Grandparents

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The prompt this week: Grandparents

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO FEATURING GRANDPARENTS OF ANY KIND.

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I think of my grandparents often. I have written about them in this blog many times. I miss them still. I have included links to their birthday posts for those who would like a peek at the lives of these exceptional grandparents. Two of my favorite photographs are posted below.

 
My four grandparents were the definition of unconditional love.

 

May 1957 opa oma 042 copy
Opa and Oma with me (age 3) and my sister

Opa – my mother’s father, wrote me countless letters (which I still have). I was his “Pen Pal.” He showered me with words of encouragement and support in all my childhood adventures. His sense of humor is family legend. He awakened my love of all things cards and games. Opa and I would sit across from each other playing Pinochle for hours on end…one of my last memories of him.

Oma – my mother’s mother, learned to drive a car so she could make the 45 minute trip from NY to visit me – her first grandchild. At the age of 47. She baked birthday cakes for her grandchildren and made a mean macaroni and cheese. She wrote to me at camp and sent postcards from her and Opa’s many trips around the USA. We became very close as she spent her last few years near my home.

 

grammypapa and me
Grammy & Papa and me (age 3)

Grammy – my father’s mother, lived many hours away from my family…but she wrote me countless letters – full of details of her life “down South” with her sisters. After Papa died, I got to know her better as she made extended visits to stay with us. She was a character and not afraid to speak her mind. An expert seamstress, she made dress-up outfits for my sister and me. Doll clothes too.

Papa – my father’s father, made an impression on me during the short time I knew him…as he died unexpectedly the year I turned 10. I still have a few of his letters. I remember him as a quiet, sweet and patient man who made me feel special.

 

[As a grandparent to a spectacular 3 year old, I now understand how much fun it is!]

View

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The prompt this week: View

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE VIEW OR VIEWS.

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Look at this view!

My dear friend of almost 40 years pointed across the lake from her new summer home on Lake Champlain in Vermont. One sunny July day in 2010.

Look at it!

She and her husband had recently moved in…when I first visited this magnificent spot. The dining room, situated at the back of the house, faced the lake. Seats at the table…arranged for maximum view potential.

My husband and I recently returned from a wonderful 3 day visit. Enjoying their company. The conversation. The shared meals. Walks along the lake. A trip to a museum. A few games of cards.

And especially…that view!

view afternoon
The View
6:30 pm

 

view inside
The View
7:30 pm

 

view sunset
The View
8:30 pm

 

Flower

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The theme this week:  Flower

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO FEATURING FLOWERS OF ANY KIND.

 

iris trio
Immigrant Iris

 

As anyone who lives in a condominium may know, there are rules. So many rules. As a former homeowner they have sometimes been difficult to accept.

However, I knew going into this new lifestyle what was expected. I signed the papers. By-laws. Rules and regulations. Blah blah blah.

I don’t regret the move, but sometimes I do let my mind wander to what was….

And one of those mind wandering destinations is flowers.

As anyone who reads my blog knows, I loved the flowers and flowering shrubs & trees at my former home. Where I could plant whatever I wanted. Whenever I wanted. Anyplace I wanted.

I could also shovel snow. Snow blow the driveway. Hack ice off the eaves. Rake leaves. Fertilize the lawn. Chase down wasp nests. And so on.

But I digress.

One of our new condo friends had the foresight to save a collection of iris bulbs from his former home. Where his gardens were spectacular – as he showed us in photograph after photograph.

One day in the fall of 2017, he stealthily planted several of these bulbs amongst the legal bushes around our building. They popped up the following spring.

As iris do, they spread…this past spring there were a few more.

They are…almost…an exact match to the ones I left behind.

 

 

Urban

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The theme this week: Urban

 

Taylor park
Petworth Neighborhood
Washington, DC

One small boy
Not yet two
Pondering a chance
To make a basket

At his favorite playtime
City park
A few blocks from home

A ten minute walk
Over bumpy sidewalks
On tree-lined streets

Past parked cars
Row house porches
Tiny front yards

Stop for the lights!
One last crosswalk.
Look Both Ways!

Finally there…
Run. Jump. Climb. Slide.
Kick the ball. Take a shot.

Taylor Park!

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Smiles

Cee’s challenge topic this week: Smiles

Back in the 1970’s my boyfriend went on a cross country road trip with his best friend. They intended to make it all the way from the East Coast of the US to the West Coast. In an orange Ford Pinto.

road trip car

They drove as far as Wyoming and realized they were running out of time. Before starting for home, my boyfriend insisted on stopping at a local arts and crafts store to buy a souvenir gift.

A small handmade metal sculpture of two grinning figures, crafted by a local artisan.

Which he gave to me – his girlfriend of 2 years – a few days later…

Saying with a huge smile…

This is US seeing each other again!

 

smiles 1

 

 

 

One year later we were married.

 

Also inspired by Nancy Merrill at Photo a Week Challenge.

 

Nostalgia

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The theme this week: Nostalgia

 

charm bracelet
When I was five years old, my Opa and Oma gave me a charm bracelet.

At least I think I was 5.

My clue?

A birthday cake charm with 5 candles that pop up if you push the lever underneath it. Pushing up with a just-the-right-size 5 year old finger. I especially remember the charms with the movable parts.

They added charms to the bracelet for many years. Birthday gifts or just because. Each charm meant something special. Several were souvenirs from their trips to Europe.

Such sweet memories…
A bicycle…I loved to ride.
A baby shoe…as I used to wear.
A mailbox…Opa and I were penpals.
Ballet shoes…my short lived stint taking lessons.
Piano…5 years of lessons and all I can still play is Chopsticks.

My favorite is the deck of cards charm. With actual cards inside – at one point I took them all out to check. And then put them all back.

It reminds me of O&O, as I called them. But especially Opa, who taught me everything I know about cards, game strategy and how much fun it is to play.

Although the 6 ½ inch bracelet no longer fits my wrist, it will always make me smile as I recall how it came to be.

 

 

 

(Photos taken with my new Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Full Frame DSLR. Canon RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM lens)

 

Endings

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The theme this week: Endings

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) THAT SHOW ENDINGS OF ANY KIND.

 

Two and a half years ago, I stood in the attic above our 2 car garage.
Not quite believing what I saw…

attic copy

The sun spilling in…
Lighting up bare plywood floors.
Newly swept clean

After years of sheltering…

My babies’ wooden crib. Their toys. Books. Polly Flinders dresses. Cloth stuffed dinosaurs. Plastic dinosaurs. Rubber puzzles. Little Tykes table. Wooden blocks. Little red wagon. Doll beds. Art projects. Grade school dioramas. Paper maché dinosaur. Legos. Candy Land. Operation. Finger paintings. Luggage. Book shelves. Beds. Christmas dishes. Basketball uniforms. Flexible Flyer. Textbooks. Beckett Monthly magazine collection. Barbie clothes. Babysitter’s Club books. Lincoln Logs.

And…so…much…more.

The next day I backed out of that garage for the last time.
Headed toward a new home.

The end of one very long chapter.