I have driven past this place hundreds of times and have wanted to stop in for a closer look.
So I finally did, because my new motto, as you may remember, is “why not?”
If you’ve driven by The Secret Garden on Rte 7 near D’Agostino Auto, you’ve probably done a double-take.
It’s almost impossible to miss this 8-foot metal, colorful sculpture of a tyrannosaurus rex in their front yard.
So… what’s the deal?
Husband and wife team Paul and Melanie have had their business there for 3 years. They call themselves a “family-run statuary” and mostly pour stone molds like these:
But the metal sculptures are imported from Mexican artisans.
I love the whimsy and color.
If you’re looking for a yard decoration, I’d highly recommend stopping in to The Secret Garden on Rte 7. They’ve got something for everyone and are as friendly as can be. Check out their inventory on their website.
Oh boy *eye roll* another meditating, yogi-wannabe, vegan, soy-slurping, “peace-is-love” advice columnist.
I don’t blame you for thinking that, based on the title.
In all honesty, though, I’m way too ADHD to meditate, I HATED yoga, I love a good burger, and soy gives me gas.
I tried meditation and yoga because, like most Americans, stress was my natural state. There’s so much to worry about: Deadlines, increasing workloads, increasing costs of everything without increasing pay, physical health, mental health, family, pets…and the list goes on.
That’s when I decided to follow the inspirational poster:
It’s not original by any stretch of the imagination. Yet we can’t quite pull the trigger most of the time.
I pulled the trigger. But I still have times that I’m plagued with doubt. I still find myself distracted at times because I haven’t met all my goals yet.
But then I have moments like this one below (and the one above) that I’m able to capture with my camera because I was paying attention.
And it reminds me to be present so I don’t miss these moments in the future.
Saying goodbye to my favorite fella felt like my heart was being ripped out.
Smitty! Don’t forget me – I’ll see you soon!
What? You didn’t think I was talking about a human, did you?
I bought Smitty (my 2003 Harley Davidson 1200 Custom Sportster) in August 2003. That’s how long we’ve been together.
I experienced my first motorcycle ride when I was 6 or 7. My best friend’s father took me around the block, and I was hooked.
When I was a teenager, I sought motorcyclists to befriend.
It took an embarrassingly long time for me to realize that I could get my own motorcycle and stop relying on others to go for a ride.
The biggest obstacle to buying my own motorcycle was my mother. I can’t say I blame her… I’d been in 10 car accidents – one severe enough to land me in the hospital for two weeks.
My brilliant idea: Take Mom motorcycle shopping and have her pick it out.
You may think that was crazy, but my mother had a knack for choosing good vehicles. Plus, she was the best negotiator I’d ever seen firsthand.
So here I was, 32 years old – a homeowner – taking Mom and Dad with me to pick out my motorcycle.
She chose Smitty. I chose his name. She negotiated an unheard-of $4,000 off the asking price.
And, you know what? It worked. Mom doesn’t worry as much about me riding.
When I’m sad, stressed, or generally feeling unsettled, Smitty and I hit the road. No one has ever made me feel as good. His magical healing power is the reason I decided to move South – so we could spend more quality time together.
If you ride, you get that.
So remember when you hit the road in the warmer weather: Please pay attention to the road. My fellow riders and I are out there trying to shake off the blues, or de-stress.
“...if you didn’t know how old you was?” ~Satchel Paige, American Baseball Player
Age is another concept that we like to think of as malleable … especially as we get older.
“You’re only as old as you feel,” and “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing,” are two of the more common sayings we trot out to justify behavior that may be seen as immature.
But I’d argue that it is really just our normal, playful nature peeking out that our age and confidence allow us to act upon.
For some, that new behavior is encouraged. Others find themselves having to justify their “immature” behavior to family and friends who haven’t yet developed the self-confidence to buck the system, so to speak.
I think about these things when I go visit my Pepere in the nursing home. Ten years ago, he was adamant that he didn’t “want to live in a place with all old people because all they do is complain about their health.”
On March 24, he turns 98. In the last year, he has begun to show his age.
But always, his brain is sharp, and he knows exactly what’s going on around him. “I thought you’d be long gone to South Carolina,” he said when I stopped in Sunday afternoon.
“I’m in no rush to go live with Mom and Dad,” I replied with a huge grin. He grinned back. “I understand,” he winked.
Sometimes it’s hard for us to go visit our elderly relatives because we don’t know what to talk about with them.
The truth is, they don’t care. Just be there to break up the monotony – it’s all any of us really wants.