Versatile Blogger Award

A big thank you to Tim Neath for giving me a great start to 2014! If you aren’t already following him, he does fantastic movie reviews. Check him out. And thanks again, Tim!

Tim Neath

The Vesatile Blogger AwardWhat a way to start the year, only a few posts in and I have been nominated for The Versatile Blogger award, thanks to vinnieh. A big thanks to the fellow film fan, please check out his thoughtful reviews!!

This is not the first time I have received the award, which entails a list of short tasks to carry out and spread the love that comes with the award.

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
  2. Include a link to their blog.
  3. Select 15 bloggers you follow and want to pass the award onto.
  4. Nominate the 15 bloggers and inform them of it.
  5. Finally, list seven interesting facts about yourself.

With the first two checked off I shall announce my winners below. Of course there are many more than 15, which always make it harder to choose.

  1. patternsthatconnext
  2. Serendipity
  3. In Search of Lost Pictures
  4. Painters Progress
  5. Russel Ray…

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WE’VE COME A LONG WAY

When you look back at your blog on January 2, 2015, what would you like to see?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us PROGRESS.

I like the way my site is developing. I like the people who visit, the folks  I’m getting to know. I even believe I’m making progress with writing shorter, pithier pieces — with fewer typos — but it wouldn’t be Serendipity without a few mistakes, right?

75-NewStepsDone-NK-132

A year from now? I hope WordPress has added more formatting options for text, especially the ability to change fonts and font sizes on the fly. Otherwise? I’m a pretty happy camper!

One REALLY big wish: WordPress, are you listening? Please make the reader part of the statistical hit count. It’s a great tool, especially when you follow a lot of blogs and have limited time to visit, but the bloggers you visit via the Reader don’t get the “credit” for your visit … which seems kind of unfair.

Otherwise, I think I’ll just keep on doing what I do and hopefully will still be around to worry about it a year from now. Blog happy, my friends.

STORY IN A PICTURE — THE ANSWER REVEALED

That's the story

There’s a story in this picture. What is it? I leave it to your imagination. Analog Effects at work.

ANSWER TO THE STORY: They are playing a video game. She is not abused, just concentrating on the monitor. Remarkable where our imagination can take us, isn’t it?

A GLACIAL QUARTER

Someone suggested I dig through the couch cushions, my purse or the floor of my car and find a coin.  See what year is engraved on it. Then, try to recollect what I was doing that year and write about it. The idea intrigued me and I took up the challenge.

My desk yielded nothing useful. The first purse I ransacked was coin-less. Finally, I hit pay dirt. At the bottom of my all-purpose bag, a quarter emerged.

It took 10 minutes for me to decipher the date on the coin. It seems my eyes no long want to read such tiny numbers. The coin — a shiny quarter — celebrates a glacier. It says glacier on it, so I know that much. If there was additional information — like what glacier? — I didn’t see it. Or couldn’t read it. Whatever.

October 2011 - Blackstone Canal
October 2011 – Blackstone Canal

I felt lucky to decipher the date at all. Attempting more would be pressing my luck. I wondered where my magnifying glass had gone. It used to be on top of the desk … maybe it’s buried under several pounds of paper. Time may bring it to the surface. Or not.

I grew up in Queens, New York. One of the major east-west arteries in the borough is Hillside Avenue, always a very busy road, full of cars, trucks and buses. I crossed twice every day, on my way to school and back again. The year I was 15, I was hit by a small truck the corner of Hillside and 191st Street. We didn’t have cell phones, so I had to beg the grumpy shopkeeper who owned the candy store to let me call home so I wouldn’t have to limp up the long hill. I was obviously not going to die, but I was banged up. The driver stayed around exactly long enough — about 30 seconds — to see me get up. He knew I wasn’t dead and took off. Basic hit and run.

When my father got there, he wanted to know if I’d gotten the license plate number. I said no, I was laying on the ground and wasn’t in a good position to collect data. Dad was seriously pissed I didn’t get the number because, he said, I could have gone to college on the proceeds of the lawsuit. He never asked me how I felt or if I wanted to see a doctor. My mother — who never went to doctors for any reason — deduced I hadn’t broken anything. Good enough, I guess. I limped off to take a bath, feeling vaguely there was something wrong with the picture.

That was in 1962. I was a junior in high school.

Back to the quarter and the glacier. Hillside Avenue is precisely where the forward movement of the glacier that covered the region during the last ice age, stopped. Hillside Avenue, with its shops, bus stops and endless traffic was also, it would seem, a significant geological and archaeological marker. Whenever something was being built along the road, the archaeologists and paleontologists go explore it first. They’ve found all kinds of artifacts — the bones of extinct ice age animals, pottery and stone spearheads. I haven’t heard that they’ve found any mammoths, but I might have missed it. It was just a quarter-mile from where I grew up. Weird, eh?

As for 2011, I wasn’t doing much that year. I’d had cancer the previous year. 2011 was my recovery year. I had a slough of despond from which to emerge and a lot of physical issues to deal with. I also had to come to grips with a significantly changed body.

I took a lot of photographs in 2011 and read a lot of books. Which pretty much sums up the year. I remember because it was a particularly bright, colorful autumn and I got some of my best-ever foliage shots.

If I were going to give 2011 a title, I’d call it the year I didn’t die, Part III. That will do. There will (I hope) be other chapters. Stay tuned.