Estate Sale…

We hit up a few estate sales today. Though we purchased very little, I snapped some interested pictures. The more I go to estate sales the more I want to photograph them and not purchase anything. Estate sales sure do tell a story. They tell the story of the elderly people who no longer live there, the story of their adult children who are caring for their elderly parents and of course the estate sale company themselves. Only one of the three companies today took the time to price the items clearly and fairly, and organize the home for the buyers. While I realize that is to benefit them to make good money, to me it is out of respect to the people who lived there. Leftover items strewn about on beds, in the living room and in closets leaves the feeling of a rushed departure and an unhappy ending. Estate sales are not for the faint of heart. I recall my first one was disheartening.

Today I thought about the stories of these people – avid music lovers and  novice photographers. Perhaps a pipe-smoking man sits in his easy chair at the end of the day, admiring the feminine touches of his wife’s interior decorations?

Perhaps you are too young to remember this. Remember the days where you would write to the newspaper with your opinion on a topic? You’d write a letter to the editor, perhaps. It was always signed with your name and address. Then others might read your letter and take the time to compose their own letter to you. They would share their name and address and let you know how they felt about your letter. Perhaps they disagreed and listed their reasons why. Or perhaps they agreed with you and were delighted you decided to publicize this information. It was a time of ladies and gentleman. What a concept – well thought out, respectful communication.

Today what do we have? We have these so called keyboard warriors or online trolls. They spend hours spewing their hateful comments all over the World Wide Web or social media in the comfort of their anonymous homes. They are brash, quick and ready to fight because they believe that their opinion is right -or they are just there to be disrespectful, just for fun. And the worst part is, they can go online and delete anything they’ve said and easily deny the whole thing. This very example must be listed under cowardice in the dictionary.

I miss the days where ladies and gentleman existed. And for you #MeToo folks I don’t mean ladies who sat idly by because of their so-called place, I mean people who made statements based on research and truths because it was the right thing to do and because they felt strongly about it. They read, they listened and they respectfully discussed. What a novel idea. How can we get that back?


Life’s To Do List

There will always be that kid who knows exactly what they want to be when they grow up. And then there’s that creative kid who thinks the world is so beautiful and wants to see it all.  You know that kid – he’s the little boy whose parent’s made him play baseball when he really just wanted to play at home. You’ll find him in the outfield, missing the ball because he is too busy studying the shapes of clouds, imaging a scene of dueling superheroes. I would file myself somewhere between the two. I’ve mingled in a few careers (if you could call them that) and I’ve enjoyed them all a little and some, a lot. But there have been two careers I’ve enjoyed immensely – art (photography) and the library. This makes me chuckle because those were my favorite school subjects too (aside from history and lunch of course!)

Both careers have lead me to read and write a lot. I read for work- to learn and for fun. I write this blog for fun and I’ve also been writing a column for the local paper. I would like to be an author, but who knows what that will take? I’ve always admired authors. How fascinating they can just make up a story in their heads, write it down and captivate people’s hearts, minds and imaginations. That is pretty epic to me.

I’ve received some lovely feedback about my blog and my column     (aside from my very biased mother). It has really got me thinking about taking writing more seriously. I saved a clipping from the New York Times book review by John Grisham with advice for writing a novel. At first it inspired me, then I freaked out, thinking about writing an entire novel. 300 pages?? Characters, a plot and a great ending?? No way. Then I got to thinking about what inspires me – photography. There is a lovely book at our library called the Doorbells of Florence  by Andrew Losowsky. It is a small book, maybe 4 inches by 6 inches. Each page contains a photograph accompanied by a short story. I thought it would be really interesting to use my photographs and write stories about them. Taking photographs and viewing them inspires me. It is one of the many things that helps me see the beauty in the world.

So now I face the fork in the road. I can take the easy route and keep writing for my blog or I can pay a visit to my photo archives, pick some photographs and get writing. I think my timing might be perfect. Fall is my favorite season and it is fast approaching. We are planning a trip to somewhere new and I may just find some inspiration there as well. As they say, it is now or never!