'scene' along the way, a second look, changing times, Christmas on the brain, home, life goes on, live and learn, memories, perseverance, photography

Back to basics…

I bought a piece of artwork once, from a catalog I think it was.  This was years ago when I was young.  It was a distant landscape in mostly browns and golds, in the foreground was wheat or hay, and the horizon line was broken by a small cabin with a TV antenna on the roof.  Images like that appeal to me still.

Years later we took back roads for the last part of our trips to visit my daughter in upstate New York, and I’ve never forgotten an image from one trip at Christmas time.  It was after dark and we were traveling rural roads with nothing much to see, when off in the distance there was a small house with a string of lights hanging crookedly from an equally crooked porch.  It brought me to tears when I saw it, and it has stayed in my mind like a photo I could take out and look at over and over.

For some reason these images are back in my mind right now.  It started when I walked yesterday and I noticed all the Christmas lights in this modest mobile home park.  I have admired how much pride people have taken in their homes here.  Many, not mine, are spit-polished and look very inviting.  I decided to walk again last night to see those displays after dark.  If there is a point to all this then it has escaped me.  Unless it’s that yes, I’ve spent time in my life wishing for more, trying to keep up, but back to the basics is where I was meant to be all along.12-21lights212-21lights312-21lightsfeature12-21lightsangel12-21lights912-21lights612-21lights512-21lights412-21lightsreindeer12-21manger

'scene' along the way, Christmas on the brain, friends, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography, simple things, sunset, unintended images

Courthouse Christmas…

“The crowds,” my friends said.  “The parking,” they lamented.  And yet I headed out anyhow.  To Brooksville, the county seat of Hernando county.  I grabbed a parking spot in the courthouse lot, not realizing the uphill climb I would have to be where I needed to be.  But once there the lights were lovely.  And a performance was in the works, that was obvious.  Not a school group as I first thought, this was a performance put on by a group called Stir Up the Gift.  I took pictures as they set up, but what I was waiting for was the carriage rides.  I imagined the lovely pictures I might get, but the reality was a bit of a disappointment.  Perhaps it’s that the only other time I’ve done this was when I saw the Budweiser Clydesdales delivering beer one evening in Palm Harbor.  Now that would be a hard act for anyone to follow.  And once I had gotten plenty of photos my thoughts turned to the long, dark, walk to the parking lot where I’d left the car, and so I left.  A nice evening for myself, and home in time for Jeopardy.12-20courthousetree212-20courthousetree12-20carriagesunset12-20realtor12-20performers12-20performersclose12-20performersclose212-203singers12-20carriagearrives12-20horses12-20rollofhonor

changing times, Christmas on the brain, life goes on, live and learn, memories, simple things

The way it is…

If you are my age, and female, then when you were young you also may have been excited to read the latest Women’s Day or Family Circle magazine as soon as they came out.  They were cheap, and if I remember correctly they had short stories, and recipes, many things of interest to me at the time.  But they also had craft projects, and I’m not sure which magazine this one came from but the feature photo is my version of just one of the projects presented one year.  It must have been at Christmas time, and once completed I pinned each piece to a length of ribbon and hung it like a clothesline from a shelf in my dining room.  The only reason it still exists is because it got put away with the Christmas decorations, and though I have purged and purged again I still have this silly thing.

But it strikes me just how involved this project was, and yet it was presented to the masses as just a nice little craft project their readers might enjoy.  You see, how you began this project was to get yourself some graph paper, or rule a one inch grid for yourself.  Then you carefully copied the pattern by hand, coping the drawing in each little square onto your grid, thereby enlarging it.  Then tracing it onto fabric. Then you used fabric crayons to color each element of the project according to the pattern.  But you weren’t done.  No, there is embroidery on each piece.  Tiny French knots and cross stitch, again, following the pattern.  Plus buttons, and bows, and pom moms.  Then you added batting and stitched around the outside of each piece, turned them, and then, finally, you were done.  I think this was intended to be something a granddaughter might play with at Christmas.  A paper doll of sorts, hanging on the tree.  Except I couldn’t bring myself to add velcro to the front of the doll so that her various outfits would stick to her.  And after all the time and effort I put into it I loved it too much to let it go the way of most toys.  So no, this little girl and her teddy bear have only seen the light of day for a few weeks at Christmas for many, many years now.

But my point, if there is a point, is to imagine this project being presented for someone to do in this day and age.  We are force fed by the media.  We demand instant gratification.  When the older bakers at work used to make their special rolls and pastries I’d ask why all the bakers didn’t make them, and the answer would be that ‘you can’t teach them.’   Is it that young people don’t approach a job like that as a skill, a career?  Or is it not worth it to the company to spend time teaching those skills when mass production is available?  I’m tempted to complain about young people today, but would I see this project in a magazine and attempt it today?  I thought that was terrible, even when I was seeing it as only a baking issue, but now I see that it applies across the board.  And that it applies to me too.  And no, I can’t see myself attempting this project if I saw it presented today.  It makes me sad to recognize and admit that to myself.  It’s just the way it is…12-18Christmasdoll12-18Christmasdoll212-18Christmasdoll3

Christmas on the brain, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, moments, moon, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography, sunset

Garden flowers…

Of course there were also flowers at the botanical garden the other day.  And it seemed as if the red ones were the ones catching my eye.  Christmas colors.  Christmas on the brain.12-10redflower12-10hibidcus12-10flowerbranchI loved this little donkey planter that sat on a shelf in my mother’s house.  I loved it enough that I claimed it for my own when my mother was the one doing the downsizing.  I still love it, maybe it’s the colors?  So I had just said that I needed to find a little plant to put in it.  Something alive in the house, something to take care of.  Then I went to Publix and the Christmas cactus were on sale.  Just the thing I think.  But my success rate with plants isn’t all that great so I hope I haven’t condemned the poor thing to death,12-10planterWith Christmas on the brain the last couple of days I decided that I needed to find a spot for my tree, but there is no empty wall space in this tiny house.  But where there’s will there’s a way because I found a spot.  I’ve been itching to start sewing again.  Normally that would be such a nice winter activity, except you can hardly call this Florida weather winter.

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And at the end of our day at the botanical gardens we were seeing a lovely sunset, but had no nice view for photos.  But the moon looked pretty enough.  I hear there is another nice moon expected tonight.  At 12:12 on 12/12.  I hope to be awake to check it out.12-10sunsetmoon