Moving on, while looking back…


I think I may have a new favorite picture of my husband.  This is "him" in so many ways.  He's still the chief bottle washer, and I'll bet those flour/sugar/rice/oatmeal jars are the same ones sitting in our pantry cupboard right now. 

I brought out a scrapbook that we started and never finished and found a small bunch of photos from 1984-85 that I'd forgotten all about.

The motel mermaid and me

This was taken on a stop at Seaside, OR, during one of our spontaneous road trips.  We had our morning coffee (documented) and the next thing you know, we were in the car heading north up the coast.  The lovely mermaid was in the parking lot or entry of a motel — we didn't even stay there, but for some reason we had to stop for photos.  I knit the sweater I'm wearing — one of my first completed projects!  This might be the only photographic evidence, as it is long gone.


This is at the rear of the House That Rusty Built at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, OR.  It was livable, but not quite finished when I met him — I tease about the "CertainTeed" wallpaper.  I helped him finish, and we added on, too.  I made a mighty big impression, I guess, with my willingness to pitch in, top to bottom; I didn't flinch when he handed me the shovel to dig the trench for that footing, and there are photos of me nailing shingles on the roof.

The addition, complete

It was one of those "under the radar" jobs — we framed and closed it up over a weekend, re-using the weathered shingles on the parts most visible from the road (and, say, the searching eyes of a possible passing-by building inspector).  Rusty used a lot of salvaged material in the original construction of that house — I was fascinated by that.

That's a funky view, above, from the left is a small "garage," an enclosed patio/porch constructed with old glass panels from a greenhouse, and the house itself — designed for one, adapted for two.  We never quite got around to making it for three or more — there are sketches around, exploring the possibilities, including the addition of an art gallery and work space.

Yeah, it could have been awesome – and maybe it would have been — we didn't have the money to bring it to fruition.  Yes, we most certainly do feel occasional regret at giving that up… and the other…  Well, hell, we'll just never know…


What I do know is that I have been fascinated with other types of "what might have beens" for as long as I can remember.  When I was young, and we'd journey a few times a year along familiar routes to visit grandparents or other relatives, I'd watch for "my" abandoned houses along the way.  Big hole in the roof?  That could be patched up.  Broken windows?  Those could be replaced.  Bare siding?  All it needs is some paint.  Porch falling off?  You'd just need to jack it up over there, add a column over here.  All you need is love…  heh.

Abandonment, ca. 1984

This is one we found in Washington State on one of those spontaneous road trips.  I recall that it was very unsafe inside, but it drew me in.  I have some local photographer friends who specialize in "rural decay" and "abandonment" and I just had to smile when I happened upon these.  And some others — a little surprised at the foreshadowing of my present interests in photography – it really has been in me – more than I thought, and for longer than I thought.

I'd like to say, "Thank You!" for all the anniversary well wishes!!  Yesterday was a nutty day — my mother had the first of her cataract surgeries and I had to pick her up at the clinic, plus a couple of meetings to attend and errands to run, as well as all the normal stuff I do on my day off (I never did get to laundry — threw in a load on my way out the door this morning).  By the time Rusty and I went out for a celebratory dinner, I was yawning at regular intervals.  I'd have time to check my mail here and there during the way, and work on a blog post.  Three cheers for Typepad's "draft" feature, by the way; most of my posts lately are written over several hours, dashing in to add photos or write whenever there's a spare minute.  Sometimes I end up losing continuity or things become disjointed that way — not ideal, but it is what it is.  So, well, thank you reading, for coming by now and then, for coming back.  Thank you.

4 thoughts on “Moving on, while looking back…

  1. He’s a real cutie – great photo! I love to dream about the shacks I pass also, rarely do I find one that is beyond redeption. It’s a gift to be able to see the possibilities, not all do. That’s makes for a good photographic eye as well. It’s very exciting this new turn your life is taking. I have been trying to screw up the courage to start blogging again, and your admissions about how your posts are built in installments have given me a glimmer of fresh optimism. Happy Anniversary!

  2. Vicki – I just love this picture. It would be my favorite in an album, too. It’s rare (except for you!) to snap pictures of people doing the everyday sort of things we remember as part of our daily existence and you seem to have captured the wonderful essence of it. I love the expression on his face and the shelf behind him. (Love the JOY detergent!) Your posts and stories are always so wonderful to read. Congratulations and best wishes for many more years of happiness.

Leave a Reply