Kwanzaa, Dr. Maulana Karenga "Kwanzaa does not replace Christmas and is not a religious holiday. It is a time to focus on Africa and African-inspired culture and to reinforce a value system that goes back for generations." ~ Eric V. Copage
Pulling out some old files in celebration of Kwanzaa that begins today and ends on January 1.
Kwanzaa creator Dr. Maulana Karenga
Kwanzaa is now popular in Canada, Brazil, Jamaica, France, and Great Britain.
"Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart... filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever." ~ Bess Streeter Aldrich
Carl Sandburg poem FOG, Carl Sandburg National Historic Site
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
I have always loved this simple poem by Carl Sandburg, one of my favorite poets. I used to spend a lot of time at his home-place in Flat Rock, NC, near Hendersonville. Sandburg was not born in Flat Rock, but he spent the last 22 years of his life writing and enjoying the vast views that surrounded his home on the 30 acre estate which has been expanded to over 200 breathtaking acres that includes ponds, over thirty structures, and 5 miles of hiking trails. Mrs. Sandburg kept prized goats as a hobby and the federal government declared the goats a historic herd; At least fifteen dairy herd are always on hand. Visitors can tour the home, long a national historic site, with park officials or wander the grounds.Take a lunch and enjoy both history and the natural world in one trip.
Though these photos were taken in West Virginia, the elegant words of Sandburg's short poem are the first thing that pop into my head whenever I come upon fog, or fog comes upon me. I wanted to dig through my negatives and find some photos from the home-place, but that will have to wait for another day. Might be faster to jump in the car and make another trip. Umm? Tempting.
"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air." ~ W.T. Ellis
If you have never been to Staunton, you still have time to pick up a present or two before Christmas. The town is full of the most marvelous artists of all sorts, coffee houses, and antique shops.
Travel tip: Check out the American Shakespeare Center - Blackfriars Playhouse. It is the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's original indoor theater. It is a gorgeous building that delivers year-round plays. We thoroughly enjoyed a showing of A Christmas Carol. Check out their website and be prepared to be entertained.
“We cannot suffer with the poor when we are unwilling to confront those persons and systems that cause poverty. We cannot set the captives free when we do not want to confront those who carry the keys. We cannot profess our solidarity with those who are oppressed when we are unwilling to confront the oppressor. Compassion without confrontation fades quickly to fruitless sentimental commiseration.” ~ Henri J. M. Nouwen, Donald P. McNeill, Douglas A. Morrison: Compassion, page 122
Remember when if you needed to make a call while on the road you had to drive for miles to find a pay phone? In my case they seemed to be everywhere, except when I needed one the most. I soon learned where the pay phones were in my territory but sometimes they were occupied, for a long time. People got comfy in those booths. "Hey, can you speed it up there?"
Before cell phones, working for a newspaper and keeping in touch was difficult. I got my assignments in the mornings but had to call in every few hours to find out what was going on or to see if I needed to head in another direction. Now phone booths are practically non-existent.
FYI: The first commercial mobile phone was released in Sweden in 1956. The first state to offer mobile telephone service was Kansas; released in Brewster by the S&T Telephone Company.
In 1960, Sweden was the first to offer a partly automatic car phone. It would take another 11 years before S&T applied for cellular service with the FCC. In 1984, Bell Labs developed modern commercial cellular technology.
Memories: I remember seeing a few "wealthy" people walking around in the mid-eighties with those big-old phones. To say that we have come a long way since then would be an understatement. Once affordable cell phones became available to the public I was one of the first customers in line. I was giddy over my phone. Little did I know at the time there would be days I would curse my phone. The days of, "Honest, boss, I looked everywhere for a phone booth," and "I got side tracked by a couple of feature shots," were over.
“Once poverty is gone, we'll need to build museums to display its horrors to future generations. They'll wonder why poverty continued so long in human society - how a few people could live in luxury while billions dwelt in misery, deprivation and despair.”
~ Muhammad Yunus
I hope to get some nice frozen waterfall photos on my next trip. Winter is a great time for photographers to trek down to the falls. Take a tripod for some dramatic photos. I had left mine back in the car and did not care to make two trips up those steep two-hundred and something steps. Call me lazy, but sometimes I like to shoot with what I have and not make a whole day's production out of it. I am supposed to be having fun now. Check out their website for travel tips.
Pick up a copy of What's Up? Eastern Shore magazine and read the article on community dinners. On pages 24 and 25 you will see my photos. On page 22 there is a yummy crab recipe for Chesapeake Eggs Benedict. Not my photo, but you can sure bet I am going to make some of those for the holidays.
You gotta buy the magazine to read the story. One correction: top left photo is not Church of God. It was taken at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church. Church of God photos here.
No matter, you can always get a good meal at a community dinner.