connections, coping, courage, family, friends, home, life goes on, memories, neighbors, road trip

And then it hits you…

While you’ve been concentrating on all the people you love, the ones that you are heading north to see, there are people here that you love and are leaving behind.  There will be heartfelt goodbyes to say here.  Neighbors who I’ve been blessed to know, and who have helped me feel secure in this first ever time of my life in which I’ve lived alone.  But not as alone as I might have felt if not for them.  And my photography friends, I will see their adventures in photography online, and look forward to being out shooting with them again before too long.  And then there are my coworkers, who were my sounding board as I went through this biggest challenge of my life.  I thought of myself as alone these past four years, but I see now that I haven’t really been alone at all.

I sent a note to a friend’s mother to apologize after sneaking away without saying goodbye.  I told her how much I have always hated saying goodbye.  She sent back a note and said that in her family they say Auf Weidersehen, ‘until we meet again’.   Yes, that’s it exactly, it’s only goodbye for now, until we meet again.

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These flowers were over a week old and still looked great so I took their picture.  It was only then that I saw the lizard photo bomb.
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Winter camping in Florida is just what I needed last night…
'scene' along the way, Florida landmarks, learning, memories, on closer examination, photography, road trip

Heritage Village…

On Saturday three of us club members from Hernando County made the trek to Clearwater to have our camera sensors cleaned.  A wonderful perk of club membership.  Florida Center for Creative Photography, or FCCP, for those who may wonder.  Haveing made a bit of a trip we asked where we might go to take some pictures while we were out, and we settled on Heritage Village.

On a sunny day the colors were vibrant, and it clashed with the notion of seeing those days of old in sepia tones.  In truth I looked to see if I could tint the pictures that way, but I grew impatient, so you are seeing what we saw.

The general store came first…12-3generalstore12-3shopping

Then the train station…12-3crossing12-3allaboard312-3allaboard2

And, of course a garage.  It even smelled like a garage…12-3outtolunch212-3outtolunch12-3heritagegarage

How about a barber shop, complete with a photo bomb by Natty Boh…12-3nattyboh12-3barbershop212-3barbershop

And a one room schoolhouse…12-3schoolhouse212-3schoolhouse

I’m not squeamish, but the doctor’s office blew me away a little.  Instruments displayed under glass, and numbered so that you could find out what they were used for.  I’m sorry, but they looked brutal.  I wonder what the survival rate for surgical patients was back then.  I did take a photo of the first dental X-ray machine, and the birthing chair which was surprisingly short, and complete with a sink for the baby to be delivered into. Again, brutal.  Next time I’ll concentrate on the instruments more.12-3openwide12-3birthingchair.jpg

And some scenes of everyday life in the village…12-3kitchen12-3heritagespinning12-3office12-3redwheels12-3bedtime

Seems appropriate for the outhouse to be the grand finale of the visit!  It was a fun day!12-3outhouse

a second look, connections, friends, grief, healing, home, life, loneliness, memories, photography, road trip, travel

Making assumptions…

Rocks are dependable.  They are solid, strong, unbreakable.  They don’t surprise you, or disappoint you, they are just there.  There are lots of people who might be described by using those same words.  But in the case of this particular rock, and many people, we are just looking at the surface and making assumptions about the core.  Were I to drop this particular rock it would fracture into pieces, a lot like I was feeling I might do not too long ago.  Careful hands have reassembled this rock, and in much the same way I am somehow feeling pieced back together after my visit home.  We are both still fragile, but then aren’t we all?

'scene' along the way, adventure, dogs, fun, go with the flow, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

South of the Border…

No, not down Mexico way.  If you’ve ever driven through NC/SC on Route 95 you’ve seen the billboards starring Pedro, LOTS of them.  Less now than the endless signs back in the day however.  Charley’s family used to vacation in either Canada or Florida when he was a kid, and when they headed to Florida they stayed at South of the Border, so he wanted to stop there when we drove to Florida in 1988.  Because of that trip I knew that you park in a covered carport that is right outside the door to your room, a perfect feature for when you are traveling alone.  And then there was Ozzie, and I also knew that they accept dogs, no weight limits thank goodness.  So, tacky as it may be I had to stop there, it was a no brainer.  That left me an 8 hour drive the next day, not to mention that I knew it would be lit up perfectly and I could get some photos.  The bed must have been comfortable since I sat on it with the computer to relax for a minute and woke up 3 hours later, having missed the sunset all together.  But the lights were still on at least, so Oz and I went out for a photo walk…

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adventure, connections, friends, memories, moments, natural wonders, nature, photography, road trip, travel

Mountains and old men…

I will admit that I had high hopes for this road trip.  High enough hopes that I scared myself a little.  Would it live up to my impossible expectations?  And I’m happy to say that yes, yes it has.  And still I wander…

When you go to the Franconia Notch area of New Hampshire and buy a ticket to visit the Flume Gorge you will see that there is a deal available and you may decide to also buy a ticket to ride the tram to the top of Cannon Mountain.  What a spectacular view of the distant mountain ranges, which the guide said included NH, VT, NY and even Quebec.  I can only show you photos, but can’t say which mountains you are viewing.  I just know that they are beautiful.  Is it any wonder that my old friend has permanently lost his heart to these mountains?

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The trees on top of the mountain aren’t particularly tall, but I wouldn’t have noticed that on my own.  My own personal mountain man guide says that it’s because the snow and wind breaks off the tops of the trees.  And then I saw what he meant.

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Canon Mountain was also the home of the Old Man of the Mountain, an image and name that I knew from childhood, but never saw in person.  I snapped this photo of a poster just as we were hopping onto the tram, because seeing the rock formation that formed the ‘face’ makes you understand how it came to fall in 2003.  This next from Wikipedia;

The Old Man first became famous largely because of statesman Daniel Webster, a New Hampshire native, who once wrote: “Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades; shoemakers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but up in the Mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men.”

a second look, home, life goes on, memories, photography, road trip, travel

Signs of Baltimore…

There is nothing that says Baltimore to me more than the Domino Sugar sign that used to stand by itself in the skyline.  The Domino Sugar factory sits toward the end of a peninsula known as Locust Point, which juts into the Baltimore harbor and culminates in the Fort McHenry National Park.  ‘The Point’ was also home to Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, something called Indiana Grain, and other manufacturing plants, due to it’s rail and shipping access.  Baltimore was a blue collar town that has undergone gentrification, as is the case for many East Coast cities.  The main street of the Point area is Fort Avenue, and that’s where our dental office was located, and where we spent 26 years working and enjoying the people of the neighborhood.  The immediate area was surrounded by streets of modest rowhouses, built in the 1880s, that housed generations of people who worked in the neighborhood businesses.  It was the city, and I was leery when Charley wanted to practice there, but he raved about the area, and everything he said about it proved to be true.  There was a corner store across from the office, and when I was in that store I found myself amazed that the other people there were greeting each other by name and asking about each other’s families. I soon concluded that this neighborhood had a lot in common with Mayberry.  The last three years we worked there we also lived upstairs from the office, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed walking out the front door onto a busy city street.  To me it was unique, if I hadn’t lived there I would never had imagined how much of a neighborhood could exist in a big city.

But even as we started our practice the old timers were lamenting how much the neighborhood was changing as new people came in and fixed up.  That should have been good news to a business owner, but Charley saw himself as on old-school ‘Baltimoron’, and those old timers were the people he was there to treat.  It was a good life.

I said that the Domino Sugar sign stood along in the sky, and it did.  But most of the old businesses are gone now, replaced by more lucrative condos and townhouses.  Maybe at a different angle the Domino sign would stand out more, and of course it does when it’s lit at night, but I thought it looked a little sad and lost in the new buildings that now surround it in this picture….