My youngest son and I went on a roadtrip together.. quality time with his mother. You know, the things that are on the top of a 15 year olds list of things to do.
When you are on holidays... the time is not important !
The cottage by the sea that we would all like to have as a getaway !
We were heading to Cannon Beach in Oregon from British Columbia. The roadtrip started out great, got through the border early and headed down the highway for about 3 1/2 hours.
We stopped along the way to shoot a few photos'. This one is called Big Tree - Little Parker. Which is funny because up close, Parker is actually a pretty big kid for 15.
So here's what happened. We stop to pick up some shorts for Parker at a shoppe 3 hours down the highway. At Volcom of course, and when we go to buy them, guess what I don't have? My visa. Yup. A serious Julie moment. I almost had an anxiety attack right there in the store. I had some cash to pay for the shorts and gas and some lunch but the problem was that I truly needed my Visa to book into the hotel. So...... after a few "I can't friggin beleive I did this".... moments, my wonderful son smiled and made it not that big of a deal. We had to turn around and drive all the way back to Canada... 3 hours again to find it sitting on my table where I had left it. We joked about how many times we had driven by the Tacoma dome and decided to set out the next morning at 5 AM to get back down to where we were suppose to be. Yup. That's quite the son who would still get back in the car with his mother and go all the way back down again! Truly a moment.
We finally get down to Oregon - where our destination was Cannon Beach. Beautiful. Sun came out. We walked the seaside community and booked into the first place we could find that had a vacancy. We were both completely releived to be relaxing. Here's where we stayed.
Later in the day we went for a walk to the beach and it is a magnificent place to look at..
Sand dollars on Cannon Beach. We're rich! If only we could spend them.
Misty landscape is just so beautiful. Surfers heading out to catch some waves. The water was really cool but they didn't seem to mind at all. Wetsuits adorned and dog in tow....
Heading down to the beach just before sunset. A lovely quiet time.
This is the landmark there. It's called Haystack Rock, at 235 feet high, is the third largest coastal monolith in the world.
Local artists " A delicate Balance" Which came first? Embodies lifes' precariousness.....
Then we headed towards Seattle set on hitting Safeco Field for a baseball game in a couple of days. We stopped in Seaside for the day, and had Sushi on the beach. Caught a little sunshine on our bodies ( although Parker kept his hoody on the whole time) and walked the streets and window shopped. We found a fantastic vintage store called Garbo's (www.garbovintage.com)
I bought that red dress there and the owner let me use her hat and hold the sign for a photo shoot. I liked her. She had spunk. Parker tried on these white Sinatra shoes and I was proud of him for embracing the "odd in life". Don't you just love those hairy legs. These boys grow up so fast.
I forgot to mention the candy shoppe in Cannon Beach. Not just for kids! There was some really good stuff in there. Homemade crunchie bars, and salt water taffy. Bins and bins of jelly beans and a kitchen where they were making candy apples right on site.
I loved this sign.... who don't we know that hasn't pulled too many beans or picked the wrong color? Or watched as someones's child was left to thier own enjoyment! WEll, at this store you can buy those mixed beans at a discount.
So we headed on and had to spend the nite in Astoria because of a terrible accident that closed the highway. We found a cheap little old motel that was clean enough and bunked in for the nite. The next morning we drove to Seattle and watched the Mariners play. It was free Ichiro t-shirt day for the first fans through the doors and I guess we were some of the lucky ones.
Parker said he couldn't wait to play again and so inspiration won out. Yeah! He got some new stuff to head back to school with and we really enjoyed our time together.
Parker did mention driving home that we would once again pass the Tacoma dome and I laughed. What an accomlishment. Truly. I drove all that way by myself. Part of it twice. Car didn't have any problems, and we had some fun along the way.
I listened to Parker's music through the radio and I even liked a lot of it. Go figure.
So that's the end of summer I guess. The wind is blowing in the Fall season pretty quickly and the breeze is not quite as warm. The leaves are slowly changing but really so are we. Parker is playing Fall Baseball and I'm glad to see him smiling. Soon we will be moving and more changes are to come. I am thankful for that trip. We both needed it.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Today I gathered up all my laundry, tore the duvet and pillow cases off my bed and decided to go to a coin laundry to get it all done in multiple washers quickly. I thought it might be an adventure so I took my camera along. It stayed in the car while I washed and dried but I wished I had taken it in with me after all. The place was owned by an oriental couple and as I spent the couple of hours there, I learned a little bit about them. When I first met I wasn't so sure we were going to get along. As I loaded my carefully sorted items into 3 different washers, the fellow who owned the placed spyed me up. He was watching that I didn't overload, told me he would turn on the machines and his head just about spun around when I turned one of the dial settings to hot instead of warm. Alright, I am paying for the machine and I wanted to use hot water. He said I musn't use these particular machines unless I had liquid soap AND that I was putting too much in anyways. A capful? Isn't that the measuring device anyways? So, I get these things up and running, and pay him $5.00 per machine. He seemed happy to get the money from me and was now a little more personable. I popped into the liquor store to get a bottle of wine as a gift and then I walked over to Starbucks to get a tea. I stopped at Cobbs and got a lovely pumpkin scone for a treat and grabbed a magazine (Artful Blogger) to read while I waited. Once I got back the mister was eating dinner at the counter while his wife was doing laundry for some one else. He seemed to be boss. Got annoyed with her for telling me to put bleach in the fabric softener slot. Honestly. Anyways, once the washers were through and I had loaded my stuff into the big dryers, the wife comes over to me and says she would like to know where I got my lace tights from?
She starts to talk about how her and her husband ballroom dance and she would like them for under her dress. So cute. Now this couple are in thier early 60's and she goes and gets her long black flared skirt to show me. I can now imagine her swirling on the floor and her dress splaying up to reveal what's going on underneath. She also shows me the little pair of shorts she uses as "underthings" now - and which apparently don't work as well as she would like them to. So, I promise her that if I see some I will come and tell her so she can get a pair too. We talk about classic fashion and how not showing as much skin is sexier and the whole thing strikes me as quite funny. I fold my towels and it looks like it's about 20 minutes till closing. I finish up and as I am getting ready to head off, I see the mister and the misses (who is now dressed in her ballgown outfit) swaying and dancing with each other in the open area in front of the washing machines in the laundromat. It made me smile to see them. Here's a couple who own a little laundromat where he eats his dinner at the front desk. There are rubber gloves drying on a rack and the back door is open to the alley. It's Friday nite and they are dancing in the laundromat ! !
Enjoying each other and smiling while they move thier feet back and forth and sway to the sound of the dryers spinning through the cycles. No music. I can't help myself of course and I tell them that I think it is the sweetest thing I have seen. In that moment I knew I had failed to capture something so special because I left my camera in the car. Darn it. A real Life Magazine moment.
That's what photojournalism is all about. Captured moments that express something about life that words cannot.
I like it when you do something different in your life and you are rewarded in these ways. It just makes life interesting.
I know one thing for sure... next time I am taking my camera in - just in case life happens right in front of my face again. I wish I could have shown you the picture.
It was definitely a keeper.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
It's interesting how you wind your way through life meeting so many personalities and faces. Some make a big impression on you and others become just a face in the crowd. I have been thinking about people and why we feel so connected to some and can do without others. It's not always that you share the same common interests - but something must bring you together right? Where we Work.. that's more like being thrown together in a gladiators bowl sometimes...
School.... that's judgement at its worst when your young and then becomes a circle of really interesting people as you get older. After all, you've signed up for the same thing rather than being put on a list because your name ends in a certain letter of the alphabet. Neighbors... that'll make a connection - but it also depends on where you live. Property too big to call over the neighbors fence? Or like me for now in an apartment? I see my neighbors come and go but I don't really know them and I don't think we are all meant for each other anyways. The man downstairs is an old grouch.
The lady across the hall is quite sweet however, and sometimes I see her sitting in her chair out front reading a book in the sun.. I copied her and it was a nice way to spend the afternoon. See there, sort of a connection. Then there's those who you think you have come to know - and they pull a fast one on you. Those are disappointing. All of a sudden they don't look like the same people to me anymore. I wonder what kind of rose colored glasses I was wearing? Those are friends lost. Poorly chosen words make them hard to rebuild. But alas this is a big world. Most people are interested in talking about thier lives or sharing a smile. This guy said hello to me in Gastown last week and then he thanked me for stopping to talk and not ignoring him. This caught me totally off guard. ( Apparently he had some friend problems recently also) I listened to him tell me that he was HIV positive and then thank me again for not backing away when he said it. I just stood and listened as I knew there would be a point to this interchange soon. He went on to say that if I had some spare dollars that could help with his dinner meal, he would greatly appreciate it. I smiled and said well, I hoped that most Canadians would stop and talk because that's the way we pride ourselves but that there are some odd characters out there in this world and talking to strangers in general these days makes people nervous. So how do you tell if someone is a friend or someone to be cautious of? I think its pretty tough because it seems that the ones who play the wolf in sheeps clothing game are more dangerous than the ones who come on out and say straight up .... "I'm not perfect, take me as I am.. I will make mistakes but I never meant to do you any harm". I want to stay friends with you so I would rather talk to you than about you behind your back. So, one of the biggest lessons I have learned at the ripe old age of 48 is to cherish your friends but to hold your cards close to your chest. Choose wisely who you will share your heart with and never forget those who have stood beside you during tough times. Those are valuable friendships - be very careful what you say when you don't agree because words can never be erased. They can hurt just as much as a good kick in the shins and leave bruises that other people don't really see.
If all else fails.... walk away because at least you are not adding fuel to the fire. I have dug in my heals in the past and fought fires that weren't worth fighting. I am learning - I guess that's the whole point and its not always friends with advice that we are willing to listen to. Sometimes its the complete stranger who comes into your life for a minute and reveals a big lesson about something you haven't paid attention to - until now.
I guess it truly all boils down to trust. It takes a long time for the true person to reveal themselves to others. I am not perfect and nor are others. What are you willing to live with and what's a true dealbreaker for you? Is it about forgiveness? or is it about being a doormat? Does it always have to be my way?
So much to consider. I'd rather not.
So - I'm just gonna walk away from this one. I can always make that choice.