Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Witch's House

When I was a boy growing up I had to walk to school. From the second grade through the sixth grade I walked the same route every weekday to and from school and yes, it was uphill both ways. I'm sure that it wasn't as far as it seemed back then but then again, maybe it was. At any rate the highlight (or lowlight) many of those days was the passing of the witch's house that sat on the corner (don't they always?). This particular witch's house was a tiny rock house that sat back on a fairly small lot that seemed to always be overgrown with weeds and was thick with overhanging trees.
 Now one might think that the reasoning behind the popular belief that this was a witch's house was already apparent. But actually an old woman did live there and she actually did resemble the conception of  what a witch might look like. She was old (ancient to us), she had long gray hair, her dress was loose and drab and occasionally she would even scream at one of the children that ventured too far into her yard on a dare.
 As I've looked back through the years and recalled the little old woman we called the witch and her dark little house I've often wondered what her story really was. Was she having a blast scaring the bejabers out of all those kids year after year or were they really driving her crazy with their endless taunts and ventures onto her property just to claim the right to say that they did? I'll never know but I do know that one day she just quit being there. Rumor had it that she had died. Maybe she did, maybe she didn't. I personally have always hoped that she just moved to a more friendly neighborhood. I guess that I'll never know but I do know that on one particular day on the way home from school I looked up just in time to catch her gaze as I passed her house alone. I could barely muster a shaky "Hi" as I hurried my step trying not to freeze and not daring to look away.
 Then she said the craziest thing I could've ever imagined. She stared straight into my eyes and and as a grin spread across her chin she said..."Hi" right back at me. A few days later she was gone...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Time to Start a New Chapter...

 Well today I attended the auction at my former place of employment. Everything went-some stuff at way more than I thought it would and some for pennies. I was there for twelve years but I guess that's really nothing compared to the 18, 24 and 27 years that my friends worked there. I thought that I would retire there -after all, building limousines is a pretty neat job. At least it's no longer a shock. We've known since April, I believe. We've had all summer to digest it and now it's come to fruition.
 During these past few months I've relived a lot of the good times and the bad too. I seems though, that at a time like this the good times are what you lean on to pass the day. Some how it makes you feel more like you've been a part of the history of the company.
 At one point this morning I decided that I'd bid on some shelving that had been part of my personal work space for the last twelve years. Not just a rack or two but my racks! The place where I had written down figures from a measurement  that was integral to the building of some specific model. The place where I had hot glued my yellow velour sun (with sunglasses) cut from the material that a yellow painted car with gold tint destined for Holland was completely upholstered in. Yes-completely! The place where once a year at Christmastime I attached my Santa (actually it was the sun dressed as Santa) and his reindeer Rudolph (with walnut carved antlers). The very same racks that held my son's yearly Mighty Mites picture from first grade till now until I got too worried that it would get torn and put it on the lid of my tool box.The shelves that I hot glued my KC Chiefs arrowhead to. The arrowhead that was made of vinyl and had once been taped to the back of an Oakland Raiders fan's jacket just to cover his logo. It actually pulled part of that Raider logo off when he pulled the arrowhead off of his jacket. That didn't set too well at all!
 But you know, I got to thinking about it and the more I thought about it the more I decided that it was best just to let it go. I guess it's time to start a new chapter... or maybe even a whole new book!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sights and Sounds...

 I hope that when you all check out my posts, you also turn up the volume and listen, at least for a while, to the music that I've added to my blog. More often than not I try to match the music with the photo. Sometimes it couldn't fit any more perfect and then other times it just kind of compliments the photo. Music, as many of you that follow me regularly know by now, is a very, very important part of who I am.
 As I've stated before- I like most any kind of music depending on my mood. Sometimes the mood dictates that I listen to something that compliments my being for the time and other times I have to listen to something that changes my whole outlook for the day. The funny thing about the right song at the right time is that you can shut your eyes for a moment, if only for a brief moment and see in your mind's eye pictures that you'll never be able to capture with a camera.
 And inversely so the right photo, when it's just right and everything comes together, will play you a sound so incredible that no matter how hard you try, you probably won't even to be able to tell what kind of instruments are playing!
 What I guess I'm trying to say is, I'm so thankful for the sights and sounds I see and hear everyday. I'm so thankful that God has blessed me with what some people have referred to as a talent and a way to share it with people all over the world...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Those I Know and Love...

 Last week I was able to get some really nice "fog photos" mainly ( if not only ) because Brenda woke me up early enough to let me know that it would be a great chance to get out and get some really good shots. Later that day my neighbor told me that she had seen how foggy it was when she got up and just knew that I was "out in it" snapping away. My sister has called me more than once to make sure that I was somewhere that I could see the beautiful sunset in case I wanted to get some shots. A buddy of mine called the other day to see if I had noticed the unusual cloud formations that were hanging overhead.
 Over and over friends and relatives have called because of something extraordinary that they saw and immediately thought of me. I can't explain what an awesome feeling that is to know that the beauty in God's world has made them think of me! And what's more, they want to share it with me. How cool is that ? I'm telling you, that's something that goes very deep. I can only hope I continue to make that parallel with those I know and love and those I will...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Full Experience...

 Every year I manage to come down with the flu (or whatever it's called these days) and fortunately it's only once a year. Unfortunately, more years than not it comes in the latter part of winter. I say unfortunately because this year it came in the first part of the season- as in yesterday and to me that just means that I'll probably get it again before the "cold and flu season" is over. I don't know, I guess that I might just figure that my one encounter with the dreaded aches and pains is over and out of the way for the year and I can sit back and cruise through the rest of winter. I can only hope!
 At any rate it's only the 24 hour thing and my time is just about up. My achyness is turning to sleepiness now so I think that I'll try and catch up on what I didn't get last night. I need to get out and explore in the next few days and I need to feel good when I do it so I can take in every last sight and sound - you know, get the full experience...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Still A Little Foggy...

To be honest with you, I'm pretty tired of trying to get this post up. We decided that we needed a new  computer and ever since then I've been trying to figure it out! The type on this keeps changing sizes on me and it took forever to just to get my picture sized right. I really don't know if the font is right ( it was preset ) and I have no idea if the picture will be centered correctly.
 All that aside, I awoke to a great foggy morning Monday- actually Brenda woke me up to let me know that it would be a good day to take pictures. Usually, I don't get very far before the fog starts to lift but this morning it lasted for hours. As a matter of fact I drove from this spot at Valley Water Mill (see my labels for previous posts from there) a few miles through the "pea soup" just to find out that the spot that I had in mind was just on the other side of the fog bank. It was one of those perfect days for photography and I took every advantage of it. 
 I promise to post more from this day but for now, I'm anxious to see how this format has turned out. I'd say wish me luck but by the time you're reading this it will be too late for luck. Either way, bear with me and I'll get it figured out. It's all still a little foggy...
 (By the way, I did have to go back and change the font and I need to figure out why the photo size is off... oh, brother)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Magic Kingdom...

The mighty Bullfrog. These guys are awesome! I mean just check this guy out- he's the ruler of his world. At least until a water snake comes slithering through or an owl or hawk comes gliding overhead. But actually bullfrogs have been known to devour the occasional snake or just about any other animal that it can fit into it's gaping mouth. Really though, he must be doing something right. I would guess from my vast knowledge of bullfrogs (you're buying this, right?) that this one is at least 2-3 years old and in his sometimes violent world, that's a long time! I found this one at Compton Hollow in an area where a small stream trickled over the trail and pooled into a uh, well... a pool.
The pool itself caught my eye well before the frog did. It was what I call one of those magical spots that I could have played in all day long when I was a kid. The trickling stream formed a nice little waterfall and pushed the tiny waves back under an overhanging tree that enveloped most of the pool allowing only a bit of sunshine here and there, depending on the time of day. There were minnows that tapped at the surface once in a while, catching something probably not much bigger than a gnat. I would guess that the pool was probably 3 or 4 feet deep in the center but not much more than 6 or 8 feet wide making it the ideal world for this frog to keep an eye on not only his next meal but those that were interested in having him for dinner!
I could go on about this bullfrog and his little kingdom but mainly I wanted just to let you know about the spot and how there's magical places like this all around us... we just need to look for them.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just Bad Luck...

I want to make this clear right off the bat- I do not like spiders. The mere sight of one of these eight legged arachnids ( I suppose that's being redundant but I want to make sure my point is clear) makes my toes curl. I've had way too many encounters with these creatures to ever change my mind!
Just in the past few days while we have been cleaning shelves and moving machinery at work to get ready for auction I personally have had my hands mere fractions of an inch away from several, what seemed to be very large, brown recluse spiders.
Then there was the time that I was lifting an overhead door at another warehouse and as I got under the door and pushed up I smashed a black widow in the palm of my hand. Fortunately she was face down at the time. Brrrrr-dang, that still gives me the shivers.
Now, some spiders are definitely not as creepy as others. Any of the fuzzy kind just seem a little more cuddly than others. Did I really just say cuddly?! Anyway, like that little black fuzzy jumping spider that you find on your house plants. That's what I call them, mainly because I probably won't ever study spiders long enough to know all of their names. Those come the closest to being as cute as a spider can be.
I've heard that the Japanese say that it's bad luck to kill a spider and of course we could all say "Yes it is... for the spider!" And I'm really very big on the whole live and let live thing but it's too hard for me to think about the fact that I'd better get it before it gets me and that always seems to win out. As a matter of fact this whole post has brought to mind the fact that my neighbor pointed out a spider on the ceiling last night and I somehow let the moment pass and now as I look up, it's gone. Well, hopefully he didn't run into the ol' gal in the photo here because, apparently she doesn't do well with others. (Maybe that's why they're called Crab spiders.)
Doesn't she know that that's just... bad luck!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Not Just Yet...

Wow! I'm telling you, Brendon rarely slows down. Actually he's bouncing off of the walls most of the time usually while quoting some obscure line from a TV show. Until recently, I thought that it was just him but the more I get to know his friends and more importantly, his friends' parents the more I see that it's just a growing thing and I'm now sure that all sixth grade boys are as nutty as a pecan pie!
He's a good boy though. He rarely gets anything less than a B grade in his school work( and that includes his advanced courses he's taking this year), he's doing great in football (that's another story for later) and when we do get his attention long enough for a conversation he says things that make us stop and wonder if there were a few years we might have missed.
My favorite time with him though, is bedtime. I always try to go in and set on his bed with him where we talk about anything from our favorite sports teams to what was on MSN's homepage for the day to that girl that gave him the silly band that's shaped like the word ROCK. (he hasn't given me much info on that subject yet...) He drives us nuts most of the time these days and as I'm sure any of you that are parents could attest to it seems like it will never end. But the truth of the matter is we know that when it does end so will this age and I'm not quite sure that either one of us is ready to let that go just yet...