coming full circle: summertime amidst virginia’s flowers

Monday, August 4: Last summer, when I first arrived back in Virginia after two years away, I visited Meadowlark Botanical Gardens around this same time, in early August: meadowlark botanical gardens & the new korean bell garden. Here I am, a year later, visiting the gardens again as I prepare to take off again to exotic lands.

I finished teaching my summer classes last Friday, and now I have a bit of a break before I go to China.  Mike and I are going on a week-long trip to Puerto Rico from August 9-16; we both could use some fun and relaxation after everything we went through in July.  It looks like I’ll be flying out from here on August 30 to get to Nanning by September 1.  Most of the rest of my time will be filled with wrapping up details here in Virginia and getting ready to go.

This morning, I take a walk through Meadowlark Botanical Gardens to see the summer flowers in Virginia one last time.  I’m sure Nanning, the capital city of subtropical Guangxi Province, will have plenty of pretty flowers of its own, so I’m not worried.  I’m sure both Puerto Rico and China will have plenty of interesting sights to see!

I begin my walk at Meadowlark at 10 a.m., as soon as they open their doors.  I’m delighted to find this sculpture has been moved closer to the entrance, and it’s now surrounded by pretty flowers.  It used to sit in a spot off the beaten path, and with no flowers around it.  I love its new home.

This sculpture has a new home.
This sculpture has a new home.

Click on any of the pictures below for a full-sized slide show.

For practical reasons, I probably won’t be posting any more photos on this blog for quite some time.  My upgraded media storage expires on August 13, and as I’ll only be in Virginia for less than two weeks, it doesn’t make sense to renew it for now.

idyllic scene
idyllic scene

If you want to see my travels in Puerto Rico, I’ll be posting on this blog: notes from north america.

For my time in China, you can check out a blog I started when I visited Beijing in fall of 2010:  catbird in china.

I’ve heard Facebook is blocked in China, so I won’t be able to post anything on there.  I’m not even sure I’ll be able to blog.  But if I am, these places are where you’ll find me!

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22 thoughts on “coming full circle: summertime amidst virginia’s flowers

  1. This is certainly a lovely post to leave us on. I hope you can blog in China, or at least keep in touch via email. Take care Cathy and good luck with all your new adventures 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Jude. I hope I can blog in China too. Otherwise, what on earth will I do with myself? I’ll just have to go non-stop and see as much as I can, taking lots of pictures along the way!

  2. Beautiful pix Cathy! wow you even saw a bunny 🙂
    I’m sure you’ll be able to blog from China. You have to. We’re counting on you to share it with us.

    1. Thanks, Rosie! I know, I couldn’t believe that bunny just sat there and didn’t run away when I took his picture! I can’t wait to explore Puerto Rico and China! These will be whole new worlds for me, except for Beijing, which I’ve visited before. However, I don’t think I’ll make it to Beijing this time around. I’ll stay in the south, close to my new “home.”

    1. Don’t worry, Ruth. I’m way behind with everything after the July we had and all my job applications since January. Yes, I got a job in Nanning, China beginning September 1st. I’ll be there until July 25, 2015. I’m nervous…. and very excited. 🙂

  3. Beautiful gardens, thank you for sharing. A week in Puerto Rico should be perfect for relaxing and enjoying. I look forward to your blogs.

    Sent from my iPad

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  4. Oh, Lordy! Here we go, chasing you around the world again! 🙂 🙂
    What a feast of loveliness this is, Cathy. Especially love those green seed heads(?) by the water.
    Take good care of yourself, hon, and happy travels! I’ll try and keep up 🙂

    1. Thanks Jo. Yes, here I go again. At least it keeps me young and alive to be thrust into these new situations!

      I’m glad you enjoyed my garden walk. I loved those green seed heads too. Don’t know what they are as I’m never patient enough to read all the placards, and when I do, I always forget the names anyway. Thanks for the happy travel wishes. I’m excited about Puerto Rico, as it’s all for fun, but I’m a mix of nervous and excited about China, as it involves work! 🙂

  5. Hello Cathy,

    May I talk with you by phone. 703.966.2144. I live in Herndon. Reading your blog inspired me as a person. I felt a connection. Your words comforted me and they inspired me. They made me smile, laugh, and think. I look forward to PURCHASING your book. Yes, I want to pay for it to support the author and so that books will stay in circulation. I have a a Kindle Paperwhite, but it’s nothing like holding a book in the hand and experiencing turning the pages to eagerly see what happens next.

    I have been offered a job at the University of a Nizwa. I would truly like to talk with you. Would you please call me at 703.966.2144.

    M. Teresa Yacoub teresayacoub@myesolclass.org http://www.myesolclass.org

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    1. Hi Teresa,
      I’m finally settling in back home and I look forward to talking with you! I hope I can get my book out there someday. My confidence has been flagging of late, and I have yet to send out a single query letter. Now I’m busy preparing for China. I wonder if I’ll ever get that book published!

  6. Cathy, Meadowlark is a beautiful garden – great photos. I can’t believe we never made it there when we lived in Virginia. And I’m excited for you going to Puerto Rico – another place I haven’t been yet, so I’m excited to see what you discover. And of course China will be so fun. I’m so happy that things worked our for you. All the best, Terri

    1. Meadowlark is beautiful, so if you ever make it to Virginia, I’d love to be your guide! Puerto Rico was great; barely have time to post about it before leaving for China on Saturday afternoon. I’ve got too much to do and am feeling stressed…. and excited!!

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