So often in life, one wonders if they would have changed their past if they had current information. In this month, September 2020, we are at least six months into the Covid 19 epidemic. There is debate about when the government became aware of it’s presence and there are still citizens who don’t want to believe that it exists despite the over 170, 000 fellow citizens who have died from the virus.
I believe the Covid 19 virus exists and I have behaved accordingly. I wear a mask in public, I wash my hands constantly, use sanitizer on all appropriate things and avoid crowds too. The thing is, despite all of my precautions, it is still possible that I might become infected. The only thing that I can be sure of is the way that I think and feel about what is going on around me.
I have fought cancer twice in my life. I was afraid of dying from it; despite my being a person of faith. My fear of course, was of the unknown. What I did then is the same thing that I am doing now; I do what is recommended by science experts and I remind myself of the wonderful experiences that I have had in life. My goal is not to prepare to die, but to be content with my life in the present. Worry is not a helpful emotion.
So, I am acknowledging that the country is a little crazy right now and there are all sorts of disturbing events occurring. Yet, I am alive to experience it all and to control what I can. I will continue to share love and seek joy (often while wearing a mask!) As for the rest…who knows?
There is an virus that has been traveling through the world creating havoc and loss and brought with it fear and pain. I won’t spend time here giving details about it because any one reading this should already know. There are articles and broadcasts bombarding us everyday and we have to choose what to do with this information. I have decided to do a number of things as I ride out this pandemic. You will read about some of them if you return for a visit and I am still here. Right now, I’m back and I’m still here.
I haven’t posted for a long, long, time. I think I lost my passion to share when I realized that so much of what is posted on the net is posted specifically for financial gain. I believe in the right to make money. I love dressing teddy bears for special occasions and selling them. I thought that doing so was a reasonable thing to do since I was already talking about things in my life that I find interesting. The problem is that the web, in general, is so “in your face” that I started to feel uncomfortable. I felt too small to be interesting so I stopped.
Now that I am home quarantining and it has been about eight weeks, I am doing what many of you are doing; reassessing the way that I live and use my time. This is one of the ironies of COVID-19, if you manage to stay healthy, you have time on your hands.
Oh, sure I have plenty to do but there also a lot of things that I cannot do since the state of Massachusetts is shut down. I have the same 24 hours that I used to have but I’m not using time to travel, run lots of errands and other things. I can use that time in another way and I have decided to use some of it to get back to blogging. I want to share stories about some of what I am doing because I can’t come see you and you might be wondering about me or just getting to know me- since you probably have some time right now too. Try to stay safe and healthy. That’s what I’m doing. Hello again but bye for now.
This past weekend we had a wonderful time with our friends at Plum Island. Plum Island is located in northern Massachusetts, near Newburyport. It is a barrier island and famous for birds. The last couple of years, a large population of snowy owls has been at Plum Island, and we had hoped to see some. When we got to Plum Island, the weather conditions were not conducive to birding, it was windy and cold, and most birds seem to have been sheltered somewhere. The exception were some seagulls, which didn’t seem to mind the wind or cold.
After driving down the road towards the southern tip of the island, we decided to walk along a beautiful trail, which led to the water on the side away from the ocean. The only birds we saw there were seagulls dropping clams on the rocks in an attempt to crack them open.
Much to my surprise, I was able to get a different perspective on a seagull.
While it was still windy, the sun started to break through the clouds and created a shimmering sheen on the water.
While we did not see any snowy owls as we had hoped for, we enjoyed the beautiful landscape, which is one of my favorite places.
For the last couple of months I have enjoyed using public transportation in order to go to work. It feels so good not having to drive on our congested highways here in the Boston area. Now I can take commuter rail and subway to get to work.
Naturally my environment has changed, and I am seeing new things, which is always exciting as photographer. When I have more time, I sometimes like to walk across the Longfellow Bridge, which connects Boston and Cambridge. Over the last couple of years the bridge has been completely restored and now looks very beautiful. The photos I am sharing today are of Longfellow Bridge.
It has been a long time since I was here. I have no excuse but I do have a reason- I have a grandson who is turning one year old tomorrow, April 27, 2017!
I will not post a picture of him yet though he fills the pages of my Facebook account. Yep, he’s adorable and takes up a lot of my time- time that I willingly and gratefully give.
When my son and daughter were both infants, I remember being concerned that I wouldn’t have enough love to go around. I wasn’t long out of childhood myself and thank God I was wrong. My love expanded and continues to grow to this day. Now of course, I have a love for my grandson that is made up of emotion and lot’s of life experience.
He started life with deficits. There were lots of doctors telling my daughter and son-in-law that things were not right with this pregnancy. They said that the baby was very small and had very small limbs. The couple was frightened and so were my husband and I but they were determined to birth this baby and love it no matter what. Oh yeah, they also didn’t want to know the gender!
My son-in-law has a very demanding and public intensive job and I was asked to accompany my daughter to many appointments. I consider that experience a gift. We cried together, laughed together, and most importantly for us, we prayed together. Not prayers that we have a perfect baby, but prayers that we be able to be the best family ever for this baby and yes of course we’d be truly happy if there were no major abnormalities. We wanted the baby desperately despite it’s condition.
I can’t make this story any shorter but I can get to the point; last April my daughter was ordered into the hospital and the baby was delivered six weeks early. He was tiny at 3 pounds and several ounces but his little face was perfect! He stayed in the hospital for several weeks and his mom and dad suffered so during that time. My husband and I and our son-in-law’s parents worried too. We all went back and forth to the hospital and I spent many days and hours being a mommy to my daughter as she nurtured her son. I cannot explain the love we all shared and how spiritual it all felt but it was so.
The little boy is beautiful today and hitting all the markers the doctors put before him. His name is Kaleb. He is happy, healthy, and loved immensely. Happy birthday Kaleb! We thank God for you.
After we had a very dry summer, I was curious how fall foliage would turn out this year. It is nearly impossible to accurately predict how the fall colors turn out in a given year, which is nice, since it leaves a room for surprises.
This past weekend, Kim and I were able to meet a close friend of ours at Echo Lake in Franconia Notch, in Northern New Hampshire. The fall foliage was spectacular.
This year seems to be a great year after all, despite the drought we have had most of the summer.
While we like to travel and enjoy places not so close to home, I am always eager to explore conservation areas close to home, which provide me with access for photography year round without far travel. I am still amazed when I am able to find new locations, which I have not visited too often.
Recently I discovered one such location, the former Canton Airport (Canton, MA). The airport was used during WWII and then shutdown in the 1950s. Since then, the land had not been in use. Due to polluted soil, it took the State of Massachusetts a while until the land could finally be used as State Park. Now it is a beautiful piece of land with marshes and trees and home to many species.
The next photos are some impressions from the land. Fall colors have finally arrived here as well.
The setting sun helped the trees glow even more. When I was getting ready to leave, I saw a huge outline of the moon over the fall tress.
I immediately liked the lineup of the moon over the trees. I haven’t come across situations too many times where everything lines up perfectly like it did here.
Here I am one evening in October, feeling guilty about how long it has been since the last time I shared with you. I thought of all the reasons why I have not written and though they are reasons to me, they may seem like excuses to you. First of all, know that Lars and I love having a web presence. We send texts and emails every day and I also Facebook and use Instagram. The thing is that despite all of those tools, larskim.com is the place where we get to share a different side of us with you.
You have come here voluntarily because you are interested in something that we are doing. Who wouldn’t be excited by that? I have always believed that most of us are trying to find adult ways to do what kids are very clear about; when they want attention they say “hey, look at me!” We adults spend the rest of our lives doing the same thing but never directly. Instead we try to excel at work and other pursuits with the goal of being recognized. Being seen not necessarily for glory or adulation but to be seen as someone interesting and accomplished. It feels good so we keep on doing it.
I say all of that to admit to you that I have been seeing someone else…Yes, I am guilty. Lars and I became grandparents this spring! Our grandson Kaleb was born six weeks early back in April. He was so tiny and needed to stay in the hospital for a while. He’s doing great now and is five months old. We have been spending a lot of time with him and supporting his parents in any way that we can.
I can’t tell you how much love and joy he has brought to our lives. There has been worry and tears as well. Lars mother passed away before she had a chance to see her great grandson. We grieved but took some solace in the knowledge that she was well loved. You learn a lot about a person when they pass on. Her friends and other family members shared great stories about her. We pray that our Kaleb will have many experiences and fond memories of us over the years.
So that’s what we have been up to. No excuses, just life. We’re, I mean, I, am finally giving the baby some breathing room and taking some time to fill you in. Thanks for stopping by, I’ve missed you. Thanks for looking at me.
What a strange and long winter. I spent half of it panicking that a repeat of winter 2015 was going to occur. I expected tons of snow, lots of shoveling, and lots of complaining. Fortunately, the only negative fulfilled was the complaining part. Come on, I live in New England!
There were several snow storms that caused lots of damage to plants and closed schools but nothing like 2015. We were cold but not as cold as usual. It’s just that winter dragged on. It was cloudy and dark and so were my moods. I finally bought some daylight light bulbs and they helped lift my mood some.
My husband and I experienced great joy when we received wonderful news this winter; our daughter and son -in- law are expecting! They are not finding out the gender of the baby ahead of time so there is lots of mystery and surprise in our future.
We also experienced some sadness because our out door stray cat was hit by a car. She survived and somehow made it back to our house and the shelter we built for her. Sadly, we had to give her up to an animal shelter that promised to fix her up (a long term process) and give her a forever home.
So despite complaining, my feelings have been mostly up this winter. I am ready for spring and the hope that it symbolizes. I am grateful to be alive under all circumstances and have much to be thankful for. I was excited by the hawk that my husband wrote about in the last blog entry. I love nature because it continues on despite the efforts of humankind to overpower it. The future is open and bright. The Boston Flower Show is next week so things are looking up already! I pray that life is kind to you.
Not too far away from our house is the Blue Hills Reservation. One of my favorite places there is Houghton’s Pond, a beautiful pond that is open for swimming in the summer, too. I do enjoy the pond throughout the year, even when everything is frozen and bare trees cover the area.
Having bare trees was what drew our attention to a hawk that was sitting on a dead tree. After getting the hawk in focus with my long lens I noticed that the hawk was actually banded.
After a couple of minutes the hawk took off, which looks very impressive.
Surprisingly, the hawk landed on another branch even closer to us. By now, a little crowd had gathered around us, curious to see what we were looking at.
“Our” hawk was now looking left to right and then, after another couple of minutes, suddenly took off and landed on the shore of the small wetland area. We heard a faint squeak. After a couple of moments the hawk flew back on the perch with its prey tightly gripped.
I spare the gory details here of how not much was left of the mouse. In a final move, the hawk flew onto another perch, and there it seemed like it posed for me.
We are grateful to observe nature so close to where we live and it is wonderful to see those majestic birds right here in our backyard.