Word and Image

Archive for February, 2023

Happy Anniversary

Four weddings and a Funeral – movie.

Tragedy averted. Boy meets girl. They end up happily – ever after.

Ok! I met Colleen again … nearly fifty years later… it’s a long story… ha ha… we met in the third grade.

After a courtship… we bought a house, lived together, etc etc… she finally said… we need to be married. I was slow moving to finally complete the divorce.

But… finally! We’ve been happily married – no oxymoron here! Since 2019!!! Wow! I wish it had been 50 years. Then again, a happy ending beats all other endings. It’s been long enough – married – that we forgot the day and did not plan anything special. Colleen’s cousin reminded us. We are having a dinner party for their daughter’s birthday. Ha ha. No, I made a reservation in Colleen’s favorite restaurant of the moment and we will celebrate a day earlier. Things change, it’s not the same restaurant as pictured (before) – fortunately, the same husband (me). Meanwhile, how do I get her a card when she is with me 24/7?

New beginning

January 23, 2023. Oh no!!! Another cat! We are eight again. Whole once more? We were up to eight cats. We lost two. We gained… I’ve been running tryouts. Failure. Colleen said no!! Not another one, nope, nope, nope. She’s a softie. We found and fell in love with two. Oh no! Not nine!? We went back to the pet store: they were gone, adopted. Drat!

I left to the grocery store next door. Colleen hung back long enough to fall in love and bond with a tuxedo black cat.

One more tryout, I wanted an orange tabby. Smoky (given name) passed tryouts. He was scared stiff the first night in a new home. He slept under the bathroom rug. Poor guy.

Mozart’s his name. So named because we can say Mo, as in, one mo’ please. (Ha ha. I made it all up.) …except that Mo is our new cat. I gotta make more room on the table when we do our next group shot…


I mentioned to Colleen that cousin David had once given me pictures from his father’s album. No identification of the people. There were shots from China before the war. Yes, that war, WWII. And there were shots after…. Somehow I had never shown them to her. Oh! Go find them. ??? Search, search, search. Amazing! I did find them. In my compulsive haze, of course, I save everything. But where??? It took a few minutes in my Lightroom catalog. I had a “Collection” so labeled. The next place to look would have been my first version iPad that I have not turned on in nearly a decade or more… nope, Lightroom.

Key: Victor, John, Eric back porch 115 Southgate Rd; three sisters – Deanna, Emily, Fu Ching my uncle’s restaurant House of Chang, Woodmere LI: wedding day, Deanna, Franklin.

Wow, historical. I know so little of my family history. Colleen is so interested. I do not have too much hope to track anyone down. Ho is a common name in China. David, my son, was looking for relatives on his recent visit to Hong Kong. His friend laughed. Ho is as common a name as Smith or Jones in China. Imagine that! I got a common name!?


It was one of those days… out and about. We went to the Ag museum, and, to lunch. We had not been back to this restaurant in a while and were greeted warmly upon our return. It’s good to be returning to the old haunts. And, the price of gas has fluctuated – one minute $3.59 and the next $3.17. There is no rhyme or reason to the madness. Collusion? Price fixing? Everyone has the same price! There oughta be a law…


We’ve been indoors and isolated for about a week. The new Covid variant…. Clouds from my window… dramatic! Antique store, yes we were bored. Who collected empty tins? And, there was even stuff in some of them! Poor, goy, he could not decide and got his money’s worth in the stained glass sign. Yeah, I gotta say, we do have fun times. One more time to the “Ag (griculture)” museum. Oh my!!


What goes up comes down. Umm.. we decorate for Christmas. Decorated. No one came to visit. The whole thing was just for us. Kids? We acted like big kids. We played Christmas music. We danced around. We had big smiles. We opened and put up (most) of our decorations. Ha ha. We are exuberant. We have bins and bins….

This year the new stuff was “carolers” that Colleen had admired but we had not bought because $$. We found a bargain. Always! You wait long enough… We don’t have that long, but…

And a few more Santas. Santa? Yeah, we started collecting Santas. Yes, we are overrun. And besides, who’s it for?

Us! I am unashamed to admit that I like Christmas and the cheer surrounding it. It makes me smile. Coleen smiles. When she smiles all is right with the world. Good enough for me!

And, don’t forget the gnomes, please.

Tune up/Repair

Ashford Joy spinning wheel

One of my training professors told me that it was hard to make a new mistake. Ha ha. I do not know. I made plenty. They were all original to me. But…

So, we got an Ashford Joy spinning wheel. I won it at an auction. We paid $$. It is compact and folds up. It travels. Coleen’s! I got it for her so that when we travel by car she could take it along and spin as we go. Neat idea.

The wheel would not spin. There was a problem at the hub. The wheel wobbled. The drive band kept coming off. Wobble is not good. So??? I replaced the drive band. Obvious answer. No! This did not work. The drive band is plastic and you have melt cut ends in a flame and then put them together. The tension has to be just right. (That’s a whole ‘nother story.)

It was the wobble. How do you fix that. The metal connector at the hub wobbled. I tried different ways to tighten it up to no avail. Finally, hammer in hand, I pounded the hub into the wheel once more. Voila!! The wheel was tight once again and the wobble gone. It was not at all obvious what to do. And we did not find anything on the internet search to help.

So, here it is. This is a fix for a wobbly wheel. You might try it. It might work. Where to post the solution? I don’t know. But the internet knows everything. So this post will probably live on forever.


We walk. Boredom? Health? Fun? I would not. Colleen does. She likes to be out and about. We meet people – cousins. …and others. No complaints. There is always a photo op in the things we do…

Apropos of nothing

It’s under the “Love” section in today’s NYT. (1/14/23)

First, Colleen and I met in third grade. We orbited in the same universe – school, folk dance, Sunday school, church, etc. We were not friends but knew each other for five years.

Second, I was working in Saudi Arabia when an email arrived that I nearly deleted. No! I deleted it and then retrieved it from the “trash” after I noticed the word “Elkins,” the town I lived when I had known Colleen. It was an invite to a reunion from another classmate triggered by a conversation he had had with Colleen.

Third, I danced and parried with this email friend all the while hinting (strongly!!) until he contacted Colleen again and told her to contact me. Once (Colleen and I) connected, then dropped when her then husband was mortally ill, Colleen had not been in touch for years – I was the “third rail” to her. Besides we were both married! She simply did not trust herself….

Her (Colleen’s) email followed – connecting us again (forever) – concluded with the word “nosy.” She wondered and wanted to know what the (#@#$#%^) I was doing in Saudi. Not quite two languages – Arabic or English? – we were an instant “pair” messaging back and forth. Texts were our primary communication, separated by multiple time zones, and many thousands of miles. We did not meet for months until I returned to the US for a visit. By then true love was firmly established. Divorce – mine – would follow (much) later. Don’t mourn – her mom (Lisa’s) wondered aloud how she and I had ever gotten along from the start? Yes, it was Lila (Lisa’s mom) doing the wondering about Lisa and I? 

AND! Do you know that there are coaches who teach how to craft text messages to a potential mate??? “NOSY” was good enough for me!!!

Not a day does not go by… that I do not thank all the stars in the universe…

Yes, this all should have come out on Valentine’s Day, February 14, a day late, dollar short, you know me… or not! Yes, dear, late – but never sorry.


I have been indeed fortunate to have experienced unusual things with Colleen. Sunset, unique never to come around again in the same form. Great? Another tomorrow? Sure, but not the same.

We have seen the Christmas tree decorated in wildflowers collected throughout the year. Unique?! Different?! Sure! Truly a labor of love.

Charles Dickens great grandson doing a one man show of the Christmas Carol. Sure! Special! … until it was canceled. Hopefully it was not due to covid. We don’t know and don’t know if we will ever see it again.

I have often wondered if my pictures are better than snapshots. Not particularly. They are merely anchors of my memory to recall events and times past. Sure, sunset is unique. Haven’t we all seen a great one? Without being too sentimental, I think they are all special and to be enjoyed especially with the one you love.

Worst best

Mexican food. We’ve all had it. Fajitas. Yes, had that too. How much? $64 for two? A bit steep in price! But… Mike ordered it (for two) for himself. Steak, chicken, or shrimp. He ordered steak for two. (two people, two portions, both steak) Ok! There was an upcharge for steak to $96 dollars! And they never mentioned the upcharge. Drinks were $15 for margharitas. The wait to get seated was 45 minutes. As we sat they told us to expect to leave within 90 minutes. Oh boy! Go away… and never come back. We did not! Agave!

Chinese – Delicious Fusion. Soup dumplings? Scallion pancakes! Smiles. Fun. Good meal.

Jen is a good sport and always positive. Colleen and she smiled all the while waiting to experience a good Mexican dinner. Sorry.


I have said it before. Colleen likes to eat out. She cooks. Sure! But eating out is like a mystery. You never know what you are getting. Mostly good. Always fun. Have we had a bad meal? Well, the company counts for 99%. Smiles abound. Some food is better than others… like that time we went to the Mexican place…even now Colleen’s smile is infectious.


I’m mining the catalog. When you think about it I have quite a memory bank of experiences. I have seen much. There are many stories that will never be told. Too little time. Not enough interest. Resigned? Philosophical?

There are many wishes left behind. There were many roads not taken. There were roads I wish… And for all of that I have no, well, a few regrets. But few. I have seen and photographed much. And the road is still stretching before me.

First last

I got a catalog. It has 500k images. That is a lot? I rate images and at least 133k have a 2 star rating or higher. The first and last are represented. It has been a journey. Quite the journey. Life changing?! I daresay there is much to come. It amazes me. I have been fortunate. Life has a way of moving in strange and mysterious ways. All true.

Right now I am in a good place. Best ever. It is like a dream you do not want to awake from. The beginning of this catalog was but a mere couple decades back.

Did I mention to you… “I love my wife.”


I am old enough to remember developing film. I developed my own film in my own makeshift darkroom. No drug store for me. Usually it was long enough that I did not recall what or when the first frame/picture was taken. Ha ha!

Nowadays, I download images from my memory cards from four cameras. I am not daily nor even weekly sometimes. I just get around to the task and download to five redundant external hard drives. Yeah! I bet you don’t. mistakes happen 100% of the time. yes, capitalization?! I missed two days and forgot to download the memory card of those two days. I picked up the error eventually. I cringe at all the inaccuracy. I’m doing the best I can.

Christmas, New Year’s, it was not a long time between downloads…. A lot happened. Gnomes, carolers, groups, weather, oh my! Boring? Excitement? Day to day journalism.

Who’s it for? Me? Legacy? Family? Compulsive? Ha ha. I am justly detail oriented and keep a record. I do not trust that things last but am hoping this legacy will prove helpful to the grandchildren and beyond.

Got Santa?

You start with getting one… for the tree top… whatever. They grow on us. Collecting? Collection? Suddenly… we looked… we laughed. Everywhere! As usual a simple idea got out of hand. Exuberant enthusiasm. No brakes!

It’s just Christmas. Nope! We collected more Santas, more carolers, more…. It would appear we are making up for lost time. We might have, could have, maybe shoulda… been together fifty years. Nope, we are just, ha ha, I am indulgent of Colleen’s whims. Oh boy! There are limits. We are not getting a Porsche.

Yes!! Oddly! Happy Valentine’s Day! True love!

Only fair

Then and now… at least there is comparison. Or not. Do we change as we get older? The kids sure do… change… a lot! Did we?


Not often but often enough I try for a group shot. It is documentary. Or, is it a documentary? I guess it is a milestone like the marks on the wall denoting how my kids grew taller and taller. It will be ever more valuable in the coming years. For now, everyone is reluctant but cooperatively trying to give one smile at the same time. I take multiples. Sometimes it works.

They grow up

Fast! Did we?… get old too? Older? Things change fast. So fast. Stop! I want to savor the moment. Too late! It’s bittersweet. The kids are hurtling onward to their future. And we… I daresay there are moments to treasure. It has changed so much so fast.


New camera? The first thing you do? Take pictures! Duh!

It’s always exciting to try out a new camera. First the purchase was thought out – oh! the agony of the expense vs do you really need another? After you dance around the room… you shoot the room, your cats, and yourself and your darling wife. Ok!!

Would you believe this camera is in its ninth season? Nine years!?! It might just be the first camera I bought when I was with Colleen. Really!? That significant? Time passes. My last big camera purchase was three years ago. I’m itching… but the new features, the latest greatest… come with a hefty price tag. So far, I am able to admire a Porsche from afar. Fine with me. I am still content. And, Colleen remains my one and only…

How many

How many… shots…times? How many ways? Why?

I shoot the sunrise because from my window it is there. How can you not? Time after time I get a spectacular show. They are all different. They are the same. The wonder is not lost. I shoot. I will shoot. I have shot. I did it again. Ephemeral beauty.


ADHD? Me? Ha!! I can’t sit still in a moving car?? Me? Camera in hand and ready for action… there’s lots to see. America, ain’t it beautiful? Sometimes I think you can guess the politics of folks from the roadside show. Careful for the rocks you turn over.

Haircut day

Human again! We put our hands in Emma and she cut our hair. The girls had better WiFi reception for a while. I got my ears lowered. The cat was a passive observer. Yeah, it was a strange sight all day. In the end we all looked much better. I hope the next hair cut will come sooner than later.


I’m shy. Herding groups, directing groups, is not my specialty. (See: cats.) Everyone is good humored and used to my cajoling albeit some reluctantly. Nonetheless everyone understands the importance of documenting family. (cats excepted) I am indeed fortunate to be able to gather loved ones and get a shot – or two. The carrot is that I post them so they are shared and preserved for all. Yeah, it’s hard to herd cats.