It’s November. It’s Jeddah. It’s raining! First rain for me here this year. Yes! First! It’s panic time. Parents were told to keep their kids home from school. Really? Why? Well, it’s like this.
There is no provision to deal with rain water run off. Why build a sewer system for rain once a year. It works…until it rains. A leaky roof never leaks in bright sun. Then there is no where for the water to go. Before I got here I was told about water rising and cars floating. Rain equals panic around here.
It’s like a couple feet of snow in New York. It’s a mess. Cars immediately stop and traffic jams appear everywhere. Water overflowed the curbs. And it came as high as the bumper. I actually considered that getting home might be a challenge.
France is in the news but the US Embassy sent the weather advisory to my email instead. It was bright blue sky in the morning. An hour later it was raining and by afternoon it was over.
One day a few hours, no more rain till next year. I don’t think there will be a sewer system either. Rain is for fable and legend. It’s not a lot of water unless it has no where to go.
Walking in Manhattan Beach I chanced upon a group of kids headed up the road. Nice shot. Gotta have your camera ready. I was walking the dog with Jules. There they were and moment later they separated and went over the hill. Buddies. Girls and guys, innocent, and I hope, happy. Life looked like it did not weigh heavily on this day. Soon enough work and worries intrude. Love. Life and death. For now the worst is social media and the report card and SAT and college and….
Sunny California. There’s a drought on. So yes, it’s sunny. We were on a tight schedule. No time to dawdle. So we got to the beach and had to get a move on. The reason is that we had to get to the drive-in movie by dark. Wow! So I got a couple pictures. Hey, I live on the Red Sea. So the lack of time at the beach was not too terrible. Of course you don’t see artwork on the beach where I am.
From abaya to nude art, that’s a pretty big leap from where I am. Ah, there’s plenty of sand in the dessert but no naked mermaids in the sand. They have to be here already, right?
Call it what you will, the site is still the World Trade Center to me. This was my first and maybe last visit (for a long time) to the memorial fountain. It is open now. You can walk right up. It had just rained. Appropriate symbolism for tears and hope with blue sky in abundance. And I took the opportunity to use the reflection to mirror tower two, which will never be. There were twin towers once.
The names are there. The hole is symbolic. There is the noise of water but there is also a silence offered by the tall buildings that surround the site and it makes a hum and roar that drowns voices. It is not the reverent silence of the forest but of a city that continues and heals. The scar remains.
I think of Pearl Harbor and WW II. In time folks who were here will be gone and memory will fade. Meanwhile this fountain endures. The city is never truly silent. Neither too will memory every fade completely. I wonder if there can ever really be closure.
WTC one or Freedom Tower is done. It is finally topped and there is no more construction on the outside. A few years back they lit the inside with construction lights in red white and blue.
There is still a feeling of unfinished business as surrounding buildings are completed. There is still a traffic snarl. Business is busy. Plenty of tourists crowd the street. The cross is made of the wreckage and ruin. It’s symbolic defiance of terrorism. It’s a cross and that opens a host of thoughtful speculation. We are a land of many cultures and religion. But…
Texaco, you don’t see these signs anymore. And the old pumps are long gone. Now I get infomercials and TV news when I pull up to the modern pumps.
I was introduced to Sheetz. You go in and dial up a sandwich on a touch screen computer. It is advanced Subway sandwich menus selection without the need to speak to a human as you customize your order. What happened to gas? You get full service food and coffee. But you pump your own gas.
I am not an early riser. And I am pretty lazy. I shoot images when they conveniently present which is to say that I will not get up, travel, and brave the elements to get a spectacular sunrise. However, I can readily appreciate one when I look out the window to check the weather. I usually have a camera close by. So there! Yes, yes, it would be a much better shot without all the distracting branches. Did I say lazy?
The new part in the front was not there when I went to learn to swim. I took swim lessons. I had a semester of ballet and tap. (Mother again) And I learned ballroom dance. Oh, and the library was right there on the right front. I played chess too. Tom Swift, Chip Hilton, Dave Dawson and the RAF, Hardy Boys, Happy Hollisters, Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew – series and books all there to be discovered. The Nancy Drews were scary enough that I did not read too many. My daughter grew up devouring them. She has the Happy Hollisters that I read and later collected. Old and new, there is something bittersweet about change. It happens all the time. When did I get so sentimental?
I’m sorry I can’t be more specific about a name. It still is and it’s still there. Others in town are no longer churches. Another progressive idea of my mother was to send me to Sunday school with the little girl next door, Anne. It was Sunday and it was another opportunity to be in school. We were not religious. But we could car pool with Anne. So I learned about the bible. And in the last few minutes before school let out, the teacher had us count and estimate how long a minute lasted. I got close – 58, 59 seconds – often.
The entrance to the left and behind the church was where we had meetings of our boy scout troop in the basement. Troop 86, we regularly won competitions for best troop. We had a good scoutmaster. But camping could be very cold. Once we camped and I went swimming. I got a sunburn where the sun don’t shine. It was humiliating for my mother to take care of it. Never skinny dip unless you are prepared for the consequences. Gee, it was bad enough to go without a suit!
Davis and Elkins College. It’s not everyday you meet the college president while you’re eating lunch. Jean introduced us. And we saw him again later. Small world small town. It’s a pretty campus on the hill. Big, I mean big kids went there (relative to a grade school junior high kid). The kids got smaller this visit. Yes, just kids….
This place is where I took typing lessons as a junior high kid. My mother was pretty progressive in her thinking. My keyboard skills never got much past – the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. Yup count ‘em – all 26 letters.
We got to wander around. The college kids have shrunk and look so small now. And I believe the chapel is new. Anyway I have a soft spot for stained glass.