The Colors of Spring, an N-N-1 experience.

This picture and words came from Natalie at Wild Rivers Run South .

A very small section of Grandma & Grandpa’s library

Grandma and Grandpa have a wonderful library.

I think they have every book they ever bought,

And some of my aunts’ and uncles’ as well.

It is an added benefit of living with them.

 

I can read what they read when they were my age.

Literature, science, biography, mysteries and more.

I see what influences they have had up ‘til today.

I know why they are like they are with me.

 

And they talk to me about life today,

With all of the problems in the world,

And how they see things. They say,

“It is Spring today. We can renew our hope.”

I love them so much.

Lauren, in Valencia, sent this to us. My hope is that she will start her own blog, or at least continue to participate.

Laurencian Tales -Lockdown in Valencia.

My frying pan now lives on my balcony, and brings me hope.  Just over one week ago, on the 13th of March 2020, Spain declared a state of ‘Lockdown’ in response to the Coronavirus epidemic.  Overnight, an entire nation was asked and obliged by law to change their lives, to stay indoors or “quedarse en casa”, for the greater good.  The streets are now deserted, shutters are down, and the city has been put to sleep.  Not even a walk in the park is allowed. Going to the supermarket (the one thing we are allowed to do) feels like a dangerous and depressing mission that you should avoid.  Our lives are now “en casa”, and I appreciate more than ever the freedom we had before. 

But every day at 8pm (and sometimes more often), there’s a powerful symbol of hope.  The whole city, and country, head out onto their balconies to applaud the inspirational health workers, who are devoting everything they have to fight this epidemic.  We clap, cheer, sing, play music and bang our pans together in admiration and appreciation.  Banging these pans has become a form of communication, unity and of supporting one and other through this difficult time.  And every day when I hear that sound, I know I am not alone.  We are in isolation, but we are together. And despite being under Lockdown, from my balcony this week I have witnessed the Valencian spirit blossom and shine in a way that I never imagined.  

My dear friend cupitonians sent me this beautiful picture from England. She can be found at This Labyrinth I Roam.

River Aire, Leeds. Even with social distancing limits, I found this view right near my new house.

The first day of Spring was meant to be the symbolic start to a new phase of my life, especially after the stress of the last few years, and the write-off that was 2019. But it seems the universe has other plans for us. As well as teaching us to celebrate the little things, it’s a reminder to stop waiting on a magical time when everything is perfect so you can finally go after what you really want. Pandemic or not, the skies are still blue, and the rivers still run wild. Trees that imagined their lives were over are suddenly budding with the promise of new life. Life is a cycle. No matter how hard it gets, there’s comfort in its predictability. And so, we live to fight another day!

And finally there is my contribution:

Spring is here!

Like the other participants, I took my photo on March 19th, which was the first day of Spring (also known as the vernal equinox) in the northern hemisphere. And so I went out looking for a sign that Spring had sprung. Oh, I could have taken a picture of the daffodils and tulips that had popped up through the earth in our front yard, but I think that I have done that before. Instead, I went out into the country, alone, ensconced in my auto, searching for the first sign of greenery.You can look at the picture above to see how that turned out. It was a dreary day. Sorry this photo isn’t more upbeat.

 

N-N-1 call out Spring 2020

Sherlock? Is that you?

I wasn’t looking for Sherlock Holmes when I went to the library the other day, but…

***

About a week ago I noticed that our daffodils had poked through the soil to gather some sunlight. It was a sure sign that Spring is almost here. In honor of that event, I feel that it is time to have another N-N-1 collaborative event. For those who don’t know what N-N-1 is, let me attempt a brief explanation.

N-N-1 is an event where a group of people from various parts of the world take a picture at a specific time, write briefly about the picture, and share their photos and words in one post on one blog. This time around we will be taking a picture on the March 19th, the vernal equinox. Of course, if you live or find yourself in the southern hemisphere on that day, it will be the autumnal equinox. 

Everybody is welcome to join in. If you or any of your friends or family would like to take part, just take your picture, write briefly about the picture (prose or poetry), and send it to me at houseman@comcast.net no later than March 22nd. I’ll compile everything and post it on this blog, Classical Gasbag. If you have a blog, include a link to it so that I can add it to my text.

If you have any questions you can send me an email and I’ll do my best to answer them. Feel free to post this call out so that others are aware. Thanks!

I received an e-mail

I received an e-mail from my good friend cupitonians at labyrinthiroam@gmail.com, the other day. She is hosting our next N-N-1, and I want to share the invitation with you. If you want to participate this time around, please contact her at the email above, or let me know at houseman@comcast.net, and I will forward the information to her.

If you are not familiar with N-N-1, it is a community of people who enjoy sharing photographs and descriptions of what they are doing during a specifics period of time. The project points out both our diversity and sameness. The more the merrier. Below is the text of the email. 

Hello, hello, hello, 

Summer is well and truly here, and so is the season for another glorious N-N-1 post! While we’re all suffering enjoying the high heat of summer, perhaps we could take time to take a photo in the first weekend of August? 

Days: 1st-4th August

Time: Any time you aren’t busy melting

I’ve left the days and times flexible as I understand most of us are living through a heatwave of sorts and so motivation could be up and down. The theme is also open! 

I will send you a reminder closer to the date. 

Have fun and let me know if you have any questions, 

This Labyrinth I Roam

N-N-1 Season Changes

The latest edition of N-N-1 (where the first N stands for the number of people participating; the second N stands for the number of photos; and the 1 stands for when to take the picture) was hosted by Natalie Garvois at https://wildriversrunsouth.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/n-n-1-season-changes/. I think she did a fine job. If you would like to participate in the future, contact me at houseman@comcast.net.

Wild Rivers Run South

I have been honored to offer this most recent N-N-1. Thank you to everyone who participated. I am already looking forward to the next one.

Princess Butter, whose blog is asplashofmylife.wordpress.com, has a short, but very sweet, entry for this N-N-1.

It could be spring, summer, or winter, for all I care. Right now, it is all about love for us. image1Here’s hoping for an everlasting season of happiness and cuddles. Occasional showers are permitted. 🙂

Barb Abelhauser has the wonderful blog theviewfromadrawbridge.com/ . She tells us about the change of season and of the change in her working conditions.

Seattle Opening DayAs a bridgetender in Seattle, the first Saturday in May is a pivotal one. This is the official opening day of boating season in the emerald city. Granted, you can boat all year ‘round, but today is a day of celebration. There are races and a boat parade…

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A strange dream and an announcement

Mason

This is a picture I took of my grandson, Mason, at a track meet a couple of weeks ago. He was waiting to be called to compete in the shot put event. He had finished his competition in the hammer throw event, where he had thrown for a new personal best and made it into the finals competition.

***

Chalk up another strange dream for me. I had this one a few mornings ago. I should have written notes when I first woke up, because I’m sure that I’ve forgotten some details. But I’ll do my best to remember.

In my dream I was once again working for the State Employment Service, though I seemed to be in Texas rather than Indiana. I had just transferred into an office where I had never been before. The office was strange in that the building had no rear wall, and behind that was the employee parking lot. A row of staff desks separated the main work area from the parking lot. Nobody seemed to think this was strange.

This was my first day as the new office manager. My first duty that day was to mollify an upset job seeker who believed we weren’t doing enough for him. I eventually calmed the person down and he left. I turned to look out at the parking lot and saw three men dressed in jeans, blue work shirts, cowboy boots and Stetsons. They had just pushed my car out of the parking lot and into a ditch. Nobody seemed to care except me. And then I woke up.

I have no clue what brought the dream on. I know for sure that it wasn’t because I miss working. I haven’t missed being at work one day since I retired. I doubt that I ever shall.

***

And now for the announcement. I received this email the other day. If it interests you, feel free to contact Natalie.

Hello,

My name is Natalie Garvois. Miss Anju and Mr. Norm asked me to host the next N-N-1. With some fear in my heart, I accepted. But because of the person I am, I want to make this one slightly different.
We have done themes before, and I like them, so this time let us do the theme “Season Changes.” The theme is voluntary, so you are not required to stick with it. Secondly, rather than be forced to take your picture on a specific date and time, or even just a specific date, you have a three day window to take the picture.
Now for the details:
Take your picture sometime between Thursday, May 2nd and midnight on Saturday, May 4th. Send your picture, a bit of writing (no more than 200 words of prose or poetry) to me at ngarvois@gmail.com no later than midnight on Monday, May 6th. Oh! All times are local to where you are. I’ll put all of the submissions together and post them in my blog, wildriversrunsouth.wordpress.com, and send you a link so that you can reblog the post if you want to. You do not need a blog in order to participate. If you know somebody who would like to participate, please forward this email to them. You can even post this as an announcement in your blog if you want to.
Thanks for your time.

N-N-1 February 2019

It’s time for you to enjoy another N-N-1. Once again we have people in different locales sharing their different contemporary lives with a picture and words. One thing they have in common is an interest in sharing (giving and receiving) with others. 

Natalie Garvois sent this picture and description (surprisingly not in verse). You can find her blog at Wild Rivers Run South.

A Day for Poetry

I visited Nana Julia this afternoon. She invited me to look through her treasure trove of books and pick out a few for myself. I found this textbook of poetry she had saved from college. I shall never be a Whitman; but I can read and appreciate the greatness of others. My Nana never wrote in her books. She didn’t want to ruin their pristine condition. I only wish that she had saved her notes, so that I could also have those memories. Thank you, Nana, for sharing the book and the beauty.

One of my favorite bloggers, and good friend Cupitonian, submitted this from England’s Lake District. Her blog is This Labyrinth I Roam.

Putting aside Mother Earth’s obvious cry for help (summer weather in February?!?!), I was able to inhale the stunning views while road tripping with our windows down in the land known for its rainy and bleak weather! Instead of snow and misery, we were gifted with stunningly laid out landscapes of postcard-friendly views! At some point during the trip, we lost our mobile connections and we had to use roadmaps! It was all very heady and exciting.

At some point during our drive, we came across William Wordsworth’s house. Looking at that eyesore, I couldn’t understand how he could’ve written about nature the way he did living in a place like that. And then we saw where his back garden led! His poetry now made sense. His house gave him a view of a confluence of River Cocker and River Derwent!

It made me sympathise with WW, a man I wouldn’t normally have anything in common with. Living in the moment and celebrating the little things allows you to be a 100% present in your own life as it happens! What more do you need than that?

Next is a submission by my favorite Princess; Butter be her name. She is out in California, and her blog is A Splash of My Life…to color the world

If you see an Indian girl belting out songs in her car at stop lights, with all hand movements and emotions, do say hi to me. Taylor Swift or TSwizzle or TayTay is someone who I didn’t care about until 1989 happened a few years ago. She may not technically be strong, but girl knows how to write lyrics and create music. While you may judge me for loving this popper, I will be busy singing(yelling) ‘Out of Style’! #TayIsMyBae

(Hopefully I will get to explain the context of this picture soooooon!)

And finally what I was doing at 5:30 p.m. on Friday the 21st.

Cindy has decided that she want to grow her own herbs this year. Since she was out winning the bread for us, I went to a local store and started shopping for seeds. My question is, “Why do they always put the herb seeds as low as they can?” I’m not fond of the bending and stooping. I hope Cindy gets a good crop.

There you have the February N-N-1. If you enjoyed this post, and want to participate in the future, just fill in the form below and send it to me. I will see that you get advanced notice of future events. If you think you would be willing to host a future event, just add a note to that effect in the message box.

Callout for a late February N-N-1

Boxcar #1

This is a picture that I took about two years ago. I don’t believe I’ve it published before. At one time I thought about taking pictures of all of the boxcars I saw that had different tags and art work. But I found that I tended to get blurry photos of moving trains. So much for that idea. Perhaps if I get a better camera.

***

Grab a camera and a pencil, or pen, or sharpen a quill and get your bottle of ink. You too can participate in the next N-N-1. Rather than re-write what N-N-1 stands for, I just copied this from an earlier call out:  “If you are new here, you may not know what N-N-1 is. Quite simply the first N stands for the number of participants, the second for the number of photos (they should be the same), and the 1 stands for one time. We have had pictures from all over the world. At first the 1 time meant taking the pictures of wherever we were at the same moment, but with the addition of more time zones, that became darned near impossible, so we switched to the same time, such as 5 p.m., in our respective time zones.” That sums it up pretty well.

This time around I’m asking everyone to take a picture at 5:30 p.m. (or as close to that time as you can) on Friday, February 22nd. You then have four days to write a short (no more than 200 words) piece to go with the photo. Prose and poetry are both acceptable.  Send your picture and write up to me at houseman@comcast.net no later than midnight February 26th. I’ll combine everything and publish the final product right here in Classical Gasbag on February 28th. You can then re-blog that post if you have a blog and desire to do so. Having a blog is not a requirement.  Tell your friends because they may also want to participate. The more the merrier.