Thursday, January 31, 2008

Look Down!

I sincerely apologize for any confusion created by this post. It was not all that long ago I extolled, in this very blog, the virtues of looking up. Well, I am deeply humbled now to acknowledge that sometimes you just have to look down.
I went back to the river a couple days ago to check on the ice and get some pictures in different light. However, the light was so flat that there was just nothing picture worthy. As I was turning to leave the river bank and return home without a single picture, something whispered to "look down." It was a weird suggestion since, you know, it's so much more virtuous to "look up." Nevertheless, I obeyed, looked down, and found a whole world of wonderful, beautiful, fascinating picture subjects - ICE! Not the ice in the river, but instead the ice on the bank of the river. In the process of forming (whatever that process is) each block and each sheet and each piece had taken on its own personality, its own identity with a pattern specific to itself. And the patterns were wonderful!
From ice hieroglyphics to trapped air bubbles to entombed leaves I couldn't stop shooting. It was all so intricate. Each piece played with light in its own special way, all vying for the attention of the camera - "shoot me, shoot me!"
So, the lesson is, there is beauty ALL AROUND us - up above, down below, in the air, in the ice, everywhere! Moses 6:63 - "And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the HEAVENS ABOVE, and things which are ON THE EARTH, and things which are IN THE EARTH,and things which are UNDER THE EARTH, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me." (caps added for emphasis) I haven't tried anything under the earth yet. Maybe I need to check out a cave or two. In any case, thank God for the beauty of the earth. All of it!

Three Mile Island

A dear young friend asked me the other day, "Why do you take pictures of Three Mile Island?", and said, "I can't believe you take pictures of TMI." The statements could have been more complex than face value. She had a boyfriend that worked at TMI but he no longer works there and they are no longer girl friend/ boy friend. In any case the long and short of it is, I think it looks cool. From the shape of the cooling towers and their hugeness to the mezmerizing, ever changing vapor plumes to the reflection in the river and more, I just think TMI is a fun, interesting subject.
The other day Emily said to me in response to some explanation I was making about the atomic energy process, "It's not steam that comes out of the towers." Fully expecting to get some wacky "It's pollution" statement spewed first by some uninformed, anti-nuclear science teacher at her high school, I asked, "Oh, really, what is it then?" "It's water vapor." Unafraid to look stupid in my 53rd year I said, "I'm not sure I know the difference between steam and water vapor." Of course, at some point in my education I knew this perfectly well, but the need for it apparently hadn't arisen often enough to cement that important knowledge in my brain. "Water vapor isn't hot." She can be soooo dramatic sometimes and so succinct at others. This moment was one of the later. She just wanted to share.

When we first moved to Elizabethtown, I was trying out the various routes to work. Interesting thing about Pennsylvania. There are multiple ways to get from anywhere to anywhere else, even many ways. But they all take the same amount of time. It's uncanny. There are, for example, at least four good ways to get to work. They all take about 20 minutes. Well, on this particular morning, I had decided to drive down to Rt. 441, drive along the river to Middletown and cut up to work from there. Suddenly, there in front of me was Three Mile Island. I knew we lived in the shadow of TMI, but at the same time, there was some lack of recognition or denial, or something, because when I saw it that morning, it was as if it were a big surprise. I honestly turned to look at the hillsides across the road to see if there were any cows dead in the fields with their legs sticking straight up. As a young man on the west coast when the "accident" happened, I thought pretty much the entire state was wiped out by radiation. TMI is a good neighbor. There are those sirens that go off every month to remind us to flee for our lives if there is ever another accident - but, electricity sure is more reasonable here than in other places we've lived. And, oh yeah, it's fun to take pictures of.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More Ice

These pictures were taken January 25th. I wanted to go back to the river to see what the ice looked like. It had continued to be cold and I expected the ice might be thicker than it was the first time I saw it in Harrisburg. I first approached the river at a park in Middletown and was surprised at the amount of ice in the river. The closer it got to Three Mile Island on the upriver side, the thicker the ice got until it spanned the entire river. It truly looked "otherworldly."
The ice forms upstream on the calmer, slower water in great, flat blocks. As the ice is obstructed around Three Mile Island, the ice slows while the river flows and ice blocks after ice blocks smash into each other. The collisions cause the blocks to tilt so the corners protrude into the air. It's quite a show as the low winter light glistens through the semi-translucent corners. Thousands of glowing triangles, much bigger than they look.
At a slight turn in the river, the ice blocks find refuge from the crushing pressure on the shore. A man who had lived in the area for 70 years told me that the ice piles get 7 feet high. Today they were only about 3 feet. Although a picture tells a thousand words, these pictures can never tell the sounds of the river with huge ice flow. The river is deceptively fast and the ice exceptionally heavy. The result is high speed, high momentum collisions which make an indescribable, low but loud noise. It's eerie. A constant reminder that one false move into the river would certainly be a death sentence. Beautiful but dangerous - yin and yang all over again.
I lingered until the sun set hoping it might create a colorful ending. It did not disappoint.

Self Photos

The other day I was reading Becca's blog. She had taken a picture of herself and Clay in the snow. It reminded me that many of the photographers on Flickr and other photography sites take self-portraits. I'm not sure why. Probably because when they went to photography school it was an assignment and it's just standard study for real photographers. Or, possibly because since no one else ever takes pictures of the photographer, they need to take photos of themselves to make sure they are somehow included in the history books.
In any case, I decided to give it a try and went to one of my favorite places, the Star Barn to experiment. At least if none of the self-portraits turned out, there could always be more Star Barn photos. How is one supposed to assess if self-portraits turned out? Colors fine, focus fine, but is that what I look like? Are those looks I make? When shooting a subject one is familiar with, one object is to capture the essence of the character based on what you know. Self-portraiture, if nothing else, emphasizes how little we know about ourselves.
I do know I like to smile. Once a subordinate at work asking me why I was smiling. The inference was I couldn't relate to them if smiling. To me, life is better with a smile. If nothing else, life has taught me there's always something to smile about. So, here's a smile for you. Hope it looks like me.

Black Eyes, Survival, And Smiles

Look Papa, I have a black eye! Just thinking about banging a head into the couch, or the coffee table, or the bookshelf, or the hard object "de jour" makes me cringe with imagined pain. How do children ever survive? I can't answer that, but I know they do. Banging heads is nothing new, it's been going on for generations. When my parents started calling me "accident prone" it didn't do anything to improve the problem. Things just seemed to happen to me. Like when Craig was showing me how he could balance on the ladder to the top bunk, lost his balance and the curved, sharp part intended to grasp the top bunk bed rail, grasped my head instead. Or the time the teeter-totter in our back yard somehow ended up underneath my chin. Or the time Craig and I were climbing trees and I slipped and was impaled all the way through my cheek (as in the face). I think it wise not to complain about that certain event since; a) had that branch not interrupted my fall by poking itself through my cheek, I may have fallen all the way to the ground which would have really hurt me, and b) Craig used up all the water in his canteen to wash out the wound which I think he is still a little irked about to this day! There was the time I thought it possible to ride a bike with no hands and found it impossible to the tune of about 5 stitches to the forehead or the time a routine back flip on the Jones' trampoline in Las Vegas led to several more stitches. But, purely by the grace of God, I survived and kids still do. It's one of the many unheralded miracles of life.
Now, how parents survive is another question entirely (although it's possible that plays into the survival of children question in an entirely different way). I call the above picture "perpetual motion." Annie seems to think there is another picture already entitled that which would make this one "Perpetual Motion II" and chances are there will be more because Addison is in motion all the time. And Addison hurts himself which brings pain to his parents and sometimes his parents hurt themselves trying to keep him from hurting himself, but they all survive. Another miracle.
Please note that above is the best survival method of all - smiling. Just keep smiling. Wet hair, crazy kids, nutty dad with a camera - just keep smiling. I loved it when my parents smiled. It was calming and soothing and reassuring and enlivening, not to mention what it must have done for them. I believe in smiles. They are beneficial and therapeutic in many ways and it's a joy to have children and grandchildren who embrace smiling. Thanks to you all. And keep on surviving where ever you are.

Monday, January 28, 2008

January 23rd Continued

I told you January 23rd was a good picture day. You couldn't have possibly thought after reading the last post that the pictures could be done. As you recall, I left you outside the capital building on a cold, clear, windy, Pennsylvania winter day. In order to get home, I had to make my way to Front Street and then to the freeway. Front street runs along the river and it was startling to see that the river was beginning to freeze. Not that it has never happened before. It happens every couple years and it is startling to see every time. The river is half a mile across at Harrisburg and nearly a mile across at Columbia so to see a moving body of water frozen has always struck me at unusual, no matter how many times it happens.
I love the way the light from the sunset is streaming through the openings in the bridge, coloring them orange. Just up river from this bridge is the footbridge that leads from Front Street to Center Island. There are various amusements on Center Island, including a baseball stadium where a Single A minor league team plays. In 1996, we had extended cold through January and into early February and the entire river was frozen over. Some where around the first week of February, the weather changed. Temperatures soared into the fifties and it rained three or four inches in a day. The river swelled under the ice and began to race. The ice broke and huge "ice bergs" were racing down the river. The river rose about 18 - 20 feet, depositing gigantic ice bergs on Front Street and on the railroad tracks below Columbia and turning the baseball stadium into a glass for some sort of murky, crushed-ice cocktail. The power of the massive chunks of ice traveling at great speed was a recipe for disaster. Several huge ice flows "took out" the footbridge. It was amazing to see the bridge fold and crumble and disappear into the raging river. Harrisburg rebuilt the bridge from Front Street to the island, but the bridge fro the West Shore has never been rebuilt.
Since frames are so expensive, I thought I'd save the expense and just frame this picture with the arch of the bridge support. Directly behind me in a sort of a "seedy" motel is a restaurant called "A Passage To India." It serves outstanding Indian food - lots of curry and unleavened breads, etc. Directly in front of me and to the right, across Front Street, is the emergency room for Harrisburg Hospital where Jeanne is an RN. I think she and her cohorts sometimes come to the luncheon buffet.

I pass this building everyday on my way home. For fourteen years, every day I have observed this building but somehow have never seen it this way. How can that be? Perhaps it serves as a great lesson of life - never to assume you know everything about anything - especially people. It is possible to be around someone everyday for years and never see the good, never appreciate the real qualities and beauty of the person. Particularly if, like this building, the person has built mirrors that makes it hard to see inside. Maybe at some point we should quit trying so hard to look inside and realize the value in reflection. If we like ourselves a lot, then being around someone who reflected us wouldn't be so bad. So, why haven't we liked that person? Hmmm...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Good Picture Day

Some days are just good picture days. Perhaps it's by choice or maybe just by opportunity, but the 23rd of January was a good picture day by choice and opportunity. Ever since attending Alyssa's wedding in the capital building I had wanted to return to take pictures of the building itself. There are so many angles and patterns and contrasts and shapes in the architecture. So on this day I decided to return. It was late in the afternoon, around four o'clock. The sun was low in the sky, casting long shadows and enriching colors. The above photo is "Reflection of Grandeur." I thought while walking the grounds, "who needs to go to Athens to take pictures when you have these buildings right here." Of course, the weather in Athens would be nicer and the ocean and the depth of history. O.K., maybe there should be a trip to Athens!
Of course, Jeanne and I were scheduled to go to Athens many years ago. We were going to sail the Mediteranian in the "Windsong" beginning in the Greek Isles and ending in Barcelona. It was an advertising trip sponsored by one of the TV stations (KIRO) in Seattle. We were excited about the trip but then something happened called "Desert Storm." Saddam Husein (often referred to by Linda Hickman as "SoDamn Insane" decided to mass his troops along the Kuwaiti border and President Bush (1st) decided to protect American interests in the region. It was a short war, but because of it the cruise company decided to pull all its ships from the Mediterranian and move them to the Caribbean region. So, instead of cruising the Greek Isles and French and Spanish Riviera, we wound up in the Bahamas. It was fine. I didn't take many pictures back then anyway, so it's better if we go in the future.
The angles, contrasting shapes and light plays were just too fun. It was cold and as you can see from the flag, there was a stiff wind, so it was nice to periodically be able to retreat to a warm car.
It's hard to imagine the pride and devotion the people must have had in and for their government to have created such buildings. I'm not sure we'd commit the kind of money necessary to build such lasting edifices now. In fact, I wonder what kind of legacy we'll leave at all. We spend billions of dollars on social programs that show no results. We might be better building buildings that remind us of liberty and justice for all.
This mosaic is just in front of the main entrance to the capital. You can see the reflection from the door at the top of the picture. The color and workmanship attracted me to it. It's funny to think how few of our politicians anymore know anything about labor. Most have probably never held a real job.

The size of the structure is impressive. In order to convey how huge it is there must be a point of reference. This is probably some State senator or lobbyist, sitting in the rotundra area, probably thinking the poparazzi are on his trail. Now that I have an 18mm lens, I'll have to return to get more of the massiveness into a single photo.
Along with size there is also elegance. The marble and granite are spectacular but make one wonder just how many resources were committed to create this structure. But then that is the kind of thinking my generation would employ instead of the kind of patriotism and pride that led to a society wishing to spare no cost to enshrine and celebrate the freedom and values they lived and died for. I wish there was a picture of me trying to bend backwards as close to horizontal as possible to take the below picture of the inside of the capital dome. It is full of fun shapes and colors, almost like looking through a kaleidescope.

Another Sunrise

When you think about it, you really can't experience "too many" sunrises. The day the sun doesn't rise is certainly a day you won't be taking any pictures. On this morning, Emily called from the car on the way to school to tell me I needed to run outside to see the moon. It was huge and red. Alas, none of the moon pictures turned out, but there was some nice color behind the house, so running out in the cold wasn't a complete waste.
Inspired by the sky I jumped in the car and drove out West Ridge road to capture on of the "wildest" skies I've seen. The picture simply cannot do justice to the show in the sky, but you get some idea of the boiling colors contrasted by the dark bank of clouds.

Why Do I Shoot What I Do?

The best answer to the above posed question is probably, "I don't know." I drive down the road looking all the time for things that invite me to take a picture. The reality must be that for everything that speaks to me there are hundreds of missed opportunities that, for whatever reason, didn't motivate me to get out of the car with the camera. One thing I clearly like is big skies. When I take pictures the camera is frequently tilted up as high as possible to include maximum "skyage." Why is that? I don't know, but there must be some reason. Maybe the sheer size of the sky is a type of sorts representing unlimited opportunities and possibilities. Perhaps the sky represents heaven and that God is in his heaven. By including terrestrial subjects with as much sky as possible the message could be that there is a connection between God and man, inseparable as earth and sky at the horizon. There may also be something about the fact that things fly in the sky; birds, airplanes, gliders. Flight is probably the ultimate symbol of freedom and freedom, in one way or another, is what all mankind is seeking. All those things are meaningful to me and anyone of them at any given moment could motivate me to include more sky in my pictures.
I like shapes and designs, viewing them from as many angles as possible and finding the one that best represents the majesty of any given object. I drove right under this bridge and didn't realize there was anything special about it until it was behind me. I've been "backing-up" a lot lately to return to what was just passed as a picture manifests in my mind of what could be. It's a good thing that life has come to a point where opportunities are not missed simply because they are passed. Sure, it's a pain to stop and back up (maybe even dangerous) but it's almost always worth it. It's been a good lesson for me. In previous times I was a bit like the dad in the movie "Beetoven" when the dog drooled on his pants and he complained, after his wife said, "just change your pants," that "I had a schedule and I'll never have that schedule again!" Going back would somehow interrupt some unknown schedule, which always could have been modified to include meaningful, beautiful, praiseworthy things. I'm starting to do that a little better now.

Once again I told Jeanne I'd be home at a certain time, but on the way, I passed this barn, the entire base of which was in the shadows but all the towers and spires were completely lit. It spoke to me. It seemed to speak to the fact that although we may be in the spotlight now, all that has gone before is what got us there and what holds us up. Ours is not to "bask" in the light but to use the light to build more foundation, strong foundation, for what will follow us. If our legacy is that we, through our achievements, can support someone else who wishes to be in the light, there is nothing better than that. So while the towers are the focus of the picture because of the light, the importance of the picture is foundation and sky. The light shines from the sky, the sky meets the roof, the roof holds up the towers and spires only because of the walls and ultimately the foundation of the barn. Sorry Jeanne, I was two minutes late, but you were very understanding. Thanks!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Little Man In A Little Suit

What do you do when your eldest grandson shows up at church in a full suit looking like a little man? Take pictures, of course! This is one of those, "Watch out because time flies!," moments.
I still so vividly remember going to Utah to be with Annie and Kelly for the first ultra-sound. Is that involved grandparenting, or what? I remember the doctor, who conducted the ultrasound himself, (in his office - is that even possible in PA?) explaining everything we were looking at. I recall Jeanne and Annie somehow knowing what they were looking at and Kelly and myself pretending to know so we wouldn't look stupid. Of course, who can ever forget the doctor's infamous words, "Here's the right knee, here's the left knee, and here's the weenie!" It's a boy!! Kelly's got a full-face smile.
I remember just waiting for the call that the baby was coming and getting on a plane within hours of the call to fly to Utah and be there. I remember walking into Utah Valley Hospital, exactly 25 years to the day that Annie was born, to see her holding her own child. It was surreal. In a moment, 25 years flashed through my head and left me wondering how it had all happened. It seemed like I should still be standing in that very place, staring with wonder and awe at my first child, instead of the first grandchild. It was overwhelming and awesome. And now, here he is, dressed in a suit and tie. I am absolutely certain, 14 1/2 years from now as I take another picture of Addison dressed in suit and tie, headed off for the best two years of his life, this will all replay again, and again and again. Itsn't life sweet? Even if it does all go a bit too fast.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Arise Early And Be Invigorated

It's Saturday morning, about 6:30am, and I can't sleep any longer. So, the scriptures say arise early. Since no one else was stirring, I thought there must be something to photograph before everyone wakes up. It was beautiful, very cold, but tough to find good shots. Anybody need another sunrise? Just in case, here's another.
Well, on the way home, I did drive by a pond with a pair of swans. They should be good material. The light is a bit rough and access to the pond is interesting. I stood on frozen marsh to get near to the edge of the pond, hoping I wouldn't find out how deep the water was beneath me and the ice. Fortunately the ice held.
The swans were accomodating enough. Daddy swan the demonstrated the classic swan pose and supposed that would be enough for me.
He was wrong but shortly thereafter got his point across. I don't speak swan, but this clearly says, "Hey, buddy, take off. You've got enough shots and I'm freezing my toosh off in this water/ice."

The Day After

Like so many other things in life, snow is yin and yang, it is a study in opposition. It is cold and harsh and at the same time beautiful and fragile. Although cold, it magnifies light and draws you to it. It is a complete pain to shovel off the driveway and absolute joy to make a snowman with a grandson.

Steps to Nowhere

The snow on the back lawn drew someone to it and then something about the snow sent that someone back inside, retracing their own tracks. This picture beautifully depicts the opposition nature of snow.
If trees kept their leaves through the winter and were burdened by the weight of the snow on their leaves, it would doom them. Here is a stately old tree, which, though naked, bravely stands against the storm and the cold, refusing to be defeated, knowing, without doubt, that spring will come.
One of my favorite subjects, the Star Barn, looking "whiter" in the snow. I have no idea where the seagulls came from or what they were doing their. They had never been there before. They certainly had no fear of me!

Ractracks and Watercress

First Snowflakes of the year nestle
gently in some moss near
Silver Spring

17 January 2008 - There used to be a race track on the Carlisle Pike called Silver Spring. The only sprint car races I've ever been to were there. It was speed week and Byron and I took all the teachers and priests to see the races because I had free tickets (Cindy Rowe Auto Glass was a sponsor). It was a small race track with a dirt surface usually reserved for stock cars and street cars, real local competition. But once a year it hosted the best regional sprint car racers and the national "Outlaw Posse," the best sprint car racers in the country. It was all part of "Speedweek" where there were races every night at different tracks and people came from all over to see the Outlaws. I remember David Taylor's son, Matt, approaching me before the races began to say, "It would be more comfortable with earplugs." Why would one need earplugs to watch a race? That's how racing naive I was. So, I went under the grandstand to a vendor selling earplugs and got some for all the boys and Byron and myself. I won't forget how my entire insides shook each time the cars passed the grandstand. At least our ears were protected! Alan Kreitzer owned the race track with his sister and mother but sold it to Target Stores a couple years ago. I never knew why it was called Silver Spring.
On this day I was driving the Carlisle Pike trying to find another location for Cindy Rowe. It was biting cold and had been for several days. It was the day of the first snow of the year addressed in an earlier blog (remember the snowman?). As I passed over a small culvert the creek below was a vibrant green. Perhaps I noticed it because earlier that morning it had occurred to me how challenging and fun it might be to seek out all the real colors of winter. It's so easy to see gray and brown, but wouldn't it be fun to find other colors that exist in the midst of the cold. Perhaps that isn't at all why I noticed it because the green was literally fluorescent. Though working, the camera was in the car and my curiosity was high so I found a place to park and walk down to the creek. While taking pictures, a neighbor came up and gave me some information about the place. I was standing at the very spot where Silver Spring bubbled out of the ground. It comes out of the ground at 50 degrees. It is warmer around the water than the air and the flora reflects that. The moss pictured above grows on a large rock beneath which the spring flows out of the ground.

As it turns out the bright green plant in the water is water cress. I learned this from the neighbor who thought I was a private investigator taking pictures related to an incident not far removed where a pregnant woman was accidentally shot to death by a hunter at the spot. Apparently people come to harvest the watercress and unfortunately one got in a cross fire.
Can you imagine the things you don't know? Of course not! Otherwise you'd know them, but stopping at a place I'd driven by hundreds of times to take some pictures for ten minutes made me ponder just what I don't know. It answered one long standing question, "why did they call the racetrack Silver Spring," and led to all kinds of others, not the least of which is, "why would anyone eat watercress?"

Life By The Tracks

16 January 2008 - At the end of the day, on the way home, I drive down another unfamiliar road, just to see what's there. The road ends at some railroad tracks and a creek, and there at the end of the road is a very pretty dairy farm. I wondered whether is was advantageous in any way to farm next to the tracks or if perhaps dairy cows kept up at night by squealing steel and rumbling wheels produced less milk for lack of sleep. It took me back to a time in 1974 when I lived with three other elders in Harburg, Germany (a suburb of Hamburg) on Buxtehuder Strasse with the railroad tracks in the backyard. Buxtehuder Strasse was the main road between Hamburg and Cuxhaven, the North Sea port city. Big trucks rumbled past the front windows all night and periodically squealing, speeding trains screamed as they sped through the backyard. I had problems sleeping there. I was a brand new missionary, straight out of the LTM. That may have had something to do with it, or it may have been those trucks and trains. I've never been a long sleeper. As a senior in high school I always wathced Johnny Carson's opening dialogue before going to sleep at 11:45pm and then waking at 5:30a for seminary. I got good grades and made it into college, so perhaps it didn't hurt me. Perhaps I was no less a missionary because I couldn't sleep as long as missionary rules required (10p - 6a). I remember discussing the matter with President Schwendiman who told me essentially not to stress about it and just get as much sleep as I needed. So, how about cows? Do they sleep? Do they give more milk if they get more sleep? Are they kept awake by passing trains? I have no idea, but thinking is part of the fun of life - not necessarily having all the answers - just thinking.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Grateful For The Pilot

If you're looking for chronology here, I'm deeply sorry to disappoint. The day of this posting is 22 January 2008 and the day of these pictures, I believe is the 15th of January. My last post, about the party was from January 21st. "Why?", you ask. Well, forgive me, but I'm trying to catch up on my blogging without going further in the hole with current events. The day will certainly come when these entries are in order. That said, today, while looking at pictures from last week, I was reminded what a blessing the Honda Pilot is. "Why do these pictures remind you of that?", you ask. Well, last Tuesday was the Pilot's 60K mile service. Babby Rahall Honda is almost to Carlisle, so on the drive over and back and while there, I found things to take pictures of. That's why! My life really does all make sense. Back to the Pilot. 60,000 miles and not a single problem. It's an SUV. You'd think there would be some problems, but not one. After sixty thousand miles, I'm still driving on the same tires, and they have lots of miles left. In 60k miles, I think there have been 7 or 8 services. This is only the second one to cost over $100. Before the Pilot I drove a Mercedes E350 station wagon. It was in the shop a minimum of every 3 months and only ONCE was a service lesss than $1,000! Sure, it was nice. It looked nice, it drove nice, it felt nice, but for me, a car must be reliable regardless of what other redeeming qualities it may have. So, the day the Mercedes stopped running for the 4th time, I went to the Honda dealer. Jeanne and I had a Honda Civic in 1977 when we got married. It never had problems. Over the years we have owned various Civics and Accords, all of which never had any problems. So, I went to the Honda dealer and in about 25 minutes, I drove away in a Honda Pilot, and it has never had any problems.
While there, an employee's wife came in with their new puppy. I'm a sucker for puppies. Many years ago when we lived in Bothell, I brought one home from the Humane Society. We've almost always had a dog since we've been married. Ruby, the dog we've had in PA (we rescued her by request from one of Becca's high school friends), died several months ago and she's the last dog we'll ever have, I suspect. But, the puppy was cute and the girl was cute, so I took a picture. Not a good one, but a reminder of what happened that day.

One the way home, late in the afternoon, the winter light was doing its thing, so I stopped to take another farm picture. Rust is interesting. It's a real pain if it is affecting something you own, but it sure is cool in pictures.