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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who's Home?

The story of Katie and Mr Werbowski will continue another day. 

For now:




 Yoo Hoo!




Anybody home?




Baby Starlings. My Dad used to call them the scourge of Canada. Brought to our country on the boats way back when. They didn't do as well in Europe and England because of the smog from all the coal fires, but one of the earliest explorers brought them in cages and once set free here, they flourished! They scavenge the nests of other birds and dump the eggs and then lay their own.


The European Starlings in North America are the descendants from 2 introductions in New York City. In 1890, 60 birds and in 1891,  40 birds. They have spread to the Pacific coast and up into central Canada.


 Taken on June 30, 2010 in Pinafore Park in St Thomas, Ontario.


These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Scent Of Lilacs

Chapter 7 starts below:


This story was begun on Monday, June 28, 2010 and is entitled Katie and Mr Werbowski. Sometimes, I'll still post photographs and jump back and forth, because that's just how I am!


So if you'd like, use the following link:


Katie and Mr Werbowski: The very first post


...For the very first installment! I 'll also copywrite it, so don't get any thoughts there either!
(Little joke there! As if!)
__________________
 Chapter 7
 The Scent Of Lilacs

The heavy door latched with a clunk and Katie turned toward the dusty streets of Dublin. 


        "Hail there lass!" Came a lusty growl and Katie sidestepped the horses hooves and beasts pulling a dray.
           "Morning Mr McGovern!" She shouted, but the man, team of Clydes and wagon load of firewood had plodded on down the street. All she could see of the driver was a hand raised in greeting. No time for pleasantries for sure on this weekday morn'. She must herself make haste in order to get this letter on it's long journey to America! 
   " I should have asked in my letter if Missouri had telegraph?" She made a mental note to asking her next correspondence to Mr Werbowski. Surely, even if the farm was far removed from a city, there must be a telegraph machine for the train? She must stop and ask at the Post Office.
       The post office in question was just a few blocks from her parents home because of course, they lived in the oldest and also poorest section of Belfast due to financial restraints.
       "It will be grand to get Ma and Da out of this despicable city!" She cursed under her breath and sidestepped yet another horse plop. "I must come back this way," she thought. That plop will sure an' be dry by the time I come back!" Even if she was bound for America, there were still many bleak and blustery months ahead to survive and dried horse dung made a nice and cheap, toasty fire! 
       Katie had trod this same path to the post many times, but today was the first in many years that she actually hummed a tune! Now that she had made up her mind to go and her path was set, she felt somehow that there was a possibility of happiness in this life of hers that had before this, been one of just hard work and grime. When her brother had been forced to flee the country, she had made him promise to find a way to fetch her and when he had written that there were so many men in the wilder parts of America and not so many women still yet, they had hatched this plan: To find Katie a husband! Because of course, a slip of a thing like fair Katie could be allowed to work her fingers to the bone in Ireland and die a haggard old crone, but not ever could she leave her parent's protection without a man at her side! 
      Even just remembering that heated conversation with her Da two Christmases ago, she grimaced and cursed! "By the gods! I'll be free of this land full o' killin'!" She shook her head in denial of everything Belfast. "I won't stay here an' watch it na' more!"
   She quickened her pace in determination and just as she was rounding the last corner, she caught her reflection in the windows of a dry goods store. 
    The image of a young woman stared back at her in serious concentration. Slight, only five foot three inches tall and her bones stuck out at all the angles: Ankles and elbows and that pointy chin! That's what a person saw when they looked!
    "Gor!" She drew herself up as tall as she could and her hand found the errant wisp of red blond hair that always wanted to hide her eyes. "The mess you look lass an' you think a man will want you!"
     Her gaze was drawn through the glass of the window and took in the items temptingly displayed there for shoppers.  An idea formed in her mind. "Clever Katie!" She congratulated herself and reached into the folds of her smock for the pocket there and yes, there were the few coins she always carried with her. "For emergencies my girl!" Her Mam had always taught. "Ye must have need of a penny or two and you always have to make sure you carry a few! Never be caught without yer mad money me lass!" This was the very first time in her young life that Katie actually had need of the coins and glad she was that they were tucked in there! 
     She walked into the dim cavern of the dry goods store. 
    "Mornin' lass!" The store clerk greeted, seeming to sniff a sale. "An' what cha' be a lookin' for this fine fall morn?" His toothy grin was meant as pleasant, but Katie only shivered. His chin bore a jagged gash of a scar that only a bullet would leave. "Just another reminder that I'm doin' the right thing." She thought.
  "Mornin' sir, I would like to see the scented soaps if I might please? My mam is poorly an' I was thinking that a wee bit of scent might perk her up! Do you have anything in lilac?"
     The store clerk rushed over to the counter and snatched up a block of creamy soap stamped prettily in the center with the shape of a lilac flower. "Hand milled and straight from Paris France!" He proudly proclaimed! "This is a gift fit for a queen! Your Mam will love it I'm certain!" 
      Katie took the small bar in her hand and almost gasped aloud as she spied the price tag and silently cursed herself!
        "Ooh! I only have my few pennies! Not enough to buy this! What will I do?" The unspoken words ran through her mind and just as quickly as she spoke, she turned her wide, green eyes up to the clerk and asked, "Oh! An' do you have any lilac water to go along?" Her eyes searched the shelves behind the clerk as if seeing a bottle of perfume there. The clerk turned to look, as she hoped he would.
   
        Katie quickly drew the letter back and forth over the surface of the bar of soap, hoping it would take on some of the beautiful, aristocratic scent.


        By the time the clerk turned back to her, she had the bar of soap reaching back over to him and she plopped it into his hand. 


        "Oh! I think I hear me Da! I'll be right back! Thank you!" And she fled the store, the clerk not seeming to be the wiser for the transfer.
   Katie fairly skipped the rest of the way to the post and slipped the letter over the counter. At least the letter would smell like she was sophisticated! She prayed:

       ..."Oh Lord! Please let it still be there in America!"
                  .....Mr Werbowski lurched toward the wagon and grabbed the envelope. His senses were tickled with a hint of fresh lilac. His nose involuntarily lowered to the thin parchment of an envelope adorned with fine, fancy handwriting and drew in a heavenly scent. "Ah!" Tears filled his eyes.

           

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chapter 6 Panic In My Heart!

This story was begun on Monday, June 28, 2010 and is entitled Katie and Mr Werbowski. 

Sometimes, I'll still post photographs and jump back and forth, because that's just how I am! My job has also sort of taken over my energy, but I'll post as much as I can!

So if you'd like, use the following link: Katie and Mr Werbowski: The very first post 

...For the very first installment!
__________________ 

From the previous post.....

    (  John, hands and arms flailed in anguished expression of his dismay and he yelled his misgivings to the heavens: " I've finally found meself a young lady and what on earth will I do with this bachelor's farm?" 

          His worried eyes took in the view..... )


 Chapter six....Panic!

      Suddenly and without warning, there appeared a second cloud of dust as John Werbowski's butt hit the dirt of the laneway. He hung his bronzed chin in his big, working man's hands and wept.

    "Oh my Lord! What will she ever think?" He raised his watery gaze to the scene in front of him and here is what he saw:

     A shack. A tired and hastily built shack. Made with boards bought at the lumber store in town and they weren't even properly matching boards. Just whatever the lumberyard had that was cheap! 

    "Aw Jack! You an' me didn't need much, did we?" The dog wagged back. A sharp lick to a defenseless cheek. Jack thought the tears tasted nice. Sort of like the salt pork his master sometimes dropped from his fingers as treats!  He cocked his head. Maybe if he stayed very, very still and looked cute enough, there would be pork somewhere?

       John rubbed at his bursting eyes to clear them, looked again and this time saw a dirt yard. Not a blade nor a bloom to break up the expanse of Missouri dirt. Not a decorative stone nor a wooden gate for relief. Just dirt.


   "We didn't need any fru-frus, eh Jack?" He patted his dog's head and Jack wagged his tail in anticipation... 

     "He's getting ready to drop pork!" He sniffed his master's hand. "Is there pork there?" 

     John had stopped the tears the panic had sprung and with the determination he was known for, he studied his homestead. The shack had a window. A door and a window and one big room. Not a thread of cloth hung in the window, not a doorknob on the door. Just plain, simple, functional bits and pieces that a man and dog needed to make a day with. 

     John lifted the dog's head in both hands and allowed the pet to lick the tears to his hearts content. He laid his cheek next to this buff colored animal who had been his only companion and ordered:

    "Well boy! We've got some work to do! We have a fine Irish lady who says she's going to come and keep us company and if we expect her to stay, we'd best get busy and make her a house fit for staying in!"

       ... And so as Katie was making plans with her trunks and boxes, Mr Werbowski and Jack began the plans for a proper home. 

      ... And with the planning and work, the panic receded to the back corner of his mind.... 

_____________________

  I 'll also copywrite it, so don't get any thoughts there either! (Little joke there! As if someone would steal it and actually put it into print!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

White Flowers!

Katie and Mr Werbowski will continue... But for today:


White flowers are a symbol of purity and chastity. (Funny, I had to use spell check for both of those!)




 These Hydrangeas were in full bloom in Pinafore Park in St Thomas when I drove through on June 30th.




When you see these, you can imagine why folks think white means purity!




The shading of greens and the white that is actually just the palest of green!




These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Journey Begun

Chapter 5  starts below:
 

This story was begun on Monday, June 28, 2010 and is entitled Katie and Mr Werbowski. Sometimes, I'll still post photographs and jump back and forth, because that's just how I am!


So if you'd like, use the following link:


Katie and Mr Werbowski: The very first post


...For the very first installment! I 'll also copywrite it, so don't get any thoughts there either!
(Little joke there! As if!)
__________________


Chapter 5


      Katie finally sobbed herself to sleep that night and crawled into her bed in the rafters with a heavy heart. The sleep of total exhaustion enveloped her and a finger of morning light found it's way through the thatch of the roof way too soon.  She rubbed her gritty, swollen eyes and sighed. "Well my girl? You've decided and so ye'd best make tha' best of it!" She swung out from under the bedclothes and made her way back to the worn, wooden kitchen table where she had last night sealed her fate into a filmy piece of paper.
    Today, she would begin the process of telling her hard won customers that she would no longer be available for their abusive comments and filthy clothes!  She lifted her chin just a notch. "An' that'll be a joy, it will!"
    "What di' you say there my Katie?" Her mother was already at the sink, a big spoon in hand and as she turned to give the oatmeal a stir, she jumped into Katie's thoughts: "Are ye a goin' to tell your customers today? You hated the drudgery for sure!"
      "How did she read my mind?" Katie thought and then with a brave smile she answered: "Yes, I hated the servitude o' it Mam, but it was work all the same and I was glad o' it!"
      Her mother again waived the worn, wooden spoon for emphasis. "There'll be none of that where you're goin' and for that I'll be ever grateful to your brother Sean and that Polish man!" And then she noticed her beloved daughter's weary countenance and scurried over to her side." Aw my babe! Is it changin' your mind you're thinkin'?"
     "No Mam. It's surely I'll be missin' you and Da though." And then an idea invaded her mind like a bingo ball popping out the bubble to go down the chute. "Oh!" She couldn't help but give a start!
        "If I'm able and sent for you, would you an Da come to Missouri?" Her hand fled to her lips almost as if the thought wasn't better to be spoken! Where had that come from?
        Her Mam fell back against the solidness of the sink and for a moment,  Katie thought she might have to rush over and support her mam's weight. "Mam? Are you alright?" She quivered herself in fear!
        And then the future took an enormous swing to the positive and Katie's Mam said: "Why..... Why yes! We could!  Do you suppose your Polish man would bring us?"


           ....And Katie didn't know, but answered all the same, "Don't worry Mam. You an' Da will be with me in that Missouri before the next year is gone by!


             ...And Katie began placing the crockery for breakfast. She had to start this journey she had set herself and her family upon!
     
______________


PS: If anybody's wondering... I've got a promotion and once again, life is getting in the way. So! If I go missing for a couple of days, don't worry, I'll be back again as soon as I catch my breath!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Walking Up The Lane



This story was begun on Monday, June 28, 2010 and is entitled Katie and Mr Werbowski. Sometimes, I'll still post photographs and jump back and forth, because that's just how I am!
So if you'd like, use the following link:


Katie and Mr Werbowski: The very first post

...For the very first installment! 

I 'll also copywrite it, so don't get any thoughts there either!(Little joke there! As if!)

__________________

Chapter 4

Walking Up The Lane

              Mr Werbowski fairly skipped up the lane! Well, if a fairly big man could skip and hop, that's what he would have done!

               "John" as he thought of himself, was so truly, unbelievably happy! He had his letter in his hand, (gently held so as not to ruin the fragile paper! He would never let anything happen to this letter of hers!) And... The very fact that she had written at all, was just so unbelievably unbelievable!

            Little puffs of dust kicked up with each joyous footstep! The cuffs of his work trousers becoming chalky with it! A whiff of Missouri river sand hit his nostrils and plop! He stopped! He looked down towards his planted feet.

           "What will a young lady think Jack?" He demanded to the yellow dog. 

Jack of course just plopped himself on his haunches, (swirling more dust) and twisting his wide noggin sideways in universal dog-ism, asked his master: "What cha' mean boss?"

          John, hands and arms flailed in anguished expression of his dismay and he yelled his misgivings to the heavens: " I've finally found meself a young lady and what on earth will I do with this bachelor's farm?" 

          His worried eyes took in the view.....


So here's something else: I've never been to either Missouri or Ireland, so if I make a historical, geographic or period information mistake, I'm sorry!

These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!



I hope everyone in Canada has enjoyed their day!


             ...And rejoice in the truth that we live in a country that is so beautiful and free!






These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What To Write?



 Sucking the tip.


         Gripping it's feathery length. So hard to hold with any dexterity in your hand. A hand so chapped and worn from the lye soap and boiling water. Be damned!


         Katie threw down the quill and wrung her tired hands in anguish! "What shall I say?"

      What on this heaven's earth could she write to an American man she had never yet met?


A Mr Werbowski. 

           Ma had told her that he was Polish from Poland, but he was in America? Would she be able to have a conversation with him? Would he understand her lilting Irish speech? 


         "Sure and 'tis enough o' that!" She drew her dainty feet firmly beneath her chair, set her teeth and again clenched the fragile quill in her right hand. She started:

Dear Mr Werbowski,
       (Would 'Dear' be too personal? She hadn't met the man!  Well, she pondered, that was how she'd been taught the way to write a proper letter was and by gor! She'd at least be proper! Mebe' this Polish man wouldna' have any schooling, but she did and she'd be proper about this whole affair, she would!)
          My brother has said many good things of you and your wonderful farm in Missouri. It sounds truly beautiful and not at all like my home in Belfast. I am grateful that my brother has sent enough money for me to come to such a wonderful country full of such plenty and has befriended a kind and successful man such as yourself. 
          (Whew! Katie wiped her brow. She wasn't used to speaking so many words at once! This letter writing was na' what it was held up ta' be!
    Her brother had written a letter simply stating that this man was looking for a 'comely' woman of child bearing years to marry and work the farm with him. Her Ma and Da had told her she was comely, even pretty on the occasion of her birthday, but... and here she tucked a stray curl of strawberry hair behind her ear, but would a Polish man think she was pretty? What did Polish women look like? Lor'! She had never laid eyes on one herself! 

      Katie had read the letter to her Ma and Da because of course, they couldn't read. The three of them sitting around the harsh wooden kitchen table and sitting on the stools of many generations handed down. The firelight had made the words from America come alive! Her breath had come quicker in her chest just at the thought of America! Land o' the free and so much plenty and space! Could it be true that a man wanted to bring her there?

        "Ma! Da! What should I do? How ca' I leave you both?" Katie had cried the words, flinging them out to the loving ears of her parents.

            "An' go you will child," was her mother's gentile voice. "Aye! Go my girl of my heart and you don' na' turn back! Yer Ma and me'l get by an' live happier knowin' you've got a better life!"
         
         "Da! Should I go to the priest? Da! Should I?"

         And her Da had scrunched his bristly eyebrows together, gently slammed a clenched fist to the table top and with vehemence, but also an indoor voice, proclaimed: " The priest won't feed ya or look after ya! You go!" And with that he had shoved off his stool and slammed out the door!
         Ma had said later that it was his way of dealing with the "losin' o' his rosie haired girl!"
          
            And that had been the whole conversation that had decided her fate!)

        I have considered your kind offer of marriage and have spoken long with my father and priest and I write to you now to let you know that I will accept!
        (It was a small lie to say about the priest she knew, but gor! It needed to sound like she had a head about her!)

         I come by train and I am hoping you will be at the station to pick me up. 
      (The boat and train tickets had taken all of her savings and her brother's bits would need to pay for her food! The ticket master had knowingly told her that Missouri was almost half way across America and that was farther than she could imagine? She had clutched her shawl to her breast and shivered as if it was January and it being only September!
      And how on earth would she find his farm if he didn't come to meet her?  Katie whispered a prayer as her hand continued this letter of new life... "Please god! Let him be a man who would meet his new wife!" Her fingers swung the sign of the cross on her chest.)
    I must apologize for traveling with a trunk and hope it will not be an inconvenience.

    (Her ma and her had been stitching and tucking away since she'd come to womanhood in preparation of this time. A decent girl came with a dowry. It didn't matter it wasn't grand or a whole house worth, but she'd need some necessities in the wilds of America she would!
      Her normal spunk surfaced for just one moment and raised itself above the terror of her enterprise. "He'd better no mind!"
       She gazed toward the eternally grit soaked window, clenched her teeth in determination and finished her letter. )

         Your offer is very kind and I await our marriage and new life. I promise to work very hard and make you proud of your new Irish wife.

        Yours truly,
              Katie Donovan

         Very deliberately, the fine boned Irish lass her parents had named Katie, lifted the stub of tallow candle and gently dripped a splash of wax upon the folds of her letter to seal.

            Katie flung the pen across the floor with a clatter and sobbed...

      

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Letter



The paper came from pennies made with her sweat and the muscle wrenching wringing of other people's clothes. The boiling water to wash them in had been the back breaking labor of carrying the buckets from the only tap in the square. The fire under the enormous cast iron kettle built from precious kindling. (There was no "hot and cold" here in this time and place.) The soap; sparingly shaved from a hard brick of harsh lye.

She had saved each and every penny that hadn't been needed to feed the family. Saved and saved and when her brother had finally come to rescue her with such news, she had been ready.


 For she knew that she would not, could not stay in this city!


 The filth and misery that was the place of her birth would be replaced with a greener, wider country that they promised was free of conflict between this religion and that. Cousin against cousin and neighbor against neighbor. It would never stop.


 Katie felt her red rimed eyes fill with tears as she picked up her pen to write the letter.


 Dear Mr Werbowski..... She began.....



Monday, June 28, 2010

John Werbowski


John couldn't help but pace the width of the gateway in frustration.

"Damn! The cursed man should be here by now!" His feet would not hold him in one spot and he resumed his pacing back and forth....
 ...Back and forth across the entrance to his farm.

 And keeping the vigil with him was his mongrel Jack.

 "Jack!" Mr Werbowski always talked to the gold colored mutt like he was a human. "Jack! Do you think it'll get here today?"
But, of course Jack had nothing to say. Just a tail wag and a lop sided grin that was more from thirst than anything.


Mr John Werbowski, thirty seven years of age was a successful farmer. He raised crops that provided many bushels of grain. His cows and sheep gave more than enough milk to use at his own table and a bit to churn yellow butter from and sell at the market on Saturdays. The jug on the mantel was stuffed to the brim with coins and he had possession of a rare thing: A bank account.

Mr Werbowski was well respected and held a position on both the church board and local council and his opinions mattered. Tall and well built, with sandy brown hair and ice blue eyes. He was his mother's son and the spitting image of his father and yet, no one here had wanted him!

 He had waited too long you see. Worked his whole life so far to make a go of this parcel of land and yes, he loved it! Loved the dirt and the blades of grass and even the breezes that blew the dust in his eyes! He loved it! With Jack by his side these last ten years, he had carved out a homestead from this backend piece of America.

...And now that he figured it was time (and it was the time for a wife and please, some children,) the girls were just that, girls and all the women were already married with young-uns and haggard faces and bodies.

"Eh?" John whirled, his eyes searched the dirt road leading from town. He hand shaded his brow against the morning sun and ... "Yes!"
He slapped his thigh and anyone standing there would have just been compelled to guffaw! Mr Werbowski actually danced a jig! (Jack the dog sat plop on his haunches. He had never seen such goings on!)

The horse and nondescript gray cart slowly approached the farm gate and really, Mr Werbowski was wringing his hands by the time the postmaster commanded "whoa!" and wrapped the reins on the doorpost of his wooden mail wagon.  He smiled a toothless smile and greeted: "Hallo there John! I think that letter you've been waiting for has come." He lifted a small white envelope high as if it was a prize. "Do you suppose this is it?"

Mr Werbowski lurched toward the wagon and grabbed the envelope. His senses were tickled with a hint of fresh lilac. His nose involuntarily lowered to the thin parchment of an envelope adorned with fine, fancy handwriting and drew in a heavenly scent. "Ah!" Tears filled his eyes.

"Lord and be govern!" The postman exclaimed! "Well! I never! You have to sign! " He waived a stumpy pencil and Mr Werbowski snatched it up and scrawled his name on the dull paint with the others.


The postman, unaccustomed to such a spectacle of emotion, yanked the reigns and the poor horse lunged in his traces. The small wagon left a dust boil in it's wake, but Mr Werbowski was not paying any attention.

He gently ran his finger along the fold of the envelope and gingerly pulled the pages from the folds. "Jack! Do you suppose?"

He started to read:

"Dear Mr Werbowski,

          My brother has said many good things of you and your wonderful farm in Missouri. It sounds truly beautiful and not at all like my home in Belfast. I am grateful that my brother has sent enough money for me to come to such a wonderful country full of such plenty and has befriended a kind and successful man such as yourself.

        I have considered your kind offer of marriage and have spoken long with my father and priest and I write to you now to let you know that I will accept!

         I come by train and I am hoping you will be at the station to pick me up. I must apologize for traveling with a trunk and hope it will not be an inconvenience.

         Your offer is very kind and I await our marriage and new life. I promise to work very hard and make you proud of your new Irish wife.

        Yours truly,
              Katie Donovan


    Mr Werbowski scuffed a big fist against his cheek, vainly trying to wipe the tears coursing down his face.  His hand reached down to rub the old dogs head.

"Jack my boy! We best get home and throw the windows wide! We're going to have a Missus!"
      
 Can you see his signature? What were all those signatures for? Who were those people and what did they do? I can't help but wonder..... Do you?


These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Help! The House Is On Fire!



Way back when....




Is it any wonder that when a fire burst out, that the whole city would burn down?




How totally frustrating it must have felt to see someone's home be devoured by hungry flames and have just a trickle of water and not enough of it to boot?


I was raised tagging along to auction sales with my mom because you see, both sides of my families were burnt out and had no heirlooms! We cherish what we do have, but they only go about a generation back!




 What do you have right now in your home that could be the next generation's heirloom?
Is it a piece of sculpture that you bought from some starving artist, or something simple like the jug you brew your sun tea in?


...A couple more pieces from the permanent display at The Henry Ford!


These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The US Mail



Neither rain nor sleet nor threat of night can stop the US Mail!




This basic wagon was in service delivering the mail.




Imagine finding something like this in a barn or shed!






 The whole surface is covered with signatures!






 I'm so glad they preserved it!




These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Friend Dakota



Pets! 

What would we do without our little fur babies?


 Well, sometimes our babies have feathers instead of fur!




 This is Dakota and his mom!




 Dakota is a twelve year old parrot who goes everywhere with his mom!
(Of course his wing feathers are trimmed so he can't fly.)




Quite fickle is Dakota! He doesn't care who's head or hand he's on...




 ...And sometimes he doesn't even want a hand!






These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dog and Beth Chapman The Bounty Hunters



Do we ever expect to be pleasantly surprised?


 Sure, when I bought tickets to go see the Mercy Tour that Duane and Beth Chapman were on, I knew I would likely enjoy myself.

(My friend Stella and I both watch whenever we can.... For different reasons...)






 But! Who knew?




Who knew that this unusual looking,  muscular, five foot seven inch man would hold an auditorium packed full of every age, size and description of people in his hands with only his words?




Who knew that this tough man would be nervous enough that he had to continuously pace the stage until his beautiful wife came to stand beside him?


Who knew he could speak of heart wrenching personal episodes and still be so overcome with emotion that he would be hampered by a catch in his throat and tears in his eyes?




Who knew he was REAL. What you see on TV is not just an act but a living, breathing, bad guy gone good? 




 Who knew someone who looks this rough and dresses this way could laugh and make jokes about his (what he calls) mosquito netting of hair on the back of his head and would ask the folks in the balcony section if they could see his bald spot well?




 Who knew that he is so in love with his drop dead gorgeous wife and partner and that he would literally beam when he speaks of her?


 See... Who knew that a cat can choose to change his stripes?
He can still be a tiger but choose to be gentle and empathetic and kind?




Who would think that a man and a woman who met after they had already created families that produced many children would draw all those scattered sons and daughters and grandchildren, nieces and nephews to their home and make a nest under one roof that is so full of lasting love and protection?
This beautiful young woman with such sparkle in her eyes is Baby Lisa and she is a Bounty Hunter as well!


In his own words... "I am what the word rehabilitation means!"


 
Who knew that a family of just regular people from all sorts of lives can overcome incredible obstacles and still love, rejoice and really be alive? He is a husband, a father, brother, grandpa and the "step" included in all those combinations as well? 
....That he still does the vacuuming!



Can you see the love in their eyes?


I knew!


I knew ...
.....And yet Stella and I were pleasantly surprised last night and walked out of Centennial Hall in London with a renewed sense of spirit and generosity.


His message is one of forgiveness, love, the power of positive thinking...


...And at all costs:


          ......Stop the spread of addictive drugs in this world!


 I applaud this family with my whole being! This is a love story of two people who came from nothing and nowhere and have accomplished miracles by just believing, being a family and hard work. By doing what other people won't do.


If you ever get the chance, spend the reasonable price and get yourself a ticket for this show. This man is a Tony Robbins' trained professional motivational speaker and you will be glad you listened!




 Some of my photographs in this post were cropped because we were in an auditorium and heads got in the way! No touch ups though... Never is...
These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Here She Comes Again!



Here she comes....




 Floatin' down the creek...






She gets the funniest looks from...




Every boat by the beach!




Whew! 

Miss Libby sure does take a few shoves and pushes to get around!






That'll be me in a few years!


It'll take at least a tug boat on each end to get my big butt out ta' this Lazy Boy Chair!






These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Lady In And Out Of Time!



Time... A constant thing.... Tick... Tock...




Does time ever stand still or....




Is it a live and energetic thing?




Can someone be stuck in time? 
....Or can two "times" exist in the same space?


 A contradiction?




 Or a conundrum?

.... Can you always believe what your eyes see?




These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bugs and Butterflys!



BZZZ BZZZZ




A lovely little moth butterfly on the Queen Anne's Lace.




Hard to get close enough without my camera's focus going all wrangy!


I love how the horse flies are willing to share.


If you look under the fly, you can also see a big ant!




Must have been some good eats there!
I don't know what any of these little guys are, but they are pretty for pictures!


These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Stumped Saturday Again!



Just an old stump and when they cut down the dead tree, they've thankfully left the holy home!




Looks like lots of hungry wood peckers have lived here!


 This tree stump is located inside the Fingal Wildlife Refuge just west of Fingal, Ontario. This was the site of a Canadian Air Force training base and airport and they've torn down all the trappings and runways. Dick's dad trained here and it is odd to walk the paths that his father may have walked all those years ago.

Was this dead tree stump a spindly sapling when Harvey trained here? 


 Harvey is gone many years now, but they buried him with his uniform's cap and medals. He's much more alive in our thoughts as we walk the trails and pathways of this acreage than if we went to visit his grave.


 Happy Father's day everyone! Kiss and hug your dad if you've still got one. Mine's been gone since 1969 and Dick's died in 1999 but there isn't a day goes by that we don't think about them or remember them. Good men both and they did the best that they could for us and without question, loved us.


 You can't ask for anything more, can you?


These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Freedom



Our freedom is taken for granted....


 I want to honor some of the people who gave so much!




The horrid contraption was an actual slave collar. 
I'm sorry if I upset you, (my stomach contracts when I look at it.)

The wide arms were meant to catch in tree branches to slow a slave down if they ran.

 I walked up to the display inside the Henry Ford and I was drawn to the glass! My hand involuntarily reached out towards the piece of metal and I laid my palm flat against the glass. My eyes filled with tears. I gave a silent prayer to live where I do and in the time that I do. I am so lucky!




 This woman knew pain and suffering and she did what she could to help.


 Could I also do what she did? Would I have been that strong?


Gosh! I hope I could have done something!


These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Freckles



Ever read articles about  pets looking like their owners?


I stumbled across this interesting looking man who had kittens to give away.




Look at that little baby! So cute sitting on the man's lap like it was the safest place in the while wide world.


Now, here's a mental exercise for you:


 Picture walking alone down a dark street at night and this man is walking towards you...


 What would you see?


 A man who cuddles a kitty on his lap?


 Or...?




Look at this precious little baby!
 His freckles blew me away and I wanted him!


Sure, the others were very cute too, but...




This one was so special.


 "Ok Dad... Is it time for chicken yet?"




"Maybe I'll just sleep a minute more!"


These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.