Sunshine’s Macro Monday: Milkweed

Sunshine’s Macro Monday #36

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As I was finishing up a walk in the woods last week I almost walked past these milkweed pods…before I noticed them camouflaged in the fallen leaves.

Somehow staying intact through winter’s rain and snow.

Looking down has its advantages…

pods
Milkweed Pods – March 2020

What?

One Word Sunday: What?

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I never did get an explanation for what the heck is a giant chair doing in this front yard?

big chair

…during a visit to the Shelburne Museum last summer.

Who were they expecting?

I Want To Hold Your Hand…

BeckyB April SquareTops

I am hoping our April theme will keep our heads held high and help fill our lives with social connections and squares filled with joy….The theme is top, and you don’t have to go outside to find topping squares…Create your post with a square photograph

SixWordSaturday

In the pursuit of distraction from our current surreal life situation…

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Does anyone remember those Mop Tops?

The four young men who burst upon the music scene in the 1960s with Long Hair! (Scandalous!) Their nickname – the term for a “bowl” haircut – made this hairstyle a popular choice from then on. Much to the dismay of parents everywhere. Mine included.

I was a very excited 9 year old when The Beatles released Meet The Beatles. It was the first record I ever owned (and, yes, I still have it).

But I was even more excited to receive my very own “Beatle Doll.”

I still have that too, along with one of his bandmates – Ringo – tucked into a box labeled “Memorabilia” along with a stack of tattered black & white Beatles cards and a poster.

moptop
My very own Mop Tops
The surviving Beatles: Ringo and Paul

Yvonne, a family friend from Switzerland, gave me the Paul doll…as he was considered the cutest and therefore the most popular at the time. My new “Beetle” doll (as I spelled it) was the highlight of a diary entry and accompanied me to school the next day.

George, the often overlooked “quiet Beatle” was actually my favorite.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback: April 3

Inspired by Fandango’s Friday Flashback: April 3

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year….Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

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This post is from April 3, 2018. I had not yet gone “public” with my blog. And, yes, I still have all those photos…

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downsizing and stuff – part 2 – photos

It shouldn’t be surprising, but too much stuff can still survive the process of downsizing. Despite the carloads and truckloads and endless Craig’s List posts and sales, too much stuff snuck into our new – smaller – home.

I wonder…so what? I found room for it – piled in closets and the 2 tiny storage units that we own. And there it stays…possibly mocking me.

Hundreds of photographs, negatives (remember negatives?) and slides (remember slides?) neatly organized by month and year in those fancy decorated shoe boxes you get at Michaels on sale for $2. Who will ever want them? Will they all end up in the nearest dumpster someday?

Photos are now mostly digital…poof! no boxes. No spaces to fill up. You can fit thousands on one of those little flash drives that fit in your pocket.  But nothing to hold in your hand….in their hands. Pieces of photo paper – glossy or pearl finish, with borders or without. Images of history.  Flip them over and if you’re lucky you’ll find dates, names, places. The older ones may be faded or yellowed. Well loved ones may be creased or lightened from the sun where they were tacked to a bulletin board or hung near a sunny window.

Remember this? When we went to watch sunsets at Sunset Beach? Remember when she was learning to eat with a spoon? Remember when he shot a 3 & pretended to be on the Dream Team? When Opa and I played Pinochle for hours? Look at us sitting there, both of us with cigarettes alight. Memory triggers….

They all tell stories if you look close enough. I think that’s what fascinates me the most. Body language. All lined up sitting on the couch but not touching. Or with arms entwined. That smile, that frown, that wink, that grimace. Who is there and who isn’t. It all tells a story. Some happy. Some not so happy. Some painful. It is all important. To someone. I am the keeper of all that.

And there are the photographs from a hundred years ago – long departed relatives and friends posing for photos only taken a few times in a year. Most are carefully posed with older women and men standing stiffly in a back row behind the younger women or children. Or, as in the case of my grandfather’s family; his father and uncle standing with arms crossed, others grinning, others not. Three generations together. What was the reason for the photo – bow ties and all? A turn of the century family story.

1915
circa 1915

 

This still doesn’t solve my problem. All those photos in the Michael’s boxes. And the rest in file size storage bins – including the aforementioned old photos plus polaroids and instamatic prints. Then there are school pictures of….everybody. I can’t imagine that my adult children will ever want the full extra set of their toothy grin fifth grade photos. Plus the bookshelf stuffed with 40 years of photo albums.

A new friend said to me recently – do you want to leave behind a gift or a burden? Not that I am planning to get to the “leaving behind” stage of life for a while.

So what to do? I still have no idea.

BUT…..It’s so much less than before.

I insist

(to myself)

Lens-Artists Challenge #90: Distance

Lens-Artists Challenge #90: Distance

…These days, everyone’s talking about and hopefully practicing “Social Distancing”. Since it’s something we should all be doing, we thought a challenge focused on DISTANCE might be an appropriate reminder of its importance.

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I hope that sometime in the not so distant future we never need to hear the term “Social Distance” again. Which ought to be called “Physical Distance” – a more accurate description. A time of anxiety…and often loneliness. For me and most everyone I know.

I am very thankful for the connections that social media and FaceTime and Zoom and Skype offer us. However…I increasingly miss actual three dimensional flesh and blood face to face conversation. A rectangular screen is no substitute for a big bear hug. One little hand holding yours. Catching up with friends over lunch at a favorite restaurant.

At times it feels like I briefly stepped into a nightmare I had as a child…where I got off the school bus in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Panicked, I ran up and down empty streets from house to house unable to recognize any as my own. Until I woke up, heart racing, groggy, straining my eyes in the dark until I finally realized it was just a dream.

However…now for very good reasons…we do what we have to do. Distancing ourselves.

I know that someday I will wake up from this surreal existence. In the meantime, I try to remember how beautiful distance can actually be…

…when I purposely sought out being alone…

sand footprints

comforted by an empty path through the trees…

path ahead

offering a glimmer of hope…

distance sun

…in the distance.

Apple Tops

April marks the beginning of a new squares challenge from BeckyB at The life of B

…I am hoping our April theme will keep our heads held high and help fill our lives with social connections and squares filled with joy….The theme is top, and you don’t have to go outside to find topping squares…Create your post with a square photograph,

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I am hoping that an apple a day keeps the coronavirus away.

Maybe yes, most likely no.

But why not give it a try?

After being thoroughly washed and scrubbed, these four apples posed for a photo…cooperating to form a perfect square.

Their tops all shiny…clean…

apple square

…and virus free.

Sunshine’s Macro Monday: Changing Seasons

Sunshine’s Macro Monday #35

Photo a Week Challenge: Changing Seasons

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Here in the northeastern USA, the comforting signs of spring are still hard to come by. And, believe me, I am looking for them. Those vibrant splashes of yellows and purples as hibernating bulbs push signs of life up through the cold ground. Surrounded by trees and bushes newly dressed with greenery….

However…as I discovered this past weekend…if you look closely…

budding out

…Mother Nature is making her presence known..little by little.

A welcome – and hopeful – sight.