my gentle giant

I discovered this image of my husband Jeff’s legs this morning.  The photo had cool shadows and movement to work with.  After a bit of goofing off and layering—this series is what emerged.

Jeff is off exploring his world right now in a very BIG way.  The first image on the road reminds me of the South Dakota Monster stories my Dad told all seven of his grandchildren.  I don’t see my husband as a monster though—much more like a gentle giant.

We’ve always told our children that they are part prairie & part sea.  When I started choosing photos to layer with Jeff’s legs I was naturally drawn to images of the prairie and the sea.

Here’s to your big adventures this weekend, wherever your feet take you.

Jeff walking on the prairie Lisa Lillibridgeexploring the prairie lisa lillibridgeJeff Govoni on beach approach bigger than lifeFacing our Fears Lisa LillibridgeJP heading to sea

Taking on the World

  1. South Dakota two-lane road near Burke
  2. Abandoned farmhouse south of Burke, South Dakota
  3. Town Neck Beach approach,—Sandwich, Massachusetts
  4. Everglade National Park in Florida
  5. Town Neck Beach, Sandwich, Massachusetts
  6. Florence, Italy

You know how your day can have a theme?

This morning over coffee I asked my husband, Jeff what needed his attention the most today? “slowing down” he said. Then we sang John Prine’s “Sound of the Speed of Loneliness” which has some great lyrics and a theme kept emerging for my day.

You’ve broken the speed of the sound of loneliness
You’re out there running just to be on the run

Later, I went to a dance class at the South End Studio and as we cooled down and stretched, our instructor, Linda said, “surrender to gravity”.  I’m not usually a big fan of gravity, but it felt really great—quiet, surrendering to gravity and stretching my spine.

In this era of BUSY being a badge of honor…I want to act dishonorably, get quiet and slow down.

When I am smart enough slow down and accept some quiet (which isn’t quite often enough):  I work smarter.  I’m more creative and deliberate.  I’m less reactive.  I see my options. I’m more productive. This got me wondering what Confucius, Whitman and others had to say about this quiet. Turns out quite a bit actually.  Of course they did.

Walt Whitman/Give me the Splendid, Silent Sun “GIVE me the splendid silent sun, with all his beams full-dazzling;…Give me nights perfectly quiet, as on high plateaus west of the Mississippi, and I looking up at the stars;…”

“If he who does not know kept silent, discord would cease.” —Socrates

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”      ―Will Rogers

It isn’t easy to find time for quiet other than sleep in our days. However, it might be necessary when the world is just too loud all the time.  Here’s to quiet.  Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Yesterday was one of the best days of my life…

and I feel like it needs to be acknowledged.  I actually had a moment where I told my husband, Jeff “this is one of my favorite days of my life”. They don’t roll around all the time and they deserve to be savored.

I have to tell you about mine—July 22nd, 2015.

We got up early (6am) and went to the Sandwich, Massachusetts Flea Market to hunt for treasures.  After a stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee with our friend, Christie we began our quest for the odd and collectable.  I found a gorgeous bowl and this tablecloth that I may use as part of a piece for the STRUT fashion show in Burlington, VT in September. Both cost me 9 bucks.

sandwich flea market lillibridge bowl

http://www.thesandwichbazaar.com/summer-market

Then we lathered on sunscreen and took our kayaks to Bourne, Massachusetts.  We wanted a light lunch before we peddled (we have peddle kayaks, not a typo) so we stopped at one of our favorite places; The Lobster Trap for a stuffed quahog and a beer. I ordered a Leinenkugel Summer Shanty (low alcohol, lemony & refreshing) and the rep. for Leinenkugel was seated next to us so our beers were on him.  A nice surprise.

If you don’t know what a stuffed quahog is I have to share with you.  This seafood item is one of the reasons I married my husband.  That was about 25 years ago.  It’s a clam, cooked, chopped and mixed with stuffing, chorizo (a spicy Portuguese sausage that goes beautifully with seafood), celery, onion, garlic and then put back into the shell and baked. You then cover them with butter, a squeeze of lemon (and for me TABASCO sauce) and enjoy.

Jeff wrote this story about them…funny how a stuffed clam can loom so large in our lives.

http://springtideleadership.com/2012/06/09/how-to-make-the-perfect-stuffed-quahog/

quohag lillibridge

Leinenkugel-Summer-Shandy

http://www.lobstertrap.net/home

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http://www.sturgisboatworks.com/ (Where we got these boats.)

Next we took our Hobie peddle kayaks to Monument Beach and unloaded them.  They are fast so you can cover a lot of territory.  I personally couldn’t paddle as far as I can peddle.  We’ve never been boaters and we never have the right gear for anything we do, but I have to admit that these boats have been a blast.  I love seeing the world from the vantage point of the water.

We watched young osprey about to take their first flight (the parents were encouraging them in a tone not unlike mine when I’m trying to get my teenagers to do something). Sorry kids. It wasn’t a pretty birdsong, but watching them was fascinating.

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We heard people laughing on the beach, zig zagged between moored sailboats, saw amazing houses and got to the rough seas at the start of the Cape Cod Canal channel near Mashnee Island…we quickly turned around though to explore calmer waters. I like a little danger in my kayaking, but I’m not stupid.  We went into the Eel River which was stunning.  We saw cranes, oyster beds and homes right on the water that gave it that swampy feeling and with the canopy of the trees it was really cool.

The beauty of this day—alone with my husband on an adventure, free beer, a stuffed quahog, seeing wildlife, getting exercise, fresh air and learning how to read the sea was pretty wonderful.

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oysters

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photo

After a swim to cool off and loading up the kayaks we headed home to shower and take off for a Neil Young concert at the Xfinity Center.  It was a great show—amazing people watching.  Neil Young is probably the musician that informed my young life the most during my freshman year of college in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (University of Sioux Falls, formerly Sioux Falls College—back in the day). Oh, and we didn’t know they were coming but Jeff’s brother, Joe and his wife Gretchen were there too…another fun surprise of the day.

jeff and lisa at neil young neil young lillibridge

I’m not writing this to tell you how awesome my life is.  I’m writing this to encourage everyone to really take notice of those special days and moments in our lives.  We need them to call upon during our darker times.  Honor those days.  It makes life sweet.