Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday My Town Shoot Out - Anniversary, and more

Our assignment this week is to celebrate the one year anniversary of Friday My Town Shoot Out's existence. I've only been a member for 18 posts.

Here are some of my favorite shoot out photos:

The downtown Paducah skyline from inside our performing arts center.

My son Jake, with pony Peter in 1986. Jake is 33. Peter is 31. Jake has had a rough go lately: this mother's heart sometimes feels squoze too tight to beat. As any mother of grown children knows.


Mama Pajama


sunset at the Paducah Kennel Club

I love, love, love the idea of going on virtual visits to towns all over this great globe every Friday through the lenses of some gifted, creative, talented photographers. (Don't ask me how they let me in!) It's so personal. This virtual visiting. (Click on the camera on the right side bar to see what I mean.)

Which brings me to me. I miss you all!

In true Patience fashion, I have cut myself off from the very things which sustain me. My novel languishes. Every time I step into the shower the characters clamor at me:

Let us out! You've shut us in for far too long.

Little Hope stares dead on, letting me know that she expects more from me. Emily goes about her business. She avoids eye contact for the most part. She tries again to anchor a stray branch of curls behind her ear while she watches her dogs play tumble tag and she shoots me a glance to convey her disappointment. You have a story to tell, she says. Proper stops his playing for a moment, turns his handsome face to me and wags. I'm here waiting for you, he beams. When you are ready. I'm here.

I get out of the shower and shove them away.

Every morning that I'm not at the hospital, working, I say, "I'm going to spend the morning in Blogland today." And every evening I realize that I never made the time. What is with that? I let other stuff (crap, poop, shit even) take precedence. I've cut myself off from my friends.

I don't know why.

Do I feel as though I've run out of funny stories to tell? Am I just too tired? Have I over scheduled myself into a creative abyss? Or do I just have a good old case of writer's block? (I feel pretentious at this point even calling myself a writer.)

I don't know. What I do know is that I miss you all.


So do me a favor, and hug your hounds for me

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday My Town Shoot Out - Plazas

Rats! I just got called into work! (Waiting for my scrubs to dry in the dryer) No time for brilliant commentary - HA HA HA!

Paducah has a gorgeous plaza which is rarely used. Instead Broadway is closed off - every Saturday night from April to October for dancing in the streets - and for parades. The Market House used to be an open air farmer's market, with goods being pulled up by horse and wagon. Now it houses an art museum and a community theater.

We love our town.
hug your hounds, bye!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stolen Whippet Puppies

Perhaps some of you bloggers could help spread the word? I read this on the whippet lists, and for a moment I couldn't remember how to breathe.

I AM CROSSPOSTING THIS, THESE ARE NOT MY PUPPIES. A whippet mom in Conroe Texas (near Houston) needs our prayers for a quick and safe return of her babies!!!!
Nancy writes

My house was broken into today. 2/17/10. Along with stuff I can replace they stole 2 five week old whippet puppies. Please - Please - PLEASE be on the lookout for any whippet puppies. I live in Conroe, Texas. We are contacting the vets - newspaper - shelters - local news channels - whatever we can think of. I think it was kids because of the sloppy things they took - leaving behind other stuff. It is so cold outside.... they are just babies....Permission to cost post - PLEASE!!!Pictures of the two puppies are attached
My cell is 713-817-1236

hug your precious hounds

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Friday My Town Shoot Out - Aquariums

Chef E says of her topic choice:

If you think about it we are all living on one big giant fish bowl, and viewing each others lives through our blogs. We also have probably been swimming and taken a few underwater photos! ... A puddle, or even just a lonely beta or goldfish will suffice. Get creative, and I am sure whatever you all post will be nice!

Remember to click on the camera on the right to see some amazing photographs!

I’ve never been a water person. I spent my childhood embraced by gentle mountains. Large bodies of water seemed foreboding, cold, even cast with a slightly dangerous gloom. Nothing like the warmth of being snuggled to the breast of the Earth’s heart. Living, green soft mountains with their cooling shade and their breathtaking views, and life everywhere.

So when we moved to Paducah and I walked along the river with the dogs, I mostly missed the mountains. I could not understand why, no matter what time of day or night, there were always some cars parked, facing the river, with lonely occupants just staring. At what? My eyes saw the same, monotonous olive drab water, flowing in the wrong direction (rivers flow east toward the ocean where I’m from), with tugboats straining to push their impossible loads upstream.

But, always, people watching. Cheerful couples who say “hey” as the dogs and I pass. Lonely men in their sixties and upward who raise an index finger from the steering wheel in greeting, without smiling from their sad eyes. Just facing the river and staring. I imagine those men as retired watermen. Glad to be done with the hard, dangerous labor of river life, but unable to escape its current, they are pulled back and they glare longing, damning, private thoughts.

That’s what I imagine.

When I would look at the river, I’d think of what was “under there”. One day while my husband and I were walking, the dogs suddenly raised their noses hysterically saying, “whoa, what is that?” A couple of guys were standing next to their red pickup, looking in the back, and they invited us to have a peek. “Whoa” was an understatement. Lying in the bed, taking up the entire length of the regular sized bed of that new red truck, was the most prehistoric monstrous looking giant catfish you ever saw. Evil eyes staring blankly, still making some feeble efforts with its dying gills to get oxygen from the downing air. And that Jurassic fiend was under the benign drab water by which we had innocently walked. I shuddered.

No, the river was no friend of mine.

Four years later, the dogs and I were walking of an early morning. It was overcast, and the river was a perfect mirror of the gray sky. The trees on the Illinois shore were deep mountain evergreen, just so nearly black, with silver gray frosting. So much richness, and depth of color in that gray. The way black and white photographs reveal more character and emotion. A tug with nine barges of coal was snuggled up to the Paducah bank in front of me, while another pushed upstream with pyramids of rose rust camel river rock. The black mounds of coal, the rose rust beige, the gunmetal gray of the water and sky. Ah, I thought. I said “morning” to the sad looking man in the car, who raised his index finger from the steering wheel and gave me a serious nod in greeting. I looked back at the river, and for the first time, I got a glimpse of what they – the river people – saw.

I’d been reading a biography of Mark Twain, who had been a captain of riverboats just down stream from where I now stood. I looked through their eyes, the men in the cars, Mark Twain, and the people who shared their souls with the river. I felt the mystery, the power, the quiet glamour of the flow. Finally, in grayscale my mountain child could see the raw beauty of my new river home.

I paused. The dogs stood frozen, sensing the sanctity of the moment. I felt the pull of that magical clarity which was anything we can’t control. Like the mountains, the river was big and silent and forceful and eloquent in its grayness. I walked on, but I raised an index finger from my grip on my dogs’ leashes, and nodded a serious, reverent greeting to the next old man in a car I passed.

hug your hounds

Monday, February 8, 2010

Swede William is SO proud!

Of his country of origin:

hug your nekkid hounds and any Swedes you happen upon!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday My Town Shoot Out - Look Up Look Down

So LAST week's assignment was Look Up Look Down, but I got confused and did THIS week's topic (circles) last week. So here is Last Week's topic this week.

I am a dedicated acrophobe, so no no no you won't see any photos from great heights. Oh no.

There is nothing more uplifting than looking down and seeing Mama Pajama with a snow nose:
(Mama Pajama survived a horrible anti-immune disease at age six, which claimed most of her ears, one lung, and a good deal of her kidney function. It did NOT claim her spirit or her life, and at twelve and a half she is my hero.)

Hardly anyone in these parts bothers to shovel. They are tickled by the snow and figure it's going to melt anyway. Looking down Monroe St.

Looking up at the appropriately named A.I.R. Studio sign. (A.I.R. stands for Artist In Residence. If you want to come live in Paducah's Art District for a week or a month, this is the spot.)
The whippets are fascinated with looking down the storm drains. So am I. They are made of brick and they are ancient. At night they serve as a raccoon Interstate. Whole families emerge to check out whats going on in Lower Town.

Looking up in the newest gallery's window, I think "Hey! There we are!" Only I can't imagine walking whippets in heels! Studio 7 features these art rugs.

Looking up at Paducah Yoga Center.

Looking down in front of the Yoga Center - ah, yes, the famed Snow Angel Pose!

Looking upstream: on the left is the Ohio River; on the right is the Tennessee River. I thought we were in Kentucky?

Looking downstream towards the Mississippi. I think Kentucky has an identity problem.

Looking up Broadway from the river.

Looking down Broadway towards the river. The farthest trees are in Illinois.

Looking up a giant snow bank at Sam I Am the King of the Mountain!

And looking down at little Lindy Loo who wanted to be.

Well that's it from my town. If you want to see fantastic photos from towns all over this world by much better photographers than I, just click on the camera on the right of this blog. It's really fun!

hug your hounds and stay warm and safe