A Boy and His (Shared) Dog

I am finding myself somewhat nostalgic and sad lately. The daylight is beginning to fade sooner and sooner, and while fall is usually my favorite season, September 2 marked the first year anniversary of my husband’s death. So I have been looking through family pictures of late, and went searching for these, as they are among my favorites of the past year – the first year without my husband of 44 years. While the post itself is far longer than six words, the title is exactly six, so I hope I can still use the Six Word Saturday hashtag.

I have written before about the fact that my good friends, Martha and Arthur, and I share our two dogs. Theirs is Teddy the Labradoodle and mine is Zoë the Miniature Schnauzer. When my husband and I returned to Northern California three and a half years ago and moved into our retirement community (St. Paul’s Towers), the grandkids were just 1 and 3½. Teddy was bigger than the 1 year old, obviously, but he was also awfully big for the 3½ year old. About a year ago, when they were 3 and almost 6, the two of them decided that it was time for them to start walking the dogs instead of just accompanying me when I walked them. So they became the walkers, and I became the accompanying and supervising person. The 3 year old was still rather scared of Teddy, but was comfortable walking Zoë. The almost 6 year was adamant that he wanted to walk Teddy by himself, without me holding on to the leash. Here is the result: he walking confidently on ahead with Teddy last February, when he was fully 6+ a few months. My granddaughter, Zoë, and I are lagging behind, in a perfect position to capture a photo.

Walking the Dog at Twilight

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Images: Hannah Keene 2019

Posted for Six Word Saturday. Well, at least there’s exactly six words in the title. 😉

Forgotten Agapanthus

This post is for Snow’s Friendly Friday Challenge: Ignored over at The Snow Melts Somewhere. We all look raptly at new spring flowers, but often ignore flowers that are past their prime. Worse, we usually think of dying flowers as ugly, and proceed to sweep them up and toss them. I think flowers in all their stages are lovely, and in fact, sometimes find that their final, decaying stage is more nuanced and interesting. So here is a non-ignored Agapanthus.

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Hannah Keene 2019

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #57: Taking a Break

Some of you may have noticed that I only posted one photo early this morning. (At least early my time.) That’s because I have found myself exhausted by always putting up at least two posts a day. So I’ve given myself permission to only put up one post, if that is what I feel like doing. My older daughter, son-in-law, grandkids and I are going away for a four day weekend before school starts again for the kids. I’ve scheduled single posts per day through next Monday, so if I don’t want to add any more, I can relax for 5 days while we all are on a mini vacation, plus the additional first day that I’m back. I might be checking in on comments, etc, but if I don’t, I’ll catch up when I return.

Here is an idyllic photo of a bench and the lake to add to the challenge. Wishing you all a good 5 days!

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Lake Merritt                                                                                                                 Hannah Keene 2019

Posted to Patti’s Lens-Artist Challenge: Taking a Break.

Abandoned Chair

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Image: Zebras Child 2019

It was left at the curb for either someone else to take and use, or for the trash collectors to pick up.

I love living in a city. I love access to museums, opera, symphony orchestras, theater and restaurants. And it literally makes me happy to walk down the street and see and hear so many people of different nationalities, languages and ethnicities. For me that makes life richer. I also love seeing what people discard. Most of the time it’s things like broken desks, or the packaging of an overly large item. But every once-in-awhile I see an item that seems to call out, “Wait! Stop and look. I have a story to tell!” And then I have the opportunity to imagine it’s history, and try to convey it’s uniqueness with my camera.

I came upon this chair while the grandchildren and I were walking the dogs. And I wondered. Had this chair been placed at a table where someone both ate and struggled to pay bills? Was it part of a set but finally got too rickety to hold its owner’s weight? Did someone place it at a desk where they worked on writing their first novel, or tried to find a job? Did they work from home? And what happened to make them abandon it? The considerate owner had placed its back legs in the uneven roots of the tree, trying to make the chair as out of people’s way as possible. That’s what gave it that delightfully off kilter angle that was both arresting and sad. It probably wouldn’t have been half as interesting to me if it had simply been placed straight up on the curb. Or even had it been laid on it’s side. I would have thought of it as just a used chair. But this askew chair up against the richly textured bark of the tree caught my eye and seemed to say, “I once was new and cared for! What have I done, other than become old? I am still able to hold my back up straight and proud. Please stay awhile, and hear my story.”

Intensity

Color makes me happy. Forget pastels that are supposed to be calming. I played around with values and filters with this shot to see how it would intensify everything from the dirt to the color of the leaves. I especially like the fact that the lower part of the cement on the left looks like it has just been poured and could still be imprinted with something, while the top portion of the cement seems to glow. That effect was simply an intensification of how the light had hit the two sections of cement differently.

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Leaves by the sidewalk                                    Image: Zebras Child 2018