Thoughts

9th April 2023

It seemed imperative to be outdoors on such a stunningly beautiful day so off we went once more, passing again through Salem.

No witches in this Salem.

Our local witches reside in Greenwitch, misspelled Greenwich.

The signpost includes a picture of a green witch, otherwise I would assume it was just a mis-pronunciation.

The town was previously called Whipple City. I don’t know why it was changed.

Greenwich Village, in New York City pronounces itself correctly!

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On this fine day, the Osprey was sitting on its perch.

As far as we know, these perches were placed by the power company that owns the posts.

Or at least by the men contracted to erect them.

Which is very nice to know.

The pictures are still not perfect, but at least today you can see that it is a bird! Quite large and very handsome.

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More railroad tracks for the collection.

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In the bright sunlight, this beautiful Sycamore demanded a photograph.

Sycamores always deserve attention, in my opinion.

It is impossible for me not to notice them.

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Willows too. There are so many here.

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My father, who was a professional photographer, spent many hours waiting for the sun to come out.

Cloudless days, to me are a challenge.

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My father had all sorts of filters, light-metres, lens hoods and I suppose he must have had endless patience when it came to photography, though I would not otherwise have called him a patient man.

In most instances, he had no patience at all.

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Dad was highly critical of other people’s work and I think he would not understand my view of the world.

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Dad never seemed interested in anything I thought. But I really never got to know him. I only knew his actions. As a child, I was afraid of him. My brother and I were always cautioned to be quiet and not annoy Daddy.

When I was 8, Mum and I went off to Cambodia with Dad, leaving my brother behind in England and life was as different as could be. Dad seemed to be home a lot more and he didn’t like that I hung around with Mum. He called me her shadow.

Or when he was annoyed it was “Princess”.

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Mum freely admitted that our father had not wanted children, so I imagine he just did his best to tolerate us.

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When we grew up we were easier to tolerate because we could be asked to do things.

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It is perhaps not surprising that I was resentful.

My mother having died in 1997, I became fairly involved in the last years of my father’s life.

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We had some nice holidays together, but it was always such a strain for me to be around him.

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Dad frequently said to me that he must be the most selfish man alive. He made no apology for it and no attempt to change.

But when I had unkind thoughts, I felt bad.

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He was my father. I didn’t want to be left with a guilty conscience. But could I not be kind to an old man? Where was my empathy?

Dad’s cancer diagnosis came as a shock. He had been content, grumbling his way through every day. He was an atheist and fully intended to live another decade.

He chose treatment. Quantity over quality. He didn’t ask my opinion and I would not have given it. For a very short time after the devastating treatment, Dad almost enjoyed life again but then it got complicated.

At the end, I sat with my father who was not conscious, my mind blank. I wasn’t sure how I would know when he died, but I heard a rattle and realised what it must be. After a while a nurse came in and confirmed that he was gone. And that was that. He was there and then he wasn’t but their was no perceptible change.

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Perhaps I should have been honest and felt relief when Dad died. I didn’t consciously feel anything, until I called the office to ask for time off. When a colleague answered the phone, I began to cry.

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Anything to do with photography always makes me think of Dad.

He would probably have been interested to see wild turkeys strutting about. <- These were on a hill in Vermont.

He, above, was in the cornfield beyond my property.

He was with a group of 5 or 6.

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So that was Easter Sunday.

Not an egg in sight.

Chocolate or otherwise.

But it was a gorgeous day.

6 thoughts on “Thoughts

  1. “It is perhaps not surprising that I was resentful.”
    This is one quite amazing post and I thank you for writing it and sharing it.
    I am going to read it again before commenting further. So, for now, I say the banality of “Thank-you for sharing” but also to say “You amaze me.”

    1. It’s funny, I don’t start out to write these things but sometimes one word will lead to another. Then I let the thoughts flow and my fingers type. I don’t feel amazing!

  2. Beautiful photos of the Osprey! A blue-blue sky and green fields – just calling out to you and your camera. It’s funny how life works, isn’t it … although you mention that your father didn’t want children, it was you who looked after him at the end of his earthly life. You know you have a very good heart, don’t you Carolyn?

  3. Thank you, Carolyn, for your view of the world which I love!
    Sad about your father not realising how special you are and how lucky he was to have you.
    At least you are now surrounded by those who love you!

    Joanna

  4. My dad also didn’t want children, and was happy to tell me I was a mistake. (I was 15 at the time) When he left home for another woman in late 1975, I was relieved to see the back of him.

    I was brought up less than 5 miles from Greenwich, (the real one, in London) and we used to go to the museums and parks there all the time. But in our local London accent, it was always pronounced ‘Grinnidge’. I still say it like that now.

    Best wishes, Pete.

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