Monday, April 25, 2016

Photo-of-the-Week #260 - Sunrise On The Atlantic, New Beginnings, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, January 2009

This is IT! For all of you who have tuned in each week for this simple feature I've called my Photo-of-the-Week, this is the 260th photo article. I said this is it, because after 260 consecutive weeks or five years, I'm ending this series. And, NO, it's not because I've run out of photos. Believe me, I have several thousand photos to continue choosing from. I'm simply tired and bored with producing this particular weekly article.

I chose this particular photo as the final one because it doesn't represent the “end” rather, as a sunrise, it represents the “beginning.” Literally, this photo depicts the beginning of a new day. And if you hadn't noticed, this is a day late. I usually post these photos on Sundays. So, while this is the end of this weekly feature and series, it's also the beginning of something new. I'm not sure exactly what that is, yet. But, it will be coming pretty soon. Possibly, it might begin as early as next week.

If you haven't figured it out, yet, I thoroughly enjoy sunrises and sunsets. This sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean was taken in January of 2009. I shot it from the balcony of a hotel room in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A buddy and I were on one of our spur of the moment, spontaneous expeditions in January of 2009. There were very few people at Myrtle Beach at the time since it's a summer resort and most people don't go to the Atlantic beaches during the winter. That suits me just fine since I don't like crowds. But, the temperatures can be quite moderate at the more southerly Atlantic beaches and the sunrises and sunsets are still glorious.

I actually featured another shot from this series several months ago, except, for some unexplicable reason, I called it a sunset. The sun doesn't set in the eastern sky over the Atlantic from Myrtle Beach. I guess I wasn't paying much attention to detail. This is definitely a sunrise and, in my opinion, a beautiful one. I especially, like the clouds and the palm fronds in the photo. They add “color” and texture to the vibrancy of the sunrise colors.

Where to from here? I'm not sure. Since I operate a dash cam while I'm traveling, I may start posting some short video clips of interesting places as I travel the highways and byways (mainly the byways) of the U.S. There may also be some screen capture shots from the videos if there is something specific I want to highlight. The videos may have voice-over narrations instead of printed article descriptions (articles). I'm not sure exactly what form future posts will take, yet. I'll most likely do some experimenting until I find the new formula I like.

I'll be heading out on the road again within the next several days. I'll be experimenting with the new dash cam I recently installed in My McVansion. It appears to take some pretty good high definition video. Of course, I'll have to be sure to keep the windshield clean, since “bug season” is already beginning.

I plan to take a lot more photos and a lot of video since I have added more camera power and accessories to my media arsenal. The van is now set up for both video editing and production as well as high quality voice overs. I'm planning to finally launch a podcast series and the YouTube channel I've had for a while, but have not posted any videos on, yet. So, stay tuned. This wandering nomadic vagabond has lots of roads and miles to explore and new stuff in store. I hope you'll enjoy it and share the blog, podcast and YouTube channel with your friends. It's time to extend my reach and motivate more people to live freely.

Live free and be happy! EH 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Photo-of-the-Week #259 Reconnecting – Uncle Pete's House, Garfield, New Jersey, September 2013

I've decided to end this Photo-of-the-Week series at the five year mark. That will be at the 260th post of weekly photos. This is #259. I have no particular reason for ending this series. I still have thousands of photos left and I'm always taking more. I simply feel like taking a break and coming up with something new. I'm thinking it may be video instead of still photos. Stay tuned and you'll be surprised as much as I may be with whatever I come up with. So, there is still one more photo in this series next week.

Yesterday, Saturday April 16, 2016, something occurred that hasn't occurred in more than 20 years. As a matter of fact, something occurred that probably hasn't occurred in possibly as many as about 50 years.

The 20 year marker was that my two younger sisters, Lois and Denise, and I met and spent several hours together. I've seen each of them during those 20 years. They've seen each other during those 20 years, however, the three of us hadn't been together at the same time and place over those years. My, how the years have flown and how we've changed (please note, I didn't use the word “aged”).

The 50 year marker was that we actually were together for about five hours and shared a meal together. Many people who read this will raise their eyebrows about both of these events. I'll not go into the details of our family, other than to say, there are a million stories in the “Naked City” and ours is one of them. Obviously, we are not a close knit family and, if you'd guess there were circumstances that precipitated the situation, you'd be right.

My sister Lois, four years younger than me, drove from her home, a town just a couple miles from where we all grew up in northern New Jersey. My sister Denise, eleven years younger than me, now lives in a small town in the Shenandoah Valley about 15 miles south of Winchester, Virginia. Winchester is where I made my home for about 26 years prior to taking on my nomadic lifestyle the end of 2008.

I drove to Winchester from the small town I use as my eastern base camp in West Virginia and met up with Denise. She rode with me to Hershey, Pennsylvania where Lois met us. Yes, the same Hershey as in Milton Hershey and the Hershey Chocolate Company. It was about a 2½ to 3 hour drive each way to that meeting point for all of us. Of course, I had close to an additional 2 hours each way from West Virginia to Winchester. My total time behind the wheel was about 9 hours.

It was cordial. And, as is typical, especially when you haven't shared any time together over long periods, there was a lot of reminiscing. We are in contact and there are no anger issues to speak of. Logistics is the main issue. Lots of memories of old people (friends and family), places and things. It's amazing how, as kids at different ages in our development, we recall certain things and not others. We also recall common memories quite differently sometimes. It was very cathartic.

This week's photo-of-the-week came to mind as I was sorting through a bunch of photos from my hometown area in New Jersey. I was motivated to look through this batch of photos by our meeting yesterday. The house on the right of these two family houses is my Uncle Pete's house. Uncle Pete has been dead for quite a few years. Admittedly, he wasn't necessarily my favorite uncle. My father was raised as an orphan from age 8 until he was 18. Uncle Pete's was my father's home for those 10 years.

As you look at the house you can see there is a basement, a first and second floor and an attic. My father and my uncle, his younger brother, grew up in the attic, which was, to the best of my knowledge, unheated. And, of course, as most attics are, it was also the hottest part of the house during the summer. Heat always rises and the sun beats down directly on the roof of the attic.

I don't recall if the last home my parents owned was air conditioned. It likely was not since none of our earlier homes were air conditioned, not even window air conditioners. I still remember how hot it could be during the summers even in the lower, insulated parts of the house. So, I can only imagine what my father's life was like while growing up.

Reminiscing is an excellent thing to do from time to time. I don't live in the past and I don't enjoy talking with people who live in the past. That was then and this is now. However, as my sisters and I did yesterday, reminiscing about our early years can really help us appreciate the life we live today. I surely do. How about you?

Live free and be happy. EH

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Photo-of-the-Week #258 – A Different Perspective, Duck, North Carolina, March 2008

Another water theme photo. I've always like this photo because it represents a different perspective and a kind of juxtaposition.

This photo was taken from the beach under the Duck Research Pier, US Army Corps of Engineers, Field Research Facility in early March (we call that winter) 2008. A good friend has a timeshare beach house not far from this pier that I have had the good fortune to utilize occasionally with a group of friends.

The pier is quite tall and, obviously, very sturdy. It's primary purpose is scientific research into tides, impacts of hurricanes and nor'easters, water depth surveys and a variety of weather related studies. The facility has been in place since 1977. It's 1,840 feet long. It's work has been recognized internationally.

It's quite easy to walk under since it's so high. But, I always enjoy the interesting perspective being under the pier with the colors on the cement and metal pilings. So, maybe I have a weird definition of art, but to me, this is . . . well, unique. There may be other piers like this in other places. I just don't recall seeing them or being as intrigued as I am with this particular pier.   

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Photo-of-the Week #257 – I Need This Place – Any Beach Will Do, Boca Grande, Florida, January 2014

It's April 3, 2016 as I write this. It was snowing when I got up this morning. Give me a break. I looked outside and thought, “Oh no! This is a nightmare, I'm back in Syracuse, New York again and it's 1968 or 1969.”

Okay! It's spring. It is, at least, according to the calendar. I was supposed to be in the southwest by now, where it might be a bit chilly in the evenings, but warmer and sunny during the days. I spent another winter – unplanned – in the east in what may be considered the Mid-Atlantic region, but more properly, Appalachia.

The wind blew hard, probably gusting to 50 or more miles per hour. The rain came down in torrents for a good part of the night. This morning, the wind was still blowing, the Arctic blast came during the night and it was snowing when I woke up. Now, it's later in the day, the snow has stopped, the wind has died down to a light breeze, the sun is out and the sky is blue.

I need a dose of beach, salt water and bikini babes. There's nothing like feeling the warm sand running through my toes as I walk on the beach. I also enjoy the rays of the sun on my body. The sound of a gentle surf and some sea birds is like a lullaby. And pretty young women in skimpy bikinis quicken the heart rate of a guy my age, whose mind keeps trying to trick me into believing I'm going on 33.

So, I pulled this photo from two years ago on the Gulf coast in Florida. I remember where I was and who I was with. Unfortunately, while Tommy is a terrific guy and I enjoy his company, he just wasn't a cute babe in a bikini. But, I captured a shot of this one.

Padre Island National Seashore is calling to me. I'll be heading to Texas and I won't be far from Padre Island. It's been about 13 years since I was last there. I just may have to pull myself up a piece of beach to park on for a few days and enjoy the sun, surf, sand and hopefully a bevy of bikini babes. I have my sunscreen packed. Live free and be happy. EH