Tuesday, June 30, 2009


They say that the Goddard Mansion, completed in 1885, was one of the first of the grand homes built along the shoreline of Cape Elizabeth. At the time it was built, there was a summer hotel called The Cape Cottage still on a section of the property. The owner, John Goddard (1811-1870), was in the lumber business and was also a colonel in the 1st Maine Regiment during the Civil War but saw no action. Later, the home was bought by the US Army and housed married soldiers and their families of nearby Ft. Williams. Over the years, I've taken quite a few rolls of black and white in and around this rambling structure. A trip to Ft. Williams was never really complete without a journey through these ruins. You used to be able to walk right in and around the various rooms and levels, but on this latest trip the doorways had been fenced off and locked. Down behind, there are a myriad of pathways that all end up overlooking the ocean, via a WWII gun placement, that helped protect the fort and harbor. These 'bones' of this great home are quite a relic of a bygone era.

Monday, June 29, 2009


This window is on Danforth Street in the city. Got out of the car to take a picture of the building across the street, and when I turned it was there begging for a 'turn' in the lens. I'm sure this 'six over six' would have quite a story to tell looking out at the Victoria Mansion for oh so many years. What happens to windows and their frames when they've seemingly outlived their usefulness, in this energy-saving conscious world? At a stay at the Mt. Washington Hotel and Resort in Bretton Woods, NH a few years back, I saw an idea for aged window use. They had taken some small, old windows removed from the hotel during renovations, and given them new life as picture frames, with historical photographs of this grand hotel lining the hallways. I thought, what a unique way for windows to continue to tell their tales of past times.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


*Blog Day: Iran Protests, 6/28/09
On June 28th, the CDPB community will hold a special 'blog day' which will cover the recent protests in Iran.

Imagine there's no Heaven

It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one
J. Lennon

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Casco Bay Bridge

The Fore River is a 4 miles estuary that separates Portland from South Portland. Much of both cities port facilities are found along this stretch of river. Small bit of history: the river was originally known as Levett's River, named after Capt. Christopher Levett, the first English settler of the Casco Bay area. This view affords one a nice view of mid-city Portland. From here, you can see there's still a lot of green in the city. The city's nickname is 'the Forest City' and until the infamous Dutch Elm Disease ran amuck during the 60s, it really was a city of those majestic trees towering skyward. I do remember the day the Park Department sprayed yellow Xs on elms lining Stevens, including two in front of our house. Later that summer, they were gone. Nothing was left to the beautiful testament they held for the city but sawdust on the pavement. The death of the elms in Portland was truly a sad time for this ol' town.

Friday, June 26, 2009


When you grow up in close proximity to a National Guard Armory there is always a lot of action for a youngster. The Stevens Avenue Armory holds lots of memories for me: sneaking in all hours of the day to play basketball with the guys, stoking the large furnaces with coal with Dad on the weekends, jumping over the fence down back and sitting all the army trucks were but a few. I still vividly recall feeling the floors of our house trembling and the glasses rattling, as a line of huge tanks rumbled up Stevens and into the Armory yard, having returned from their annual summer camp at Ft. Drum. It was so loud. We would scream and not hear ourselves! And how could I ever forget the '$400 All Cover' at Friday Night Beano. In high school, I 'worked the floor' carrying refreshments to the players. Soda, dogs, burgers and candy were the main staples sought by the patrons. I remember getting home dogged tired, well passed midnight, and lying in bed smelling of stale cigarettes and grease. I'd turn on WBZ radio and fall asleep listening to a strange blend of tunes, talk of UFOs and mostly idle chatter of the times with Dick Sumner and his 'Nightlife' show. I was a regular listener. BZ , way back then, taught me to love talk radio! Cripes! No wonder I enjoy late night radio and all its oddities to this day!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The Monastery of the Precious Blood, a contemplative cloistered community, is located at 166 State Street. It is run by the Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood, a Roman Catholic religious order founded in 1861 by Catherine Aurelia Caouette in St. Hyacinth, Canada. In his later years, Dad's Sundays always began here at the 6 AM Mass. The chapel is small, but quite ornate. Some mornings, I'd meet him here, and after the service, we'd go off to one of his breakfast joints, where he seem to know all who came in the door. In the chapel, as we sat in our pew, any nun that made an appearance came right over to us and shook his hand. He knew them all! "Hey, this group is cloistered, Dad! How do you..." His refrain was, as always, "M- , you just don't get it, do you?" This was followed by his knowing chuckle. I'd just smile and wonder what he meant. As kids, we all knew about the Monastery. We each had our turn going with him for Mass cards, on the passing of an acquaintance or loved one. The nuns' cards were and still are well-known and quite distinctive, in their elaborate calligraphy, around the city. Dad's been gone twelve years now, but I bet he's still fondly remembered by the sisters who do their 'work' within these walls.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


With grave stones dating from the late 1700’s, Western Cemetery is Portland’s second oldest cemetery. The land which became the cemetery was purchased by the City in 1829 and was Portland’s primary burial ground from 1829 until 1852. It is a final resting place for many of the Irish who immigrated to the city during the “Great Hunger” in Ireland in the mid 1800s. However, over the years, it has gotten a lot of bad press. It's been one of the most neglected burial plots in the city (it sees a lawn mower about once smmer, if that), and talk about desecration; it has become known as the oh so popular but infamous 'final resting spot' for lots of dog crap. There are signs posted about cleaning up after your pooch, but... But let's end this upbeat. It's one of the most stunningly beautiful spots in the city to watch snow falling in winter.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Little Boxes

Just off Park Street lies Stratton Place. Now, I've seen the prices of some of these homes for sale, so I know they're NOT made out of 'tickey-tackey', but this shot in showers does remind me of the Pete Seeger song. Pretty funny! It was written in 1962 to lampoon the spreading ills of suburbia of the 60s.
"Little houses on the hillside - Little houses made of tickey-tackey - and they're all made out of tickey-tackey - and they're all looking just the same"
-- "Little Houses" by Malvina Reynolds.

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there's doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

Monday, June 22, 2009


June 22-- it's day two of summer! Yesterday was the longest day of the year. Hope you wore it well. I know I did! I had a wonderful Father's Day that ended with a Hawaiian Blizzard. Believe or not, the days are starting to shorten up a bit. But the sun is up early(and out someplace... not here), and that's a good thing for me. I LOVE early mornings and the excitement each new day brings. You sleep past 9 AM on a summer day, and the day, for the most part, is over in my eyes! Today, kids are starting summer vacation, off to beaches, lakes and summer camps. I'm up early this morning too. Rise and shine, buttercup!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Some Remains

These rocks, along with a stone wall that runs pretty much the width of the backyard, is what remains of a huge barn that was once stood on the property. We know this, because we have an actual photograph given to us by the previous occupants. We've traced the history as far back to find that it all started as a 100 acre plot of land. The two story house was built by Jacob Hamblen (b 1756), "an honest man, successful farmer and a good citizen"(History of Gorham). From our research, we do believe that the house was built around 1820, with the barn appearing soon after. We have accumulated an awful lot of history on the house and all the occupants who have ever walked these floors. If I do say so, quite an interesting linage. But of the great barn, that stood just up the hill a ways? All that remains are these solid granite stones in their final resting place.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Stock in Trade

"the best-laid plans of mice and men...". This Steinbeck quote came to mind last week, as I spent a day with my sister visiting from the 'left coast'. Our plan was to just ride around for the afternoon, and enjoy some time together. She wanted to visit some of the haunts of her youth. During the course of the day, we hit all her old neighborhoods and reminisced a bit at each- Stevens, Coyle and Bancroft. We stopped for some java, did a little shopping for my brother's house, took a spin around the old Westbrook College campus and ended up taking a walk through the Old Port. My plan was to end our time at Bull Feeney's sampling a favorite of mine, the Irish nachos. I had been looking forward to this treat all afternoon and thought this and a Smithwicks would be a wonderful way to end the afternoon, before meeting up with the rest of the family. What a downer, when I found their ovens were down for repair, and about all we could get were soups and salads! We passed. I'm not a big lamb guy, but these nachos, made with lamb, are to die for! We'll settle for for another draught barkeep!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rain Date

It's a rainy Friday morning, with the weekend looming ahead here in southern Maine. You know I was thinking... Sometimes, during our seemingly weakest moments, strength and sheer beauty show the way. Persevere, push on, the sunlight lies just behind the next bend in the road. Ya, right! For all these recent rain days around here, I expect about ten straight days of 80s temps ahead! But don't bank on it; I don't even play a meteorologist on TV! Enjoy the weekend! And by the way, the gardens around here are experiencing something called: 'prime time'!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tracks of Tears

With some apologies this morning to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles(Tracks of My Tears), I relate a story from my youth. This is a look just off Commercial Street heading towards one of the city's scrap metal facilities, with 'hobo jungle' off to the left. Whenever I'm around railroad tracks, it always harkens me back to an incident when I first started delivering the Press Herald in Portland. I think I was eleven and I was substituting for a high school boy DP, who was off with his family on a two week summer vacation. The first couple of days went a smoothly, as you might imagine in a small city at 5 AM, but on day three it happened. As I crossed the tracks on my bike at Morrill's Corner, I saw him. It was a German Shepard racing up the track bed, and he was making a b-line right for me. Long story, short version... Barking loudly and showing a lot of big teeth, he jumped, knocked me off my bike, papers strewn across the tracks, tears streaming down my face(the next time I cried in fear like that was Junior year in college taking that Statistics final... Ha!), I was in dire states. I'd probably still be there, in pieces, had the RR gate keeper not come running to my rescue. For the rest of the morning, I kept looking over my shoulder. These days, the German Shepard still isn't my favorite dog. Now, that's with no disrespect to my pal(?) Jasper. Do I really want a dog? Maybe part border collie? Malamute? Maybe, we're fated not to be together!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Boat Launch

There's a new boat launch on Sebago Lake in Standish this summer. The last time I photographed here, it was January and there was nothing to look at but ice fishing shacks. Now, this is quite a change, for the better I might add. Hate fishing in the winter or in the spring with the bugs! Boats and dogs, I have neither. It's my struggle in life. As a child, I wanted a dog. Mom said, "Wait til you get older and married, and then you'll get your dog." I married a wonderful woman, but to put it nicely, she has no interest in having any pooch around the homestead. Kind of ironic, but I can handle it. Love cats anyway! Now as for the boat issue, they say the two best days in a boat owner life is the day they buy their boat and the day they sell it. I'm resigned to the fact, that'll I'll experience neither in my lifetime. Hey, I can live with this too. You see, at the heart of the matter, I'm really an easy man to please!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


For the last ten years, I bet, I have passed this field with this piece of haying equipment hundreds of times. In pouring rain, biting snow, relentless sun and every time I looked off towards the tree line I'd say to myself, 'sometime, I'll stop and take that picture'... it has always been there waiting. The other morning, I finally pulled over. I finally stopped saying, 'I'll get it next time'. Sometimes in life, as we all discover, the next time doesn't come. We miss saying or doing something to someone that we really end up regretting. What do they say 'for that one fleeting moment'... Hopefully for me, the next time won't just be for a piece of farm equipment!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Plum Island3

This reminds me of Mom's mower from Coyle Street. It was found abandoned behind the Flea Market.

Plum Island2

Beach worshippers stealing that last bit 'o sun this past Saturday on Plum Island.

Plum Island

It was a 'road trip' Saturday, as a group of the family ventured down to the Newburyport area to meet up with my sis and her husband visiting from Oregon. Here are three quick shots from Saturday's trip: an old mower with a memory, an afternoon at the tip of the island and the Plum Island Coast Guard Station. We did lunch at an outdoor restaurant, then took a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk and around the quaint village. The weather was gorgeous, lots of sun with just a hint of a breeze. Temps in the 70s. They use to live on Plum Island, so we drove past their old house, all the way to the tip of the island, where the beach and dock area were occupied with surf fishing and the evening 'booze cruises' loading up. The sun was beginning to set as we said our goodbyes and they headed off to Boston and their early morning flight West. Since we had a group of seven, it was hard to make small talk and get personal with J- and B-. But rumor has it, they might be returning in September for a longer sojourn. We can wish!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Old Glory

It's Flag Day! Here's a poem that takes me back to eighth grade and Ms. Storer's English class. I remember that we all had to memorize a poem. I located this one on one of the bookshelves in the den, but had no idea what it was all about. In my brief research, I found it to be one of the most popular poems of the WWI era. One June evening, while I was busy attempting to memorize it for class, Dad mentioned the connection between this poem and his American Legion Post(Andrews Post in Portland) and their Memorial Day poppy sales. Eureka! It finally made sense. At the end of my presentation to the class, I shared this conversation that I had with my Dad. As I remember, my time in front of the classroom ended with Ms. Storer commenting a bit more of what she knew about the feller who wrote it. But for me... Whew! I was just so happy that I had gotten through it without forgetting a word of it and without fainting!

In Flanders Fields-
In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dietary Concerns

Here I am on an early Saturday morning on my second cup of joe staring at my computer screen, trying to choose a photo for today. My morning breakfast is nowhere in sight. Yes, I know they say it's the most important meal of the day, but for me, I guess you could say, in the 'breakfast game', I'm a non-player. However at work, if there's a rack of doughnuts(especially chocolate coconut, or glazed) or a slice of breakfast pizza for the taking, I'll sidle up and take a chance. But for the most part, I don't go out of my way to look for food at this time of day. By lunch though, I'm ready for my healthy salad. This morning, I could be drawn to 'roll the dice' and locate some nutritional sustenance in this brightly adorned shop on Congress. You see, at heart, I am a weak man, really. Happy breaking-fast this morning.

Friday, June 12, 2009


The irises are up too everywhere. Got to be one of the most beautiful flowers. These purple ones keep this tin birdhouse company next to the driveway. They are strikingly purple these days, but are gone way too soon. They really need to hang around a couple of weeks longer.
“But blueflags are blossoming
in the reeds
which the children pluck
chattering in the reeds
high over their heads
which they part
with bare arms to appear
with fists of flowers.”
“The Blueflags”
By William Carlos Williams

Thursday, June 11, 2009


These rhodies wait out another dreary morning, but, rumor has it, ol' man sun will make an appearance in the not to distant future. For me, when the rhododendrons burst around this backyard, it signals the start a beautiful garden season. E-'s flower gardens are magnificent. If you took a look at a snapshot of what this place looked like back in '77, you REALLY wouldn't recognize it. Landscaping and color all over! I must say; however, they get this way not without lots of work... oh ya and lots of blood (sometimes), sweat (duh!) and tears( in private moments). Every year, we sort of take on a 'little' summer project, and most times it involves the flower gardens. Last summer it was the area to the left of the garage, behind a stone wall and up the rise near an old apple tree. Now, to be perfectly honest, it still a work in progress, but when completed (soon?), I think it will be a 'draw to the eye' from the road. Always working against us around here, though, is a strain of granite that runs diagonally through our land and makes most areas to dig in an added pain. Can you say rocks, rocks, rocks and more rocks? I know you can! But hey, this is New England, and this must be a part that old 'ethic' they talk about around here. Work!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Strange Maine

Here's an interesting set of buildings on Congress Street caught in a shower. It's at the corner of Congress and Forest, so when you are stopped at the light(and you always are) you get a chance to read some 'strange' messages in the upstairs window. They seem to change, sometimes daily. The title of the store seems to say it all. It sells ANYTHING! Once inside, you can buy, sell, or trade used cds, movies, books, art, tapes, junk and other debris from our so called modern world. It is also a venue for indie music and other on the edge performances. I think Grampa playing his saw and his buddy Uncle Howard on the fiddle would have been a big hit here. Quite a place- the morning I stopped by, there was a sign on the door that read:"We Are NOT Going Out of Business". Now, as for the placard at the top of the building? Storreytime. I need to do a bit more research on this. No idea!
*This morning, I'm off to meet my sister, visiting from Oregon. Knowing her, an Amatos' italian sandwich will be the answer to the question: What'll we do for lunch?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Blue Spots

The naming of names is an interesting business; names are intriguing. Here's a favorite poem of mine by Kate Barnes, the daughter of Elizabeth Coatsworth(The Cat Who Went to Heaven, Newbery Award 1931). Where do our names for places and things come from? Some simple, some strange, indeed. If you've traveled some of Maine's blue highways, you've probably come across a few of these 'blue spots'. This one is Sebago. Enjoy!

Lakes and Ponds: Some Blue Spots on the Maine Highway Map
By Kate Barnes
There's Blunder Pond and Bluffer Pond, Molasses Pond and Bean;
There's Scraggly Lake and Ragged Lake; there's Silver, Clear, and Green;
Bear Pond, Caribou, Beaver, Mink; Moose Pond and Eagle Lake.
White Horse Lake and Spider Lake; Panther Pond and Snake;
Hound and Otter, Togue and Salmon; Loon, and Swan, and Duck.
There's Hot Brook Lake and Cold Stream Pond; there's White Pond and there's Black;
Lobster Lake and Bean Pot Lake; Shin Pond for a stew;
(Toddy Pond will make you cheerful, Brandy Pond will too,)
Hay Lake, Harrow Lake, Chain of Ponds; Buttermilk and Mud;
White Oak, Cedar, Seven Tree, Elm; Mill Pond, Meadow, Flood;
Meddybemps and Pocomoonshine; Simsquish, Skitacook,
Syslodobsis, Nahinakanta; Ugh Lake and Ticook;
Indian Pond and Soldier Pond; Polly Pond and Jim;
Round Pond, Square Lake, Corner Pond; Cut Lake and Old Stream;
Endless Lake and Desolation; St. Froid in the snow;
Flying Pond and The Enchanted, its haunted stream below:-
Blue spots on the road map with their blue names printed by,
Many words for "water", many eyes that see the sky.

Monday, June 8, 2009


The 36th Annual Old Port Festival was held yesterday under sunny skies, for the most part. If you came late you missed one of my favorite parts, the Shoestring Theater's larger than life puppets kicked- off the festivities parading down Exchange Street. If you like music, music, music, food, street performers, dogs, an American Idol finalist, Medieval fencing and fighting by the Society for Creative Anachronism, face painting and a 61 foot lobster roll then the streets of the Old Port was where you should have been Sunday. I was there for year 1 and can tell you that things have certainly been toned down a bit, but it's always a great way to welcome summer to the city!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Long Run

Ah! summer in Maine! As someone once said about something 'short, but oh, so sweet'. I was thinking of the summer ahead last week, as I contemplated this serene scene at Peaks. Now, I've always been an 'ocean guy', not a 'lake guy'. I guess you could say I've never understood the allure of lake-life. As a child I often went to places like Forest Lake, Crescent Lake, Long Lake and Tripp Pond with boyhood chums' families for the day. Had fun, but because I was with my friends, not because of the setting. Why? Maybe, it is because the water seldom moves on lakes, just lies flat like a sink filled to the brim with water and who knows what. The ocean on the other hand is constantly in flux, always moving, always changing. Besides, those, sometimes daily, trips in the crowded station wagon to Willard and Crescent Beaches and Mom's sand-tinged egg salad sandwiches made memories that keep pulling me back. Not just on summer days either-- walking at Pine Point on a moonless night with nothing but the gothic roll of white surf in the distance, now that's a pull! Ocean life? Lake life? I guess I'll just say: 'to each his own'. But I know where my heart lies!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

At the Dock 1

Three quick posts this Saturday morning--- Whoops! I've broken another rule. Oh well... As we got back to the terminal, aboard the Bay Mist, three Casco Bay Lines ferries, in their very distinctive red, yellow and black color scheme, were loading up for afternoon runs. I've always enjoyed my trips on the Bay, the varied destinations around and to various islands, and the names of their five vessels: the Aucocisco III(the Abenaki name for Casco Bay and 'resting place'), the Machigonne II(the Abenaki name for the Portland Peninsula and 'knee'... ever seen the map of Portland?), the Island Romance(nuff said), the Marquoit(the Abenaki name for 'saltmarsh') and the Bay Mist(the partyboat). It was a beautiful day among the islands, with a stopover at Peaks for a picnic lunch on the grassy knoll overlooking Portland in the distance. Great fun for all aboard!



Abandoned 2

This boat is 'adrift' among the sand, bushes and time.

Deckhand 3

A deckhand, aboard the Bay Mist, throws a line. Nice work(and hard... in February???), if you can get it. Beautiful, sunny weather, wonderful views of island life and sometimes, quite stunning views on the decks in sun dresses... if you get my drift! Ha!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Island Approach

Peaks Island is the most populated island in Casco Bay. It is part of the city of Portland and is approximately 3 miles from downtown. It is accesssed by private boat or most commonly by a Casco Bay Lines ferry. It has a winer population of approximately 850, however in the summer months, it swells to 4,000 or 5,000. It is a wonderful island day get-a-way. By foot or by bike, you can make your way around the perimeter loop road and take in island life. Picnic on the outer fringe near Whaleback Rock in the warm sun, and it'll clue you in to why they call Maine: Life the way it ought to be! Or as we did, with friends, one warm summer evening last August, just take the ferry over and take in dinner and a beverage or two at an island restaurant. We enjoy the short hike up the hill to the Inn on Peaks Island. Bon Voyage!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Letter S

Ferry Beach at low tide is pretty deserted. Lonely, except for patterned sand, seaweed, a few rocks and lots of water. The foreground, myriad patterns in the sand, was what caught my eye here this morning. Nature is amazing, isn't it. How and why things are done sometimes is just mind-boggling! On a sunny, warm June day, it'll be crowded in a few hours, and I'm not talking just about the dogs. It's a very popular beach that looks out towards Pine Point. Did you 'catch' the letter S too? Kind of strange...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wet Lilies

These early yellow lilies cover-up during a brief thunderstorm that passed the neighborhood. So green, so yellow-- it's amazing what a little rain will do to an ordinary image. So many put away the camera in the rain, swearing allegiances to the 'Kodak Rules'(you know- shoot 10-2, sun at your back, yada, yada, yada...), that they miss the truly stunning shot. Ah... ee cummings would say:
in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and


balloonMan whistles

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


You say potato. I say potahto. Oh well, you get the idea. I didn't 'call the whole thing off'. The garden is, finally, in, and I'm now ready to go to battle with the woodchucks that inhabit the backyard. When the potatoes go in each year, I always think back to the garden on Washington Avenue and my Dad and the rodents. Down under the barn, there was a room off to the side. He called it the cold storage room, and it would keep Mom's canned veggies cold but not frozen. It was also the place where Dad stored his russets in wooden baskets, after they had been harvested. "They're the best; the only ones worth planting." He'd say to me. When we'd head down to get canned string beans or potatoes during the winter, he'd carry a big stick. You ask why? When you opened the heavy wooden door and turned on the light, you'd see why. Many big rats would squealingly(did I just create a new adverb?) scatter into the stone walls. The traps, he'd set the day before, would be loaded and upside down on the concrete floor. What a memory! Some images are with you forever. You just can't shake them. This one haunts me each planting season.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Theme Day: Feet

Today, June 1, is Theme Day in the CityDailyPhoto community around the the world.
Kids do the darnedest things! Some even paint their sneaks. Here's one that was 'caught in the halls' and was ever so happy to show off his handiwork. Life and language are constantly in flux, aren't they. I used to call these sneakers; today kids just call them shoes. One of my all time favorite pictures from awhile ago(probably around '89 or so)shows me and J- on our back stoop. Me in my beat-up red Converses, and J- sitting proudly on my knees in his first pair of Nike hightops, a gift from a friend. Both boys looking so proud!