Home is where you learn to walk

Walking.

Like riding a bike…once you learn how…you don’t forget.

Choose not to, sure.  But you don’t forget.

When I was a girl I used to walk everywhere.  I would stomp with purpose in my Wonder Bread bag covered shoes to school in the winters, hoping to get the bags off and stowed before the LL Bean boot-wearing kids could see them.

I’d march, like a good little soldier, the kiddie version of a 50 yard mile to church on Sunday, fiddling with the all too popular, bang-holding, enormous, white, clip-on bow my mother insisted I wear.  One that made my hair sit pregnant and waiting to pop its clip from atop my head, and in doing so, birthing my bangs back onto my forehead where they belonged!  The post clip-on years saw my 9 to 14 year old self, stomp the yard the longest 1/4 mile known to adolescents…especially on Catechism Saturdays, where God’s own wicked witch of the north ruled with an iron fist!

The better walking days were when I was old enough to sashay and glide; take my time meandering and strolling, to the place where all good things happen.  Overstreet.  Which, for those who don’t know, is our far north yank-speak for Downtown.  I could spend my fifty cent allowance buying nickle candy at the Economy Store, making sure to save the quarter I needed for the Sat’dy matinee a couple doors down at the Savoy.  And often times, I’d even have enough to stop at The Candy Kitchen for a creamie on the way home, if that’s what the gang wanted to do.

In the pre-bicycle summers, walking to the pool was the equivalent my now-self walking 5 miles on the huff and puff scale.  I’ve actually checked since then and know now it was just a hair shy of a mile…but it was the last half that was a killer.  Or so it seemed at the time. And looking back…having a bike didn’t improve that hill any…not one lick!  I don’t think I managed to stay ON the bike the whole way up but once, and only then because I rode that hill like it was a Donkey Kong trail, without the ladders!  Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.  It was easier to push it (or leave it home).  Besides, kids pushing bicycles up that hill was just the way of it…until the 10-speed arrived.  YeeHaw…what an invention.  Not that I ever had one, but boy could those kids ride that hill like it was nothing!

Our’s was a small town; a good, walking town for a kid when you come right down to it. Nestled in a little valley surrounded by the Green Mountains; a college town without acting like a college town because we didn’t really sport the kinds of places college kids like to hang.  And those we did have, the cadets managed to get thrown out of more often than not, so it was really just us town folk most of the time.

I loved walking that town, and I know it’s from walking that town that I feel so drawn to the beauty in everyday things that I often take pictures of.  Imagine walking down the street where you live, and everywhere you look, there’s a mountain, or a brook, or a river. Walk to the end of that street and you can chose to go straight over the footbridge, crossing the river towards downtown and what adventures lie there.  Or left over the tracks towards one of your schools or a shortcut to your friend’s house, the side street tree lined and leaf covered.  Or better yet, turn right and walk to where the pavement ends and the dirt begins.  Fields full of wild flowers and cows; promises of swimming holes and tire swings, and mountains as far as the eye can see.

All the time looking up.  All the time thinking…I want to live in those mountains.  I want to hear the brooks run and the smell the spring mud; feel the snow tickle as it falls on my face, and crunch under my feet for as long as I live.

I no longer live in that town.

But that town lives in me.  I take it with me everywhere, as I take all those things I fell in love with there too.

It’s the peace I reach for when I can find none where I am.

No matter where I hang my hat, my  heart remains there…in my little town.  Where walking the streets is not a profession…it’s a path to connection.  To God, to community, to nature, but most importantly, to oneself.

When I need it, I put on my boots and hit the road and remember.  I remember to keep my ears open, my eyes wide, and my mind quiet.  I remember to be thankful for some of the absolute best memories of my life…and more so, to be thankful for giving me the mountains my mind ran away to; where I’d sit under a glorious burnt orange tree while it bathed in the red-gold light of a late fall sun…for the absolute worst of my life.

The little town where I learned to walk; to never take for granted the beauty in the simple things; to accept with gratitude, the gifts it gave me every day; and learned too, the true understanding of what it is…the power…to have a place to call home.

Northfield in the fall

My town, where I learned to walk

 

(photo by Carol of Carol’s View of New England on blogspot)

I’ve been framed!

This week, Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack fame, gave the theme FRAME for her Travel Theme Photo Challenge.

I like this theme because even interesting or good photos can be elevated to something a bit more special in how they are framed.

Let’s see if I have proven this point somewhat…

Reflections – I could have stuck to just taking photos of the stained glass windows and stone work at Canterbury Cathedral, like most people do.  But I thought seeing them in the reflecting font was so much more interesting.
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This house is interesting enough on its own to be sure, but I loved seeing it reflected in the puddle in the road. It added just enough to make it ‘more’.
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There’s more to windows than just seeing out of them too…when used as mirrors to frame something interesting…it can be quite wonderful.
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I can’t say I would always advise looking backwards as a way to move on in life, but in photography…why not?
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Man-made structures can be a fun subject matter when you find them framed this way. Makes one wonder if the architects were in cahoots with Mother Nature doesn’t it?
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And of course, in grand old cities, there always seem to be the old framed by the new, which of coure, makes for another type of frame job!
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There is nothing like catching beautiful creatures of land and air, framed in their natural environments is there?
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I especially love when I can catch the moon, in daytime or night, framed softly by something earthbound. Definitely one of my favorite framing jobs!
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To say nature is a wonder is an understatement. It’s so much more than that. Ever changing, season in a and season out, always there for any who wish to see. Whether naked or adorned by something man-made; it’s nature’s frame that is the star.
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Cheers 🙂

One Word Photo Challenge: Winter

One Word Photo Challenge: Winter

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Night time cherry tree – Massachusetts

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Ice flow off the mountain – Vermont

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Blue spruce – Vermont

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Turkey gathering – Vermont

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Turkey tree – Vermont

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Late afternoon snowfall – Vermont

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Rare snow event – Virginia

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Ice fishing – Vermont

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Lake Willoughby – Vermont

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Frozen berries – Massachusetts

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The final descent – Vermont

King of the Mountain - Alaska

King of the Mountain – Alaska

I guess you could say I love winter and I’m glad it’s almost here

Cheers 🙂

Careful what you wish for…

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Careful.”

I hope those who read my blog, take the time to click the link above and view some of the entries for these weekly challenges.  They are well worth it and the fun is seeing someone else’s take on the theme of the week. And the bonus is – some are astonishingly good!  Just a thought  🙂

Anyway, I try to go with the first thought that comes into my head when I get see what the theme is, and this week is no exception.

When I saw the word “careful”, I felt the words “what you wish for”.

So..I gathered some photos of things that I often times wish for but more often than not, wish I hadn’t.

Let’s see if you agree…

How about when:

You wish for the un-decorated end of fall to become the clean and pure snow white of winter…does this wish become UN-wished by January?

Be careful what you wish for.

November Unadorned

November Un-Adorned

December Purity

December Purity

January Captured

January Captured

Or when his ultimate wish for that first ride on the big boy tractor, then becomes…nah, been there done that, no thanks?

Be careful what you wish for.

Daddy and Me

Daddy and Me, Yay!

Are you sure Daddy?

I think I changed my mind Dad!

I think I don't want to Daddy

That’s okay, I’m done now Dad

Let. Me. Off. Now. Daddy!

Let. Me. Off. Now. Daddy!

Have you ever wished for a little rain and been granted that wish one hundred fold? To the point where you start singing “Rain Rain Go Away?” (you hummin” it?  lol)

Be careful what you wish for.

Cascading rain gets your feet wet!

Cascading rain gets your feet wet!

We did wish for it...

We did wish for it…

We did need it...

We did need it…

But ENOUGH already! My hometown of Northfield, VT in 2011, courtesy of Irene's rain :(

But ENOUGH already!
My hometown of Northfield, VT in 2011, courtesy of Irene’s rain 😦

So, there you have it
We make wishes every single day
It’s just sometimes
Be Careful What You Wish For!

I Believe in Signs!

TRAVEL THEME:  LETTERS

Alisa at Where’s my backpack has a travel photo challenge, and as this appears to be my new hobby (challenges), I thought I’d jump into this one.

When I first saw the theme, I thought of letters.  You know, snail mail letters, like this one I received from one of the busiest blogger/vloggers I know!  My friend Paula Acton in the UK.  She even wax sealed it for me like the blogging Queen she is!

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But on seeing the entries, I realize most are of letters.

Words.  Letters.  You know, like the alphabet.

And boy, do I have those!!!

So many in face, I think I’ll collage them to save space and you from becoming insanely bored!  🙂


 

1.)  The world of words being a New England  (and the Bal’more O’s of course) sports fan 

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2.)  The words of the places I love to eat, drink, and be mary (oops) merry

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3.)  Advertising is all about letters making words that drive us to WANT, NEED, CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT!  And I saw a story in this group…can you?  (Not to worry…all in fun.  I LOVE ooze and wine!)

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4.)  Famous words that drew me to interesting places while in London

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5.)  And lastly (I know what you’re thinking…phew right?)  But, lastly some local favs

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These letters may not be the same as writing or receiving a letter…but as letters go…these’ll do nicely!

Cheers  🙂