The last day of December, driving home from our week in Vermont - a million things running through my mind as I prepared to return to our weekday routine. I was wondering to myself how the month had passed by so quickly, what 2018 might bring. December always feels like two separate stories, to me. The frenzied, busy time leading up to the holidays - Christmas shopping and preparation, work deadlines, travel plans, family celebrations... And then, the second story - the quiet week after Christmas. While I love the family get-togethers, it is the second story that I anticipate the most. A time for lots of reading (I finished one book), exploring outdoors (not so much), cooking and/or baking (nope), watching movies (does Moana count?) - a time to rest, relax, and reflect (yes, yes, and yes). It was bitter cold in Vermont, and I was content to act like a bear and hibernate. I created new pages for my journal, contemplated new photography projects, and considered goals I should set for myself for 2018. Is there a deadline for that? So - driving back home on that last day of December - unhurried, we followed the back roads. Lost in my own thoughts, I spied the dilapidated barn with broken windows on this harsh winter day. My final photo of 2017 - at a glance, desolate and bleak, but I also see strength, perseverance, grace... Too tired and too much happening, Greg and I didn't celebrate the new year as we normally do. Our year began on a sad note with the illness and passing of my father-in-law. We will miss him, dearly. I look forward to 2018, though - the changes, the challenges, the celebrations that a year normally brings - greeting it with strength, perseverance, grace, and eventually, joy. I am joining Sarah and León for one last Scene and Story - thank you for hosting over the past year!
Bitter cold and howling wind. I am thankful that no matter what the weather, the beauty outside my window continues to amaze me. I am joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday
Long, long ago - (well, back when I was in high school) In a faraway land - (that would be Kansas - it's kind of far from Boston) I made myself a gingham notebook (I'm not sure why I made myself a notebook rather than running to the local dime store - but then, that's not really the point of the story). Anyway - this gingham notebook was my special journal - a chronicle of my teenage days - thoughts, hopes, dramas... I found it stashed away in a trunk in my basement, having made it through several moves. Without opening the journal, memories flooded my mind; I remembered all that it contained - what it meant to me. I knew this journal would be the inspiration for my new blog, "Gingham Notebook" (without the teenage angst and drama) - a place to write and share - photos, stories, rambles. I wish you a very happy new year - and hope you will join me! "Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one." Brad Paisley
Plum Island - Massachusetts This was the site for week #15 of my self-imposed photography challenge (originally posted away for the weekend, March 12, 2017). The idea was to give myself a 52-week challenge, which I renamed "52 photo prompts" after my prolonged break... I strongly considered scrapping it altogether when I started Gingham Notebook. But, while the cues are meaningless, I am finding that they stretch my imagination and I am learning new things. It's all about the process. "Rules" of my challenge (quotation marks - for good reason), as well as links to posts for weeks 1-23 can be found on the Photo Challenge page of away for the weekend. Future cues - on hold, for now (updated 6/7/18) # 24 - Sunset # 25 - Quiet # 26 - Silhouette # 27 - Black & White # 28 - Pattern # 29 - The Color GREEN # 30 - Something funny # 31 - Books # 32 - Trees# 33 - Favorite outfit # 34 - Water # 35 - Glass # 36 - In motion # 37 - At night # 38 - Morning # 39 - Vintage # 40 - Mellow YELLOW # 41 - Music # 42 - Macro # 43 - Shadows # 44 - Couples # 45 - Lace # 46 - History (ic) # 47 - Textures # 48 - A smile # 49 - ORANGE # 50 - On the shelf # 51 - A street # 52 - Self-portrait