Tag Archives: Hope

Winter. Hope. And Other Animal Encounters.

We have Winter here in Clearwater, Florida. She is a rescued Bottlenose dolphin, whose tail had to be amputated. But thanks to some inventive and compassionate people, she now has a new prosthetic tail – and a permanent home.

winter UD148_edited-1She is the star of two wonderful films, The Dolphin Tale and the Dolphin Tale 2. But even more importantly, she is the star in the hearts of countless kids who have met her and her friend Hope at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Hope and Winter UD148Despite its name this is not a traditional aquarium, but a marine hospital and rehabilitation center where injured animals are brought from near and far for urgent care and rehabilitation.

staff feeds a sea turtle UD148The two dolphins, and a third one called Nicholas, live here getting all the care and therapies they need on a daily basis. They have certainly made a lasting impression on my ‘grandies’.

going to feed Hope UD148_edited-1This past holiday season Santa brought them an opportunity to have a close encounter with Hope. They could feed her, touch her and get a photo taken with her. Absolute joy.

Hope with a trainer UD148_edited-1One of the last days of 2017 we also visited the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, where we found this baby chimpanzee pondering the complexities of life…

Baby chimpanzee UD148…while his friend, a colobus monkey, demonstrated his gymnastic skills. And his fancy haircut.

colobus monkey UD148We saw many birds, including a Scarlet Ibis and a beautiful mystery bird I have not been able to identify as yet. Anyone?

scarlet ibis UD148

mystery bird at Lowry park zoo UD148_edited-1And we watched the meerkats watching us. The one on guard duty, in particular, nailed his eyes on us. But we were on our best behavior and he didn’t need to sound alarm.meerkat UD148_edited-1In the “Africa” section we spotted elephants, zebras…and a giraffe couple having a tender moment.

elephant UD148

young zebra UD148

giraffe love UD148I’d rather observe all these animals in their natural environment like I used to, but have to admit well run zoos offer the kids an invaluable opportunity to experience them.

my family at the zoo UD148And some zoos, including this one, also help to breed endangered species. Four southern white rhino babies have already been born here.

southern white rhino ud148There was so much more to see, like this sweet little wallaby basking in the late December sun.

wallaby UD148But when you are dealing with a granny and two kids, there’s a limit how much you can take in during one visit. So late in the afternoon we had to say goodbye. Thank you for coming along!

parakeet ud148

Paved with Hope

Life’s path is not straight

Constant detours

Free-hand drawn curves

Lined with flowers and sticks

Butterflies and boulders

It can feel unpredictable.

But if you stop and look at it

Carefully against the blue sky

It will appear purposeful

Even beautiful in spots

And you will notice

It is paved with Hope.

Sail. Today.

The pessimist complains about the wind;

the optimist expects it to change;

the realist adjusts the sails.

– William Arthur Ward

*

Opportunity is like sunset,

if you wait too long,

it’s gone.

Adapted from William Arthur Ward

*

Today is the most unusual day,

because we have never lived it before;

we will never live it again;

it is the only day we have.

– William Arthur Ward

I wish you smooth sailing this weekend. May your sails, love, hope and faith, be full and your sunset beautiful. Love always, Tiny

A New Year

A new year is a simple unit of time

a short fragment of eternity

a precious gift from the universe.

A new year is a repeat offering

to try new things, to make mistakes

to learn from them and to grow.

A new year is a renewed invitation

to live each minute of it mindfully

harboring love and hope but no fear.

A new year is a thousand opportunities

to bring a smile on a stranger’s face

a sparkle of joy on an angel’s wing.