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River Walk

River WalkIt’s nice that the city of Milwaukee has enabled recreation along the river.  Whether it’s a bright winter’s afternoon, or a sweltering summer the lapping of the current along the docks and boardwalk make for a quiet escape from city hustle-bustle.

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What a cool ride-over at night.

Charleston, SC, The Arthur Ravennel Bridge Illuminated at night.

 

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Ravennel Bridge at Night

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I have been thinking about this image for a few days now.  With all that is going on about the sale of the house, the sale of the spare car, getting the estate sale going, and downsizing this image keeps coming to mind. It’s an image I did nearly a decade ago but it haunts me.  In a good way.

There is always one moment…  sometimes in childhood, but not always.

There is always one moment; sometimes we realize it at the time; other times we don’t. The import of that moment strikes us after the fact when we realize we have started down a new path that we may not even realize we have taken.

There is always one moment; change always has a starting point.  There was a time when we were not…. and now we are. Decisions may take time to make, but when they are made everything is forever different.

When the door opens we dont always get what we think we want.  But we get what we have put in motion.  Sometimes it’s the small actions we take that gradually qualify us for something until we have overcome the resistance and what we want is ours.  Other times we take actions that disqualify us from something.  The person who blithely gets a tattoo in a publicly viewable location and then blames everyone else because they are now considered “unemployable.”  We may take a course of study at university and graduate with honors and because of them we have employment opportunities opened to us that others envy.  Or we may get drunk the night before an exam and end up flunking out of a course, and postpone our graduation an entire year. All the doors don’t open or close because of huge, carefully thought out actions; sometimes it’s the casual comment to a co-worker that’s taken as harassment that ruins our chances, or the time the boss said, “we’ll take care of that” when what he really meant was that you’ll take care of it — and you don’t.

Decisions are huge for me.  I take them seriously.  Sometimes my friends have felt as if I’ve done a 180 on them and have not understood;  I wont say I’ve ever been sorry that I was misunderstood — I guess I’m just a serious guy who takes commitment seriously.  And when one of those moments comes along, when I realize that life has change and will never go back to what it was before: then I welcome the change and enter into whatever life has in store for me.

Anyway…. I hope you enjoy it.

Images, Quotations

Always One Moment

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Images, Old Diary

82 Days to Go

Yesterday was fun!

It was foggy and took us a long time to feel awake — not that we ever really did … but we put on a good show of it.

Often we have a little larger breakfast on Saturdays; but I ate so much on Friday with the family here that I wasn’t hungry in the morning. Peg had some granola and I puttered around until almost noon before I got hungry.  When we finally started thinking about real food the most logical choice seemed bread and gravy.

Now, that may not sound exciting to you who are under 50, but I have to tell you, bread and gravy is comfort food for both Peg and myself.  It was big in our family when we were kids.  We didn’t inflict it on Kathryn much (that I remember) but there really isn’t anything quite as wonderful as the simple satisfaction of something made from almost nothing that has so much flavor!  We had a few biscuits from the night before, and a couple cups of real pot roast gravy — it made the perfect lunch. Not light by any stretch — which caused me to change the menu for dinner — but satisfying never the less.

Strolling in the fog

Much of the morning had been fogged in.  For a while we could hardly see the neighbor’s house and the school next door was pretty well lost in the fog.  Around noon as the sun began burning off some of the fog we decided on a walk.  Because it was chilly after our recent warm weather we thought we’d walk at the Wehr Nature Center.  But as we drove West the fog and clouds got more ominous and we decided to opt for the marina and Lakeside State Park; what a happy change of direction.

Happy because the city was really magical along the lake. And because we took the time to walk out on the War Memorial patio, where I haven’t ventured in a long time.  We walk at the Marina a couple times a week; usually along the water.  We don’t often go up to the street level and the deck of the War Memorial Building — in fact I don’t think I’ve walked out there in several years. But we did yesterday and I was glad for the change.   We saw Milwaukee’s small chunk of the 9/11 tragedy – something I didn’t even now was there. That served as a good reminder of things we have to be thankful for.

After our walk we headed back home to make homemade pizza.  I added sesame seeds to the dough, and a mixture of pizza seasons — also into the dough.  An hour and a half later we had dough — I like the dough cycle from our breadmaker — and half an hour after that we had PIZZA!  I love that word.  Sometimes I think it should be shouted like the word “Op-pah” that the Greeks have.   It’s just such a joyous sound! (the fact that I have definite psychological attachments to the word is irrelevant.)

The Process of Travel Planning

So, let’s go back to the subject of HOW to plan our travels.  Following the seasons sound interesting but how do you do it? The easy answer is have experience.  But lacking real experience of what different places are like during the varying seasons one begins to research.  That’s what we were doing last evening.

If you haven’t found it yet, The Weather Channel has some helpful CLIMATE information in addition to WEATHER information. They frequently change their site around so I wont give you a link, but you can usually find it under the tab Monthly > averages.  For Peg and I, we are comfortable (maybe near the top of our comfort range without A/C with the temperatures we typically have in Milwaukee/Cudahy. So, our solution is to use the TWC charts to help us eliminate areas that might be excessively warm during the summer or excessively cold during the winter (for us).

To be truthful, we aren’t really sure what we will find “too cold.”  I think that will end up being a function of how we like sleeping in Journey at various temperatures.  She does have a good furnace — but if you have ever slept in any RV you’ll know that RV furnaces love to move lots of air and lots of moving air makes a lot of noise.  Some of the high cost new RV’s actually have in the floor hydronics — but no on our 2002 model.  So, we will live with a noisy heating system for quite some time.

It’s easy to see that we’ll probably spent July’s and Augusts in areas like the Northern 1/2 of MT, ND, ID, MI, MN, WI, NY, ME, OR, WA.  That’s almost too simple.  But adding elevation to latitude has the same effect such that some places as far south as AZ and NM have similar summer temps to Wisconsin.  Our goal is to enjoy life in new and exciting places, not just to do a lot of driving, so we are looking for solutions that can minimize our travels while simultaneously maximizing comfort.

Regions can surprise.  I have long been fascinated with the Oregon Coast. We have never been able to spend much time there, but would like very much to do so.  Their temperature graph is much flatter than ours — Hooray — they don’t get as much hot or cold.  But boy oh boy do they get the rain.  There’s good reason an Oregon Highway Patrolman once told me that Oregonians don’t tan, they rust!

We aren’t making decisions right now.  We are doing research.  As I have said, where we head for the first weeks and months will depend completely on whether we close on schedule and how we feel then.

Many of these are things I have thought about for a while now; but they are all pretty much brand new to Peg.  Smart lady though she is, she doesn’t like being disappointed and as a result she tends not to let herself dream about things until they can be accomplished.  So, she’s just getting started picking places she wants to go.

No matter what either of us puts on our to-go-map for both of us it’s really about just being together. We have never let where we are be the sole determinant of how we feel;  we enjoy a little exploration, a little wandering, we are “easily amused” if you will.  But most of all we are a couple — and we enjoy each 0ther — so no matter where we end up I’m sure we’ll have a good time.

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Signs of Faith

I’m not exactly a team player.  I don’t get sports and I’m self employed — so working with huge numbers of people on long term projects aren’t a normal part of my life.

Yet, I admire the enterprises of life that produce long lasting results.

And among the most fascinating examples of humanity is the dedication of average people to funding, building and maintaining mammoth churches. It’s a testimony to the importance of faith for a great man people.

This particular example is not particularly large, it’s neither the newest nor oldest example of the ‘genre’.  It’s located in Santa Fe.

I love the appearance of this old church. Wonderful masonry.  A lovely contrast with the sky above and the darker stone wall that maintains the 4 foot high plateau on which the church sits.

Next time you’re in Santa Fe, stop by for a visit.

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Scaffolding

This image troubled me. I didn’t know whether to convert it to B&W or not. It’s what I’d usually do with a shot like this.

Art is about choices.

The image is more powerful in black & white, and that was the problem. I didn’t want an image of power, I wanted on about waiting; about the endless hours of standing in place waiting for workmen to come and do their job so this scaffold could be taken down and once again stored away.

The scene is the Milwaukee City Hall. It’s Flemish Renaissance
architecture is beautiful, but the building was raised on a site that took Milwaukee City Fathers 7 years to accept when it was first donated to the city as the site for a city hall.

Anytime it takes 7 years to decide whether to accept a gift it seems to me that waiting is a big part of the city’s personality.

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Calatrava Interior

Architecture is not only functional, it’s also beautiful. At least it is to some of us. 🙂

A recent opportunity to photograph interiors of the Calatrava Wing of the Milwaukee Art Musuem netted this image.

It’s a HDR version of the central foyer.

Patterns, texture, repetitions: they are what life is all about.  Our lives pass with a texture unique to the individual. Our history, genetics, and education determine the patterns, or route we take through life.  And our character determines the decisions we repeat over and over again.

From overview to detail study the interior view offers detail upon detail for us to pay attention to, and the positioning of the exterior wings changes those patterns by the moment.

Architecture is a metaphor for life.

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