Sunday, September 30, 2018

political pause

post #399
       Even as I look out on blue skies for a second day, after rain, rain, rain, I find that I remain caught up in the current wrenching display of wounds to the core democracy that supposedly defines our nation.  
      In honor of all those who are finding their voice, and in recognition of all the work that still needs to be done to inspire greater empathy among all of us, I feel the minimum I can do today is say a few words myself, instead of sharing photos as usual.
      These are not usual times, and I, for now, trust they are not some kind of new norm.
      My understanding is that those who make it to a confirmation hearing for a place on the US Supreme Court prepare for that day almost their whole life. I would think not being welcomed with open arms once the time comes could feel like a huge repudiation of hard work and the definition of self. I suspect that there has not been equal emphasis along the way on learning to cope if, for some reason -- and there are many possible reasons, as a matter of course -- the actual appointment does not actually happen. It would seem that somewhere along the way, some candidates soak up the idea that he or she is entitled to the appointment. 
       Of course women are not so likely to experience that entitlement aspect of the preparation because they have been barred until recently for even a place at the table. 
       It is also my understanding that the rant we heard on Thursday from Judge Kavanaugh, beyond the pain he was clearly experiencing for not being welcomed with those open arms, was so full of partisan rancor that it revealed his truer motivation. He is supposed to be the knight in shining armor designated by his "clan" to cement deeply conservative ideology on the Supreme Court. He doesn't want to be the one to disappoint the team.
       He has also made some pretty dicey explanations, under oath, that defy common sense. Perhaps his team doesn't call him on his inaccuracies because they would act the same way were they in his shoes? Or are lies now so commonplace in our public discourse that they're barely worthy of mention? 
       Maybe one big question is whether we are still able to value the truth when we hear it! I happen to think that the testimony by Dr. Ford on Thursday was filled with honesty. I think that is one reason why so many found her public statements compelling. And generous. She clearly did it not for herself but to have the information out there for consideration. 
       Since I am blessed with many friends over my lifetime, I can share that one of them called me Friday to let me know, for the first time, what happened to her 12 year old self. She has tried over the years to get into the habit of not remembering it. It's not like a badge. I'm so glad she's finally speaking about it. I thank her for her trust and, as always, for her friendship. 
Probably this post has enough words for now. Thank you for reading this through.  Ann

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Great Britain wrap-up -- for 2018

post #398
        By now it's more than two weeks since I have returned from England, yet I remain in transition. I haven't yet come to terms with my new relationship with the British Isles.  I do know the light over there is amazing -- a photographer's friend -- though because it's closer to the North Pole, there are more hours of darkness in the winter. However, as always, I'd like to express my appreciation for all the fine and fun folks I have met there over the years, the main reason my connection will remain for many more years. 
        These remaining photos from two weeks ago were made in the little bit of time I had that week to be out and about with my camera. 

SO, this is where I left off last week -- about to walk to High Street via Peelers Close:

 I was looking for some protein to fill out my leftovers at the apartment, but, really, a hunk of cheese, no matter how amazing, is not a good option when the next day requires 22 hours of traveling and the scrutiny of TWO Customs and Security lines, the first one in London and the next one after arriving in Detroit.

    This new small shop in Chipping Campden also sells fresh cut meat, and has vegetables as well. I'm afraid this town is catering more and more for the many tourists than for the random hungry residents..... but they were more than tolerant of my American self.

    I wanted to walk home the scenic way, over this creek that runs through town, where for days I had been wowed by the fullness of these flowers.  The next two photos were made from the little bridge that crosses over the creek.  Well, maybe it's not called a creek in England.

These homes back up on the creek.  The English love of gardens is legendary, and it lasts during every month of the year:

I guess this limb, in a front yard, could be said to have a pair of pears.

The solar panels caught my attention as well.  Then I looked more closely at who was in the window.

Sure looks like Shakespeare to me...   He made me laugh, in any case.

          The next day I headed for home.  I was picked up around 7 p.m. at the Lexington airport by my dear daughter, since driving myself home, with over an hour on the interstate, after such a long day without sleep, has never been a good idea.  
       After that first night's sleep, I absolutely needed to drive to town, for a dental appointment. When I started to get in my car -- left for several days in my very basic shed -- I discovered this enormous web, complete with its workaholic spider.  I hated having to destroy everything, so the least I could do was to make this photo in honor of all that deft design work which welcomed me home.

         I will get back to add to this post after I check with friends in England about what a creek is called, and, from last week, what is the story behind "Peeler's Close."  Thanks!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Back home and back to weekly posts!

post #397
      NOTE: Here is the post I did last weekend but never "published." I will blame that error on Brain Fog after my long trip. Part 2 will now come next week. I am prolonging my trip....

       I have seen more rain in Kentucky in the three days I have been back than I did in a week in England!  Today's storms have kept me more on task, though, I have to admit.  I even decided to go back to weekly posts after the summer of posting every other week.  I want to share some more England photos, in honor of the fifty years I have been visiting there to see my father and stepmother. (I have of course gone over there more than once a year only in the last ten years, when my stepmother began not to be able to make that long trip to the USA, "over the pond.")
       I figure I spent 20 hours on Thursday [September 6], from the time I left Chipping Campden at 7:30 a.m. until I got back home, in time to go to bed here at 10:30 p.m. -- which was 3:30 a.m. in England. It takes two two hour rides to or from airports and two flights each way, via Detroit. All went well in the end during the entire trip, and for once I didn't leave anything behind -- anywhere. YEA.

        After gathering the photos I want to share, I only have time to post half of them this week, and I will do the other half next week -- yes, I'll be returning to posting EVERY WEEK.

I was surprised while at the dining table!  but no rain!!

along High Street, in Chipping Campden

along Sheep Street, close to where my stepmother lived

flowers below the above flowers....

I had a short last day visit with wonderful Peggy and David

in Peggy's garden,

where I was totally taken with the beauty of David's hand, so I took a quick photo on the sly, before heading for High Street

via this town path, Peelers Close, for some fixins' for dinner....
               Next week I promise more photos of the short time I had in town with my camera.
       Thanks for sharing this trip with me, which, this time, had greater poignancy than ever.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

in England, unexpectedly

post #396
       Last week my stepmother died, at age 90. She is English, and lived in England, and so that is where I have been. My two sisters and I have had a full and busy time, and Robin in particular has worked hard to prepare the apartment for sale. But tonight I went out for a short late evening walk, along the sidewalks of this lovely old village that I have shown photos of before, from earlier visits. I will miss the kind friends made here over the years and the many people who have been so supportive of us during this transition time.

First, an evening sky in the days before leaving to make the trip,

and the morning sky as I started out for the Lexington airport. Somehow that most delicate of rainbows felt like a good omen.  (Thanks, A.S., for the fun ride to the airport!!)

  around the nearby corner of Sheep Street and High Street....

front door of the church

several gardens along the street:

          And last but not least in the neighborhood is the very popular Volunteer Inn.
LOCATION: near the church and the LOWER HIGH STREET sign. Perhaps there are a few jokes made by the juxtaposition of sign and pub, since the Inn is essentially an English pub, shown here, with a wonderful Indian Restaurant on the back side of the building.  I think most of their food sales are take-out, like ours will be tomorrow night!  

There's a big world out there, and I am grateful I have had these chances to experience different places and different ways of doing things.  Even so, I'm looking forward to being home very soon.