Windows Retrospective: 2014 – 2015

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Retrospective

Feel free to look back across 2019 or the 2010s, or whatever comes to your creative mind, when you are feeling retrospective!

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Five years ago last November, my husband and I were still living in the home we had bought in 1980. The cape style house had been remodeled several times – adding space as our family grew larger. However, the dining room (originally an office & then my daughter’s bedroom) stayed virtually the same, with the occasional wallpaper and rug update.

I enjoyed eating breakfast in that small, yet cozy, dining room…something I had rarely done years earlier when life bordered on hectic. By 2014 our children had long since grown and moved on. I had (mostly) retired and treasured my mornings, lingering over the first meal of the day. No need to spend more time than necessary in the kitchen!

My seat at the dining room table faced a window looking out on our quiet neighborhood street. I sipped coffee with a clear view of the changing seasons…an occasional car…yellow school bus…jogger.

For some reason…I don’t remember why…I took a photograph of my window view one November morning in 2014. Perhaps it was the autumn leaves still hanging on despite the colder temperatures. Not sure, but I didn’t question the impulse.

Then…one thing led to another…

I thought it would be fun to document – on a regular basis – the changes happening outside…as seen from my seat at the table. At evenly spaced intervals of course. Not too surprising, as I am known to do that sort of thing (just ask my children…). Capturing moments.

For the next 11 months – on or about the 10th of every month at breakfast – I took a picture of that view…trying to line up the shot the same way each time.

The first photo…November 10, 2014.

1Nov10-2014
November 2014
2Dec10-2014
December 2014
3Jan10-2015
January 2015
4Feb10-2-2105
February 2015
5march 10c
March 2015
6april10-2
April 2015
7may 10c
May 2015
8june10
June 2015
9july 10c
July 2015
10Aug10-1
August 2015
11Sept10-2
September 2015

The last of the monthly photos was taken October 12th, 2015.

12october2015-2
October 2015

I am glad I chronicled this evolving, yet familiar, scene. Little did I know at the time, but major life changes were on the way.

One year later – in October 2016 – we sold our home of 36 years.

I wonder if the new owner is enjoying the view as much as I did.

I hope so.

Holiday Highlights

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Holidays

The challenge for this week is to bring out the magic that you find in the season and share it with one another!

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A good friend of mine has a saying: Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a season.

I would further elaborate.

It can bring out the goodness in people. The willingness to share with those less fortunate. The willingness to share an extra smile. Doing what they can to brighten someone’s day. Bringing real meaning to the greeting Happy Holidays.

I spent the week of Christmas in Washington, DC at my daughter and son-in-law’s home. Surrounded by love-infused holiday festivities…marked by delicious meals, cookie decorating, present opening, cooking and baking side by side. Playing pretend with my grandson. Reading stories. Building Lego cities. Singing Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

One night we all went for an early evening walk…parents, grandparents, 3 year old and two dogs.

A holiday season highlight…a once a year magical moment.

house lights
Let’s go look at the lights!

house lights 3

house-lights-one.jpg

 

light night

 

 

 

Common Crayons

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Common

I thought that it might be interesting to go for something rather Common… Whether it is the every day, common object or the things that you have in common, or crossing the town common…

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During a recent visit with my 3 year old grandson, I noticed a small basket of crayons.

Common drawing tools for budding young artists like him.

Not too much has changed from decades past…except they’re now washable (!) and labeled in two languages.

crayons

Still fun to peel off the labels, break them in half…and use up one’s favorite color first.

I noticed the pink crayon was almost gone.

 

Freezing mist

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Mist

Three years ago tomorrow my husband and I closed on the condo we are living in now. A long awaited moment…after years of planning, downsizing and exhausting work.

That morning the air temperature was 2° F – so brutally cold that I was afraid my car wouldn’t start, as it was parked outside. The gusty wind making it worse.

If my car didn’t start, how would I get to the closing?

At the time we were renting a condo across the street from the Atlantic Ocean in Hampton Beach, NH. I was up early enough that morning to catch this view out the window. I stepped out (briefly!) on the tiny deck to capture this shot…

Ocean mist (perhaps a “freezing mist”) like I had never seen before.

IMG_3341
8:23 am
December 16, 2016
Hampton Beach, NH

It never warmed up past 10° or 12° that day…but much to my relief, the car reluctantly started.

Holiday glow

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Glow

…There are many choices, so feel free to push the boundaries and shoot for that glowing review!

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I wasn’t sure what to expect last night when I went to a local Festival of Trees fundraiser. I had not attended one of these events before, but I grabbed my camera – knowing there would be something glowing. Christmas trees, right?

What I found was the town hall filled with 52 fully decorated lit up Christmas trees – all being bid on in a silent auction format. Add your name to the list with a bid higher than the person before you. Highest bidder buys the tree. All proceeds went to a local nonprofit benefitting children in need.

The trees were decorated and donated by local community groups and businesses. Townspeople of all ages were in attendance checking out the trees. And, yes, taking pictures as well.

Needless to say, overhead lighting was minimal – to showcase the beautiful trees of course – and as a result many of my shots were not sharply focused. Or…I will more kindly describe them as soft focus.

However!

I did spot a glowing tree topper.

tree topper

 

But my favorite glowing example was this…well…bride tree? I wish I had made a note of who came up with this rather creative way to trim a tree.

I don’t imagine it was one of the churches.
However, anything is possible…and it does give “The glowing bride” new meaning.

bride tree

 

Peaceful place

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Peace

…share posts that evoke the sense of peace for you, in whatever form that might take.

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Several months ago, I discovered a small clearing in the woods in back of my condo building…which I often gravitate to when I am out for a walk.

Even though I can still hear the roar of the traffic from the nearby highway, it is my peaceful place. I often wish there was a place to sit.

Perhaps the coincidence traces back decades to when I used to spend afternoons out exploring the wooded area down the street with my friend Kathleen. Gathering rocks and leaves and the odd rusty nail in an old bucket. Or – alone – perched in a tree in my front yard, hidden from the world…as deep in thought as a 9 year old can be. I always felt a sense of belonging…and a sense of lightness being in the out-of-doors.

Although now there is no tree climbing…that sense of belonging continues.

 

 

Fantasy world of color

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Fantasy

Your challenge is to use the theme of Fantasy and take it into your choice of creative directions; be it an image of your fantasy location, a fantasy that is in your mind, or whatever speaks fantasy to you!

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Does anyone remember watching the Walt Disney show on television…with the tagline “The Wonderful World of Color?”

Walt Disney’s “Wonderful World of Color” was one of my favorite programs when I was growing up. First only in black & white…and when I was 11…finally in color. When my grandparents gave us a Zenith color TV for Christmas.  What a revelation! Color!

The show was broadcast on one of only three (!) network channels on Sunday night right before the Ed Sullivan show. A million years ago.

If I was lucky – and my mother didn’t notice that my sister, brother and I were still up – the Sullivan show morphed into Bonanza.

I escaped through television back then. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the make-believe lives of Donna, Samantha, Gilligan, Beaver, Chip & Ernie and Clark fueled my imagination for what an alternative reality might be. Unrealistic of course, but when you’re a little kid, you don’t know any better. It was a welcome relief to watch kind loving families with problems where it all eventually worked out. When the day was saved by a flying mouse. Or a flying man in a suit. Or even…a flying nun. When the world was a happy place in the end.

My fantasy photo for Frank’s challenge appeared to me on a walk yesterday.

A spot where grass and trees and water and light coalesced…

Via my magical, yet rudimentary, computer software – it emerged in its own wonderful world of color.

IMG_1487 fantasy
World of Color #1

As the fantasy progressed…

IMG_1487 fantasy copy
World of Color #2

a peaceful warmth emerged…

IMG_1487 fantasy copy 2
World of Color #3

…my fantasy revealed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steeped in snow

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Steep

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Steep is relative….

To you and me this is a steep snowbank…snow piled so high it hides the mailbox at the end of the driveway.

As well as half the tree trunk in the front yard.

snowbank

 

But to Mr. Bill, the five snow covered back steps are way too steep, no matter what…Oh No!

snowy steps
OH NO!!

 

Rocky coast

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Coast

 

maine coast

 

A few years ago, we visited Cape Elizabeth, Maine for the first time. We were blessed with beautiful weather for our two night very relaxing stay.

Including a long afternoon walk…along its trademark rocky coastline.