friends, fun, live and learn, memories, moments, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, responsibility

Prom season…

I wish I’d gone to the two proms I just went to in the opposite order, because I learned a few things this last Saturday.  My friend’s granddaughter had arranged to have photos taken as a group with some of her friends, and that sounded like fun.  My friend had informed me that I was invited to take photos at this event also.  But at the last minute we discovered that one of the families had hired a professional photographer to do the shoot, and it was mentioned that he’d have equipment, meaning lights and such.  This news had me wondering if we’d be welcome to take our own photos, and I was immediately intimidated, but off we went to a nearby mansion where the photos would be taken on the grounds.

I needn’t have worried.  The photographer showed up in his shorts, with just his hand held camera, and immediately began to banter with the kids and loosen them up.  It was determined that they were a group of friends with only one couple among them, and he began marching them around the grounds of this old mansion and posing them with lots of humor.  I found his choices of backgrounds to be interesting, and there were lots of shots where he had them all posed but looking to the side at him, so I couldn’t get his same angle and I’m looking forward to seeing his shots.  Of course we were all taking photos at the same time, and he’d tell the kids to just look at him, and after his shots he’d tell them to stay put to give us all a chance at it.  It was such fun.

And this tiny little NH town goes the extra mile for these kids. They were all assembled   at a back parking lot at the venue where they were all having dinner and the prom itself, and they were announced by name, and then each couple or group of friends, would come walking down the driveway approach to cheers from what appeared to be the entire town.  What a fun tradition.  But while we were all waiting for the main event what did we hear but an ice cream truck!  Soon I saw little kids with ice cream and I was thinking that it was terrible to have that distraction when the event we were all waiting for would begin in just a few minutes.  But as the truck came into view I realized that these were prom goers manning the truck, and tossing ice cream into the crowd!  What an entrance!  A little slice of small town living in NH…

05-19-Kin'sprom05-19-Kin'sprom205-19-Kin'sprom305-19-Kin'sprom405-19-Kin'sprom505-19-Kin'sprom605-19-Kin'sprom705-19-Kin'sprom805-19-Kin'sprom905-19-Kin'sprom1005-19-Kin'sprom1105-19-Kin'sprom1205-19-Kin'sprom1305-19-Kin'sprom1405-19-Kin'sprom1505-19-Kin'sprom16And here you have the soon to be crowned Prince and Princess of the prom!

'scene' along the way, finding my way, flowers, friends, Heros, live and learn, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, strangers become friends

On the road…

Wednesday was my first real travel day, and I employed my new rule for myself right from go.  I didn’t leave in the wee small hours of the morning, a decision made easy since there were people there to say good morning and good-bye to.  And to thank also!  Plus my drive from Charleston, SC to York, PA was going to put me in the DC area at a horrible time from the point of view of traffic no matter when I left.  So the goal was to avoid the fog and drive in the daylight, and when I looked at the GPS there was an alternative route that avoided the DC/Baltimore area all together, so I took it!  And yes, it was scenic, but there were only two lanes, and trucks with issues going up and down the hills.  So the drive was pretty but more work than cruising along on 95.  By the time I’d been on the road for 9 hours and still had three more to go I wondered if the whole thing had been that great of an idea.  But all in all I think it was.

And stopping at the rest stops has proved to be a brilliant idea, I wish I could remember who to thank for that heads up.  As I crossed into NC in the Charlotte area and stopped at the rest stop there I found a kindred spirit, a wanna-be camper.  Except her history involves driving trailers loaded with horses or cows, so she is way ahead of me in the towing department.  She told me that since working at the rest stop she has noticed a big increase in women who are camping on their own.  So maybe I’m not nuts, or else I have a lot of company.  She said that she met the most interesting woman ever through her job.  This woman came into the rest stop and was distressed that she had come through a tunnel in her travels and damaged the satellite on the roof of her vehicle.  She was a German lady and had had her vehicle made for her there.  My new friend said that it was a Mercedes camper, but looked like a taller version of a Hummer.  She had the thought that no one would ever bother her in this vehicle because it looked like an assault vehicle, LOL.  My friend told her that she knew someone, who knew someone, who might be able to help her, and she sent her over to see him.  She promised to check on her after work, and if she had to leave the vehicle overnight she wanted this woman to stay with her, a thought that upset her son no end.  “Mom,” he said, “you don’t know this woman.”  She thought that was funny.  At any rate this lady had camped in that vehicle in Europe, in Iran in the desert, and all through South America.  I guess she was on her North American leg of her journey at that point.  When my new friend checked after work the woman and the repairman and family were all having dinner together.  He had ordered the part for her and she’d be on her way the next day, plus he had the camper all hooked up for her to spend the night in it.  A very unique camper for sure, and far more adventurous than I will ever be.

And now I have met the most interesting woman ever, and I don’t mean the German lady, but the woman I met by chance by stopping at that particular welcome center on that particular day.  She is a two-time breast cancer survivor who followed her beloved doctor to Boston, to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she was treated after he had moved his practice there. After beating cancer twice she was invited to participate in a bike ride to raise money for the cancer center, a ride from Boston to Provincetown on Cape Cod.  To participate you had to raise money by having sponsors, and she told her friends who sponsored her that if she didn’t finish she would reimburse them their money, but once she had raised $20,000 she decided that she’d damned well better finish the ride.  So she rented a cottage on Cape Cod, hired a trainer, and got serious about getting herself ready.  She connected with a bike shop owner who ordered her a lightweight  bike frame that you could lift with one finger.  He told her she’d never make it on the bike she had brought with her.  The upshot of all this is that yes, she finished the ride, and so did her doctor.  They were the only two from their entire group who did finish.  A news crew followed her for 4 weeks as she trained, which was a condition of her participation also, so that her story might inspire other women as they deal with their own challenges with this horrible disease.  A most interesting and inspiring woman indeed.

And it was uplifting to hear the praises of the treatment available at Dana-Farber on the very day that my favorite old friend from my favorite old neighborhood was receiving treatment there even as we were talking.  I never know what my day will bring, and most are good days, but some are better than others.05-08-19azaleafeature

a second look, bugs, butterflies, Florida wildlife, flowers, learning, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, simple things

Photography groupie…

Seriously, that’s what I am, a photography groupie.  I see photos from lots of photography groups online, and when I see that someone has seen the nearby eagles I become possessed with heading over to see them too.  Same with the owls.  Lately it’s been butterflies.  A friend just took a fun field trip to a butterfly garden a couple of hours from here, and just then butterfly pictures started showing up online.  So I Googled butterfly gardens nearby and came up with Hammock Park.  If you are looking for a big, lush butterfly garden then this one isn’t for you.  I didn’t know how I felt about walking the trails in the park by myself so I had nearly given up when the butterflies suddenly appeared.  Today I am headed to a macro photography class, so, as usual, my timing could have been better since I was taking close ups today.  Just means I’ll have to get out there and have a do-over!  And try to do better!4-19-19monarch14-19-19bug24-19-19buttshotforbetty4-19-19bugfeature4-19-19monarch34-19-19bug24-19-19monarch2

'scene' along the way, learning, live and learn, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, technology

Living and learning…

A year and a half ago a blog reader encouraged me to find a photography group here in Florida.  It would be a way to meet people and also add to my growing enthusiasm for photography, she thought, and she was right.  So thanks LoisMargaret.  The group has done exactly that, brought me friends, got me out of the house, and I’ve learned so much about photography.  Today I went to a class on learning to take panoramic photos, and I left dying to try it.  And I knew just where to stop on the way home to practice.  Oh it’s not the ideal setting for these photos.  The ideal setting would be up high with scenery laid out below you.  It’s not easy to get up high here in Florida.  Mt. Dora claims to be Florida’s highest point at 186 feet about sea level, LOL.  But I thought the scenery in Dunedin on the way home would be a perfect spot to practice, and so I did.  I employed most of the tips I learned in class today, but before I can use my tripod I’ll have to clean the sand out of it.  So, far from ideal photos, but four beginner panoramic images.  And a couple of extra photos that I couldn’t resist taking.  It was a glorious Florida day, but that’s just the way we roll here…4-13-19HDRpano34-13-19HDRpano54-13-19HDRpano#24-13-19HDRpano#14-13-19HDRboats34-13-19HDRboats24-13-19HDRboats

a second look, finding my way, healing, history, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, unintended consequences

Hokey Pokey…

“You put your right foot in, you take your right foot out”…  The song came to mind this morning as I sat in the dark and quiet with my coffee.  At about a month since I actually moved myself into my new place, as opposed to just moving my stuff into my new place, I think I’ve got it settled.  Maybe.  But all this arranging and rearranging in here started because of how dark it was out in the Florida room.  And the fact that I realized that the windows would take tension rods so I wasn’t going to have to actually install anything.  That’s what got me started.  I made a cat quilt wall hanging for my mother years ago, and it found a home hanging over the ugly, metal trimmed window out there,  It looked cute, I thought.  But the unintended consequence was that it made the kitchen work space darker.  So take it down or figure out how to ‘dress’ that kitchen window? 04-08-19catquilt04-08-19HLshelvesI wasn’t sure I’d stick with this peg board until I came across two of my all time favorite pictures, one of Charley with a 4 pound lobster he ordered in Provincetown years ago, and the one of me making a very rude, and might I add out-of-character, gesture.  I believe they both were taken on the same trip home years ago.  I didn’t realize that I had copies of those pictures, and the bird photo holder that’s never held a photo must have been waiting for this moment.  We look so young.  So it’s still a little dark in that kitchen corner, but for now I’ll just turn the light on and enjoy the memory.  Charley in the kitchen is so appropriate, he was a great cook.  The puzzle pieces are still falling into place.  It may not be time to do the Hokey Pokey and turn myself around quite yet, but it’s getting there…04-08-19Docandme

'scene' along the way, adventure, food, friends, fun, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, sunset, technology

Recognition where it’s due…

Let’s face it, I was never going to have worked at Publix long enough to be invited to one of their awards ceremonies.  Not when I took a part-time job as a second career, and not really understanding what a great company it was going to be to work for.  But the friends I made there have outlasted my years at Publix, and my friend Dee asked me to come with her as she was honored for her 25 years with the company.  The fireman’s daughter in me doesn’t mind admitting that I have never been to a resort as lovely as this one.  The view from the balcony of our room was spectacular right from go.  Hence the panoramic photo above,  I didn’t bring my camera so it was the trusty iPhone 7+ to the rescue.  I took a few pictures right away, and I could also see that the sunset was going to happen right out there, I’d have a front row seat.  Except the banquet might not end in time for me to see it.  Except it did, barely, and I snapped one picture as I raced to find my way back to the room for more photos.  I made it in time for a few photos, and I even made it back to the banquet in time for dessert.  Perfect!  Well, the only thing that would have made it more perfect was if we had thought to bring bathing suits so we could ride the lazy river rafting pool that was drifting along out there.  Now that would have been the icing on the cake!  Sorry, bakery worker pun there…04-06-19Omnifirst04-06-19Omnifirst04-06-19Omnifirst204-06-19Omni104-06-19Omnisunset04-06-19Omnisunset2