Hanging Around

“It’s ONLY the Chandelier” they all say. What do they mean by ‘ONLY’, that’s me they are talking about. And it’s not really my fault. when I rattle it’s the kids jumping upstairs, probably on the bed. Or it’s one of those pesky lights burn out.

Life as a chandelier isn’t always bright. It’s only twice a year when I get any kind of care, Just before Thanksgiving and about a month later just before Christmas. The rest of the year I gather cobwebs, dust and the gunk that settles on me from the vapors coming from the kitchen. Most of the time that amounts to grease and oil fumes, boy do my people fry a lot without a lid on the frying pan. Sure the smells are almost heavenly when the food is cooking. But then there’s that bacon every morning. The small almost makes me gag.

Cleaning day is nice, even only twice a year. My dangles come off, that makes me feel light for a while. They go into a warm soapy dish pan and come out sparkling. While that’s happening I get dusted, and maybe some of the grime get mopped off, not all of it. There’s always some of that stuff left in small crevices. My age is showing, though. After many years my protective coating is gone and repeatedly wiping has caused my shiny metal to tarnish and darken. It’s not even so I look like a well used stuffed leopard – no real spots, just the hints of what used once was.

And then it comes to my lights. I have those frosted “hurricane light” type globes. They say that it’s impossible to find replacements for broken ones just like mine. The Borg only carries something close, and way too expensive to replace all of them at once just to keep them all the same. That’s why I have so many different lights. So after many years of hanging here I can understand why all anyone can say about me is, “It’s just the chandelier!”

for Sunday Photo Fiction – November 9th 2014

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Cooling my feet

Voices, I hear voices and it’s afternoon on Thursday. I can’t tell what they are saying, but they are there. I guess I should tell a bit more. About lunch time a Geocache was published up here in the “Forest Preserve” as some of my childhood friends called it. Now we just call it a State Park, but most of it is still wilderness type forest.

Back to my hike uphill, it’s been along a babbling brook, with many squirrels gathering nuts for winter. The voices get louder and almost distinct as I continue along the trail. At last I come to a bend and find that the trail crosses over the brook at a small waterfall. The voices are coming from a couple that are sitting on one of the rocks overhanging the splash pool at the foot of the falls. They are sitting with their feet in the water.

Cascade Falls, Potapsco Valley State Park, Ellicott City, Md.

Cascade Falls, Potapsco Valley State Park, Ellicott City, Md.

When they see me they call me over and suggest that I take off my hiking boots and cool my feet before I continue on, about another half mile of climbing. So I join them and enjoy the cooling from the waterfall.

On my way down the hill after I found the Geocache I stop here again. The waterfall isn’t wide, or high, dropping only about 5 feet, but it is a peaceful spot to cool off.

for Sunday Photo Fiction for Nobember 2nd –

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A strange day comes to an end

As I sat with Suzie drinking wine served by Mel I told her how my day was one of the strangest of my life. Of course I started my story with how it began and how the life of an accountant is just hours of boredom. As the evening shadows lengthened and the story turned to how I came to be sitting here sipping some great wine with her and Mel.

Since the day was drawing to a close I took my leave and began the walk to home. A block form home I saw a UPS truck pulling away from my front door. I hadn’t ordered anything in a long while, so that truck dropping off a package baffled me. What could it be? Well-trimmed Boxwoods surround my front door. Keeping them trimmed is my of my eccentricities, I sculpt them every three or 4 months.

I started up the walk and was astonished to see the UPS driver had dropped off a Jack-O-Lantern It sat there grinning at me. It was completely carved with a lighted candle. A fitting way to end a day that started off the way it did. What will happen tomorrow?

for Sunday Photo Fiction for October 26th 2014

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The Telescope

Today started off strangely, I overslept, then the events after breakfast at the coffee shop (see last weeks challenge). But today as is usual at an accounting office, not much exciting ever happens. I left the office a bit later than usual, to make up for my tardiness this morning. As I walked out the front door I turned left, a change for me, I live about 5 blocks to the right, just up the street from what remained of Bad City Coffee.

First street runs along “The River” as it is known, really just a stream not much wider than a hundred feet. I crossed Oak St, then Pine St. A couple blocks further I crossed Beech, then Birch, or was it the other way around. Whoever named those two so close togethe must have had an evil moment. Why the streets were named for trees is one of the questions everyone in town wonders, there no trees for miles, farm fields surround the city. I crossed “The River” on Chestnut St and turned on Waterfront Parkway, running along “The River” on the other side, more evil street naming.

I stopped along the way to watch white-water kayakers paddling around bolders in the stream. I’d guess the rapids were classed somewhere between Class I and flat water, The White-Water Kayak competitions in the Olympics on TV is way more exciting. I thought back to winter times when this creek is used for Ice Skating. Leaning on the rail that keeps onlookers from joining the kayakers, I recalled the strange events of the morning. How Suzie dumped the tip I left her into the Tip-Jar by the register. And how Mel told me that the eggs were only a day old, coming from his brother’s farm and the sausage was fresh from his farm too. What a strange course of events.

Time to get going, I continued toward home. Then I stopped at a Coin Operated telescope I hadn’t noticed before, but it was across from Second St, right across from where the coffee shop stood only yesterday. “What the heck!” I thoughts, I have a quarter, after I watched some of the Kayakers I scanned along the far bank to where I was earlier in the day. I imagined the Coffee Shop, the Heap of rubble, But No! Where the shop once stood was a well manicured lawn. I hardly recovered from seeing the transformation when I realized I was looking at a chez lounge-lounge with a brunette I thought I recognized. She spotted me right off and was waving frantically. Finally it came to me, it was Suzie still wearing her waitress uniform, with the apron, pocket still holding order pads.

I headed up to the next bridge, Walnut St to cross back to First Street and back down to the corner of First and Second to where the shop was, and Suzie. When I got to her I saw a second chez lounge waiting. She motioned for me to sit. Mel approached. He wasn’t wearing is usual greasy cook’s apron, but now he was wearing a Tux, carrying a thick leather bound wine list. By golly he’d become the wine sommelier of this small well manicured lawn that magically appeared where once stood the coffee shop.

for Sunday Photo Fiction, October 19th Coin Operated Telescope

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What a day!

Morning normally comes way too early in the day. Today it was bit late, exciting and interesting. For most of my adult life it began about 6am. During the winter I needed an alarm clock, but when summer comes sun light and chirping birds do the trick to get me out of bed. Today for some unexplained reason my first sight of the alarm clock was about 9 o’clock.

Well, so I’m a bit late, only 3 hours. The rest of the office can get along without me for a short time. After a quick shower and shave I headed out on my daily route. First stop, only a block from home, was the corner coffee shop and I do mean on the corner, it’s on 1st Street at 2nd Street. Don’t ask, this town is a bit weird, as the shop’s name, “Bad City Coffee“, But it has the best in town. It looks a little like the gathering place where Jerry, George and Elaine met. But with a few differences. It’s really clean, and at 7 in the morning it’s very busy. Today, though, at 10 it’s almost empty. Neat flowers adorn all the tables, and even the breakfast counter. All the used dishes are clean and stacked ready for the lunch crowd.

When I walk in I notice only two patrons, they look like a pair of construction workers. No food, just cups of coffee and chipped yellow hard-hats on the table. They look like they are a bit early for a coffee break. I spot Mel, the cook, in the kitchen wearing his usual greasy apron and chef’s hat. He sees me, smiles and waves his usual greeting.

And of course there’s Suzie, with flowing brunette hair. I wouldn’t say she’s short, just under-tall. She’s behind the counter in her spotless yellow uniform dress with the normal waitress apron with order books in the pocket. Yup, a typical morning but with out the hustle and bustle that I see in the early hours before everyone is at the office. I guess I’ve had breakfast here for close to 10 years. She and Mel have been here every morning I can remember. They work good together to keep all their patrons happy and well fed.

Suzie comes over and we talk about the weather and why I’m so late. After I tell her about over sleeping she takes my order, eggs over easy, sausage and home-fries with onions of course. And my usual large glass of Orange Juice with a cup of strong dark roast coffee. Today I don’t wait long, with nothing much going on Mel has my order ready almost before Suzie calls it to him. He’s cooked the same for many years and knows just how I like my first meal of the day. After he brings it out, a service I only get when Suzie is busy with the normal crowd, he hangs his apron back in the kitchen and waves Suzie a friendly “See you later” and leaves. I think he only works the morning shift, and that the lunch cook will be in soon. I hope so because it looks like Suzie will have to fix-up any orders if he doesn’t make it in on time. I’m enjoying a leisurely breakfast so I don’t rush and drink a second cup of coffee while Suzie cleans off my dishes, washes them and stacks them neatly to dry.

Soon I feel the need to get to the office, so I pay my bill, leave a tip and get ready to leave. Suzie calls out that she’ll walk out with me. As we walk out the door the two construction workers leave right behind us. Coffee break is over for them too. As we step off the curb I hear a resounding “CRASH!” behind us. I turn to see what happened.

A huge wrecking ball was finishing its swing – demolishing the shop from one side while a giant bulldozer plows into it from the other. The shop is gone! Just a pile of broken bricks, the Bad City Coffee sign lies in a tangled heap. The construction workers are busy string the ubiquitous yellow tape. ” Construction Zone Do Not Enter “. I guess they were waiting for us to leave. I’ll really miss that place, I don’t know how to cook early in the day.

I said the day was starting out on a different note.

For the October 12th Sunday Photo Fiction Demolition of an old building

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On the Water

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels Md. is the home of the Chesapeake Bay Small Boat Festival over the first weekend of October each year. A strong north-west wind this year along with a high tide this year caused an extreamly high tide. but that didn’t stop the festival, just disrupted a few businesses. One popular restaurant had over a foot of water at the entrance, probably keeping many would be partons away.

6-high-tide_4688At a B&B nearby the patio saw very few enjoying the outdoor seating.

6-paddling_4662Water is water! Paddlers and sailors don't mind high water.

6-sat-morn-fleets-in_4639Saturday morning and the fishing fleet is snug in the harbor.


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Only for the first 75

I was strolling through Westminster, MD one day looking for something interesting.. I wonder who would be the lucky 75 to find the basement of the old Post Office building. The sign is a bit faded, it dates back to the mid 1900s.


Date/Time : 2008:03:10 12:00:05
Camera model : NIKON D80
Resolution : 1846 x 2259
Flash used : No
Focal length : 135.0mm (35mm equivalent: 202mm)
Exposure time: 0.0020 s (1/500)
Aperture : f/16.0
ISO equiv. : 800

for The Daily Post photo challenge SIGNS

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