Silly Business

One Word Sunday: Nosy

~~~

Life with a 2 year old provides a perfect opportunity for Supreme Silliness. One of the many benefits of parenthood.

This image from 36 (!) years ago popped into my mind when I saw the topic for this week’s challenge. It took a while to locate…and the print quality isn’t the greatest…but it’s proof positive that Groucho nose glasses never made anybody grouchy in our house!

1984 nose glasses
July 1984

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Looking forward to the other side

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”

Rachel Carson

from the back fence

Behind one sturdy fence lies a river
Rising and falling with every tide
Each day the moon is relied on
Nature carrying us along for the ride

I took a break from a long walk in our local park recently and took a seat…alone…on the memorial bench we had donated to honor my in-laws. My view was interrupted by the metal fence separating me from the river beyond. But I knew what was there.

Bordering trees and plant life often double as reflections on the water’s surface. River banks are exposed when the tide is low and disappear when the tide is high. There is something strangely calming and comforting about this. The predictable pull of the moon. An ebb and flow of the changing seasons and time of day.

Nature at its finest with a lesson at its core.

It was hot as blazes the day I took this photo. What did I expect for July? Exactly what happens every July.

I hold out hope upon hope that a predictable life will return someday.

When we get to the other side.

~~~

BeckyB JulySquares: Perspectives
Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Back of things
SixWordSaturday
V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #105: Quotation

Fandango’s Friday Flashback: July 24

Inspired by Fandango’s Friday Flashback: July 24

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?

~~~

The following post was originally posted on July 24, 2018

(my blog, still a baby, was a mere 5 months old)

******

Diaries Revisited – 2018

 

diaries line up

My writing life started with diaries – the kind with the tiny keys. Keys implying a privacy that wasn’t actually possible. But which gave a 9 year old a sense of importance. Tucking away private thoughts in a safe space. A comforting fantasy. Trusting that the key really worked.

As I got older, diaries (keys long gone) were followed by small spiral lined notebooks (written with an orange Flair pen – this was, after all, the ’70’s). Next… black hardcover “blank books.” And then back to small spiral notebooks and thick journals. I actually preferred the printed lines to guide my sometimes erratic handwriting; angled in anger or loopy with emotion. I went through a calligraphy stage in college and carefully inked my thoughts with spaced precision. An art form! And since I was the sister who was NOT the artist, I felt mighty proud about that.

My good friend Debbie gave me a new 8 1/2″ x 11″ black blank book when we were both 20 and about to start sharing an apartment – a first for both of us. We would finish up our last 1 & 1/2 years of college together.

She filled the first page:

Here is the book you wanted. It means so much to have a book like this…to write down thoughts, feelings….watch how you grow, how your feelings change and how much more aware you become when you read back through it… 

The second and third pages contained Pink Floyd lyrics from “Dark Side of the Moon.”

Breathe, breathe, in the air…Don’t be afraid to care…Leave, but don’t leave me…Look around and choose your own ground…. 

I followed Debbie’s directions and kept filling that journal off and on for almost 18 years. (It didn’t come with a key. I wonder if it should have.) I was as open with my written words at 20 and 25 and 30 as I was at 9 and 10. Kind of shocking really. And now sometimes embarrassing – and painful – to see my heart splayed open on the page over and over, year after year.

Entries became sporadic and eventually just covered major life events – or the night before major life events – as I pondered their significance. Marriage. Career. Parenthood. Family dramas. Joy. Grief. Loss. I started and stopped various notebooks, journals and blank books. A brand new one always a hard-to-resist invitation to begin again. Maybe it was the fresh, smooth paper & its possibilities…like getting new notebook paper, pens and pencils for the start of school each September.

At the ripe old age of 27 – about 2 weeks before the birth of my first child I wrote…

It seems that the older I get, the faster life goes by…We Are Going To Be Parents!!…It will probably be the most important thing we do….”   

The next entry (in that journal) was 10 years later when I had a weekend away by myself.  By then I had a second child and a consulting job. I was still in my thirties. The 4 page summary began with…

Motherhood has changed my life more than anything else before it. 

And ended with…

After all these years I’m finally starting to acknowledge that there’s another side of me that’s been buried – perhaps a more creative side – I’m not sure…”   

Looking back, I was spot-on about the motherhood thing.

…I also have several well worn notebooks filled with stories of all the amazing, funny, and truly one of a kind things my 2 children ever said or did.

Truly like no other kid ever in the history of the world. Obviously. For example: How many 8 year old boys do you know who can make an earring out of a Cheerio?  And whose mother wrote a story about it?

I couldn’t help myself. It was such fun….

Lens-Artists Challenge: Autumn

Lens-Artists Challenge #106: Autumn

…share your images of this season.  What does autumn look like in your part of the world?  What does this season mean to you personally? 

~~~

Autumn marks time until the cold darkness of winter arrives…as each day rewards us by unveiling ever-changing shades of yellows, oranges and reds.

Along with greens stubbornly hanging on from summer.

A feast for the eyes.

twisted tree

The line of trees along my street pop with color, one by one.

fall road

Halloween, my favorite holiday, happens in Autumn. There’s no pressure for gifts or elaborate meals. It’s just all about fun and make-believe. Since moving to a condo, I miss the trick or treaters and those knocks on the kitchen door. Little upturned faces covered with makeup and masks…the scary or beautiful or silly masks that have holes made especially for mouths and noses. I absolutely delighted in their joy as the doorbell rang over and over from 5 to 8 pm.

halloween pumpkin064

Autumn also means it’s time for annual fall festivals…including a very special one that I attended last year. It is cancelled for 2020.

fall festival
Apple Harvest Day
Dover, NH
October 2019

Eventually all the leaves turn brown…

brown leaf

…and at the end of a late September day – if you’re lucky – you witness a blaze of gold in a grocery store parking lot…

fall parking lot 2

…in the Autumn.

Wordless Wednesday…almost

field of confusion

******

During my quest for a Wordless image that would speak for itself, I took a second look at this particular photo captured yesterday afternoon.

I had a moment. A title to a specific song appeared…as if in a thought bubble hanging over my head. The kind I remember from 1960s Saturday morning cartoons.

But these days I’m not laughing.

The Next Chapter

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #104: Next Chapter

The focus this week is: next chapter. The implications may be personal, or strike a broader chord.

~~~

book chapter

It is not often that I read a book and stop, grab a pencil (usually a pencil because writing in permanent ink feels just plain wrong) and underline…or trace a vertical line on either side of a Paragraph That Resonates. Resonate was a favorite writing group word when we’d politely critique fellow writers’ first drafts.

Does this resonate with you, the reader? If it does, why? 

One such book on my shelf – which made the cut when we downsized to a condo – had to do with chapters. In fact I bought it the year before we moved, but didn’t read it until 2017 – a few months after settling into our Next Chapter. It definitely resonated.

I rarely buy books anymore. No room. In fact this one is a hardcover…a rarity as well.

The book?

The Third Chapter – Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 years after 50, by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot. A Professor of Education at Harvard University, Dr. Lawrence-Lightfoot is also a sociologist and the author of 11 books.* She was in her 60s when she wrote The Third Chapter, which was published in 2009.

What a title! Who writes about older people and aging with such genuine interest and positivity? I mean…”passion, risk and adventure” don’t generally get mentioned in the same sentence with the over 50 crowd.

She writes with eloquence and detail in an immensely readable account of her 2 years of interviews with 40 American women and men who fit in this age group (50-75). People who changed their lives on purpose and with purpose. She tells the stories of how they got to where they are now – at a stage of life previously ignored or minimized for its potential and significance in our culture.

She had me at Introduction: Facing the Mirror where she begins discussing the process she went through in formulating the idea for this book…wanting to focus on…

…moments when we manage to resist the signs of burnout, make peace with the old/new mirror image, and refuse to be preoccupied with our chronic laments about aging or our sadness about our vanishing youth….

Ah yes. THAT mirror.

And then..

Many of the men and women I interviewed spoke passionately and longingly about how the Third Chapter is a time when they have finally been able to face the deep injuries of their childhoods — assaults that they have ignored, repressed, or fled from for most of their lives….

The stories she shares weave life experiences with an academic slant that I appreciate. She admits her subjects were actually able to embark on these new adventures because they were financially secure and had the means to make the choices they made. But this does not minimize the significance of their achievements.

What it did for me was bring into focus the alternate possibilities that might be out there – far different than what my mother’s generation saw for themselves. At least as far as I knew…from observing my own mother’s experience and struggling world view during her “third chapter.”

Even though I realize I wouldn’t follow in the footsteps of the more adventurous subjects interviewed (this blog has been my biggest adventure so far), it was inspiring nonetheless. There is also validation in seeing how someone steps outside the box of what aging has always looked like.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This attempt at a book review is mostly meant to whet your appetite for this remarkable book. My “next chapter” continues to be a work in progress – especially these days. However…passion, risk and adventure?…still intriguing goals.

*Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot is an author, educator, researcher, and public intellectual.  She has pioneered an innovative social science method called “portraiture,” written eleven books, serves on numerous professional and scholarly boards and committees, and has received 30 honorary degrees.  A MacArthur Prize-winning sociologist, she is the first African-American woman in Harvard University’s history to have an endowed professorship named in her honor.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback: July 17

Inspired by Fandango’s Friday Flashback: July 17

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?

~~~

…a flashback post down memory lane…a welcome respite.

(also coinciding with today’s citysonnet photo a day challenge: Watermelon Pink)

The following post was originally published on July 17, 2019

******

Shades of Pink

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The prompt this week: Shades Of Pink

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO FEATURING SHADES OF THE COLOR PINK.

 

When I was a kid, pink was never my first choice. For anything. At least that’s how I remember it. Old photographs rarely showed me in pink pants or shirts. Maybe a pink dress when I was too young to voice an opinion…although my opinion was often ignored.

I probably lucked out because my younger sister was the “girly” one (a term I now dislike, but those who remember the “old days” will know what I mean). She could have all the pink, as far as I was concerned.

The one exception may have been my first bicycle…which was pink. I am not sure if that was my choice…or the only color available at the time for a “girl’s bike.”

Anyway, pink pops up on Valentine’s Day and that’s when I photographed these shades of pink.

Wrapped up and ready for local Valentine shoppers.

 

pink flowers

Lens-Artists Challenge: Spring

Lens-Artists Challenge #105: Spring

~~~

Except for the errant March (or April!) snow storm that rears its ugly head here in the US northeast, Spring changes my world from black and white to Color. Remember the scene in The Wizard of Oz? Almost like that.

The dull grays and browns and monochromes begin to fade. Colors start appearing in the tiniest of places. Since I’ve dived into macro photography, I am noticing these hidden gems.

early spring
March 28, 2020

 

early spring leaves
May 3, 2020

Once Spring bursts onto the landscape full time, technicolor takes over…including my favorites…

IMG_1666

 

forsythia

IMG_5939 2
And let’s not forget the gardeners among us…who look forward to the long awaited beginning of the growing season.

It’s the time of year to carefully nurture life…from seed to plant. And once the harvest arrives…a welcome addition to the dinner table.

Spring gardener age almost 2
May 2018