One of my favorite places in the United States is Gustavus, Alaska. Gustavus is a funky little (and I mean little) town that serves as the gateway to the Glacier National Park. There really is not much to do there outside of bear spotting, kayaking, camping, glacier cruising and hiking – just so happens these are a few Life Bus faves. All of these things are spectacular, but, there is also a hidden gem in Gustavus. Tides roll in and out exposing hundreds of star fish….not a lot of starfish in Colorado so I am completely fascinated by these creatures. Thought these little guys were a great example for the Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern.
As I was scrolling through my photos, I came to one that made me smile and brought a tear to my eye all at the same time. It is amazing how many fond childhood memories this one photo can invoke for me. For my color challenge, I am sharing with you all a photo of my German grandmother, my Oma, at the age of 90 on her market stand in Heidelberg, Germany.
My grandmother is a strong, free-spirited woman who up until this year, at the age of 93, still sold flowers at her market stand. After fleeing the Soviet invasion of Latvia and, winding up at a displaced person’s camp in post-war Germany, my grandmother started selling flowers on the market to make ends meet for her family. She has been selling flowers to people with a true devotion to her floral works of art ever since …. approximately 60 years. Market work is hard but my grandmother had a true passion for “her” flowers. She treated them almost like her babies. If a flower lost it’s bloom, she would pick the bloom off the ground and put it in a bud vase on her windowsill. She hated to see any single flower lost. She had an amazing eye for which flowers went together and hands of steel with which to hold her bouquets. The roses she used had thorns like daggers.
As children, we spent many summers in Heidelberg helping her sell on the market. This requires getting up quite literally at the crack of dawn and working until about 3 or 4 in the afternoon. My grandmother bought many flowers from the wholesalers but was an early adopter of locally sourcing her flowers as well. This meant driving around tiny farm roads picking up freshly cut snapdragons, sweet peas, daisies, roses, and anything else that was in season from local gardners. For us children, these old farmers would always give us little bags of freshly picked cherries, raspberries, blackberries, etc. We would then stop at the local bakery and pick up some pastries and a canteen of coffee to have on the market. I’m pretty sure my Oma is the source of my sweet tooth. She would buy so many wonderful pieces of plum cake, apple cake, and of course there had to be freshly made whipping cram.
She became such an icon of the markets in Heidelberg that on her 90th birthday, the main newsaper in Heidelberg (Rhein Neckar Zeitung) wrote an article about her and her history on the market.
I’m sure I’m way off of topic for the color challenge but I just felt compelled to share this story with you all. I hope you enjoy it and
What can I say about color? It is what drives me to photography! I love it – I live for it. Based on the portfolio I continue to collect, it looks like I am attracted to greens and blues! The images below are from a recent trip to Cuba – being an American, it was an amazing experience. More to come on that topic in another post….
Please see the WordPress weekly Photo Challenge for other amazing talent!
This is an image of a Nepalese girl who lives in Lukla, Nepal. She is ADORABLE and perfect for this challenge!
Check out other fine works of art via Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge
3 years ago over Christmas the Life Bus took an amazing journey to Tanzania. Pam, Greg, Emily, Todd, and I climbed Kilimanjaro, experienced the wildebeest migration along with numerous other spectacular animals on safari in the Serengetti, and spent a week on Zanzibar. I became fascinated by the Masai culture which manages to maintain many traditional customs while living side by side with the modern world. On our drive from Arusha to the Serengetti, we had the opportunity to stop at a Masai village. Despite the fact that this community probably sees its fair share of visitors, there was nothing that felt touristy about the experience. It was, however, an incredible opportunity to actually step into (crawl into is really more what we did) one of the mud hut homes of the Masai.
The women traditionally are the ones to build these homes. The huts are made of dung, sticks, grass, ash, and really anything else they can find. These homes are intentionally simple as the Masai have been a nomadic culture. That, is of course, changing to some degree. The homes are very small, approximately 9″ x 12″ x 5″.
We were invited inside and the reality of how small the space is became very apparent. Within this space the family does everything: cooks, sleeps, and socializes. The sleeping area consists of a small alcove off to the side. The cooking area dominates the small space. The smell of smoke inside was so thick I wasn’t sure how they are able to breath. There was one funny moment while we were in the hut. While sharing stories about Masai customs with us, our Masai guide took out his machete and waved it in the air. We were all crouched shoulder to shoulder in this tiny space. For an instant, my eyes got quite large. Emily and I were quickly assessing the exit plan. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what he was trying to show us in that moment. The machete had my full attention.
I am choosing this as my selection for this week’s photo challenge because I continue to remain thankful to travel for opening my eyes as to how others in the world live and the places they call home.
Here are a couple of photos which capture the concept of delicate for me!! Hope you enjoy them.
The first one is from the glaciers of Kilimanjaro. I think of these as delicate because their future appears to be very precarious and it is believed that they will be completely gone within the next 20 – 30 years. Despite their massive appearance, their existence is really in a very delicate balance.
These photos come from a beautiful snow day at the magnificent Chautauqua Park in Boulder, CO. This park lies at the foot of Boulder’s famous Flatirons. In Colorado, big snows are usually followed by magnificent blue-bird days. Delicate icicles and ice formations like these typically don’t last very long in this intense sun. This last photo is from Arches National Park in Utah. This is a photo of the very thin Landscape Arch. I am amazed by these formations and the geological forces that it took to create such amazing natural wonders.
I am thankful for my brown dog who reminds me of the simple pleasures in life: the pure joy of a powder day, the feeling of happiness a road trip brings, and that we always need to take time to smell the columbines. Here’s to my BFF and constant companion on almost all of my Life Bus adventures, Daisy!!!!
Great color. Here are a few random musings on green. Hope you enjoy them!!
Oh how I love this challenge! Green happens to be my favorite color…I don’t know what it is about green, but I am alway drawn to it…perhaps it reminds me of the outdoors and provides me some semblance of inner peace!
Our top favorites so far:
- ESE’S VOICE
- Milner’s Blog
- Mirth and Motivation
- Sue Ann’s Balcony
- The Urge to Wander
- Les Petits Pas de Juls
- Brett Winn Art
- The Polar Panda
Check out other images via the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Enjoy!
I had so many different photos for this challenge in mind. In the end, I think the photo I am posting is the image and concept that sticks most with me … the renewal of life. I love this photo for the pure innocence of the baby’s face and for the beauty of the bond between this mother and baby. Enjoy!!