It’s just about giving thanks

26 November… not spending my day baking

In two days it will be Thanksgiving, and if everything goes as planned I’ll be hanging out with the love of my life, enjoying a Lord of the Rings movie marathon. This year the family is dispersed, so it’s me and him, on our own… no big cooking to do, no feasts to time perfectly, no desserts to bake one after the other… Of course I’ll miss the family (and we’ll be getting together over the weekend anyway), but at the same time, I’ll enjoy the day off together (as long as he doesn’t get last-minute, panicked emails from clients that drag him away).

Thanksgivings don’t rate highly for me anyway. I have too many memories of bleak-spirited, poorly-funded, inadequately-fed Thanksgivings. I think this may have had something to do with the fact my 32 year-old mother had died and been buried so soon before the holiday, why on earth would my father have felt like celebrating gratitude? I’ve also had my share of very weird, very awkward, and terribly uncomfortable ones… the ones where you’re not personally invited, you’re only attending as someone’s guest, and in some cases, you’re the only “ethnic” (being Polish and Italian) one there.

Nah, I’ll be okay without Thanksgiving this year. Thanks, yes, those I give, every single day. I am grateful for my life and for everyone in it, and for this amazing world, as terrible as it can be sometimes.

Center Street Cemetery

Center Street Cemetery
Center Street Cemetery

Last month my dad was in and out of the hospital several times, and I ended up spending quite a bit of time in my hometown of Wallingford, Connecticut. Though I visit often throughout the year, I don’t usually visit my old stomping grounds from when I was a kid. While I was there last month I ended up having some time to kill, so I took the opportunity to stop by a very old cemetery I used to frequent when I was growing up, Center Street Cemetery.

Center Street Cemetery Big Tree
One of the many big old trees

It isn’t the cemetery where my mother is buried, in fact, I’m not sure I know any of this cemetery’s inhabitants…

But, as a teenager I would often stop by Center Street Cemetery in between school and work. I would head over from where I lived a few blocks away, stopping on the way at the New York Bakery (as it was called) for a pastry, and then through the entranceway on the corner of Orchard and Center Streets. I would find a place to sit for a few, underneath one of the many big old beautiful trees. After, I would head off to work feeling relaxed and recharged. It was a very quiet place, despite being located on two of our town’s busiest streets.

1980s

This was the first cemetery I ever took photos in, for a high school photography class; I still have the negatives and contact sheets. It started a since life-long love of mine, combining my reverence for cemeteries with my love of photography.

Center Street Cemetery

Center Street Cemetery started serving the area as early as 1670, was formally established in 1683, and has a pretty intriguing history. I wasn’t the first or only person to enjoy sitting and having a bite to eat amongst the gravestones… the cemetery has twelve full size stone tables, where visitors in the 18th century would lunch while paying their respects. The last woman tried for witchcraft in New England – and eventually acquitted, Winifred King Benham, is reportedly buried there. The paths are well worn from genealogists and historians frequenting the place now; while I was there, at least two others were there taking close-ups of stones.

I have the most fun with graveyard photos when I get to work altering them; these are just a few basic pics from the hour or so I spent there… It was a beautiful, very bright sunny day. It was nice to be back there, and it again offered a bit of peace during a difficult time.

Center Street Cemetery, Wallingford, Connecticut

New Beginnings

Finally, I’m updating this site!… I have had a hell of a time with the previous WordPress theme, and just installed this new, much more basic one.

late October 2019, Vermont

Yesterday was Halloween – or Samhain, which is the mark of the New Year in some Pagan traditions, and the new moon was just a few nights before. I feel like this is a good time to make a better start with this portfolio, and a real start with this blog.

Art has been important virtually my entire life… after my mother died, a counselor told my dad I would express my pain through art. Whether or not that was indeed true, I don’t know – back then I drew pictures of my mother as an angel, and I drew birds and animals, and the sorts of things little kids drew. But it was such a constant for me growing up (and my dad being an artist himself was a huge influence as well). As I got older I discovered cameras, and how much I loved taking and working with pictures as well as drawing them. So I’ve been doing that a very long time as well. And writing, well… Mercury is conjunct my Ascendant in the 12th house… seems rather fated 😉

So this is me anyway, with my little inconspicuous site. If you’ve happened upon this page, hi there.