weekly photo challenge: movement

On a cruise of the British Isles last Fall, the Queen Mary II was hailed with majestic fireworks while anchored in Liverpool. Lucky us, we had a ringside seat.  There’s nothing like the movement of explosive sparks of fire as they hang suspended…disappearing from sight shortly thereafter. 

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…movement…electrifying and ear-shattering…

………hugmamma.   🙂

fireworks!!!…2012!…so what’s new?

Don’t know about you, but at 12:16 a.m. on 1/1/12 it was the same old, same old at my house. Hubby’s fast asleep on the couch, glasses perched on his nose, eyes shut tight, TV remote buried under the sofa pillows, and “zzzzzzzzz’s” lining up behind one another as they spill forth from a wide-open mouth.

And where am I? Typing away at my laptop, bleary-eyed, wanting to call it quits but unable to escape the words and thoughts that hold me captive…hour after hour after hour.

These fireworks were all photoed at a local fi...

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I stopped blogging long enough to wake my husband, planting a loud kiss on his cheek while exclaiming, mostly to myself, “We’re missing the fireworks…New Year‘s! Wake up! Wake up!” Struggling to open his eyes, he asks for his robe, shivering as the programmed thermostat begins lowering the heat in our home. Of course I oblige after switching the channel to see the firework display re-broadcasted on the late news. As I fly down the hallway to the bedroom in search of my husband’s bathrobe, I stop midway to manually turn up the heat. You can take the girl off the island…but you can’t take the island out of the girl.

Returning to my writing nook…a desk in the corner of my daughter’s former bedroom…I hear the muffled sounds of singing, music, talking, clapping, and laughter wafting down the hallway from the TV in the living room. Faint snores can be heard drifting toward me as well.

Members of three generations of a lineage are ...

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What a pair we make…a middle-aged man who can’t keep his eyes open…and his middle-aged wife who can’t close her eyes…at 1:07 a.m. New Year’s Day. The Chinese have a saying “Whatever you’re doing when the New Year begins is what you’ll be doing the rest of the year.” Can’t disagree with my wise, old ancestors.

Throughout this next year it’s guaranteed my husband will fall asleep in front of the TV, snoring. And it’s just as certain that most nights my eyes will be blinking back sleep as my head begins to nod, while my fingers flit  across the keyboard, jiving to some silent beat…willing me to keep writing. There’s no doubt that we’re creatures of habit. Aren’t we all?

We did make one change to our New Year’s Eve routine however. But you’ll have to wait to learn what it is…

…for i’m putting my foot down…and crawling into bed…and pulling the plug on my brain…goodnight!!!

………hugmammma.  🙂  

cemetery parties

“More than a century ago, cemeteries were social hubs. They were often the greenest spots around. Families would visit on weekends for carriage rides, boating, or picnics by a loved one’s grave. Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery drew half a million visitors a year in the mid-19th century, on par with Niagara Falls.” According to an 8/12 Wall Street Journal article, cemetery socials are experiencing a resurgence. With more Americans opting for cremation, sales of burial plots are on the wane. All around the country prospective buyers have been lured to events on cemetery gounds, in the hopes that they might one day be chosen as final resting places. “In a marketing move that has drawn some criticism, graveyards across the nation are opening their grounds to concerts and clowns, barbecues and dance performances–anything that might bring happy families through the wrought-iron gates.”

At the Fairmount Cemetery in Denver, Colorado, Big Band tune “Swinging at the Savoy” rocks out while couples boogie in the aisles, chowing down  hot dogs, fried chicken and brownies. Cedar Hill Cemetery of Hartford, Connecticut “holds regular scavenger hunts.” Hollywood Forever in Los Angeles projects films on mausoleum walls during the summer, drawing thousands. Disabled children are invited to fish in “a serene pond amid the headstones” at Michigan Memorial Park in Flat Rock, Michigan. “So Davis Cemetery in Davis, Calif., plans poetry workshops, bird walks and art shows. Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, Neb., hosts a Shakespeare festival and rents its quaint chapel for weddings. In Wheat Ridge, Colo., Olinger Crown Hill Cemetery staged a Memorial Day party with fireworks and sky divers. And Evergreen Memorial Historic Cemetery in Riverside, Calif., recently hosted its first fair, drawing a crowd of 700 for face painting, live rock and In-N-Out burgers.”

While cemetery superintendents want to become a greater presence in their communities, there are naysayers who feel that cemeteries are strictly for the dead. But with very few complaints being registered, festivities on burial grounds seem destined to remain a permanent fixture. As an attendee at a recent concert at Denver’s Fairmount Cemetery, entrepeneur Ken Katuin explained ” ‘People tend to go to places they’re familiar with…That’s why McDonald’s has Happy Meals. You start out there as a kid, you have a happy memory of the place, and then when you’re an adult, you keep coming back.’ …Standing outside the mortuary, Mr. Katuin looked at the couples strolling through the darkening graveyard to hear jazz. ‘Maybe this,’ he says, ‘is their Happy Meal.’ ”

On a recent trip to Orange County, California, to see our daughter perform as part of the National Choreographer’s Initiative, my husband granted my only wish for my 61st birthday, which occurred while we were there. We visited Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale. I’d wanted to see Michael Jackson’s burial site, but also glimpse where stars from the “Golden Age” of Hollywood were buried. I’d picked up a thick paperback from Barnes and Noble, which was like an encyclopedic “map” of historical celebrity sites, hangouts, studios, homes. Hollywood: The Movie lover’s Guide – The Ultimate Insider Tour of Movie L.A. by Richard Alleman, even detailed the specific locations where the famous were entombed. Book in hand we went on our very own scavenger hunt, seeking out dead people.

While we went scavenging, we saw families here and there, quietly laying out assorted picnic goodies for luncheon feasts. I also saw a young woman, sitting peacefully among some trees, eyes closed, in deep thought or maybe meditating. I felt such calm as I strode about, or glanced out the car window, thinking that this would be a wonderful place to rest in eternal peace. But I’m not convinced I’d move to traffic-ridden, smoggy Los Angeles just for the privilege of being interred in Forest Lawn.

but it does take your breath away, literally…hugmamma.