Wednesday, June 19, 2013


This past week, Charlottesville, VA, once again hosted Look3 Festival of the Photograph.  We live about 11 miles from C-ville as it is referred to so we took advantage of a beautiful late spring day to walk the downtown mall. The mall is an old brick-covered street that does not allow traffic. Instead people can stroll under the trees, eat outside at their favorite restaurant and/or some frozen yogurt and just enjoy people-watching.

The festival includes free photography exhibits open to the public as well as many paid events. Although I've never purchased a ticket to see it all, I have felt enriched by experience of attending some events.

Take a walk with me.

Each annual festival (it does skip a year now and then) features one photographer's work displayed in the trees. This year's topic was Birds of Paradise. 

I go weak in the knees for a bookstore. This one on the mall is small and locally owned.  I want to live there. 

I call this the "Freedom Wall," a spot where people can express themselves in chalk. It is a permanent installment. 

 This was a shot taken from inside a gallery featuring the process of creating a photography book.  I didn't photograph any work in the galleries figuring that was a major no-no, but thought this one said something about the subject matter.  
Who can resist this "lady in pink?"  The mall has many street vendors selling scarves, hats and jewelry which just adds to the color and atmosphere.  I  wonder if she bought something pink?

Thanks for strolling through town with me. If you are interested in more festival highlights, check it out via Google--LOOK3.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Artists communicate differently and I am so grateful for that. They write, draw, paint, cook, create plays or music, or they photograph their perception of people, places, things and attitudes around them.  If our senses are open to their artistic communication, we "feel" things differently. We allow ourselves to be transported.  Julia Cameron, author of "The Artist's Way," says it so very well, "Known or unknown, famous or anonymous, all art is an attempt to map the territory of the heart."

I visited exhibits this weekend during Look3, the Festival of Photograph in Charlottesville, Va. Walking into those galleries I felt I was saying, "I want to hear what you have to say.  What is your story?"  And looking intently at the photographs, I listened and heard and was inspired.

More information to come about the Festival, but today I hope you can find inspiration in the wonders of the world around you.

a grateful heart,

Monday, June 10, 2013


As the song goes, "Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime!"  Our grandson officially is a rising first grader. He's excited about some sports camps this summer, but guess what? Most of the time he will be staying with Omi and Opi (that's us) while Mommy & Daddy go to work.  So on this first morning of the official summer vacation we opened up what was a treasure when I was growing up, a brand new #64 Crayola box with a built-in sharpener!

He was delighted and broke them in properly by creating a sign for his new "cafe" where we eat lunch everyday. It's a room I typically call the kitchen.

I'm looking forward to the smells of a childhood summer such as rows and rows of books in an old library that has a squeak in its wooden floors; coconut sunblock at the pool; peanut butter sandwiches; waxy crayons, paints in primary colors, popcorn during a matinee at the movie theater, play dough and the best smell--a sweaty hug after playing in the summer heat.

To be a grandparent to appreciate the joys of youth again.    

Saturday, June 8, 2013


As daffodils, rhododendron and flowering trees gave up their blooms, we've welcomed summer in Virginia with the sights and sounds of cicadas and rain.

For those who haven't experienced cicadas, they truly deserve the term "unique." These large (over an inch) winged bugs only live a few weeks. The males create a chirping sound to attract the females and when thousands of them are in your trees, they offer quite the background noise---think very loud crickets. The females lay eggs via slits they create in tree branches (doesn't hurt unless it's a young tree), the babies hatch in a few weeks, burrow into the ground to feed on tree roots (again, normally doesn't hurt the tree). The cicadas return 13-17 years later!!!  (Timing depends on the type of cicada according to my Internet sources) The bug crawls out of the ground when it gets warm enough, attaches to your flowers popping out of the ground, then when it dries, the large bug now with wings comes out and flies EYERYWHERE. No harm. You can eat a cicada. Why you would want to do that I do not know.

And rain, we've had LOTS of rain. I couldn't take my precious camera into the yard when we received inches of rain in an hour. Our backyard is anything but flat so the result was a small but rushing stream about 3 feet wide that moved leaves and fallen branches out of its way. No damage, just yard work.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea showed the east coast who is boss yesterday--more rain--but today Mother Nature is rewarding us with a lovely June day. Walking through the water drenched mulch yesterday, I noticed pieces of dead cicadas. Strange. Beautiful. Unique. The sound of cicadas is lessening. Soon I will wake in the morning to birds chirping without the background bug love song as the earth just keeps going round and round.