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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.


Roadside

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.


Groups

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.


It’s the weather

We were just ahead of the Xmas storm system. The winds were blowin’ fierce. So we got some great clouds. No complaints. I got a rainbow. A lighthouse in the hills of West Virginia? No matter. I like the clouds and the constant changes.


Do what?!

I casually offered. They accepted. You learn new things every day. How about the cat tower? Hmmm… I had not thought about that nor had ever tried it. Cooperation? Hardly?!! Mike and Jen thought (innocently) they could hold all four cats for a single take. A single picture? They have seen Colleen’s pics. We did it with seven cats across the table. Easy! About 101 pictures later… They had great ideas and we improvised as we went along. Nut crackers, cat tower, oh my! Done! I’d do it again… no cats were harmed… a few scratches later…


Done

I don’t keep track well. The garden is done when? After the first frost, everything goes dormant. All the impatiens are gone overnight. The frost came late this year. How would I know that these pics a week or so before were the last from my garden till next spring. Bye! It was a good year!? I have a few pots that come inside… Meyer lemon trees, asparagus fern… I like the cycle of the seasons.


To illustrate

Opposite minimal – maximal

Clutter, hoarder… there is a fine line? Or, is it obvious which group we fall in with? Taking pictures? I shoot many, that is to say more than one, redundancy is the word. …just in case, I don’t want to miss the important shot. My mantra? Digital is free.

We realize that most of our kids are minimalist and neat. It gives us shivers. We laugh. We are not. And, happily so, and happy to admit it – more shudders. Our counters and tables have nary a bare spot. In fact we see the table top about twice a year, when company is coming. No matter, I know where everything is. We have never lost a kitty amongst the stack. I am not apologetic. Do you need two mantle clocks and so many spinning wheels? The answer is obvious… umm, do we? It could go either way. We are weak. We do not play by any rule. It’s just fine. No harm, it’s just a little bit crowded. Let the kids shudder and laugh. I have one kid living out of a back pack. Yup, all his worldly goods in a back pack – the ultimate minimalist, except for the stuff stuffed in my closet that belongs to him too. … kidding. On this occasion – it’s a neat mess!


Pick one

Cincinnati is big. There must be a dim sum restaurant? The internet gave me the “10 best.” The web page showed me “3.” Ha ha! But we found one. It serves from the menu during the week and from rolling push carts (traditional) on the weekend. You need a certain volume of customers to do the carts. Familiar with the style? It consists of small plates that are shared and eaten. You choose the plates from the passing carts and eat contentedly of your choices. At the end of the meal you pay a set price per plate. Easy. Fun. And there are a lot of options to try!

Mexican? Lots of options. Hot pepper! Otherwise I do not find much subtlety in the flavors. Try as I might, the cuisine is not for me. Sorry.

Yeah, yeah, I was born Chinese. Soy sauce must be in my veins.


Not done

Sign – in 14 languages. Are there universal signs? You know, signs that will start a fight in any country? What’s with the glass skulls? – healing, psychic abilities, and power over death. Oh. Aha! Old phone, old clock, gotta have one. Got one?!

And, Ruth Lyons? Never heard of her…the owner of the booth gave Colleen a long rundown on her career. Longgg…explanation. Who’s Ruth? The group album – in the middle – duh! But I found another album with just her a few booths later. Hmmm, popular in her time, so quickly forgotten.


Old stuff

Patience. If you are patient and wait antiques will present themselves at a “right” price. Old camera? Argus C3, my mother had one. It was the first camera I used when I won the Golden Horseshoe in West Virginia and took utterly bad BxW photos at the event. I had no clue how to use the camera. So old, the camera is not worth much, hence it must be bargain priced to consider purchasing.

Just about anything old can be found. A gas pump? Thank goodness we never collected rolling pins. Old violin. Our granddaughter has begun playing… Tea pots, beer steins, Santa, old European phone…?

Typewriter?…looks like elephant ears. I have to admit I like a bargain. I like the thrill of the find. And I am thoroughly bemused that one might wake up in the morning and say, “Let’s go out and buy an old gas pump today!” No no, Budweiser steins are not particularly collectable. West German steins are more commonly admired. Everything has an audience and a buy it would seem. Yes, there was a booth with many empty beer cans. Ugh!

Typewriter? I have never seen one the likes of this one. Ebay? Internet? Sure, probably easy to find. Ha ha. They are called “bat wing” style – two, right now, on Ebay. Don’t miss out!?


Indulge

Antique stores are indulgence. You don’t need anything. And heavens knows we do not! We are not minimalists as our kids are. It’s embarrassing. Beer steins? We collect them. We adhere to a price point. A low price point ensures that we go home with few steins. And yet, we still have to many on the shelves. Typewriter? No! I got the one that I typed my college term papers; it’s enough! Nope, room for one more… A clock…how quaint. It works! Empty or full, no Coke bottles. Nope! Perhaps it’s better if we do not walk into an antique store. It’s sport. There is an element of gambling. There is the thrill of the “find!” Sometimes you win. Often you don’t. It’s nostalgia. There is no admission and no cost to “look.” And then…be careful of indulging a whim.


Signs

Context. It gives me orientation of location without going to the database. It amazes me that I can take so many pictures and not have a keeper among them. Oh sure there are some nice ones. You delete? Go ahead. I don’t. Memory is cheap. All that clutter? It’s the price I pay. Looking back this is the reason Lightroom gives you rating stars. And my “0” stars are still there to be puzzled over. What was I thinking? Why did I take that shot? And why did I not get a better one?


Got baskets?

Colleen likes baskets. Practical. They hold things. Duh!

As art, they can cost a pretty penny. Decorative? Utilitarian? Yes.

We started with one, two, and…. it grew. It’s way better for the environment than plastic bins. Yeah, we got (plastic) them too. Here’s a new one we have not seen before. A lamp. It was clever. But it was fully purposed as the hanger was from metal rod made with a lamp in mind. No, we did not buy it. Yet. Nooooo! Too many baskets!


Friendship cake

Colleen recalled an old recipe that she had had a lot of fun with many years ago. It is called 30 day cake on the internet. It takes 50 if you have to make the starter. And so we embarked on a 50 day cake after our trip to Maine. We bought a crock. It was the container that triggered Colleen’s memory recipe. The mashed fruit was stirred once a day for…and finally we had a starter and two cakes worth of fruit. Fruit cake? Nope! Different! Good?! Hmmm, emphasis on good!!

And, of course, ya gotta have a friend. Friendship? After 50 days you have the fruit ingredients plus starter for future cakes. You share the starter and hence the term friendship. Lovely. It’s good to have friends.


Whoa!

Sometimes?! We are at the Christmas chorale and the choir lines up in the right and left aisle to sing the finale. The auditorium is dim. I glance right and do a double take. Did my eyes deceive me? Ok! I’m impressed. I’m puzzled. What is it? A speaker? Some device for hearing? What!? The internet says it can be done but give no comparable example. I would guess it is a wooden ring. Ok! To each his own.

Street photography. I got a shot. I never saw the guy on stage. I do not know if there is a matching disc on the other side.


Acquisition

Since we are only recently found and married together Colleen and I have a lot of decades to make up for. We both bring things to the marriage and we both are still in the acquisitive stage. For instance: Christmas.

Thank goodness we do not collect everything. But at about this time of year we haunt antique stores for Santa figures. Recently Colleen admired carolers. Too expensive $$. Then we got some in an estate sale. Cheap! And now we are acquiring them. It seems they jump out and the price is too low to resist. We do not collect nutcrackers. Nativity scenes? Nope. Not them either. Vintage mixing storage bowls – would you believe the price? Hundreds of $$ for a set. No way!! Too expensive for us. Ha ha! We do not like nor need them. Blue Willow pattern porcelain – yup. Music Christmas boxes – on occasion. And our home? It’s cozy and getting more cozy after each trip to the antique store. Ah! And it is always a photo-op.


How many

You would think I am obsessed with numbers.

At an event, my attention is upon the action. I try to capture the event as it unfolds. I do not know the order or what will come next. I am alert to random movements and out of the ordinary motion. I am looking at color and composition putting it all together to try to capture a “winner” “keeper” of an image. Editing comes later. Which one? We love all of our children. Eh?

How many is enough? And, “you already have that shot….” Subtle differences. One shot would have been enough. Sure! But, which one?

Digital memory has given me so many options. I could certainly afford all the film I needed. But these days digital memory is so easy. Yes, there is some skill involved in knowing when to press the shutter. I am happy to say that I consider myself above average. Not great. Not bad. Does it matter? It’s for me. And my most adoring audience, my muse – Colleen – loves my posts.


Fill time

It is a rare day that goes by without me taking pictures. Subject? Ah! Cats and flowers… they are available and do not object too much. Seven cats – only a few are cooperative. The rest avoid me.

Take a picture just to take a picture? Umm, I consider it a challenge. Get a technically sound image with some wrinkle in detail – water – that is a bit out of the ordinary.

Busy time activity? Boredom? Warding away the doldrums of retirement? Ha! Colleen fills her time with reading. For me, there are only so many times I can hit the refresh button on the NY Times.


Subject

It’s a hobby fer cris sakes! It’s pretty simple. I shoot what is around me. Family, birds, flowers, cats…. Easy. Edit. Choose. Blog and then post. You have no doubt guessed that I have/had a lot of cameras. I do not much collect old ones. I have lost cameras in various ways. I managed to “fry” on underwater even. Note: salt water is bad for camera electronics. There are even some times when Colleen uses my camera.

Subject? The only caveat to note is that I have cameras in multiple rooms and drive with one in the pocket or on the dashboard. And, still we miss opportunities now and again.


Muse

I wonder why I blog? Not too much. But… ego? Show off? Do I need to share? Am I needing accolade?

It started a while back as a suggestion from cousin Amy. It has lasted. Occasionally, there are mentions from my family and friends. “Likes” and “comments” here are appreciated. Of course!

Colleen! Yes! My muse. She is the current driving force. Ginny commented that things got a lot more personal when Colleen entered my life again. Sure. It was always in me from freshman college English. I could/can always write. But the personal side… that is/was guarded.

Meanwhile, beauty and wonder are all around. I marvel at the images my camera will produce. I do not consider myself an artist in the “drawing/painting” sense. But I enjoy documenting my life. I am creating a legacy while capturing life as it unfolds for me and for Colleen. Lately, I’ve begun to wonder how legacy carries on. Not too many people use telegraph or horseback these days. Do you still have a hard line phone?

As ever, I remain fascinated at the detail my camera lens can capture.


Quick

2019. Three years. It ain’t over. There are still statistics for deaths and hospitalizations. We are largely unmasked. Some places persist. Our vet. Our doctor. Halcyon Yarn store, Maine. Olsen House, Farnsworth Museum. Not much else. We are fortunate not to have had Covid though many family and friends have not been so lucky.

Over? Not so quick. Shots?! They worked for us so far. Colleen and I had the worst colds in years after our recent trip to ME and CA. Related? We cannot be sure. It took a long time to eat out again but we are not worried to much at the moment.

Quick? It took a few moments to find mask pictures in my catalog. Gee! I take a lot of pictures… most without masks.


Mixed memories

Old slides. On her 40th (b’day), I took lisa to London. It was a grand gesture. I had recently left my group medical practice to go on my own. It was a scary time. And about that time we were in Disney as the slides indicate. Apparently, I was mad at the mother in law – a sweet lady who had done nothing to deserve… lisa had always had issues (Freudian). Lila was traveling with Ann who took the picture explaining the group shot of the family in London. Confused? Me too.

Aside from the horse guards, the London bus is pretty assuredly a London tip off. An aside – Dave carried around a pig, a stuffed pig, everywhere we went on that trip. He spoke to the pig. I never did figure that one out. And he has never mentioned nor told me what was in his head. I never saw the pig again when we returned. I am puzzled to this day over the fact that my usual generosity was absent and we did not share a single meal with Lila or Ann when we met in London. It was a most strange encounter of the family kind.


Ski

I’m cheap. I have money. The reason? I spend it wisely. 200. $200 a lift ticket? Per person per day?! And lines! How about waiting an hour on the lift line? No parking in the parking lot? Ummmm….if you are a skier, you know what it is to…

No! No one I know would do it. And still. it looks like millions get on long lines and pay for the lift ticket and a $20 burger. Awful! Improvements are coming. No lines. Plenty of parking. Right?! Two lift tickets – you gotta have a buddy – $400. Ah! Free parking. I think I will pass.