Weekly Photo Challenge – Near and Far

This was taken on the White Pass Train in Alaska.  What a wonderful trip that was.  Talk about near and far.  I have so many wonderful memories filled with those type of images and photos.  My favorite Near & Far memory was riding a draft horse across the Tundra.  It was a rough and mucky ride and not at all like riding across the plains like the Bonanza opening credits.  It took forever to get back to the ranch… It looked near but it was actually far… never seemed to get closer.

Shredding and Tossing

Last summer my husband, sister-in-law and I flew to AZ to clear out my mother’s house.  We had to move her to a dementia oriented nursing facility and the house needed to be cleared out and sold.  It was something I would never want to do again and never want my kids to have to do.  With this in mind we have been shredding and tossing. (BTW – I intentionally made the b&w photo blurry… in my mind it was old technology… therefore blurry black and white. 😉 )

The local library had a shredding day so I convinced my husband we could throw away 30+ years of his sales reports, taxes predating 1990, grocery receipts and other items taking up huge amounts of room in the basement.  The local high school was also collecting electronics so out went an old tv, computer, monitor, speakers and wires.  I didn’t stop there.  I went through the toy closet.  Not to throw away.  My grand kids would have a fit.  I have an amazing collection of Playmobile, Brio and Legos.

I spent the afternoon sorting through the pieces and pulling out old crayons, wrappers, broken matchbox cars (oh, forgot to mention those… lots and lots), lost puzzle pieces and more.  Some of the Lego sets were still intact and other in chunks and pieces.

It brought back many wonderful memories of children’s voices as they vocalized the story line of their play.  I can’ wait for the grand kids to visit and plow through the organization of my afternoon and make a creative mess.  It’s been too long.

(All photos were taken with my iPhone using Instagram and Photo+.  Obviously, they looked better on the small iPhone, but you get the picture.)

Garden shots in St. Louis

But which is the stone that supports the bridge?
~ Kublai Khan

This is a bridge in the Japanese section of the Botanical gardens in St. Louis.  A friend and I went a couple of years ago around Easter.  It was perfect.  The garden was in the peak of it’s spring lushness.

This was in one of the beds of tulips outside of the conservatory.

And this beauty was inside the conservatory.  I was proud of this photo because red is hard to capture under good conditions and this was a cloudy day inside a bubble.

Great place, beautiful gardens, so glad we visited.

What cost for happiness?

I saw this quote on Pinterest.  It has been bouncing around my head for the last couple of days.  It connected with a few of my childhood recollections of trips to the corner grocery store or “The Big Dipper,” a corner ice cream store.  Back then a nickel would make you happy because it would buy a candy bar or some great penny candy.   I remember summer days when we would go in search of the old glass pop bottles.  If you took them to the store you could turn them in for a few coins… maybe enough to buy a comic book and some candy.  Now that and a shade tree was an afternoon well spent.

We didn’t have much television and most phones were still on the party line system.  There definitely weren’t any computers or game boxes.  But we had bikes and unlimited time and parents that didn’t have cable TV and 24 hour news to scare them into keeping us under lock and key.  Most of the time my mom had no idea where I was once I left the house.  There were no cell phones to call you back home.  It was freedom.

Traffic wasn’t as bad because very few homes had two cars, let alone three or four.  We had to have licenses for our bikes (little stickers that were attached to our fenders) and had to prove we knew the hand signals for left turn, right turn and stop.  With our bike basket packed with a PBJ and some Sterzings potato chips we could be gone for most of the day.  Back then the cost of happiness was pretty darn cheap.

Today we find ourselves sitting on hidden benches in the garden with our books in our laps gazing off at butterflies and remembering those beautiful, carefree summers of our youth and wondering what we would do if we would win the big mega millions lottery.  Today’s dreams are a little more costly.

(The photo is a bench in the Art Center’s garden.)