Sunday, November 17, 2019

Scooter Convoy

Eight people on scooters gathered at the corner waiting for the light to change. "Come on gang!" shouted the fastest one as she zoomed across the street. "How about if we stop in the park!" Off they went in a line, down toward the park entrance, full of joie de vivre on a sunny day. The elderly dog who had just had his turn in the park didn't even raise his head. Perhaps he's seen it all before.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Houston Quilt Festival's Sapphire Anniversary

Five years ago, we celebrated the Ruby Anniversary of the Houston International Quilt Festival. A cylinder of red and white quilts rose over our heads in the George R Brown Convention Center. Last week was the Sapphire Anniversary. This time, a massive cube of blue quilts hovered above us, back-to-back, inside and outside. The building's branching blue support structure became a trunk for this tree of quilts. Inside the cube, it was surprisingly cozy. Smaller quilts ringing the bottom of the trunk encouraged viewers to look closely. We stopped and looked all around us at the variations on the theme of blue.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

View From the Second Floor

By the time you see this photo, hundreds of people will have peered through this same window in Houston's George R Brown Convention Center. The International Quilt Festival is wrapping up its 45th show today. The "portholes" on the second floor are an especially popular viewpoint on Wednesday, before the show opens. Newly arrived Festival-goers like to watch the vendors scurrying around, setting up their booths. At the other end of the hall, the view into the quilt exhibits offers enticing glimpses of the inspiration to come, once everyone is allowed to enter the show that evening. It's a view into a magical, but temporary world.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Bumpy Pumpkins

Nice smooth flawless pumpkins are out. Pumpkins that look like they are suffering from blisters, boils and warts are in. Humans have always been drawn to the grotesque and Halloween is a time when we can explore and celebrate that which might make us uncomfortable or a little scared. There is a perverse beauty in these knobbly pumpkins, each one undoubtedly unique. There is also another benefit. With such an aggressively  textured surface, who will notice deteriorating soft spots or the gnawing of squirrels?

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Inconvenient Sunset

Have you dreamed about enjoying a sunset on Key West or imagined sitting in a café, watching the colors reflected in a lake? We usually have no control over where we are when a spectacular sunset appears. This one made the sky seem so much wider as it spread a wash of pinks and purples over roofs and sidewalks. Here it is, along with the lamp posts and telephone wires that inhabit my everyday world. When something like this happens, just stop and enjoy the gift.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Dilapidated House

Although it does not fit the conventional image of a haunted house (nothing Victorian in the style of this sad little bungalow) it has that same aura of spooky near-abandonment. The house is a mystery, partly hidden by the vines that have conquered the chimney and are working to pry up the edges of the roof. Who lived here in happier, tidier days? How did it get to this collapsing unloved state? Too far gone to be saved, what will eventually replace it?

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Leaves In Transition

After some too-hot October days, autumn is finally here. In the Appalachian Mountains, north-facing shrubs and trees have started exchanging their wardrobe of summer greens for autumn hues. I love this oh so brief moment, when we can enjoy every color, all at once, and really study the details. Some leaves resist the change, some have lost the chlorophyl in all but their veins, and others have committed to the blazing reds that will carry them on a breeze, down into the valley below.