LOOKING OUT OUR BACK (OR FRONT) DOOR — IN BLACK & WHITE

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Outside Your Home or View

The autumn leaves are getting pale, though probably down by the river they are still bright. Here, though, they are pale. It’s definitely a result of the prolonged drought. I hope the drought is ending. We got a inch and a half of rain earlier in the week and we are supposed to get more over the weekend. We have a big water deficit to make up: about 9 inches in Boston and about 7 or 8 inches locally. I hope we are (finally) on our way!

These were taken by Garry and me between August and October 2020.

Cee's Black-White

UNITED WE STAND

The Brotherhood of Man, Rich Paschall

“And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” – as translated from the historic Greek in Mark 3:25

The idea of a house divided against itself has appeared frequently in literature over the centuries. In the Aesop (b. 620 BC) fable “The Four Oxen and the Lion” we learn that the four oxen are only safe against the lion if they stand together. When they argued and separated, of course, they were doomed to be caught by the lion, one at a time. From that point on, this obvious point often arises in stories, mottos, and songs.

In 1970, the British pop group The Brotherhood of Man was the first to release “United We Stand.” The song reached number 13 on the US charts but hung around long enough to be considered number 64 for the year. The message seems more important to us now than it did 50 years ago. For its golden anniversary have another listen, or perhaps you are hearing it for the first time.

And if the world around you falls apart my love
Then I’ll still be here
And if the going gets too hard along the way
Just you call I’ll hear
For united we stand. Divided we fall

“Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!”. – John Dickinson, July 7, 1768

See Also: “Golden Oldies, Part One,” My Top Twenty, 1970 Edition, SERENDIPITY, October 6, 2020.
Golden Oldies, Part II,” The Golden Age of Rock Turns 50, 1970, SERENDIPITY, October 4, 2020.
One Hit Wonders, 1970 Edition,” SERENDIPITY, September 13, 2020.

KINDA LIKE THE MIDDLE OF A SMALL TOWN

Kinda like the Middle of Town

Squarely in the middle of Uxbridge, it’s easy to miss the fact that you’re in the middle of anywhere. But hey, this is where you will find a grocery store, a couple of banks, the library (the first free library in the United States), Town Hall, and our brand new firehouse. And of course, Uxbridge Town Commons and its many churches.

The picture was take by Garry on his way back from the pharmacy. It’s autumn, after all and those beautiful leaves won’t last forever.

THE PATH NOT TAKEN – A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE

A Photo a Week Challenge: The Road Not Taken

In the winter, in the snow … or through the autumn woods. There is always an untaken path. There is never enough time to walk every path. We are inevitably forced to choose between one and the other. I think we always believe the other road was probably better … but we’ll never know.

ONE MILLION VIEWS

Looking at my stats, I realized before this month is over, I will pass a million views. When I started blogging, I remember discovering I’d made it to a thousand views. I was thrilled. A thousand was a lot! Those were the days when getting two or three views was a big deal. Then, suddenly, I was getting a hundred, two hundred, three hundred a day. It happened fast. I never imagined I would still be blogging eight years later and suddenly, in front of me, was the million marker. I know others who have crossed it and of course, the really big bloggers who are way up there in the multi-millions, but for a regular “I do it for the fun of writing and posting photographs” kind of blogger, a million is a lot of views.

I’m not getting the kind of traffic I used to get. I think the glory days of blogging are drawing to a close. There aren’t enough platforms anymore and they all charge more money than I can reasonably pay. I’m glad, before I fade away, that I’m going to make that mark.

I stopped pushing for bigger numbers a couple of years ago. It wasn’t that I didn’t care. It was just that I cared more about the writing and the pictures. The numbers were incidental. I also felt obliged — with all this political madness — to notch my writing frenzy down a few pegs. I began to realize while I love blogging, I also enjoy the rest of life. I started baking again. Bored with the same old food, I figured if I couldn’t stop cooking, I could at least try making more interesting dishes.

I also missed the joy of wrapping myself in a book and letting the real world disappear. And music and the occasional movie. All the hassles with WordPress made blogging so much more like work and so much less fun. I’m still trying to figure out what I’ll do at the end of my fiscal year. What I’m really hoping is that they fix their block editor to make it more “bloggable” and less of an ugly clunker. Make it more friendly for people who just want to enjoy blogging. If I wanted to get really SERIOUS about blogging, there’s always Medium. They want serious writing and if you get popular, they will pay you, too.

I can write seriously. But more often than not, I want to have fun. I want the fun of remembering stuff, telling stories. Showing off a few pictures. Serious is sometimes. The rest of the time, blogging is my idea of fun. Birds, flowers, foliage, and people from olden days when we were young and frolicked more while worrying less.

On a good day, I still enjoy blogging … but I don’t want to give it my all every day. This morning, I looked at Garry and asked him: “What’s going to happen next month? Are we heading for a civil war? When I lived in Israel, we were always expecting a war. War could come from outside. It wasn’t a civil war. This is something entirely different.”

Garry admitted he has no idea what is going to happen because this isn’t like anything he’s lived through before. I’m not sure anyone in our generation or younger who was raised in this country has any idea what might happen. I need to put some time into thinking about what living means to me, to Garry, to all of us. How we are going to find our way from this very dark place to a happier one. A million views is a nice thing but I’m not sure how much it’s going to help us get through whatever is coming next.