Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

In a Square Spotlight

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Suki seems to have figured which way the sun moves and comes in our bedroom windows. In late morning to early afternoon, it comes through the window and onto the floor, making a square-shaped pattern in the process. In another hour or so it will be illuminating a corner of the bed and Suki will have moved to there to spend her afternoon hours soaking it up while napping.


The Curious Practice of Exchanging Christmas Cards

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This Christmas tree stands at the North Pole, a.k.a. Peninsula, Ohio.

Our mailbox is filling up these days with Christmas cards. They come from neighbors and long-time friends including some we haven’t seen for years.

Some of the latter are people we only hear from at this time of the year. Such was the case with a card that arrived from a former co-worker I have not seen in 30 years.

She was the secretary in the newsroom of the newspaper at which I worked in Evansville, Indiana, for a short time.

Since I left that paper, Betsy has gotten married and raised a family. She still lives in southwest Indiana and I’m not sure that we’ll ever see her again.

But each year we dutifully exchange Christmas cards. I have a hazy memory of her writing a short note in previous cards, but that wasn’t the case this year. In fact, most cards we receive do not have notes or letters.

I sometimes wonder why people who are no longer part of each others lives continue to exchange Christmas cards.

I’ve known a number of people over the years who we’ve stopped hearing from at Christmas time and each year we edit our Christmas card list to remove the names and addresses of those who no longer send us cards and who we are unlikely to see again.

Maybe its tradition that keeps old friends who have fallen out of touch exchanging Christmas cards. Some people enjoy sending cards even to those who do not reciprocate.

There might be another reason why people exchange cards at this time of the year. It is a way of saying “I remember you” even if it is just once a year. There is something comforting about that.


Written by csanders429

December 12, 2017 at 8:40 am

Barton Dam

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Barton Dam is one of four such structures that were constructed on the Huron River in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Built in 1912-1913,  Barton is the only one of the four that still produces electricity, which the City of Ann Arbor sells to Detroit Edison.

The dam is easily accessible from the Barton Nature Area, a city park along the Huron River. I was surprised to find that a trail not only leads directly to the dam, but you can climb the concrete stairway at the far west end of the dam.

The dam measures 34 feet high and 1,767 feet in length. Its 900-kilowatt turbine generates 4.2 million kWh per year.

Written by csanders429

December 11, 2017 at 9:25 am

Who Has Texted Me Lately?

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A student at Penn State University checks her smart phone to see who has sent her message lately. She is walking on the sidwalk that leads to the Patee Library. Judging by the way she is shielding her phone with her left hand, the summer sun must be making it difficult to see the phone’s screen.

Written by csanders429

December 8, 2017 at 8:32 am

Flying the Stars and Stripes in Baltimore

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A pair of American flags fly in the wind from a light post in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Old Glory can be found in any town in America, but Baltimore is the home of Fort McHenry where a fight between American and British forces on Sept. 12-15, 1814, inspired Francis Scott Key to write a poem titled Defence of Fort McHenry. That formed the basis for the Star Spangled Banner, which is the national anthem of the United States.

Written by csanders429

December 7, 2017 at 7:51 am

Bridge and Trail

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There is something about bridges. I like the lines they create, I like the aura of strength that they portray. And a bridge invites you to cross to the other side if for no other reason than to see what is over there. This bridge crosses the Huron River in the Barton Nature Area in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I was there in late afternoon and the low lighting created some interesting shadows.

Written by csanders429

December 6, 2017 at 7:20 am

Standing Really Tall

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There is about a half hour of daylight left. It’s time for me to start heading home. But first I have another mile on the Portage Hike and Bike trail to get to my car.

Being early December the sunlight is low in the sky as we move toward the winter solstice. It makes for some really warm light and interesting effects.

One of the latter is casting a shadow that makes me look about 15 feet tall.

I found it amusing and, of course, I had to make a photograph of it.

Written by csanders429

December 5, 2017 at 9:26 am