Word and Image

Travel

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?


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.


Fun

Looks like… we get out and about. An island full of gnomes. Seal. Defibrillator with instructions confusing enough to stop you in your tracks. Rent a bike. Castle. Foreboding sky. Rain, but of course. We saw this couple in the pub with a pitcher each. Alcohol? Oh boy! Soda? I don’t drink that much. What the…?

It’s not the travel or the location. It is the adventure you have with the one you love. We had a good time. We have good times. We have had good times. We will have good times.


What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

Harry Connick Jr sang… and with a bit of luck I never have to be alone again on New Year’s. Ah! Peace and serenity. It sure is good to have it and if you get it, it sure is good to have it at the end. I got no complaints. It is like an O Henry story around here. We trip over one another worrying about the other. Are you happy? Are you ok? You bet!!


Street photography

The streets are not exactly teeming with folks. But there are subjects in view and fair game for my camera. People? Animal? Life, activity, bustle and hustle? Ummm, well, maybe a bit laid back and less hustle, but colorful and interesting, nonetheless. It is a glimpse into daily life. Mundane it ain’t.


So long ago

…way back in 2018. Merry Christmas to all!

Jules was pregnant and ready to have my first grandchild on my side of the family. Oh boy! A California Christmas. It was no white Christmas but it was unforgettable. Surfing. Fireworks. Christmas lights.

Santa makes the season unmistakable. It’s a lifetime ago. Jules has two kids. Things have changed so much in so many ways. I made an ornament. Colleen’s suggestion and idea brought to fruition. Now we gotta find more wood blocks for the grandkids. It’s been a nice few years since this one.

All the best to you and yours on this holiday.


Organized

Not! Chaos!? Organized!

Hey! I know where my stuff is!? Sort of!?

No doubt time blurs things mightily.

Do I remember where things are? No. Will anyone else? There is a database – two. Will anyone know to make sense of it all if I am not there to guide them? Ha ha.

I found everything. I can find everything. I scanned all the early slides except for the medical ones. Who cares? Meanwhile everything is preserved. There are lists.

Organized, it ain’t.

Gee! When was my mustache so dark? This particular set of pics is roll #1759 where there was a break in the Lightroom catalog requiring a switch of catalogs to continue. The year? 1992. Yeah, yeah, confusing confusion. It reigns. Madness!


Legacy

Lazy. Life is passing too quickly. Whatever.

Colleen has urged me to write down the stories of my career as a neurosurgeon. My stories fascinate her. It is too horrible to recount on paper. We were wild residents trained without supervision on so many occasions. Criminal. We cut our teeth on CAT scan and later MRI. Enough.

I blog. I have done so since 2011. Amy suggested. No one follows but you and Colleen. Family? Nah! They lost this site many a year ago. Good! Travel! Good times. Family, kids. Love, loss. Love, found. Photography when I could and can…. Life dealt lemons and I made lemonade. No regrets. But I sure woulda done things different. Meanwhile there is eleven years and counting of photos posted. They will last onward. Positivity! It’s good!

Lately, Noa has asked several times…. “What dangerous things did you do as a child, grandpa?”


This year

It happened. Can it be? Covid – mask? Ukraine? Travel? Events? Forbidden?

Though many around us have been touched by covid – children, grandchildren, cousins and so forth….

We went to the museum to see the new exhibit. It’s on loan and traveling from Long Island. Photos forbidden. Oops! I already shot by the time Colleen pointed it out. Does this fall under street photography? It was illustrative that covid was still in our thoughts.

Taken at random the flower or the fish could have been anywhere. I needed the white gate to orient me. Aha! Winterthur – been there!

Random sunset. Or perhaps sunrise? It would depend on which side of the car windows I was shooting. Aha! Metadata?! 6:56PM.

Fine photography? No, nope, not hardly… but, fine by me.


Almost

From the time of my childhood I wanted to see Blackwater Falls. There was a winter photo with ice framed by a sunny day as the water cascaded. The picture never left my memory.

Who knew I would return from Saudi to finally see the falls in winter. Ha ha. From desert to this. But it would be disappointing in some aspects. We were not there on that magical day my memory recalled. There was ice to be sure. There was much to be needed to make the perfect picture. And in other ways it was a perfect picture. I had never dreamed I would be there with Colleen. She was not in that original memory. Somehow I think this real memory is so much better.

Right after I retired from Saudi and returned to the US, Colleen had me on extensive road trips to visit family. Her family extended across WV, CO, and OH. Do the math. It’s a lot of driving. But she did divert me through Blackwater Falls to see that mythical falls of my childhood memory. It was my first time. And, to return in winter with ice falling….

On so many levels this is a memory of almost. Almost good to almost perfect. I’ll take it!!


Going back

Sometimes you go back. Things don’t/didn’t change much. The lamppost of buoys is still there. The lighthouse has not gone away. I am still with the one I love. No, they did not open the Olsen House. The museum is open. The house is not? Go figure. Only a handful of folks visit the Olsen House. Plenty of folks wander the museum in Rockland without a mask in sight…. Going back. It’s never quite the same.


With or without

I tinker. Don’t you? Picture? With or without moon? Person? (Colleen). Counterpoint?

I dunno. It ain’t a perfect world. Sometimes my subjects cooperate and can be moved about. Sometimes it’s just not that simple. And I suppose it is also a matter of preference. You can go both ways. Sure. But at some point you must choose. Or not.


Junk mail

Upon our return from a recent trip there was a pile – an impressive pile – of junk mail that awaited. You know? The kind that implores donation or urgent action to save whatever endangered species is the flavor of the moment. Buy insurance and other products for which I have no interest. Not from one but from multiple organizations and companies. No return address, sender unknown, hoping curiosity will get you to open the envelope. It is a colossal waste of paper and time.

My point? I liken junk mail to the photos we take that have extraneous distractions. Road signs, telephone wires, you know the drill. It seems there is always something in the way of my perfect shot. Of course, it helps if you are not shooting pictures in a speeding car. But, nonetheless, junk creeps into my images. I will not give up. I strive for perfection knowing that there is always a surprise waiting when I can say, “I shot that??!”


Kondo marie…

Backwards. Opposite. … we are not… neat and organized.

We do pack our days. Upon our return from our recent trip to Maine it took about an hour to unload the car. Slow?! We had a lot of stuff crammed in all the nooks and crannies. How about a linear foot of books beneath the front seats. Exaggerate. No, I was merely cautions. There was a lot of glassware or pottery too.

Waiting were my seven cats. It took Feather a day to forgive my absence. Wating too, were a slew of Amazon fairy packages. Neat! Colleen would spy a book she had to have. I would find it discounted… or that tea pot. We need another like a … and I found it on Amazon and had it shipped. Ha! More room in the car. Thank goodness we do not have a van.

We managed a visit to the beach. The erosion from the recent hurricane had pretty much decimated the beach. I started to spin. There’s a lot of fiber processing to come this winter. And Feather made it to the vet.

Neat comes later. Organized? Colleen got a new pocket book and transferred the contents from her old one. We never did find the old one among our bags. Hmmmm? And a bread box? Yeah!? I did not know we needed one. Books? Every other available space … used and second hand. It seemed every library in Maine had a sale going. You borrow, right? Nope, you can buy gently used….

It’s all very topsy turvy confusing but there is organization to our happy chaos. Umm… and another spinning wheel… like the proverbial hole in the head. Ah! Ha! It folds compactly to travel in the car! Yup, it would be great if we had any room in the car. Did I remember to mention the large bags of sheep fleece?


Sunrise/Sunset

It is a matter of your point of view. In this case, my sunset preceded my sunrise. A mere technicality. We were staying so close to Colleen’s favorite lighthouse of all lighthouses. No, she did not get up for the chill dawn show. It was 32 degrees. Nope, a warm cozy bed was preferable. At sunset, no glow, clouds, she blessed her handmade Abanaki Indian meditation basket in the waters of the lighthouse. We were blessed with angel light. At dawn I was blessed with moonlight thru the clouds as well as a memorable morning glow.

There are days and there are days. We have had some wonderful days shared in harmonious peace.


Another dawn…

Ho hum. Yawn. Another dawn. And sunset. And some gulls.

I got skill…. Every morning here where we are encamped in Maine, I raise the shade to see the weather and the sunrise. Surprise! Spectacular! Wow!. What a gift! The morning glow lasted for a while. Gulls on the roof. A bonus. To cap the day – bookends if you will, I got sunset. Yeah, yeah, there’s a telephone pole… it was a nice coda to the day. (Sunset? It was the one with the telephone pole. Same color, end of the day.)


One more step

Colleen would not walk all the way out on the breakwater to the lighthouse. She was nervous about the rocks. They are flat but have gaps. She was afraid to fall.

And, she wanted to go up to the top of the Owls Head lighthouse but the cash was in the car. Ha ha, she said she would not hear the end of it – walking the breakwater rocks. And, had I walked to the top of Owl’s Head, we would have seen the breakwater light. Got it? Confused? What I shoulda done is walk the extra steps. We didn’t. No harm came to us. I did not get the shot. And we are still just fine and dandy! Yeah! Close, but no cigar.


Sit

Solitude:

sol·i·tude [ˈsäləˌt(y)o͞od]

noun

the state or situation of being alone: she savored her few hours of freedom and solitude

synonyms: loneliness, solitariness, remoteness, isolation, seclusion

Far from loneliness!… more like contentment.

I never sit! It’s not in my DNA. Poor Colleen! The chairs beckoned on this fine fall day. Clouds in the distance, sun overhead, the chairs beckoned, we sat. Me? I did! The warmth of the sun, the one you love, gentle breeze, sounds of the sea, call of the gulls – idyllic. You can be remote and all alone but not alone. Solitude is not so bad sometimes. It defied description on this day.


Hunt

Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, Maine. 1976. Monhegan, Maine. There is a puzzle, a card, a book cover, but no print available. There was a book plate – sold out. Hmmm, the internet has everything; Amazon has everything. Has no one thought to make a print of this iconic painting. Is it iconic? Colleen loved it instantly. We actually saw it! Live and in person – in the museum. Um, special? Well, it is. You see art. You want a copy/print – to hang at home. It does not seem to have ever been done. That is different, at least for me? Find it? Nope. I am not accustomed to failure. In this whole wide world there is always something. We went down to Port Clyde. There is a gallery devoted to Wyeth work. Alas!


Surprise

This is a mix of shots Colleen made as we drove up to Maine. Yes!? She shot through the windshield rather than have me do so while driving. Ok! Not bad! In fact she got some first class shots! Really! I mixed in a couple of my own. Who could resist? But, Colleen did a great job. She complained or lamented that she missed shots. So? We all do. I do! Nice work. She’s becoming a photographer and doesn’t suspect that the lessons are taking hold….yet. Lee… no peas were harmed in the making of her dinner.


Symmetry

Close your eyes. I am about to dive between two tractor trailer trucks on the approach to the George Washington bridge. Pay attention. Drive carefully! Don’t drive distracted!

I like my pottery symmetrical too.

It wuz two different pictures. The models are the same. Same clothes, even!

No no, driving is not boring. Sometimes we see interesting things. The “dive” picture is mine (while driving). Colleen took the GW bridge from the passenger seat.


Matching

On occasion we wear matching clothes. It’s not intentional. For a while I would see matching Japanese tourists in NY. They wore the same T-shirts or whatever. It was oddly curious to see.

As you can readily see I can go both ways. It’s a joke not a gender insult or confusion. Otherwise, our museum antics would be considered schizophrenic. And hats? Why, of course!


Arresting

… my attention. Not a real arrest, silly.

I’ve been to Hawaii twice. I barely remember it. On the second occasion Lisa was pregnant with David. Morning sickness. We drove to a vantage for me to take pictures of the coast as the clouds cleared at noon. I rolled into the parking lot and stopped short to back up into a parking spot I had passed. Jules and Lisa promptly threw up from the sudden change in direction. My bad. I did not get the shots either.

Everyone lies. ?!?! We arrived at the Honolulu airport for our flight. We expected a jet plane. The attendant asked us for our weight. It turned out they were calculating the weight load for the aircraft to takeoff. Lisa burst into tears on the tarmac. Why? She sobbed, “I lied about my weight!!” I was close enough to see the jet in front and to read the gas gauge which read nearly empty. The plane fared no better as after it landed it took right back off into the sky without refilling its empty tank. I was glad not to be on the return trip. And, meanwhile at the rental car counter I asked for the directions to the hotel. The clerk replied, “Go out the gate. Make a right.” Uh… we were staying right next to the airport.

What a nice little series of slides, all parked together in my catalog!


Canceled

Our boat tour of three Scottish islands was canceled for wind and inclement weather. The tour took off from Oban which as you can see was bright sunny and without much wind to see. Lemons? Make lemonade.

Oban is a lovely town to walk and explore and eat a meal. Cullen skink. Don’t ask. We found it in the guidebook and Edinburgh and then we chased it all over Scotland. I just photograph it. We did have an excellent time on a very pleasant sunny afternoon.

The tower is “McCaig’s Tower, also known as McCaig’s Folly, is a prominent tower on Battery Hill overlooking the town of Oban in Argyll,” And yes, we walked to it.