Summer reminds me of my grandmother’s garden. An explosion of color from zinnias, petunias, and marigolds (interspersed with tomatoes) delighted all the senses. My garden doesn’t achieve that, but I’ve been looking for new ideas.Reading Country Home’s Country Gardens, I came across an article about Hope in Bloom, an organization that creates gardens for breast cancer patients.Whether garden plots, pots, or window boxes, Hope in Bloom plans the gardens to meet specific needs and wants , at no cost. The gardens provide a focus and tranquil setting to enhance relaxation for those facing breast cancer.
In Massachusetts, the Sharon High School camera club gained new purpose when the club leader, Erica Greenberg , brought the idea of raising funds for Hope in Bloom to her fellow students. They shot photos of gardens and nature to create notecards for sale. Students also began to volunteer in other roles within the organization.The cards are available on Hope in Bloom’s website.
What resonated with me was using photography to inspire and raise funds, getting teens involved and stimulating/furthering their interest in photography. I’d love to hear about other projects in which young people can use their creativity and photography to benefit charity.If you are aware of others, I would love the opportunity to write about them also.
Hope in Bloom provides beauty and support for a very worthy cause. It is based in Massachusetts and is an idea and organization to grow.You can reach them at http://www.hopeinbloom.org.
Roaming the back roads in southern Mississippi, out the driver’s side window I spied a tall chimney and jigsawed glass windows.The challenge was to find the house and take a closer look.After a quick left and several wrong turns, we finally found the driveway.
Posed in front of us stood a neglected brick dowager melting in the sun. As I wandered around the outside peering in windows, untouched marble fireplaces and intact chandeliers surprised me.
The front door stood open and invited us into the shade. Stepping inside I caught my breath. A pair of beautiful pier mirrors flanked the door.The home still wore tired eighties decor.Peeling wallpaper and flaking paint sprinkled the floor and tempted my camera.
Climbing the front stair, nervously I tiptoed – unsure what might be waiting.A hammering sound stopped me. I hadn’t seen a truck or van so I wasn’t expecting workmen. Calling out, there was no response. Two rooms down the hall, I found a shade slapping the window frame in the breeze.Laughing at myself, I explored a bit more and headed down the back stair.
Hard to imagine abandoning a home such as this, a variety of stories played in my mind.Taxes, inheritance problems, relocation, none of those seemed romantic enough for the home’s history.
Amazed and grateful that there was no sign of graffiti or partying to mar her fading beauty.I hope that she will be restored and home to a family who loves her.
Swaying on the porch swing at my grandmother’s house is one of my favorite summer memories.A breeze would drift through and it was cool in the shade. The pillows arranged comfortably and a glass of sweet iced tea with so much lemon that it could almost be called lemonade at my side, I could read or play contentedly. Until my cousins arrived……….
In French sunflowers are called les tournesols, turn towards the sun. I love the sound of the word as well as its meaning. There are so many times it’s easy to give into moods or annoyances and turn away from those who provide the light. In summer, controversy over tanning aside, feeling that sun on your face and shoulders relaxes you and gives you a sense of well-being ( unless you live in Memphis and it’s 98 and humid then you feel more like a dishrag). This photo is a combination of two that I shot in the south of France while savoring the fields of sunflowers.Next year I am promising myself to plant some in our backyard.
I love the drama and reality of black and white, but it’s time to add more color. Color brings dimension to ourselves, our surroundings and the lives of others.Grab a brush and go for it!
Time to relax and try new challenges.
Learning from each other is a great gift.
A stretch of cracked asphalt, crumbling graffiti covered walls , and silence are what remain of the raceway that once hosted drag-racing ‘s legends.Several years ago, after reading an article in the Sunday newspaper ( yes, we still had newspapers back then) , afraid that it would disappear before I got a chance to shoot, my friend and I searched and found Lakeland International Raceway that very afternoon.
Hidden behind an outlet mall which has since morphed into a church, we traveled a road that snaked out of the parking lot and found it in the woods. Deserted .
The strip itself is a quarter mile and dates to 1960 when it was owned by Raymond Goodman. It had its moment of silverscreen fame in Two Lane Blacktop (early 1970’s). During its heyday , records were made and broken by Daddy Don Garlits, Shirley Cha Cha Mudowney,and other Hall of Fame dragsters.I am not into racing, but even I know those names .To think that forty years ago they ran on this track in the middle of nowhere amazes me.
Standing on weed -ridden asphalt , surrounded by trees and silence ,except for the birds and us of course, it’s hard to imagine the crowds that came on Sundays to listen to the tires squealing and inhale the gas fumes.
The remains of advertising on the walls kept my camera busy for a long time. Random bricks and cinderblocks were all that was left of concessions and other structures.
But the strip remains . If you stand silently , you can hear the engines roar ,the cheers of the crowd, the squawk of the announcers ‘ calls , all ghosts of the Lakeland International Raceway waiting for the sound of the bulldozer.
The simplest elements can create beauty.