Fandango’s Friday Flashback: October 9

Inspired by Fandango’s Friday Flashback: October 9

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…How about you? 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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The following post was published October 9, 2018 – always pleased to revisit a V.J. challenge.
(even after 2 years this project remains a work in progress…more intense – in both the gathering and writing – than I anticipated)

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Gathering

This post is inspired by:

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #18: Gathering

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Turning my attention toward the positive this week…

I am gathering source material. I like the way that sounds…source material. For a very long story about “the house” — or rather, our home, of over 36 years. As I have written about in previous posts (NestPhotos), my husband and I downsized and moved to a condo a couple of years ago. It was probably the most exhausting thing I have ever done (besides giving birth to two 9 lb+ babies, but that didn’t take as long).

I was more than ready to move. However, our adult children (who had moved out over a decade earlier) were clearly NOT ready for us to move. Especially our daughter. Our nest was their nest, empty (of them) or not. The reality of no childhood home to return to for their (infrequent) visits was jolting. Did they try to talk us out of it? Absolutely not. But their emotional ties were evident. “Coming down the stairs on Christmas morning” together…(every single year) would come to an end. The “remember whens” without the familiar backdrop of home…hard to imagine. Our new grandson would not be able to run around in his mama’s old backyard.

On the final day before the sale, I toured the empty house on facetime with my long distance 34 year old daughter.  We shared a last look at the rooms she grew up in…and some memories of each. Both of us in tears.

I then realized the enormity of this home’s real significance in our lives. But mostly in our kids’ lives. This surprised me since I never had any deep emotional ties to my childhood homes. None at all. I could not fully understand their attachment. How deep it is.

I am going to write about those 36 1/2 years. For them. For us. For me. A story…the house that became a home and what happened. I am very curious to see what evolves.

But first I need to begin gathering my materials (after shopping at my favorite office supply store):

  • Hanging file folders. One for each year – to sort & organize.
gathering files
  • Calendars for 37 years – chronicling all our activities. Each one a diary in itself.
calendars
  • Photographs. Lots.
gatheringphotos
  • Journals.
  • Letters – still gathering.
  • File boxes of house receipts and info that escaped shredding.

Once gathered, let the writing begin.

And…
I am so glad I saved all this stuff!

Lens-Artists Challenge: A Photo Walk

Lens-Artists Challenge #117: A Photo Walk

You are invited to share your photo walk, whether park, beach or street.

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Every walk I take usually ends up as a “photo walk,” transforming most walks into their own photo diaries. I often head towards the beautifully landscaped neighborhood next to mine. It consists of single homes which are part of a condo development. A pond, located in one curve of the road, supplies water for potential firefighting purposes (I think).

Photo opportunities have been plentiful along this street, but not just for the flowers. It has also been the home of various wildlife – both winged and webbed.

Back in May I attempted to photograph a duck family making its way across the pond. Little did I know that by September the water level would be reduced to a fraction of what it once was. A drought has hit the northeast United States (in this case New Hampshire) and sights like this are becoming more and more common.

As we all know…what a difference a few months can make.

No more ducks, fish, turtles or frogs when I pass by. I wonder, where did they go? 😦

Not all wildlife is gone however. A family of deer (looks like a family to me) and I meet at a bend in the road every so often. In August, I was mesmerized as – after the first one stared at me for about 30 seconds – they crossed one by one to the woods on the other side, bringing to mind the age old question…

Why did the deer cross the road?

I must clarify…they actually sauntered across the road, not seemingly in any big hurry. I’d like to think they’d seen me before and figured a human with camera in hand was a safe bet. They hung out in their destination spot for a few minutes…too hidden from view for another photo.

This bright autumn display greeted me during a walk last week. Fortunately I took the picture when I did, as the leaves had totally fallen within days of this photo.

Another photo walk complete.

Macro Monday: Splash of Red

BeckyB October Squares: Kind

We are in the middle of a severe drought here in the northeast USA and nobody complains when dark clouds appear in the sky.

Mother Nature was kind enough to grace us with a brief period of rain one morning last week. The leaves are falling faster than usual and one landed on the back stairs in time for a photo. The wind picked up and within minutes it was gone.

Unfortunately…the drought continues.

A Peaceful Kind of Skyline

BeckyB October Squares: Kind
One Word Sunday: Skyline

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Lake Champlain – June, 2019

Thanks to the kindness of dear “old” friends, I enjoyed this view across Lake Champlain last year. I was treated to a peek at the Adirondack Mountains of New York while waiting for a sunset one evening…during a relaxing weekend visit at their summer home in Vermont.

Hopefully next summer it will be safe to return.

All Kinds of Gourds for sale

I am just a few days late getting started with BeckyB’s October Squares Challenge. I figure it’s better to be kinda late than never.
The theme this month is Kind

    • Something of the kind (similar to something or even a carbon copy)
    • Our imagination kindled (inspire us!)
    • Of its kind (a unique object or an example of something such as a flower or bird)
    • Two of a Kind (or one, or three or multiple!)
    • Kindred spirits (kindness in action or photographs of people)
    • Take kindly to (something you like)

Also an entry for SixWordSaturday

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I recently discovered a display of gourds (which I used to call baby gourds) piled in a bin at a local farm stand. Ready for fall decorating for those who are so inspired!

So Many Shot Glasses

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #114: What’s in the Box

This week, I challenge you to open one of those boxes, or drawers, and write about what you discover. Have fun. Be creative.

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It just so happens that it was not too long ago when I was surrounded by…boxes. When we had to empty our 2 small storage units in the condo garage. Because of mold issues, blah, blah, blah which I have written about before (and hopefully gotten out of my system since it is as “fixed” as it’s ever going to be).

However, in the process of putting everything back, my husband and I made a list of what was in Every Box and Where Every Box was located – in each storage unit and on which shelf. Of course I had to at least peek inside each box/tub/container – some unopened since 2016 when we moved from our house. The lids still taped shut and some with labels. My kids might wish that while we were at it, we could have Thrown Out some of these treasures, but…sorry…not ready yet.

Out of curiosity I rescued one small box of “Miscellaneous” and brought it up to the condo. Inside I discovered a random collection of what one might put in a junk drawer. What the?…

My husband remembered where it came from…

H: This is what was in the drawer in our old hutch!

Me: The hutch we donated to Habitat Restore since nobody in the family (or otherwise) wanted old dark cherry furniture?

H: Yup! Remember?

The hutch that nobody wanted

Ahh…then it came back to me. The fancy miscellaneous junk drawer. Where you shove things in to possibly use when “company comes” or when you drag out the “good dishes” for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Or because there’s no other place to put it when sorting comes to an end.

Top of the pile would be the place cards my daughter carefully made out of index cards. Those make sense and belonged there. A sweet memento of times gone by.

But 10 (ten) shot glasses? If this box had been unearthed in a time capsule of sorts 100 years from now, it would not have given an accurate depiction of who we were. Nope – not a sit around the dark cherry dining room table from my childhood throwing back shots type of family. Although, I will admit, the subject never came up. Careful measuring for an occasional gin and tonic or…well, that’s about it. For some reason, though, shot glasses were the perfect souvenir. For years we’ve had a couple in use to hold our daily vitamin supplements. “Everyday” shot glasses placed next to the salt, pepper and napkin holder sometimes prompted odd looks from visitors, especially our kids’ friends.

Yogi Bear? Well you can’t go wrong with Y.B. and the key chain holds an impressive collection of wine glass tags. Just in case a dozen or so wine drinkers showed up. The owl toothpick holder was my mother-in-law’s, who collected all things owl. Those vintage toothpicks were probably hers too. More sweet mementos.

The never used carving set was a Wedding Present Put Away For Special Occasions. I regret the never used part. Why wait?

Tam Tam papers? Um. No idea.

So there you have it – a story of the Miscellaneous Forgotten About Box and what I discovered inside. Frankly it was a very welcome diversion from another kind of box – which my father referred to as the “idiot box,” an unkind slang used back in the era of 3 channels. Yes, that flat screen was once a box and at one time it even had ears – so to speak.

When you turn on today’s box, it is rarely a welcome diversion of any kind during prime time. Case in point: Tuesday night’s so-called “debate.” Where I could have put a few of those shot glasses to use…if I had lasted longer and was a drinker. What could have been!

So, thank you V.J. for this week’s challenge. It was a pleasure.

Now…what to do with all those shot glasses?

Lens-Artists Challenge: Symmetry

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #116: Symmetry

This week, we invite you to explore Symmetry as a way to create dramatic and impactful images.  Show us your images that use vertical, horizontal and/or radial symmetry. 

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Symmetry is…calming. Nice and orderly. Perhaps predictable.

Gee…what’s been missing for the last 6 months?

When I read Patti’s description of symmetry as it relates to photography, I realized many of my favorite shots inadvertently head in that direction.

For instance…horizontal symmetry is illustrated below. A walk with a friend one afternoon prompted…I have to stop and take a picture of this!

There was just something about the scene that drew me in…

Exeter River, Exeter, NH

Many walks in the woods behind my condo building are made possible by a long dirt path littered with stones, leaves, twigs and errant branches. It becomes muddy in Spring (although not this year, as we are experiencing a drought) and icy in Winter.

A few months from now, when the trees are bare, much more space will open up and the path will appear to widen. But now…with leaves just beginning to drop and colors starting to turn from green to yellow to red to orange to brown…it feels just right to me.

Vertical symmetry…

During one of those walks in May, I spotted a row of leaves, which to my eye appeared to be waiting in line. Hanging out – all fresh and new – ready for Summer, which was fast approaching.

Their veins exhibited nature’s predictable patterns in impressive detail.

Perhaps symmetry within symmetry?…

And then there are flowers. I discovered a plethora of socially distant sunflowers during recent gotta-get-out-of-the-house visits to a local farm this summer. One day I was lucky enough to find a bee who would hold still. Bonus!

Radial Symmetry Sunflower

Last, but not least, a small town baseball field captured my attention back in August. Empty no doubt because of local restrictions on gatherings…but ready nonetheless.

Vertical Symmetry
Play Ball…Please