WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – AN UNUSUAL POV

I went out looking for a computer last week.  This was NOT the one I purchased, but  the computer techi-guy that runs this place has an unusual POV when it comes to equipment.  This piece of psychedelic funk was sitting in the window.  I clicked and moved on, but not without a smile on my face. 

Actually, I’m not sure it’s a computer, but I’m sure there are not too many electronic bits of equipment like it.  Interesting POV or quirky kind of guy?

computer

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WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – FOCUS

Focus.  Yeah, you!

That’s what Cheri Lucas Rowlands is asking us to work on this week.  IN A NEW POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO DEMONSTRATING THE CONCEPT OF FOCUS.

So when Jeff and I got home from a Phillies’ game Friday night, and he backed the Kia up into the driveway, I was thrilled that I focused in on this critter just in the knick of time.  Somehow, without even realizing it, my husband came to a stop before destroying this magnificent creation. I was going to walk around the back of the vehicle, but  lucky for me,  Jeff had his foot on the brake.  The red glow illuminated the web enough for me to see it, stop, grab my phone, and focus.  Phew!

focus spider

 And, yes, he stopped right smack dab on the web.  Or did the web stop him?

Visit WordPress by clicking on the icon below and see what other photographers have focused in on.

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WEEKLY WRITING CHALLENGE – 1,000 WORDS

This is in response to Michelle Weber’s WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge.  And no, I haven’t done this before, but I’ve always wanted to finish something I’ve started when it came to writing.  Well here it is.  Done.  You look at the photo prompt, write, link to WordPress, and voila!  Now THIS was a challenge!  I hope you enjoy reading as much I enjoyed writing (completing) it.

Waiting

Waiting

Waiting

Maria sat listlessly scrunched between the turtle that had lost his shell and the horse she had secretly named Snow White.  Every day of the entire sweltering summer, she waited for Bobby to show up for work at her dad’s modest bodega. He would help unload the heavy boxes and stock the grocery shelves.  Maria’s dad could no longer lift and pull and stack and load after he had been injured in a fall last year.  He was big and strong then, but he looked different now.

Back then he would grab hold of the giraffe’s neck out in front of the store and run in circles as she sat on Snow White’s brilliant yellow saddle.  The ride would whirl with such great speed, causing Maria to hold tight with both hands and squeeze her knees against the horse’s barrel.  She would throw back her head and laugh until tears streamed across her cheeks.  That’s how fast Poppy would push.  So fast she could hardly catch her breath.

This was the summer that Maria fell in love with Bobby.   It was a pure and innocent love.  Bobby was like the brother she had worshipped before he went away to fight in a war she knew nothing about.  Nothing except that it took her brother, Marc forever away from her.

In the days before the war, Marc would help at the bodega every chance he had and he would twirl Maria around on the brightly colored carousel as much as time would allow.  But then he left. Momma tried to keep things going.  She tried to help Poppy the best way she knew how, but when Marc didn’t come back, momma got sick and had to stay in bed.  She was sad all the time and Poppy worked harder and harder each day. Still, he couldn’t keep up. And the carousel sat motionless as the days passed.

Fall turned into winter, then spring and except for the occasional spin it would get when someone walked by grabbing hold of the giraffe’s neck, the ride rarely whirled at all.

After Poppy’s accident, and with momma staying in bed most of the day, Maria would scrunch herself between the turtle and the pretty white horse a lot.  Things were so different, until Bobby came along.

From the first day at the bodega, Bobby grabbed hold of the ride and ran Maria in circles every chance he could.  She would hold tight and laugh and cry those same joyous tears.  Bobby would laugh, too. But then he’d need to get back to stocking shelves, or helping customers, and Maria would sit on the edge of the carousel, waiting for the next ride to begin.  She could hear Bobby whistling as he rolled the cart, burdened with boxes of colorful, fresh fruit.  It always seemed like he was happy, and that made Maria happy, too.

He made her almost forget how heartbroken she was. Almost.

Now the summer was a thing of the past.  School had begun and Bobby needed to be there instead of at Poppy’s bodega.  On his last day of work, he had promised her he’d be back to see her, but school had started a month ago and Bobby hadn’t returned.

Poppy was struggling to keep things together.  Boxes sat unopened.  Some of the shelves were bare.  He said he was trying to get some help, but he always had an excuse as to why he wouldn’t hire the boys that came looking for work.  Maria thought it was because he loved Bobby too, but she never said this to him.  If that was the reason, she understood.

Next year it would be Maria’s turn to go to school and then who would scrunch between the turtle and the horse? Since Bobby left, Maria had begun telling the animals on the carousel stories about Marc.  She told of the time the ride had been delivered to the store and asked if any of them remembered that day.  She reminded the tiger how he was Marc’s favorite and, how her brother had looked so silly sitting on the bright orange cat, his long legs dangling off the side of the carousel.  She asked the giraffe if he missed Poppy playing with them, and apologized for his absence.  She explained that he was busy, what with Marc and Bobby both gone.  She said she would spend as much time as she could with them because once she went to school, she didn’t know how often she would get to play.  She said she was sorry that Bobby wasn’t around to push them anymore, and then she cried.

Late in the fall and too tired to run the bodega alone, Poppy hired a boy to help. But Maria didn’t like him.  He never smiled and complained that the work was too hard.  He would wander out back more often than he should, and light up a cigarette while Poppy unloaded groceries and struggled to stock shelves.  Maria thought Poppy should fire the boy, but, then who would lift the heavy boxes and climb the ladder to stock things up high.  “Even bad help was better than no help at all,” she would hear Poppy telling customers who complained about the boy’s lazy ways.

Things were just so different.

Then, one day, while sitting on the edge of the carousel, scrunched between the turtle and the horse, Maria heard a familiar whistle.  She was sure it was her imagination.  In her child’s world, too much time had gone by and she had told herself he’d broken his promise.  Maria wouldn’t allow herself to think that the sound was real and that it could be.  But the whistle got closer and then there, rounding the corner she could see Bobby.  He smiled at Maria and gestured for her to hop up on Snow White.  Without hesitation and like no time had passed, she grabbed hold of the horse’s reigns and braced herself for a whirl on the bright carousel.

Click on the icon below to visit the WordPress Writing Challenge.

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WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – CAREFREE

What’s more carefree than a child of three…

carefree at three

I don’t even remember “three” but I’m sure I didn’t have a care in the world then either.

Or even at five…

carefree

Do you recall the last time you had that “free as a bird”, “not a care in the world”, “it just doesn’t matter” feeling?  I hope, just for a few moments at least, these darling’s gave you that feeling again.

carefree 2

Thanks to Sheri Bigelow at WP for the magical challenge.

Visit WordPress by clicking on the icon below.  Get a few more seconds of carefree.  Breathe…

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WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – FORESHADOW

This week, Krista Stevens, of WordPress fame, has ask that we show our interpretation of “foreshadow”.   Her photo was fabulous.  Her examples, right on, but I still wasn’t sure I understood (duh!).  I went to my trusty dictionary, and this is what it said:  foreshadow: 1. to show or indicate beforehand.

Seems straight foreward enough.

I searched my photos and decided this fit the bill.

foreshadow

And yes.  This was an indication that a TREMENDOUS amount of rain was heading our way.

Visit Krista, and others at WordPress.  I predict you’ll know the meaning of foreshadow and never forget it.  Click on the icon below…

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WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – MASTERPIECE

Yesterday, I rousted my self up bright and early.  I hadn’t been doing that lately, and I was determined to get up and walk to the beach before the noon day sun made its way across the sky.  I’ve been lazy.  Ugh!

The beach has been revamped since the Hurricane Sandy devastation, so it’s been a trek in itself to get from the seawall to the water’s edge, but my feet finally touched down on the ripples by 6:45.  I walked with the sun to my back.  There were a few runners, walkers, fishermen, and dogs.  It had its usual meditative quality.  That’s a good thing and it made for a great morning.

I could feel the sun on my shoulders and hear gulls laughing.  They were laughing at me.  They have seen me there enough times, trying like crazy to get off a picture of one of them that I thought worthy of publishing on my post.  Those birds are fast!

The heat sensation was stronger than their mocking laughter, so I turned to look, ignoring those little hyenas.   Gulls were circling, coasting, dive-bombing.  This time, I wasn’t concerned with getting off a shot of them. 

No matter what your beliefs, no matter how you imagine we got here, no matter how you think this was created, this world, my friends, is a masterpiece.

beach morning

Click the icon below and visit WordPress for more of what the world sees as masterpiece.

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WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – FRESH!

Talk about a bit of a “fresh” stretch…

I was made in Italy.  My mom and dad, both born there, brought me over to a U.S. hospital  in one of the more unconventional ways.  They arrived on Ellis Island in July and I was born in Newark, N.J. a few months later.  As you might imagine, they spoke little to no English and I spent my formative years listening to and then speaking in Italian.  This may seem like it has nothing to do with this week’s challenge, so a short explanation is due.

Because of the language and custom differences, I learned some things a bit differently than most American kids.  I (and not due to bad parenting) was allowed to sip vino rosso at the age of four.  I’m not saying I pitched a load, but I got a sip here and there.  This probably attributed to my love of ova, both bianco and rosso.  I, to this day say “gravy” instead of sauce.  I have gravy on my pasta and pizza.  Yum!

Here’s where the challenge comes in.  If I ever had the audacity to disrespect my dad or mom, either in words or actions, I was told not to be cativa.  Later, mom learned another word for cativa.  Fresh!  “Don’t be fresh!”  “That’s fresh!”  “I don’t like when you are fresh!”  That one word has stayed with me for 60 plus years, and today I am still using “fresh” to mean cativa (or cativo if I’m referring to a male.) Enter, my grandson.

The adorable, but feisty three year old came up  from Georgia this month with mom and dad, along with his 10 year old brother and 7 year old sister.  Well, feisty got the best of him and he thought he could haul off and slug nona.  Not gonna happen!  So after a few “don’t be fresh”es, and “that was fresh”, someone landed in a fresh load of time out!

DON'T BE FRESH!

DON’T BE FRESH!

When it was all over, we talked a little.  Mom and dad covered a few rules that should NOT be broken, and the consequences that come with disrespect.   I hinted that I’d put him in Rocky’s cage the next time he was fresh.  Apparently, he thought that was a reward and not a consequence.

Not so FRESH!  Just cute.

Not so FRESH! Just cute.

He put himself in the cage and gave me a great big smile.  I think he misunderstood “fresh” and “consequences”.  I’ll have to try again.  Maybe in another language.

Fresh means many things to many people.  Click on the WordPress icon below for more on “Fresh”.

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