Skip to main content

Empty Nesters

There was a period in my life where I was not well for a significant amount of time. While there's no need to rehash all of that, there is one important thing that came out of that time that was to change my life in a good way. Bruce bought me a digital camera.

He had the notion that the camera would help heal me, not so much in the physical sense, but more as a distraction and if I were distracted enough, I would get eventually become myself again. It worked. I used that little pocket Panasonic every single day, whether my body felt good or not. Over time, I thought more about taking photographs than I did about how I was feeling, and the rest is history.

While thinking of that initial camera, I remembered how much I loved it and what great photos I was able to get with it, long before people began using phones for taking photographs. It was what you called a "point and shoot" camera, and I did plenty of that. I began selling my photographs taken with  my "baby camera",  and while other photographers looked down on me for using it, I was too naive to know the difference. Apparently, it was somewhat revolutionary in the sense that it was not a DSLR, a term I had not even heard of at the time. In other words, it didn't cost a whole lot!

These days, people are lauded for the photographs they take with their phone, which is basically a "point and shoot" that does more than take pictures. Funny how times have changed.

Something that I remembered in the last few days is how it came to be that I no longer have that camera. Back then, Baxter liked to take walks, and Jonathan used to call me every day to make sure I was alright. One day, while doing both of those things, I somehow dropped it on Pershing, the next street over from ours. Not that I noticed it, of course, but when I got home, I realized it was not in my pocket. Unable to find it, you can imagine how sad I felt. Never one to invest in expensive equipment, it was not the monetary loss so much as the mental loss--my "medicine" was gone, perhaps because I was getting better. In any case, I've had other cameras since, but none as beloved as that first one.

Isn't that always the way? What comes first sets the standard for the future doesn't it? Baxter was our very first dog. After my mom died, I wanted no part of taking care of another living thing. And then along came Baxter. Nearly thirteen years later, we are finally "empty nesters". Just me and Bruce. And while I hesitated before taking this photograph of Baxter's last hour with us, I'm now glad I did because there is just so much love here that I want to remember it forever.
Whereas other photographers have no qualms about photographing people at their most vulnerable, that has never been my strong suit. This time I've made an exception because, in the future, when our hearts are not nearly as heavy, this will be part of the precious memories we have of our sweet Baxie.

Perhaps, after reading all of the above, you are wondering how the two subjects tie together and I can't blame you for that. After writing my last post I was a mess and couldn't bear to stay in the condo by myself. Aha...now you get it, right?

With my backpack carrying my camera and lens, I set off in search of, well, whatever came my way, somewhat like I did all those years ago. We finally had a weather break after days and days of wet, windy, and just plain miserable weather. I am not one to squander that kind of opportunity. Taking the bus down to Denman Street, from there I walked into Stanley Park and was rewarded nearly immediately.  About a dozen Robins were flitting about. Now for some folks seeing an American Robin is no big deal, but for a Central Floridian,  it is a treat as they only come through our area once a year.
Not far from there, I watched a Northern Flickr dig away in the soggy ground. Never have I been so close before, as the only pair I'd seen in Orlando were very high up in a tree at the cemetery.
I began walking on the seawall and couldn't help but think of what it looked like in this area only two weeks before with the huge waves that I later learned were from, what around here is called. a King Tide.
Walking along I began hearing some horn music, a term I use loosely because it was not very good. Where in the world could that be coming from? Here's where:
Continuing my walk I came to Third Beach where the shoreline was littered with shells probably due to the big wind storm on Sunday.
Standing near this seagull with a starfish in his mouth was, for lack of a better term, really something. Apparently they keep them in their mouth for a period of time before eating them, sucking out the juices. Nature at work...
It was right about then that Bruce called to check on me. As we were chatting I noticed another bird I'd never seen and told him I'd have to call him right back. By the time I'd gotten my camera out of my backpack, the two birds had flown away, however, before long, I came across them again navigating the big rocks while searching for food.
Once I was home I went in search of identification and learned that this is a Black Oystercatcher. I love seeing new birds, that's for sure! Alissa and Jon gave me a beautiful handmade journal that will be getting used to keep track of my bird sightings, lest I forget, and we all know how forgetful I am!

Because there was no reason to hurry home, I kept going, further than I'd ever been. The people in the photo below give you a notion as to the size of the cliffs.
Finally, around the bend, the Lionsgate bridge came into sight.
One of the container ships from English Bay on the way to Coal Harbor. Was it only six months ago that I'd never heard these names, let alone know what they signified?

By now you've learned that I have a bit of a bridge phobia, but for some reason, this bridge does not bother me. Seeing how huge the pilings are makes me all the less afraid.
It was not long after this that Matt and Tom called and we had a lovely Facetime chat. I was able to show them the scene below while I sat on a bench to talk.
Unbelievable that there are actually fluffy clouds in the sky, so please discount what I'd written earlier about how they never occur here. Not only did they call, but they sent flowers on Friday,
as did David and Michelle. Such a sweet surprise.
Once I sat down I realized I was getting a wee bit tired and the lunch hour had long past. Looking to cut through the park, I took this muddy path which reminded me that there is yet a lot of park to explore with my camera, hoping it will work that same healing magic.
The phone just rang and it was Urban Animal Hospital calling. The young woman said she just wanted to let me know that "we got Baxter back". I'm not sure how else she could have phrased it, however, sadly, there is no getting Baxter back. He will, however, never be forgotten.

yours truly,

Gail


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Should We Go or Should We Stay?

It is hard to know what to do in the situation we found ourselves. Should we go, or should we stay? My vote was to stay, whereas Bruce wanted to head back to Vancouver because he had loads of meetings and work to do. After losing Baxter so recently, he'd had a hard time concentrating on work, and had only just begun to find his way. While I could understand all of that, now that I'd gone along for the ride, I realized how unpredictable it could be. How long could it take, after all?

Saturday morning Bruce drove over to the dealership to find out what he could while I roamed the property looking for anything of interest. Two things caught my eye, one of which are these cool pinecones on what we would call a Christmas tree.
Adjacent to the hotel there was a large lot fenced off for conservation. Walking around the block I saw what looked like evidence that a beaver had been busy. Further, I saw some cone shaped "structures" in the distance.
I never did see any beavers,…

The Sky

After our friend, Karen Howard, moved to the North Carolina mountains, she said one of the things she missed the most about living in Florida was the fluffy, white clouds, ever present throughout the year. Now I have a better understanding of how she felt.

There is no escaping the sky when you are living this high off of the ground with abundant glass. Because our high rise was the first to be built in this area of downtown, there are few impediments to the view. From what I've gathered, views are both highly prized, and highly protected here. And what is there to see? Having lived here for more than five months now, I've learned that there is a lot to see. Whereas in the summer months, your eyes are drawn to the activity on the water below, in the winter, it is all about sky watching. Will it rain? Will there be fog? Will that yellow circle on my phone, indicating a sunny day, really happen? If so, will there actually be a sunrise or sunset? What about the moon and stars? Wil…

Six Months!

I would be the first to admit that during these months in Vancouver I feel as if I am living in a bit of a bubble. Rarely do I even know the date, so it came as a bit of surprise discovering this morning that six months have elapsed since we arrived on July 29, 2017. Doesn't it seem as if were not that long ago that I was writing this post? Now that was fun to re-read that post! I was wrong, the building I photographed was not ours. Terribly sad to read about Baxie..

So, what do we think six months later? We do love the city, but this weather, yikes! I also read in that post that I was bound and determined that I would not complain, so we'll leave it at that.

Every day last week, in both rain and weak sunshine, I made myself go out and about, not wanting to sit in the condo alone while Bruce is at the office. I visited places both familiar, and not so familiar. More often than not, I began my walk when it was not raining, finishing them when it was. One morning I saw that the …