Photographing memories, off-season and on.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you probably already know that I’ve been taking more photographs lately. (It’s easy to take a lot of pictures in the good seasons–any season except winter that is–because I actually go out and about instead of huddling like a post-apocalyptic survivor in my home.)

My new (nearly) daily practice makes me more aware of my surroundings and it entertains my muse. Some of the shots are artistic, some are just personally meaningful, but they all capture something about my life that I’d like to remember.

Today I started a Flickr album just for those pictures, because I realized they will get buried in my social media feeds and eventually disappear. I might do something with them here at the blog too, but for now–if you want to see them all in one place–feel free to pop over to my hauntingphotoaday album at Flickr.

I’ve been getting so much satisfaction from this practice that I’ve decided to plunge in just a little bit deeper, by starting to participate in the WordPress sponsored photo a week challenge, which you can read about here:

I'm part of Post A Week 2015

Click the badge to go to the homepage.

“Off-Season” is this week’s photo prompt, which gives me a fine opportunity to embarrass myself. I would have liked to start off with something more like actual photography than the following very-snapshot-y pics, but you get what you get when you’re responding to a prompt.

When I was organizing photos last week, I came across one, taken back in April, in which I am giving the photographer (probably Ogre) The Look. It’s not one of my favorite photos of me, but it nails that particular expression we are all guilty of. It amused me, so I put it up on my personal Facebook page. Here it is:

The Look

Within seconds, I got this comment from a woman I went to high school with: “Is it still Christmas at your house?”

That’s when I saw, for the first time in months, that gold garland hanging on the wall. Oops.

Regular readers know that I’m not a fan of holidays (other than Halloween) and that our family doesn’t do much in the way of decorating for Christmas. This last Christmas, though, I got caught up in the holiday spirit and spent a whole day lining the ceiling in our living room with multi-colored “firefly” blinky lights and garland.

We fell in love with the way the lights reflected off the ceiling and made the room glow when all the lamps were turned off. After Christmas, we still wanted and needed the cheerful lights to get through the winter. So we left them up. When spring came, we discovered we STILL liked the way they looked at night, when we were curled up watching TV or working on our individual projects.

Now it’s summer, and they are still up.

off season

Last night, we noticed that one of the strings is dying. In the next couple of days, I will take them down, because there’s little more depressing than a half-dead string of twinkle lights. If they were still burning brightly, though, I wouldn’t touch them.

So how’s that for off-season?

Edit: I’m doing the neighborly thing and taking a peek at other participant’s responses. Here are some of my favorites:

Off course | And in walks …(An artistic) Christmas Lights in June | Doormats | California Polar Bear Plunge | Off-Season DQ | East Harlem | Long Beach Island in September (These remind me of NC.) | Last of the summer blooms | Chicken Season | Frost Rose | “A rose garden is a still, expectant place in England in late May.” | Lonely Sailor | Germany’s North CoastCougar feasting on carcass (reminds me of working at the wolf center) | TomatoesSummer Cabins, Closed for Winter | South England | Rain Gauge in the Sierra Nevada Foothills |

And the challenge led me to a blog that features “Life & Death in a Small Town (including cemetery photos.)

12 Comments on “Photographing memories, off-season and on.”

  1. With a view like that you don’t need decorations. Thanks for the links. Headed straight for the cougar feasting. What does that say about me I wonder? Here’s to blinkie lights in June. Cheers —

    • Sorry it took me so long to respond to this. I adore my view. We moved to this apartment from a rural house, and I’m sure that wonderful green-space saved my sanity as I adjusted to city living.

      Your comment made me laugh. Your interest in the cougar feasting means you’re a lot like me 😀

  2. I share your feelings about decorating and lights. I leave a strand of lights draped on the fireplace mantle all year round. The fireplaces is the only decorating I do for any holiday. Our living room is just too small. After Christmas I swap the multi-colored for an all blue or all purple strand. I’ve had purple and green. Just like lights.

    • Sorry for the long delay in my response, Sheila. (Been not feeling so hot since I posted this.) I FINALLY took down the lights today … more than a week after I resolved to do it. Actually, they started to fall on their own, otherwise they’d probably still be up there. Tonight I’m missing them. Maybe I need to get a solid color string, or even just white.

  3. bolds says:

    I still have 2 strings of icicle lights up in our front large window. They’ve been up for 2 years. They started off staying up because they were a pain to put up and take down. I didn’t want to deal with that hassle again. Plus, my kids love them. If we are watching TV at night or if we “camp out” down on the floor they provide just enough light that acts almost like a night light. My 3 year old will ask me to turn them on sometimes and when I plug them in he says, “Oh, they’re so beautiful.” So, they stay up.

    • I was so overwhelmed by all the traffic the photo challenge brought to the blog that I missed replying to some comments. Sorry about that.

      I envy you your 3 year old; that’s one of my favorite ages. (A lot of work, if I remember right, but oh so worth it!) Keep indulging your son and fostering his love of beauty. Mine is 19 now, but he was still with me about keeping the lights up.

  4. zipcoffelt says:

    Every year I say we’re going to put up lights and every year I put a few Santa figurines around and call it quits. You remind me that I need to take the Santa on a Goose out of my bedroom. Wonderful Blog, Renae!

  5. Christmas lights and garlands bring warmth to a house, even in April! 😀

    • I missed this comment when it came it; sorry I didn’t reply sooner.

      Funny thing, though: I STILL hadn’t gotten around to taking the lights down as of this morning. The lights took it upon themselves to say enough is enough. (One of the sticky hooks I used to put them up gave up right around noon.) It scared the heck out of my dog when they fell right on him.

      Right now, I’m sitting in a room without Christmas lights or garland. It feels weird.


  6. Hunter Shea says:

    We’ve had Christmas lights up in one of our rooms for about 10 years now!

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