ChosenPerspectives on Bridge for Weekly Photo Challenge 7-5-17

Bridge

OK, here’s a story for you about Bridge, not a bridge or the bridge, although there are significant bridges like that in my life. I have even posted about some of those.

No, this is a story about the card game, Bridge. But be warned! There are three tragedies in this story and only two happy endings.

For many years, I held onto a beautiful treasure that belonged first to my grandmother and was passed down to my mother. It was a lovely novelty set of China, used only for Bridge Tournaments! A set of 4 plates, one shaped to represent each suit in a deck of cards, and a tea cup to nestle on to each plate. The plate below is a “Spade”. The beautiful shades of silvery blue with goldish orange accents always grabbed my attention.

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There was also a clever stacking teapot, creamer and sugar container.

Vintage Stacked Teapot Set, Blue Lusterware, Tea Set, Atlas Czechoslovakia China
found this on Etsy
 A stunning collection really, and I carried it around with me for more than 30 years, only occasionally unearthing it from it’s elaborate safety packaging, just to look at it.

Tragedy number ONE: In my 30’s while moving, a well-meaning helper placed the very special treasure box containing my mother’s Bridge china set, as well as a pile of antique handpainted, glass Christmas Tree ornaments, on the trunk of my car. My friend was sure I would see it there before driving off to the new house.

I didn’t.

TOPPLE, CRASH, SMASH, CRUNCH, and all that was left was a huge box that when lifted, made that nauseating, tell-tale sound of broken glass. (Silent, major profanity here remembering the event. I did NOT keep those swear words to myself at the time though.)

I was as crushed as all those shattered heirlooms!

The happy ending for that tragedy is two-fold. One plate (the “Spade” in the photo above) and two teacups were unscathed! AND, a few years later, I met this woman, a talented potter, who took all the broken pieces of the Bridge Tea set (of COURSE, I had not thrown them away!!) and “mosaiced” them onto small clay flower pots, so I could put lovely, growing things in them.

(As I write this, I am remembering one of my favorite novels called Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos. A great read partly about broken china and wonderful concept!)

Tragedy number TWO: I have been complaining on my blog that I lost my camera. I even let this loss prevent me from blogging for several weeks!! (I mean, what is a post without visual aids, right?)

I did try last Wednesday to use my phone to photograph the above plate for this Bridge Post. Lousy shots so I was grieving for my old friend even more.

I loved my camera. Just a very small, simple point and shoot Canon, but with the best telephoto and macro capabilities of its generation. I had become intimate with this camera, familiar with all its quirks and loving it anyway. And it knew all the most moving moments of my life, first hand. So the loss has hurt. No idea where it went to, but we have recently moved from the top half of the house to the bottom to make room for my son and grandsons, so I kept thinking I had just packed it somewhere and that it would turn up…but it didn’t! It was nowhere! Another heartbreak.

The happy ending? Just yesterday, while facilitating my new Women’s Art and Support Group, I was presenting the day’s activity: “crafting art out of things you already have around your home”.

I LOVE photography. I have since I was in the 4th grade, snapping away with my little Brownie camera. I didn’t get to be any good at it until these more modern digital options came around. But that’s only because I can afford to take a million pictures now, knowing that somewhere among the plethora of lousy shots, might be a surprise.

Anyway, one of my favorite hobbys for gift making and the occasion Craft Fair is to use my favorite photos for handmade greeting cards.

Three examples of cards I’ve made.

Well, I opened the box I keep the finished cards in and Voila! There was my camera!! It had been hiding right there where it belonged!! I cried and had to excuse myself from group to go tell James I found it because I knew he’d been plotting to buy me a new one.

I LOVED this happy ending!

Tragedy number THREE: My Mom died when I was young so her keepsakes still mean a lot to me. Those China pieces are precious, not just because they are beautiful, but also because they are a reminder to me of the amazing woman my mother was.

The first half of my life with her, my Mom was all involved in motherhood, house-wifing, PTA, her new church, and her favorite, playing Bridge at her Women’s Club in La Jolla. Apparently Mom was a secret Champion. Taught by her church upbringing that she should never brag, we didn’t even know the trips she was taking up the West Coast were because she kept winning huge competitions in Tournament Bridge! (She did finally tell us shyly about beating Raquel Welch’s Mom at Bridge at her local Women’s Club though.)

She would bring home souvenirs for her daughters from her mysterious trips. The hotel rooms were loaded with soaps, lotions, sewing kits, etc) and from the tournaments, lots of Cracker Jax-type charms. Tiny metal and plastic animals, cars, crowns, keys and little people. I never understood the charms and figured maybe they won them or used them to bet with or something?? Anyway, she seemed happy and lots of folks were drawn to her!

Mom and us
my sisters and I with Mom, not long before she died…

The last half of my time with my her was painful. To my sisters and me, as her children, we suffered from her depression and alcoholism, but it must have been unimaginable for her. Her last few years alive, she just really did not want to be here…period.

When I was a youngish teen, she tried for that big “Final Check Out” twice, only to be rescued from her pill-induced coma’s. The third time, she wasn’t taking any chances and used a much more reliable method, a gun. She finally succeeded. Gone from her pain.

No happy ending there…bridge burned! Period.

But I do have to say that her life, the way she knew who she was, and the courageous way she tried again and again to find a way to be herself in a world that repeatedly stomped on her, have been a non-stop inspiration to me. She left the church her family was adamantly committed to. She joined the navy in the 1940’s, almost unheard of for women. She tried being the domestic handmaid she was programmed to be in her family. And finally, she struck out on her own, still determined and still searching, until her own chemistry got the better of her and she finally succumbed to the only answer she could find. To me her life shines brightly, full of examples and lessons to learn.

As Don Henley says in his wonderful song, “My Thanksgiving”,

“Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge.”

Maybe that’s my THIRD Happy Ending!

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Song Lyric Sunday-6/11/17

https://helenswordsoflife.com/2017/06/10/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-61117/

Helen’s challenge for us this week is to

 post a song about alcohol, or a song that has a type of alcohol in the title or lyrics.

This challenge was easy! Here’s one of my favorites!!

LOVE this guy.

Love what he’s done with his talent, with his life.

LOVE this song!!!

One Day at a Time
Well you know,
I was always the first to arrive at the party, ooh
And the last to leave the scene of the crime
Well it started with a couple of beers,
And it went I don’t know how many years,
Like a runaway train headed for the end of the line
Well I finally got around to admit that I might have a problem
But I thought it was just too damn big of a mountain to climb
Well I got down on my knees and said hey
I just can’t go on livin’ this way
Guess I have to learn to live my life one day at a time
Oh yeah, one day at a time
Oh yeah, one day at a time
Oh yeah, one day at a time
Oh yeah, one day at a time
Well I finally got around to admit that I was the problem
When I used to put the blame on everybody’s shoulders but mine
All the friends I used to run with are gone,
Lord, I hadn’t planned on livin’ this long
But I finally learned to live my life one day at a time
It was something I was too blind to see,
I got help from something greater than me
And today I learned to live my life one day at a time
Songwriters: Joe Walsh
One Day at a Time
Lyrics © Spirit Music Group
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Best “Best Friend Story” Ever!! for WPC

Friend

In 1971, we started our epic Camping Road Trip in Southern California. We wanted to see as much of the country as we could so we could pick our place to live. In our circumstance, the rat race of Southern California was just not going to cut it. (More on that later.)

We piled into my 1971 Metallic Blue Datsun 1200.

Datsun
not mine but photo found on Free Photos

And when I say “piled” I mean enough stuff that in each campground people gathered to watch in awe as we unloaded and set up an elaborate outdoor domicile. By the end of our 4 months on the road, we were pretty impressive in our efficiency, both in setting up and breaking camp.

We drove up and down and back and forth across the southernmost United States so we could reach our goal of camping in every state. A few things stand out of course, like the Grand Canyon (though I was too sick to hike down to the bottom…more on that later also). We tried to find something unique wherever we stopped, you know, something only the locals would know about…like Chang Gonzalez’s Kosher German Deli in Blue Lake, New Mexico. Wait. I’ll let you digest that name…

On the Gulf Coast of the Deep South, we pulled into a classic KOA Campground in Biloxi, Mississippi. I remember us being exhausted that day and all we wanted was to set up camp, have a sandwich and a glass of wine, and hit the sack (or bag, as it were). Oh NO! Somehow, we had lost our wine corkscrew. This was not acceptable so we wandered out into the campground to see who looked like they might have one.

And there they were…Bill and Linda. To shorten a very long story (45 years worth, in fact) they had a corkscrew and they also had a flat in New York City, close to Columbia University where they were students. They were on the same quest as we were, camping across America to pick their place to live after college.

When I told Linda our trip would take us through New York City and we were excited to camp in their giant park (Central Park! What did I know??) she laughed and within minutes of knowing me, gave me the keys to their apartment so we would have a safer (more legal) place to stay in their city!

That was it! She just handed over her keys! When it is her turn to tell our story, Linda will say she knew she could trust me because I had already shared with her the fact that I was pregnant, and fairly proud of the fact that I had not felt the need to get married because of it.

 

After we each completed our months’ long searches to find our permanent homes, Bill and Linda chose Portland, Oregon to live in and we chose Seattle, a mere 3 hours away.

So Linda, the traditional girl from Ohio, student with her husband at Columbia, and Kathie, the Hippie Chick from San Diego, too “morning-sick” to climb down the Grand Canyon, in an instant, became fast friends for life. And we still are.

Linda has continued to “hand over her keys” to me for more than 45 years, to her house, her vacation homes, her psyche and her heart. And she has always made it safe for me to do the same! I could not have found a more perfect, lifelong best friend than my Linda.

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Just home from our epic road trip, stopping for a gas station bouquet on the way to our wedding
Linda and Kent 529
Celebrating Linda’s marriage
12-18-06 104
On a Women’s Trip to Port Townsend 

 

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The beach down in front of Linda’s house, me having just spread Joy, my dog and Bandit, my cat’s ashes (see https://chosenperspectives.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/wpc-53117-friend/)

 

Happy Birthday Linda! This post is dedicated to YOU for your love and patience and wisdom all these years!!

Love,

Kathie

PS Your present is in the mail!!

 

 

Evanescent for WPC 5-24-17

Evanescent
Evanescent-

soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing.
“a shimmering evanescent bubble”

Oh boy, I had to look this one up…maybe because I am the Queen of Holding On, of refusing to let go of stuff, especially love and also beauty…in any and all of its forms. And PEOPLE, don’t get me started. I hang on to people, healthy for me or not. I am still in touch with almost every boy I have ever loved!!

So I had a hard time “getting” the definition of this word…

synonyms: vanishing, fading, evaporating, melting away, disappearing;

I learn so many lessons from sea shells. Having grown up by the ocean, I have been a collector all my life. But it wasn’t until an amazing sailing trip throughout Fiji, where we got to prowl along beaches so remote it truly felt like we might be the first humans to ever lay bare feet in that sand, that I realized I was a shell snob. That was my first insight into my own ageism. I only wanted those gorgeous, undamaged shells. In other words, the young perfect ones.

Even though we had to receive permission from the chief of an island to collect shells, it was the locals who pointed out I was gathering shells that might not be finished with their life’s purpose yet. Most shells are recyclable! I was stealing some hermit crab’s future home or maybe a pearl’s gestation container!

But this post is not about shells. My interpretation of evanescent is about all things with a life cycle, no matter how short or long. My lesson from the word this week is to remember how the Fijians (the iTaukei) taught me to fully appreciate beauty at every stage.

It’s easy to see and appreciate the evanescent progression in nature…

I can see the obvious beauty there…

But it’s a bit more difficult when I study the phenomenon of Evanescence while looking in the mirror!

Time…….passing at warp speed now!

That’s all I can say…

Heritage for WPC 5-17-17

Heritage
The word for this week’s WordPress Challenge theme is Heritage. This “wall” in my home  office/group room was created to balance the masculine energy in my house these days as I live with SIX MEN!

But it really represents my Heritage. I come from a long line of very creative and powerful women, specializing in survival. Most of them, through necessity or circumstance, were Single Mothers.

These lacy, pastel bits and pieces are from these women, as far back as one of Brigham Young’s many wives…all of whom were basically “single mothers”

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The Eagles (for once, NOT the rock band)

I have delayed, avoided, and postponed writing this because I wanted to find the words to convey my recent profound experience.

For more than a month, we have had Bald Eagles visiting on our quiet little dead-end street, unusual in the middle of one of the largest, fastest growing cities in Washington state.

I’ve lived in my home for almost 44 years and have sometimes seen eagles circling high above.  Twice, I was even gifted with a low fly-by right in my driveway! But I have only seen them land once before. (I wrote a whole story about that dramatic event but I’ll save it for a later post!)

A few weeks ago on my daily walk I just happened to spot, well actually hear some sky activity. A couple of Bald Eagles, apparently cruising our neighborhood for prey or a nesting site (although it seems late in the year for that latter). Not sure why they are hanging out here. (Hope all the neighbors are keeping their pet Gerbils inside.)

It was a really gray day which made it impossible for my hard-working point and shoot Canon to get a good shot when they landed in a tree top.

And then, a few days later, I was at my computer sending a favorite link to my new blogging friend, Lisa, at  https://dailymusing57.com/  (a terrific Blog, by the way). The link is to a live camera for the Decorah Eagles. As I was typing, I heard that unmistakable eagle-screaming right outside my window! I ran outside onto my deck (without my camera-Dang!) and witnessed the most amazing thing.

This deck is very large, about 600 square feet, and wide open. It’s actually the roof over an old 3 car garage. Before the trees in my neighborhood matured, from my deck I could see the Space Needle and the Olympic Mountains! And every year, lounging on this deck, I would watch the big fireworks shows in July or the Blue Angels performing in August.

But I had never seen a show like this one! There were FIVE BALD EAGLES circling my above me!! Like a small Convocation! (you gotta be impressed I knew that word!) It looked like two were fending off or chasing the other three. Maybe it was a territory battle or some kind of mating ritual. I don’t know!

The twosome flew very close together in large and then smaller and smaller circles. They landed on the top of the biggest tree right in front of my house. The other three flew off into the distance.

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In all these years living in my house, no eagle has ever landed right in front of my house before! Maybe I was just tapped into Eagle Energy on that day or something. I mean, what are the odds I’d be typing away about the Decorah Bald Eagles at the exact moment my local ones appear? I have often wondered if Eagles are a “totem” (spirit animal) for me. Supposedly, if an animal presents itself to you three times, they are yours! So I looked them up.

http://www.pure-spirit.com/more-animal-symbolism/629-eagle-symbolism

For the next several days, the Pair that won the turf battle, hung out in some trees right up the street from me.

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Finally, a sunny day. I shot so many pictures, I broke my camera…literally. I now have to use glass tape to keep the battery door closed.

Now my neighbors all know about our visitors. I am the longest (and oldest) resident on our street and the self-appointed Wildlife Reporter for our neighborhood e-mail list. When I am in the street with my camera, looking up, they stop their cars and ask where the Eagles are today? There have been many emails of sightings, almost as many as when there is a coyote prowling around. On Easter morning, several households were treated to a dramatic Bald Eagle show during outside Easter Egg Hunts. Great opportunities to teach the younger ones about these majestic birds!

Part of the “show” was a couple of Crows dive-bombing these two Eagles, who seemed to be simply sitting there…but I bet there was a Crow’s nest near by.

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This Eagle “peals” each time the Crow dives

This whole experience has totally inspired me to upgrade with WordPress so I can share short videos on my blog. And I think there is a way to capture single frames from a video but I don’t know how. Here is the opening frame of a great video I got of that epic sky-battle. (It’s a photo of my computer screen, so sort of a blurry “screenshot.)

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In recent weeks, almost every clear morning and evening this beautiful twosome sits at the top of my tree to watch the sun rise or set. They remind me of a scene in the movie City of Angels (Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage) where all the Angels are lined up on the beach to watch the Sunset. (It’s in this Goo Goo Dolls video)

 

I have been house and dog sitting for dear friends this last week, so I have missed their visits, but every day I drive the 25 miles back to my house hoping for a sighting. I pay lots of attention to my three cats for a while, pretending that’s why I’m home, but then, I go out on my deck looking for my Bald Eagles. I miss them. (Do NOT tell my kitties that’s really why I’m home. They are so sensitive!)

One morning, at the place I’m staying, I looked up from writing this story to see a huge bird right outside on the fence…some kind of Hawk, I think. Couldn’t get my camera focused fast enough but here he is.

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Anybody recognize this pretty? I thought to myself “Hmm, settling for a Hawk? It’s just not the same.” but when I looked up the Native American symbolism for Hawk, it was so close to Eagles I decided I’d better start paying better attention to their message for me.

I have to admit that with all this activity and totem research, I am now taking these Bald Eagle visits very personally. I’m looking at my current life differently and as usual, with a “message from the Universe”, there is a mixture of wonder, awe, and Duh!

If I knew how to thank these birds, I would.

I mean, I’m not going to sacrifice one of my cats or anything, but I am truly grateful for their amazing and persistent presence.

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My message…
“This may be a good opportunity for you to renegotiate and balance your obligations–-Eagle ”  from http://www.spirit-animals.com/eagle/
OK, got it!! Could not be more fitting right now.
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You must always look carefully at the WHOLE picture….even when there is distracting beauty right in front of you…
(My accidental discovery…I didn’t see my Eagle in the background until I enlarged the apple blossoms…)
If you read all the way to here, I sure would appreciate some feedback or reactions to this post. Thank you.

Song Lyric Sunday 4/30/17 Consequences

Our musical challenge this week from Helen was to post a song about consequences…good or bad…and this is the one that came immediately to my mind.

No comments though…I wouldn’t want you to think I had ever made any bad choices in men or anything…..

Magic Man
Cold, late night so long ago
When I was not so strong you know
A pretty man came to me
Never seen eyes so blue
You know, I could not run away it seemed
We’d seen each other in a dream
Seemed like he knew me, he looked right through me, yeah
“Come on home, girl” he said with a smile
“you don’t have to love me yet, let’s get high awhile
But try to understand, try to understand
Try, try, try to understand, I’m a magic man”
Winter nights we sang in tune
Played inside the months of moon
“Never think of never, let this spell last forever”
Well, summer lover passed to fall
Tried to realize it all
Mama says she’s worried..growing up in a hurry
“Come on home, girl” Mama cried on the phone
“Too soon to lose my baby yet, my girl should be at home”
But try to understand, try to understand
Try, try, try to understand, he’s a magic man, Mama, ah, he’s a magic man
“Come on home, girl” he said with a smile
“I cast my spell of love on you, a woman from a child”
But try to understand, try to understand
Oh, oh, try, try to understand
Try, try, try to understand
He’s a magic man, oh, he’s got the magic hands
OoooOooo’s over top
“Come on home, girl” he said with a smile
“You don’t have to love me yet, let’s get high awhile”
But try to understand, try to understand
Try, try, try to understand, he’s a magic man, yeah, oh
Songwriters: Nancy Wilson / Ann Wilson
Magic Man lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-43017/

 

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