Overgrown and forgotten.

Time bends around this time of year.

It always does. My memory brings events to the forefront. Things I had safely tucked away.

It’s Mother’s Day weekend. Social media is full of pictures of other people’s moms. I probably will post one as well. It’s a signature picture.

Yesterday I railed (see what I did there with the picture and the words) about the traps of social media. Today, I’ll tell you that there are some good points. Our good points. The users’ good points. Not the companies.

The best good thing is social media is as an anniversary reminder. Time passes. People heal. My mom passed in 1996. A long time ago. I was in Hong Kong at the time. I returned home to find a message on my land line telephone recorder. My aunt called me. It was a couple of days old. I returned her call almost before I put my luggage down.

I returned to Hong Kong after I completed all that I needed to do, including take care of my dad who was living in an assisted living home. It was a sort of tract home that had five residents and about 12 caregivers. It was so comfortable that I wanted to live there. He seemed to enjoy it.

Back in Hong Kong,my friends looked after me. My main job was to produce books. My secondary job (Yes. I was busy) was to work work a Chinese travel magazine and photo agency. My main colleague there told me something that I think of today. She said, “When somebody dies who is over 80, we laugh.” That is the literal translation from Mandarin which really means “don’t mourn, celebrate their life.” My mom passed at 80.

You know, I was told it would take about five years before I would stop thinking of her almost daily. Whoever said that was right. But. Oh, you knew this was coming. That lasted for a good while. Then, it started to change. I don’t miss her like I did during those early years. But, I miss her in different ways. There’s things I’d like to ask her. For advise. For direction. I wish that she met the wonderful people in my life. Who came later.

The picture.

I know you are wondering what this picture has to do with my mom. We traveled by train almost every summer of my early days from Los Angeles to New York City. The trains of my youth were The El Capitan, The Super Chief and a little later, The City of Los Angeles. They are mostly gone now. Some of their names live on through Amtrak, but they aren’t the same. For one thing, “dining in the diner” meant something back then. Sheesh, the City of Los Angeles used goldware, none of that tacky old silverware. The food was great and cooked to order. You dressed up to go eat.

So.

This is symbolic. An old passenger car, hidden behind an overgrown fence. Abandoned and mostly forgotten, except by me. Just like my memories.

Technically speaking, the baby Leica did well in the rain. But, it really wasn’t more than just point and shoot. The Leica engineers in their kind of arrogant way, actually built a setting into it that is called “snapshot.” I laugh, but with auto everything cameras, how much of street photography is just that?

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Lost in the leaves.

Another day. Another walk.

Truth be told, these pictures are a couple of weeks old. I processed them. I tinkered with them. And, immediately forgot about them.

I don’t know why.

Sometimes, I get lucky. I make three or four pictures on one walk. I choose the one or two that I liked best at the time and move on. The key phrase is “at the time.” Often, after a suitable period of marination, I wonder what I was thinking during my culling and editing process.

I found these shoes where the trees meet the road. They aren’t Crocs. They are fairly inexpensive chef’s clogs. There is something curious about them. There is a pretty good reason why they were tossed out into the street.

Yes. They are worn. But, that’s not it.

Can you see it?

I’ll tell you what I see below the bottom picture.

The mate to the other one.

I have no idea why. I didn’t move them. I never flip pictures. These two pictures are as I found the shoes.  One in the street. One near the street. Two shoes. Two different shoes.

But…

They are both right foot shoes. Wearing a shoe on the wrong foot had to have been very uncomfortable. Especially if the person wearing them was standing on his or her feet all day.

Your guess is as good as mine.


Broken down and busted.

Still waiting.

The city is under curfew starting at 7pm tonight. The state’s curfew is 8pm.  Some areas outside of the levee system have been evacuated.

Hurricane Nate will make landfall at sometime near 1am and be gone well before 7am. We are only expecting 1 to 4 inches of rain. Now, the city official are calling it a wind event.

But.

The storm cone has shifted well to the east. It looks like Nate will make landfall somewhere between the Mississippi border and Mobile, Alabama. Bad for them. Good for us. I wish them no harm, but… I have to look after my own.

I expect very little damage since the wind strength is at its highest on the eastern edge of a hurricane. We are on the west. I do expect to lose power since two squirrels on a power line can cause a power failure. I do expect parts of New Orleans to flood. Our fragile water pumping system breaks down, or catches fire, every chance it gets.

So. That’s the story at noon. It could change. It will change.

The picture. A friend of mine keeps asking where this place is located. I told him. He won’t like it even if he finds it, which I’m sure he can since I gave him precise directions. “It’s behind my doctor’s office,” I said. What more could he possibly need?

These old trains aren’t stored — or, dumped — on railroad land. That makes breaking through the no trespassing fence a little less illegal. Not that I would ever do that. The difference between the penalties are federal and local. And, maybe getting shot. Apparently, there was a deal made between the medical and railroad folks for this little corner of track and surrounding land.

These trains have been moved around as the medical complex on which they are parked needs more land. I reckon they are safe for a long while because they are pushed into a corner of the land that is fairly unbuildable and well behind where the medical staff parks. But, you never know.

They are fairly rusty and abandoned. They’d be scrap except that they are sort of last in breed in this region. I just helped them along in post production.

 


Mardi Gras beads left behind in a burned out building.
Mardi Gras beads left behind in a burned out building.

Very strange. I was passing by this place on the way to some place else. The building was pretty much abandoned after the storm. Somebody decided to rebuild it. Then it caught fire and burned to the ground leaving only the sub flooring, the fire-place and the chimney. Okay. Not exactly to the ground. I’m not sure what caught my attention this time, but I stopped. I decided to walk around. I found these beads. This is no accidental placement. Gold, Green & Purple. Mardi Gras colors.

I didn’t set this up. That’s not my style.

Ooooooooh. Ghostly. Or not.