Another Visit to Basilique

Basilique is probably the build that I have visited the most in Second Life.  I have always had a love of the sea and the pier on this sim calls to me.  I never tire of visiting it, taking pictures, and just walking along the pier.  It has not changed much at all, one of the true constants in Second Life for me.

I can honestly say that, if you have never visited or have not for a while, you need to return to Basilique.  I may be a bit biased but cannot help myself.  It is nice to have a constant in Second Life that you feel you can go to relax and reflect.  This is my place for that.

One of the things that I am looking forward to this summer is visiting piers and lighthouses along the East Coast, from Florida to Maine.  I have always been fascinated with all things nautical and am looking forward to this extended trip up the Eastern Seaboard.  I also want to visit Washington, D.C., which I have never been to before as well.

When we are young, we believe we will have all the time in the world to do the things we dream of and we fantasize about the freedom we will have as adults to do them. When we become adults and get caught up in the act of living, we always continue to dream about the things we will do when we get time but never seem to make the time available to do them.  Then one day, we are reminded that time is a premium asset, that there is no guarantee of how much there actually is.  Once we get past the initial panic that comes with the full realization of that fact, we calm ourselves and then think about what we actually want to do with the time we have left.  As I have discussed in another post, time is the one thing we cannot get back so make the very most of it doing what you truly want to do.

Above all else, be kind to others as well.  You do not know how much time they may have either so wouldn’t you prefer to make it as pleasant for them as possible? And if they are not pleasant, just release them from your life.  Life is too short for unpleasant people and, though you may want to make them happy, some will never achieve happiness.  They hold on to hurt and pain, keeping it alive and wearing it as a badge of honor that they flash at you to justify why they are the way they are.  Never seeking to release or address it themselves, they cannot expect you to handle it for them.  Let these people go.  You will be happier and they will have something new to complain about and, ironically, that is what they thrive on anyway.

Enough going on….  I hope you enjoy the pictures and the SLURL is at the bottom of this post.  I hope you enjoy Basilique as much as I did.

To visit this location in Second Life, click here:  Basilique

 

 

 

Whimberly

I was sitting on my patio this morning drinking my coffee and watching the sun come up.  Birds were chirping happily with the dawn of new day when I turned my attention to yesterday’s mail.  A letter from my high school reunion committee caught my eye and I began to think about the last reunion I attended.

I was prodded into returning to my hometown by my sister.  I had never really considered going as I, quite honestly, did not really remember most of the people in my class.  It was not that I did not care for them so much as none of them really carried forward in my later adventures in life.  They were what I like to call ‘station’ friends.  They are the ones that are there at certain points in your life that, once you board life’s train for the next station, they remain behind.  That is not to say that you do not remain friends but, rather, that the connection is limited to when, and if, you visit that particular station again.  Moving around a lot over my adult life, I find myself with a lot of ‘station’ friends.  The internet has made it easier to stay in contact and to keep up with their lives, but they remain at that station for the most part.  Some may change locations and move to a station I have yet to visit but, if I do, I know someone there.

Anyway, arriving home a day early, I decided to hit one of the old bars that was still around that a lot of us used to frequent in the day.  I was not sure who, if anyone, I would stumble across, but figured a few warm up drinks prior to the weekend activities would not hurt anything.

Upon entering, I immediately heard my name being yelled aloud with a beckoning to come to the far side of the bar.  I headed that direction and was shocked to see that it was Tommy calling me over.  Tommy is someone I had sort of forgotten about, probably because I just did not want to remember him, but had taught me a lot about myself.  Lessons that would shape me for years to come.  Tommy was a special needs child in our school and the salt of the earth.  I had never met anyone so caring and trusting in my life.  I admired how much he enjoyed just the process of living and subtleties of the experience that most of us tend to miss because we are thinking of or rushing off to other things.  But that in turn, especially as kids, brought out the ugly in others.  Children and, especially, adolescents can be very cruel at times.  For some, finding their identity can be difficult or challenging and, at times, I was one who experienced those difficulties.  Most of my most shameful moments happened in high school.  I did shine on occasion but they were definitely not the prevailing qualities of the period.

I extended my hand and he immediately thrust forward into a hug, a back slap, and an exclamation that I would be drinking free the rest of the night.  I protested stating that I was able to pay for my own drinks to which he countered loudly, “Nonsense, you saved my life!  Your money is no good tonight!”

That was true actually and was a bit of a long story that he cheerfully related to everyone in the bar.  It was tenth grade and we were all in swim class.  As we stood along the edge of the pool awaiting the teacher to come out and give us instructions on what we would be doing that day, we were all kind of chuckling and goofing off as we were prone to do at that age.

As we were clowning around, Tommy entered the pool.  We were at the deep end of the pool so he could not touch the bottom and, as I found out quickly, he could not swim either.  Sadly, as he flailed around, going down and then coming back up, screaming sounds that were unintelligible due to the water he was taking in, most everyone was just laughing at the exhibition that was being put on.  We were 15 going on 16 and felt we were invulnerable, why was Tommy any different, right?

Well this went on for what seemed like an eternity, in all actuality it was only about 2 minutes,  when I realized Tommy was coming up to the surface more slowly than the time before.  No one moved towards the pool to do anything. Probably caused by a mixture of fear of the teacher if we got in without being told to do so, or the expectation the teacher would appear and take control of the situation, or, and sadly, because some were still laughing pretty hard about the display unfolding before them.

I remember a splash, a struggle, and a push next.  I had jumped in, grabbed him, wrestled him during his panic, and pushed him out of the pool.  It happened so quickly and, as he laid coughing on the side of the pool desperately trying to catch his breath, the teacher came out.  He was not happy and wanted to know what happened.  Everyone was silent and Tommy, coughing still, explained as best he could that he had lost his balance and fallen into the pool and that I had jumped in and saved him from drowning.

I stood there looking down into my beer while other’s began to express their joy and amazement with his story.  I cracked a slight smile, the most I could muster at the time, and just said something like, “Anybody would have done it.”  This was quickly followed by, “Nobody else did.”

Two more free beers followed, everyone was pretty jovial, I had shaken just about everyone’s hand in the bar that night when Tommy went over to the jukebox, which amazingly was the same one that was there 20 years prior and still worked, and I followed him.

In my lowest possible voice, I looked at him and said, “Look, there is something I need to tell you about that day.”  He leaned in and got closer to my ear and just said, “I know you pushed me in.”  There was no hint of resentment or anger or disappointment in his voice as he pulled his head back.  Rather the statement, “You did not let me drown.  We were kids and you did the right thing in the end.”  I was amazed.  Here was someone that I was cruel to up to that moment in high school who had made the best of an otherwise bad situation.  I was the only one to enter the water to try and stop something that I had set in motion.

He continued and said that the remaining of high school were the best years of his childhood as he had me as a friend.  It was true, that event had changed me, even then.  I recognized that what had transpired was, though not intended to be cruel, unnecessary and dangerous.  Not only had I endangered his life but I had bullied someone who was different from me merely because of that difference. Twenty years after an event that changed my outlook on adolescence, he once again changed my outlook again.  He saw that moment as a turning point in his life.  He took the good that came out of it rather than avenging the action that caused it. Special needs?  No, just special.

Since that day, I have tried to be kind to everyone regardless of their differences, be it race, religion, or physical limitations.  We are all in this life together and the feeling you get when you can make another smile outweighs the feeling that you get when you can make yourself smile at their expense.  Doing the right thing is not that hard, you just have to think prior to acting.  And, at the end of the day, that smile from being kind will remain.

What a start to a beautiful day.  The sun still shining and the computer calling my name, I decided to log in and look for something to make my smile bigger still.  It was then that I stumbled upon the “Whimberly” build located on the sim of the same name.  Done up as a sim in the full bloom of spring, it was a welcome exploration to top off that memory.  There is nothing thoughtless about this build though.  Everything is placed with attention to the overall aesthetic appearance. Reading the land description, “Come and explore the spring themed location called “Whimberly”.  Enjoy your stay, take lots of pictures, meet friends and above all have fun!”, I realized I had done everything on the list except meet friends.  I do that quite a bit already and will be taking one or two along next time to enjoy this sim.  And, now, I hope you will join me in enjoying my memories of the sim below through my pictures.  I hope your day is wonderful and you can find a way to put a big smile on your face whatever challenges you may face.  Until next time, I present to you…..”Whimberly!”

I hope you enjoy the pictures and you will find the SLURL at the bottom of this post.

To visit this location in Second Life, please click here:  Whimberly

 

Once Upon a FairyTale

I was just hanging out in Second Life yesterday when Stephanie Bosch messaged me about this gem.  This is just a small, very small, sampling of the sim as there is just so much there.  It is, simply put, incredible and I will need multiple posts to cover everything that is there.  Very well done, creative, and beautiful.  The land description reads, “A whimsical fantasy land with scenery inspired by fairy and folk tales of our childhood.”  It delivers on that and is very well laid out.  With this much content and so many tales to draw from, it creates an exploration that is both joyous as well as nostalgic.

Childhood memories, in most cases, are the most joyous of memories.  There are also dark memories that some people care to forget.  For most though, childhood memories bring back the wonder of childhood.

Having children of my own, I had the opportunity to relive the wonder from an observer’s view point.  Whether it is a trip to DisneyWorld and watching their eyes grow big from the sheer incredibility that is Disney to the observation of them learning the things that we take for granted.

I never ceased to be amazed while watching them obtain the basic skills that we take for granted.  How they progressed from crawling to walking, and the amazement that they could manage to stay upright as they tottered back and forth while seemingly stumbling forward.

Listening to them learn how to communicate and speak words they hear daily, even the ones that make you cringe, makes you smile  That they can discern that the dog and the ball are two different things each with their own word to identify them.

Teaching them how to ride a bike, how to use a fork, drinking without a sippy cup, and all the other things we just do on a daily basis.  Their first encounters with gravity and their ability to get up and attempt the activity again after the initial shocks, and tears, have subsided.

I could go on forever and, when I think about it, I find myself smiling bigger and thinking about my life to this point.  It really has been a fairy tale of its own.  I have met princesses, kissed a few frogs along the way, and slayed my share of metaphorical dragons.  Along the way, I find myself heading towards my happily ever after.  Life is truly amazing and, when observing something you helped make experience the joy of living, it becomes that much more incredible.  To be able to see first hand what you went through to get to where you are today is truly enlightening.  With moments that make you laugh and others that make you cry, it gives new meaning to what it means to live.

We are all in this together, fighting the same fights, sharing the same joys.  There may be variances to the challenges that we encounter but everyone has them. That is where fairy tales excel, they touch on the common experiences and are pretty universal.  They offer views into life experiences and help shape us into what we eventually become.

As you may have gathered, I enjoyed this sim.  I trust you will too and have included the SLURL at the bottom of this post.  Be sure and pay it a visit if you have not already.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.

To visit this location in Second Life, please click here:  Once Upon a FairyTale

 

Orcadi Island

I paid a visit to this gorgeous build located on “Black Cat Island” and was very pleased I had it on my list of places to see.  With the horses, the landscaping, and the photographic experiences that presented themselves, I felt like I was in heaven.  It only adds to the continuing beauty of Second Life that I have been experiencing again.

My explorations have introduced me to new friends and also resulted in reconnecting with old friends.  True friendships are amazing on so many levels. There is a comfort in knowing that people truly care about you like you do them. Perhaps the most refreshing part is just the basic honesty that exists between you and a trusted friend.

My best and most trusted friend in Second Life is one that I do not see nearly enough of.  They are always completely honest with me and have never had anything but an honest concern for my well being.  They are the one person that, no matter when or where we connect, it feels like we just spoke yesterday.  Always there to offer an ear to vent to, a hug to comfort when needed, or the brutally honest truth when they see I am making bad choices.  This person is the friend who is always there regardless if I take their advice or not.  Likewise, I am there for them as well.  It is that mutual trust, love, and familiarity that makes the friendship so incredibly unique and special.

They noticed me changing over time and could hear in my voice how much that change bothered me.  They helped me in identifying the source of my mood and I made changes to correct it.

I truly feel like myself again, as if toxins have been removed from my system.  It has not been an easy journey, I had a couple of stumbles along the way, hurt some others (which I painfully regret), but finally feel like myself again.  Now, sharing my explorations and discoveries with each and every one of you brings me happiness.  I thank each of you for allowing me into your days, your adventures, and to a small extent, your lives.  I value that connection more than you will ever know.

I also value my connection with my best friend, we are always there for each other. There are few feelings that compare.  I pray that everybody has that special someone in their life to guide them through lows in life without judgment as well as to celebrate the highs with you.

I do hope you enjoy the pictures and you will find the SLURL at the bottom of the post.  The best part of doing this blog is the sharing, sharing these wonderful places and being able to share a bit of me.  Feel free to contact me in world to share with me as well should you feel so inspired.  I appreciate the connections that can be formed with others and am always open to the sharing of landmarks of sims I should be exploring.

Visit this location in Second Life by clicking here:  Orcadi Island