Posted in #weekendcoffeeshare, Nature and Outdoors, Occasional Features, SkyWatch Friday, Unschooling, Weekly Features

It’s a Skywatch Friday #weekendcoffeeshare!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you to come on in. It’s cold outside, and due to get colder, but it’s warm and cozy and snug in here. No fire yet – our lean season meant we didn’t order firewood ahead, and my Accomplice’s aging shoulders mean he’s not up to splitting and cutting the way he used to. Besides, although I’ve been making a concerted effort to clean the house, those efforts haven’t yet made it to the living room, which I don’t use that much, and where the wood stove often becomes an off-season place to park All The Things caught in a sort of small-house-busy-family limbo.

Leaf on the windshield...
Leaf on the windshield…

Anyway, my study’s pretty comfy these days, and so is the family room. I’ll let you decide where we sit while I chatter and pour, OK?

The path to the Mansion, overlooking Albany and the Hudson River.
The path to the Mansion, overlooking Albany and the Hudson River.

Now that you’re settled, I’d like to offer you one of these devil’s food cake doughnuts to go with your beverage – and, oh, did you notice that I’ve decluttered and cleaned the beverage area since last week?! You can find chai, hot cocoa, or many varieties of tea in the basket – and, yes, now that you mention it, it is a bit funny that I have so many kinds of tea when I tend to be overwhelmingly a coffee kind of soul…

It’s my nod to the people I love who love tea, and my own occasional desire for a cuppa.

The view from here....
The view from here….

So, I see you’ve noticed the pictures, and the blog title. So, I might as well explain. You see, I love the sky. Watching clouds, and taking pictures of the sky, is something of a passion for me. I’m often found wishing I could paint what I see, but I don’t seem to have any native skill at that art, so I tend to use my camera and editing programs to achieve something similar.

A view of sky  and Schuyler Mansion...and scaffolding, as restoration work continues.
A view of sky  and Schuyler Mansion…and scaffolding, as restoration work continues.

A few weeks back, at the peak of leaf season in upstate New York, my daughter and I went to tour the Schuyler Mansion as part of our Hamiltonian explorations (we are very fortunate to live, if I may paraphrase, in the state where it happened). Alexander and Eliza were married at the mansion in 1780, and, although I’m a native to this area, I’d never been there.

Foliage against a gray sky....
Foliage against a gray sky….

It was a rainy day, and the colors of the leaves were vibrant in contrast with brick and stone and gray skies. The elegant mansion from a bygone century was a gracious contrast to the modern urban sprawl that’s grown up around it. My daughter, bright and alive, somehow fit in this place…

Sky seen through autumnal trees.
Sky seen through autumnal trees.

There’s something magical about exploring history with a child. Granted, at twelve, she’s not as young or wide-eyed about things as she once was, but she is still relatively new in the world, and full of life and potential. She’s a reminder that everyone was young once, a child once. She gives me a different perspective on things – she loved wandering the grounds and chasing after a neighborhood cat who’s made them part of his turf. She enjoyed wandering around the large upstairs hall, but not so much the actual tour, where we were roped off from most of the historic space, and things followed a set format. She would probably have enjoyed it even less if we’d taken the standard, Schuyler-family oriented tour rather than the one specially oriented to Alexander Hamilton’s connection to the place and the family he married into.

I sky in  this one...but this star shines brightly on a gray day, anyway! Lise, at 12, getting historical. =D
I know….no sky in  this one…but this star shines brightly on a gray day, anyway! Lise, at 12, getting historical. =D

She and I will be going back, at the beginning of next month, for Twelfth Night festivities. It’ll be a different experience, to be there in the winter, to explore a holiday we’re not so familiar with, and to see how it was celebrated when our nation was new. It’s being held the day before she turns twelve-and-a-half, at the cusp of the point where she begins to leave childhood behind, and move closer to adolescence.

This post is a joint #weekendcoffeeshare / Skywatch Friday venture. Click on the links for more coffee breaks and/or great sky posts!  

Did you enjoy this little trip into the skies over the Schuyler Mansion? Please drop your comments in the box below – it’s kind of like having coffee with each other for real. =)

And now, I’ll wrap up with my very favorite sky picture from that trip…taken through the sunroof of our car when we returned to where we’d parked it beneath the maple trees.


Magical editing; magical leaf; muted sky...
Magical editing; magical leaf; muted sky…


I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

2 thoughts on “It’s a Skywatch Friday #weekendcoffeeshare!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the company, and the coffee. That leaf was so beautiful, and a bit of editing really made it magical for me. I love sharing the pictures I find transcendent. I love even more when someone lets me know they were touched by them, too.

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