a second look, childhood, finding my way, growing old, life, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography, progress, simple things

The finish line…

I prefer to think that my obsession with downsizing, purging, and getting rid of all the ‘stuff’ in my life that was weighing me down, originated with me.  Or, more correctly, with Charley.  That I started feeling as if I needed to liberate myself from my ‘stuff’ came long before the tiny house movement.  Even though we had sold the house we lived in for 35 years and had to pare things down to make that move, Charley still had tons of stuff he left behind when he died.  And even though I remembered how he surprised me back then by going through his things and tossing/giving away all sorts of things without any agonizing whatsoever, I did agonize over his things.  All his things were treasures, they were worth something, collectibles, as he was fond of reminding me.  I could be tossing away something of value.  My own stuff was junk, admittedly, so it was the physical act of going through boxes that had been sitting on shelves in the garage for years that would get the best of me.  I would tell myself that I ought to just throw those boxes away, don’t even open them I’d think, but I couldn’t seem to do that, and I’d keep on procrastinating.  But now I have finally done it, I’m pretty much at the finish line, spurred on because I wanted to save my kids the torture of going through all my stuff and sorting and tossing it away.  They’ll probably have to do some of that one day but they can rest assured that it is, in fact, junk, so toss away!

So what has made the cut?  What have I managed to keep with me through moves from MA, to IN, to CA, to MD, and, finally, to this little place in FL?  Besides the sewing machines, cameras, computers, and iPhones we have these gems.  Treasures from my childhood, and items that caught my eye over the years.  As I acquired them, the little stained glass candle holder bought in Beanblossom, Indiana for example, could I have ever imagined that it would stay with me, across country in both directions, and be with me here in what I expect is my last home?  Which in reality is my first ever apartment, so to speak.  The first place I’ve ever made for myself alone.  But furnished with the items that I have held close to my heart, that have pleased me, comforted me, delighted me, and carried me from childhood to, ahem, maturity…

'scene' along the way, a second look, childhood, memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Home again…

When I have a reason to visit my hometown I always make sure to have my camera with me because I just can’t resist a drive through D. W. Fields Park.  The scenery is beautiful in every season, and I know I can count on seeing swans at the very least.  And yesterday I did.  The swan in the photo above spent more time in this upside down position than upright.  They are always so graceful, well, except for this one.

02-11-19swan102-11-19fieldspark602-11-19swan2When I got out of the car with the tripod I attracted a crowd of birds.  I suspect that people ignore the ‘do not feed the wildlife’ signs since the Canada geese formed a welcoming committee of sorts, and the gulls took to swarming in the air.  They quickly realized I I wasn’t going to feed them and did an about face.  I hated to disappoint them, but they certainly didn’t disappoint me.02-11-19fieldspark502-11-19fieldspark402-11-19fieldspark2

I rode my bike through this enormous park when I was a kid. Generations of families brought their kids here to feed the ducks.  Before it was illegal of course.   And it looks the same now as it did then no wonder I feel the need to return.02-11-19fieldspark302-11-19fieldspark

'scene' along the way, a second look, childhood, memories, moments, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, weather

Powder Point Bridge…

A 60 degree day was  all it took to get me out to the Powder Point Bridge in Duxbury, MA for what must have been the first time ever.  I had an image in my mind of a quaint little bridge, but the reality was that it was very long, weather worn, and built for utility.  There was a place to park, I was happy about that so that I could take pictures.  I expected the bridge would be the main event, but I was immediately distracted by the little lighthouse I could see way off in the distance.  The Gurnet Light I heard later.  I hadn’t used my 600mm lens in a very long time and this was my opportunity.  With the extender on the camera it was too much for me to focus sharply, and those photos turned out blurry.  I was going to have to get closer.  I saw that cars were traveling over the bridge, and even more exciting was that I could see them then taking a right and heading toward that lighthouse.  The speed limit on the bridge was 10 MPH, and on the dirt road heading toward the lighthouse it was 15 MPH, so there was a lot of time to appreciate the view that kept changing as I drove.  The ice that remained along the shore was melting and looked white and snowy.  And the signage was interesting, advising you of the dos and don’ts of watching the Snowy Owls that visit in the winter.  I wonder if they were there but nicely camouflaged.  I’m in hopes of finding Snowy Owls to photograph while I’m here this winter.  That would be the icing on the cake.02-06-19 Powderpointbridge102-06-191stphoto02-06-19bird02-06-19lighthouseview202-06-19lighthouseview302-06-19lighthouseview02-06-19closestlighthouseview

childhood, connections, family, home, Home Team, Loyalty, neighbors, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Super Bowl Sunday…

I’ve raved about how much I loved my Florida neighbors often enough.  Well, in honor of all our years in Baltimore they gave me this sweatshirt and scarf as a going away present as I headed north to Patriot Nation!  Did they intend for me to wear it on Super Bowl Sunday I wonder?  Did they mean to throw me to the wolves? I got brave and I did wear it on Sunday morning, to breakfast with two of my cousins.  I wasn’t greeted by a crowd of Patriot fans as I walked into the restaurant, which is what I had hoped.  I thought it would be fun to hear(and write about) whatever reaction I got from strangers, but we were early and they were the only people who happened to be there as I entered.  One cousin took great exception to my choice of sweatshirt since he says he hates the Ravens.  The other one suggested that I turn it inside out.  The two waitresses just looked at me skeptically, but served me coffee anyhow.  It was, after all, Patriot Nation, and the specials board reflected as much.  So I ordered the Patriot pancakes that they were so happy to recommend, and I guess they decided I wasn’t all bad.  As I crossed the parking lot to leave I did get a thumbs up from a guy walking past.  He said that the Ravens were his second favorite team.  I didn’t expect that.

I have a picture of my two ‘kids’, who were old enough to anticipate the consequences at the time, but they were taking advantage of an opportunity to get together while my son was visiting PA.  I believe there was a play-off game between the Steelers and the Ravens that weekend, and so of course they were watching in a sports bar in Pittsburgh.  My daughter thoughtfully brought enough Ravens’ gear for the both of them to wear.  I think of  Steelers fans as being on the rabid side, possibly because of my Pittsburgh raised DIL, who I’m surprised allowed herself to be seen with them that night.  If there were any issues beyond good natured teasing they didn’t tell me about it.  Probably for the best.

Well, I think of Patriots fans as pretty darned rabid too.  And I’ve already heard a lot of comments about ‘the haters’, and how unfair it is that everybody doesn’t love the team.  And Tom Brady?  Well, he should be sainted, according to them.  They may think that they are misunderstood but I have no sympathy for them, because they ought to try being a Ravens fan.  Now that’s a team that people seem to love to hate.  Being a sports fan in Baltimore isn’t for the feint of heart.  My mother insisted to her dying day that they were a bunch of murderers.  But then she was a Patriots fan so her judgment is questionable…

IMG_6926IMG_6925Lots of fruit in those Patriot pancakes; blueberries, bananas, and strawberries.  Just wondering  what that was all about.

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Shh, don’t tell them I used the picture…

childhood, finding my way, home, learning, memories, nature, on closer examination, photography, road trip, simple things, travel

I left my heart…

My home was my world when I was a kid, even knowing that there were places out there out of view, I think I thought those places would look exactly like my world.  I assume that kids see the world a little differently these days, even without traveling the world comes to us so vividly on TV and the computer.  I never appreciated what was around me until it wasn’t around me anymore.  I love the meandering stone walls that seem to be everywhere here.  I’m told that the rocks were unearthed as farmers tilled their land, and so they were used to define their fields.  They look quite random, like they just grew there on their own.  And then there are the cranberry bogs, a familiar sight in my coastal New England travels.  Massachusetts grows half the cranberry crop of the country, I know this since I googled it this morning, and they only grow in four other states.  I didn’t realize how much I liked seeing them until I was away and then came back and saw them again.  I didn’t stop for pictures the other day when the sun seemed to have this bog glowing, which is when it caught my eye.  After a day of rain it was sunny yesterday so I finally figured out a place to park the car and stopped for a few minutes.  Spotting scenes I’d like to take pictures of isn’t the problem, finding a place to pull the car over is the real issue.  If I’m now a snowbird I can truthfully say that my two worlds look nothing alike.  Florida has the sun and palm trees, and I love it.  But New England has the charm, and my heart…12-29bogs12-29bogs212-29bogs3

childhood, connections, friends, kids, life goes on, memories, nature, on closer examination, photography, road trip, simple things, unintended images

The Nip…

They called it The Nip.  A small pond, as it was described to me by my old friend.  Playmate really, since we were children when we last saw each other.  Until a year ago when a Facebook fluke reconnected us.  We took a ride to the Nip yesterday and I didn’t think it was so small.  He described camping there as a boy.  Canoeing and fishing also.  There was a little beach too, but it was barely there yesterday.  Someone had left a chair at the edge of the water, and they had a campfire set up and ready to go too.  And there is an island out in the water also.  Of course there is, what a perfect setting for childhood adventures.  “Shh”, he said, but there may or may not be several beloved dogs buried on that island, but you didn’t hear that from me.

I moved away from the neighborhood we shared during the summer that I turned nine years old, so the memories made in that neighborhood stood alone to me.  Wonderful memories of all the fun that we had.  People our age know exactly what I’m talking about.  But now I’m getting to hear about how the adventures continued on without me.  I’m still seriously annoyed that I didn’t get to ride an inner tube for miles down the river, but I also missed the having to trudge those same miles carrying the inner tube home part.  Maybe I left at the perfect time.  Soon enough it wouldn’t have been appropriate for me to be tagging along on the adventures he was having.  But it sure was fun while it lasted…12-27thenip12-27thenip212-27thenip4 He made sure I saw this before we decided we’d had enough of the cold.  This was taken right there by the little beach.  Mr. Darling was the principal of our elementary school when we went there, and to find that he was buried there was a surprise, to me at least.  Apparently the fact that kids were out in nature and having adventures didn’t start with us…