June 30th already! Half of the year is behind me, which seems hard to take in. So, on the last day of the first half of 2014 I am taking stock of progress, stalls and diversions that have occurred this year. Not in a finger shaking, “look where you slipped up” sort of way, but more as a “where have I gone, what have I accomplished as a result” statement. I still have half a year to get back on track, choose a new track or retrace steps if needed. Heck, if I want I can even treat tonight as another New Year’s Eve moment and list my intentions and goals. It is never to late to make them and try to attain them. So, since I do have a bottle of sparkling cider leftover from company I might just pop the top and celebrate a year half done and the achievements behind and ahead. Making the most of the future that is here right now! It is, after all, where I am .
On Monday I went out to Hampton Beach to enjoy the shore and see the results of the sand sculpting contest held over the weekend. They are simply amazing to see, all that work and detail on something so fleeting. It is the first year I have gotten out to see them and really take in the artistry, they usually show the stages of the contest on the local news, but seeing them up close is so much better.
This one was my favorite. The peaceful expression is so beautiful.
The beach was fairly crowded in spite of it being a workday, but there was ample room at the railing for people to get a good look. It seemed everyone was held in the same thrall at the skill and chosen designs of the artists. The rain storms over the last couple of days probably did a fair amount of damage to the sculptures so I’m glad I didn’t dilly-dally in going to see them, plus it was a good reason to go to the beach for the afternoon!
Looking for something to toss in the beach bag or just for enjoying on your deck?
Here are 6 books that are great options, add them to your list!
- The Manor: three centuries on a slave plantation on Long Island by Mac Griswold. Right from the title you know this is going to be a story you want to know the background on. An amazing chance to dig through unexplored history of a house kept in the same family. (non fiction)
- The Forest House: a year’s journey into the landscape of love, loss and starting over by Joelle Fraser. Don’t be deterred by the subtitle of this book, it is a wonderful story and beautifully written. There are many lovely lines throughout and it is not at all just about the grief of loss. (non fiction)
- All the Way Home: building a family in a falling-down house by David Giffels. This book explores the desire to find a place to make home, and the work that goes into making that happen. But it is also the history of a house as it becomes someone else’s home. (non fiction)
- Maisie Dobbs (book 1) by Jacqueline Winspear. A bit of mystery for summer reading, this first book in the Maisie series is set in the years following what will become the First World War. Maisie’s story is told as she branches out to become an investigator in England following a most unusual education. (fiction)
- Local Wonders: seasons in the Bohemian Alps by Ted Kooser. A lovely book of place unknown to many of us. Kooser does a terrific job at capturing and sharing his surroundings in every chapter. A great book for reading and putting down while you mull over what you read. (non fiction)
- The Life and Tines of the thunderbolt Kid: a memoir by Bill Bryson. Laugh out loud funny as many of his books are, you really can’t go wrong with any of his books. This one covers his childhood in all its hilarity, and it is likely you will end up reading parts aloud so someone else can enjoy the humor. (memoir)
I could list even more books, but I know how everyone hopes for a 6 pack for the summer!
There is something magical about the early days of summer, a feeling of buoyancy from the longer days perhaps. I was lucky enough to get an afternoon in York, Maine the Saturday before last and soaked up as much atmosphere as I could to carry on my way. It had been a gray, yet mild start to the day, but by the afternoon the sun had made an appearance casting light on the lingering clouds. I love to be by the water, in fact I have to make it to the shore at least once every year, a sort of pilgrimage if you will. The lungful of fresh air, the open sky, the water, sand and stones, the sense of timelessness, all renew me. If I can’t get to the shore, a lake, pond or stream will carry me over. At heart I am a water-baby, though I wonder if a sea of grass would have the same effect. But the plains are a bit far away to test that theory easily. As a child I didn’t spend every summer at the shore, though I can remember family trips in that fragmented way of a child’s mind. I spent more time at the lake, though again, less than my memories would lead me to believe. It seemed as if every last day of school was a sunny one, and as soon as my feet hit the pavement as I got off the bus we would head to camp. Yet in reality we went only a few times over the summer. A day here and there, an overnight or two. But those trips loomed larger in my child mind until I got verification to the opposite as an adult. It was just one of those tricks a mind plays on you when some childhood place is special. And that is okay, childhood should be that way, full of special places to roll about in your mind and treasure.
The former Cass Technical High School in Detroit is where Andrew Moore took this great image of a plain old classroom clock that has been transformed into something beyond its original form.
A wonderful piece of surrealism.
It speaks of so many things not specific only to Detroit, but to anywhere that things have turned out vastly different from the dream its inception.
Andrew Moore (Detroit Disassembled)
A few weeks ago while I was out and about I came across my own version on Andrew Moore’s clock.
A dartboard left exposed to the elements on the side of a shed. Time and weather had all but eliminated the details of the face, but just enough remained peeking out from the battered surface to let me know what it was. How did the dartboard come to be hung outside, left out to face the elements and ultimately left behind instead of being thrown out? Its deteriorated state makes it basically useless as a dartboard, it instead just becomes a piece of art. Much like the clock it was probably hung with great hopes of a future filled with fun and chatter. Both now hang alone, their faces gazing out on silent spaces, their original purposes now long gone they have become art.
A reason to pause, to lean in and take a close look, to contemplate the amazing world around us, to admire the intricacy,
to be refreshed and carry that feeling with us into our busy days.