October Photo a Day Challenge-10/15/18 Autumn Colors

I published some of these for another challenge already but I am so completely in awe of a particular representation of this theme. It’s close to my house and I look forward to seeing it each year.

I have been calling this the “Wonder Wall”. I drive by other walls like this in my travels around Seattle and Bellevue (Washington), covered with color, but nothing like this one. Most are along the freeways. Here, I park and can walk by, slowly, taking close-up shots. I really love it.

 

(These are also my first attempts at short videos so I’d appreciate it if you let me know if they work! Turn down your volume and imagine tweeting birds because unfortunately the best light is during rush-hour traffic!)

Just to give you an idea of how many photo ops there are at this wall, these I’m posting today are all different from the ones I already posted on the Lens Artist’s Challenge-Changing/Changeable.

You can see that one here:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/10/14/lens-artists-photo-challenge-10-14-18-changing-changeable/

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https://citysonnet.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/october-photo-a-day-challenge/

Blue Angels Time again!

My family has such a wonderful history with the Blue Angels. Just last summer I got to take my family on an Epic Roots Road Trip, which had to include the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, HOME of the Blue Angels. They have been a part of my life since I was 5 or 6 years old…before they became really famous.

My Dad took me to see them practice at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego (well, the Marines will claim it now). There was no crowd out on that field on top of that giant mesa just east of UCSD in La Jolla. Just my Dad and me, up on his shoulders.

I’ve written about this before and I put the links at the bottom.

But I have a favorite Blue Angels story. Since it was just my Dad’s birthday, I will once again share that tale in his honor. Here it is:

Agnostic Angels

This is a love letter to my Dad, and a Thank You to the amazing, brave pilots who make up the Blue Angels.

It’s Seafair in Seattle and the Blue Angels are here!!!

When I was growing up, Angels were a surprising but recurring theme with my fairly agnostic father. He was one of the leastreligious and more unconsciously spiritual people I have ever known. Angels seemed to be everywhere in the things he did, where he took us and in what he showed us.

From San Diego, where we grew up, we went on many trips north to Los Angeles, the “City of Angels”, to ride the “Angels Flight”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_Flight

He told us many stories of the “Guardian Angels” he had as a kid who helped him survive his completely unsupervised childhood.

Apparently he had several bizarre accidents and adventures…like tumbling off a mountain and landing halfway down on the only possible 11 inch ledge that could break his death-fall.

Another was a bicycle accident when the bare handle bar (the uncovered metal pipe) went through his upper chest off to the side, just missing basically everything!

Even as an adult, on a solo dirt bike trip out into the Borrego desert, he crashed and broke his collar bone, but managed to walk his bike into a small town for help.

In one of his last visits to me, he took a long walk in the dead of an unusually snowy Northwest winter, slipped and broke his ankle. He walked half a mile back to my house and, tough guy that he was, did not tell me until the next day what had happened. He finally had to because he could not remove his cowboy boot (which, it turns out, is exactly what stabilized his ankle for that 24 hours).

 

He claimed help from Angels for each of these events.

When he died, it was really no surprise that we received gracious assistance from the Hell’s Angels on the day of his Memorial.

Hells Angels logo.jpg

We bungee-corded my Dad’s ashes to the back of his lifelong Dream-Harley. (He didn’t get it until he was in his eighties.) Our caravan of family cars followed my best friend, Lee, on the bike out into the mountains East of San Diego to my Dad’s favorite little town called Julian.

We celebrated his life at his favorite restaurant and when we got ready to leave, I spotted a couple of real Harley riders, mounting up. I was wearing my Dad’s favorite Harley shirt so I walked right up to them and told them my Dad’s story. I pointed out the box of ashes on the back of my Dad’s bright red, flame-painted Sportster (with matching helmet).

I asked these two guys if they would consider riding along with my Dad (on his beloved bike) as we drove out of town.

They said “Sure, but we are not alone.”

Much to my delight (and the horror of my very religious relatives) we were escorted down the mountain by the two guys I talked to AND their friends. FIFTY Hell’s Angels followed us back down that mountain, in a practiced procession for any fallen brother of theirs; lights on, in two perfect parallel lines, peeling off one pair at a time when they were done.

So see? Lots of ANGELS in my life.

The Blue Angels entered when I was very young!

My favorite of the Angel Activities as a kid was this. My little sisters were too young, so Dad would take just me to Miramar Naval Air Base early on Sunday mornings, to watch the Blue Angels practice their soon to become famous stunts. He was very proud of being able to get on the Base and to show off what he claimed to be the planes that “he had built”. (My Dad was an aeronautical engineer who moved from Kansas to San Diego to work in his industry.)

I would ride on his shoulders for the “air show” and he would duck down when they flew over, as if they were actually flying low enough to be dangerous to this lone man with a squealing little girl on his shoulders. What an absolute thrill it was and my memories to this day are so clear, they are physical!

Though I struggled sometimes with the dichotomy of a Hippie Peacenik Flower-child being in love with fighter pilot jets, I have watched The Blue Angels through so many stages of my life.

In my 20’s and 30’s, before the trees grew up around us, the huge deck off my house was the favorite viewing place of all the single Mom’s in the neighborhood. We’d put on our bikini’s and pose on the deck, debating the safety of doing that…as if the pilots were actually going to look down at us each time they flew over!

Then, there were the years I worked as a waitress in a fancy restaurant in the tallest building in Bellevue…sharing the panoramic viewing experience with my wealthy customers.

One of my favorite memories was when my small son and I watched them while we were zipping around Lake Washington on a friend’s Jet Ski right under them. What a high that was!!

Famous Move

And for almost 40 of these years, we kept the Blue Angels alive in our conversations during the rest of year. My best friend’s father, Colonel Louis Ford, was like a second Dad to me. He was a fighter pilot in 3 wars. And though he was respectful of the “Angels”, he clearly had a bias for the Thunderbirds! That made for some lively discussions, Air Force vs Navy pilots, between my two Dads!

Colonel Ford taught me about the concepts of Hangar Flying (the time spent in the hangar, processing mistakes and accidents) as well as “The Hole in the Sky” (an opening in the clouds) that a pilot sometimes had to find in order to survive. Talk about Guardian Angels….

Boys getting me autographs on my Blue Angel’s birthday t-shirt!

Now, I have 2 Grandsons, 9 and 11, and their Mom and my son have taken them to see the Blue Angels every year of their lives. This has been a great setting to share stories of my Dad, the wonderful Great Grandfather they never got to meet, a man who had a life filled with “Angels” and he passed them all onto us….

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For many years I went by myself to a tiny (and progressively less secret) park on Mercer Island shore, the Thursday and Friday prior to the big Seafair Air Show. On Thursday, from this little park on the water, you can watch the scouting the Blue Angels do each year to get the lay of the land. And on Fridays, you can watch a full rehearsal of the big show they will perform on Saturday and Sunday. You can’t be at this little park for the actual show as it becomes an emergency Aid Station on those days.

My ritual was always to go there early, get settled and then call my Dad….so I could be on the cell phone with him as the Angels arrived. That first fly over is an indescribable thrill! In that park, they fly in low and from behind you. Their approach is muted by the hillside and thick trees, almost silent until suddenly, they thunder over your head. It is kind of like walking up the path next to the massive, rolling Niagara Falls; totally quiet until you get past a certain point and then instantly it becomes a deafening roar of falling water.

Anyway, I would hold the phone up in the air and scream at the top of my lungs as my Dad’s Angels buzzed our shared location.

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No matter when or where I see them, I am instantly five years old again, sitting way up high on my Daddy’s shoulders when those beautiful Blue Angels scream by.

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I really believe my Dad witnessed that generous and spontaneous Hell’s Angel Memorial procession, and that he sees us watching the Blue Angels every year, from somewhere up there, through the “hole in the sky”.

Heaven Bound

original post written here: https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/08/07/agnostic-angels/

 

 

Yesterday, in typical Seattle weather, the Angels arrived for “scouting” day, flying in directly over our house.

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Though the weather this year may be disappointing for local SeaFair fans, it is great for Blue Angels fans who get to see the “low program”…thrilling, to say the least!

 

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(this last was apparently 2 cents worth from Lucy, the cat, who stopped by the keyboard when I left the room for a bit.)

 

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/01/19/silence-for-wpc-1-17-18/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/10/11/wordlesswednesday-10-11-17/

2nd to the last Photo Challenge entry from ChosenPerspectives

All-Time Favorites

The challenge this week, since it’s the Daily Post’s last week with us at WordPress, is to share an all-time favorite. They each did this also, and if you are only seeing this post on MY blog, please treat yourself to some spectacular photography at

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/all-time-favorites/

I can’t wait to see all the photos shared this week by the WordPress community!

 

I’m actually really glad I have more than one picture in my favorite personal category…Accidental Photography.

These are photos where either I didn’t mean to click but was greatly rewarded anyway, or when I took a picture of one thing, I discovered later a huge additional surprise in the shot.

I learn so much about observation, paying attention, taking my time, and choosing perspective from photos like these and I am so grateful.

Eagle Peek a boo
I thought I had just captured the beauty of these blossoms…

 

sundog curve
I couldn’t quite edit this one of a sun dog to fit in this post but I still have no idea what the perfect little “moon” is in the shot.
SAN JUAN'S 4-09 211 (2)
This one was taken among 30 or so clicks, trying to capture Hummingbirds at this feeder.              I almost deleted it!

 

Happy Mother’s Day from Chosen Perspectives “Place” for WPC 5-9-18

Place in the World

This may be a stretch but I wrote the following letter on this Mother’s Day morning to all the wonderful Mom’s in my life. It may not be a town or region but I myself have always felt most “at home” when I am immersed into motherhood…where ever I am. It is definitely my favorite place in the world

 
Dear Beautiful Mothers:

It is such a beautiful morning. I am sitting outside with my coffee, and I just told James, I feel a little like a Disney heroine this morning…like maybe Snow White? I am surrounded by singing birds, bunnies, squirrels and my favorite crows (who come to my call each day). Surely, the seven dwarfs will show up soon…

I am thinking about what Motherhood has meant to me in my life.

I feel such overwhelming gratitude today, Mother’s Day, 2018, even though I had to start “mothering” at such a young age. I did a lousy, uninformed job of it with my younger sisters. (I did do a great job of it with Fluffy, the Duck and with Moose, my very first dog though.)

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Can you guess who cut all of our bangs???

But what I got from that experience of early mothering was my life’s “calling”. I have been a mother, in one form or another for my entire life. I have never wondered if it was the right “job” for me. And I continue to be absolutely amazed that, for a large part of my adult life, I actually got paid to be a professional Mom…to hundreds…a few of whom, still honor me with that title today. Amazing! Unexpected! And what a privilege!

I lost my own mother so young but was blessed to have many teachers, mentors, counselors, borrowed Moms, and relatives who all gave me a little mothering along my path. My “adopted” Elaine/Mom took that job on in such a serious and permanent way, she was my mother for more than twice the number of years I got to have my first Mom.

One of my most important and beloved Mentor/Teacher/Auntie/Moms has been Jean Clarke. Lucky for me she taught me very early in our almost 50-year long relationship, that none of us can ever have too many good Mom’s! So, I have tried to live that philosophy…mothering others when I can and accepting that from others when I need it.

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Elaine/Mom is on the left and Jean Clarke on the right

When Michael was in his early twenties, I apologized to him for having to be gone so much during his school years. As a single mom, there were years when I worked 3 jobs and was in school full time!! (How did I ever do that??) He said the kindest thing ever. He said “Mom, it’s OK. Don’t you realize what you did for me? I was never alone. You surrounded me with lots of other mothers to take care of me.”

Michael very young

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Anyway, I wanted you each to know I think about you on this day.

Those of you who helped me raise Michael…

Those who trusted me to mother you…

Those who mothered me (and those who generously shared your mothers with me) …

Those in my tribe who still mother me today…

Those still mothering younger children with such dedication, creativity and love…

Those who mothered your children so beautifully, they have now become lovely adults…

And those who may still be waiting for the return of that one kid you mothered who has needed to be so very far away from you…I really understand that one…

But the Mom I am most grateful for today is my daughter’s mother, Barbara. I could not raise that beautiful little baby girl and I had to wonder for more than 20 years what mother my daughter had been given to. Now, I know the answer and what a wonderful, kind, loving, open-hearted mother she is. It shows up in her daughter, our daughter…

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I am blessed beyond belief to have my daughter’s family in my life.

Happy Mother’s Day and thanks to you all.

I couldn’t really send out enough thank-you bouquets, so I made you all a slide show from my morning walk. I hope you enjoy it.

 

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Love you all,

Kathie

 

PS My sweet neighbor, Vasantha, recently gave me an out of the blue, and for no occasion gift, the very best kind! She gave me two pieces of jewelry she said reminded her of me; a ring (blue and silver) and a Two-Cat pin, complete with moving tails. She wrote a lovely card that said “to one who nurtures birds with broken wings, embraces stray cats, and gives shelter to folks wholeheartedly…”

My motherhood recognized…unsolicited. What a gift!

PS Again-And who would have ever thought at this point in my life I would have also earned the title of BUG MOTHER!!!

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Final PS, I promise- Don’t even let me get started on Grand-mothering!!!

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SongLyricSunday 4-1-18 “Days”

I chose “Day” but then my mind reeled with options!

I’ll start here…but more to follow in another post!

Lyrics

Beautiful Day
The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
There’s no room
No space to rent in this town
You’re out of luck
And the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck
And you’re not moving anywhere
You thought you’d found a friend
To take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand
In return for grace
It’s a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
You’re on the road
But you’ve got no destination
You’re in the mud
In the maze of her imagination
You’re lovin’ this town
Even if that doesn’t ring true
You’ve been all over
And it’s been all over you
It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
It’s a beautiful day
Touch me
Take me to that other place
Teach me
I know I’m not a hopeless case
See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light and
See the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out
It was a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
Beautiful day
Touch me
Take me to that other place
Reach me
I know I’m not a hopeless case
What you don’t have you don’t need it now
What you don’t know you can feel it somehow
What you don’t have you don’t need it now
Don’t need it now
It was a beautiful day
Songwriters: Paul David Hewson / David Howell Evans / Adam Charles Clayton / Laurence Joseph Mullen
Beautiful Day lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 4/1/18