Humble Contributions to the Peoples' History

When I think about the past, I get a warm feeling. Wistfully, I fondly remember things of the past . . . old photographs, a typewriter, my grandmother’ quilts, my father’s train set from the 1920s. Sometimes the scene is recreated for us, such as an old general hardware store or train station.  There’s something quaint in those scenes that’s missing today. Despite all of our technology and modern gadgets, objects from yesteryear carry with them the skill and creativity that is still valued. The objects are embedded with memories. We never know what will stay with us and what will be gone some day.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

WordPress assigned this week’s photo challenge as “quest,” and when I think about quest, I immediately recall Joseph Campbell’s PBS series on the hero’s journey. The adventure begins in the everyday world, when a herald calls the hero or heroine to action. Mentors along the way reassure the hero, as the quest continues. The heroine is tested as she faces a final ordeal. The way home can be fraught with danger, but in the end, the heroine has succeeded because she has had the courage to stand up for a noble cause.

Those who make the journey on the path toward social justice face enormous odds to create a society that respects and cares for all people. Ordinary people are drawn to speak up for what’s right, marching in the streets, often proclaiming an unpopular belief. Detractors label them as “troublemakers” and “rabble-rousers.” Authorities engage armed legions to contain and control demonstrators, even when protesters are unarmed and peaceful. The media catch one individual engaging in undesirable behavior and then demonize the entire protest.  Despite all obstacles, the hero persists and continues the mission to create a just society.

Weekly Photo Challenge, Quest

Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mirror




WordPress Photo Challenge: Frame

I’m expanding the “photo” challenge by posting a video. While visiting Zaragoza, Spain, a Renaissance Fair was well underway with colorful tents filling the square and the smells of cheese, incense, burning wood, and olives intertwined on whiffs of air. Crowds poured over the Roman bridge, as it seemed the entire population of Zaragoza showed up to visit the varied venders who came to sell their wares. Musicians played drums and a bagpipe troop snaked their way through the crowd. I wandered past the booths displaying pottery, jewelry and clothing as people cued up to get a photograph with a raptor or a snake charmer.

A vintage merry-go-round, cranked by hand by the operator, caught my attention. I watched the children enjoy the quintessential steampunk ride, with airships, balloons and other flying contraptions. A rare sight, indeed.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare

On my Bucket List: Ride a motorcycle! Well, how about a scooter instead?

Riding a motorcycle has always been on my “gotta do list,” but I always asked myself how would I secure a motorcycle, find an instructor, and meet insurance requirements without spending lots of money? So when I saw an advertisement for an opportunity to scooter through Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, I said to myself, “Here’s my chance!” Several years ago, I visited the area to see the Strasburg Railroad and Museum and to take a ride on a steam-powered train through the cornfields. I remembered that the views were spectacular.

Strasburg Scooters advertises several tours, and I opted for the covered bridge tour and signed up for the scoot coupé, a two-seater in the moped category. One of my friends kindly offered to drive so that I could take photos and videos.

scooterWe found Strasburg Scooters right next door to the railroad museum. We introduced ourselves to Marc, our guide, who fitted us with helmets, followed by a quick tutorial on operating the scooter. He then sent us off on a trial run around the block. The coupé handled well and chugged nicely along between 20 and 30 mph. After the other tour participants took turns practicing on the their scooters, we started down one of the narrow roads.

Marc stopped along the Amish farmland to explain some of their cultural traditions and practices. Horse and buggies passed by, and folks acknowledged us with a peace sign or a wave. Children peeked out from the back window of their coaches, smiling at us. At one house, little children, girls wearing bonnets and boys donning straw hats, ran over to the side of the road to watch us ride by.

Horse and Carriage through the Bridge

The farms stood like jewels on the landscape, silver silos gleaming in the afternoon sun. Rolling hills supported squares of various shades of green. The Amish keep all their buildings and houses in pristine condition. Black and white cows and tan horses grazed on grasslands while fields of corn, tobacco and alfalfa swayed with the light breezes.

Countryside by Scooter

Window in BridgeWe stopped at three of the 29 covered bridges, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Huge beams which supported the structure, arched on each side, called the Burr arch truss design. The bridges were painted red, with white portals standing at the entrances. A central window allowed travelers to look out to the stream and countryside beyond.

Our final stretch included a spin through the historic village of Strasburg. We saw several log homes from the 1700s along the main highway through the town. Inns and restaurants were tucked between 19th century houses, each one a study in different architectural styles.

Strasburg Downtown

Riding along the quiet country roads offered us views of expansive scenery of fields, forests, farms, flowing streams–every turn a different postcard scene. The scoot coupé delivered us in the landscape and in the moment, the scent of the land filling the air. I was thoroughly thrilled with my first scooter ride.

I hope to return in the Fall, and repeat the ride all over again.



Eleanor Farjean wrote the lyrics to Morning has Broken in 1931 and was published in Songs of Praise. I’ve used the hymn as inspiration for this week’s photo challenge, Morning.

Morning has broken,
like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken,
like the first bird
Praise for the singing,
praise for the morning
Praise for the springing
fresh from the word

Sweet the rain’s new fall,
sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall,
on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness
of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness
where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight,
mine is the morning
Born of the one light,
Eden saw play
Praise with elation,
praise every morning
God’s recreation
of the new day.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

Cat Stevens singing Morning has Broken, 1971

Lisbon Tram

The Lisbon trams, once drawn by horses, have a steampunk quality, with their 20th century fittings and polished wood. The vintage cars, built over seventy years ago, sport bright yellow paint. Trams jounce (made up word that best describes the motion) through cobbled streets and narrow alleys, like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride from Disneyland–with sudden turns, avoiding what would seem to result in an inevitable crash. The tram wheels, positioned at the center of the car and not at the ends, make the trolley seem to float over the tracks.

What’s the ride like?  . . . .

Weekly Photo Challenge: Narrow

Weekly Photo Challenge: Details

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: