Follow Us @soratemplates

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Owls, Orchids, and the Outdoor Sisterhood

what a joyous sculpture to find hidden in the little pond
It's been a wild few days since my last post, and time to start getting caught up from all that outdoor time and start sharing. In my last post I shared that I was vacillating back and forth - trying to make some hard decisions.I am more than pleased to say that those decisions have been made, I'm happy with them, and exponentially less stressed and anxious since that  whole decision making process is behind me.

I arrived at my surgeons after the one and one half hour drive, literally still with no firm decision in place. I had driven my dear husband absolutely batty with it during the drive. I'm sure he was ready to tell me to just shut up and make a decision, but wise man that he is he just  told me to do what my gut said was best.
I was still in a twist when I walked in the door of the doctors office only to be told that after the long drive, the doctor had been held up in surgery and couldn't see me until much later in the day. Perhaps I'd like  to come back the next day.

Ummm - NO. It's a heck of a drive, it's harvest time here in Southern Illinois and I was already feeling guilty that my husband was wasting a day with me rather than being in the field cutting beans and sowing winter wheat. Nope not coming back. I'll see the good doctor later today.

Maybe it was fate, maybe it was all that positive energy and thoughts that I'd received in the previous days from outdoor sisters, but that delay was just what I needed.

The receptionist explained that a squirrel had managed to get in a transformer and  cause a power outage at the hospital next door where the doctor was performing surgery. I'm quite sure she thought I was crazy when that story made me laugh out loud.

You see, just the night before my dear friend and Outdoor Sister Tammy Ballew AKA Camo Mom and I had a good laugh about TeamWON being with me in spirit. I thought it would be good if the WON Guns were there in person, as I recalled my doctors oft heard complaints about the Canada Geese that had taken up residence in the office park lake and had become quite the nuisance. Tammy and I laughed that the WON Guns and our dogs could clean that problem up pretty easily.

Yep, if my pal and crack shot Tammy had been along that squirrel that upset the everything wouldn't have stood a chance. He would have still been toast, but not from the transformer.

Luckily for me the  Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House and Faust Park were only minutes from the doctors office. So what he heck I thought to myself - I'll take the camera, go photograph some butterflies and kill a little time. Dear Husband can catch up on his sleeping with a nap in the shade while I snap away. Sounded like a good plan to him and off we went.
It was a good plan - once I got there and saw that the October event was billed as Owls and Orchids I was excited..not only is The Butterfly House a wonderful place to view butterflies and explore, all during October  it is  also featuring orchids, another of my most favorite things. The owls part of the event actually was referring to the owl butterfly, rather than owls in the bird family.

Once I was safely ensconced in the warm moist air of the conservatory - butterflies of all types, shapes, sizes and colors were flying all around me and agreeably posing. The orchids in the conservatory from the Missouri Botanical garden added another whole dimension to the scene.

As I wandered throughout the landscape of brilliantly colored flying and growing natural jewels I hit me how similar  this was to my group of supportive outdoor sisters. We come in all different sizes, shapes, colors. We come from all walks of life and geographic areas, but our love of the outdoors keeps us together and supportive of each other through good times and bad.

While we are all different shapes and sizes, just like butterflies and the orchids that were spread before me in a brilliantly colored feast for the senses, we are all beautiful in own special way.

I began to feel that that all the positive energy, support and love I 'd been receiving lately from that Outdoor Sisterhood had in some fashion directed me to the Butterfly House so that I could clearly see it is not one single  piece of our anatomy, make up, color, or outside  wrapping that makes us who we are. And like the butterflies and orchids, it is our uniqueness that makes us special.

When my cell phone chimed the reminder that it was time to head back to the physicians office my decision had been made.

NO IMPLANTS put back in. I didn't need them any more than the gorgeous butterflies lighting on my lenses and head did. Thanks to my outdoor sisters, the beautiful butterflies, the glowing and wild looking orchids I knew - I was enough, my uniqueness in the great circle of life was enough, I am not defined by my appearance alone.

When I woke my husband from his nap and happily told him time to get going, I could tell he was confused my apparently sudden shift in mood...

I just grinned at him and said, " There were owls - tons of them..and orchids..and the outdoor sisters spirits..and well it's done. I know what to do now. "

He just laughed and shook his head, in that yes I am married to crazy woman fashion and said, "Leave it you to take advice from a flower , a butterfly and spirits -  but hey if it works..who am I to say.."

~Special thanks for  all the great support from the Outdoor Sisterhood. Believe in yourselves and who you are, because you are all special, each and every one.~


  1. Beautiful---love the pictures too:) 

  2. I am honored to be in your outdoor sisterhood, my friend. And, I am happy for you, that you came to this place, at this time, with this energy and positive outlook. 

  3. Your blog is SO beautiful!!!  And teh owl makes me laugh.

  4. What a beautiful article with incredible pictures written by an AMAZING woman!  We are all so blessed to have you as our friend, Gretchen.  And I love the visual I get when reading Walkin' With the Wild Woman; you take us with you through your words!  I hope everyone reading this article will feel the peace and love that shines throughout.  

    J Paul Jackson (host of Drake's Migration Nation ) hit it right on when he announced you as "one of the best outdoor writers and photographers in the nation.  She writes from the heart and her photos are from her heart too."  

    It's your time, Lady, go for it!  People are seeing all that you have to offer the Outdoor world. I'm very thankful to be a part of your Outdoor Sisterhood!

  5. We are all blessed to be a part of the sisterhood. And you ARE amazing Gretchen.
    Now, I fully expect you to shoot better without those gummy bears getting in your way!  :)

  6. Beautiful writing and amazing pictures. I'm so glad I read this post today!

  7. "NO IMPLANTS put back in. I didn't need them any more than the gorgeous butterflies lighting on my lenses and head did."

    They wouldn't have changed your ability with words or your eye for photographs I would imagine. It's funny too how when we get older, some things just aren't that important. They don't define us anymore.