nature, photography, memories, friends, travel, adventure, perseverance, childhood, moments, 'scene' along the way, road trip

Campello kids…

The connections I’ve been making, both with family and also with friends, have mostly been with the kids from the south side of my hometown.  ‘Campello kids’.  Kids I may have gone all through school with, but in my mind when I have thought of them I remember them best as the Jr. high school kids we once were.  I connected with another one of them yesterday.  I was already close to her VT home, at least as the crow flies.  GPS showed three routes to her house from the NH campground.  One route seemed ridiculously out of the way but would keep you on highways the whole time.  I ruled that one out right away.  The other two were on a diagonal, point A to point B pretty much in a direct line.  I ignored the ominous warning box at the top of the screen.  It announced that the directions might possibly include unpaved roads!  Which one?, thought I.  That it might be both of those routes didn’t occur to me.  So yes, despite my trepidations I did turn onto Bobbin Shop Road, and it wound this way and that, and up and down.  And it eventually turned into an unpaved road.  But it got me there, and the scenery was worth it.  And the visit?  It was perfect!  Not rushed, a quiet afternoon talking and letting our minds wander together.  Was it enough time?  No, but there were a lot of years gone by to talk about…

I started out early, with fog hanging in the air and no sun out.  But as I drove the sun came out and the day became so pretty that I hoped I’d stop again as I retraced my route home, but I didn’t.  And I did manage to stay on paved roads this time…offtoJoan's4boatsOfftoJoan's2boatsofftoJoan's2_1greenboatOfftoJoan's1offtoJoan's5offtoJoan's6

blessings, childhood, connections, coping, courage, faith, family, friends, healing, honor, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, strangers become friends

Lisa…

I only met her once.  She had long ago married into the family that I loved in my childhood, and had recently fallen in love with again despite the 60+ year absence.  On Sunday I attended her memorial, her celebration of life.  And with four generations of family present it truly was a celebration.  Hearing everyone from her granddaughter to her sister speak of her love of reading and love of family, I saw that I would have enjoyed knowing her. But she was gone too soon.  She was a special part of this special family, and I saw that she will be missed.  And remembered.  It was a privilege to have been included in this day.

This celebration was held at her brother’s house, and when I arrived I was concentrating on seeing/meeting this large group of people that I had never met.  It was after I’d been there a few minutes that I began to notice the house itself. The low plaster and beamed ceiling as you walk in, and the seven (I think) fireplaces, one in every room. Turns out it was built in 1724, and as much of the original as possible is still present.  When necessary improvements had to be made, such as in the kitchen with it’s loft overlook, the original wood that had been taken out was used to build any new cabinets, etc.  It’s completely obvious that this house has been loved.  And it may not be an exaggeration to say that George Washington slept there.  His 2nd in command married the daughter of the home owner back in those old days, so it’s entirely possible.  Though someone mentioned that considering all the area houses making the claim that George Washington slept there it would seem George may have slept around a bit.  As we left we were talking about what a nice memorial it had been, which may be why I forgot to take the outside shots I had intended to take.

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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…