Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

December 31, 2007

No resolutions.....but maybe a few goals.

Happy New Weir everyone!! That's what Deadheads usually say to each other..."Have a Jerry Christmas and a Happy New Weir."

We'll be hanging out tonite, going to bed early, being awakened at midnight by the fireworks, then sleeping in tomorrow. As I mentioned in my Labor Day post, Brian and I are not huge fans of when New Years is celebrated. This time of year always seems so depressing. We're still coming down off the holiday high, many of us have eaten and drank way too much, although today I managed to get a pair of jeans on, and buttoned, that I haven't been able to get over my fat can in months, so apparently I didn't eat that much.

I just wish traffic was as light as it was today, every day!! At least it's a short day. Phones are quiet here at work...I'm planning to jet outta here at noon'ish.

Do any of you make resolutions? I don't. There was only one year that I managed to stick to a resolution and that was in 1996 when I said I'd try new things. That year I brewed my first batch of beer (under Brian's supervision and assistance of course), I tried to take banjo lessons but realized that I'm too old and too dyslexic to learn how to read music.....when I went to the 2nd lesson I proudly played what the teacher had me practice, only to find out that I'd learned the music upside down and backwards. I'd also had modest success selling jewelry and window crystals that summer. My office had moved from SF to West Berkeley in '96 & my hours were reduced, so I got a new part time job at another firm in downtown Berkeley, near the Cal campus and I eventually transitioned to that firm full time by the end of '96. So that was a pivotal year for me.

2008? Don't know. I hate the word "resolution", and prefer "goal" but isn't a goal just a resolution?

The one thing I'd love to do in '08 is stop the cycle of self loathing. My self esteem has always been in the gutter and I can't even stand to look at myself in the mirror. Which is why my hair always looks like it's been thru a cyclone, b/c after the initial blow dry in the morning, I don't bother looking in the mirror the rest of the day. So what I'd like to do is really get back to the gym and make an effort this coming year. I'd like to stop hating myself, but that's something I've grown so used to doing, b/c it's been a part of my makeup for as long as I can remember. I was never thin enough for my family, and all that caused me to do was eat more. Then I look back at photos of me when I was young and I wasn't fat. I was told I was fat. I was on diets all the time. I'm not talking about my teenage years, I'm talking about being fed cottage cheese and peaches when I was in elementary school, and told to "Get outside and get moving! You are too sedentary!" all the time. When I'd be playing w/ my cousins in my aunt's pool, I was encouraged to swim laps for exercise. My family is so incredibly fat-phobic. It's all I ever hear about....who lost weight, who gained weight, weight weight weight weight. In fact, I'm already having anxiety attacks about going back east this coming spring b/c I just know I'm gonna hear about it. Along with my unstyled hair and shabby clothes.

As for vacations this year, I was very excited to go to Canada again. I had planned on spending a few days at the Whistler/Blackcomb resort, north of Vancouver. It's a winter and summer playground, and I was planning on doing a zip-line in the woods. It looks like so much fun to do! On the way home, I was going to stay in Surrey or White Rock, near the border w/ the USA, and then go to Point Roberts, which is a tiny bit of Washington State that can only be accessed by crossing into Canada. Unfortunately, the US dollar has taken such a nosedive, while the Canadian loonie is kicking ass. Therefore, it would end up costing me way more money in the long run to vacation in British Columbia, between the crappy exchange and the foreign transaction fees that credit card companies charge. I'm glad I did my epic Vancouver Island trip last summer. Oh I can always take the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to the island and spend the night in Victoria if I need a BC-fix, but there won't be any long-term vacations to Canada this year.

Brian and I are, however, going to Long Beach, Washington, for President's Day weekend, weather be damned. Long Beach is in the far southwest corner of the state. The explorers Lewis & Clark ended their expedition in the Long Beach, WA/Seaside, OR area, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific, between Washington and Oregon. I don't care if the weather is stormy....they actually have "Storm Watching" events. We will board Sagan and take Pepper. Washington is a very "dog friendly" state when it comes to travel, so we will stay at The Anchorage cottages. We've been there before and it's lovely and snug. The town of Long Beach is funky. Another reason we want to go is that area was hit so hard by the storm and floods of early December and their economy desperately needs a boost.

Other than that and my obligatory trip back east, we have no other travel plans. But another goal I would like to set for myself this year is to finally get up to Seattle and do the tourist thing. In June we will be here for 9 years, and other than passing thru Seattle & a Mariners game in 2001, I've never spent any time there at all. There are a ton of day or overnight trips I would like to take - Port Townsend, Leavenworth, Snohomish, Olympia, Mount St. Helens, and of course, Julie and I will have to rendezvous again at some point in '08.

And I can hear Susan, Kris and Tess now, "And we have to get you to Nebraska this spring too." I'm still mulling it over guys, and will let you know if it's feasible!!! I'm going to try and figure out a way to tack it on at the end of my trip to Cape Cod. Will let you know!

Anyways, have a safe and happy new year! Here's to a peaceful 2008 and the end of the Bush regime.

December 29, 2007


I'm totally whoo-hooing here, because I FINALLY WON! After MONTHS of losing out on many Vincent shirts on eBay, usually because the bids went over my budget, I FINALLY won a VDO shirt!!! For only $61.00!!!!! That's all I wanted.... one shirt at a reasonable bid. What a great way to end the year, eh?

When I checked eBay earlier this week, I showed Brian this shirt that was available. He looked at it and quipped, "So do you guys call that one 'The Black Wifebeater of Hotness'???" I cracked up laughing so hard. Everytime I mention TBTSOH, he usually rolls his eyes, so I thought it was pretty quick of him to come up with a name for this shirt. Then he told me yesterday he kind of wanted me to win the auction because he coined the name.

Now, does anyone know what film or show he might have worn this in? It doesn't look like something Goren wore. Perhaps Charley from "Crooked Hearts"? I don't remember Bill wearing a shirt like this in "Mystic Pizza". Did Carl Stargher wear one? Valentino maybe?

Val? Eliza? Tess & Diane? Can anyone venture a guess?

December 26, 2007

Phew! Glad That's Over With!

We actually had a lovely, relaxing holiday weekend. I spent about 4 days in my jammies and it was awesome. We usually go out on Xmas Eve for dinner, but this year we ordered 2 deli trays from Safeway which were delivered on the 24th. One was all veggies and the other, Italian meats and cheeses. It was excellent and boy do we have leftovers!

Here's my happy girl, Pepperbeanieweenie, all excited because she's gotten new toys and treats!

Santa was here!!

We must've been good this year!

The doggies were good for the most part but they couldn't help get excited over the change in routine and all the new smells. We were trying to unwrap some treats in their stockings (I swear, cars should be made as indestructible as the shrink wrap on dog treats!) , but Pepper thought we weren't moving fast enough, so she snatched Sagan's stocking right off my lap and dragged it onto her bed. We cracked up.

This is the Yule Log that is broadcast on TV every Dec. 25th, from 5:00 am to 9:00 am. I wish they'd broadcast it till at least 10, but I guess they are catering towards families with children that get up o'darkthirty.It was adorable watching the doggies "help" unwrap their toys. Not so adorable when they'd help US unwrap OUR stuff though! lol

"I has a big bone!"
"I has one too!"There were a few dustups over the new toys of we see Pepper with the penguin and red fuzzy google-eye ball, but later in the day, those somehow migrated onto Sagan's bed.
Brian was quite pleased with this t-shirt I got him, to commemorate the new South Lake Union Trolley in Seattle. Metrotransit prefers "South Lake Union Streetcar" but "Ride the SLUT" is the moniker that has managed to stick. A local musician even wrote a song for it too.

"I'm dreaming of a white Crissmiss...." And how surprised were we to see that the meteorologists were actually right for a change, and it did indeed snow yesterday afternoon for about 45 minutes before changing to rain!

Still, it accumulated a little bit, so it counts as a white crissmiss.

It really came down there for awhile! Communities up north of Seattle, closer to the "Puget Sound Convergence Zone" got more snow, and of course the mountains got pounded again with another 2'. Glad we didn't have to drive anywhere!!

A serene winter scene, looking at the snow out our livingroom window.
Santa was extremely good to us again this year. My mother in law gave me a smoky topaz ring that belonged to her mother. Topaz is my birthstone. I started to cry of course, being the mushpot that I am....I never in a million years expected a family heirloom from Brian's family to be given to me.
Brian got me:
Loads of beads & lottery scratch tickets (only won $24)
Gorgeous craft paper
DVD's of: "The Wedding Singer" , "The Great Rock & Roll Swindle" (Sex Pistols movie) and
"Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion"
Remote control jousting knights (my high school was the Sandwich Blue Knights)
Leonardo the Monster who couldn't scare anyone stuffed toy and accompanying book
Rescue Pets puppy (similar to Webkinz)
Interactive Mythology book
Interactive Wandmakers book with wand.
I got him:
DVD's of: "The Bourne Ultimatum", "OZ: Season 2", special edition "Dawn of the Dead" and "Boondock Saints" (thanks for the tip on that one, Axe!)
A Countdown to Bush Being Out of Office calendar
A book of funny dog cartoons
Ride the SLUT shirt
Batik Jerry Garcia shirt
Digital scale (for ammo reloading)
A set of pepperoni-type meats in buffalo, elk & venison
A Golden Mic statue, since he's my fave rave radio host.

All in all, a fantastic day. Today, I'm going to take down the decorations and try to weed out some old videotapes we no longer need in order to make room for our growing collection of DVD's. Back to work tomorrow, but then I'm off half day on Wednesday and half day on New Years Eve.

December 24, 2007

Christmas Lights Gone Wild

This is worth watching! Miller Beer uses it as a commercial, but it's a real house, with the lights designed by an electrical engineer. The music is by the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

December 23, 2007

Pajama Days

"Ahhhhh." That's the sound of contentment. It's pouring rain and cold, though not windy at all. The passes are getting snow by the foot. We're home, all cozy and snug, enjoying our time off. I have a batch of cranberry bread fresh out of the oven, Snax & Snuggs have extra large chewstix and we're getting ready to watch the Seahawks game in about 30 minutes. Brian's got some pork chops with potatoes, turnips, carrots & onions in the slow cooker, for dinner later.

Thursday was our office Crissmiss lunch, at Stanley & Seaforts in Tacoma. It was dee-lish-uss! There were 6 of us: Me, Deb, Steve, his wife Mary, her daughter Lyndsay (age 28) and Steve's daughter, Stephina (age 23). We got the 3-tiered appetizer which was: prawns on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes, braised steak tips with sticky rice & ginger, and warm crab/artichoke dip with warm, buttered herb foccacia bread. Then I had the restaurant's famous signature "Broadway Pea Salad" which is sooooo gooooood. I've been able to make a fair version of it at home too. My lunch was dijon chicken with garlic mashed & veggies. I crave the chicken dijon so much that it's the only thing I've ever ordered at Stanley's in all the years we've gone there!! After lunch we rolled back to the office to open gifts, then Steve closed down at 2:15 and sent us home. I've been off since then.

Friday morning I got up at 7:30 and did all the errands - groceries, picked up prescriptions, drycleaner, bank, gas station. Stopped at the food bank and dropped off a couple bags of groceries. Everyone was in such a great mood on Friday!! I had great driving-karma. A man held the door for me at the bank, even though I was still several steps away - I hurried out and thanked him and he smiled and wished me a happy holiday. It was really nice!! After I got home, I spent a few hours wrapping presents and then I set up the small tree downstairs on the card table, which is covered w/ a Crissmiss table cloth. It looks cute. Brian was home by 2:30 and we enjoyed drinks upstairs till it was getting dark.

Yesterday, I slept till 9:00 a.m.!!! Brian got up at 10:40!! I decided that since I had nowhere to go, I would make it a pajama day. That's right, I was in my jammies all day, under my blanket on the couch, colouring in my colouring books & watching TV with Brian. It was AWESOME. It's what he and I live for! It was raining yesterday too. Sometimes on stormy Mondays, he'll email me from work about how much he wishes we were home to enjoy it. Well, we are taking full advantage of it this weekend!!

We rented "Fido" from pay per view yesterday. It's a sweet, heartwarming story about a boy and his zombie, Fido, in the 1950's. Yes, that's right, "sweet" and "heartwarming" are being used in a sentence about zombies. I highly recommend it. It was very funny & witty, but also sweet. I'm a chicken when it comes to real horror movies, but this isn't a horror movie at all.

I crashed at 8:30 last night and got up at 7:30 today so that I could get to Rite Aid to pick up some scotch tape. I'm spending the rest of today in my jammies as well!


They say that Michelangelo went blind after painting the Sistine Chapel, because he was up close to it for so long. In early 2002, I started this Santa cross stitch. Sometime in the spring, I got it in my head to enter it in the Puyallup Fair, in September. Which meant I only had until August to finish. I worked on it at lunch, after work, and all day on the weekend for months. I got it done & framed just in time to enter it in the Fair. I didn't win a ribbon though.

However, over the course of late 2002 & into 2003, I noticed that objects in the distance started to look a bit out of focus. My eyes felt weird. I felt a little dizzy if I looked into the distance too far. I finally went to the eye doctor and ever since then, I've had to wear glasses full time. My eyesight is just awful now without glasses. Everything is so blurry. And so that is why I call this particular cross stitch project, "My Sistine Chapel".

Have a Happy Saturnalia, Cool Yule & Merry Christmas!!!

December 19, 2007

Columbia, Missouri

I just took out the photo album of our trip across the country in 1989 when we moved to San Francisco, because I'm going to have the pictures reprinted and do a really nice album with more decorations and stuff. I'll blog some of the highlights from that trip at another time, but I just had to show you an amusing picture I shot in Columbia, Missouri.

That day, we got to Columbia kind of late because we'd spent the morning and early afternoon in St. Louis, touring Anheuser Busch & having lunch on a riverboat. We saw this store:Man alive did we bust up laughing. And the jokes were endless! The name of the store fits well into Warren Zevon's "Lawyers, Guns & Money" song, so ever since 1989, we now sing, "Send liquor, guns & ammo, the shit has hit the fan!"

Can you imagine a worse combo? Liquor, guns and ammo? Let's git 'em good-n-wasted an' start shootin' cans 'n shit. I'm sure this store will, no doubt, horrify my Euro readers.

We decided we were going to go back the next day and have Brian pose in front for a photograph, wearing a felt Amish-type hat of mine and holding in one hand, a fake rifle that my dad made for me out of plywood and copper pipe, and a beer in the other hand, and he would probably be pulling some kind of buck-toothed, exaggerated hillbilly face. Both the fake rifle and hat were easily accessible inside the U-Haul moving truck we were driving, so we figured this would be a cinch.

We got up super early to hit the road, and we went past the store. Keep in mind, it's like 6:45 a.m. We figured we could take the photo and be on our way in less than 5 minutes. Imagine our shock, as we rolled past, to see it open. It's 6:45 in the morning, and the place is freakin' open. People coming out with beer-n-bullets. Ain't no way we were going to pull into the lot and take that staged photo!! I really don't think Billy Bob and Cletus would have taken kindly to us city slickers makin' fun of them. Brian consented to roll past real slow while I hung out of the passenger window and shot the photo. If you look real close at the windows on the right side of the store, you can see the reflection of our U-Haul as we rolled past.

Ah yes. America's heartland. Ya gotta love it.

December 18, 2007

Remembering Jon

At the risk of bumming people out, I am going to do a post to observe the 20th anniversary of my dear friend Liz's brother's passing. Jon was only 22 years old, and the only son.

I can't believe it's been 20 years. Life goes on after someone passes away, but when you think of all the events that happen over the course of 20 years, what your loved one has missed, it's just staggering. Jon never got to meet Liz's children. He never got to see their younger sister graduate from high school or college, as she was only 10 at the time. Holidays. Family triumphs, family defeats. Graduations. Milestones. The list goes on.

I searched through my photo albums but unfortunately, I have no photos of Jon to share. I wasn't in the habit of taking pictures of my friends' siblings, although I could have sworn I had one of him from Liz's wedding in 1985, but I don't.

Jon and I had a great relationship, based upon mutual teasing. He was a year behind us in school and into heavy metal, but he always dressed really nicely; Liz & I were into punk. I would dedicate really awful songs to Jon during my & Liz's radio shift just to get a laugh. Then when I was at her house, he'd tease me and blast his heavy metal to drown out our punk!! Sandwich High could be a difficult place to go to school if you were considered "different", and Liz & I were defintely different. So therefore, she and I took a great deal of nasty teasing from many of the other "preppy" or "jock" kids. Jon always took up for us gals if he heard any taunting, esp. from his own group of friends. I always appreciated that.

I remember a couple of days before Liz & I departed for our respective colleges our freshman year, Jon graciously let us use his fantastic stereo (which he'd saved his own money to buy) so that we could tape each other's records all afternoon.

Jon went to West Point. Once Liz married and moved to Vermont, I didn't see him all that often although Liz always kept me up to date on what her siblings were doing.

Then came December, 1987. And this is the thing that really hit me hard. As you know, I used to work at a TV station in Boston, Channel 56. I worked swing shift, 3:15 - 11:15, and my apartment was in East Sandwich, so I'd get home close to 12:15 a.m. Traffic was always extremely light that time of night.

I left work as usual at 11:15 on December 23rd. As I crossed over the Sagamore Bridge and got on the Mid-Cape Highway at a little past midnight, what few cars were in front of me began to slow down, and then come to a dead stop. I could see up ahead far enough and there was an accident. The median strip on that part of the highway is narrow and flat, so, being my father's daughter, I did a median-strip U-turn, and got back on the northbound lanes, so that I could exit before re-crossing the Bridge. As I made my way down Rte. 6A into downtown, my thoughts were full of Crissmiss, and seeing friends and family. I noticed the fire trucks & ambulance leaving as I passed the fire station.

The next day, December 24th, I went to work and talked to a couple of news videographers, Paul and Randy, who also lived on the Cape. I asked if they got caught in the traffic and they told me that they were one of the first cars to stop, and they had gotten out to try and help, and of course, shot video. This is the part I'm really hazy on....I have a memory of seeing raw footage from a nighttime car accident, but I just don't remember if it was that night. But because I have this memory of seeing raw footage of a car accident, I believe that I must have seen what Randy & Paul shot. Fortunately, neither of the guys shot the injured people.

I was staying at my parents' for Crissmiss Eve, and I arrived there a little after midnight; I'd even forgotten about my conversation with Randy and Paul. My parents greeted me at the door but they were very quiet & subdued, and acting strange. They asked me to please sit down. I sat on the parson's bench in their kitchen and waited expectantly. Then they broke the news that the accident from the night before involved 3 guys from Sandwich High, and that Jon had been killed. The other 2 boys were injured, but alive. I sat there stunned & numb. I knew the other 2 boys of course....Sandwich was a small town back then and I went to school with these kids; one of them rode the school bus with me and the other boy's mom was a substitute teacher. They were often hanging out with Jon at the same time I was hanging out with Liz at their house.

I just busted out crying. Not only for Liz's family's profound loss, especially on Crissmiss Eve, but for the other 2 kids and their families. I mean, they will have to live with this accident for the rest of their lives, knowing that the driver's poor judgment killed their best friend. Speed. Possible alcohol. BMW. A 22 year old boy at the wheel. Not paying attention b/c it's the holidays & they were coming home from a hayride. It was a recipe for disaster. The saddest & most ironic part of the story is that the 2 kids that lived weren't wearing seatbelts and were ejected from the car; Jon however was belted in the back seat and never had a chance.

Can you imagine having the cops show up at your door in the middle of the night, on December 24th, and find out they are there to tell you one of your children is gone? It's horrible to find that out at any time of the year, but during the holidays is especially bad.

The other super sick thing was that for many months afterward, you could still see the skid marks and the damaged tree in the median, right before Exit 2. I would think of Jon every single time I was on that part of the couldn't help it with that horrid reminder on the pavement and tree, and what a terrible thing it was for Jon's family, if they took the highway to get anywhere.

I went to Jon's funeral with Holly, and he is buried at the National Cemetery in Bourne because he was a West Point cadet. I remember us being at Liz's house after the graveside service, but I must have blocked the specific details of that day out of grief, except that it was a very cold, clear day, and hearing "Taps" played and then echoed in the cemetery was devastating and heartbreaking.

I think of Jon, quite often, especially this time of year. I am still very close to Liz and my thoughts always go out to her and her family each December, as they sadly mark each anniversary and try to salvage the holiday season.

December 17, 2007

It's Crissmiss Time in The City

Standing in sharp contrast to the quaint New England holidays I enjoyed growing up, is the holiday season in San Francisco. I was extremely lucky to have found a fantastic job at a law firm in downtown SF, in the historic Monadnock Building at 685 Market Street. Next door was the Sheraton Palace Hotel, also rich in City history. I worked downtown from September, 1990 through February, 1996, when we relocated over to Berkeley.

I shot these pictures in December, 1991. This is the tree in the Palace Hotel. The Santa was peddaling but of course you can't tell that in a still photo. This is a small flower stand in Union Square.

Macy's Tree in Union Square.

This jaunty fellow was standing guard outside of FAO Schwarz toy store. I love the little teddy bear dressed up like his soldier buddy.

Chevron Plaza at 555 Market Street. This is the headquarters of Chevron Oil and their refinery is in Richmond, in the East Bay. The red trees are all made from poinsettia plants.

Chevron Plaza.

In December, 1996, I was now working in Berkeley. But one night, Brian and I decided to take a drive into The City and go to Skydeck at Embarcadero Center. I think it's on the 45th or 47th floor of Embarcadero 1. In the photo, you can see the smaller 2 & 3 buildings, then the taller one is Embarcadero 4. Below 4, is the Ferry Building and that's the Bay Bridge in the background. Ground level are Embarcadero and Justin Hermann Plazas.

This is my favourite building in the whole world, the TransAmerica Pyramid. The brightly lit major street diagonally on the right is Columbus Avenue, which runs from Fisherman's Wharf through North Beach (the Italian neighborhood) and ends at the Pyramid.

First Interstate Building. Note the tree-shaped lights in the center!


Have a fantastic birthday Susan!!!

With thanks to Eliza & Val for the pictures!!
Good luck in the Bowl Game too!

December 15, 2007

I couldn't resist....

OK I know I could've done a better job with this picture in terms of the background crap, but I'll crop it for the scrapbook. You have NO idea what it took to get them to pose like this. I had a handful of treats and they were quivering with anticipation and they kept looking at my hand. I shot about 4, and this was the best one. Pepper looks murderous in this one, doesn't she? "I'm gonna get you for this mommy..."

I have reindeer antlers, but neither doggie likes them and I figured there was no way they'd sit still with them on so I just used their fancy Crissmiss collars.

December 13, 2007

One Year Ago

A year ago today, day-wise which was Thursday, December 14, 2006, the entire region was loading up on supplies and battening down the hatches in preparation for a terrible wind storm that was bearing down on us. I remember it was so dark and the rain just poured buckets all day long. I was really freaked out and I left work at about 2:30 to buy wood and take all the stuff out of the yard that could blow away.

The wind started that evening, and by 10:00 pm, our power was out. I took a Xanax because I wanted to be completely knocked out....that way if a tree did come through the roof, I'd never feel it. Both Pepper and Sagan were frightened beyond belief. Sagan vomited in his crate; Pepper couldn't stop shaking.

In the morning, the sun came out, and we ventured outside to assess the damage. Our power was still out and it stayed out for 5 long, cold, depressing days. We were very fortunate that we sustained no damage, but we did have our work cut out for us in clean up.

This was the reason our power was out for so long. The worst part about the storm's aftermath was knowing that our block and this block (which is the street behind ours) were the only ones without power. It was very demoralizing to see all the other homes in the neighborhood cheerily lit for the holidays, knowing that those people had put the storm behind them, then turn onto our pitch dark street. I have to give major credit to both Brian and I because during that entire time period, it would have been so easy to turn on each other, snap, fight, etc., because of the extreme stress. But we never let it get to that point. We got home, he built the fire, I lit the candles. We ate out or picked up food to go. We were both upset, depressed, and angry at Puget Sound Energy, but we did what we had to do and we never once snapped at each other, and it could so easily have happened. We sat in the dark and read by flashlight till it was time to go to bed.

It's one thing to hear about other people in other regions losing power for days on end, and think, "gee that's too bad," but it's another thing to BE one of those people. I have much greater understanding and empathy for the people in Oklahoma right now who are still w/o power because of the ice storm. And our own Washingtonians on the coast are still coping with the aftermath of last week's storm, floods and mudslides.

After the storm, the state looked to the residents to come up with a good name for the storm. I suggested "The Big Blow". I think they settled on "The Chanukah Eve Wind Storm of December 14, 2006" which is awfully wordy and hasn't caught on. Most of us just call it "the December, '06 wind storm".
As scary and stressful as it was last year, I'm glad we went through it. Just like with the earthquake we lived through in San Francisco. Now we know what it's like, and so far, we've survived it.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

December 9, 2007

Growing up in a Winter Postcard

Although I would never move back to live in Sandwich, it was a wonderful place to grow up. Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod, being founded in 1637. It's not old by European standards, but when you picture the quintessential colonial New England coastal town, you can't beat downtown Sandwich. When I was little, the population was around 7,500, but the town is huge, comprised of several smaller villages, so the 7,500 were spread out. Sandwich Village contains the oldest of the houses. I have warm memories of the holidays in Sandwich and I am so fortunate to have been able to grow up there. Fortunately, even now, Sandwich Village has retained its charm while the rest of the town has gotten over developed. The population is nearly 20,000 now.
The following photos were shot in the winters of 1986, 1987 & 1988, before I moved away.

This is Shawme Pond, where I learned how to ice skate. It would freeze over pretty far out, and back then, we didn't have a rink that was close by, so kids skated on cranberry bogs or ponds. Before I could take lessons at the rink in Plymouth then Sagamore, I had to learn how to balance on the blades and at least get around without falling too much, and this is where I took my first tenuous steps onto ice. It was like watching Bambi learn to walk. There were no "starter skates" with the double blade for me, I learned on the single edge. So many of the older boys were skating and playing hockey that I was terrified I was gonna get creamed. I often wonder if my terrible knee pain is a result from the many, many spills I took onto the ice as a child.Sunset in Sandwich. The thin spire is at the First Church of Christ, and the second is the old Doll Museum, which was in an old church. I shot this from the salt marshes off Rte. 6 and the out of focus marsh grass in the foreground was done on purpose.
Sandwich Boardwalk. The boardwalk crosses the salt marshes so you can get to the beach. In the summer we would jump off the center part into the water channel below, at high tide.
Frozen salt marshes near my parents' house in East Sandwich. That puff of "smoke" on the horizon is steam from the power plant at the Canal.
Main Street, Sandwich.
Looking across the mill pond at a stately old home on Grove Street. Sometimes I'd drive downtown at night and then drag my tripod around shooting people's homes.
The Hoxie House, built in the 1600's. It's a museum, and since my Elementary School was literally just down the street, it was a popular place for class field trips. Note the saltbox shape. The rooms are teeny tiny. People must've been so much smaller in the 16th century!

Thornton Burgess Museum on Water Street.
1986 was the first year that the Sandwich Lions Club, to whom my dad was a Charter member, strung lights across Jarves Street. Being a typical club, the same 5 or 6 guys were the ones that did all the work all the time, and my dad of course was one of those guys.
The Corpus Christi Catholic Church on Jarves Street. I was baptized here, made communion and confirmation here as well. After that, I became a "Christmas Catholic" and only went to 4:00 mass on Crissmiss Eve. I liked that a lot; the church was always packed so that was the one time that we'd get to sit up in the choir and look down. Many of my schoolmates were also Catholic, so it was an exciting time to see them and wish them a great night and wonder what Santa might bring us. I shot this the night of the last Crissmiss Eve Mass I ever attended, 12/24/86. The church has been "decomissioned" and is a bed and breakfast. I don't mean to offend anyone by this, but I have wicked fantasies of Brian and I staying there and having massive sex so that I can say I had sex in my old church.

Another shot of Jarves Street.
Sandwich, 1986.
Sunset at Shawme Pond, December 1987.
I know I did one of these already, but it really is so picturesque. December, 1987.

This is the Sandwich Town Hall. I like it but Brian can't stand it. He always says, "What's that ugly Greco-Roman piece of shit doing in a colonial village?"

December, 1988.

December, 1988. After I went around shooting all of the beautiful old homes, I'd get extra copies, then I'd go around and leave the owners copies of the photos I'd shot of their home, anonymously, in an envelope. I have no idea if the people got them or not.

In the fall of 1988, I moved out of my studio apartment in East Sandwich, and moved into this place on Main Street, right smack in downtown Sandwich. The Doll Museum was right next door. My apartment windows are the 2 left on the second floor. The center window is the hall. There were 5 apartments in this building.

This is the First Church of Christ, Presbyterian Church, in Sandwich. It is also called "The Christopher Wren" because of the Wren-style architecture. This was also a stone's throw from my apartment. I was working swing shift at Channel 56 and I'd get home about midnight. One night it was snowing - not enough to be hazardous but enough to make things pretty - and I got home right at midnight. I got out of the car and the snow was falling softly, and the bells in this church began to chime. I stood there outside my car in the snow and listened to all 12. The sound resonated through the town and was so clear and pretty. I'll never forget that. It brought tears to my eyes. That was my last Crissmiss in Sandwich. Jarves Street, December 1988.

Grove Street, December 1988.