining? Not I.

Yes, life s good. The itchy bites, the annoyances, the 5:00 am chirping birds, cooing pigeons, crowing rooster and the Islam Call-to-Prayer have been a part of our daily lives these past two months. As we move along, other such unique morsels will step in their place, like the ringing of the clock tower next door to the house in Italy last summer and the baahs of the goats in Kenya.

We continue on with love, hope and prayers for the future for all our loved ones, friends and readers from all over the world.  Happy Mother’s Day but more so, Happy Every Day!

Photo from one year ago today, May 11, 2013:

OK, over the past few day I mistakenly posted the wrong dates photos and links from one year ago. Sorry for the inconvenience. So today is catch up day. The following photo is in its place from May 11, 2013.

For some odd reason, Mohammed, our security guy in black in this photo, with the UZI in his back pocket, took a liking to us and stayed at our side the entire time we visited the site of the Great Pyramids. For details of that date, please click here.