classic cars, family, friends, fun, Just do it, memories, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine

Cars by the river…

I’m not sure why I wanted to go to the car show yesterday. Maybe it was the location, along Tampa’s riverwalk, with the water taxi readily available. And all the good food we might choose to eat at Armature Works. There was a nice crowd, lots of families, but it was the older cars that interested me. There seemed to be a lot more interest in the ‘muscle cars’, and much reviving of engines too, but they all looked alike to me. And those motorcycles in the feature image weren’t cars, but they looked good sitting side by side.

None of the muscle cars winked at us.
I chatted with the British owner of this car. He was more interested in talking about how he found that model car at an antique shop and haggled the price down to $20. And, of course it was that display that caught my eye.
Are we marbleizing our cars these days?
This isn’t what I imagine a Rolls should look like. And no hood ornament.
The hubcaps were sexy though.
How do you go over a curb in these cars? So many of the cars, new and old, were low like this. I can’t imagine what the point is, or why you need a running board at all?
I didn’t quite nail the head-on view of this hood ornament did I?
Not so many hood ornaments to photograph at this show, but there was this.
And this license plate is a mystery to me.
My uncle wanted to give me his old caddy to drive into Boston to school every day. It was pink, and finned, a bit like this one. I would have had to find two parking spaces for it.
The same uncle borrowed my father’s car and it got stolen, so he loaned us his VW bus. I’ve loved them ever since. If they ever start selling the latest VW camper van in this country I might get in line to get one.
This was the star of the show for me, a ’56 Chevy Bel Air. I learned to drive on this car, no power steering, the thing was a tank. You could start from a stop in any gear, and it was three colors after a fender replacement straight out of the junk yard. I took my drivers test on it, after my mother duct taped the holes in the seats first. I couldn’t manage the three point turn, so I stopped, took a deep breath, and finished my five point turn. He gave me my license because I didn’t fall apart and cry, said the instructor.
I ‘get’ this license plate.
The show was from 8 to 11 AM. By 11 most all the cars had left, which might explain why I didn’t notice this car until there was no one parked beside it.

We are well into September but the heat and humidity are still with us. A couple of hours of that will wear you down, but I’m glad we went.

courage, death, exploring new places, facing facts, fences, history, learning, lest we forget, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Gettysburg…

If you ever get a chance to go to Gettysburg don’t do what we did. We were going to ‘see’ Gettysburg, only an hour from where we had stayed the night before, and then be on our way back home to Florida. We arrived at a little after opening, around 9:30 AM, seeing the Cyclorama (amazing) and the museum, and then heading out for the auto tour which we only finished by 5PM by rushing a bit at the end. I didn’t ever understand the impact of that battle on the outcome of the war, and my head is spinning as I look at the pictures and try to remember where each one was taken when we have just arrived home this morning. I was as much taken with the beautiful landscape of Pennsylvania itself, as I was by the historical significance of the scenes before me. And yet there are monuments to be seen in the pictures. Three days of battle leaving thousands of soldiers dead and dying in these fields, and a townspeople of less than 1300 to cope with the aftermath. This place is beautifully preserved lest we forget…

family, friends, history, home, making memories, memories, perseverance, photography, second chances, strangers become friends

That rocky coast of…

It’s the coast of Maine that is referred to as the rocky coast, but my childhood favorite beaches of Duxbury, Green Harbor, and Brant Rock are nothing if not rocky. I took Charley to Duxbury on a day when the beach was especially rocky and he was singularly unimpressed. But the two of us Brockton kids share a love of the same places, even if we didn’t ever know each other until 70+ years later. So we roamed, got lost, and roamed some more. And had lunch at Friiendly’s which we didn’t realize still existed. They did, in fact, have Fribbles on the menu, but I resisted, this time anyhow. The feature photo is the Scituate light, a place I never saw until this visit. Just up the coast. We have a wedding to go to this afternoon. Imagine the excitement of this morning for the bride and groom. Then tomorrow we will head up the coast to the actual rocky coast of Maine, where we will explore, and probably get lost, some more.

This stone depicts the grounding of the ship Etrusco on March 16, 1956. My friend remembers this happening, but he is, ahem, older than I am so I don’t remember this at all. The ship ran aground during a ‘devastating St. Patrick’s Day blizzard’, and the gallant members of the Civil Defense communications staff in Scituate managed to keep the lines of communication going which allowed all 30 members of the crew to be rescued.
I hoped to get another view of the lighthouse, and it’s there, in the center, dwarfed by the ships masts. Kind of a Where’s Waldo thing.
Rocks and more rocks.
Brant Rock looking north.
And again but looking south.
The Fairview Inn, where my parents and their friends would go to get away from us kids when we all stayed in cottages at Duxbury Beach for the same couple of magical weeks each summer.
I hadn’t realized I had captured an image of one of the watch towers along the coast. Dating from WW2, and in the process of being restored.
And two Brockton kids wouldn’t head back to Brockton to meet up with old friends at the Cape Cod Cafe without a cruise through Fields Park. I said I hoped I’d see the swans. That you will see Canada Geese is a given.
Just one of the families of swans that we saw.
Tower Hill, where many Brockton kids tobogganed down the hill into the golf course in the winter.

At first we didn’t think we had people in common, even though we grew up in the same home town. But my cousin’s husband proved to be the link between my friend and his long-lost best friend from childhood, so our little reunion at the Cape Cod Cafe last night was worthy of a Hallmark movie. It’s so good to be ‘home’…

'scene' along the way, a second look, Florida landmarks, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography, Pine Island, sky, strangers become friends, sunset, Uncategorized

Lost and found…

A reader recently told me not to worry about using ‘old’ pictures, though the ones we were talking about that day were only a month old. These photos were found on an SD card that I apparently had put away upon getting a ‘better’ SD card. The photos were from 11-9-2019, and were taken at Pine Island. It seems I have abandoned Pine Island for sunset photography these days. I haven’t been back since they decided to keep charging the $5/car entrance fee even when you are arriving 20 minutes before sunset. But these photos have reminded me how much I enjoyed the sunsets there, and of the connections I’ve made there also, so perhaps I will rethink my position on paying the fee. I probably used these photos in a blog post back then, but seeing them on the card doesn’t give me a clue about that. And Lightroom has had some fabulous upgrades to use since then. The skies look very much like our current skies, so there is that at least. I sometimes feel as if I temporarily lost, and then found, myself these last few years. All in all, being found is a good thing.

The feature photo is of the beach and sky to the left of the actual sunset. This photo is taken to the right, which would make it towards the north. Very different sky.
It was early yet, but down in the corner you see people settled into their chairs to watch the show.
I don’t know if I expected as pretty a sunset as it turned out to be.
Not a lot of people waiting for sunset, but some.
Low tide adds some interest to the scene.
Finally the sun was dropping below the clouds.
Another photographer with his own perspective on the sunset.
Touchdown! Finally.
I took many more shots as that sky darkened. But this is my last shot from the parking lot as I got ready to leave.

Pine Island is now calling me. Not tonight though. We will be (hopefully) celebrating a Lightning win at one of our favorite places to belly up to the bar tonight. Or drowning our sorrows, it remains to be seen.

a second look, adventure, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, Cranes, ducks, Florida wildlife, healing, life goes on, memories, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise

Life goes on…

Sad as I was over the loss of one of the owlets yesterday, a text from my former neighbor cheered me up. It seems the Sandhill Cranes nested on the lake again this year, and their chicks hatched yesterday. I knew from past experience that the parents will march the chicks off the nest and out into the world almost as soon as they hatch, so I checked on them right after sunrise this morning. I guess I was too early because Mom was still laying down, as in the feature photo, and Dad was wandering in the vicinity. The crane family saga is what started me blogging four years ago, and I’ll be back again in the next few days to try to get some pictures of this year’s crop.

My first photo when I got to the lake. I had seen that a duck had laid eggs, a dozen of them, in the crotch of this tree in my neighbor’s yard. I wanted a picture of the eggs but Mama was standing guard.
Dad was up and keeping an eye on things.
The island that they nest on is shaped like a horseshoe, with water in the center. There was much commotion, splashing and quacking going on. Dad was supervising, but didn’t intervene.
I’ve blathered on and on to my friend about the little blue heron that lives on this lake, and the ibis that were so abundant that I hardly even noticed them after a while.
I have spent a lot of time watching this fella, and hoping to catch him catching something. Seconds after I got there he caught this frog, who I then felt a little sorry for.
All the while I was there Mama Duck kept an eye on me while she tended to her eggs. More babies for the lake.
I mentioned the sunrise, in this case back at Aripeka again.
And One-Foot Fred was there, hanging out right outside the bait shop. I wonder what he was waiting for.

As soon as I got out of my car in my old neighborhood I heard the woodpeckers drilling away. And lots of birds singing in the trees, plus the ducks quacking. A hawk flew into view, twice. The gang is still there, doing what they do, it’s in their nature. Watching them filled a void in my life, and encouraged me to get out and take more pictures. It was a blessing then, and has led to even more blessings now. Life goes on…

a second look, attention to detail, blessings, brainstorms, changing times, childhood, Christmas on the brain, coping, facing facts, faith, family, growing old, Just do it, life goes on, making memories, memories, pastries, perseverance, photography, Yummy

Salvaging the spirit…

I have become a bah humbug sort of person. I don’t say that proudly, or lightly even. I grew up with a reverence for the day we celebrate the birth of Christ, and I loved making Christmas for my own kids through the years. Growing up in a big Italian family there were many treats to be had at Christmas that we didn’t see for the rest of the year. As the daughter of a fireman and a nurse I spent the major holidays at my aunt’s house, with my working parents coming and going, plus lots of relatives dropping in to visit. Special times that I couldn’t have appreciated at the time what treasured memories they would turn out to be. So when I got married and moved away I did my best to recreate the holidays I treasured. I made lasagna for Christmas dinner, something the family had switched over to some time in my preteen years when they decided that they were ITALIAN, for goodness sake, and weren’t going to duplicate the Thanksgiving dinner at Christmas anymore. I made the Italian cookies that are flavored with anise. I made strufoli, the tiny honey balls we only had at Christmas, and, when I could find it, I bought Torrone, a nougat candy that came in individual boxes that were exquisite little works of art in themselves. For many years Christmas was a wonderful time of year. But those days are long past, the kids are grown and gone, and even the grandchildren are grown. It feels like the media has taken over all aspects of life, including the holiday, and you can’t escape the pressure to be HAPPY, to spend more and more money. The meaning is lost, hence bah humbug.

With my bad attitude I have disappointed the new special person in my life who still treasures Christmas. Our first Christmas together and he didn’t expect my usual light-hearted self to just want to get this whole thing over with. We will visit his relatives for Christmas, and when a discussion of what to have for Christmas dinner came up my offer to make lasagna was accepted. That perked me up a little. It really warmed my heart when my daughter said that she is making lasagna for her crew too, and she is making strufoli for the first time in years! Now I will make strufoli too. I collected all my recipes yesterday, and my friend wanted to stop at the nice Italian deli near him, and I wondered out loud if I might find Torrone there. Boy, did I ever! Torrone in the little boxes. Torrone cut into wedges like a slice of layer cake, some topped with chocolate! Torrone packaged in the shape of Christmas trees! I stood there with my mouth open, and possibly drooling, as every where I turned I found Torrone. So, yes, I did find Torrone, and I think I might have found my Christmas spirit too.

The feature photo is a display of containers of strufoli, larger honey balls than the ones we used to make, but it made me happy to see my familiar treats. I wrote this post early yesterday, before a heart-warming (and tear-jerking) message from my daughter showed up online. I was already on my way to finding that elusive Christmas spirit, and now I’m happy to say that my strufoli is made, and my lasagna is coming together. So let me wish a Merry Christmas to all with a happy heart. And the new year? Well, there is always hope…