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?