With school out I’ve spent a little time with my camera.
1st, a few views of some battered door knobs: I was attracted to the dents, scratches, and layers of paint that speak of many years of living.
In my father’s handwriting on the back of this photo: “This is why I fell in love with Martha Ann Fromme.”
When I saw the topic of this Sunday’s Post, I wondered if I should go out and find someone working; however, I remembered I had shot quite a few images of people at work during my stay in China last summer.
I find it interesting that I still have not gotten comfortable taking similar pictures here in my own city and country. I guess there’s something about being a tourist that gives me (in my mind) license to shoot just about anything.
And now, I’m off to the gym before returning to my work, prepping my lessons for the week. I hope you all have a satisfying and productive work week.
Have you ever seen Gregory Peck’s remarkable portrayal of Atticus Finch in the film version of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird?
Mary Badham’s Scout is just as I’d imagined her to be when I read the novel.
Take a look at her hairstyle, which mirrors mine when I was a kid — brown, straight, with bangs — frequently messy.
However, for special occasions (school picture day, for example), Mother would cut it, perm it, curl it (bobby pins in my hair overnight … much more comfortable than the enormous cylinders I wore each night during high school … but I digress.)
The picture below shows me in 4th grade, the year of my first bad experiences in elementary school. Prior to this, I was blessed to be taught by three sweet women, Sister Mary Jerome, Sister Rita, and Mrs. Buechlein, who praised and encouraged everything I did; I blossomed as a student.
On the first day of 4th grade, Sister Mary Jerome yelled at me. During her introductory speech / lecture, she asked if there were any questions. I raised my hand, stood up (the law at the time), and happily announced that Mother had given birth to my brother Andy the night before. She crossly told me that such a comment does not belong in the classroom and to save it for recess. I withered, and the tone was set for the entire year. I did not bloom again until I survived out of her class.
I find it appropriate that my one physical memento of that year is this picture which reveals the horrific hairstyling techniques of my well-meaning mother.
This article celebrates one of my favorite authors, Maurice Sendak, who left our world yesterday…. I read Max’s tale to my sons (each one both Max and “wild thing”) countless times. The book, with the edges of its spine chewed by a long-gone cocker spaniel, still sits on my bookcase, waiting for my next “wild thing” to snuggle up and listen to Max’s story. Don’t we all want “to be where someone love[s] [us] best of all”?
It’s raining, a wonderful and rare event here in Phoenix, and the sky is gray, reflecting my mood. It’s been a difficult work week. There are two weeks left of school; we are in the midst of testing (my content area requires a minimum of five days of testing), and my freshmen are not responding well — lots of misbehavior which is wearing me down.
I need to grade papers this evening, but before I do, I must get into a more positive frame of mind. I always feel better after playing with images and blogging. I like the mood of these shots of water in the golden afternoon sunlight….kind of soft, mellow, and peaceful, soothing my troubled spirit.
When I saw the weekly photo challenge, I thought “well, this is EASY!” because I have files of unfocused shots. Recently I assisted my son (the “real” photographer in the family) on a photo shoot … engagement shots. After I was no longer needed to hold the lights or reflector, I picked up my camera. I got a few cool shots but a LOT of terrible and unfocused shots.
The bride-to-be is delightful and it was heart-warming to witness a couple in love dancing, laughing, and playing.
Last night I hiked to the top of the mountain to get the fantastic shot of the year. Hmm … that didn’t happen. After I got over my self-congratulations at making it to the top (really, it was a hefty hike with my photo backpack & small bottle of water), I casually wondered how I would get off the mountain in the dark. While waiting for the moon to rise, I enjoyed the expanse of the valley of houses below me and the glorious colors as the sun set in the desert. Around 7:10 PM the highly anticipated moon began to rise. On the top of the mountain, I was not able to move my tripod to a position to get the shot I wanted. In this shot below, we see the rising moon next to one of the mountains. You can see the homes in the foothills.
By this time, I was thinking “Holy Cow, how am I gonna get off this mountain without falling, breaking my leg, hitting my head on a boulder, and lying here all night?” (Actually my language was much more colorful … remember? I teach teenagers who are comfortable emitting gutter language and I have found the trashy words flying out of my mouth.) Just to cover my bases, I had texted my son who can track my cell phone and call out the calvary if needed.
With the help of my tiny flashlight that I keep in my photo backpack, I made it safely to the base of the mountain. I waited. I waited. I sat on a lawn chair. I ate an apple. I ate some chocolate. Still that moon did not rise above the mountain … the one I’d just descended.
I decided that this was ridiculous, got in my pretend SUV and headed out of the mountain park. As soon as I passed the gate (“Do not back up! Your tires will be punctured!”) I saw THE MOON peaking around the edge of the mountain.
I parked illegally (totally out of character for me) and pulled out the tripod & Nikon.
And now you have it: My adventures with the moon on the mountain. But, to my dismay, I did not get that award-winning shot of the orange-tinged moon rising over the horizon. So, to soothe my bruised ego, I finished the night with a juicy hamburger topped with corned beef and swiss cheese, accompanied by a cooling dark beer. Good Night Moon.
Jake’s Sunday Post challenge this week is Vehicle.
Of course, the majority of vehicles in China are similar to those I am accustomed to seeing and driving here in the states. However, I was captivated by the variety of vehicles that I saw during my stay in that beautiful and exotic country last summer.