Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Years Resolutions...Want to take a guess on which News Years Resolution is most common? Here's a hint...a fresh bagel and cream cheese can equate to almost half of my total calorie count for the day. Seems like all those diet centers and fitness gyms are busy with sign-ups the first wek in January! Happy New Year! :-) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Afternoon Shadows...It's a tough time of the year for those of us who crave sunshine. The late afternoon shadows start rather early in the afternoon. I think that the Druids had the right idea in celebrating the return of the sun's slow march towards Spring. :-)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Back on the Island...I always sense a collective sigh about this time of the year. There is such inertia that builds as the holidays approach. It's the passing wave crest of stress and preparation that gives one pause to relax and take a breath. As wonderful as it is to see family members who are separated by miles of interstate it's also calming to sit still in your own living room, enjoy that cup of coffee and read the local paper. (This shot of the Robert Moses Causeway is best viewed in the large on the image)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Why the Long Face?...A visit to brother-in-law Gregg's house in Pa. would not be complete without a visit with Nicky the horse. A very cordial equine, Nicky seems to enjoy being in front of a lens and will do almost anything for a carrot. :-) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hitting the Highway...Having spent two recent days on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Turnpikes I can attest to the fact that very few of us are letting the price of oil cramp our driving styles. The sheer volume of traffic headed North or South at this time of year is scary when it's moving and anger provoking when it's not.
It's a joy to be with family over the holidays, getting "in-line" with the multitudes is the price that comes with all that holiday cheer. Drive Safely! :-)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Tree Hunters...Gail and Alida "bag" a keeper. See the other post for today below. Posted by Picasa
Mike of Mike's Farm...We met Mike, grower of Christmas trees, on our annual search for the perfect tree. Patient, friendly and earthy Mike added another layer to our sojourn into the maze of the Christmas Tree Farm field trip. Although we yearned for Mike to tell us that he was a Native American (bringing us closer to nature, I suppose), he is in fact Greek having come to Long Island thirty years ago. Sitting on several acres of what appears to be prime real estate Mike seems very happy and content raising and nuturing his cash crop for the short harvest of the holiday icon.
As we drove away with our freshly cut bit of Christmas the discussion centered on how refreshing it had been to meet such a calm and peaceful character who seemed to have a "soft spot" for people and trees. Merry Christmas Mike!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Trains...A long ago Christmas tradition at my house involved a model train platform and a basement that morphed into a fantasyland. A miniture city emerged complete with tiny lights, whistling trains and little metal cars. Early on Santa got the credit but then they foolishly sent us to school and we were made less naive. Dad spent evenings before the big day in a basement that became "off-limits" until Christmas morning, a rule that we didn't seem to mind at all. It was always a thrill to re-visit, in low light, that magical city of Lionel.
What I realize now, of course, is that it is much more difficult to be Santa than to just wait for his arrival. It was only after I had children of my own and a few years of being Santa under my belt that I came to appreciate Dad's man-hours in that pre-Christmas basement.
Christmas and model trains, very much alive in that memory bank right up there with tree tinsel and the scent of pine. Thanks Dad!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Memories...The anticipation of Christmas is all about memories. We don't realize it at the time but it's the seemingly little things that get stored in the cerebral cortex, not the "must have" plastic toy de' jour. The scent of a freshly cut tree, reflecting lights against the snow, church at midnight, the first taste of egg nog or a Johnny Mathis Christmas Carrol...these are the things that stick. Traditions may change over time, it's the emotional imprint that really matters. And of course, the joyful human yearning to experience it again one more time.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Frosty...As an icon of the season, Frosty gets a lot of exposure. What happens the rest of the winter for this guy! Oh well...gotta finish shopping. :-) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ground Level...Fire Island Light was shutdown and boarded up from 1974 to 1986. Today it is a working Lighthouse and museum thanks to the tireless efforts of the Preservation Society. Guided tours to the top are a "must do" for Long Islanders and tourists alike. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 18, 2006

Point of View...Another shot from Saturday's climb. Excellent weather and nice light made for a wonderful day to capture a shadow or two. :-) (Best seen in the full size)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Looking East...Yesterday was a perfect "10" on the local weather scale. With temperatures in the mid-60's and a crystal blue sky it was not a Saturday to shop but rather an ideal opportunity to climb the 192 steps of the Fire Island Lighthouse. This breathtaking and sweeping vista is looking East toward the towns of Kismet and Ocean Beach. My camera is still smiling! :-)
Click on the image for the larger (and better) view.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Shopping Days...As a measure of time isn't this term antiquated? Used as in:.. "10 more Shopping Days till Christmas" seems redundant because there are only 10 more days till the big event anyway. It occurs to me that the elimination of "Blue Laws" allowed stores to stay open seven days a week making everyday a Shopping Day! (Yep, if you are under 40 you may be surprised to hear that stores were not permitted to do business on Sunday) Oh well...just a rambling Holiday Season observation. :-) Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 15, 2006

Cracker of Nuts...Holiday window scenes worth a stop and a look are everywhere! Must be time for mistletoe and holly... :-) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Real Life Saver...This time of year I think we all need one of these!! Lol :-) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Whimsey...A little hectic today but still time for a little Santa sighting! :-) Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 11, 2006

White Christmas?...Ever notice that many of the people who dream of a White Christmas spend the rest of the winter having nightmares about the weather?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Waiting for the Big Day...Weekends in December are just a little crazy on Long Island. Seems as if everyone who ownes a vehicle is required to move it quickly and recklessly from one large parking lot to another. Lots of shoppers doing lots of shopping! :-)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Singer or the Football Player?...Exploring old cemeteries can be a walk through history and an opportunity for some unique photos. While on the North Shore the other day I came across this church graveyard in Miller Place, it dates to the mid-1700's. I plan to post several of these shots in my "Memories in Stone" gallery on the pBase website. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 08, 2006

Frosty...No wonder he's smiling, temperatures have taken a serious nose dive around here. Must be December... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Signs Seen...Lawyers with an obvious sense of humor and more than a bit of holiday spirit! Caught me eye while driving along North Country Road in search of the elusive Christmas Tree Farm. :-) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Old Bethpage Village Restoration...Very informative and welcoming, the workers at the restoration are rather entusiastic about their role. The sepia treatment of this shot seemed to work for me, gives it that historical feel. Ah..the magic of Photoshop. :-)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Art Deco...Above the crowd, beyond the tree and away from the ice skaters. Plenty of year round decorations hiding in plain sight at Rockerfeller Center.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Tis the Season...The first weekend in December and the City is all decked out for the Holidays. A big tree and big crowds and that special feel to the air. Seems like every other person is holding a point and shoot camera at arms length as they stare at two inch LCD screens. :-) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sharing is Caring...It's Christmas in the City. The Salvation Army going HiTech, no bells for this soldier just a microphone and an amplifier. Good news is that she could sing! :-)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Farm at Bethpage Restoration...A more simple and peaceful way of life? What we may see as less hectic and romantic was in reality mundane and tedious daily chores. I was reminded that central heat and proper plumbing are very underrated. It's nice to visit winter 1845 on the farm, I wouldn't want to live there. :-)

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Obvious...December first and I'm struck by the speed with which time is passing. A constant reminder to enjoy the day, sieze the moment. :-)