Photo a Week – Pink

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The theme this week: Pink

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR THREE…) FEATURING THE COLOR PINK.

Once upon a time…decades ago…my daughter was all about pink. Pink shirts. Pink pants. Pink sweaters. Pink tights. Pink Care Bear. Pink pj’s. Pink robe. And slippers. You get the picture.

And on the occasion of her 5th birthday, appropriately dressed in her favorite pink lace covered party dress, she was thrilled to open a gift…and discover it contained…a pink raincoat.

At age 5, there was no such thing as too much pink.

1987 bday044 copy

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Color of Your Choice

Cee’s Challenge topic this week is Color of your Choice

This time of year I am more than ready for bright colors…
Reddish orange
Bright blue
With just a touch of black and white…

IMG_0982
“Origins”  by Mark di Suvero

 

This majestic sculpture, created by Mark di Suvero, greets visitors at the entrance to the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH.

This view – from the ground looking up – captures just a portion of its 36 foot height…

On a perfect summer day.

 

RDP – COLOR

In The Balance

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #35: Balance

I could never watch circus performers walk the tightrope. Always covering my eyes and waiting for the clapping before peeking out. Never mind those daredevils who travel between 2 buildings balanced on a wire.

Olympic ice skating competitions? I’ll watch after it’s over…but only if I find out ahead of time that the skater stays upright.

Gymnastics and the balance beam: I hold my breath until the routine is over.

There is something about balance…and losing it…that terrifies me. More than it used to. Perhaps it is risk of injury or death. Or perhaps it’s just faith and confidence and control…or lack thereof. Maybe it’s all those hours the skaters, gymnasts and tightrope walkers put into a 10 minute routine…all for nothing if they fall.

As a child I was a risk taker, riding my bike down steep hills – feet off the pedals and hands up in the air. As a 26 year old new home owner, I’d walk on the asphalt roof to check for loose shingles. No problem. But then again, I was young and healthy.

Times have changed.

Balance in life choices? Not so clear cut. Closing my eyes and looking away…not an option.

As a young feminist coming of age during the dawning of Ms. magazine, Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, I was bombarded with what felt like wrenching decisions about balancing life choices. Decisions laced with judgment…from the media, my parents, my friends.
Career or Motherhood?
Career and Motherhood?
How much career and how much motherhood.
Then there was marriage – or just living together – in the mix as well. And who or what deserved most of my time? And energy.

Life as a balance sheet started to emerge…

A seesaw perfectly aligned: 50/50 career and kids?
A seesaw off kilter…40/60 when kids are young…or is it 70/30?
Or heaven forbid, choose one over the other.
And what about a partner?
Or just you.
Where do you cut?
Without guilt…
The balancing act – even the thought of it – knots up the stomach.

So you “balance” the marriage, the career, the kids. The time for you with what’s left.
The best you can.
Trying to ignore the buzz of disapproval in dark corners.

Then the kids grow up. Start their own balancing acts.
Probably aiming to do it better. As they should.
And off they go. As they should.
The seesaw lowers a bit. Stability uncertain.

Career winds down
Screeches to a halt.
As you shift in the seat…
…the seesaw slams to the ground.
Ouch.
Glance up…look around…

Ah…the marriage is still there. Good thing.
But…
Your back is killing you. Your feet hurt.
So insanely tired.
Your immune system starts complaining…
An unwelcome surprise
Upsetting the balance.
Once again.

Balance may be an illusion
Shifting day to day.
Hour to hour. Minute to minute.

Now going forward
Covering my eyes
Hoping
That someone will be there to catch me
When I fall…

Perhaps the best balancing act of all.

 

backyard 1993041

 

 

Love and Hearts and Grandparents

If we have someone who loves us — I don’t mean who indulges us, but who loves us enough to be on our side — then it’s easier to grow resilience, to grow belief in self, to grow self-esteem. And it’s self-esteem that allows a person to stand up.

Maya Angelou

 

 

from Grammy 1966

 

valentine's card 1967038
from Great Grandma 1967

 

I have much to be grateful for in my life. The love of family is at the top of the list. As a child…and then as an adult…I was well loved by my grandparents. Held up. Cherished. Accepted.

All four of my grandparents – and my one living great grandparent – took the time to write to me. Personal letters. Postcards. Valentines. Birthday cards….
I heard from them on a regular basis…knowing I was important in their lives. And not forgotten, even though we lived miles apart.

Treasured pages of handwritten news, stories, questions about my life and plans for the future….
Offering encouragement and understanding
And unconditional love.

 

Photo a day challenge – Hearts

RDP – Intimate

 

Tales of Terror: Times Past

Irene Waters’ “Times Past” prompt challenge topic for February is: Tales of Terror

Can you remember any tales of fear that your parents used to stop you going out of bounds. Please join in giving your location at the time of your memory and your generation. 

~~~

 

jungle gym
on top of the world circa 1962

 

As a baby boomer growing up in the USA suburbs, I basically roamed the tree lined streets of my working class neighborhood. On foot. On my bike. On my skateboard. On roller skates. I specifically remember the house I lived in from the age of 4 to 11. There were woods to explore at one end of the street before it curved uphill to circle around to the next block. Houses lined up close together and near to the street.

 

My mother issued two clear directives to keep me safe:

 Don’t take candy from strangers.

This was in the context of a stranger driving around the block, who might stop, open the door and try to lure me into his car with a Nestle’s Crunch. I would then never be seen again. And terrible things would happen…which were never spelled out in any detail, but an implied tale of terror just the same.

I will admit I considered possibly grabbing the candy and making a run for it. However the opportunity never presented itself.

Being the immortal child that I was, I was unafraid to ride my bike for hours at a time…for long distances that perhaps would have been prohibited if I had advertised my adventures. Which I didn’t.

A favorite trip: to “the little store” on the other side of town…saved my allowance and bought my own candy. Smarties, Mary Janes, Mounds, tiny wax bottles (remember those? argh), button candy, Bazooka Bubble Gum. No strangers needed. Sometimes I let my younger sister tag along, swearing her to secrecy.

Interesting side note: when we first moved there, my sister was 3 years old. One day she packed a lunchbox with napkins, hopped on her tricycle and took off…without telling anyone. Her destination: where we used to live…a long car ride away. A dozen houses later – almost a quarter mile – she arrived at the far end of our road, about to pedal down the cross street. A dangerous intersection at the crest of a hill. The neighbor on the corner stopped her in time and called the police.

So my sister got a ride in a police car…which is where she was eventually spotted by my frantic mother. Who had grabbed me and my infant brother and probably went looking for strangers with candy. An actual tale of terror thankfully averted.

Don’t go near Tony M.

Tony was a mentally challenged teenager who lived a couple of blocks away. At least I think he was a teenager…to my young eyes he could have been in his twenties. He lived with his parents and sometimes wandered around looking somewhat disheveled.  It was never explained to me what he might do. Or say. But the look in my mother’s eyes spoke fear. My questions about why went unanswered. I rarely saw him, but when I did he mostly looked lonely and sad.  I wonder what happened to him.

 

554 calvin 1958030
Family gathered safely on the front porch – 1958