Sea Blue Lens


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Photo-Heart Connection: May 2014

Two WindowsThread the Light  [249/365]

This month’s Photo-Heart Connection contains a tiny touch of Photo-Heartbreak. And a very large amount of gratitude.

I’ve had the privilege of living in this beautiful, historic home since last November. Now it has been sold, and in a couple of weeks I will be moving to an apartment. I’m looking forward to getting settled there, in what I hope and expect will be my long-term home. I’m tired of moving.

What I had not expected was that I would be so sad to leave this house. It is large, simple, gracious, and elegant. It’s over two hundred years old, with slanted floors, crooked doors, and wavy windows. And the most beautiful light, threading its way into and through every room. It has a warm, welcoming spirit, a “presence” of its own. It’s altogether the loveliest place I’ve ever occupied.

I moved in here knowing it was only temporary. I unpacked everything anyway. Yesterday my friend Susan asked if I was sorry I did that. That’s an easy one: No!  I moved in completely, bag and baggage, and apparently heart and soul, too. And I don’t regret it for a minute. Living here fully, not just camping out, has been a wonderful experience, and one I’ll always treasure and be thankful for.

The photo above was taken late one afternoon as the sun shone through an old window onto the rough-sawn boards of the mudroom wall. It will be the perfect reminder of the winter and spring of light (and delight) that I spent in this old house.

The title comes from the chorus of a song I’m very fond of, “Down Low” by The Swell Season, that goes like this:

Thread the light
Thread the light
Shine the light
Don’t hide the light
Live the light
And give the light
Seek the light
And speak the light
Crave the light
And brave the light
Stare the light
And share the light
Show the light
And know the light
Raise the light
And praise the light
Thread the light
And spread the light

I don’t know the meaning of the song (I don’t think it’s religious), but every time I think of this image, the tune and words start running through my head. It feels right, somehow.

Linking with Kat Sloma’s Photo-Heart Connection for May.


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Photo-Heart Connection: February 2014

Morning WindowsMorning Windows

I’ve been living in this house for three and a half months now, and I still feel a sense of wonder at being here. It is only a temporary refuge — the owners are trying to sell it — but for now, it is home, and I’m treasuring every moment I spend here.

There’s just something about this place. A sense of timelessness and of history (is that a contradiction?), of connection with people and a way of life long past. I like to imagine what it might have been like to live through a winter such as this one with only fireplaces for heat and for cooking. I’ve never seen or felt any ghostly presence, but I do feel a sense of companionship with those who were here before me. It’s almost as if the house itself were alive and glad to have me here. Fanciful, I know.

Pictured above is the room where I sleep. It’s a large and gracious room. Judging by the window casings and other details, I believe that when originally built it must have been the parlor or “best” room of the house. The mantel remains, though the fireplace was bricked up long ago.

At night, when the shutters are closed, the room is very dark and the quiet is profound. In the morning, daylight shows itself in small slices around their edges. I open them to see what the day is like, and the room floods with light even if the sky is cloudy.

On the morning I took this photograph, the sun had come out after several days of gloomy overcast skies, cold, and snow. I went to the kitchen to make tea, and when I walked back into the bedroom it was glowing with sunlight. And so I picked up my camera, to save and savor this moment in time. 

They say “home is where the heart is,” and this month, home is also where my Photo-Heart Connection is.

Linking with Kat Sloma’s Photo-Heart Connection for February


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Summer’s End

IMG_0936-2evening starEvening Star (August 8)

Wow, August is almost over and didn’t it go by fast?! Though I haven’t been posting, I have been taking photos.

I have to admit that I’m not a particularly disciplined person. I don’t like schedules and routines, particularly self-imposed ones. But I felt that I needed something to prod me out of my lethargy, so I set myself a little challenge to take at least one photo every day during the month of August.  To make it as easy as possible, I decided to use my iPhone for my pics of the day, simply because I knew I would always have it with me. Also, the photos automatically stream themselves to my computer every time I plug in the phone to charge. No excuses, right?

I did better than I expected. I captured an image every day, even if some of them were not particularly inspired. A couple of times I forgot until almost the last minute, and it shows. But most surprising to me, I enjoyed it very much. Here’s a sampling:

IMG_0903 onion seedGoing to Seed (August 3)

This is what happens when you don’t eat your vegetables.

IMG_0914 Thai iced teaRefreshing (August 5)

Thai iced tea, enjoyed at lunch during a shopping outing with my sister. It’s a special treat, one of my favorite drinks.

IMG_0930 Sky treeSkeleton (August 7)

This small eucalyptus died a couple of years ago, but the birds love to perch there. It’s far enough away from the house that even if it came down in a storm, it couldn’t hurt anything.

IMG_0970 kittyGarden Kitty (August 11)

I met this lovely and friendly tortoiseshell cat at a nursery my sister and I visited.

IMG_0996 thunderheadThunderhead (August 18)

Lots of interesting skies this month!

IMG_1044 rainFlash Flood Watch (August 26)

That wall of rain arrived about five minutes after I took this photo. It rained for about 20 minutes and did flood some small local roads, though there wasn’t any serious damage. The temperature dropped by 20 degrees in those 20 minutes and after the rain the damp ground and air smelled delicious. I wish I could have captured that scent to share with you.

IMG_1049 Ave VDriving Home (August 28)

This is the “avenue” I live on. This was taken a couple of days after the rain and there’s been some traffic, but you can still see where the water ran down and across the road.

IMG_1011 sunset gazeboSunset Clouds Over Moonrise Mountain (August 20)

Moonrise Mountain is my own name for this hill, for just the reason you might guess: from the perspective of our property, the moon comes up right over it. Therefore we’re looking eastward in this photo. I love it when the clouds pile up there and are illuminated by the sun setting on the opposite horizon. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s pretty spectacular when it does.

I know it wasn’t a big goal, but I’m proud of myself for setting it and doing it. Now I’m committing myself to the big one, a 365, starting September 1. I still don’t know if I can do it, but at least I’ve become willing to try. And that’s a good thing.

I’ve uploaded my entire August set to Flickr, so if you’d like to see the rest, you can go here to check it out.


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Thankful

Home Sweet Home

Everything is new this year, but some traditions go on, like watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. Honestly, I don’t know why I do it, because I don’t even like it that much. But it’s been tradition ever since we got our first television when I was a child.

Back in the day, the parade was broadcast live, so if you lived in the Pacific time zone, you had to get up awfully early to see it. Dad, who worked a graveyard shift, would wake us up when he got home from work at six a.m.  Frankly, I’d rather have stayed in my nice warm bed, but the parade was not optional.

By the time I had my own family, the tradition was well-entrenched, but we had added our own little touches, like drinking eggnog while we sat in front of the TV. Later, after I moved eastward to Ohio and then to Maine, the parade came on at 9:00, a much more acceptable hour. My adult daughter and I would still watch it together in our pajamas (another tradition!) while drinking eggnog.

One year we discovered the National Dog Show on TV following the parade, and that became a new part of our Thanksgiving day ritual, one we enjoy more than the parade itself. This year we’re a continent (and three time-zone hours) apart, but we’re both watching the parade and dog show in our pajamas. She had eggnog. I forgot it. Oh, well.

I have so much to be thankful for this year! A new home, a whole new life. New traditions. I’m grateful for old friends and being able to keep in touch, and for my online friends who have moved right along with me and are just as close no matter where I live.

This morning, I lit candles on my hearth and watched the Macy’s Parade while talking to my daughter on the phone. I’m looking forward to sharing a feast with my sister and her husband and their closest friends later today. Life is good and I am blessed.

I hope today is a good one for all of you, my friends. Happy Thanksgiving!