Two weeks ago, on a Sunday, George Mendonsa died. He was 95.
This may not mean much to you, it certainly didn’t to me. I had no idea who the guy was, but…
I’d seen his picture. We’ve all seen his picture. This picture…
1945, Times Square, New York.
People poured into the streets to celebrate the end of WWII and a kiss was caught on camera. That image has become a romantic icon.
The moment captured though, according to the two people involved, wasn’t romantic at all.
George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedman weren’t a couple, they didn’t even know each other.
George, who’d served on a destroyer during the war, saw a woman in a nurse’s uniform and wanted to say thank you to all the nurses who’d cared for the wounded sailors on the hospital ship.
Greta, who passed away in 2016 at 92, remembered not having much choice in the matter. A stranger grabbed her, kissed her in celebration. In her own words, “It wasn’t a romantic event.”
But, the camera didn’t know that.
Here’s the thing about cameras, they see everything, and interpret nothing.
That’s our job.
We’re all paranoid these days, with Google listening to our every word and Facebook tossing our personal information around like so much confetti.
My phone reads my emails and pops flight information into my calendar. Convenient, but just a tad creepy.
And yes, I can search Incognito to keep targeted ads from talking to me on my tablet. Psst, did you forget? Don’t you want to buy…?
I can, but I don’t.
Truth is, as pathetic as I am with tech, I like it. Forgetting my cell phone at home makes me break out in a cold sweat. I thank Google just to hear her say, “No problem.” How cute is that?
Am I aware that some machine somewhere is crunching numbers about my spending habits, that Big Brother is watching me?
Just a thought, but it occurs to me that while the tech aspect may be new, someone was always watching…
The Palace of the Grand Master, Rhodes, Greece.
Over a weekend, in the middle of January, winter bared its teeth and bit us hard.
For those of you who remember the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson…
Drum roll… How cold was it?
Cold enough to dig out the winter hat I bought in Russia and thought I’d never wear.
Cold enough to actually wear it.
Cold enough for the snow to protest with a high pitched squeak as you drive over it.
Cold enough for frost bite to threaten any sliver of exposed skin.
Cold enough for me.
In proof of the old assertion, This Too Shall Pass, I offer…a scene from summer 🙂
Remember what sweltering in +34C was like?
Yeah, me neither 🙂
Want a beach to yourself, but can’t manage the down payment on an island?
Take a walk down to Lake Ontario when the thermometer reads -8 Celsius.
Cobourg, Lake Ontario.
Still beautiful, but you might want to hold off on the bikini 🙂
I see nature winning,
And man failing.
I see a world suffice unto itself.
Oceans and plants and crawling things
All of whom
Would be better off without us.
I see humanity,
That puffed-up peacock of the animal world,
Building monuments to nothing
But our own vanity.
I see blue skies and green trees
Towering mountains and vast seas
And humans too stupid to
Appreciate any of it.
I see nature winning,
And man failing.
Defunct stone fountain, Guernsey.
Window on Time
Walk with the Eternal.
Wishes over water.
All pictures: Pont du Gard, France.
Watching with care,
Waiting in welcome,
Windows of the soul.
You’re late. Where are you?
I drove out to Niagara-on-the-Lake recently, a small town in Southern Ontario with a big history. Founded in 1782 by Empire Loyalists fleeing the newly created United States of America, Niagara-on-the-Lake became a battle ground between the Americans and the British during the War of 1812.
Today, Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to the Shaw Festival (summer theatre) and wine, wine tours, and wineries.
I stopped by McFarland House for tea and a tour.
Built in 1800, McFarland House was unusual in its day in that it was constructed from brick instead of wood. It served as a hospital for both American and British troops during the War of 1812 and thus became one of the few houses to survive the period.
The front door was, and still is, painted red — a sign of welcome.
As you can see, the door could use some work. Probably because no one uses it anymore, all guests entering through a side door that opens onto the tea room.
Unfortunately, while I can’t claim Norm’s camera skills, I did find myself reaching for my phone on a wander through the Old Town.
Fun fact: Niagara-on-the-Lake boasts the oldest surviving golf course in North America, Niagara Golf Club circa 1875.
Funnier fact: The town is home to the oldest operating inn in Ontario, The Olde Angel Inn established in 1789. If you’re ever in the women’s washroom, think twice before you lift the privacy leaf on the Statue of David — a bell will ring in the main dining room 🙂
Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands
Along with the sand and sea, Saint Thomas has a few doors that had me reaching for my phone 🙂