Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Photo Challenge: FUN

I can feel my brain mushing about. I didn't get to enjoy summer until right about this week and now that I can enjoy I'm unable to do much else. So, please forgive me for the way I wasn't entirely together about this challenge.

Turned out great anyway, though!

I think Our Alisun meant this for the REFLECT challenge and somehow I messed up. I think it's a FUN reflection, though, so I like have it kick this off. I'm all about a good segue.

I figured this one would be easy for Our Cindy. She has FUN wherever she goes!

Our Janet's Dave is always hilariously FUN. Apparently so is the rest of the family!

There were plenty of official photographers at BlogHer but I couldn't help capturing a couple shots of just how much FUN people were having! Even people I didn't know.

Seriously, did Our Bethany trap FUN in an image or what?

I almost want to do the same prompt again but that seems wrong. Oo, I know! FRESH. Let's do that.

Please enter by 9am Tuesday August 11th for posting on August 12th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and FRESH. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Partial Adulthood

Today I was standing in a mercifully short line in the deli watching my neighbor, D. He's about 6 and he was waiting for his mother to check out, feeling the oscillating fan on his sweaty face. As she loaded their fruit salad supplies into her shopping bag he turned, spied something, pointed and cried out to his mom. "I already bought everything, D, I'll get it later." Then they started out and he touched the disgusting garbage can with both hands and she good naturedly shuffled him out of the building.

It got me thinking about being an adult.  Kids say so often, "I can't wait until I'm grown up!" I did. I'm sure you did, too. Everyone I know did or does. We adults nod sagely and say, "Just you wait." It's kind of mean.

Before I saw D and his mom I peeled my sweaty self off the couch to feed another neighbor's cats. Very adult of me. I remembered to bring my wallet because I wanted to treat myself to something for lunch. That was also a pretty grown up move.

Once the cats were cared for I walked down the block thinking about what would taste good. That was the only criteria in the decision. I settled on deli sushi even though I was walking the long way but it didn't matter. Before I saw D I picked out my sushi and checked out the ice cream selection. They didn't have any of my favorite flavors. I could have just gone home but right across the street is a deli that almost always has my favorites. I jaywalked because I know right from wrong but I'm an adult and I can decide how I deploy that knowledge. Paid for my favorite flavor, walked home, ate my sushi, took a nap, ate some ice cream.

That's what kids mean. That snippet of my day encompasses all the great things about being an adult. I make my own choices and I don't have to consult anyone on them. There's a little ice cream left. If I wake up tomorrow and decide to have it for breakfast no one can stop me.

All of us adults know that basic vision isn't the whole picture. The rest of my day covered many of the less enticing aspects of grownupedness. For that brief run, though, I thought, "You're right, kid, you're gonna love it."

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Photo Challenge: REFLECT

This was a goodie! Man, I just love doing this so much. Thanks again, everyone! They're actually all so lovely that I'm just going to let them stand on their own and not comment. That's a version of REFLECTion, too.

Tomorrow, after one client session, I'll be immersing myself in BlogHer 2015. I'm doing my best to treat it as a vacation and I'm really excited. So, I'm sure we've done this prompt before but it's the only one I want:: FUN!

Have FUN with it!

Please enter by 9am Tuesday July 28th for posting on July 29th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and FUN. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Compare and Contrast

I promised myself that I would write about race. People I respect are asking us all to speak about it. I know I need to listen since my race is the default but once I'd listened some I would write. And then I didn't write. I shared things on social media, I waded into conversation in comments sections, I had email exchanges that I deeply wanted to get out of but I stuck with it.

I didn't write about race, though.

As I postponed writing again today by reading what others have set down I thought about what a privilege it is to be able to postpone it and about how it's really, really not about me.

In the town where I grew up there were three black people who were permanent residents. Our town had a fancy private school so there were other black people around but they weren't part of the town fabric. The B family were close family friends, two kids and their dad. Their mom was white. It was easy to be put out by all four of them because they were exceptional. It wasn't their race it was their talent. All three of them were intensely intelligent, unquestionably beautiful, and stunningly musical. No qualifications. I could never measure up and our smallish group of friends was often held up in contrast to each other.

Now I think about it and realize that, of course they were exceptional. They had to be. When you are the one example in your world of the thing that others use to define you then of course. Of fucking course. You have to do it all better, faster, and in a kinder way.

Mr. B was the band director in the Junior High. He was deeply beloved as were all the fine arts teachers. In a town without a lot of culture they opened doors a lot of residents didn't know existed.  My father was the band director in the high school and the head of the entire department which encompassed the school district. My father yelled at his students when they stepped out of line. Sometimes he slammed his music stand down with both hands. He threw erasers and sometimes chalk. Auntie Blanche, who was a little old lady in tennis shoes even way back then, threw more than one eraser herself when a student was disrespectful. In all my knowledge of the music department lore and all the time I spent with Mr. B I remember him jiggling his music stand forcefully a couple of times. I remember him looking musicians in the eye and speaking to them sternly. I remember him laughing in a rueful, disappointed way at how badly behaved or rehearsed we were.

Which of those three teachers do you think that people often said they were afraid of?

I honestly thought it was just because Mr. B was more authoritative. I hate that I didn't realize how much more went into it.

But it's not about me.

I was always impressed by their family. Now I am even more so. It shouldn't have taken me so long to realize.

Photo: Mark & Earl in New England a very long time ago. 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Photo Challenge: Whew!

The entries this time are few and, as we've come to expect in this series, heartfelt. I really do think you'll love them.

I know that the road trip was long to get Our Cindy and her family to the beach. I can feel the relief of the sand between my toes and the sea breeze in my nostrils from this shot!

As I've said before, this year has seen my schedule mock a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to slide into Alita's birthday weekend. Imagine my relief when we went out for cupcakes and sushi and she smiled in our birthday photo.

With all that's been happening in the world the last couple of weeks (Charleston shootings, SCOTUS rulings, personal hurdles) I wanted a prompt that reflects the mind, body, and soul work we are doing these days. And so I chose REFLECT. Please take that in any way you desire.

Please enter by 9am Tuesday July 14th for posting on July 15th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and REFLECT. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.