Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Special Gift

I received a very special gift this Christmas. To tell the story, I must go back to 1938.

My parents, Albert and Lillian, were married in December of 1938. My mother had the most beautiful wedding gown for that time. (Please take a look at the wedding photo below!) To a young girl, it was the dress for a princess…satin, with a long train. My mother looked beautiful and my father was very handsome, “dapper,” the way men looked in 1938. Her flowers were big, white, long-stemmed Calla Lilies. Just beautiful!

My sister Linda says that she always wanted to wear my mother’s wedding dress when she married. It was one of her childhood dreams. What young girl would not want to look like a fairytale princess? Well, when she asked Lillian, my mother, for the dress, Mom said didn’t remember where it was. Years ago, she said, her sister-in-law had it altered. It was saved somewhere but she didn’t remember where.

In 2004 my mother died after a short illness, ten years after my father. She was 88 years old. That story is for another time.

My siblings and I, together, cleaned out my mother’s apartment. We laughed and cried and went through all of what she had left, which was not much. We shared what we could and agreed that material things could not replace our mother or our love for her.

We each took a few items. As we looked through the closet, we found the large wedding photo, all dusty with a few cracks and broken edges, but basically in good shape. The colors had not faded. I took the photo and had it reframed. I hung it in a guest room which I renamed, “The Wedding Room.”

Way back in the closet, something was tied in an old yellowed pillowcase. It too was dusty and to my brothers, even looked “scary.” Well, it was the wedding dress! Linda took the dress and we laughed and couldn’t imagine why.

Well, two years have passed. As I opened my Christmas present from Linda, I saw what she had done. It was this satin pillow! Made from my mother’s dress!

Linda took the dress, complete with headpiece, to a seamstress who created the most beautiful pillow. The tiny buttons decorate the center and the flowers and ruffle accent the ends!

Thank you Linda! This is the best gift ever! It will rest on the bed under the photo of Mom and Dad!

Linda also had other items made from the fabric: little angels…for the females in the family. Little angels to protect them and keep Lillian in their hearts!

We could not have asked for a more thoughtful gift!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

May your life be filled with all things, friends, food, and good health!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Holiday Marketing

The neighborhood vending machine....25 cents for a small bouncing ball, right by the shop window.
Every child wants one when leaving the store.
The science of marketing is upon us, not just for the holiday, but everyday.
It's scary to know that "they" have our needs and desires all figured out.
Don't get caught up in the buying, please!
Let the true meaning of Christmas shine through all the selling.
Enjoy family and friends and being together.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!

The Car Wash

Christmas chores....get the car washed before the family visits. It's right up there with wrapping the gifts and getting a haircut!
So much preparation.....but wouldn't life feel empty without it?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mike from Mike's Christmas Tree Farm. What an adventure!

The fishing fleet at Captree State Park. The boats are getting ready for the spring season.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Fire Island. A walk through the sand dunes brings you to this point. Sometimes you see a deer on the way. The only sound is the waves crashing against the shore and birds calling the way birds do. This photo was taken just a few days ago and the weather was wonderful, more like April than December.

The lighthouse keepers living quarters. It is a pretty nice looking house and roomy inside too......and the view isn't bad either!

Fire Island Lighthouse, Long Island, NY

a window in the lighthouse.....
Did you know that since the ships approached from the south, there are no windows on the south side of the tower?
Since the lighthouse keeper needed lights at night and the lights may just confuse the ships, windows were built into the east and west sides.
I just learned that.
I guess you can learn something new everyday.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Fire Island Lighthouse, Long Island, NY

The view from the top of the Fire Island Lighthouse. Looking east.
You can see the towns on Fire Island, the Great South Bay on the left and the Atlantic Ocean on the right. It was a beautiful day!
It seemed like the perfect sunlight for taking photos.
I wanted a good shot of the lighthouse, so I convinced my husband that we should drive over to Fire Island and see what we could find.
(As opposed to going there by boat. The boat is packed away for winter.)
It was definitely a good decision! The sky was clear and visiblity wonderful.
Enjoy the photos and don't forget to click on the photo if you want to see the largerest size.

The same Robet Moses Causeway with two roadway bridges, as seen in the photo below. This view is from West Islip.

Robert Moses Causeway as seen from Captree Island

Friday, December 15, 2006

Sayville on a December Night

This is the town of Sayville.
It is a Thursday night and most of the stores are closed. Of course Starbucks is still open.
I went into town with my tripod to search for interesting photo opportunities.
Have you noticed that I haven't posted here in awhile?
Well, it's holiday time.
Christmas cards to write and gift shopping have been keeping me busy.
But the major reason, keeping me busy, is a photography project.
It was an assignment where I actually got paid as a professional photographer!
Three of my photos have appeared in a magazine article.....and I got paid!!! Big time!!!
It is wonderful to be able to do something you love and make money doing it.
Past & Presents, Ltd.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Taking photos indoors

It was only about 20 degrees F outside today.
I stayed in....and took pictures.
It's not like I didn't have anything else to do. Goodness, Christmas is only two weeks away and I have a list of chores! But I love to play with my camera!
I worked with the light and color and shape.
I also belong to a Flickr group, Utata, that has weekly projects.

It's fun....and it stretches my imagination and teaches me more about photography.
This photo was taken for Iron Photographer 11.
There are three elements that must be met for each Iron Photographer.
This one was:
~a window, or door
~the color blue
~a curved line
I thought this photo met all three.
Not bad for a cold day.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A farm on the east end of Long Island.
We were in search of a "cut your own tree" farm and found this lovely area and the cemetery at the Mt. Sinai Congregational Church.
The light is so interesting at this time of year.
This looks like it could be 4 o'clock but it was only 11 AM. That's winter for you.
Low sun, long shadows.
Today, we went to the Mt. Sinai Congregational Church Cemetery. It's a very old cemetery and some of the most “famous” Long Island names are represented here.
I was curious about the tombstone above. Buried at Sea? Cuba?
A search on Google found this:
George Bellows
Born: 6 MAY 1820 at: Hampton Bays, Suffolk Co., LI, NY
Died: 28 APR 1875 at: on board his ship 'R. T. Clark', in Baracoa, Cuba

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

...getting colder.....!

Quite cold today...probably the coldest day yet this winter.
That's okay. It seems that time flies so quickly, the weather will be warmer before you know it.
Doesn't it seem like the seasons are shorter? Or is that just my age creeping up and making time pass by faster?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Old Bethpage Restoration Village

Two old barrels sit in the barn on what was once the Powell Farm. The farm was really located here in Bethpage but the historic building were transported to save them from demolition.
I'm originally a city girl. I didn't know anything about pigs.
They were so cute with their long pink eyelashes, until they turned and walked away.
Their feet went, squish, squish, squish, through the mud!
And what a sight!

More of Old Bethpage Restoration Village

The Hat Shop
Everyone wore hats back in the 1800s.
Do you know where the expression came from, "The Mad Hatter"?
Hatters boiled the animal fur to make felt, with mercury!
Years of inhaling mercury, poisoned the hatters!

Ladies in colonial period clothing, sit and wait and knit some socks for winter.


The Town Square Bell


Milk pitcher decorated with the likeness of a pig.


Old Bethpage Restoration Village

Walk through the town and you feel like it is the 1800s.
This is the Old Bethpage Restoration Village where the historic homes are transplanted from other areas of Long Island and are in the restored condition of the 1800s.
It is an interesting place to see and there is so much to learn about the time period.
One of the museum docents or "tour guides" explained that museum visitors are not as great in number as they once were.
People no longer visit on weekends.
I guess they all go shopping or take the kids to soccer.
I don't know really. At one time, a weekend family sightseeing trip was the thing to do.
Times do change.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Old Bethpage Village Restoration

Today we went to the Old Bethpage Village Restoration.
It is a restored village dating back to the 1800s with farm houses and blacksmith shop,
as well as the hat shop and school house.
The day was overcast and gray, so photos were limited to just a few.
It was wonderful to get back to those old days and listen to the volunteers
give their explanation of the homes and lifestyles.
This is a photo of the Powell Farm c. 1855

Monday, November 27, 2006

Back to the morning routine....

The holiday is over, the left-overs are all gone.
It's time to get back to reality and the daily routine.
Read the paper with the morning coffee, check email and post some photos.
Don't you just love the NY Times font?

Friday, November 24, 2006

The ending of November

November is coming to an end.
Yes. Today, many people begin shopping for their holiday gifts.
The leftover turkey gets eaten.
The Christmas lights go up.
The weather gets colder.
I like the part about eating the leftover turkey.
As the cook, it seems that the turkey dinner is always better the second day..after the company has left, and the cook can relax.
I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderul!
I had a great time with family and friends. It was everything you want Thanksgiving to be.
Good food, family and friends.
And did I mention the desserts? We have that leftover too!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

May you have a wonderful holiday, filled with family, friends, good food and good health!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sayville at Night

I went down to the bay tonight, with my tripod.
There is a park near the bay with a walkway and play equipment for kids.
I saw some people walking their dogs. Someone was at the marina checking on his boat.
Soon all boats will have to be out of the water at the town docks.
This is the shot I took.....eerie and getting colder.
The park is to the right, the bay is on the left.
You can see the darkness of the water and lights in the distance.
I didn't stay too long. My hands got cold.
Yep, winter is coming.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Christmas Cactus in November

This is my Christmas Cactus.
The point blooms each year for Thanksgiving and again at Easter!
I know it must be a different variety of "Christmas Cactus" and I am happy that it is blooming now.
Our Thanksgiving guests will be treated to these beautiful flowers as well as the food and company of family and friends.

Winter Berries

On our ususal morning walk, we came upon some winter berries.
I wish I new the names of all the plants I see.
There is so much to learn and never enough time.

Friday, November 17, 2006

November in Bellport, Long Island

We took a ride today to Bellport, just to see the photo opportunities.
This is one of the best from today, the Carman's River.
The boats are being pulled out of the water for winter, and just one or two remain.
Some of my top photos on've been a member for over one year and have more than 2,000 photos online.

Jessica, smiling for the camera...and me!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!
I wish I could say it to him in person. He died in 1994.
Born in 1908, he would have been 98 years old today.
This is my most favorite photo of him, in the store, where I guess he was the most comfortable.
He loved the store and he loved us, his children.
So, happy birthday daddy, and know that we are thinking of you today.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

First Sailboat Ride

Kevin and his girlfriend Ragan on our friend's sailboat.
It was Ragan's first time on a sailboat.... and she loved it!
The weather was beautiful and we took a boat ride with our friend Dave to Fire Island.
Dave wanted to give his 30' Newport a "last ride" before it's taken out of the water for winter.
We walked on the empty beach and Ragan, who only saw the ocean once before, took off her shoes and ran through the waves!
It was wonderful to see Kevin and Ragan so happy!
The photo below is from the same day.

Went to Fire Island yesterday. Thought we'd get a boat ride in before it has to be taken out of the water for winter.
Fire Island was spectacular as ususal.
The birds, the sand and sunshine, and an empty beach...just wonderful!

Friday, November 10, 2006

We took a very long walk yesterday, Thursday, through the Connetquot River State Park and Preserve. It is a quiet, peaceful, oasis in the middle of the suburbs. The only sounds are from the birds. Occassionaly a plane will pass overhead (the airport is not far). And occassionaly a deer will be seen running through the brush after hearing us approach.

The Park.

The Grist Mill in the Connetquot State Park and Preserve...

Our Thursday walk was through Connetquot State Park and Preserve. There is an old Grist Mill there that is currently being restored.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sorry I haven't posted any photos in awhile. I've been busy. Yes, I know that is no excuse but you know how things go. It rained today, all day. I took some shots of the rain. And the wet leaves. And the wet walkway. Just one of those days. You know.

Rainy day project.....Take a plant and some string and make a black and white photo. This was the assignment from to keep me experimenting.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Calm breezes on Fire Island in November..... Another week has gone by and I don't know where the time is going. I feel like we just came into autumn and now we're getting ready with our Thanksgiving plans. The stores and shopping malls are decorated for Christmas and winter holidays! When does it slow down?

Gentle colors from a bouquet of flowers!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

One of the most wonderful things about living on Long Island, is that is so close to New York City. We were in the "city" yesterday and the city was busy and exciting. You could feel the energy. Everyone is getting ready for today's big race! Stay tuned!