A Picture Called “Fate”

I’ve been sorting old pictures. This is one from long ago. The bride — yes I have numerous pictures of her and the groom, eating cake, being toasted, smiling into each other’s eyes. I have no idea how it all came out, but here’s a little reminder, left on one of the tables at the reception…

In the next few weeks, I’ll be trying to get back to this. A look at this semi-distant past seemed appropriate.

More Welcomes

Some houses just look welcoming.


On a recent trip to another state, I got to thinking about this and took a little walk to see what welcomes I could spy.


In the suburbs, doorways seem to be a specialty. But other thing attract too.


Maybe I wasn’t welcome to use this equipment, but it certainly looked inviting. As did this:


And some places are just attractive.


Others let you know if you’re somebody they would welcome:


But others are more oblique. This was my favorite. I don’t know what it means, but it sure feels welcoming. rotterdam-four



From Wikipedia Commons
From Wikipedia Commons

The welcome mat above resembles one I used to have outside my door, but this post is not about welcome mats. Rather it’s about some other ways that people make other people feel free to knock on their doors, or at least, look at them.


The rest of the photos in this post were all taken in my neighborhood, on a sultry summer day. welcome-four

I like this one, because it seems so inviting. I’ve always been a fan of Victorian photography, especially those pictures everybody rushed out to take because, well, they could (which I suppose is what we still do). They have a way of looking quaint, sometimes exotic, but really, they were just what was all around.


The emblems of everyday living.welcome-three

I especially liked the gnome, lurking in the far left corner.


And I very much admire both the topiary and the planters here.

welcome-sixBut this is my favorite. What is more welcoming than happiness? May all our days be filled with grand announcements!

One September


It’s National Chicken Boy Day today! Never mind. You can look it up. Also National No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day. Seriously? The words which are claimed to be not able to be rhymed are: orange (everybody knows that one, right?), month, silver, spirit, chimney, purple, and woman. Woman? Immediately I found myself wanting to rhyme with yeoman, but, sigh. That’s how I am. When I see those words I want to make up rhymes for them. You know: sporrage, somth, cliver, chitteny, slurple and oh, well. Yes, kidding. Sort of.


Monday, the day I was supposed to update this (too tired from traveling, too busy catching up) was National Toasted Marshmallow Day. Which for some reason, these clouds make me think of. You know …


the really burnt kind. These are late August clouds and not at all the harbingers of storm they might look like.

clouds-3Especially this one, which was what made me grab my camera.


I was ready to say “Saw it coming!” But it was going somewhere else.


There’s a moral in there someplace, like, “Don’t always think it’s going to rain,” but never mind. There’s always rain coming somewhere. 

And these guys like it. Happy National First Day of September.


On August Twenty-second

on this day onemagesa lot of terrible things happened and some good ones too, depending on your viewpoint. For example, in 1485, King Richard III of England lost the War of the Roses, perhaps for the want of a shoe. That was good news for the other side, of course. In 1567, the Duke of Alba, who, I guess, everybody would agree was a pretty terrible person, established the “Council of Blood” in order to facilitate a reign of

The Duke of Alba
The Duke of Alba

terror in the Netherlands.  August 22 was quiet again for a few years until the English claimed Australia when Captain James Cook landed there in 1770. That was a just five years before King George had to proclaim, on August 22, 1777, that the American colonies were in open rebellion. Well, claim some, lose some.

In 1762, Ann Franklin became the editor of the Mercury, a

Ann Franklin
Ann Franklin

newspaper in Newport, Rhode Island. Striking a blow for women everywhere, as it were, she was the first female editor of an American newspaper. She didn’t exactly come up through the ranks though. Rather, she inherited the job from her husband — but perhaps she had been doing it all along. Yes,  she was related to Ben Franklin.

In 1902, Theodore Roosevelt took note of technological progress and campaigned in a motor car, the first time ever. That must have been something to see and it did get photographed..

Theodore Roosevelt Campaigning 1902
Theodore Roosevelt Campaigning 1902

In 1906, the Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden, N. J. began manufacturing the hand-cranked Victrola with horn. The one-room school I went to as a child had one of those, probably not one of the earlier models — but you never know. I wish I had a picture of it. It was always a great honor to be the child selected to turn the crank. Meanwhile, the rest of the U.S. already had electrical phonograph machines. We were not to know that. Or maybe we did.

The U. S. annexed New Mexico  on August 22 in 1846. We have to think of that as good news. On this same day in 1910, the Japanese annexed Korea, but with less future luck.  Somebody stole the Mona Lisa in 1911, but it reappeared two years later.

Althea Gibson
Althea Gibson

What a day! In 1932 the BBC began broadcasting. On this day in 1942, Hitler invaded Leningrad. In 1950 Althea Gibson became the first black tennis player to be accepted into national competition. 1950? she said. Oh yeah. In 1972 Rhodesia was asked to withdraw from the 20th Olympic Games because of racism not steroids. Henry Kissinger, who won the Nobel peace Prize (though not on August 22 ) was named Secretary of State by Richard Nixon. The last Volkswagen Rabbit was produced in 1984. I had a used Volkswagen Rabbit from 1973  to  about 1976, a wonderful car that rusted all around me till I had to give up on it, but that was not in August. No picture either, alas.

Karen Silkwood  won her case in 1986. Howard Stern began broadcasting on CBS in 1998 and in 2004 somebody stole “The Scream” by Edvard Munch. How busy the world is! Meanwhile, some of us are still on vacation.


But summer is winding down.


Hope it’s still blooming for you.

Close Study


Every so often, Jean Sampson, painter and teacher (& poet too) sets up a still-life for her class at the McGuffey Art Center. And every so often, I get to photograph it.


They intrigue me, these set-ups, designed to give every student in the room something to focus on. I walk around and take them from different angles.


How I wish I could draw or paint these wonderful confections. They have a still and calm demeanor, which tells me they must be sure of their attraction.


How could they not be? They have been designed to be loved by the eye.


I hope yours has liked seeing them too. Here by the way, is a little snapshot of the painter herself.

jean sampson