Tag Archives: love

…of Photography

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Do you know what I love about photography and why it gets me so excited?  It is because there is power – and magic – in photography!!!

I did not take today’s photo – I was in it!  This is a family picture of years gone by.  What is the power and magic here?  The ability to transport me across the years (like being “beamed” somewhere in Star Trek) to a time and place that is no longer, but which still has the ability to stir my heart and emotions.  It’s magic…I can recall antics of the kids at this age, trips we took as a family, places we lived, things we ate, the sounds of their voices and laughter.  How precious all those things are to me!  More than anything, the magic is that I can feel afresh how I felt then about my family…and how I still feel about them.  Maybe this is proof that love is eternal…that it never goes away, nor does it diminish.  In fact, it grows and blooms every more beautiful!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  American drive-in movie theaters experienced their golden era during the 1950s, but some Floridians were watching movies under the stars in their cars even before then: The city of Miami got its first drive-in on this day in 1938. The Miami drive-in charged admission of 35 cents per person, which was more than the average ticket price at an indoor theater, and soon had to trim the price to 25 cents per person.

America’s first-ever drive-in opened near Camden, New Jersey, on June 6, 1933, and was the brainchild of Richard Hollingshead, whose family owned an auto parts company. The inaugural feature was a 1932 film called “Wives Beware,” and admission was 25 cents per car and an additional 25 cents per person. The sound for the movies was provided by three large RCA speakers next to the main screen. (The quality of the drive-in experience improved during the 1940s with the advent of the in-car speaker.)

Following World War II, the popularity of drive-in theaters increased as America’s car culture grew. By the early 1950s, there were more than 800 drive-ins across the United States. Although they earned a reputation as “passion pits” for young couples seeking privacy, most drive-in customers were families (parents didn’t have to hire babysitters or get dressed up and their children could wear pajamas and sleep in the car) and often featured playgrounds, concession stands and other attractions. Some drive-ins were super-sized, including Detroit’s Bel Air Drive-In, built in 1950, which had room for more than 2,000 cars, and Baltimore’s Bengies Drive-In, which opened in 1956, and claimed the biggest movie screen in the U.S.: 52 feet high by 100 feet wide. Over the years, attempts were made to develop a daytime screen that would enable drive-ins to show movies before it got dark, but nothing proved successful.

At their peak in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there were some 4,000 drive-ins across America. However, during the 1970s and 1980s the drive-in industry went into decline and theaters shut down, due to such factors as rising real-estate values (which made selling the land for redevelopment more profitable than continuing to operate it as a drive-in) and the rise of other entertainment options, including video recorders, multiplex theaters and cable television. By 1990, there were around 1,000 U.S. drive-ins. Today, they number less than 400 (states with the most remaining drive-ins include Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York).

New Jersey has the distinction of being the home of not just the first drive-in but also the first fly-in theater. In June 1948, Ed Brown’s Drive-In and Fly-In opened in Wall Township and had space for 500 cars and 25 planes.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  China’s “one child” policy has contributed to female infanticide and has created a significant gender imbalance. There are currently 32 million more boys than girls in China. In the future, tens of millions of men will be unable to find wives, prompting some scholars to suggest that this imbalance could lead to a threat to world security.

Too Important to Waste

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There are many things in this world that compete for our attention. There are people who earn massive amounts of money for getting that attention and holding it and getting us to buy something.  Many of those things attract our attention, but they really don’t deserve as much attention as we give them.  There are things far more important that deserve much more attention.

Today’s photo is a picture of our youngest son (our middle child) and his lovely family.  On Saturday morning, we received a call that he was being rushed to the hospital in the Atlanta area with chest pain.  He is just 38 years young, but the words “chest pain” were deeply ominous due to the horrible Dalrymple family genes related to heart problems.

To keep from boring you, it turned out that he did, in fact, have a heart attack…one that was quite serious, with 100% blockage in one of the arteries on the right side of the heart.  As they did the angiogram and inserted the stent to get the blood flowing again, he developed atrial fibrillation.  The stent did its job and and medicines for the a-fib did theirs and tonight he is resting comfortable, his big brother (who flew in from California) there at his side in the hospital room.

Love is important.  Family is important.  Work…well, not so much.  As someone once wisely said, no one on their deathbed every utters these words: “I wish I’d spent more time in the office.”

No one knows our day or time or how it will come.  Life – that tremendous gift – is too important and precious to waste.  Make the most of it.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  on this day in 1775, just one day after restating their fidelity to King George III and wishing him “a long and prosperous reign” in the Olive Branch Petition, Congress sets “forth the causes and necessity of their taking up arms” against British authority in the American colonies. The declaration also proclaimed their preference “to die free men rather than live as slaves.”

As in the Olive Branch Petition, Congress never impugned the motives of the British king. Instead, they protested, “The large strides of late taken by the legislature of Great Britain toward establishing over these colonies their absolute rule…” Congress provided a history of colonial relations in which the king served as the sole governmental connection between the mother country and colonies, until, in their eyes, the victory against France in the Seven Years’ War caused Britain’s “new ministry finding all the foes of Britain subdued” to fall upon “the unfortunate idea of subduing her friends also.” According to the declaration, the king’s role remained constant, but “parliament then for the first time assumed a power of unbounded legislation over the colonies of America,” which resulted in the bloodletting at Lexington and Concord in April 1775.

At this point, Congress assumed that if the king could merely be made to understand what Parliament and his ministers had done, he would rectify the situation and return the colonists to their rightful place as fully equal members of the British empire. When the king sided with Parliament, however, Congress moved beyond a Declaration of Arms to a Declaration of Independence.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:   The largest crater in the solar system is found on the moon. Called the South Pole-Aitken, this giant crater is on the far side of the moon and is 1,550 miles (2,500 km) in diameter. The largest crater visible to Earth (on the near side of the moon) is the Bailly Crater, with a 183-mile diameter.

When the Show’s Over

“Trees swayin’ in the summer breeze
Showin’ off their silver leaves
As we walked by

“Soft kisses on a summer’s day
Laughing all our cares away
Just you and I

“Sweet sleepy warmth of summer nights
Gazing at the distant lights
In the starry sky

“They say that all good things must end some day
Autumn leaves must fall
But don’t you know that it hurts me so
To say goodbye to you
Wish you didn’t have to go
No no no no.” – A Summer Song by Chad and Jeremy, 1964

This simple, wistful song has always touched my heart from the time I was a kid.  There is so much poignancy in it.

“…all good things must end some day…” and at least for now, that day is today.  For the past week, we’ve been fortunate enough to have some vacation (courtesy of frequent flyer miles and the ability to stay with some family) in Florida in the Orlando area.  This was a bucket-lister for my wife and I.  We always wanted to be able to spend some time at Disney Land or Disney World with our little grandkids.  Our two youngest grand-daughters (one turned 5 on Monday, the other turns 2 next Tuesday) were here with us (along with their mom and dad!), and we had a blast!  I don’t know how the little ones held up…everyone else is exhausted!  But what a grand time and what terrific memories!  Little faces all crinkled up with laughter, eyes dancing in wonder at the Disney princesses, gazes lifted skyward for the fireworks and imaginations dancing with the Disney electric light parade.

However, today it is over….a long travel day to fly back home to the west coast, getting to our place of abode probably in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Today’s photo is one I shot at the fireworks on Thursday evening.  The fireworks are, of course, the finale, the end of the show, the sign that it’s time to go home and back to “life”.  It is melancholy.  I think that we all want the fireworks in our lives to just keep on going, to light up the sky and space around us with joy and delight for all of our days.  That’s an impossibly tall order, I guess, unless we learn to live as little kids again who find delight in things as simple as a rock, a lizard, or a sticker we can apply to our forehead and wear as we walk around with a goofy face.

One other observation that really struck me on this trip: love is everywhere.  As we walked through the Disney parks and other places, you could see parents loving their children, children wrapping their arms around mom and dad and their siblings, grandparents kissing and cradling their little grand children.  It was perhaps the most beautiful thing about this trip to be reminded of the power of love and of a pair of little, encircling arms and the tiny fingers of a hand wrapped around your own.

_MG_6191ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1954, the famous picture of Marilyn Monroe, laughing as her skirt is blown up by the blast from a subway vent, is shot on this day in 1954 during the filming of The Seven Year Itch. The scene infuriated her husband, Joe DiMaggio, who felt it was exhibitionist, and the couple divorced shortly afterward.

Monroe made her last picture in 1961, The Misfits, which Miller wrote especially for her. She divorced him a week before the film opened. She attempted one more film, Something’s Got to Give, but was fired for her frequent illnesses and absences from the set, which many believed to be related to drug addiction. In August 1962, she died from an overdose of sleeping pills. Her death was ruled a possible suicide. Since her death, her popularity and mystique have endured, with numerous biographies published after her death. Her ex-husband Joe DiMaggio continued to send flowers to her grave every day for the rest of his life.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Gordon Sumner, the rock star and actor known as Sting, got his nickname from the yellow-and-black jerseys he used to wear, which fellow musicians thought made him look like a bumble bee.

Snooty

Some pictures just speak for themselves, but that never stopped me from commenting on them anyway.  Today’s photo is just such a picture….

This ray was photographed through the glass at SeaWorld in San Diego.  I didn’t even know the critter was coming when all of a sudden it swooped up from below the window and it was all I could do to fire off a this shot before it disappeared upward!

I got to thinking: how would I feel if I looked like this?  (Now, now…no smart comments from the peanut gallery!!!!)  Talk about a snout!!!  And the mouth isn’t exactly dainty.  The nostrils are rather too large and the eyes are, well, a bit creepy!  But you know what?  There’s another ray out there somewhere that thinks this is a beauty queen!

Isn’t it great they way that there is someone to love even the most “homely” among us?  I mean, I’m not really anyone’s Brad Pitt or George Clooney (no, really, I’m not!!!! – well, if  you insist, maybe I am!!!!)  But there is someone who loves me in spite of how I look.  How did I get to be so lucky?  I dunno.  But I sure am grateful that she’s able to overlook all my rough edges (like strange eyes, ears, nose, having sleep apnea and requiring a machine at night to sleep, my graying hair and hearing and memory that aren’t as sharp as they once were).  Wow…now that I start to look at that list, it truly is a marvel, isn’t it?

I’m so lucky!!!!  Thanks, babe….

_MG_3685ON THIS DAY IN  HISTORY: on July 16, 1969, at 9:32 a.m. EDT, Apollo 11, the first U.S. lunar landing mission, is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a historic journey to the surface of the moon. After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered into a lunar orbit on July 19.  Of course, the rest, as they say, is history as the late Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out onto the surface of another heavenly body for the first time in human history.  What an exciting time it was!!!!1

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: In ancient Greece , tossing an  apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage. Catching it meant  she accepted.  (I wonder what it meant if she was just a klutz and couldn’t catch?  Could she verbally agree under those conditions?)

 

On the Beach

There was a movie a long time ago titled “On the Beach” that was about post-nuclear holocaust survival and death.  That’s one thing that can happen on the beach, I guess.

Today’s photo was taken on Thursday evening on the beach in Santa Cruz.  It was getting dark but I noticed a couple there that had a camera set up on a tripod and they were taking pictures of themselves with a wireless trigger to fire the flash and camera.  I thought it was sweet…and thought I’d share one of the pictures with you.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend with those you love!

By the way, even though the picture doesn’t look like it was getting dark, it was…I had the ISO turned way up to get this shot, hence the grainy look to the picture!

_MG_2654ON THIS DAY IN  HISTORY: in 1329, Robert the Bruce (famous from the movie Braveheart – he was the guy who had the leprous father and who betrayed William Wallace), himself died of leprosy.  He took the throne in 1306 and was succeeded by David II.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: cheddar, often sold as “American” or store cheese, makes up about two-thirds of all the cheese sold in the United States.

 

 

Love, or Something Like It

I have been very fortunate in my life.  I grew up in a loving, intact family – many don’t.  I was fortunate enough to marry an incredible woman who has loved and cared for me since we met – though I many times certainly haven’t deserved it.  I have the most wonderful children and grandchildren that anyone could ever dream of having.  I don’t for a single nano-second want to minimize the love of these people, and certainly not the love of God for me.  My entire life I’ve been surrounded by solid walls of love.

There have been times, though, when I have let all those people down.  When I could sense their displeasure or disappointment in me for what I’d done or failed to do.  And, there have been times when I was displeased or disappointed in them, too.  I suppose that is part of being human – learning to love in spite of our own mistakes and the mistakes of others.

When it comes to a dog, though, it is love of a different kind.  It is not as lofty in some ways as human love, because it is most likely not as well-thought out or high-minded.  I don’t know the extent to which dogs think.  I don’t know the levels of their awareness compared to humans.  We somehow assume that since they can’t speak that they are not as aware.  I’m not so sure about that.  In some ways we know they are more aware: their sense of hearing, smell, sight…all are far superior to our human senses.  Maybe their minds are much more advanced than we think they are.

Today’s picture is an old one, but one which I love.  It shows Rainie (the yellow-lab mix) and Ramses (our brindle boxer) sharing a “sunshine puddle” on a cool morning.  We got Ramses when Rainie was about 3 years old and she immediately adopted him as her baby…and he was her baby all his life, though he died before she did and got to be significantly larger than she was.  But there was no doubt the love they had for one another or for us, their human mom and dad, and our children. She was his mom, and he was her rock.  Looking at this picture there can be no question that they loved each other.

Sometimes I think that the purest love I’ve ever experienced was from my dogs.  They don’t seem to have any ulterior motive – they just want to give their love away, and if they are loved in return, they’re happy for it.  If only we humans could learn to love so selflessly!

LoveON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1945, an advance force of the US 1st Cavalry, entered Cologne.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: In the Philippines around 1500, the Yo-Yo was a weapon. It consisted of a four pound stone attached to a rope about 20 feet long. Tribesmen used it in two ways. When hunting, they stood off to one side, held one end of the rope and threw the rock towards the legs of an animal. The rope became tangled around the animals legs, and with a tug, the hunter brought the animal down. Against enemies, the stones would be dropped on their heads. The tribesmen would quickly recover the stones, ready for a second blow if necessary.

 

Pipe Dreams of Love

Dreaming of love is something that I believe every human being who has ever lived has done at least once in their life.  Even if they never did it as an adult, they probably dreamed of being loved as a child – though the child may not have put it in such words.

Love, love, love…all we need is love.  Well, I know that’s how the lyrics to some of the love songs from years gone by went, and while it is a lovely sentiment, there’s more to life than love.  But without love, one could argue that life isn’t worth much.  It is love that seems to make it worthwhile.  We need to not only be loved, but to learn to love others, if our lives are to be all they could be.

While on a recent walk with the dog one evening, we went past a pipe that stood vertically up out of the ground in a field.  I suspect it is used somehow for irrigation, but I’m not sure.  But it wasn’t the usage of the pipe that interested me…it was what was printed on the pipe, which is the subject of today’s photo.

Prone as I am to strange thoughts, my first reaction was that some human had painted the words and symbols on the pipe and then probably took his girlfriend for a walk where she might see it.  He was trying to communicate something of his love for her (or hers for him – I don’t know why I assume it was a guy who was responsible for it!).  That was my first thought.  But here’s where it gets weird: what if, just what if it was the pipe itself who put that message there for all of us who walk by?  We know animals can love.  I don’t know about plants or other things like that, but who is to say that a pipe can’t have dreams of love, too?

And, even if it can’t, I’d like to think that love could be so pervasive that plants or pipes or rocks or rivers could in their own way, love, too.  Maybe plants try to show their love to us by giving us shade, or food.  Rivers may do it by the swirling, gurgling sounds they emit.  Rocks by being solid – reassuring.

I realize it’s not likely and probably impossible, but wouldn’t it be great if we all learned and believe that we are all so very special and unique and greatly loved…and if we could learn to love others the same way?

Go hug a pipe!

_MG_0736ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1836, Samuel Colt got the patent for the Colt .45.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: you may think you know what the @ sign is called.  We typically call it that “at” sign.  But it have different names and meanings depending on the language:

For instance, some quirky names for the @ symbol include:

apenstaartje – Dutch for “monkey’s tail”

snabel – Danish for “elephant’s trunk”

kissanhnta –– Finnish for “cat’s tail”

klammeraffe –– German for “hanging monkey”

papaki –– Greek for “little duck”

kukac – Hungarian for “worm”

dalphaengi – Korean for “snail”

grisehale –– Norwegian for “pig’s tail”

sobachka –– Russian for “little dog”

Now I bet you’re sorry you asked!  Oh, wait…you didn’t ask…

The Way of Love

I have recently enjoyed seeing Facebook posts of some of my old co-workers who are experiencing the wonder of a grand child for the first time.  The look on the faces of the women I used to know as they hold their little grand children is utterly delightful.  The love oozes out of their faces and pours itself all over their little ones!

There is something special about the mother and child together.  It is perhaps the purest form of human love…this love of a women for another human being who grew inside of her, who was once part, yet separate, from her.  Mothers and children are beautiful.

Today’s photo is of what I assume is a mother and child.  I took this photo in Mud Fort Slum in Bangalore, India this past June.  The things that mothers do for their little ones defies rationality…but then, that’s the way of love, isn’t it?

MotherAndChildON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1876 in Eastport, Maine, Julius Wolf was credited as being the first person to can sardines.  Now, do you really care?????

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Pennsylvania has the largest rural population in the United States.

All That Glitters

“All that glitters is not gold.”  Have you heard that before?  It’s line from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.  You know, Shakespeare was a pretty wise man, besides being a passable playwright.  There is much wisdom in that brief line (and yes, know the original is “All that glisters is not gold”).  Throughout history it seems that people are tremendously motivated by gold (or in our age, by “green”), relentlessly pursuing bigger and bigger piles of the stuff in an attempt to get rich.  Some have succeeded spectacularly, but most don’t hit the “big time.”  Sadly, in the process they miss what I believe are far greater riches.

Is there anything in the world that can compare to the feel of a child’s arms running to the door to greet you, leaping up into your arms and throwing their tiny arms around you neck and squeezing as hard as they can?  Or the smile on their face when they open a birthday or Christmas present, or a “just because I love you” present?  Can anything equal the loving smile of a wife or husband, or the hug of support during difficult times?  How about the tail-wagging greeting of a beloved dog who literally dances for joy and spins around in circles because you’re home?  What about the wonder of laying outside at night, gazing up in wonder at the vast expanse of the universe, pondering the size and scope, trying to sense the coldness of the deep, black, empty spaces separating stars and galaxies?  You may not enjoy that, but what about music, photography, reading, being with friends?

In our pursuit of gold/green, it is easy to sacrifice things such as these for a few more coin.  And in the process, we often miss out on the most wonderful treasures of all.

Photography is one of the things that gives me joy and fills my life with riches (not of the monetary kind!)  On those occasions when a picture really “pops” and delights me, I revel in it.  Today’s picture is a reminder to me that all that glitters is not gold…

All That Glitters is Not Gold

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 30 BC the foxy chick known to the world as Cleopatra, died.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the smallest mammal in North America is the pygmy shrew.  It weighs less than 1/14th of an ounce – less than a dime.

 

Cool Heart

When you get really excited or something stirs you emotionally, where do you “feel” it?  In New Testament times, there were a couple different beliefs about that.  One idea was that the center of emotions was in the intestines.  Why did they think that?  I suppose it was because of what we call “butterflies”…we even speak of having “butterflies in the stomach.”

There second idea was that emotions were centered in, get this, the kidneys.  I’ve got no explanation for that one!!!

We tend to think of the heart as being related to our emotions.  We talk about being “heart-sick” because we’re so in love, and certainly stress can cause us pain in our chest.

I find that kind of strange, too, because emotions are really in the brain.  It’s just that the brain is so powerful that it affects the rest of the body, too, causing the feelings in the intestines, stomach, heart and kidneys(?).

When I was last walking through Founders Grove along California’s Avenue of the Giants (giant sequoia trees), I came to a very dark area of the forest.  It was an overcast day, which made it even darker…but when you are on the floor of a redwood forest it tends to be a bit dark anyway because the canopy is so far above you that it blocks out much of the sunlight.  I turned a corner and saw interesting contrasts of light and shadow and the wet bark/side of a huge fallen tree.  On the exposed area, a heart had been carved by someone’s pocketknife.  I have to say that I don’t “cotton” much to people doing that, but I thought it made for an interesting picture. It’s a bit to the upper right of the center of the picture…and you can only really make out the left half of the heart because of the light on the right side of the heart.

Share it with someone  you love!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1938, Kate Smith sang “God Bless America” for the first time.  It would become her signature song.  Irving Berlin had composed it in 1917, but it had never been performed until Ms. Smith sang in on this day.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the concealed lace basketball was introduced in 1927.  Prior to that, the laces were on the outside and it would bounce crazily when the laces hit the floor.  Ah, it took a real man to play the game in those days!