Saturday, June 30, 2012

Photo-A-Day: June

"The principles of true art are not to portray, but to evoke." --Jerzy Kosinski

I don't know about you but June came and went so fast, I'm still trying to process it all. Faces and places and  time all whizzed by. Thankfully another month of a photo each day helped record some of the highlights.

There were the special family visits and gatherings of course. And then, toward the end of the month came a different kind of highlight.You see, hubby and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary June 24. To mark the milestone, we retraced our steps to where we first met--and took a trip to Chicago.

Back all those many years ago we were college students and, coming separately from our respective schools, we had headed to Chicago for an education convention. Hubby traveled by bus, I arrived in a carpool of other students. We "bumped" into each other that first night and the rest, as they say is history. Some of the highlights of those days included walks in Grant Park, a play at the Blackstone Theater, and a subway ride to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game.

Well, we thought, what better way to celebrate our 40th than to re-enact some of those things? That's how we found ourselves on a bus (we're such sentimentalists) one day last week. Once in Chicago, we stayed in a hotel next to the old Blackstone Theater (now the site of a college), walked through the lobby of the hotel where we met, meandered through Grant Park, and once more rode the subway to Wrigley Field and took in a Cubs game, sitting in the same section and eating Cracker Jacks just like we did all those years ago. Which, looking back, doesn't seem so long ago after all. Those just starting out cannot comprehend just how fast those years do go by. Believe me.

We also went to Chicago's Institute of Art and to Millennium Park. We marveled at what we remembered and laughed at our confusion over how things had changed. It was a memorable trip--short but packed full of experiences and maybe just a couple of blisters (we did a monumental amount of walking). And that's another thing, the way architecture, patterns, colors and designs caught my eye. I credit that to the practice of taking a photo-a-day all these months.

Emotions worked their way into the experience, too--often swinging up and down in joyful, nostalgic, surprised, anticipatory, anxious, appreciative, reflective moods. Made me, as a writer, want to capture it all. Yep, I filled my writer's bag (or journal as the case may be) with images and ideas, characters and settings, sensory and structural details. Faces emoting, places evoking. The month of June gave me lots of material. Have a peek...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Quiet Pause

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the 

end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" --Mary Anne Rademacher-Hershey


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Restart the Engine: Revving up the R's

"Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by." --Carl Sandburg

Confession time: I've not been reading much. I've not been writing much.

A marathoner runs. A musician makes music. An artist creates. A writer reads. A writer writes.

For sure, there are times of allowances. Times of necessity. The unexpected. Loved ones in hospitals, nurturing times, reaching out times. Being available. Assisting. Caring. A writer after all is a real person and family member first. This past week was such a time over this way, and I'm glad I could be where I was to help.

But now...what? Well, it's time. Time to reevaluate. Time to reassess. Time to ramp up the reading, and reset the writing goals. Reach out the hands and recover the time when it runs by. Time to revisit the joy.

Summer may be all about recreation, reunions, relaxing, recharging. It's also a time (can you hear the engine starting up??) to:


That's what I'll be doing this week, revving up the r's...

What about you--how's the summer writing going for you? Or not...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Making Memories

"Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things." --Pierce Harris, Atlanta Journal

Last week was one of those special weeks. A memorable week. A memory-making week. Our son and his family were here for a few days from Spain, and boy, did we pack in the activities.

Grandson Nicholas is now two years old. The last time we saw him was almost a year ago. What a joy to spend time with him and learn what he likes (first of all, FRUIT, and then all things transportation, i.e. buses, trains, planes, cars, trucks). With this visit we also had the precious opportunity to gather together all three of our beautiful grandchildren, and their parents, and watch the cousins interact. Treasured moments built one upon another as the days went by.


There was garden time with Grandpa, play time (including throwing rocks in the creek), and occasionally a touch of sleepy time.


There was Cincinnati's Krohn Conservatory's butterfly show, lots of story times, a picnic...


...and "Ride-the-Ducks," a touring activity on an amphibious vehicle that not only splashes into the Ohio River showing travelers all kinds of upclose and personal sights, like the spectacular John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge (prototype of New York's Brooklyn Bridge, circa1866) and the Bengal's football/Red's baseball stadiums, but also putters along the streets of historical Covington, KY and over the bridge to downtown Cincinnati. Along the way a young tour guide entertained all with highlights of the area's landmarks.


Finally, there was the Racing-to-Read 5K Race/Walk, sponsored by the Kenton Co.KY library system, which benefited Childhood Literacy Efforts (what better cause for a writer/reader to support??). The guys ran, the gals walked, and, I might add, all had pretty good finish times.


Too soon time wound down. After a family breakfast together, we arrived at the airport.

So, what might be said about a week of packing it all in? May I suggest a few random thoughts?

Soak up the opportunities. Sprinkle with generous amounts of fun and love. Savor. Splash with generous hugs. Gather. Fill. OverflowCherish. Appreciate. Anticipate the next visit. It's what making memories is all about. 

Who knows what treasures the children might have stored away? I know I stored up bunches!

Hope you find yourself in the midst of memorable and memory-making weeks this summer, too :-) Such is the essence of family, friendship, meaningful times. And, of course--if eyes, ears and hearts remain open--a wellspring for the writer's imagination might be discovered as well.