Photo scanning memory maker #102

Continuing with the scanning chronicle, I share yesterday’s anecdote.

Filled to capacity, I carried the box of precious photos labeled and addressed to all who are represented in them, into the post office for the send-off. I arrived at noon, and by 12:34 pm, not only did I walk out of a filled-to-capacity lobby, but I was filled with a bit of frustration and glee.

Usually, I go to Kevin’s line, because he is friendly, efficient and intelligent. Sadly for me, Kevin was working on a teenager’s passport and unavailable. So I stepped up to his unknown colleague’s station, he had no name tag, and quickly and silently named him “cigarette smoker man.” To say he editorialized every envelope aloud, measured each envelope (they are all the same size!), and commented on the number of envelopes, is an understatement. I wanted to exclaim, “Sir, please just do your job and stop your snide comments!” But I held my tongue in frustration.

In those priceless envelopes are my memories, experiences, friends, beloved departed family members, and even departed friends. To me, they deserved special handling. After all, I’m paying money to send them. Glee did cross my mind at the task completed.

They are now in the hands of the USPS. The only photos remaining are from the 1950s when my parents were kids, the 1970s when I was a kid, and the 1980s when I was in college. Those will be scanned and sent out within the next month.

Value has different meanings: the envelopes are a task to the USPS clerk, while they are priceless history to me. The proof of value will be in the hands of the recipients “in 3-5 days, he said.” The project has concluded. I learned many valuable lessons, none of which is to disrespect or disregard another person’s mailings.



Denise in another happy, hand-made themed vest 1997

What I’ve learned from scanning old photos #101

In order to clean and clear out our moving boxes, some with the sticker from the Mayflower Movers in 1985, yielding a smaller footprint and ease for our next move, wherever and whenever it is, we are scanning old photos and sharing them accordingly. Since my HH and I have been together since 1977, we have loads of pictures of us smiling, graduating, attending dances, traveling, then parenting.

When we began this task two years ago, it was daunting, at best. As I type, we are almost finished. I’m delighted to report that #TBTs are forthcoming, collages prove easier to create, and my forgetful mind has been reminded of the love, laughs, and adventures I’ve experienced over the past forty-plus years. Side note, I did find baby and youth pictures of both of us, so it’s really 50+ years of Kodak memories.

Whatever I did, I did it joyfully and with a hand-made theme vest.

These photos create an archive of sorts. A journal of my NDBs, life events, and friends I treasure in all the places I’ve lived. Dance events in Baltimore that I entered and won, hot air balloon excursions in Africa and Arizona, two flights in the Good Year Blimp, sewing projects that I entered in the Los Angeles County Fair for which I won nine ribbons, learning to surf in Honolulu, my first and only snowboard lesson in an indoor ski ‘resort’ in Dubai, beekeeping class, teaching yoga on the beach of the Arabian Gulf, and many more valuable experiences in my short life. More pics & stories to follow.

Denise’s first surf lesson 2010

Gratitude comes to mind and fills my heart and soul. I love to travel and believe it to be a great educator. My daughters are also great educators as they taught me about pure love and living in the moment: one ski trip, one visit to a reindeer farm, swim team, Girl Scouts, horseback riding lessons & shows, pets, plants, road trips and every amusement park in a 100-mile range of our home.

T driving the car at Adventure City
E ready for a road trip and T proudly presenting the bear topiary 1999

These photos tell the story of my life. What I’ve been doing and with whom. Some interesting questions arise: Who is still in my life? Why did I wear that? What was I thinking? Why did I eat a silk worm in Vietnam?

This project, as looming as it began, is almost to fruition. The next question is, what’s next? I have a few thoughts in mind…



Denise ate this silkworm salad in Vietnam 2015
Denise trekking in Jordan 2015
Denise stand up paddle boarding on the Arabian Gulf 2015
Denise indoor snowboarding in Dubai 2014

Monday Haiku

Super moon: not seen. 🌕

Snow on streets and rooftops: Ugh. ❄️

Safe, warm with hubby.💑

*BONUS STANZA: Super Bowl’ll be great! 🏈

Happy Monday ~ Do whatever you can to make this day memorable, honorable, and joyful.



Community work: it’s a wrap!

This whole week I volunteered as part of a team to recognize and then implement ‘waste’ (time, motion, effort) in a community hospital setting. I was “fresh eyes” on the team: meaning I know nothing about the situation, the people, the process, nor the desired outcome, because I don’t work there, nor have I ever done this professional work. Additionally, I volunteered as the photographer of the team/work all week. These photos were used on the final report-out to the hospital administration and other staff members.

Monday we met each other (names, roles within the hospital, length of time working here), and learned what our task is for the week. We began training on processes, responsible stewardship, order, and outcomes. This included jargon, that I kept asking, “What does that mean?” and, “What does that (acronym) stand for?” Everyone was generous with explanations and definitions. Through discussions, experiments, and more discussions, we created some techniques to smooth out some current situations. By Friday, we were hugging each other, snapping selfies, and celebrating our accomplishments.

me indicating the neon orange sticker that matches the folder to the designated printer
me making labels for my portion of the work

What I learned: I am so very grateful for my life, my Empty-Nester job, husband, and community. I realize more now what people do in their chosen professional fields – seeing part of it magnified. I respect the people in hospital settings even more than I already did! Not only do they do exceptional work inside the building, but some juggle familes too.

For me, the outcome is joy. I am joyful to have met these nine hard-working people; to have contributed my thoughts and past experiences to this process, for the enlightment of what really goes on behind the scenes, and my role as wife, mom and now ‘housewife.’ It was a backstage tour of some sorts.

For the finale, I slept for twelve straight hours, drank coffee unhurried, and donned my usual uniform of jeans + sneakers. I’m back to my regular, spectacular life. Something I will not take for granted!

Tip: walking a day (or a week) in someone else’s shoes yields great appreciation for your own life and purpose.

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
~Anaïs Nin



Another example of community ~

This blogger is eye-ball-deep in community this week. Invited to be on a panel as “fresh eyes” for the betterment of a hospital and its procedures, I’ve met some neat people, learned a lot about the internal goings-on in a hospital, and contributed my thoughts.

So happy to make a difference, I will share some of what I learned next week. Until then, jump into community involvement, how ever that appears to you. I’m happy to have been included.



Kudos for Community

As I’ve mentioned, in person and on this blog, I’m a Spring/Summer person. I like hot, beach, ocean, palm trees, desert, and dry. What I also love is community. I love when people come together; do things together; enjoy time together.

This makes me happy:

kids ran out from this apartment building and nearby hotel to build a snowman.
amazing snow lion by our apartment pool

I had to share. Kudos for the kids in this community.



Friends and how lucky we are to have them

I count myself very lucky, fortunate, grateful, to have friends from grade school, high school, university, and all of the places I’ve lived, still in my life. While I stay connected to most of them through email and/or social media, I do speak to many on the phone periodically, and some I get to see in person. Those in-person visits and phone conversations really fill up my heart.

True friends accept us as we are, flaws, mistakes and all. True friends listen to us, and sometimes even help us hear ourselves. They “listen” us as whole and part of their life.

Thinking about true, strong friendships inspires me to be a better friend. To go beyond the regular “hellos” and “Happy Birthday” online. I must say that I love when Facebook celebrates a ‘friendiversary‘ by showing me how long we’ve been friends. Some of my friendships began before Facebook was born!

“As a human being, I’m aware that we are all physically, mentally and emotionally the same and we all want to live a happy life. Scientists say our basic nature is compassionate. It’s clear that love and affection bring people together.” (Dalai Lama)

One of my new year’s resolutions is to say better connected with friends. I guess that means buying some plane tickets and more Road Trip Tuesdays.



Staying current

As a ‘newcomer’ to my current city, I feel it necessary to stay current on activities, highlights, events, and my personal self-care. Thus, I attended a lecture, by a female professor (of 39 years), to hear her views of Europe and the changes and growth in that country. I left the auditorium more than disappointed but irritated. Her presentation was very slanted to her feminist ideals and ‘experiences’ in the academic world, with hints of disdain for the US government. I sat through the entire presentation and respect her opinions. We learn from others.

Then I decided to stay current on my immunizations, in the hopes of traveling abroad again and staying healthy. So, I willingly accepted immunizations for Hep A and B (in combo) and Tetanus. After those sticks, I entered the lab for a complete blood panel and Hep C screening. The best part: cutie-pie bandaids. So far, so good.

my shoulder after two injections

Next week, I will join a panel of “fresh eyes” to further the growth and action of a community about twenty minutes from my home. I’m looking forward to it: adult conversation, brain work, fancy clothes, and making a difference.

Empty nesters must stay current to preclude atrophy in our brains and bodies. Finding things to do is a challenge I happily accept. I’m retired but not old.