Imagine you are in Paia town on Maui with your significant other, out for dinner. How romantic, right? Right?? WTH is wrong with these folks? It was all I could do to not to walk over, boink these two on the forehead and get on my soapbox. Instead, i grabbed my electronic device and surreptitiously photographed them. Yes, i see the irony here. However, i also see a snapshot of all of us glued to our phones, ipads, or whatever and failing to live in the moment. To the left of this table was a little boy with his parents – they were both looking at their phones, and he was eating in silence. Sad portrait of a family. That’s all i have to say on the subject. For now. Also, i cannot figure out how to make the images larger, so just click on them individually.
Last week i was going through old photos to find one to post for #tbt when Dave and i got mired in a photo album from the ’90’s. We were getting misty eyed at old photos of our jack russell that had died the week prior, and then we came upon a picture of THE flower stand. Our mood brightened, and the reminiscing began. For many years we had a small flower stand at the end of our driveway at 3030 Old Lynchburg rd in N. Garden. Dave and Tess built the stand and painted it, and we all spent time cutting flowers, making bunches and putting them out in a bucket of water throughout the summer. A bunch of flowers was $3.00, a price that never changed over the years. Flowers ranged from lilacs, daffodils, and peonies to zinnies, cosmos and marigolds. Whatever was blooming on our property. Payment was by the honor system, and it was so cool to see how well that worked. Only once over many, many years did someone take the cash (and flowers) – and once someone threw over the table. Ernie’s daughter hit the table once in her car, but that was an accident. Occasionally folks would leave an IOU and pay us later. A few times Tess and the Wicks’ girls sat at the end of the driveway and sold some cookies and lemonade along with the flowers. Such sweet memories of those summers. We had regular customers that we got to know a little, and many that we never saw. The picture below was a gift from a woman (and maybe her son – i cannot remember exactly)- she took a photo of the stand and dried some of our flowers, then matted and framed them. One of the most meaningful gifts we have ever received, and one that will stay with us wherever we go. I am so thankful for all the years in North Garden, and the lasting memories.
This photo isn’t much, but the moment preceding it touched my heart. That particular morning I was early to work (very unusual) so I walked up to the Lawn with my camera. Usually at 7 30 it is fairly deserted, so I was mildly distressed to find a great deal of activity. As I found out, there was a breakfast event on the Lawn side of the Rotunda to welcome the newly admitted students for the fall semester. That seemed like a nice idea, and a very exciting time for those seniors. I wandered around the base of the Rotunda to the other side and as I came to the steps I saw a woman (presumably Mom) striding purposefully up the stairs. Trailing her by a bit was a young woman who I assumed was an upcoming “first year “(as we say at only UVA). This scene unleashed a surge of nostalgia – not so much re my first year self, but about bringing Tess to school. As I got close, the girl turned to me and asked politely “Are these the steps of the Rotunda?” I said that they were, and asked her if she had been admitted and was looking for the breakfast. She was, so I pointed her around the other side and congratulated her. It was so poignant – her innocence, the novelty of it all and her desire to be sure she was at the right place. In a short time the Lawn, the Rotunda, the Grounds would all be such an integral part of her as she steps into an entirely new phase of her life. I was reminded, as I am so often, how quickly the time passes.
These are a couple of photos taken this weekend at the UVA-Michigan-Cal track meet in Charlottesville. I wanted to get out of the house in order to avoid taking my third nap of the day so I headed out to Lannigan field to shoot some sports photos, a favorite past time of mine. It is always frustrating not being out in the center of the track where the “official” photographers are, but i make do. Need to look into the possibility of getting a pass – maybe they give special consideration to middle aged alums who currently work at UVA. Anyhow, there are always interesting people to chat with – I met Buzz Male who coaches at Albemarle and enjoyed talking with him. Saw assorted Lorenzonis, George Rich and Mike Gaffney.
These are two of my favorite images – they are of Cindy Ofili from the University of Michigan. I love the intensity and strength as she comes over the hurdle, and the colors. The second image is a lovely portrait, with a different intensity still present after finishing (and winning) the race.
Yesterday a (non-runner) friend of mine asked me why i run races. She could see no conceivable reason to put oneself through that agony – both physical and psychological. I’m fairly sure she understands why I run, but not the race facet of it. I didn’t have a simple answer and have been thinking it over. Why do I sign up for races when I know i won’t sleep well the night before, cannot drink coffee the morning of, will be nervous/restless through the start, and likely will feel like vomiting at the end if i have pushed myself? Not to mention that if it is a long race the training rules my life for quite some time. And over this wretched winter there was a great deal of running in weather below 30 degrees. It all does sound a little crazy. Here a few thoughts.
Once I have signed up for a race, it gives me a goal and i will run consistently. Running keeps me sane. Once in awhile if the stars align i win my age group which is fun but mostly I compete against myself, trying not to get slower year to year. This seems to be getting tougher. I love the Charlottesville running community – it is an amazing bunch of people and they are uplifting to be around. The local races benefit local charities. I like that I pay a fee, participate in an event that promotes good health and keeps the money in our community. I love the feeling of finishing and reaching a goal- whether it be a 5k or a half marathon. Some of my best friendships have been cemented pounding the pavement day after day- there is nothing like that bond.
I also run because I can. Last year running was not an option for much of the year. So I am crazy happy to be running races again with all the other runners- fast and slow- that put themselves through the “fun” of racing.
Clooney was on neighborhood watch yesterday, and this moment brightened up my day. I think that anniversaries of “bad things” creep up on us in a weird way. I had been feeling unsettled for a few days, not sleeping well, feeling flat emotionally – chalking it up to whatever : being 56, not exercising that day, lack of sun. Then, at some indeterminate point on the 28th it dawned on me that March 1st was the 1 yr anniversary of chemotherapy #1. And, that realization made me feel better. Not joyful by any means, but the further away I get from the craziness of last year the better I get at putting it all in perspective. Things are good – I am running 20 miles/ wk, my family is happy and healthy, we are planning a trip to Hawaii and building a cabin in the country. I appreciate it all, and will deal with whatever comes down the pike in the future. Sadly, Clooney and his person Cheryl are moving from our little neighborhood. We will miss them both.
I was on my way out to Warren (S.Albemarle county, west of Scottsville) when I came upon a field of cows. I am a sucker for cows, but often they run the opposite direction when i stop. I don’t know why – I don’t think I am scary and they certainly have me outnumbered. These cows were curious, and thankfully quite cooperative when I requested a group portrait.