Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mystery Watercolor Memories

You may have noticed that I am a photograppreciator, not an actual photographer like some people I could name. Over the years, this has resulted in a rather careless attitude toward cameras and the many gaps in camera ownership (and my complete inability to get film developed) have caused a back-up of disposable cameras and old film in our junk drawer. This week, I finally gathered up six rolls of something-or-other and took them in. "All I want is the negatives and the CD," I told the lady at the counter; I wasn't paying for prints of mystery pictures. "We'll be back in an hour."

While we waited, we went to the Farmer's Market and walked over to the library. When we thought we had whiled away enough time, we hopped back in the car and headed back to pick up the pictures. I flipped on the radio and was more than a little surprised to hear words like "severe thunderstorms" and "tornado." I had noticed the wind picking up, but thought we could manage to get our pics before heading home. As we were standing in line, the lights flickered through dim to dark and the very efficient--and shoplifting-aware--store employees quickly herded all the customers (many waving lit cell phones like lonely concert-goers) to the front of the store where they peremptorily booted us out into the growing storm. My brave girls were beginning to crumble in the face of so many strange events and the crazy "car-wash" rain. We were all relieved to pull out of the traffic into Lafayette and home where we spent a candlelit evening counting lightning/thunder seconds, singing the obligatory "Raindrops on Roses," and cuddling (my personal favorite when it comes to power-outage activities).

The power came on sometime in the night and, before I completely lost all momentum and left the photos languishing at the store forever, I ran back to pick them up. Some of the pictures are so old and so...just plain BAD, that we can't even tell who is pictured. (Anyone have a baby with this head shape?)

Using carbon dating methods (and adjacent pictures), we determined the approximate decade of each roll--oh my, there's baby Hannah! Some of the pictures make us wonder what we were thinking,

but others are real gems, bringing back many good memories of adventures long (LONG) past.

This roll, including the picture from the top of the post, are from our first year of sailing. Bryan and I brought Nissa into Portland for the weekend for our 9th anniversary (this summer will be 13!). There are many pictures of bridges, since we had to sail under each one, and a few pictures of relationship landmarks--mostly restaurants we can no longer afford. I remember the exhilaration of figuring out how to call for a bridge lift (the Steel Bridge's pedestrian span is too low for our mast) and the wonder of seeing a familiar city from a new perspective. Flush with freshly-minted boat ownership, I wanted to wear my fluorescent life jacket everywhere. We walked to Saturday Market (a first-date memory) and all the way over to Powells, where we bought too many books to carry back comfortably and a Portland Bridge T-shirt because it may be the only time we can ever truthfully say that we have "been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt." On the way back to our marina in St. Helens, we stopped a Cathedral Park to savor the last hours of vacation and the amazing architecture of the St. Johns Bridge (seen above).

Not all the pictures were ancient and I'll likely be posting some more (of both vintages) soon, but thanks for indulging me this meander down proverbial memory lane.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

While riffling through old blog post drafts, I found these pictures from last year's San Juan trip. They are mostly from our visit to the Westcott Bay Sculpture Park at Roche Harbor (19 acres of verdant meadow, forest, and wetland dotted with sculptures of all varieties), but a few are from the next day on our way to Stuart Island. On the way there, our camera that was that. I'm posting these primarily for my own memory's sake; please feel free to ignore them.

This little fellow served as welcoming committee and curator.

These are not sculptures, but I love to look at them anyway. I think their Artist is amazing.

I loved these flashing birds, twirling in the breeze...

...and this abstract whirligig.

The gong was a family fave.

And I savored the wonder as I strolled down this slope to view the front of this piece of art. What could possibly be more beautiful than the freshly baled hay in the field behind it? When I finally reached the piece, I smiled. On the easel, the artist had simply placed a mirror.

These are the last two pictures our poor camera took (we now have a waterproof, shockproof, drop-proof model). I used to think that boats with line snaking everywhere and gear lashed to every stanchion were, well, just a bit unkempt. Now I just remind myself of the best compliment our well-loved boat ever got--"There's a boat that looks like she goes places!" It's true what they say, that you see the same sights no matter how fancy or humble your boat. I wished so hard our camera had held on for just one more shot, because as we rounded this point, Mt. Baker leapt out at us, bold and dazzling against the blue sea, blue sky. We may not always have proof, but we have seen some spectacular sights from this messy vessel of ours.