Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
S. asked me to take a photograph of him eating his apple with honey. I was happy to do as I was asked.
For dinner proper He-J made some sort of crazy tasty mushroom cream sauce with gnocchi. Delicious and rich it was.
During the visit S. and N. used laundry baskets to create a train (kept together with copious amounts of tape) and then S. had the great idea of making a car wash...
Limoncello, fantastically just right as always.
And then they became a space rocket.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
And this is what it looked like once I got off the train.
I ended up around 7th and Madison, so far from anything that I had no idea which direction I even wanted to go in for a while. There were plenty of eccentrics and a smattering of assholes in the heaving, shoving mass of people I struggled through for an hour before giving up. C. and I had planned on meeting up but cell phone service ceased functioning, so there was no way to know where she was and I was so far away from the stage and soundsystem that it was just a test of whether I was going to have a panic attack or not. Sanity. I think not. Once I got out of the swarm and walked a block or two, cell service returned and I received C.'s text saying that she and her group had also decided that the frustrations of the crowds weren't worth the trouble. They had gone on to a bar to watch the event on television, so I met up with them and watched the majority of the show from a bar near Union Station, the name of which I forget, but I think they liked some mid-western college football team or something.
I went because I thought it would be funny. I went because I thought the overall reason to go (to be counted as someone who was tired of all the polarized everything in this country) was one I could get behind. I went. It was a disappointment. And while I am emotionally intelligent and won't go crazy over this, I can't help but think that I shouldn't have gone. Instead of returning to TN after the event I went up to Philly to work for the week, and by week's end my mother had died. Had I really thought this was likely to happen during my absence, I wouldn't have gone...but to say that I didn't see the writing on the wall would be false. So. Yeah. I went to a rally for sanity while my mother was living out her last week, and the rally wasn't even that much fun. I blame Stephen Colbert. Not really.
Monday, November 22, 2010
A pleasant evening was had by all I would think...except for B.'s sofa and Milo the dog maybe. It was really great to see B&D, and so kind of them to let me bunk in their guest room over the weekend.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I remember when the I. boys' dad built this tree-house for them. It was pretty cool...now I think it's probably a death trap. Also, the creek was missing. B. tried to assure me that this is how it was at this time of year, but I don't really buy it.
This is a spot that used to have a house. A beekeeper's house. My godmother, C. and her husband M. lived there when I was a kid. Now no trace remains. Well, except the land and the sign, I guess.
We would walk through the woods to go to the pool in the summer and to the sledding hill in the winter. I would like to stand on this stump, which seemed much higher when I was much shorter, and sing a song about taking off my underpants. Perhaps the second verse of a trick or treat chant? I would jump off at the end. I'm glad the stump is still there.
See that slight rise in the round on the upper left part of this photograph? There used to be a school there. And just down the hill, in front of the ivy-covered fence, there were great, if outdated and probably strangulation hazards, playground equipment. Gone, too.
Sledding hill still exists.
As does this woodpecker bird.
I don't really care for change. Especially to things well cemented in my brain as fact and/or memory. I guess a memory doesn't change just because the thing it's keeping in your brain disappears. It was a good day for a walk, but I was wearing the wrong socks with my boots, which led to a blister ... not good timing for the rally stupidity that would follow the next day.
Friday, November 19, 2010
I had been remembering one or two years when I was really into going to this one pond along Beach and getting frogs' eggs and bringing them back to our porch. While many became tadpoles, none became frogs. But that pond, which was not ever super deep, I'm sure, no longer exists. In its place was a shallow puddle.
I crossed a stream to find the shallow puddle and got sucked into taking pictures of the water. It happens.
Not exactly the same, but awfully close.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
My mother liked her soup hot and her oysters cold. She enjoyed a strong cup of coffee in the morning and an equally well made gin and tonic in the evening. I tend to experiment when I am in the kitchen, but she preferred to follow a recipe instead of making it up as she went along. When it came to beverages and meals she believed in following a set of rules (truly let the butter come to room temperature before adding it to the cookie batter etc) but when it came to the people in her life she was far more flexible and forgiving.
From our family’s annual pair of new Christmas slippers to a necklace or earrings for my birthday - or a new shirt my father was convinced he didn’t need but would inevitably find to fit just right - she had great taste and had an uncanny knack for finding the gift perfect for whomever was on her mind. To that end it was she, without my being present or giving her much guidance, who found not one but two dresses for me to consider wearing for my senior high school prom. It’s so easy to feel misunderstood or unknowable in this world, and yet by her tokens of affection to me, I was given a clear message: she saw who I was and knew what I liked…no easy feat as a mother of a teenager, I would expect.
Mom was an artist and a teacher, and had a great ability for dealing with the whims and moods of children and adults alike, which definitely served her well in regards to my father and myself. As a child I loved looking at the photographs underneath my parents’ bed, which Mom had created before I existed. There was something so fascinating about seeing this creative inner life that predated me, and there is no doubt that my own interest in photography was inspired by that treasure trove of black and white images. Her lifelong commitment to looking at the world and reflecting it through her creative endeavors is admirable and something I will always value about her.
Throughout her life, many of Mom’s friends would describe her as ‘sweet’ or ‘quiet’ and while both these adjectives are fitting, you didn’t really know my mother unless you understood that under that sweetness and quiet there was an active, intelligent and funny mind at work.
Though she had her convictions, Mom never tried to overpower anyone with her ideas or opinions, but that shouldn’t be confused with her not having any. Whatever thoughts she did have on a subject, whether how to make a bed or what to do about a boy, she tempered her delivery with compassion and insight into her audience’s feelings and perspective. This, of course, made her a wonderful sister, aunt, wife, mother and friend. Earlier this week one of Mom’s friends mentioned that she felt that she could tell my mother anything without having to worry about being judged or misunderstood, and this is a sentiment I echo heartily as well. My mother was an unfailing sounding board for any scheme I came up with or dilemma I encountered in life. And while I didn’t always follow her patient guidance, her perspective was invaluable to me and influenced who I am and how I live my life. My belief that you should try always to see the good in people and take whatever life throws at you with grace and as much humor as you can muster are just a few examples of what my mother taught me.
My mother never swam with her head completely immersed in the water and didn’t care for murky lakes or strong waves. And yet she encouraged me to swim and embrace that which she feared. I can only hope that she had this impact on many others in her life. She was, simply put, a fantastic human being.
While I know grief fades and the absence Mom has left in our lives will soften, I will miss her forever.
I don't know why these fonts won't behave for me, I made the text plain before copy and pasting it, but it's weird.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
What nature does with fall colors is really something.
To me this looks like a boat, which makes no sense because it's a sign for a golf course.
The road to Green's View.
Green's View. I should bother with photoshop, but I'm not.
I started down one of the trails a little ways.
But soon decided that the full additional three mile trek could be for another day. It was nice though.