Photo a Week Challenge: Timing 8/1/19

I thought I’d better start with a definition so you have a context for my post on Timing this week.
Merriam-Webster, the Oxford dictionary and other sources define “fan” as a shortened version of the word fanatic. Fanatic itself, introduced into English around 1550, means “marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion“.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_(person)
It appears that I am that person to whom they are referring…especially when it comes to  the Blue Angels.
I write about them a lot!
They perform in my area every year at the same time and I have been known to plan my whole life around their annual SeaFair visit. I know exactly when to expect them.
See, their initial arrival path is directly over my house….or at least it used to be.
This year, they have moved the “flight safety performance box”, supposedly so the new Light Rail did not have to close down during the Angel’s performances. I assumed that meant I could no longer sit out on my deck, which I have done for most of the last 30 years, to see the bits and pieces of their show that involve the airspace right over my head!
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Anyway, yesterday I had an appointment downtown and figured I wouldn’t miss anything. But guess what! On my way home, a 21 minute, 10 mile drive, my Angels flew directly over the freeway SEVEN TIMES!!! Talk about TIMING!! (On the Thursday of their 4 day visit to the Northwest, they scout and practice for the show they will do over the weekend.)
That timing would have made for spectacular photos, but of course, I was driving so couldn’t (wouldn’t) be snapping away with my phone camera.
My connection to the Blue Angels started when I was a very young child, small enough to still sit up on my Daddy’s shoulders. He would take me to see them practice. The Blue Angels are inseparable in my heart and mind from my father. For years, as an adult, I would call my Dad so we could be on the phone together for that initial roar of the Angel’s arrival each year!
So the fact that I was barreling down the road, with Blue Angels roaring overhead, on what would have been my Dad’s 102 birthday, had me in tears all the way home.
I arrived home, and even though I knew I had missed all their fly-by’s, I went up on the deck anyway, to finish this new round of grief about my Dad.
Here’s what happened the minute I sat down!!

Needless to say, the timing of this started a whole new round of joyous grieving.

Hi Dad, and thanks for the visit!

More posts on the Blue Angels:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/08/04/blue-angels-time-again/

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

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

The stuff these challenges bring up for me is amazing!! Thanks again Nancy!! 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/a-photo-a-week-challenge-timing-is-everything/

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/a-photo-a-week-challenge-timing-is-everything/

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge-7/7/19 theme-Grandparents

Ahh, controversial topic for me.

My Mom’s parents figured prominently in my young life, but pretty much continued their emotional excommunication of my mother, with my sisters and me. So there was no closeness. Mostly disdain.

I never met my “father’s” parents because I never met my biological father.

My Dad’s parents were gone before I was born.

I was close, for a while, with a boyfriend’s step grandmother.

Just not much experience with grandparents. So I became dedicated to being a good one myself!

I am “Dammaw”! Hear me roar!

bondingDownload practice 11-11 541Download practice 11-11 543Happy GrammaJuJu not feeling wellRThat's my JJSimona's12-10 175Back ups for missing picture folder 970

 

Disclaimer: I’m responding strongly to this topic, but obviously not with my own photography. 

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/a-photo-a-week-challenge-grandparents/

A Photo a Week Challenge–Endings

Wow, tough theme.

I knew the exact photo immediately, but I keep this particular one hidden from myself, so I had to search through my files. It’s been almost four years and I still grieve a little every day.

They went from this…

 

to this

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And this is the last photo of them as a family…

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sigh…….

 

PS In case it would be of support to anyone reading this, here is what we use in therapy to help folks walk thorough Endings, in the healthiest way possible. Handy to use for closure in any and all Endings, big or small…job, moving, school, relationships, pets, favorite restaurant closing, new phone, etc.

 

Endings

 

Resistance

This is worth exploring and expressing in all its forms…denial, wishful thinking, false hopes, etc.

 

Resentment

It takes some practice but being able to express a truly personalized resentment, without any finger pointing or blame toward another, is a valuable, life-long skill 

 

Regret

It’s important to acknowledge the things you wish you could have done differently

 

Reminiscence

Remembering the good times is the natural pathway to the 3 stages below. It is why we tell funny stories at funerals.

 

Release and Relief

There is always a whoosh of peace after wading through the painful parts of grieving an ending

 

Rejoice

Now true gratitude can happen, for the whole experience, even the hard lessons that usually come from an ending.

 

Re-Union

To be able to re-unite after an ending, even if just in your mind, without a bunch of leftover baggage, is really and truly possible.

 

These are the natural stages of all endings.

In order to have healthy beginnings, with no leftovers lingering to muddy the new waters, these phases must be experienced and honored…

not necessarily in this order, but finishing the first four

makes the last three much more accessible.

 

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/05/23/a-photo-a-week-challenge-endings/

From Darkness to Light

Warning:

When I first started my blog, I warned readers I would be posting a lot of music and photos and humor (well, I think I’m funny at least), but would also occasionally have a heavier story to share.

Today’s post is an example of the latter.

A wonderful, provocative challenge was issued by Sreejit from The Seeker’s Dungeon. 

He said “I am asking you to rip yourself open and put yourself back together again; explaining where you’ve been and where you are headed.  In so doing, we hope to help others understand that they are not alone on this path.”

Then, encouraging us to dig deep, he wrote “Many times our darkest moments are what end up turning us towards a path of light. It is these soul shredding moments that I want us to share here. Let us in on one of the moments that took you from darkness to light.”

The following story is my response to his challenge. It’s long, and may be difficult for some readers. I would really appreciate comments, if you read it.

I am posting the link to his blog so you can read it there. That way, maybe you’ll  glance through some of the other posts also. These have been some beautiful and powerful stories.

From Darkness to Light Day 16 by Kathie Arcide

Thank you,

ChosenPerspectives

Sunday Trees-388

I spotted this great challenge this morning and thought I’d join in.

https://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2019/04/21/sunday-trees-388/

Picking a tree photo has proved impossible because I photograph and write about Trees I’ve known and loved all the time. (If you go to my site and look up Trees, you’ll see what I mean.)

I am so connected to many, many trees, maybe because growing up in the smallish ocean-side town of Pacific Beach (San Diego), in our front yard, we had the tallest tree in the entire town. That tree was a huge part of my life. I experienced it as a living being, a friend, and that has informed my experiences with trees ever since.

I wrote this story about it years ago.

Not just a Tree

By Kathie Arcide 10-07

For fifty years, there was a Star Pine tree in Pacific Beach that could be seen from almost everywhere. Rumor had it that this particular tree was, by far, the tallest in this San Diego beach community, and the surrounding area for that matter.

The true story about the origin of this tree is a well-guarded secret, but for a good cause; to prevent sibling rivalry.

Here is the part of the story that can be proven. It seems an unusually forward thinking young man moved to the West Coast from Coffeeville, Kansas in the late 1940’s, and wisely bought a piece of property close to the ocean.

He had it all planned; settle in to his new job as an aeronautical engineer at Convair, build his new house and get it all ready, and then, begin his search for the woman who would become his wife.

The only thing missing from the homestead he was creating was a large tree on which his future children could climb. (Well, that and a storm cellar, which, being from Kansas, he believed, was an absolute necessity. But that is another story.)

Here’s where the secrecy starts. This man eventually had three daughters. Each of these daughters has a different tale about the origin of the big old Star Pine tree that dominated the property, as well as the Pacific Beach skyline. I am the oldest of those daughters, so here is my version, told to me by my Daddy when I was very little.

The yarn goes like this. When my father met the woman who would become his “one and only”, she already had a two-year-old daughter; ME.

In order to welcome me into his life, we went shopping for a tree for the front yard of his newly built home. We had to look around a bit because he had many specific requirements for this tree.

1) It had to be a future climbing tree.

2) It had to be a pretty tree; none of those Monkey Tail trees that my Dad thought were inferior.

3) It had to have the potential for providing shade.

4) And most important, was that at the time it was planted, it had to be exactly the same height as his new little daughter, “so that the tree and I could grow together”.

So we found the Star Pine that occupied the front yard of this home in Pacific Beach for many years. Well, “occupied” is a relative term. It grew to become massive and regularly needed a “trim” to prevent its branches growing into the bedroom windows and overtaking the house completely.

This tree really saw some life, let me tell you. I am now in my fifties and some of my fondest (as well as harshest) memories are of sitting way up high in this old tree, for hours at a stretch; sometimes reading, sometimes privately watching the neighborhood, stretching from the West to the Pacific and to the South to San Diego Bay.  Sometimes I’d climb the tree with a little friend to enjoy a picnic lunch, and sometimes I’d hide up there from my bothersome little sisters, or from my imperfect parents.

The Star Pine was where I would “run away”.  My favorite thing, a guilty pleasure now I see, was that from high on my perch, I could hear everything my parents said when they would come out into the yard, worried and looking for me. I loved to eavesdrop on my Mommy and Daddy while they discussed how much they loved me and how very much they would miss me if I never came home again. (Now, of course, I’m sure my folks knew I was up there in that tree all along.)

And then there were those times when that old Star Pine tree was utterly a place of soul saving refuge.

As much work as raking up the shedding needles and branches? was, Dad loved that tree and so did we.

It was a landmark of sorts. One really couldn’t miss it as it could be seen from most angles throughout the town. It should have been left to live out its life in peace, just as our father did.

He is gone now, having lived a wonderful, fulfilling life in his cherished, self-built homestead. Pacific Beach flourished and filled in around him, but somehow retained its small beach town atmosphere.

When Dad passed on my sisters and I made the very tough decision to sell our childhood home. We idealistically tried to require the buyer to promise NOT to cut down this magnificent old tree. He agreed, but if you are ever in San Diego, don’t bother looking for 1361 Wilbur Ave. The TREE is no longer there. The man who bought the house professed termites and immediately had the tree removed. He also did other things to the house that, other than the address, make it no longer recognizable as our childhood home, our Father’s dream.

But some part of my Daddy is still there, his spirit and energy strong. And so are his three beloved little girls, frozen in familiar childhood poses, arguing over whose myth about the origin of the tree is really the truth.

Not just a Tree Pics

Not just a tree MJ

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge–4/2/19 Farewells

Ola, the Wonder Dog, left us this week. She hadn’t been herself , activity-wise for a while, but her essence never changed.

“Ola” (the African definition, not “hello” in Spanish), was rescued as a precious puppy, by my sister and her husband more than 10 years ago. Soon after they brought her home, they left on an amazing trip abroad for several weeks. So James and I got to be Ola’s Foster Parents while they were gone.

We seriously bonded with her during that time. I mean, look at this face! Who wouldn’t??

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Ola, about 10 weeks old…see the Angel on her chest?

John and Lenore had wanted a young dog while their elderly one, Lily, the Three Legged Miracle, was still able to teach a new dog the lay of the land.

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My Grandson fell in love with Lily

Lily

This family lives on a glorious piece of land on San Juan Island. The property includes lots of acreage, a large pond with a variety of water fowl, a Bamboo Farm, and arguably some of the most beautiful and prolific vegetable and flower gardens in the Northwest.

And they live in what James and I  lovingly call the Hobbit House. Built by John, using lots of found and custom designed materials, it is so fairy tale-like, you are transported to another world.

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Ola, surveying her kingdom…

I write about this place, our second home, often. Here’s one example:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/03/28/it-is-easy-being-green-32817/

When they chose Ola as a puppy, they wanted another smallish dog that would not overwhelm Lily, and they predicted Ola was another small, lab mix’ just like Lily. 

Being very familiar with Rottweilers and Pit bulls, I took one look at Ola’s sweet face, and said “Uh oh.”

Not many months later, Ola had grown into a HUGE, beautiful, regal dog, over 100 pounds. But she still seemed guided by that angel on her chest.

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Lily immediate adopted young Ola, and trained her to be a “stick right close to your Humans” dog.

No fences in the Hippie Valley part of San Juan Island. Dogs (and deer) are free to roam and except for the occasional “play date” with a neighbor Dog, both Lily and Ola were right there, watching over the homestead, 24/7.

Lily left us not long after Ola joined the family but the two of them had some really good times together before she died. She taught Ola how to play Tug O War with ropes and sticks when Ola was still very young.

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And she trained Ola to leave the cats alone (probably for her own safety!)

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Ola became such a big part of our house-sitting experience all these years. For several weeks at a time, she became “our” dog again. No matter how much time passed between our babysitting jobs, she would greet us with 100 pounds of enthusiasm!

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Ola having a “play Date” with Brenna

 

She hung out with us where ever we went,

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and stayed close to us at home.

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Yep, she was our dog…..But only until her real parents came home!

 

 

Ola was always within feet (or calling distance) of John and Lenore during their daily routines.

 

 

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Following Lenore to the Garden
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Waiting patiently

 

Ola was one of the sweetest, most gentle dogs I’ve ever met. I will miss her so much. I can only imagine how long it will take her family to get used to the huge empty space she leaves behind.

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Good Dog, Ola. Good Dog…

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Farewell.

 

 

 

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #42: farewell