Cleaning out my unfinished Drafts folder and found this. Apparently I forgot to post it, or at least I can’t find it anywhere.
Wonder what in the world distracted me that day. Oh well…here is a belated, off the wall, music post!
so here’s my convoluted process…
With this theme I immediately thought of a great song from the Sixties. No surprise there, eh? But I got it wrong, thinking somehow the word “day” was a part of the song. It wasn’t. It was in the Group’s name…
Good song anyway…
But WAIT!! There’s more. Then, I thought of a song I used to LOVE that I thought was about a great “day”, which is was…sort of… Here’s a hysterical, lip-synced video, complete with Beatles haircut tossing, and white go-go boots!
But THEN…I spotted this great news clip video next to the video
What a great DAY it was for music back then! I loved it all!!
I’ll try to stop now……….
Here’s my story…long, but it makes me so happy every time I tell it.
Hope you enjoy.
It’s Never Too Late….
(Branding VS Bonding)
“Maternity is a matter of fact; paternity always a matter of opinion.” Unknown Author
When I was two, my Mom and me found me a Dad. They got married and had my sister Eileen when I was three. They had my sister Barbara when I was six. When I was nine, I found out that Dad was not my first Dad. I don’t remember that fact being particularly bothersome. But when I was twelve and my folks divorced, well, that was definitely bothersome. When I was fifteen, being fairly exhausted by the role of Junior Mother to my sisters while my own Mom drank herself into oblivion, I left home in search of the rest of my childhood. When I was nineteen, my mother made her first (at least discernible) suicide attempt. (She took pills.) She survived, but only after being in a coma for as many days as I had had years on the planet. She woke up saying, “I don’t want to sleep anymore.” I thought she meant it and was really relieved and hopeful. Her narrow escape from death seemed to inspire her. She turned her life around dramatically…but only for a couple of years. When I was 21, my mother was more determined…no reprieve this time. It is much harder to survive suicide by gun.
When I was 24, and had a toddler of my own, the difference between a biological parent and a step-parent right in my face, I wrote my Dad a note. It said, “Now that Mom is not alive, you and I are not REALLY connected by anything, do you want to stop being my Dad?”
As of this writing, I don’t remember how he answered that question. I think it was something sweet and positive.
I do know that after he died in 2001, when we were going through his belongings, I found that 30 year old note from me, crusty with age, in a small box full of obvious treasures; like a very beautiful picture of my mother (his one and only love), correspondence from his father, and a very impressive letter of endorsement from his commanding officer in the U.S. Cavalry recommending him to West Point. My barely camouflaged plea for parental reassurance was in very admirable company indeed.
When I was 40, I received the following letter from my Dad:
When your mother and I got married, we didn’t have much money and you were very young so we didn’t think you would mind if we skipped the legal proceedings for me to officially adopt you. Then, as it does, time passed and we just never got around to it.
Would you think it silly now, at this late date, for me to make it all legal? Would you let me adopt you?
I think you know that you have never been any different in my eyes from your two sisters, except that you were my oldest. Your biological father left before you were ever born, marrying your mother in name only, at the “insistence” of your grandfather, so I knew I would be your only Daddy.
Have I ever told you when I knew you were mine?
When your mother and I were dating, we always brought you along. I knew from the start it was a package deal with her and that was just fine by me. One afternoon when we were out, I picked you up to carry you on my shoulders, as had become our routine. Well, while you were up there, you had a little accident and leaked all over my neck. That wasn’t too bad really. But when I went to change my shirt and tie later, I found that you had marked me. My white shirt and neck were stained a bright crimson, the color of my tie. I didn’t think of myself as a “red neck” but I proudly wore that red mark around my neck for several days until it finally wore off. I told the guys at work that my new little girl had branded me. That’s when I knew I was your Daddy.
Now, I would like to make it official if that’s OK with you. Let me know what you think.
My response to him was a no-brainer.
So, the Christmas after my 40th birthday, my Dad flew to Seattle from San Diego. My sister Barbara was there. My sister Eileen, who had rarely seen any of us since our mother died all those years before, flew over from Hawaii, and my 2 long time best friends, Lee and Linda, attended as witnesses. It was definitely official, taking place in a courtroom in front of a judge who asked both my father and I a peculiar series of questions. “Do you have any ulterior motives for taking this step?” “Does doing this help you to avoid legal action in any way?” “Are either of you doing this for financial gain?” etc.
Then the judge pronounced us legally “father and daughter” and leaned over his bench to shake my Dad’s hand. He said, “Congratulations on your new baby girl.” And to my sisters he said “She is your real sister now.” Then he thanked us all profusely saying, “Usually during this week between Christmas and New Years, we have nothing in Family Court except Child Protective Service cases or maybe the termination of parental rights. How refreshing it is for me to have participated in this long awaited and obviously joyous occasion.”
Judging from the things my Dad did during the time immediately before he died, my legal adoption was not the first time he had considered my sisters and I being re-united.
Although he had never uttered a single word of criticism or advice concerning our long-time estranged sibling ties, clearly he had thought about it. He simply carried on three separate father/daughter relationships. He developed his own connection with his 3 grandchildren and before his death he fixed it so that at least once more, we had no choice but to all three be together. I mean really together. We had to join up and cooperate in the dispersal of his estate. All papers had to be signed by all three of us at the same time. There was even plenty of money designated specifically for travel expenses from our respective far corners, etc. Clever, clever man. Either that or he was a real brat.
If Dad was nearby, and we believe he was, we know he got a real kick out of it as his lawyer innocently said, “Yes, I thought this was an unusual request that there be 3 executors and that all must be present in the same place for all procedures. This is not how it is commonly done. Your Father must have known that you three get along really well to put you in this position as equal trustees.”
I wonder what that attorney thought of the look of shock, dismay and wonderment that passed among my sisters and me in that moment.
Dad, I’m sure, was chuckling. I guess he really believed that it is never too late.
I love close-ups. I’m really hooked on macro and still learning the difference between the two.
I know in photography-speak, it’s about the lens but the only specifically macro lens I have is for a glorious, old Nikon film camera.
So these days, everything is just an experiment for me.
This is what my phone camera can do macro-wise. (I do love a photograph where the content is interesting, but impossible to identify.)
Sometimes, I miss what could have been a great close-up until I mess with the crop feature in my editing program, turning it into a close-up. Is this cheating?
Of course, there are those photos you never, EVER want to see any closer or bigger!
But there are the really fun shots too, like when the subject just cries out to be photographed up CLOSE!!
And last, but definitely not least, my favorite all-time close-up, courtesy of my dear friend Tracie!!!
Not sure if my choice this week fits the theme but I do love the melody of this song.
It’s just that the song, and especially the video, mean so much to me. It has been around for a while but I fell all the way in love with it when I heard it on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. (Historically, this TV series has given me so many favorite songs.)
A couple of weeks ago, a baby, in serious trouble, was born into my extended community, and somehow this song gave me comfort. (She’s going to be fine but it was close…way too close.)
My son’s birthday was yesterday, and everything about this song made me think about him…his life…his path.
My favorite lines:
This is not love you’ve had before
This is something else
It describes the love I feel for my children and my grandchildren.
It’s just a beautiful song and video. I hope you enjoy.
I’ve posted this song before, just don’t remember if it was for this challenge or not.
I’ve always loved the song and all it says, but it wasn’t until pretty late that I found the love of my life, and he just happened to live on his own “ridgetop”.
So now we live in both homes…my humble, ancient, hodgepodge house in the country part of a city. And in his glorious mountain home, all hand-built from recycled, reclaimed, re-purposed materials.
Two versions…same song, different photography,,,both lovely!
Ridgetop by Jesse Colin Young
Well, I live on a ridgetop
And, Lord knows, I like it just fine
Where it’s windy and foggy
And quiet most all the time
Yeah, my lawn is pine needles
And my driveway is old funky dirt
And my front pathway markers
Are pieces of granite and chert
Now, my taxes are high
But I don’t believe it’s a sin
I’ve got hundred foot pine trees
That just love to dance in the wind
And a yard full of bushes
That turn into pie in July
Between blue jays and hoot owls
I’ve got twenty-four hour singing sky
Now, when I built my house
I cut six trees to clear out the land
But there’s thirty or more left
And you know that they’re gonna stand
It’s a squirrel sanctuary
They think this woods is their home
And as long as I’m here
I’ll make sure people leave us all alone
Yes, the hill that I live on is steep
And the road’s full of ruts
And the people who live in the flatlands
Think we folks are nuts
But the ruts in my road and the curves
Keep the tourists at bay
And it’s lonesome and peaceful
And you know I like it that way
Now, I work in the city
I think my job is a gas
And I know it’s good for me
To travel and get off my a**
But the nervous parts of each trip
Is the Golden Gate Bridge
And the road like a snake
That will lead me back home to my ridge
Ah, I live on a ridgetop
Yes, I live on a ridgetop
And I like it
And I like it .
I can be so judgmental sometimes….
Like Nancy says in her challenge for us this week, I’m also not much of a girly girl. And unlike Nancy, for whom pink “is never my first choice of color for anything”, in days passed, I actively disliked and avoided PINK.
But I am cursed (yes, and blessed) with the drive to find a lesson in anything I “actively dislike”.
I wrote about PINK once before.
Some one gave me a gift…a polar fleece vest…in the ugliest color…bright fuchsia?! Not a color I would ever choose or wear…too fake looking….I didn’t even like people who wore this color. AND, didn’t the person who gave me this ugly thing, know that pink is way too “girly” for me? I put it in the closet…way in the back…
A couple of years later, I am on a Spring walk with my camera, in search of new flowers. I come across a stunning flower, the brightest color for miles around (or so it seems). I have these thoughts, “there are so many colors in Nature that we just have not been able to duplicate. We don’t even have names for some of the colors we see in a sunset or a flower. This flower is a spectacular color!! I wish I had something to wear in this color…”
I pick just a blossom leaf or two to take home. I put them in my pocket.
That same week I am doing a closet downsizing for a Goodwill run and find the never worn, long-forgotten ugly pink vest tucked way in the back…..and then I remember those bright colored petals!
I blushed about the same color!
Needless to say, it has become one of my favorite things to wear. I even got socks, a scarf and shoes with a stripe in the same color!
Now I’m wondering if I owe my gift-giver an apology…….
So I had to get to the bottom of this. Why such a strong reaction? It’s just a color, right?
Way too long a story (including a couple of years of hard-core therapy) later, I traced my prejudice back to a relatively off-handed comment from my Aunt. I had run away from home at 15 and ended up living with her in high school. She sewed these beautiful clothes for me, whole outfits for daily and church wear, as well as various Prom-type formal dresses. Always in hues of pink.
My favorite color is blue, since very early childhood, and my Aunt knew this so one day, I asked her to make me some thing BLUE. Her response, the casual remark I mentioned above? She said, “No, pink is better. Then the boys will all think you are still a virgin….”
I was shocked and protested, apparently way too much, because it was a disagreement we were still having when she was on her death bed. She never believed me and I never forgave her for that.
Still painfully ironic today because no budding young Flower Child, Hippie-Chick, California Girl in the 1960’s ever successfully fought harder to “save herself for marriage” than I did.
Talk about swimming against the tide of the sexual norms of those days!
So when I finally became more “enlightened” by the late 60’s and early 70’s, apparently I buried the reason for, but still held on to the active dislike of all things PINK!
Aren’t you glad you asked??
Oh wait, you didn’t…another bright pink blush here…
I have since fully embraced PINK in all its hues and tones, in nature, as well as in my decorating choices.
Here’s an example, if you feel inspired to read more about it. I wrote it to anchor the gratitude I have come to feel for my ancestors (especially my Aunt) and all their powerfully feminine (and PINK) influences in my life.
Thanks for reading and I really love comments, especially when my vulnerable, pink insides are kinda hanging out there for all to see….
First, let me say it is so beautiful…at first…
But on my side of the Cascade Mountain Range, in Washington state, when it snows, the population panics and everything screeches to a freezing halt!!
Schools and businesses close. Stores sell out of staples (no milk or bread for miles around.) Cars that have slid or become stuck are simply abandoned where ever they are…in the middle of roads or even freeways.
Since Super Bowl Sunday, we have had no garbage pick up and only a single mail delivery!
All these things are a pain in the ____!
But it’s not a hurricane, tsunami, fire, tornado or war!! So we have to keep it all in perspective.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to focus on the amazing and delightful parts of it all. (The best thing for me is that we have not lost power!) There is so much to look at, it’s like being on an exotic trip or moving to a new part of the country!
Oh, there is still ordinary drama! Who will win the steep hill that is our neighborhood’s long, dead-end street? Will it be the kids (of varying ages…including their 40’s) who are dying to get out their sleds and snowboards, as has always happened in the past with our rare snowfalls here? Or will it be the exceptionally kind and thoughtful neighbors, who get out their rarely used shovels, snow-blowers, and SALT, so they can clear our street for any necessary traffic.
This year the salt and snow-shovelers won. They were out there clearing the “perfect ski run” long before the No SCHOOL today kids even woke up!
I mean, they cleared the whole street, a couple of city blocks long…with SHOVELS…so all of us could get safely in and out of our neighborhood!!!
Also, I have been delighted to be able to continue feeding the seed birds, the hummers, and my crows.
I have fed my crows every morning for 35 years! Here’s my morning routine. I CAW and they come. This one Crow waits for me on top of a pole every morning until I say “Good morning. Here’s your breakfast.” And then I dump out yesterday’s leftover cat food scrapings, or a scrap of bread. He calls his Murder buddies and they all compete with the squirrels for the leftovers. Their favorites are dry cat food…and french fries!
Then there are the intrepid seed eating birds. Not much stops them. They can empty the feeder in a day or two at certain times of the year.
As long as I keep the Hummingbird food thawed, they come and fill up all day long. But on the nights I take the feeders in so they don’t freeze, the next morning, these guys are literally ON it, slurping away, before I even get it hung back up on its hook! That has been so fun, being that close to them. Wish I could hold the feeder and snap photos at the same time.
Here’s the other thing I have been enjoying. Each morning I bundle up and go outside on a quest to discover any fresh designs in the snow…foot prints, paw prints, claw prints…anything, even tire prints!
I love the puzzles some of the prints leave. Like this set of prints that I thought was maybe a person, dragging their feet or a cane, or maybe a single animal low enough to be dragging its belly. But when I followed the trail…it split into TWO.
It’s amazing how much nocturnal activity takes place that I never would have known about without the evidence fresh snow provides.
Some are no surprise because I know they are out there. I just rarely see them.
One day I woke up to these. Unmistakably Raccoon prints!
This morning’s mystery was fascinating. Keep in mind we have NO large dogs in our neighborhood, not that any would be roaming free at night anyway. These prints are way too big for the occasional kitty cat that is out at night. And even too big for our local coyotes, who are rarely traveling around alone. SO what is it? A Wolf? A larger cat? (there have been Bobcat sightings recently…) AND, it left me an icky clue, marking the corner of my patio! No wonder my cats went nuts at 3 AM!!!
We have a local Covey of Quail, and three of them have kept me completely entertained looking out my bedroom window. They are hysterical. They always scritch and scratch and throw clouds of dirt and seed shells out behind them when they are foraging under the bird feeder. But to see them dig that way, down through the powdery snow, was so cool. Every now and then, one would bury another, and there would be a split second squabble before they’d go back to digging again.
Then there is the snow itself. I was married to the US Disabled Ski Team for a number of years, and some of those guys knew the names of 20 or 30 types* of snow!
Here is what we got for these record breaking days.
Don’t know the names of these but they were each so different from each other.
I just know we had a lot, over several days, so much that they were calling it Snowmaggeden 2019 on the news.
There is fun stuff to do with the snow…
And the occasional tragedy…
My wonderful Italian Plum Tree!
And the snow came the day after I planted these…see the mounds under the snow? Still don’t know if they survived.
And of course, there is the huge mess at the end…but that will go eventually!
All in all, we stayed safe and warm, and it was an adventure to remember.
PS Some of my neighbors and I collect tarps, heavy moving blankets, and flashlights using coupons from our Harbor Freight Tools store, for people living unsheltered.
I felt so grateful to be warm and dry, but never more frustrated on behalf of people living outside in weather like this.
I am having a hard time grokking the whole “depth of field” concept but it’s probably because I am not really fluent in “photography speak”.
These first ones are my attempts at it but I can’t really make my phone or my point and shoot Canon do what I want. I thought they were interesting pictures anyway though.
This next one is my favorite photo I’ve ever taken. BUT, it was completely an accident and I have no idea how I did it! I’ve shared this photo before in posts about perspective, or looking deeper at things.
Any feedback welcome. Please comment. Anyone?