Inspired by Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #64: Countryside and/or Small Towns


Several countrysides come to mind for this challenge…

In the fields next to what used to be a New Hampshire family farm – and is now a farming cooperative – was the sight of a recent sunflower festival…

I was driving past it a few weeks ago and just had to stop. It was a few days before the festival and nobody was there but me. A perfect photo opportunity! I had never seen so many sunflowers in one place at one time.

Such an amazing view.

New Hampshire farm field


In early September, during a visit to the small town of Shelburne, Vermont – the countryside was on display next to the grounds of the Shelburne Museum.

vermont countryside
Shelburne, Vermont


I also visited Vermont in mid June.  Where a bit farther down the road, a community garden was just beginning to showcase what was to come.

community garden vermont



Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #64: Resilience

There is a catch to this week’s challenge: I don’t want you to use the word itself, but to illustrate what resilience means to you.


It is not true that life is one damn thing after another — it’s one damn thing over and over.

Edna St. Vincent Millay


Please be careful!  I hold my breath.

I don’t speak  because he can’t hear me…outside two stories beneath my dining room window.

I can see him walking his lively little black dog. Across the grassy area between my building and the road. Painstakingly. Slowly. Steadily. In the snow. In the rain. Blistering heat.  The dog needs her walks.

In one hand he grips a long retractable leash. The other a sturdy cane and plastic poop bags. His body, bent over, lurches to the side as he walks, his left leg immobile in a metal brace. With each slow step of his right foot, he drags the other leg along. At what looks like an impossibly treacherous angle.

Step. Drag. Step. Drag.

Periodically he stops, balances on the cane and reaches down with the green plastic bag. His pup patiently waits, tail wagging…clearly used to the routine.

My neighbor has not always been like this. I met him when we moved into this over-55 community 3 years ago…and he is several decades over 55. All I know is he suffered a brain aneurysm maybe 10 years ago. Lost the use of his left leg. If he falls – and he does – he can rarely get up by himself. Add leukemia to the mix.


He drives. Goes to the grocery store. Once back home, he transfers full shopping bags to a cart. Pushes it to the elevator in the garage. Slowly. Steadily.

He attends condo meetings. Cookouts. Pizza parties. He and his wife traveled to Europe last winter. Back in the day they skied on a regular basis.

He just does what he has to do. Offers of help waved off. Always a smile.

It looks so damn hard to be him.

But he keeps on keepin’ on in ways I can’t even imagine.


side yard copy


Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Lock


As I was visiting my daughter this week, I noticed my old black trunk nestled in the corner of her dining room. Topped with my grandson’s toy trucks parked in a neat row along one edge.

I had filled that trunk with bell bottoms and books to bring to college. To my first apartment. To my internship. Often covered with a cloth and used as a coffee table. A bench. A shelf.

It came with me to the home where I raised my children. Where it was stored in the basement for years.

I passed it down to my daughter when she went to college. And she has been using it ever since. Its lock is now loose. The key…probably long gone. Not really necessary anyway.

The mechanism…barely holding on.



Now an antique…
…but what tales it could tell.