Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New York cup of coffee

I have been to New York City twice this year. In all of my previous years I had been there but once, way back when I was a high school student from Nashville, Tennessee. My visits this year were short and of the economy sort of stay with my elderly Aunt. She is very frugal and prefers that we not spend a lot of money while there. During my first visit in February, we could not resist eating out several times and the food was delicious. I can remember even now how happy my taste buds were! This last time, I vowed to eat my Aunt's food. I tried, I really tried. But after two days, I was getting increasingly hungry. What was it that I was missing the most?


Coffee at my Aunt's home is of the instant variety made from years-old Folgers-like crystals already mixed with big grains of dried milk. I tried mixing it in several strengths but the results were always dismal. So one afternoon, I told my Aunt I was going out to take photographs and left her napping peacefully on her living room sofa.


Living in the upper west side, hundreds of little places resided within a short distance where I could find


I found a little shop and ordered a bagel breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee. The man asked me if I wanted milk and sugar. My only experience with a restaurant that offers pre-loaded coffee is...I hate to admit it...McDonald's. But here they didn't ask how many creams and sugars. I decided to throw caution to the wind and see what happened. A table by the window allowed me to people-watch while enjoying my meal.

To my surprise, the coffee was perfect. Sweet and milky - just the way I like it - 'would you like some coffee with your cream' type of coffee!! I can honestly say, that cup of coffee tasted better than any that I can remember. Of course, much of that was due to circumstance but still...

Coffee is an important part of my life. It is something I enjoy each and every morning. With the exception of feeding my cats, making coffee is my first priority. (they won't let me make coffee first!) Memories involving coffee are scattered throughout my mind.

Like when I was quite young, I remember stealing a taste of my uncle's coffee that was left at the breakfast table on a warm sunny morning. He liked it just the way I do now!

Like when I started college, my English professor would stroll slowly around the classroom holding her cup of coffee, sipping while lecturing. For some reason, she struck me as being so elegant and intelligent. I picture her in my mind from time to time.

Like after college, during the hippie years, I remember buying coffee beans and grinding them with a hand grinder.

There are other stories and times in my life that are associated with coffee. My sons tell me I am addicted and I always agree but add that it seems like a harmless addiction. But now as I think about it, it is more than that, it is one of those little rituals that make up part of my life's fabric. Now I have woven in a few more threads.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

each one more beautiful than the last...

Ah Fall - it is a damp rainy evening. Tomorrow is forecast to be rainier than today. After all, we are approaching that day by which we expect snow, October 31st. When I set out to do yard work, I find myself waylaid by the beauty of the leaves. Not the leaves as a group but
each.....individual....leaf. Each one is more beautiful than the last.

It is like a case of temporary obsessive-compulsive disorder. There is such poignancy in knowing how quickly the colors will fade. Best to give in to the senses and
count out as many favorites as time will allow.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

searching for angels

With a little free time today, I headed out to take some photos of angels and other statuary in the local cemetery. Usually, when I go to photograph the cemetery, I just wander around and take pictures of things that strike me as interesting. But lately, I have decided to focus a little energy on statues. I am fascinated by the poses and the calm beauty that most of them exhibit. Don't ask me why although I can say it is not about religion or the supernatural. Since this is a new fascination, the first two nearby cemeteries I went to did not appear to have any angels....oops.

So, I headed to the nearest BIG cemetery and immediately found quite a few statues to admire. One of the things I like about cemeteries is the peace and quiet and sense of being alone, as strange as that may sound since you are surrounded by reminders of hundreds of people! But today was different. There were quite a few people driving around or mourning at gravesites.

Once as I was photographing a pair of angels, a car circled around and parked right by me as I finished my photographs. A woman and a man got out and walked right over to where I had just been and began taking photographs! I sort of felt like I was being followed. Then later, I saw another car stop at an angel and take her photograph. Now I realize that angels are a popular subject for photography but this was a little unnerving.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008


Is it really almost the middle of October????? How did that happen?
p.s. this image was taken two years ago on October 26 - we have no snow yet but that could change overnight since it is 35 and drizzling.

In some ways, I am experiencing empty nest for the first time. I AM very self reliant but it does seem different finally. I have always measured my adult life in terms of events or rites of passage that related to my two sons. But now it seems as if they are both off to a good start and I am left to carry on with the rest of MY life. Of course, that is a little overly dramatic. Never the less, I am finally free to do what I want to do when I grow up.
Hmmmm, I wonder what life has in store for me....

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