Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Archive for July 2012

Nearing Sunset On Lake Erie

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One of our rituals of summer is driving out to Geneva on the Lake on a warm summer day to have dinner on the deck of a restaurant sits hard by Lake Erie. The shade of the large trees and lake breezes always provide a cool respite and the view is like no other in Northeast Ohio.

There is something about gazing out on the lake, even if there is nothing out there to see.

On this early July evening, a few people splashed in the water and a few pleasure boats scooted past. All too soon our dinner and evening were over. Until next time.

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Written by csanders429

July 13, 2012 at 7:51 am

Amid the Forest of Concrete and Steel

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Cleveland is known for its bridges over the Cuyahoga River and the Flats, an industrialized area along the river. Much of the time, Clevelanders and those passing through never see much more than the tops of those bridges.

Yet, if you find the right vantage point, you can enjoy the patterns and sheer massiveness of these steel and concrete structures.

Show amid this forest of metal is the lead locomotive of a westbound Norfolk Southern freight train crossing a trestle over the Flats. It is framed by the Inner Belt bridge, which carries Interstate 90.

But the cranes below are a sign of change about to come. The Inner Belt bridge will within a few years be replaced by two bridges, the first of which is under construction.

The existing Inner Belt bridge will be demolished.

We tend to think of bridges as functional and necessary structures. They are, of course, yet they can be intriguing things to study if you take the time to do it and have an eye and appreciation for detail.

Written by csanders429

July 13, 2012 at 7:35 am

RIP Day Lilies! See You Next Year

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I made a startling discovery today. All of the day lilies that line our driveway and the east side of the garage are gone. Oh, the plants are still there. But the blooms are finished for the season.

When did that happen?

I could have sworn that just a day or so ago they were in full bloom. And now they are gone?

Mary Ann says that the day lilies began blooming earlier this year due to abnormally warm winter. So they must have played out earlier, too.

I was going to photograph them in all of their glory, but you can guess what happened. I’ll do it tomorrow. In the past, there always seemed to be a tomorrow for the day lilies.

It is still early July. Last year I took photographs of the day lilies on July 21. I know that because I had just gotten my new camera the day before and I wanted to check it out.

But this isn’t last year and day lilies don’t last forever.

There are number of plants like that at our house that have a brief, but sweet, season. I know that but every year it still seems to surprise and dismay me when that season is over.

But I just started to enjoy the lilac bush. Too late! It’s still there, but the blooms are gone. Wait ‘til next year. Ditto the tulips.

Everything seems to have a short season except the crab grass. It is doing just fine.

The day lilies will be back. Next year I better not dawdle. But I’ve said that before.

Written by csanders429

July 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Good Morning Mississippi

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It’s mid morning in mid March 2012. My wife and I are aboard Amtrak’s City of New Orleans en route to the train’s namesake city for a spring break vacation. We are about midway there.

Our sleeper is in the last car on the train so I peek out the back door at the flat Mississippi Delta country after we return from having breakfast.

The skies are mostly cloudy with some peaks of sun. It has been raining and it will rain some more before we exit the Magnolia State.

Aside from disembarking during station stops at Jackson and Greenwood, I’ve never been on the ground in Mississippi. I’ve never stayed overnight within the state’s boundaries, never had a meal in a restaurant here aside from an Amtrak dining car. I’ve never even driven in the state.

I am sure there are many wonderful places to visit in Mississippi. But that is likely to case in many other states that I’ve traveled through by train or flown over in a plane without visiting.

Traveling by train does provide a sense of having visited a place due to the measured pace at which the train travels. Mississippi is a long state and it takes the City of New Orleans a good six hours to traverse it.

Because most of the journey is made in daylight I’ve been in Mississippi long enough to get a sense for what it is like—at least along the former Illinois Central Railroad tracks.

It is a journey I’ve made four times, three of them in the past five or six years.

Maybe someday I’ll get off the train and really visit Mississippi. Until then, most of what I know about Mississippi I learned through the window of a train.