Odds and Ends…and Beginnings

Since I now have a Facebook account, I have been posting many of my photographs there to share with my immediate family instead of on my blog. I feel like I have rather neglected my Blog family, though, so I thought I’d catch you up with some of my favorite shots.

This one is simply a prairie beauty, the Fringed Gentian. Take a moment to read D.H. Lawrence’s poem Bavarian Gentians – he captures the dark, sensual mystery of this flower quite well. 

I found the gentians while on a walk with my son and future daughter-in-law. They represent the Beginnings in the title of this post. 

My son has asked me to do a special photo shoot of them next month down at Starved Rock in Illinois. I’m excited (and a little nervous!) about that.

Steve & I had a wonderful late summer road ramble last Saturday. We’re planning a 12-day camping trip for next month, possibly to Superior National Forest in MN. I’m looking forward to photographing more Fall color, mushrooms, and another Great Lake. 

And work continues at the Conservation Foundation. I try to get outside locally to remind myself why it’s important to preserve the natural spaces around here. 

Thanks for visiting this blog and Happy Fall! I hope you get outside often to enjoy the changing season. 

All photographs © Priscilla Galasso, 2017. All rights reserved.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered

The forests of Wisconsin are layered. Up in the canopy, the broad leaves of maples, oaks, hickories, lindens and elms filter out the sun. Down on the forest floor, amid the fallen trunks and branches of those hardwood sentinels,  nestled in the needles of firs and pines and alongside the fronds of ferns, you can find a world of fungi hard at work converting biomass to soil. This is the understory, a very earthy layer – it’s at ground zero and grass roots, and it’s beautiful, colorful and diverse. 

Layered

Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting

Waiting…
It’s a natural process. Waiting for the sun to rise in the sky. Waiting for its warmth to reach the earth, to reach this spot. Waiting for the vessels to dilate, the blood to flow, the muscles to quicken. Waiting for life to unfold in its due time.
The desert is a good place to wait and a good place to watch for changes. It has much to teach us. We would suffer if we lost so great a teacher. 

Waiting

The Grandparent Project: Part Eighteen

In this blog project, I’ve posted digital copies of my family photo album snaps and a chronological narrative to share with my family in California and my grown children in Illinois and Wisconsin. I’ve gone from 1985 to 2008 so far.

Some time around 2009, my sister Dharam and niece Amrit came out to the Midwest for some winter fun. I admit that I don’t remember exactly when this was.

In March of 2010, after seven years of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, my father passed on to a new life.  My brother-in-law John put together a beautiful slide show of pictures of George.

After the memorial service, we gathered in the Parish Hall of St. Luke’s (where my wedding reception was held in 1984) and shared our memories with Dad’s best friend Tim, his sister Judy, and others. Then we went back to the house, and of course, we ended up singing silly songs around the piano – a very Heigho way to celebrate. (And you’ll notice who ended up wearing The Hat that I mentioned in Part One of this series.)

Today, September 3, 2017, is my parents’ 62nd wedding anniversary. I am so grateful to have them as my role models for marriage, parenting and grandparenting. They were exemplary, and I love them both very much. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Structure

I’m gonna show my age and admit that when I hear the word “structure”, I can’t help remembering Madeline Kahn in Paper Moon telling Tatum O’Neill that she’s got good ‘bone struck-cha’. 

How my sisters and I giggled over that line!

I do love the resilience of ancient structures, man-made…

…and natural. 

I wonder what structures will crumble in my lifetime, and which will remain for my children’s children. What kind of masonry am I working on now? I work for a Land Trust. I like to think I’m working on building a network of green space that will resist development…forever. 

 
Structure

The Grandparent Project: Part Seventeen

My mom and siblings are in California. My grown up children are in Illinois and Wisconsin. It’s difficult to get together very often, and I miss them all tremendously. This summer, I started a photo sharing project on this blog in order to review my memories and convert my snapshots into digital format that everyone could copy and store. It’s taken a lot of screen time and yielded some powerful emotions.

In the last installment, I posted photos from 2007 which included my daughters’ graduations and our last family reunion at the beach cottage in Michigan. My husband was quite ill. In January of 2008, the day before our 24th wedding anniversary, I treated myself to a trip to our Cancun timeshare resort with my oldest daughter and my brother.

Jim was not up to international travel, but did end up going to the East Coast to visit his sister and his nephews. A couple of weeks later, he was having another heart surgery. Ten days after returning home from the hospital, he died in his sleep beside me. My mother flew out immediately to help me cope with logistics, and we planned a memorial celebration to take place three weeks later. I gathered family groups around the piano in the living room for photographs that afternoon. Here’s the Heigho bloodline:I was very sorry to see my mom and siblings board the plane for their return flight and my son and middle daughter return to college shortly after the ceremony. I was not looking forward to a painfully empty nest. My youngest daughter and I went out to California in August for my birthday…and Jim’s. I revisited the places where we met, fell in love, and were married. I felt like one small fraction of a person; being with the people who knew me longest and best helped. 

Emily, my mom and I also took a tour of the Winchester Mystery House. It was the first time I’d been inside. Who knew it’d figure in our family history seven years later…?

We made plans to return the next summer to lay Jim’s ashes to rest in the garden columbarium outside the church where we were married and where my sister’s ashes rested as well.  What I had no way of knowing then was that I would return the next year with a special traveling companion so that I could introduce him to my mother…

Favorite Memories of Jim

Today is the tenth anniversary of my husband’s last birthday. I guess that’s just a confusing way to say that if he hadn’t died, he would be 57 years old today. I’m reblogging the first post I did for him, six years ago. Feel free to add more favorite memories, if you have them.

As always, dear Jim, I love you and miss you and will be ever grateful that you were born. 

scillagrace

In the Galasso family, we have a birthday tradition.   When we are all gathered together for the birthday meal, we go around the table, and each person relates his or her favorite memory of the birthday person.  When I was with Emily last Sunday, she wouldn’t let me leave until she had told me her favorite memory of me.  I had almost forgotten this ritual, and I’m so glad she didn’t.   Today would have been Jim’s 51st birthday.  We would be celebrating our combined 100th birthday.  (We went to a couple’s 100th birthday party once…huge affair with fireworks and everything!)  Well, in Thich Nhat Hahn’s words, it is another Continuation Day.  Jim continues in all kinds of ways on this earth.  Ripples of his deeds, his attitude, his progeny, his molecules and other whatnot are still around.

So here is a favorite memory of Jim that came to me on…

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