Photo Challenge A Significant Glow

This is the view from the deck of our vacation house in Bigfork, Montana, on September 7, the day after we got there from Washington.  You can’t see much, due to the smoke from the terrible wildfires, that closed Glacier National Park, and prevented our group from doing most outdoor activities.

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And on September 10, finally, the Glorious Sunset Glow!  We could see the sun, and a bit of sky, as the smoke cleared a bit.  Everyone’s mood was much improved.

Sun glow over lake

I have never been happier to see the sun that I was that day.

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Thoughts on My Fiftieth (yes, that’s 50th)

Thoughts on My Fiftieth (yes, that’s 50th)

That would be my 50th High School Class Reunion, held this weekend.  A variety of activities were planned, including a golf outing on Friday, a tour of the school and drinks at a local watering hole Friday afternoon, and a big dinner Saturday night.  I have to say that I was one of a class of 700 in a city high school, so there were hundreds of “classmates” who I never even met in all our three years.  I was also pretty much of an outcast, with few friends and few activities.  Most of the “cool kids” wouldn’t give me the time of day, way back then.  I discovered to my delight that the years dim memories, and when I met people at reunions, starting with the tenth, they had mostly forgotten that I was unpopular then, and were nicer to me than I had expected.

At the fortieth reunion in 2007, I actually became re-acquainted with a friend from school who I knew as very conservative, and a fan of Richard Nixon.  Well, it turned out that I had turned conservative over the years, and we now had lots in common.  It was just wonderful to get back in touch with someone who I now could relate to much better.  Over the last ten years, she and her husband have joined me and my husband in a variety of activities, including Hillsdale College functions.

Since the Friday golf outing was being held at a country club pretty close to where I live, I offered to tag along and be the “unofficial official photographer”.  The event organizer said he’d be happy if I went, so I took Friday off work and met the group at the ungodly hour of 8:00AM at the golf course.  Aside from myself, there were four women and six men in the group, which made three groups.  I went with one of the male groups, and took a golf cart with a gentleman whom I had never met in high school at all!  It was absolutely delightful talking with him, and I was sorry I didn’t know him in high school.  The golf course is very pretty, and very hilly!  I not only took pictures of the players, I trained my camera on the course itself.

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See that sign to the left of the golf cart path?  It says Caution 35 degree slope!  And those speed bumps were actually welcome-that path is really steep!

The 18 holes took over four hours, and they just sped by.  We all had a great time, and met back at the club for lunch in their beautiful dining room.  It turned out that the host and his wife (who met in high school and have been married 47 years), live right by the golf course, which is only about 5 miles from where I live.  No excuse for not getting together again soon.  Here’s the golf group at lunch.

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I went home after the golf outing feeling just wonderful.  I’d gotten re-acquainted with people I hadn’t seen in ten years, and liked every one of them.  I was pretty sure that everyone had appreciated my photography, and enjoyed my company as much as I’d enjoyed theirs.  Everyone had done something different with their lives, and moved around the country, but now we were all back for a while, and the years just seemed to fall away into insignificance.

Saturday night was the big reunion dinner at another country club in town.  There were over 200 people there, which is pretty remarkable after fifty years!  If you just closed your eyes and listened, you could hear multiple “Nice to see you” and “Great to see you” from small groups and individuals all over the room.  I must have re-met dozens of people I had known, and even some that I hadn’t!  Some people never change-I recognized more of the women than the men (who had lost more hair!).  Since I don’t, I did notice that the majority of the women color their hair, so there was less gray than there might have been if everyone had remained all-natural like me.

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Fifty years is a very long time.  Most of us are different people than we were in high school, but everyone mostly was successful in life.  Classmates showed pictures of their kids and grandkids, and discussed careers and travels.  From snatches of conversation I heard, many of us had traveled the world, both for work and leisure.  Dozens of us had been or still are teachers, and many different professions were represented.  I was pleased to see that I’m not the only one still employed and loving it.

As I look back over my life, I have been through some trying times, and always landed on my feet.  Fifty years is a long time, but I can’t say I feel that old.  And I think many of my classmates feel the same.  A few people used canes, and there were a couple of walkers in evidence; but that didn’t keep them away.  Everyone who came looked like they were having a pleasant evening, and I think everyone went away happy, with new memories to add to the old ones that are fading.

It was an excellent reunion weekend, and I’m so glad I went.  And the Memory Book that we bought has addresses and pictures for most classmates, so we can stay in touch.  As we get older, friends and family become more important, and classmates aren’t far behind.  “What I am to Be, I am Now Becoming” was our class motto.  Would I have laughed then, if I were told that what I would become was what I am today (planner/buyer, Business Survey Chairman)?  Probably.  In any case, I’m very proud of what I have become, and my high school education helped get me started.

Photo Challenge…Pedestrian

Most people drive or cycle through cities these days.  From the window of a car, or the seat of a bicycle, you can miss the details that only a pedestrian, walking along at a slow pace, can see.  On our walk through Uptown Port Townsend, I caught these details that might have been overlooked from the car.

In front of a bank branch, there was a planter, with this pretty ornamental grass.

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Walking further down a residential street, we notice some movement in the front yard of a home, which was shadowed by trees and flowers.  The movement turned out to be one of these, who moved out of the shadows, and came over to give us a look.

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As we walked further on, down the many steps back to the lower part of the city, we saw more of her companions (there were at least five does in the group), and on the bank next to the stairs, we found the leader.

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Handsome guy, isn’t he?  So get out, take a walk, and see sights at your level, and in your time.

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Just Who are the Haters?

Hubby and I spent the afternoon yesterday in the town of Port Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula, collecting on the last of the Jazz package we bought at an auction (dinner at the Hanazono Asian Noodle House).  Before dinner, we walked up what seemed like 1,000 steps to check out the Uptown neighborhood.  Walking down Washington Street, we came across a little Cafe.  This sign was in its front window, for passersby to see.

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So, is this the way an eatery should welcome prospective customers?  This sign is asking people to check their biases, and move on if any of the above describes their point of view.  This sign is winnowing down the universe of people who might like the food and beverages they serve.  And which part of this sign jumps out at the casual passer-by?  How about You’re NOT Welcome Here.  Well, if I’m not welcome here, I’ll just walk on by. And I’ll spread the word to all my friends and acquaintances that they are not welcome here either.  The people who post this kind of sign in their front window are the ones who have the bumper-stickers on their car which say “Coexist”, and “Teach Tolerance”.  Not terribly tolerant, are they?

I’m not much into the vandalism thing, but this made me want to throw a brick through that window.