Making corrections…Staying on track…Self discipline…

Frank and The Misses stop by several times a day, making a mess of the seed container. They don’t like sunflower seeds, so they pick through the container to toss them aside.

Self-discipline is a peculiar thing. It’s described as follows:

/ˈˌself ˈdisiplin/

Part 2…A wild and fascinating cultural experience…All new photos….Do YOU have a story to tell?

We’ve often seen balloon guys hauling these big batches on their motorbikes.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

These boys fished for several hours in the heat of the sun.

Often, we share an experience in more than one post. With wifi limitations preventing the posting of too many photos and our desire to maintain a reasonable length of any daily post, a particular story or event may require multiple days of posting. Today’s continuing photos from yesterday’s post clearly illustrate this fact.

Buffaloes were lining up for their turn at the races.

Yesterday, was our 1400th post since the date of our first story in March 2012. At the onset, we posted a few photos and posted a few times a week, having no idea how many readers, we’d acquire other than friends and family over these years.

A young “jockey” in position for the upcoming race.

Much to our surprise, as our readership grew. Readers came from all over the world and began sharing our posts with their friends, relatives, and neighbors. In the stats in Blogger which we can review at any time, we’ve watched the list of countries from entries into our site grow and change over the years.

Flower petals and burning incense are lined along the road providing prayers and good fortune for the race.

This has been exciting for us. Our enthusiasm over this growth has never lost its magical charm in motivating us to continue with the telling of our ongoing story and our daily lives, albeit at times mundane existence.

The smell of the incense burning was pleasant among all the other smells.

In March 2013, one year after we started our first post (on March 15, 2012), we began posting daily as opposed to a few times each week. This feature manifested from the discovery that often our experiences couldn’t be told on a Saturday to be continued two or three days later and maintain their flow and significance.

Many of the elaborate costumes are handmade.

For many of our readers, it was comparable to reading chapters in a book. One doesn’t want to have to put it down and wait three days to read again. As an avid reader, I’ve become impatient waiting a day for the next part of a story, although each night I do so when sleepiness befalls me and I turn off my phone.

Any of our lives are a continuing story. Although our story may not seem interesting enough for any of us to share, we may surprise ourselves how we can find a way to extrapolate tidbits of our daily existence worthy of note by others. 

Off they go down the narrow racecourse, lined with spectators on both sides.

Our thoughts, our dreams, and our hopes all encompass a story to be told that is easily illustrated in Facebook whether its a new bloom in your garden, a smile on your grandchild’s face, or a lopsided cake you’ve baked in your kitchen, it all holds a certain appeal most of us find interesting enough to give it a “like.”

The buffaloes stayed relatively calm until the race began.

When looking through the timeline of any FB participant in our list of “friends” we can easily formulate a story of their lives as they’ve progressed over the years with events big and small, powerful and insignificant. At times, our stories are profound and at other times, outrageously humorous.

This is the queue where race participants awaited their turn.

We all have a story to tell. Years ago, Tom’s mother, Mary Lyman, narrated a book about her life and her family which was penned by an author who’d done this for many others with a desire to document their life story and family history in the written word to be bound into a book upon completion.

The buffalo’s horns were covered in these “socks” adding to the wide array of decorations.

Once completed, every family member was given a copy, a gift from Mary. Although blind, her memory was keen and her head was filled with stories that held significance to each family member in one way or another. What a gift to bestow upon one’s family! Mary lived until 98, only four months from her 99th birthday. 

Somehow we made our way through the crowds to find a decent viewing spot.

The content in Mary’s book wasn’t for the mass audience but the treasures of the stories she told will remain in the hearts and minds of her family for generations to come. 

The air was thick with cigarette smoke. It appears many Balinese men smoke although we’ve seen few women doing so.

Perhaps, there’s a story inside of you to share. It’s relatively quick and painless to start a blog. If the concept is intimidating, perhaps a savvy grandchild or friend can set it up for you. 

You need not worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammar. The flow of your words will be what matters to those who love you and those who will be blessed to read your words in years to come.

Pretty little flowers blooming along the entrance road.

And for us, these average everyday people who we are, we remain in awe of our readership that continues to grow each and every year. We thank all of you for “traveling along with us” as we tell our stories…however trivial or meaningful they may be, however repetitive or fresh they may appear, knowing we’re never alone with each of you at our side.

Tell your story!  We’d love to read it!

Photo from one year ago today, May 31, 2015:

Vacation/holiday huts set into the side of the mountain on the island of Moorea, photo taken while on a dolphin tour.  We saw many dolphins but the sea was too rough for any good photos. For more, please see here.

The driving force…Commitment to what seemed impossible…

Fiji’s version of a “quick and easy,” or a superette.

Five years ago, if someone had told me that every morning when I settled in with my mug of coffee, nestled into the comfiest spot I could find, that I would write an essay about my daily life including new photos, I’d have laughed out loud.

In my career when I prepared a letter, an advertisement, or an article for a publication, I labored over it for hours to ensure accuracy, correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Often, I’d reread the item dozens of times. 

Was the message clear and concise? Was the content open and vulnerable enough to appeal to most readers?  Did a professional persona encompass the content?

Until I was satisfied, the work drove me on until completion, rarely taking time out for anything other than grabbing another cup of coffee or tea. Seldom, did I ever leave a project unfinished for another day unless it was a lengthy training manual or proposal I was preparing, in which case I’d only end the day at the end of a chapter, diligently beginning again the following day.

This classic Billy Goat is tied up.

It’s different now. Adrenaline isn’t pumping through my veins nor is my heart racing. After my usual two mugs of coffee, I switch to water or caffeine free iced tea. I don’t need the push. 

My only concern for the day is having ample photos to post. Has inclement weather kept us from exploring? Are the readers tiring of photos of plants, trees, and flowers, my go-to when sightseeing photos are dwindling from our last outing? Bear with me, they will continue.

It’s not a task, writing each day. Nor is it in the category of brushing one’s teeth upon awakening, a habit one can tackle with little if any, forethought. I don’t awaken dreading what lies ahead, the job I undertake each and every morning when we’re not on the move on a travel day. Hardly.

Today’s post is #1174, not a milestone, just a number. How does a person do over 1000 of anything, other than the routines and habits we incorporate into our lives on a daily basis? It’s hard for me to grasp. Were they not numbered, I may have guessed at a lot less, had I not done them every day, year after year, with numbers rolling around in my brain.

Homes for Fijians along the highway. Most homes are this type, above the ground to protect from water seepage.

In thinking of our loyal readers, all over the world, I often wonder if they read our posts as if its a newspaper article they fancy, in a similar way I’d search for Ann Landers in my old newspaper reading days, wondering what tidbits of wisdom I could glean from other people’s lives or perhaps reaffirm the simplicity of mine.

For reasons only imagined, our readers continue to read, through the mundane activities of our daily lives with the same enthusiasm as the excitement of major life-changing events. We marvel as we watch the stats daily, amazed how any one day’s content has little to do with the readership all over the world.

We see the excitement of but a tiny portion of our future; the Pantanal in Brazil, the Galapagos Islands, and Antarctica, all on our “to do,” list, all of which we’re researching now to be booked in the next year or so.  There’s so much world left to see. 

We’re not adventure seekers. We don’t snorkel, scuba dive, or bungee. We have limitations due to my health and yet now, gratefulness washing over me daily for what I can do, as opposed to what I can’t.

Clothes dryers aren’t common in Fiji as in many parts of the world. The humidity these past weeks has made line drying a few day process.

We love life, relishing in each day of good health, of another day to take a “crack at it” to shape and mold our existence to one of joy, freedom, and accomplishment.

The driving force behind this daily exercise in words and photos? To leave a legacy for generations to come? To document a once-in-a-lifetime experience for however long we are able to make it last? To keep our family and friends informed? All of these.

Above all, the thought that even one reader, wherever they may be, can enjoy a daily read that makes them smile, shrug at our foibles, become annoyed with our occasional whining, and say to themselves, “That crazy life is not for me!” This, dear readers, is the driving force. Thank you for the inspiration!

Photo from one year ago today, October 20, 2014:

We took this photo one year ago from the shore at our condo in Maui after police on jet skis had rescued a diver who’d been attacked by a shark. For details on this story and published press photos, please click here.