We got up late and it was still just 55 degrees outside. We went for a walk together and the sun was nestled into one of the clearest blue skies I've seen. As we left our house we looked up at our little forest of giant live oak trees and marveled at how healthy they look right now. They'd been a bit leaf-sparse and wane in the Fall and we had them deep fertilized. They appreciated our efforts and are rewarding us with a lush green canopy.
As we walked through our neighborhood we talked about the news of the day. Things will get worse. Then they will get better. Hope is more pleasant than despair. Everyone in our families is healthy for now. We hope it stays that way. It's true that I can't swim right now; I would but the pools are all closed. But I also love walking and so I walk for an hour with Belinda in the mornings and I take a longer and brisker walk later in the day. Videos about swimming technique help remind me of what I need to work on, technique-wise, when the pools re-open.
We've lived through recessions many times with little but residual fumes in our bank accounts but this time around we're coming off a prosperous year and many profitable assignments. I'm still wrapping up a few projects. We can coast for a while. No panicking in 2020...
Austinites, in general, seems to be hewing to the new rules about social distancing and community safety. We're not a big hot spot yet. I hope we, as a community, continue to work on our efforts to stay safe. We'll have streamlined coffee to-go practices in no time...
I worked on my home coffee techniques yesterday and I made a perfect cup of coffee today. Absolutely perfect. I think I've got a winning formula figured out which dulls my ardor for coffee from the outside. I miss seeing familiar faces and hearing the steam release from the espresso machines.
We've been eating well. Last night it was fresh trout with a lemon caper sauce, roasted cauliflower and mashed sweet potatoes. We're stocked up with groceries and produce for at least the next week and a half.
We're staying entertained. I love writing the blog. We both love reading novels, and last night I splurged and paid Amazon for a rental on the latest Star Wars movie, which we missed at the theaters. So, $6 bucks for an evening of entertainment. We even made popcorn. And, happily, no teen agers texting in the rows in front of us...
I seem to have lost my insistent desire for a constant flow of new cameras. I'm saving thousands of dollars at a whack. I've deduced that part of my ability to rationalize even the most extravagant investments in cameras was based partly on the idea that I needed this or that new camera so I could deliver the latest expert results to my clients. I could justify the expense in the moment with the promise that each new piece would help leverage my skills into more profitable engagements.
When all clients go away so does that rationale. Now I seem happy to shoot for days and weeks with the same small collection of really good cameras. So far I'm even resisting the lure of the Leica song.
While prices on used Leica SL camera bodies drop so has my interest. Will it resume when our confinement is over? Let's find out!
I stay in touch with you on this blog. I stay in touch with other friends via texts and phone calls. I stay in touch with Belinda by walking into the house and checking in. I do miss Studio Dog. She would have loved having us both home for 23 hours a day....
Funny, when we were constantly busy we complained about not having the time to slow down, relax and do the projects we thought we always wanted to do for ourselves. When we were busy making money we groused about not having time to travel. And now fate is making us come to grips with what is really important to us. It's not the hobbies so much, and it's not the travel. The most wonderful thing, and the thing we miss most, is sharing time with family and friends. Big dinners together. Fun happy hours. Meeting for coffee and breakfast tacos. But we'll try our best to make up for that in the near future.
In times when all the news is bad and we can't have a fix or solution to fall back on it's a good practice to take time to savor the stuff we really love about life and to do a little inventory about everything that brings us joy.
I never realized how much I took my house for granted. But it's so comfortable and inviting. I can spend hours in a big, upholstered chair in a corner, just reading a book. Occasionally closing my eyes and just feeling how great it is to breathe. Our house is situated on a big, half acre lot and our neighbors to every side are distant and blocked by trees and landscaping. Even this close to downtown it's serene and quiet on the back porch. That's where I like to eat my Greek Yogurt mixed with berries and muesli. It's almost become a ritual. If I'm lucky I see hawks spiraling around up above and there's a black squirrel in the yard that used to taunt Studio Dog. He comes as close as he can to where I'm sitting, almost daring me to chase him.
It's enough in the quiet moments to remember just how lucky we have been...
I am happy that it is still legal to walk around with a camera; as long as we follow the
social distancing rules.
Trader Joe's grocery store has frozen croissant which you have to allow to rise and then bake.
They are delicious. I keep a box in the freezer, next to the box of Lava Cakes.
There is something absolutely luxurious about going to bed as late as you want
and sleeping in or lounging around in bed until you get bored....
Over the years I'd gotten into the habit of taking my showers at the pool.
I'd forgotten how comfortable and well appointed my bathroom is at home.
I now relish a hot shower after my walks but before dinner.
If we lose electrical power and the internet I've cleverly kept a Nikon F and a brick of Tri-X on hand so I don't miss the opportunity to document the moments.
Austin gets more and more beautiful the fewer cars there are on the roads.
Some day soon swimming will NOT be dangerous.
(the sign above was from Iceland. You'd have to be crazy to swim in the
33 degree bay....)
I'm fortunate to have experienced the Spanish Steps in Rome before sitting on them became a crime.
I will go back to Italy as soon as it is safe and will spend as much money as I can eating well
and helping our Italian friends rebuild their tourist economy.
We haven't had this much free time for our art since we were students in our 20s.
More time to linger with great photo books.
Deeper dives into the history of photography. From a certain point of view.
It's love that keeps hope alive. It's hope that keeps love alive.
Coffee in Canada tastes as good as it does in Austin.
I miss the museums so much...
Loving the his and hers Subarus.
Four wheel powered automotive delight.
Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you.....
Sorry to go off topic (photography) but I felt good about life today and wanted to share it.
Might be a fleeting gesture but I don't think so. We're looking forward to the future but not at the expense of the present....
Much happiness to everyone. KT