coping, finding my way, healing, life goes on, loneliness, memories, moments, photography, sky, sunrise, the big picture

Finding my way…

I was sitting in the dark and quiet, minding my own business, when a photo of the Super Moon came across my Facebook page.  It triggered a memory of the very first time I went to Hammond’s Creek Bridge for a sunrise, and the moon was also present in my sunrise shot that day.  I thought it really made the shot.  That thought sent me leaping out of the recliner to hurry and get dressed and get to the bridge in case the Super Moon would be in the sunrise shot again.  I only had a half hour until sunrise…

As I drove I could see the moon directly in front of me, when the fog thinned enough to see it at all, and already I knew it wasn’t going to be in the sunrise photo, but I kept going.  As has happened quite a few times already, the reflection of the sunrise was as pretty as the actual sunrise, so all was not lost.  It was worth the hurried trip out of the house.  The moon is in this shot, but you have to look for it.

124reflectedsunrisewithmoon

I’ve been a little melancholy that I do everything by myself these days, and on the way home I imagined myself trying to get Charley to leap up and head out the door to go with me.  It would never have happened.  Charley used to do his full grooming routine, including ‘skunk piss’, before he would leave the house, including to head to the Y and work out on the machines.  I argued with him about that, because on the way home he would stop at my store when I was working, to shop or to just say hello, and he was always absolutely drenched in sweat, looking like a dirt ball.  Thankfully that was good skunk piss because he still aways smelled good.  Heaven forbid that he show up at the Y not looking his best, maybe it was because of the ‘exercise divas’, as his trainer friends called them.  But no, I shouldn’t lament that I have to head out the door alone to take pictures, because most likely if I didn’t head out when the thought struck I probably wouldn’t head out at all.

Besides, because of that I never know where I’ll be in the next five minutes, it’s a bit of an adventure.  As long as I keep finding my way home again it’ll be okay…

124moonshot

 

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coping, death, faith, fun, grief, life, life goes on, live and learn, moments, on closer examination, photography, Pine Island, sunset, the big picture

Lost opportunities…

It used to be that when I sat in this recliner in the dark and quiet of the morning, with a nice hot cup of coffee at my side, I’d just think.  About anything.  I probably couldn’t even tell you what I had been thinking about five minutes after the thoughts passed through my mind.  It was important time to me since so often there is no time to think during a busy day.  Not anymore.  Now I go through the hundreds of photos I took the day before to see what I can do with them.  Hopefully I have a few good ones, and some days, like today, I kick myself for the lost opportunities from the day before.  Like going to Pine Island for the sunset and finding tightrope walkers doing their thing.  That was fun to watch, but why do I think I have to take photos on the sly?  Think of the photos I might have gotten if I’d have asked permission, and my guess is that they wouldn’t have objected since they set up their ‘rope’, actually a very heavy rubber band sort of thing, in public.  I think I ought to make myself an ID sort of badge to wear and pretend I want to interview people for publication.  Do they really need to know it’s just little old me in my recliner?1030tightrope11030tightrope2Now these people didn’t need me to intrude on them, although they may have liked to tell their story.  Almost as soon as I saw them with the balloons I knew that they were going to let them go as a memorial to someone.  An environmentalist probably would object since those balloons are going to wind up somewhere in nature, but I understand the sentiment involved.  Soon enough they gathered at the water’s edge and let them go, which is when I noticed that they had a card or note attached.  Sad for them, but I hope it gave them some comfort to do that.1030memorial1030balloonsliftoffActually the term ‘lost opportunity’ comes from work.  One of the bakers told me that when you haven’t produced the products fast enough, either gotten them baked or gotten them packaged and out onto the sales floor, that’s lost opportunity because most people won’t want to bother you to ask for what they are looking for.  I’m not sure that I’ve ever thought of that term before he mentioned it, but I can sure think of some lost opportunities in my life that I wish I’d recognized when they were happening and then I  might have changed the outcome.  Sigh…

birds, butterflies, nature, on closer examination, photography, rain, simple things, spider webs, storms, sunset, the big picture, unintended images

To delete, or not to delete…

Purging photos is a problem for me.  I leave no photos on the SIM card in the camera, mostly because I can’t see them well enough on the camera, and that means they’ll essentially be lost to me. Deleting photos works for a bit, but soon I’ll see a photo and wonder why I didn’t notice it before. I enlarge it on the screen and look at the details and tell myself. wow, I like that a lot. But then I look at the next one and it’s almost the same, so which one is better? Then I open the thumbnail view and discover that there are 14 of those photos, pretty much identical, and I look at each one in detail to see which is ‘best’. After a few episodes like that my eyes get really tired. Usually I wind up leaving that group of photos and moving on to blurry images that I don’t have to torture myself deciding whether to delete them or not. I’m not sure that I wind up deleting enough photos to make up for the 100s I take each time go out with the camera, but it’s better than nothing. And I do find some nice and/or quirky ones…

Like the old guy above who got roped into going shopping with his wife.  He’s making the best of things.  And below is one which was taken with a new wide angle add-on to my Canon Camera.  Yes, I did notice that if I opened the lens all the way I could see the rounded extension, but I figured I could crop it out.  The sunset was rained out, so I pulled out of the parking space right in front of that roofed picnic table, but I got out and took one last photo with the rain pouring down.  I came so close to deleting this one, then I opened up the filter gallery in photoshop, where I’ve never ‘played’ before, and tried something called plastic wrap.  There is something I like about this image, so I guess it’s a keeper.plasticwrapsunset

Then there are these birds on a wire at a shopping center near me.  I’ve seen them before, they look like they are in line waiting for something.  Not only on the wire, but in the trees too.  Why?  Or maybe, why not?birdsonawire

And another spider web.  My neighbor has stopped wondering what I’m doing out there.angledspiderwebOn the left we have a tattoo I spotted online the other day.  It’s seafoam, and I see that, but I had to laugh because I think my arm looks just like that nearly every work day.  Reaching into the icing bucket to ice pastries will do that to you.  Do you think they got the idea for that tattoo from me?

flowers, life, natural wonders, nature, on closer examination, photography, simple things, the big picture

Nature’s little miracles…

Not sure how long ago it was that I photographed the cactus flowers that I was seeing on the dog walk around the neighborhood. The flowers were gorgeous, while they lasted, which wasn’t very long. But I’m surprised to see that we are having a round two, the cactus plants are covered in buds again. With one difference, each plant seems to have a few red buds in amongst the green ones. I keep watching and waiting to see what sort of flower emerges from those red buds, but they don’t seem to be in a hurry to do anything.

I wrote that a week or two ago, and I’m still waiting to see red flowers.  Because on another walk around the neighborhood I saw that these red buds aren’t buds at all. They are woody, with a little string-like extension hanging from them. My friend also sees these cactus plants in her neighbor’s yard, and she too expected to see a red flower. Her neighbor said that no, it’s how they reproduce, and the moths come and visit to propagate them. What I’ve been seeing is the last of the flowers still open in the morning, they really bloom all night, and that is when the moths work their magic. We humans are presumptuous enough to assume that we are the center of things, when in fact there are tiny miracles happening all around us every day, needing no assistance from us. Mother Nature is always at work, all we need to do is open our eyes…

death, dogs, healing, life, memories, photography, the big picture

Who was Gleason…

My new friend, Mary Ann, asked me who Gleason is, based on my email addy of Gleasonsmom. Well, Gleason was our bulldog, arguably the most ‘human’ dog I’ve ever known. We had just lost our Shar Pei, and Charley’s answer to losing one pet was to immediately want to get another. I emphatically said no when he first spotted Gleason and wanted to take him home, but when he was still available two weeks later Charley considered it to be a ‘meant to be’ sort of thing, and I relented. He was such a sweet puppy as we drove home with him, and then we put him down in the kitchen and he became Cujo! All mouth, chewing whatever he came into contact with, including ankles! Thankfully that stage was over with fairly quickly, and he became a very undemanding, easy to get along with, dog. Unless the food or water bowl was empty, in which case he would pick them up and drop them on the floor. Metal bowls, rolling around and around on the rim, you get the picture.

slurp

My favorite photo of Gleason is with Riley, my granddaughter, on the window seat of our house in MD. When I glanced into the room to check on them I was horrified to see them, Riley’s arm in Gleason’s mouth and him gnawing away. But she calmly withdrew that soggy arm and inserted her other arm, so I grabbed the camera and started clicking. Their photo session culminated in this big slurp of Gleason’s tongue right up the side of Riley’s face. I only wish you could see it as clearly as I see it in my mind’s eye. Their relationship had been cemented earlier that day when again, I checked on them, and Gleason was laying in the living room chomping on a large-sized Milk Bone dog cookie, surrounded by many other dog cookies on the floor around him, and Riley was busy extracting yet another one from the box and tossing it in his general direction. Clearly I needed to pay closer attention

When we got him I insisted that he was Charley’s responsibility. All the walking and tending to were his job, and they were inseparable. Every Saturday was spent at Charley’s friend’s coin shop, where various other fellow coin collectors would stop in, and Gleason had a relationship with all of them. Gleason loved to go there, and not only because they always ordered lunch, and whatever Charley had for lunch Gleason had also. I think he liked being part of the gang. As much as he loved going there, and was waiting patiently by the door for Charley to get ready to head to the shop, he just marched out the door very matter-of-factly, no crazy dog shenanigans like I see every day from my current dogs. Like I said, easy to get along with.

The two of them spent Sundays at the VFW across the street from the office watching whatever sports were on the TVs and getting hand outs from various VFW members. Gleason would lay quietly on the floor, with the handle of his leash hooked under the leg of Charley’s chair. He was so much a part of the routine at the VFW that when there was a party Gleason was invited. A buffet table was set up by the door, and the place was full of round tables for dining, and lots and lots of people. We were all enjoying ourselves, eating and having a beer, when Charley stood up and leaned forward to reach for his beer that he had left out of reach on the table. Then he went to sit back down and disappeared! Out of view except for his feet, which had popped up into the air. He was flat on his back, and of course we were all concerned that he was okay, and he was, but as we looked around to see what the heck had happened all we could see was Charley’s chair moving steadily toward the food table, being towed by a very determined bulldog on a mission! If only there was a video.

His most surprising activity came one day after watching a neighboring golden retriever diving into the lake to retrieve a stick. Gleason wanted in on the action. Savannah would only bring the stick back so far, so Gleason jumped in and picked up the stick and brought it onto shore. He was on the retractible leash at the time, and the visual I got was that Charley was going to reel him in if he got into trouble out there, but didn’t, he loved it. We had to throw the stick for Gleason after that. Bulldogs aren’t supposed to be able to swim due to their body build, but I guess no one ever told Gleason he was a bulldog.retriever2

So that’s who Gleason was Mary Ann. He was quite the character, kind of like Charley…

 

 

life, memories, on closer examination, responsibility, the big picture

A Classy Bunch…

Not too long ago I wrote about my birthday, #69, the last of my 60s. Which means I was born in 1948. But I couldn’t think of any photos I had that I could include in the post, except some photos I had taken of an old truck at a salvage yard. It was definitely past it’s prime, kind of like me, so that’s what I included in the post. But a friend said that she didn’t understand the significance of those particular images and why I had chosen them. And, truthfully, I had looked online for images of model year 1948 cars, but the photos were really quite nice and didn’t portray the 69 years of wear and tear that I was going for. And again, truth be told, I knew the day would come that I’d like to include those nicer photos in a different blog post. A post that would celebrate all of us, born in ’48, the class of ’66. I actually think that the cars produced in 1948 look very classy, not at all what I was looking to portray when I wrote that first post. But thinking about it now I think we, my fellow 69ers, are a classy bunch too. Enough of a twinkle in the eye to know how to have fun, but not likely to embarrass ourselves, or anyone else. We sort of straddled the more prim and proper ways of the generation before us, but we tweaked it without actually going as far as the let-it-all-hang out ways of those younger than us. We worked hard to earn our place in the world, doing the right thing, raising our children to be good citizens, only to see many of the lessons we thought were important to teach our children become irrelevant in today’s world. It’s nothing new to wonder what this world is coming to, but we still proudly carry the banner of our generation, yes, a classy bunch are we.