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Showing posts from July, 2009

Blog Your Blessings: Sears and Roebuck

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,This week's blessing is Sears & Roebuck. Sears & Roebuck 25 or so years ago, when a hunter green "Free Spirit" touring bike advertised in its catalogue became a reality under my Christmas tree, a gift from my parents.
I never rode the thing. Instead, it hung in my parents' garage and endured the extremes of hot and cold by which Connecticut people measure time. Then it made its way to their garage on Topsail Island, North Carolina. Last week, I brought the bicycle pump so dad could breathe new life into those old though never used tires. That he did, and Adella spent her evenings coasting up and down the bike path along the North Shore Road.
That is, she rode the thing after several days of pure reluctance followed up with a clear and steady "no thanks" when I asked her if she wanted to give it ago. I don't know what changed her mind, exactly, though I know when it did: the evening after we got caught in a rip tide and found ourselves facing wall…

Skywatch Friday: 2nd Company Connecticut Governor's Horse Guard

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This is the stable of the Second Company, Connecticut Governor's Horse Guard, at Fairfield Hills, Newtown, Connecticut. By some miracle, my daughter and I got out of bed early a few Sundays ago to go watch a horse show there. Seems my kid wants to learn to ride, so that's the next adventure on the list.
Here's a bit about the 2GHC, as they call themselves:
Chartered in 1808 “to attend and escort the Governor in times of peace and war”, the Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard continues to serve Connecticut as willingly today as it did during Colonial times. 2GHG is part of the organized militia of the State of Connecticut, under the direction of the Governor and the National Guard. Although today’s Trooper most often rides in ceremonial functions, cavalry military training of horse and rider takes place throughout the year. The public is always welcome to visit during regular drill hours or special events.
This was an opportunity to photograph something other than flowers…

Wordless Wednesday: The Bee's Knees

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My World Tuesday: Nighty-Night, Woodbury

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I was out walking around the green in Woodbury, Connecticut, and experimenting with nighttime exposures and coming up with all kinds of grainy stuff a few weeks ago. The first two capture the gazebo, which is in terrible condition. The third is the Canfield Corners Pharmacy, and the fourth is a beaten-up and swollen old baseball left in the grass.
These shots make me think of how the world looks after a dose of NyQuil. Oh well! Sleep tight my friends.
My World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: Where the Wild Things are in New Haven

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We went for a walk along a bike path that follows the railroad line to the harbor after photographing some graffiti in New Haven. All of these flowers colored the way and took us from hardcore urban grime to the freedom of the sea.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Fragrance

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In summertime dampness like a thief Finds its way into the pores of old wood And takes the past To make a gift of it
To the present
This is not a noble gesture But a thing that happens.
For me it is a happy accident.
It takes from the ruins of my inheritance The fragrance of wood fires and coal The distant scent of Christmas-- Wrapping paper and turkey grease Pumpkin pies and apple-- My grandmother's ruby red lipstick, The press of her kiss on my cheek That said
I am glad you are here now.
The press of her kiss on my cheek That said
I love you, child.
In summertime dampness like a thief Takes from the ruins of my inheritance The boxwood incense of nights that
Seem never to end
But are gone in the blink of an eye
I breathe in the bounty Of summertime dampness Sit with my grandfather over breakfast One more time And wonder when My grandmother will awake And join us.
I never quite know what to say. We are quiet together.
I breathe. I dream. I blink
And it's over.
One Single Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Yankee Baseball

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I had the opportunity Monday night to catch some Yankee baseball with my three favorite people--daughter Adella and nephews Alex and Adam. With their fathers, we took the train into New York and took in the scenery along the way. The train was full of similarly relaxed and happy people bent on the same purpose and similarly dressed in their blue-and-white team-related regalia; the journey felt like a gigantic school field trip.
The kids thought it was cool and neat and awesome when trains flew by in the opposite direction, when the elevated train roared over their heads, when our conductor said, though he was a Red Sox fan, he would be on the "Yankee train" back to Connecticut. Sure enough, he was, and it was a cool thing to know that we and hundreds upon hundreds of others had gotten on the right train that late at night.
It was an evening full of keeper moments.
Adella, Alex, and Adam were as fascinated by the new ball park as they were by the trains. Adam borrowed my camer…

Skywatch Friday: Light Dissolves into Mist

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I am away for the next week or so, but I will return your visits as soon as possible!
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Who...?

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An object d'art that once belonged to my father's mother, this Caribbean lady stands four feet tall carries a basked of fruit on her head and a purse on her arm. She's old. Only dad knows the secret to her beautiful complexion. (Cuprinol? Varnish? Spray Shellac? We'll never know.)
Wordless Wednesday

My World Tuesday: New Haven, Connecticut

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There is a legal graffiti wall on Water Street in New Haven, Connecticut, that is tightly maintained by Reo, a very talented young guy from Connecticut. Painting here is by-invitation only, and the standards are high. This is a bright spot in a tough neighborhood near the railroad station and the joys and wonders, shall we say, of the harbor. (Other images of these walls are here.)
These walls are near High School in the Community, where it seems these writers inspire the kids inside to come out and play:




My World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: Summer White

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One Single Impression: Inner Voice

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A child's hand Reaches toward The rays of the sun
Not to hold them
But to touch and be touched
By the warm yellow light.
The hand that reaches for the world Because it is there
For no reason
But to be touched By curious hands
Stops the hands of time In a child's heart Where dwells The light of the sun
We speak of it As the soul
It is the inner voice Whose language is light Whose lexicon is mystery Whose syntax is truth
Children speak with that voice Long before they speak To anyone
Some never lose the language

Blog Your Blessings: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

"That was the best one yet," my daughter said before the credits started to roll at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Wednesday night.
"Yeah? But there wasn't as much action. You really think so?" Me. I don't speak Potterese. For years, I just didn't get it--and it never helped that I only half watched the videos from the comfort of home. In the theatre, I usually benefit from the commentary of my 10-year-old nephew Alex, who remembers exactly everything he reads and defines the terms and summarizes the plot as we go.
This time he sat next to Adella, and every time he filled in the gaps for her she'd say, "I know." Two seats away, I thought, "Yeah, but I don't!"
Except that I did this time. Once I got used to the idea I was not on a fantasy roller-coaster through the lands of Wizards or Muggles, I was in. It's a story about doing the right thing, about putting your own interest aside for the benefit of…

Skywatch Friday: Life Beyond Skee Ball

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A few weeks ago at Ocean Beach Park in New London, my daughter and her cousins just about owned the arcade. Everyone else was out enjoying the blue skies and sunshine! Looking up from the inside, I found some relief from the weird darkness of the arcade and found myself dreaming about being way out in the water, on a boat....Winning no tickets at all.
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: To Improve or Enjoy the Day?

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E.B. White said, "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."

We took this approach to the problem:


Wordless Wednesday

My World Tuesday: The USS Nautilus Submarine Force Library Museum, Groton, Connecticut

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Here is the world's first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, at theSubmarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, Connecticut. Walking around this place, I was awed by the audacious minds who thought up these contraptions and the audacious spirits who put them to work in the name of war, peace, and research. Amazing. Click here for a link to a slide show containing shots of the inside of the USS Nautilus.
My World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: Lily on Fire

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This lily endured countless storms and wind to blossom at my parents' this week.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Thinking

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I am thinking The flowers In my parents' garden Thrive because they are there Because they watch them They wait and watch and wonder If they will thrive
And they try everything Manure Miracle-Gro Manicuring trees That might get in the way Of the light.
Watching the light Questioning the quality Of the earth
Adding a fence To protect the young and unguarded From rabbits and the dog
The flowers thrive
In all this thinking
Bees come Nobody flinches Nobody swats away The miracle workers
There are people Everywhere Thinking of ways To attract the bees To stay alive
That's what all this is about
Think. Watch. Flowers thrive. Bees come.
Think. Watch.
Please.
My parents watch from their Patio chairs. Thinking about flowers, They protect my inheritance
And yours
Even if they Never spared you
A thought.
One Signle Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Turtles with a Walk-on Role

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I was thrilled to pieces this week when I heard about the 78 turtles who stopped air traffic for 1.5 hours at John F. Kennedy airport on Wednesday. Until Wednesday, I would have thought you'd have to be a big noise to have that effect.
But then, maybe 78 2- to 3-pound diamond back terrapins on a mission to keep diamondback terrapins on this earth are a big noise. Here's the Daily News's version of the story:
Dozens of randy turtles crawled onto a JFK airport runway Wednesday, delaying flights for over an hour, authorities said.
Port Authority workers rushed to the shell-covered runway about 8:30 a.m. and scooped up 78 diamondback terrapins that had left the waters of Jamaica Bay scouting a spot to breed, said Port Authority spokesman John Kelly.
Pilots from various airlines shared the news with stuck passengers who had to wait up to 90 minutes for their flights to take off so the turtles could land in a safe place.
"Everybody had a good attitude considering it was turtles…

Skywatch Friday: Central Park Blues

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My sister, daughter, nephews, and I took a break from the American Museum of Natural History to suck in a little fresh air in Central Park. The kids had a grand old time following the paths this way and that and looking for the arches and the other curiosities of the park. The weather was iffy--meaning it is very likely to pour rain if we don't take our raincoats--but I caught a few views before the deluge.
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Greetings from the Dum-Dum and Friends

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My World Tuesday: Fort Trumbull, Connecticut

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A birdwatcher at Ocean Beach Park in New London, Connecticut, put us on to Fort Trumbull, just a short hop along the Thames River.
Fort Trumbull is one of 42 forts along the East Coast known as the Third System of Fortifications. This building, constructed from 1839 to 1852, is the third fort on this site. The web site for the fort says it is unique "because of the Egyptian Revival features incorporated in the architectural design." Who knew?
The site commands an incredible view up and down the river and is very, very beautiful. It's hard not to feel safe and sound with that much rock behind you and a few Coast Guard boats moored over your shoulder. Folks were picnicking and reading on the expansive lawns and enjoying the sunshine and breezes of a warm summer afternoon when we stopped by.

My World Tuesday