Bridge to … everywhere

Do you ever look for themes in your photography? I was surprised to find so many photos of bridges when reviewing pictures I have taken over the years. It wasn’t a deliberate project or a theme; I didn’t set out to photograph different types of bridges in so many different places while traveling. Nevertheless, judging by the number of different bridge photos stored on my computer, I obviously find bridges to be an interesting subject. Let me share a few examples with you.

Here’s one that we walked across on a beautiful spring day with blue skies and chamber of commerce weather! This steel truss pedestrian bridge was formerly a railroad bridge and can be found in NAPA valley.

Pedestrian bridge
J. Robert Chapman Memorial Bridge in Winters, California
Postcard from Mumma mailed to “B”

And, from that pedestrian bridge, there is a view of this bridge. I took this picture just after lunch and I remember enjoying the combination of light and shadows.

Putah Creek Car Bridge in Winters, California
Postcard from Mumma mailed to “F”

“The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which to burn.”

We walked across this suspension bridge in Ferris Provincial Park, Campbellford, Ontario surrounded by autumn colors. It is a 300 foot-long bridge that sways slightly as you walk across it, but it also provides scenic views of the Trent River and the rocky bluffs.

Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge, Ontario Canada
Postcard from Mumma mailed to “D”

Do you recognize the bridge in this picture? You can see the landmark Tower Bridge in Sacramento from both the California State Capitol building and Raley Field, home of the Sacramento River Rats baseball team. Fun fact: it was painted silver when it was built in the 1930s, but as part of the USA bicentennial celebrations in 1976, it was repainted to match the gold colored cupola of the Capitol building.

Tower bridge in Sacramento, California
Postcard from Mumma mailed to “C”

I have many more photographs of bridges; but I’ll save them for other blogs.
I’ll also be on the lookout for new interesting bridges to capture; now that I have found out that it is one of my things.

The first to receive Postcards from Mumma

F, D, C, A B, G, and E
Each of these kids has received dozens of Postcards from Mumma

We created an edible Periodic Table from individual frosted cookies when I was visiting my grandkids in Austin, Texas. You can read more about this project on my daughter-in-law’s Cummins Life blog.

Do you have a green thumb?

Photographed in Tennessee while on vacation
Postcard from Mumma sent to “B”

Yesterday, my sister with the green thumb sent me photos of beautiful flowers in her garden.  In the springtime, a variety of colors burst forth in her lovely yard. I am in awe. 

Critters like my gardening attempts.

It’s not that I haven’t made attempts to have a garden. I love seeing flowers and photographing flowers, but whether the ones that I try to grow will actually bloom is a “hit or miss” proposition.  For example, daffodils do spring up in my yard each year so one fall I thought I would try planting other bulbs.  A few tulips bloomed the next spring; but a groundhog showed up just after the snow melted to snack on the crocus bulbs.  

I have also tried planting annuals and was rewarded with marigolds and pansies. However, the petunias and impatiens became dinner for rabbits.

The first year we moved into our home, a row of orange day lilies planted by the previous tenant bloomed all along the side of my house.  A few days later, deer wandered over and ate the flowers leaving the green stalks flapping in the wind.  All summer long, I couldn’t help but notice the orange day lilies growing in OTHER yards that were not eaten by deer.

Photographed in my backyard
Postcard from Mumma sent to “F”

The truth is that I like seeing the “critters” in my yard, too. Maybe they can sense this ambivalence and this is why they choose to dine here.

To prune or not to prune

Another gardening dilemma that I have is when and how much to prune flowering bushes. I read that if you cut hydrangea blooms, more will grow. I cut; no more grew.

When we first moved into our house, there were 2 azalea bushes, one on each side of the front door. These produced beautiful blooms in the spring the first couple of years.

Photographed in my front yard
Postcard from Mumma sent to “E”

As time went on, these azalea bushes didn’t have as many blooms. So I tried pruning and feeding with little success. Now they are mostly sticks with only a few flowers.

One of the few blooms that remained on the azalea bush in my front yard
Postcard from Mumma sent to “A”

If at first, you don’t succeed…

Despite my track record, I may try again. It is spring. After all the April rain that fell this year, the sun is finally shining. The local garden centers are filled with flowering annuals and perennials begging to be planted. I may try planting flowers in a few window boxes. Maybe this will be the year that everything goes right.

So, do you have a green thumb? Or, do you have your own gardening stories?

Are you a collector?

Decks of playing cards on display

“Keep some souvenirs of your past, or how will you ever prove it wasn’t all a dream?” – Ashley Brilliant (English Author)

I collect decks of playing cards. As a souvenir, cards are an excellent choice because they are inexpensive, not breakable, and do not take up much room in your suitcase.

Decades ago, my husband broke 3 world records for building tall structures from ordinary playing cards. His accomplishment was acknowledged in the Guinness Book of World Records, and we celebrated by taking a vacation to Florida beaches. We came home with several souvenir decks of playing cards. It seemed appropriate.

Within a couple of years, someone else had broken his record, but the habit of searching for souvenir playing cards while traveling was already established. Hundreds of decks are displayed on the custom shelves in our hallway. Each one tells a story.

Almost anything could be collected by someone. My sister collects milkglass. My grandson collects Pez dispensers. My cousin collects all things related to Elvis. My brother-in-law has an impressive array of shot glasses. My aunt collected Barbie Dolls. And, a good friend enjoys any item with Betty Boop on it.

Cards are not my first and only collection. As a child, I began and discarded several collections. While my brothers cornered the market on baseball cards, marbles, and comic books, I briefly had a few coins in blue cardboard folders; and I spent one summer in junior high flirting with organizing stamps and with the guy at Cooks Collectors Corner (a store that went out of business long ago). Then, I received “what-not” shelves as a gift and had to figure out what to put on them. Trolls with different colored hair were briefly exhibited. Various animals, including horses and elephants, were also tried.

My mother disliked clutter and would periodically purge her house of things we no longer needed or used. None of the marbles, coins, stamps, trolls, horse figures, seashells, rocks, or other collection attempts survived her de-cluttering. Later, after all her kids were adults, there was one notable exception.

Mom was a lifelong baseball fan and had team loyalty that surpassed anything you could imagine. As newlyweds, Mom and Dad lived in Boston and rooted for the Boston Braves. She continued to support the team after they went to Milwaukee and later to Atlanta, even though she never lived in either city. The Braves were her team, through their last place finishes and their world series victories. She followed all the players, knew the statistics and began to acquire Braves paraphernalia as gifts from grandkids and others who knew of her passion. She valiantly tried to confine these items into one bedroom, but it proved impossible and spilled over throughout her home.

Not everything in life can be organized and orderly. A lot of the time, life is a “mess” and we have no choice but to live in the “mess.” Collecting and organizing items can be a way to find order in the chaos of life. Or it could just be fun. I collect decks of playing cards. I arrange and rearrange them on shelves. I enjoy the memories associated with each of the decks. I understand that what I am really collecting is memories.

What do you collect? I would be interested in knowing if you would like to tell me in the comments.

“The best thing I collect is memories.” – Jaime Camil

Decks of cards from the state of Georgia, USA
Decks of cards from the state of South Carolina, USA

Some of the recent additions to the playing card collection are from a trip to Georgia and South Carolina.

What’s in a name?

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)
Postcard from Mumma mailed to “G”

Happy Monday!

In my first post on this blog, I explained that I named this blog “Postcards from Mumma” because my name is “Mumma” (to my grandkids) and that I have been sending them a lot of postcards over the past couple of years. Some postcards I purchased when traveling and others I made from photos that I have taken.

But there is a little more to the choice of the name, Postcards from Mumma, for my blog.

When you send a postcard to someone, you send a personal message in a public space. Because the card is not inside an envelope, it is available to be read by strangers, in addition to the addressee. And that’s what a blog is, right? These posts are my “virtual” postcards sent to my friends and followers in a public space. Like a picture postcard, they typically will also include photos. And, like a physical picture postcard, these virtual postcards can be read by others. Does this make sense to you? I hope you like receiving and reading these “postcards” from me.

Have a great week!

Happy Birthday, Shakespeare

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”

—- William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act 3, Scene 3
Tree filled garden with gazebo in the center
Shakespeare Gardens in Stratford, Ontario, Canada
Postcard from Mumma originally mailed to “F”

April 23rd is the date that historians believe that Shakespeare was born (1564) and died (1616). My earliest memory of seeing a Shakespeare play was in elementary school when my older brother had a small role in a high school production of The Merchant of Venice. Although I complained about being dragged to the school for the first performance, I eagerly returned the next night to see it again. While I couldn’t have understood the play fully, I did appreciate the emotions of the characters and forgot that it was my brother and his friends on the stage.

I guess I was “hooked.” Over the years, I have seen countless performances of Shakespeare plays in many different venues including parks, barns, outdoor amphitheaters, college workshops, community theaters, as well as in well-known professional productions like Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashford, and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada. Whatever the location, I always learn something about this world we live in and the people in it from a Shakespeare play.

White swan swimming in the Avon River in Stratford, Ontario, Canada
One of the many beautiful swans swimming in the Avon River at Stratford, Ontario
Postcard from Mumma originally mailed to “A”

Earth Day

Forest scene with moss and small waterfall
Trillium Falls in the Redwood National Park, California
Postcard from Mumma originally mailed to “E”

I wrote this on Earth Day, April 22, but it has taken me a few days to post and publish. Blogging is very new to me.

Two years ago on Earth Day, we visited the Redwood National Park in California. I remember walking through the Trillium Falls Trail, seeing the beauty of the giant redwoods, and experiencing how quiet it was in the forest. I did not miss the typical noises from traffic and cellphones that surround us and gladly exchanged it for the sounds of the waterfall and the birds.

Path in forest leading to footbridge
The bridge on the Trillium Falls trail in the Redwoods National Park
Postcard from Mumma origianally mailed to “C”

Did you know that the Redwoods appeared on the Earth shortly after the dinosaurs and long before humans, and that the coast redwoods are exceptional at storing carbon and releasing oxygen?

Each one of us has our own journey and our own road to travel. Sometimes our journeys connect and we can travel along the same road for a while together. 
Driving through the Redwoods: Postcard from Mumma mailed to “C”

First Blog Post

Hi. Thanks for finding me. Blogging is new to me. I guess I should start by explaining the name of the blog – Postcards from Mumma. The “Mumma” is simple – this is what my grandkids call me.
Why postcards? My grandkids live in Texas and I am in the Midwest. When traveling for fun or work, I send them postcards. Over a year ago, I began printing postcards from images that I had taken and then also mailing these more personal and unique cards to them.

lighthouse on Prince Edward Island
Point Prim Lighthouse on Prince Edward Island, Canada
Postcard from Mumma sent to “A”

Many of the photos you will see in this blog were first Postcards from Mumma.

Curved road through mountains to Pacific coast

Each one of us has our own journey and our own road to travel. Sometimes our journeys connect and we can travel along the same road for a while together. Road Trip on the California coast.
Postcard from Mumma sent to “E”