A Time to Reflect

In the Jewish religion, Yom Kippur is the time of atonement. How can I contribute to the upcoming year?  I like to look at this as a time to slow down and reflect on the past year, and think of the coming year. The past year has been one of change. Moving to a new home, watching a new life being brought into my family with the birth of my grandson. My brother certainly made some changes as well. He and Leti moved into a new home, married, and my niece gave birth to her daughter making my brother a first time grandfather. Happy, life affirming changes.

The last part of the year brought one additional unanticipated change. My 16 year old granddaughter is currently living with us. I am back in the parent role, and I find that this is harder to  accept. There is a time for everything, and I planned this time for travel. With this delay I am going to continue to plan to travel, eventually. I guess I am trying to act logically, and not be so emotional about this turn of events. Logic pushes me to take positive steps toward my end goal.

Step 1.  Develop a way to communicate with fellow travelers. I know that I can only speak English. So I am using my computer to learn some Spanish. Maybe I’ll look at being able to speak some Hebrew. Who knows.

Step 2. Photography will be high on the list when I decide where I want to go. I plan to travel with my mirrorless cameras. I just sold my Olympus OMD E5 gear and purchased a Fuji XT2 camera and the Fuji X100F. I plan to use this time to become very comfortable with my gear. This also helps my emotional health.

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When I traveled overseas in 1964 I packed my things in a bright red Samsonite suitcase. It was easy to spot on the luggage carousel.

Step 3. Keep an eye out for places to visit. I plan to start making a list of where and when (best season) to visit my destinations. Facebook is one place to view good photographic places. Another place I check out are the many Flickr sites. And I’ll do some travel reading.

I just received my first passport, as an adult. So as far as travel goes I am quite new to foreign travel. My last time overseas was when I was still in high school over 50 years ago. Kind of funny the way life works out. When I left Karachi in 1966 I was thinking that I would work in the airline industry and be able to travel all over. When I graduated from college my husband and I even made plans to move to Israel. It has been over 40 years since I made the move from New  York to California. Vacations out of California didn’t take me very far in the United States either. Traveled back to New York, to Florida to visit In-Laws, Indianapolis to visit family, and to the Hawaiian Islands. I guess I have some catching up to do.

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Planning on hopping on the People Mover when the time comes!

Meanwhile I’ll enjoy the year ahead. Photo time, dog time, and time at home with my husband and granddaughter.

Who knows what the year 5779 will bring? May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.

Any suggestions as to where I should set my sights? I’ve got time to plan!

 

Online, Prints or Albums?

How do you like to look at your photographs? In the past the choices were print or slides. The prints were placed in albums and carefully labeled, or at the other end of the spectrum left in a box or trunk unmarked. Some photographs become part of the household display in frames on the mantle or hung on the wall. There have been instances when film was found undeveloped. The discovery of Vivian Maier, a noted street photographer comes to mind. If you aren’t familiar with her work the documentary, Finding Vivian Maier is worth watching. Many WWII film canisters have been found. Slides often in containers without a projector available.

I began my digital connection early with a 3mg pixel Sony Mavica on mini cds in about 2001. I liked the idea of seeing results immediately, but the digital world had a long way to go before I could use it consistently. The shutter lag, and resolution were not up to the task. I probably have the disks, somewhere. But the technology changed and even my iMac doesn’t have a CD player. My digital switch came in 2004 with my first dslr Nikon D70. Followed by D200, D7000, D600, D7100, Panasonic point & shoot, Olympus OMD-E5 mirrorless, and Fuji x100f. I use one of the highlighted cameras depending on my subject matter, and how much I want to shlep. They each serve the purpose and I can get great image from each one.

My photo collection in Lightroom CC is about 35500. I have used Adobe Lightroom since it began, and the changes also grew with the improvements in digital photography.  I retired from my teaching position and high school librarian. I have the need to be organized, and I like to  to have a place for everything. That includes cataloging my images. Lightroom (LR) originally was created to keep images organized. Photoshop was to take care of processing. I’m very glad the two work together now. I have keywords for my images going back to 2004, and my needs change. And crazy as it sounds,  I like to catalog my images. When I am stressed I often review, redo, and remember my photo journey. While making these changes I get to look back over my work. I enjoy this time. I review my growth, impressed by some of my earlier images, saw camera improvements especially in noise reduction, and the improved LR can assist with  changes.

I like to see my photographs enlarged and hanging around my house. Though these are not family snapshots. Many of the images were taken a while ago when I was enrolled in photography classes at the local community colleges. I use Nielsen Bainbridge frames, and I use Bay Photo service to print. Now in my new house I may change out some of these prints.  I also have a couple of photographs printed on metal from a local company with nice results.

I also like to be able to browse through albums though I haven’t kept this going as much. Shutterfly allows me to print books, and I find it easy to share my work. For an online presenceI like the way my work looks on my Flickr site. Flickr recently partnered with SmugMug and I hope that this will prove a positive move. I used SmugMug many years ago when I first started my very brief photography business. Family stuff happened. Now photography is for my pleasure!

Back to my original question. I enjoy my photographs in a variety of ways. In the back of my mind I need to think about my eyesight. My mother lost her eyesight due to macular degeneration. Unfortunately, I also have this condition. So far the dry version has a slow progression, and has not impaired my vision. So using a variety may help me in the long run.

So what do you do with all your images? I hope you enjoy them, and have fun creating.

 

 

Looking Back, Looking Ahead!

Days of Atonement, clarity, introspection, meditation, taking in the moment are ways I see the High Holidays. The time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur serves as a time to take stock of the past year, and think about the future.

Usually I start with creating the ritual meal. Shopping items include chicken, matza meal, noodles, apples, gefilte fish, Manischwitz Concord Grape Wine, and a round challah (getting harder, and harder to find).  The meal takes a lot of preparation and while I chop and peel I remember the past year. The lose of my parents is with me daily. I do take some comfort in knowing they are together. But this time the holiday felt different.

In the process of moving I get to look at a lot of accumulated stuff. 47 years of marriage, 31years in the same house, and only in the past month have we become “empty nesters”.  I inherited much from my parents. I found some home movies from early 1960s that I transferred onto a DVD. Technology has come a long way from a Super 8mm film camera. Back to the time of silent movies with exaggerated movements.

October begins a new chapter for the Frankel’s with the move to Fair Oaks (6 miles away).  Not so much distance, but a reset nevertheless. Still don’t know exactly how we plan to arrange our “stuff”. Luckily we have a 3 car garage, and that is where our boxes will go. Then we have another chance to decide about stuff before it finds a place in our new home. I feel excited, and I hope that enthusiasm continues.

Selling a house is not fun.  My house has never been so clean. My Libby is into the routine, and as long as I have her food ready, she jumps into the car in a moments notice.  Trying not to take feedback personally. I just hope that process does not drag on. Listed for not quite a month, and it is starting to feel old. Yesterday was the first day I didn’t go overboard and pick up every little thing.  Thinking maybe that a watched pot does not boil, a spotless house does not sell? My mother would say, “You just need one buyer, and for every house there is one buyer.” Patience. My friend Anne came over and blessed my house to release any negative spirits that may be preventing its sale.  An open house is scheduled for Sunday.  We are doing all we can!

In the coming year I plan to research my family roots. I started my family genealogy while studying for my Libraian credential in 1983. That was before Internet, computer software, and the end of the Cold War. Now there are so many ways wto proceed. New documents are coming on line all the time. I joined the Jewish Genealogy Society of Sacramento and participated in 2 classes. I am not sure where this will lead. Perhaps a book documenting my family history. Maybe just continued research into the Shoah and its  meaning in my life. Maybe a way to establish connections with other researchers and librarians. I hesitate to involve myself in another group, but maybe I do this for just that reason – to overcome.

I’m not usually comfortable joining a group, but being part of my 2nd Gen group encourages me to try and feel a part of something bigger than myself. I learn, find support and appreciate my CVHEN (Central Valley Holocaust Educators Network) 2nd Gen friends. After so many years, I finally have people I can count on. Photography helped to crack through my isolation. Despite the difficulties I encountered I could use my camera to refocus my thoughts. Getting out with friends, doing something, and creating is the key. I hope I don’t let my friends down. I plan to be mindful and appreciate my friends.

Thinking back over the past year I tried, but may not have succeeded in taking a step back around my family. The role of care taker may have placed me a position of power, and I may have sent the message that I know what is best. There is a delicate balance between taking care, and allowing space. I plan to be more mindful of this. The balance between decision making, and indecision. Some decisions I made were hard, yet I made up my mind for what I hope will be best for my family.

As is said at this time, “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.”

You Never Know… 

Time to make a change. With my parent’s death I pondered how this will affect me. Thinking I have less on my mind I found that I have been trying to find a way to simplify. One idea I had was to finally make my house exactly how I want it and remodel my house of 31 years. The other idea was moving.  Back and forth we went.  So in June I started to investigate. Live through a remodel or move.

The Internet makes looking easier. I looked out of town, and out of state, or stay in the area. I drove out to see a 55+ Del Web community, but it didn’t feel right for us. Looked at nearby community of Gold River, a group of villages with varying HOAs. A possibility, but not quite.  Then on June 4th we looked at a couple of open houses. Walked into a house that felt right, and we made an offer. Back and forth, and on Tuesday July 11th we signed the papers. Recorded on July 12th, and we have a new house. The actual move won’t happen until the first week in October. Since this actually was a fast decision I now have time to get my house ready for sale. Of course, this also means looking at all the stuff accumulated over the years of raising two kids, grandkids and job paperwork.

Should be celebrating, but instead I have been spending time at Kaiser Hospital in Roseville. You  never know. My 15 year old granddaughter had emergency surgery for appendicitis on July 11th. Turn out it was much more serious, and her appendix burst. Pulls through surgery only to be back in the hospital two weeks later because of an abscess from the surgery.  The day before school started in early August, the drainage tube was removed. Alyssa did not have much of a summer vacation.

Sacramento weather has been particularly hot. No days under 90 degrees. I spent August preparing to sell my house. Decluttering, packing, organizing. I learned that I am an organized person who saves everything. I have files filled with receipts going way back. If I stop to look at them it can be amusing. Seeing the cost of things, how long some appliances last, the number of times I fixed the same item.

I had a storage box of memories. I kept my kids artwork from first scribble. I dated these pictures and wrote what it was about. First teddy bear, first shoes, every Mother’s Day card, every story and homework project saved. This made for a fun trip down memory lane. I then got two bags and passed this along to my children. They probably recycled all of it.

I also found a box of correspondence I saved since moving to California in 1978. This must have been the last time I purged my stuff.  Long 6 page letters from busy mothers with young children. With the coming of cell phones and reduced costs the letters stopped. We now catch up a couple of times a year, or follow each other on Facebook.  This blog serves as my journal, and my need to record my thoughts. Somethings don’t change. Are you a saver or do you quickly discard?

Delayed posting this blog because I wanted to add some photos that I had on my iPhone 5s. That proved problematic.  Photos were too pixilated.  I guess I should figure this out before I plan to use iPhone photos here. So I will end now sans photos.