Lens-Artists Challenge #139 – Special Moments

“No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heaven’s glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.”

~ Emily Brontë



September 16, 2017 was my last stay at Big Sable Light. I got up early to watch the sunrise. The extra discomfort was rewarded with a spectacular sunrise and the luxury of having a popular Michigan destination all to myself.

A spectacular September morning at Big Sable

First I walked north towards Nordhouse Dunes where I accidentally disturbed two beach campers in a pup tent. No photo..respecting privacy. (Yes, I have their photo, yes I asked first. No, it was a special morning. Let them have their moment.)

Big Sable Light Seen From the North


I then walked back to catch the ‘new’ boardwalk back to my room before the others awakened.

Big Sable and its new boardwalk



How to get to the light: https://www.michigan.org/property/big-sable-point-lighthouse

#Lens-Artists Challenge 139 – Special Moment

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138: Natural Light

You just know I’m posting this shot of a little girl running along Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach on a windy day so I can work out where it is the new owners of WP hid all my old controls.

This image of joyous childhood was shot back on September 3, 2020. This is my inner child, so excited to be at the beach when the surf is up. Somebody, buy that child a Boogie Board.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138: Natural Light

Now then, let’s see if I can find my stash of tags……


#PereMarquetteBeach, #Muskegon, #Surf, #Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138: Natural Light

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138: Natural Light

Back on September 3 of 2020 the winds were directly out of the west creating excellent waves running straight up the channel. This Wave Runner had crested one wave and slammed into the next shooting up a wall of water. All you see of him is his backlit shadow as he sliced along the tops of the surf during sunset at Muskegon’s inner channel.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138: Natural Light

(WP has changed some things. As soon as I find my tags I’ll tag this one too.)

The Iceboats Came

“‘In the burrows of the Nightmare
   Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
   And coughs when you would kiss.”*

Strong words that cut to my core when I found them a scant two months before Covid hit. Covid. We lost a lot of work and a great deal of money. We’re OK. We have friends whose careers were destroyed, whose lives were altered in unfortunate ways. We are OK. This past year was a challenge, a provocation to know ourselves, each other and the life we share better. Its been an opportunity to appreciate the little daily rituals of what Thoreau may have called; our ‘quiet lives of desperation’. We are OK. I am OK because the two previous years were far worse.

“‘In headaches and in worry
   Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
   To-morrow or to-day.”*


I had a purpose when I started this blog. To share, how to say this, not only to share what I like about where I live but to share how to, well, how to look at and value the good stuff, the softly gleaming flecks thrown in with the overwhelming dusty chaff. So. Much. Colorless. Chaff and Dust. Drifts of it. Sort through, look for the good bits and hold on tight because that found sliver of joy may be your allotment for the day.

It’s all in the mind.


Hope is a hard-hearted, hustling b*tch. You can shake your inconsequential fist at deaf heavens and demand reasons and reparations, but when your future is encoded in the essence of your being, even before you were born, you deal with it. You just deal with it.

It’s weird, I’ll catch you up, but in all the ridiculous twists and turns of being multiple-morbidity handicapped I kept running into Doctors, Nurses and Physical Therapists who sat back, looked at me and said, more or less, ‘You should write a book.” “Me? Why, I suck at being handicapped. I LOATHE this.” “But you are doing so much better than you should.” “I suck at it.” “Oh, no. You are good. You could help others.”

In short, I have been to the very bottom. Kids, I set up housekeeping there. I don’t like it there but when I am kicked there, I know the way out.


Hope, for some of us, cannot be the warm fuzzy feeling that ‘gee, Lassie, someday, somehow, we will feel better, get better, be better! Why, that old Blue Bird of Happiness will tie up our dirndl skirts and we will be healed’. Right. For some, there is no better. However, there IS the now. There IS a possibility that you may have an acceptable moment of Now. And sometimes, if you are lucky (and if you have worked at seeing it), there is a hope that there will be a Now that brings a moment of joy. Food of the gods, that.

I’ve been kicking around the ‘when’ of starting this blog up again (Ugh..months. Side road: It occurred to me I should record, and leave for future anthropologists and historians how we, the little people, dealt with Covid buuuut Trump was President and high blood pressure is a thing I have to monitor.) I digress. I was kicking around the ‘when’ but it was child-like joy from an unexpected place that gave me the impetus. It’s the impetus because it beautifully illustrates the hope, not that you will heal, but hope that there will be an occasional, quite pleasant, maybe even gleeful, Now that you can hope for.

Yikes. My doctors will cringe when they see this. Man, I could choke on a potato chip, fall off my couch and die. It happens. I could have died never knowing the winter glee of ice boating.

I know this is a really abrupt change from where I started this thread but sailing on ice was the unexpected mental change I needed to get me back in the game. This, exotic to me, sport was on my bucket list. Kinda scary, ice is wicked sharp (Hard too.) but I have some needed background (sailing) and I was in the hands a crazy adept sailor. The invitation was spontaneous. I started to waffle and worry how it might hurt me but I told that voice of constant sorrow to stfu and let me have some fun. (In seriousness, I ran the computer simulation of how I could get hurt at warp speed. Outcomes were good.) It turned out to be one of those unexpected spontaneous joyful moments of life. Those small moments where hope doesn’t play you but comes through for you.

Here is the gleeful kick in the pants that encouraged me to start writing again; a late winter iceboat ride on Muskegon Lake:


So, you don’t get cured but you might get to go screaming across the ice at 65 MPH on a cracking, sun filled late winter day.

More on Iceboating from the West Michigan Ice Yacht Club: https://www.wmiyc.org/

*From W.H. Auden’s As I Walked Out One Evening,
https://poets.org/poem/i-walked-out-one-evening

Surf

POST THIS NOW

I shot this family, you can just make out the boy on the mom’s lap, earlier today.

I’m OK. I’m in the strengthening part of Physical Therapy post surgical repair for the torn rotator cuff. The right foot is healing as could be expected. Surgery on the left in a week. There are future plans for therapy on the feet to improve walking but the shoulder is repaired so I have already used it a little to roll the chair.  So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Surgeons, bills, lawyers…I’m still shooting, not as much (eyes), sailing, not as much, sailing in any kind of higher wind wreaks havoc on injuries, not in a fun way. I haven’t bicycled or swam, I was surprised to find I could not swim. I sink without the shoulder. It’s good information to have; the knowledge you now sink. I wear the lifejacket onboard if the winds go above 10. I haven’t biked due to shoulder and horrible balance from the feet injury. I haven’t surfed..shoulder and feet, haven’t kayaked…shoulder and feet.

The only way out is through it. And so I go.

Pomp and Illumination

It will be celebrated…with pomp and parade…bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.*

Aubrey Fourth WP

My grand niece celebrates with sparklers in an Iowa cornfield.

* John Adams, sage Founding Father, predicts how Americans will yearly celebrate the birth of our nation, some 240 years later we see he was right.

Happy Fourth!

Self-Portrait 2012

2012 KimLittleSableShadow

After observing the swing of the shadow over the sands I planned this shot. First year I tried there was not enough beach so I waited a year. I came in 45 minutes early for duty so I could catch that perfect instant. You can’t get this shot now because Lake Michigan is at record levels and the Lake is up against the rip rap at the base of the tower.

The Wiki for Little Sable Point Lighthouse: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Sable_Point_Light

Do a search and you will find a lot of information about the light as well as rentals and restaurants in the area.

Middle Island Lighthouse, Lake Huron

This shot is from sunset, July 24, 2010. A group of us sea kayakers had launched from Rockport launch, north of Alpena, Michigan. We usually camp on islands, all gear to be carried in your hatches, but this time we stayed in the old foghorn building, made over into a lodge, close to the original keepers quarters. All, lighthouse, keepers quarters and outbuildings, were under renovation. At the time the foghorn building was the only place with rooms to let. Almost 10 years later I’ll bet most of the restoration is done. It was a sweet place to stay.

I was walking the path to the lighthouse and looked up as the last rays of the setting sun filled her lantern room.

MiddleIslandLight WP copy

Below is the lighthouse seen the next morning. I was sitting on the keepers’ porch looking over to the light as the sun was rising over a clouded Huron. That is a Petosky stone on the ledge. I can’t not pick up rocks.

It was a lovely island, we looked for rocks, walked the paths, paddled the circumference of the island and took photos of wildflowers. The best part of the trip was paddling around the island, chasing the back end of a storm over Huron. You could see for miles, you could see where the storm was sweeping the Lake and you could see that warm, dreamy late afternoon post-storm light bundled up with a rainbow.  That storm was the impetus to buy a waterproof camera.

Hush. Ten years ago, before filters and for that matter most social media, I was playing with masks in Photoshop. I have no clue where the originals are.

Middle Island Lighthouse From Keepers

A quick search reveals you can still visit.

Wow, it looks like the Keepers Quarters are nearing finish. I believe the plan was to turn it into a bed and breakfast.
http://travelthemitten.com/lighthouses/middle-island-lighthouse-lake-huron/

I love Huron. Every visit/paddle/sail has been sweet. It is far less commercial than West Michigan.

Me? I am halfway through surgeries. It’s race night and I can’t get these feet in proper shoes for being on a boat. Barefoot is not an option. Post operative clogs would be pretty stupid. Maybe in a few weeks.

March 22nd, 2021 Update:

One of my links is dead so I found the FB page for the Middle Island Lodge and erased the old link:

https://www.facebook.com/Middle-Island-Keepers-Lodge-122375104470737/

I am fortune’s fool

I truly believed 2018 was going to be my Annus Horribiles. Apparently it’s not done with me.

I apologize for quietly withdrawing when things get tough. I worked hard to overcome physical handicaps and then get broadsided by other ailments.

Broken Easter Plate Bunny.jpg

Surgery today to repair a shoulder. I will need that shoulder because..well..wheelchair. It’s coming back into my life. I am lucky, very lucky. I worked hard to make a lot of that luck.

This is me after my first brain surgery:

IMG_5340Victory.jpg

I’ve had a second. This summer is about ‘breaking and rebuilding’ my feet. That’s why I need the shoulder, to roll the chair.

I just haven’t been able to face things with a proper frame of mind. It’s time to focus inward.

Mardi Gras in a Small Town

Friends and family lining  up for Port St. Joe Florida’s Mardi Gras (2018):

I LOVE this family of girls and proud Papa.

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Below, she’s working a Mae West vibe here, isn’t she? It’s great!

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Besties:

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Organising and visiting:

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On Main Street the beads and candy fly:

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Here’s that family of girls again:

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Beads:

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Beads:

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BEADS!

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This was the best day. I’m a northerner and I’d never seen how the south does Mardi Gras. I LOVED it. We went bar hopping after the family friendly parade. It was marvelous and a year later these photos still bring me joy. I hope they brighten your day.

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