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Was I ever that young?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Snapshot Stories.”

The prompt instructed me to find a photo album and write a post about the first picture of myself that I found in the album. I don’t know if it is cheating or not, but, after looking through some old albums, I amended the prompt to read, “…find the oldest picture of yourself and write a post about it.” This (unretouched) photo,  the oldest picture I could find of myself, sent me wandering down memory lane. Most of my photowalks are recent walks on the trails in my favorite parks, but if, for a change, you want to wander with me off the beaten path, read on.

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The back story:

During my growing-up-years, my father was the family photographer, and this picture, since digitized, was found in one of his albums. I was in high school when this was taken, and at that time, the ukulele was enjoying a lot of popularity in the U.S.  I think it may have been Arthur Godfrey (anyone remember him?) who was responsible for its popularity. Anyway, I was a “ukulele wannabe.” I probably learned three or four chords before I realized I was never going to make it to stardom on The Arthur Godfrey Show, but this photo of me, snapped in the corner of my teenaged bedroom, is proof that I was once that young, actually owned a ukulele, and had aspirations of musical fame and fortune.

Arthur Godfrey is long gone, so are my parents, and I have no idea what happened to the ukulele after I left home, but just looking at this old photo brings back memories of the much younger person I once was and gives me a warm-fuzzy-happy-feeling.  I have a smile on my face as I write this. I am so glad Daddy saved this photo. It must have meant something to him too, and I wish I could share it with him today.

Thanks for looking at this “way-off-the-trail” blog post. Maybe you could find an old picture of yourself and take a photowalk down memory lane.

Carolyn aka Skip

Graduation Day 2015

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Half the senior class…Emmy is somewhere in that sea of blue.

Today, graduation day for the class of 2015, was a big day for our granddaughter Emmy, Following the main event of the day, the graduation ceremony, Alison and Mike hosted a terrific brunch for Emmy and her guests at Pier W, a restaurant overlooking Lake Erie with a great view of downtown Cleveland.

Members of the Board of Education took turns presenting each student with his/her diploma. When it was time for Em to receive hers, it was handed to her, along with a hug, by a former neighbor and long time friend of the family who serves on the Board of Education. That made a significant moment even more memorable. Although we were sitting way up in the upper reaches of the State Theater where the graduation was held, I managed to grab a couple of quick shots of Emmy receiving her diploma:

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Cap, gown, and diploma in hand

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Following the ceremony, it was time for brunch and picture-taking on the patio overlooking Lake Erie (Click on a picture to scroll through the gallery).


Congratulations, Emmy. After a summer of teaching swimming lessons, you are off to college, and with two kids in college, Mom and Dad are off to work!! The years will fly by quickly. I can tell you that from personal experience. Work hard; learn a lot; make good friends; remember the values you live by; and create special memories that you will always treasure.

Love you forever,
Grandma

Nikki’s celebration

On Sunday, May 31, 2015, Bob and I drove to Kent to celebrate Nikki’s graduation from medical school (a much anticipated detour off my usual photo walking trail). The celebration, a fantastic brunch hosted by Nikki’s parents, was held at the Pufferbelly, once an old RR station and now a superb place for lunch, brunch, and special celebrations! Eight years ago (I think it was) we attended Nikki’s first graduation when she, Bryan (at that time her future husband), and their classmates graduated from Kent Roosevelt High School. Since that day, she has accumulated quite a few degrees. Although she told me it wasn’t because she was all that crazy about school, once she started down that trail she just-kept-on-going until she reached her destination, a medical school degree. Congratulations, Nikki! You set a challenging goal, and your dedication, single-mindedness, and perseverance have carried you through. Along the way, in addition to diplomas and degrees, you have also accumulated a wonderful (No, I’m not biased) husband, a dog, and, for the time being, two apartments, one in Toledo and another in New York City.

Here are a few memories from your celebration (Click on a picture to scroll through the gallery).

So Nikki, today you and Bryan have reached a major crossroad. With your “schooling” behind you, you can look forward to more challenging and exciting experiences as he returns to Michigan to finish university and you put on that (metaphorical) white coat with Dr. Nikki Wawrin inscribed above the pocket.

2015_05_31_untitled_070I spotted this old railroad crossing sign on my way out to the parking lot after your brunch. What serendipity! May it remind you both to stop, look, and listen in the days (and years) ahead…to your professors, your colleagues, and to each other.  Oh, and forgive me for indulging in one last grandmotherly piece of advice, take time to give thanks…always remember to give thanks!

God bless you both!

Love,
Grandma L.

Detour!

Today we took a detour. After my morning walk in the park, I left my usual trail behind and, at the invitation of friends, we drove to Kathy and Dean’s house for the first cookout of the season. And what a magnificent cookout it was! Everybody contributed something to the meal, and we feasted, told stories, laughed, feasted some more, and topped off the feast with homemade ice cream nestled next to a serving of Texas sheet cake, drizzled with chocolate syrup. Yum!

Dean was the grill master with the emphasis on master… (Click on a picture to scroll through the gallery).

…while everyone else, including the family cats, just hung out and waited for the (metaphorical) dinner bell to ring.

It was a special time with special people on a special day, but I have to say it’s a good thing that this kind of “special” doesn’t happen every day because it’s going to take a while to recover from all that feasting. As detours go, this one was definitely special.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope I didn’t make you too hungry.

Carolyn aka Skip

Celebrating Nikki and Bryan

October 18, 2014 was a very rainy day, but we weren’t going to let a little rain interfere with our celebration of Bryan and Nikki’s marriage. The ceremony was held at Hale Farm and Village in Bath, Ohio. Naturally I took pictures at the reception. I regretted that I couldn’t take any during the ceremony, but as grandmother of the groom, I was sitting in the very front row…too close to take photos. Here is a gallery of reception pictures:

Despite the uncooperative weather, it was a memorable day! Thanks for visiting my gallery.

Carolyn aka Skip

Cold; no, scratch that! Freezing!

We ventured out this morning for brunch, followed by our traditional New Year’s Day photoshoot on Headlands Beach. Seven people and two dogs made the trek this year. That’s Lake Erie you see behind us in the distance. Headlands Beach is located about 25 miles east of Cleveland, Ohio, and in the summer time, crowds of beach-goers fill the park, and the air is redolent with the scent of hot dogs, hamburgers, and other picnic foods cooking on the grills. Today, the crowds were absent. The temperature at our home was about 27 degrees Fahrenheit, but it was a lot colder on the beach. Figure in the wind chill, and it was finger numbing frosty. My fingers still weren’t thawed by the time we drove home, and I told my grandson this venture had cured me of any possible interest in an expedition to the south pole. Not that I ever expressed such an interest. We didn’t linger on the beach. I set up the tripod; they gathered around the (cold metal) bench, and blip! I snapped the shutter a few times, and we headed for the cars.

In the picture you see my husband and two of our daughter standing behind the bench, with three of our grandchildren in front.

Waiting for the summer crowds to show up!

Waiting for the summer crowds to show up!

I told Alison to "Stand there while I check the focus."

I told Alison to “Stand there while I check the focus.”

The intrepid ones who braved the cold winds off Lake Erie

The intrepid ones who braved the cold winds off Lake Erie

Michael volunteered to take this shot so I could be in the picture.

Michael volunteered to take this shot so I could be in the picture.

That’s it for this first day of the new year. I hope you vicariously enjoyed your visit to the beach. Happy New Year, everyone!
Carolyn aka Skip

Meet Cooper

After the sudden loss last month of their beloved sheepdog Millie, my daughter’s family found that it just didn’t seem right not to have a dog around the house. After much research and discussion, they found one that seemed right for their family. Two weeks ago Cooper, a Portuguese water dog, moved in and is doing his best to fill the hole in their hearts. Here are the first pictures I have taken of him:

Chewing on something in the backyard

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Listening to strange sounds
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Being held by Michael…

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Being held by Emmy…

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Millie is missed, but Cooper seems to have found his “forever home”, and I have to admit that he is adorable.

That’s it from northeast Ohio this time. See you soon.
Carolyn aka Skip

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