Thursday, July 29, 2010

Naked Truth

*This post is a reflection on the prompt "naked", part of The Sunday Creative.....which I love.  Check it out:

The Sunday Creative

The truth is, it really smells badly down there, but they come their summery cardigans. In their high-end vehicles, they hand keys casually, scarcely seeing, to one of the local valet boys with matching t-shirts and tans to envy.  They come for the view, for the food, and to "be", but the truth is, it really smells badly down there.  They pretend not to notice as they press their palms down the front of their slacks and tug at their waistlines before edging inside the restaurant in a fanfare of arrival.

It has always smelled badly there, my whole life, and there have always been visitors, many from away.  I glance at the over-filled parking lot and imagine a scene 4 months from now, all but desolate....with the same stench and the same magnificent view.

The lobster boats in the harbour are quiet tonight, but at 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. their owners will be the new inhabitants of the parking lot.  No valets, no lines, no cardigans or summery trousers; no fanfare other than the laugh and circling of the gulls and the grumbly burpy rumble of the lobster boats themselves.  A different world, miles apart, within the span of 8 or 9 hours.

I ride my bicycle past the valet hubbub onto the pier.  It is the ultimate dead-end of Pier Road-aptly named.  I look over the edge to the water, and then notice a built-in bench beside me, much like the one I sat on to eat a drippy ice cream cone as a child before this location became "the" place to be...when the working wharf wasn't overshadowed by the latest dining hotspot, when the surrounding area homes were filled with fisherman's families scraping up the last of it to meet a monthly mortgage, rather than weekend travelers with gobs of money who purchased a lifestyle, many with cash.

I turn my camera away from the views to find my lobster traps, caution signs, bait barrels, and scavenger gulls.  I remember an uncle who made his living on these docks and whose maroon pick-up truck gradually rusted away from carting salty equipment, and from parking in proximity to the brine day after day, year after year.  We'd ride in the back of the truck, no seat belts, to the pier to get an ice cream on a hot summer's night like this one.  My uncle would jaw with the other fisherman hanging 'round using language locals joked made the tourists stare with dumbfounded expressions, and made my aunt move the children a bit farther from the fray.

It's not like that anymore.  Just the smell remains.  The bait smell; eternally present and unpleasant.  The dried fluids staining the wharf's timbers; the blue plastic barrels marred with the residue.  The smell they seem to ignore.  I see no one I know; I am the outsider amongst the outsiders in this phony world. 

I pedal away, there are other sights that the diners won't see, down dirt roads, through marsh grass lined paths, on side streets of modest homes.  The locales with views of splendor are no longer accessible....cordoned off by gated drives, or blocked with over-sized homes....but there are treasures to find if you keep looking.

I wonder if my mind is dancing near depression or tasting brilliance as poems and phrases ride along with me.  I see the church steeple bathed in setting sun and remember the moniker I earned as "world's best excuse maker" from Charlene Simpson during our weekly piano lessons under that steeple's shadow.  Crumbled sheds, a delapidated New Englander, and frequently trash bins set out for tomorrow's collection remind me it's all a facade.  People live no longer, cry no drier tears, find no better joys, have no finer children, die no easier, find no deepr meaning, take no more or fewer breaths whether they haved dined on lobster here or have brought it from the ocean's depths.

A door ajar teases.  The truth is a door left ajar is always a tease....a question of what might be inside.  In the sun it surely seems romantic, but in shadow more sinister thoughts arise.  I think about the naked truth and wonder how it is so elusive yet so blatant at the same time.

A sun drenched door slightly ajar beckons, with single naked light bulb above.

The allure of the view....what we all want to see.

Colorful lobster buoys adorn the back stairway of the restaurant.  My unlce's old buoy colors were black and red.

No valet parking required

The view from above....I got several odd looks from nearby view seekers....wondering why I was shooting down rather than out at the fabulous scenery.  I like this shot.

There were just a few traps kicking around the pier.  You can see the view of Goat Island Light in the far distance.

Wonder if anyone sits and eats ice cream here anymore.

Where the smell starts....notice the dried bait juices on the wooden planks.  Sinus cleanser.

Fabulous view most visitors will never find.

Old storage shed...I liked the china plates displayed in the window.

View from across the harbour over-looking low tide clam flats.

Many a piano lesson taken in the building that supports this steeple.

Tired shed on side street.  Sadly, out of sight in this shot, above the scant light bulb over the door....high-tech security cameras. 

By the end of my bicycling-photo route this door, still ajar, lost much of it's allure and became more eerie and mysterious.

Thank you for stopping by to hear my ramblings on "times, they are a changing".  Guess I'm kind of sick of being a working girl while all the folks from away are playing of vacation.  Please stop by again and see what my rambling mind and wandering camera have to say.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Walking in Rhythm

Super pup....waiting for the photographer who used to be the person who took nice brisk walks with her.

My mind is kind of bland and blank this morning.  Not much focus....but not in a negative way, more in a perhaps there's room for inspiration way.  If that makes any sense at all.  If anyone really does know what time it is.  If anyone really cares.

I woke up with the sun this morning which is something I used to do regularly but as of late my circadian rhythms have been all screwed up....those damn circadians been messin' with my waking hours have varied anywhere from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. with no rhyme or reason.  This morning was rather novel.

As I've mentioned before, I love the beach, as does Tula and we walk there a lot...often with the entire stretch to ourselves or only shared with a sparse one or two others.  Then summer comes along with the banishment.  Today, I said "what the hey" and went to the beach anyway.  I shot right passed the big-ass sign the states NO DOGS BEYOND THIS POINT.  I'm such a scandalous girl.  Truth be told, early morning and in the evenings dogs are allowed on the left side of the beach, but not the right.  I glanced to the left and it was littered with fisherman and seaglass searchers.  To the right-the non dog side....there was one lone individual walking.  That clinched my decision.

I was off the beach by 7:20 long before any beach pails, towels, flip-flops, cranky kids, impatient mothers, or picnics showed up on the scene.  I think my rule-break was okay.  It is just my 2nd forbidden beach walk this summer and the other was in thick fog.  I deserved this.  I miss the beach...just sayin'; a girl has needs.

A driftwood lean-to reminded me of Survivor.  I think there are parts of Maine that would make superb settings for that reality show.  Imagine the swimming challenges in 52 degree Maine ocean. This is kind of a cheater shot.  I didn't take this one this morning, I took this several evenings ago, but the lean-to was still there this morning if that counts. 

The other day I was into mussel shells, today clam shells....don't know what's up with that.  The purple tips were begging me to take a shot.

See...lovely....either that or I'm getting way off on a tangent.

Barnacles radiate the morning sun.  They also provide a non slippery surface when navigating sections of slippery rocks....bear that in mind if you're selected to be on Survivor Maine.

Yah.  I like it.  Stark, but nice.

This little songstress was singing her heart out this morning.  Maybe this was her song "Sistah; ain't nobody gonna tell ME I can't park here w'never I want.  Move 'long now."  I think it went something like that.

Yup.  More seaweed.  Whatever.  Trying to get a really low angle and keep the camera (and the shoes) dry.

Just as I was about to get in my car and drive home, I had to grab this last photo.  I think cropping might make this one better.....(still working towards that new computer).

Why I imagined it necessary to take more beach roses I don't know.  I guess 'cause they're free.  Besides it's an obession.  There were all kinds of bumble bees drinking in the nectar this morning, but they kept diving into the cups so I didn't catch them.

Thanks for walking the beach with Tula and me this morning.  It is going to be a glorious day here in Maine today.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Old Friends

I just had dinner with old friends Patty, Lisa, and Maria.  I had the best time.  I laughed.  I was uninhibited.  I didn't feel ashamed or a need to hide....I just was.  It was fabulous.

My dear friends from high school....all of us with our own lives, our own paths, our own triumphs, our own mistakes, and regrets.  No judgement.  Compassion....but no judgement.

Where was that tipping point?  How does one travel from an insecure, awkward, follow the crowd high schooler to an independent woman stripped of all those cliques, all the whispers, sitting with that same group, laughing loudly unafraid to bear the truth?  I don't know when it happend, but it did and it feels good to be on the other side.

Makes me think I wasn't so dumb back then.  I did know how to choose worthy friends, those that would stand the test of time.  Regrets.....yah, that we didn't stay in touch more often.  Upside...we can be back in touch now from our different corners of the world.  The love, the laughter is there-and always was.  Thanks friends.  Friends are a treasure....they shouldn't be burried or stowed away but rather enjoyed often.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Miscellaneous Crapola on my Mind

1.  If I'm going to try Miscellany Monday it would be best if I learned how to spell miscellaneous without having to rely on the spell check....hello.....

2.  One of the greatest things about not being married:  No in-laws.  While I imagine some are delightful, the ones that have married into my brother's family....phewww.  I am blessed.  They are nice but wicked annoying to be around.  He is cheering their departure for home this morning.  It's OK, his wife is cheering too.

3.  I think it may be a BIG mistake that I've found (and now purchased more than once) those little 4 packs of chocolate pudding designed for kids lunch boxes.  They are fat free however :)

4.  Why is it that people who work at the big mortgage companies are unable to answer simple questions?  I want to pay my August 1st payment today, in a timely manner, but I've yet to receive the statement with the handy perforated tear-off section at the bottom.  I just refinanced my home and as stars would align, my former mortgage was with GMAC and my new mortgage is with GMAC.  How 'come GMAC ain't sending the bill as early with this new mortgage as the old one?  No one at GMAC seemed to be able to shed any light on this.  Hmmmm.

5.  Black-eyed Susans soon will be showing around the perimeter of my deck.  Yay.

6.  Want to know why I'm posting with numbers?  Check it out here:

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Looking back

Sunday night....not my favorite.  It was much yuckier as a teacher when Monday morning was the worst thing in the world and Friday afternoon was nirvana.  In real estate you might catch a moment mid-week, or not have to report first thing on Monday....but of course your free time can be instantly sucked away by a single phone call from someone who HAS to see a house right this minute.  Must admit those "insist showings" rarely work out.  Sunday showings normally don't either.  I've given up many a weekend plan to show a property to no avail.  Sometimes now I just say "no".  Whew....there I've said it.

This weekend marked my #%~th high school reunion.  I opted not to go, even tho' I live right here in town.  I went 5 years ago and found it not that fun, so I decided to pass this time.  Now I'm looking at the picture posts on Facebook and wondering if I made the right decision.  Such is can't go back.  Maybe in another 5 years it will seem a good idea.  I did however meet up with a few close friends from high school "on the sly" after the reunion festivities were over and it was good to see them and share some laughs.  Made me realize that though they've been gone from my life a long time, there is still a sweet place inside with room for them in it.

It was also my niece's 2nd birthday and I am very happy to report that my gift of new washable crayola markers (bright colors), the Hello Kitty activity book complete with poster and stickers, and the last minute thrift store find of a bright pink Tinkerbell bag for carrying all those necessary 2-year old type accessories was a big hit.  Aunt Susan scores again.  I was almost outdone by the Abby Cadabby doll from a friend's mother, but the Tinkerbell bag was soon slung over the shoulder with all received cards, the markers, the books, etc. inside and I felt like a winner.  Yay.

If you knew me in person (or if you do) you'd know why this gift success is so remarkable.  I'm probably one of the most un-girlie girls going-but I also think on your birthday you should recieve what you like.

The perfect birthday girl considering what color to scribble on the page.  Creativity starts early.

Changing gears......
For a long time I've been interested in this building in town, currently used for storage.
Someone proficient in local history surely knows the background of this old machine shop.  It sits on a corner lot on Route 1 and is for sale along with its parcel.  I'm afraid some sort of "Generica" business will become the eventual resident of this space and the building will likely be torn down.  As I was passing by today with clouds in the sky and a few extra minutes in my schedule I decide to poke around and take some photos.

This is a door to nowhere....but the handle remains ready just in case.

In this window a lightly woven curtain remains suggesting the love and care this building knew at one time.

Beauty and the beast.

This may be my favorite....old metal downspout gutter.  I love the different coloration of the rust in the ridges.

Faded graffitti.  Thankfully we don't have much graffitti around here, but here's hoping the current generation of taggers is a little more creative and colorful than this.

I did not spend much time peeking in the windows....but spotted these glasses in one corner.  What I could see in plain view was a variety of things: old blankets, flag pole holders, cardboard boxes, old tools....a real hodge-podge of stuff must be inside.

These lacey wildflowers were all around the front and right side of the building, but not in the rear.  They must be diva-like and wanting to be seen by the passers by.

This old garage door slid side to side for years.  It has been replaced by a heavy metal garage door with an up to date lock.

There was a time in my HGTV viewing days, before I gave up watching TV, that I thought it would be enticing to take a buidling like this and re-vamp it into a residence....and it probably would.  As I often say to clients who want to re-work a home they're interested in "anything's possible with money".  When I think of it though, living on a busy corner of Route 1 with constant traffic doesn't seem too inviting, no matter how cute you could make the little courtyard out back.  Location, location, location.

Not to mention the enormous cost of making this place inhabitable.

Thanks for visiting the old Kennebunk Machine Shop with me.  Let me know if you or someone you know might like to buy it.  I know a good Realtor.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I've decided...

I have to buy a new computer.  Even more than I really, really, really want a new camera to upgrade from my point and shoot (which I do love, know), I need to take the plunge.  I've had my current laptop since late 2002 and it has done great (did you hear me computer?) great service for me.  I paid about $2,200 so we're looking at 8 +/- years of quality computer service which for any "math heads" out there figures out to be $23 a month.  I think that's pretty good.  It has lived a long, fruitful and full life.

This afternoon I snuck into the real estate office for un-real estate reasons. It's OK; I work in the family boss loves me. Truly.  I wanted to try out my administrative assistant's new computer....a Dell with Windows 7 and Picasa.  That's when the madness started.  I slipped my flash drive into the USB port and started messing around.  Wowza.  I NEEEEEEEEEEED this.  It is no longer optional.  This is not even taking account of the speed differences-we shan't go there.

I've been taking my novice photos in earnest since late May of this year.  All the things I've posted, and many I am proud of, have been uncropped , unretouched, unwarmed, untinted, unsoftened, unsepia-ed, unstraightened, unsharpened....just what came out of my camera.  I think I've done pretty well.  I feel however, there's no going back.  Once you play with these editing tools "Holy Schmoly!" know what I mean?  I've been cropping and straightening and such for 2 hours now.  Yikes.  I'm hopeful that the weeks I've spent working with my shots without the aid of an editing tool was a helpful school of hard knocks.  Maybe?  That might make me thankful.

Last night Tula and I went over to Strawberry Island.  I like to walk there in the late afternoon/early evening as there's usually not anyone around.  Tula can get a little run in and I can contemplate the universe & my space in it and snap a few pictures.  The tourists don't seem to notice the locale due to the sandy beach moments away.  When I was 5 my family rented a house overlooking this rocky open peninsula while our new home was being built.  Here I learned to cross the street, rode the school bus to kindergarten, and spent a snowy blustery winter.  I guess it holds memories....too bad most of the houses, including the one we rented, have been replaced or reworked into over-sized wonder homes.  Such is the way things go.

View from Strawberry Island looking back towards the neighboring houses.

It was windy last night. I could tell that the wind was at about 25 knots.  What that means in normal talk is, it was very windy.  My Dad often says when seeing a flag flying out straight "the wind is blowing about 25 knots...look at that flag".  I'm just passing along the info.  Anyway....(crap, my mind rambles around) was also overcast and spitting a little rain here and there.  Just setting the scene a bit.  Hope you enjoy what I was catching last night.

American flag nicely utility lines and such.

I got into a purple mussel shell thing last night....not sure what that was about.

I found this one trapped in a crevice between larger rocks.

This dried kelp had a pretty translucent look.  'Twas a smidge stinky however.  Pretty but stinky....I guess you can't have it all.

You may remember that the little miss doesn't like having her pic taken....I have to be sneaky.  The other night at the local library a photo journalist was speaking so I sat in.  Thanks to listening carefully to Greg and some cropping and such, I think I got a nice capture of my favorite dog. Shh....don't tell her.

Straighter horizons....yay.  Who knew?

This was another experiment after listening to the photo journalist....I kind of like it.

Lobster traps tossed up by an angry sea.  For items that normally sit at the bottom of the ocean, traps sure do have colorful lines and pieces.

Coo-ell....I did the softening thing around the edges of this kelp photo.  By the way....this one wasn't stinky.  Keep in mind when you're at the shore...big piles of kelp-stinky.  Small or singular kelp-not so bad.

My nephew Quinn was not on Strawberry Island with Tula and me, but I did edit this photo of him from earlier in the week and wanted to post it.  I see so many beautiful children in other's I have a beautiful kid of my own. The best part....I'm the aunt, so when he gets cranky-back to Mom and Dad.

I already shared this photo of my niece, Lily, in my "traditional" post,  but now that she's cropped, softened, etc. she looks better....though she's still not so sure she's having fun at the BBQ. Now I have two beautiul kids.  Same goes for her....when she gets cranky, I'm out of there.  Drop the "Hello Kitty" activity book and run!

Thanks for visiting my blog and reading my rambles today.  Looking forward to a new computer soon.