…Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?…
(from Signs: by the Five Man Electrical Band…from my high school days…)
Signs often present challenges…
With instructions for what we are supposed to do.
Or…more specifically…what we are not supposed to do.
We can obey them…or not.
After all, we do have a choice…made all the harder when signage deviates from the usual.
Such was the case during a visit to Virginia Beach in 2006. We were looking forward to a few relaxing days to unwind before the 600 mile road trip home. After the stress of leaving our last born to freshman orientation…and indoctrination into the wild untamed life of college in Richmond.
But what was this?
I was startled to note that a large beach town would need such a directive.
Did visitors usually wander around spewing the f-bomb? Describing dog doo doo in loud outside voices?
It was a challenge NOT to shout out an expletive.
Not because I had the urge to.
But because there was this big sign bossing me around…planting the thought…
Posing a challenge.
And then further down the street…
Another set of challenges…for some.
And unfortunately there will be those who rise stoop to the challenge…and harass people and break laws anyway.
Virginia Beach is a large thriving tourist destination.
And “the Resort Area” (ie: main street) is only walking distance from
its public beach…which showcases swimwear of all imaginations.
“…refrain from…wearing revealing attire…?”
Now, THAT’S a challenge.
(We had a lovely time despite the signs. And I only cursed in my mind.)
There is just something about the light at the end of day.
Especially in the colder months when dark comes earlier.
When by 4pm the sun is sinking fast.
If I am lucky, any clouds dissipate and there it is…behind the trees.
If I am even luckier, I manage to snap a photo before it is gone.
Although I find much calm and serenity at the ocean, with its waves and sunsets…there is something even more peaceful and tranquil about this bath of warm color. When many trees are bare and allow the last of the sun’s rays to slip through unhindered.
Right out my back window.
It wraps me up and stops me in my tracks.
A most welcome sight.
This was definitely a challenge.
Just choosing one photo. Out of a zillion (well maybe not a zillion, but close)
So many wonderful memories of the last few decades.
When I stumbled upon this photo in my search, I remembered Frank’s suggestion: don’t hesitate to go for the whimsical.
Father’s Day 2008
My two adult children made it a point to be home to celebrate with their father. As they always did – and still do – they let the silliness of childhood surface. My son had recently found this road sign while at his local summer job.
I have no idea why he kept it, except that it became a handy prop. For a photo taken while waiting for the steaks to grill. Creative minds at work…when Mom wanted another photo of the two of them.
Another example of the joyful, silly, irreverent atmosphere that permeated their childhood. And our life together as a family of four.
And their close relationship – even at almost 6 years apart.
My children’s paternal grandparents were always willing to play with their grandchildren – no matter what the game was. It could be as simple as reading a book, playing cards or tossing a ball. Even planting seeds in their huge backyard garden.
One Christmas – 1994 – they even joined in, sunglasses and all, when their grandson tried out his new “saxophone.”
It can often be a mystery to figure out a 2 ½ year old. Who has a limited vocabulary which does not include “I am sad” or “I don’t understand” or “I need to calm down” or even…”I am lonely.”
But who still needs to feel a bit more relaxed or cheered or settled. I had a little boy like that a few decades ago. A comforting big hug would make all the difference most of the time. Or some grown up attempts at bridging the language divide…”it’s okay”…”you’ll feel better soon”…”let’s read a story together”…”I love you!”
there was something about Pluto Dog – that special stuffed animal buddy that soothed like nothing else did. Held against bare skin, the comfort radiated to where it needed to go. The amazing power of touch.
Many such buddies lined his bedroom shelf and a few were snuggled with every night. When he reached for comfort, they were right there. No need to explain.
It is no surprise to me that this little boy grew up to be a fine young man…with a smile and a fond eye for every pup he passes on the street. And a special connection to his sister’s sweet dog who jumps & barks with excitement when hearing him at the door.
(And it also just happens to be his birthday today)
When I think slippery, I think “slip and fall” and…snowstorms.
When I was a kid, a snowstorm was exciting and often meant a day off from school. Making snow forts. Snowball fights. Snowmen.
Slipping and falling were part of the fun.
Not fun any more…
As a (former) homeowner, winter storms also meant:
First: Admiring the pretty snow.
Second: Taking photographs.
Third: Removing the snow from the front walk & driveway…with a shovel..or a snowblower…or both.
Fourth: Taking more photographs.
Below is a photo from February 2014 after a major snowfall.
I had just finished clearing the front walkway.