Sunday, November 24, 2013


Crouch farm house with relative's cars 
during Thanksgiving day.
courtesy: Library of Congress

It's amazing to think about what our parents and grandparents did to prepare for a Thanksgiving holiday. Jack Delano, a photographer from the depression era, recorded this set of photos in 1940 at the Crouch family farm in Connecticut. 

Thanksgiving hasn't hardly changed for many folks across our country. Today's technology has added its face but the tradition to gather with friends and family, eat lots of turkey, stuffing, pie, and more while enjoying each other's company is still pretty much the same. 

Crouch family enjoying their Thanksgiving feast.
courtesy: Library of Congress

Young one checking to see if the pudding is done.
courtesy: Library of Congress

Granddaughter placing the homemade pies.
courtesy: Library of Congress

Grandma basting the turkey.
courtesy: Library of Congress

Grandpa slicing the turkey.
courtesy: Library of Congress

Let's eat!


more about depression photographers

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Wandering roots

I never saw a discontented tree,
They grip the ground as though they liked it, and
though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.
They go wandering forth is all directions with every wind,
going and coming like ourselves . . . .

~~ John Muir

Aerial tree roots
Mount St Helen's National Park, Washington State

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I took this dusky photo in the late afternoon with the city 
streetlights of Portland just beginning to come on. I was standing off a main road in Vancouver.

I am lucky. About three miles from where I live in Vancouver, Washington is this beautiful view of Mount Hood which is located in Oregon. I looked up the mileage between where I live and Mount Hood and it was sixty road miles. And, I would approximate it is about 40 miles  -- as the crow flies.

Mount Hood is the highest peak in Oregon -- it being twenty miles from Portland, Oregon which is just across the large Columbia River from Vancouver. According to Wikipedia, Mount Hood is considered to possibly have an eruption in the next 30 years -- it is informally considered dormant for now.

Early Native American cultures had various spirit tales about the mountain. Wy'east is the name given to Mount Hood by the Multnomah tribe.

Right now, as one can see in the above photo, the mountain is deep in snow while here in Vancouver, where I live, it has been rainy with moderate temperatures. 

Out west on a trip? I recommend motoring or hiking up to Timberline lodge near its peak -- it is full of beautiful rustic designs and furnishings handmade by Great Depression employed artisans. 

Visit this blog, Pacific Northwest Seasons, to enjoy interior shots of the beautiful Timberline's craftsmanship.

Mount Hood is a National Forest managed by the U.S. Forest Service. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Slave House

PBS has been featuring a video series titled, The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross. I started watching it about a week ago and found it well researched and of great interest. It reminded me of the pieces of black culture that I bumped into when I lived in Kentucky, a former slave state up until the Civil War. 

I went through my photos and notes and came up with several black cultural subjects. This slave house was of particular interest I thought. Not much is known about it except that it has always been known as a slave house. What particular function it had is lost in history. 

Built to last forever - a chiseled limestone
cooking fireplace about five feet tall. 

The brick house legacy is that it is one of three slave houses that were clustered near the big house of the slave owners during the early 19th century. This is the only remaining one of the original three. It consists of one fairly large room with a huge cooking fireplace. The place is located in Madison County, Kentucky.

Interior wall layers worn away over time

A while after I took these photos the historical society took over the care of the place. They began rehabbing it in a character that was not congruent with its architectural history -- it was to be part of a tourist place and with that the feeling of its original structure was dressed in finery known only during this century.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Flying Geese Quilt Pattern
(couldn't get a photo of the Canadian geese
 so I substituted this quilt pattern)

Last night about 5 PM I was walking my dog Sal when I heard a familiar noise off in the distance. No, it wasn't the usual planes or the highway traffic I hear at night here in Vancouver. It was a favorite sound that I had not heard in several years. 

It was the distant honking-chatter of Canadian geese. Oh please, I thought, fly over where I am standing. I kept my eyes peeled toward the darkening sky when up over the trees I could see some thin lines headed my way. 

And suddenly -- there they were. Hundreds of noisy migratory geese flying overhead -- three huge V-formations of them! Ever since I was a young girl I have stood in awe of their flights. 

This one was magnificent!!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


All this time
The Sun never says
To the Earth
"you owe me"
What happens
With a love like that
It lights the 

~ ~Hafiz

Friday, November 1, 2013


Sallie Tomato AKA Sal

Before I start letting you know about our trip that we just took I want to get something straight. My name is Sal or Sallie Tomato, which ever you prefer but I am a male -- all 90 pounds of me. And if you want to tease me about my name I'll meet you outside in about five minutes. I wanted to be named Capone but nobody listened to me. 

But now that we have that settled I want to tell you about my trip that I just took with my lady friend barbara. 

The trip's plan was to pack up our most important belongings and move hundreds of miles across the country in barbara's little Toyota truck. Well the most important thing to me was my roaming territory where I could find all kinds of wild critters and tomatoes (yum fresh out of barbara's garden) and lots of land to just be silly and run my head off. But I had to leave all this behind as barbara said you can't take land in a truck. 

So off we went loaded down and me only having a passenger seat to settle my big ole body into. I really didn't mind it as I got to talk to barbara the whole trip. You know things like -- I have to make a visit to the rest area and quick. But it all worked out.

You see I have a big problem -- I cannot jump into a vehicle. I used to have a ramp to get into the truck but we had to leave that behind in Kentucky. barbara couldn't lift me in so we knew this was going to be an interesting trip. But she came up with a solution.

Solution: Ask folks along the way to lift me up into the passenger seat. I would cooperate by jumping out by myself at each rest stop I just couldn't jump back up (it's a mental hangup with me). Yikes I thought -- what if these folks are not nice people -- they may be bank robbers or something like that -- maybe even dog kidnappers!

But there was no other choice -- barbara had to be bold and ask. She said she would pick only strong looking folks that would have the stamina to lift and not drop me. She was a bit nervous about doing this as she was afraid that people would refuse to lift me. 

Anyway we crossed about ten states stopping at rest stops on average about four times a day for a week. We stopped, asked for a lift and continued on our way.

barbara got into the swing of asking. She told me that the folks she asked were more than willing to lift me. They talked a little about their dog/s and smiled a lot. She told me that I was boring to talk to compared to these friendly folks. But then I would give her a big lick in the face and she would tell me she was just kidding.

After we finally made our 2,500 miles to Washington state I heard barbara telling her friends that she could not believe the wonderful folks that she met along our road-trip. Most of them were long-haul truck drivers that were so very helpful. They came in all sizes, shapes, colors and were from all parts of the country. They didn't show one sign of being put-out about lifting me in the truck. She said it left her with a great feeling about the folks in this country. 

If anyone is reading this blog, that just happens to be one of those kind folks that helped us, I thank you and barbara thanks you too!!!