The other night I was on a plane flying from Newark, New Jersey to Houston, Texas. The flight had actually been delayed several hours due to thunderstorms over the East coast. Once we were finally airborne, I glanced outside the passenger window and became fixated on the red navigation lights flashing from the wing. I peered closer, seeing as how the light illuminated, just for a brief second, the thousands of descending raindrops falling towards the earth. “What a journey they must have, from 25,000 feet” I thought to myself. “A 10 minute free-fall.”
…eventually they must land.
Perhaps atop a small Redbud tree in someone’s backyard. That’s where I noticed these particular drops anyway.
Days after my trip home, I had wandered outside and into the backyard to play fetch with Bonnie when the bright little water beads caught my eye. “Fascinating” I thought. With their odd elasticity, the droplets clung to tiny buds, leaves, and pine needles for dear life, refusing an inevitable fate of being absorbed by the soggy ground below.
From 25,000 feet they had recently fallen, and it was here they had landed; suspended freely above the earth in a perfect balance between gravity and the upward force of a delicate leaf. It was in this brief moment of time I started taking pictures- before the wind or more rain could disturb their fragile resting place. Before the tug of the Earth, with it’s grip on heavy water molecule that began a plight high up in the clouds, could force the droplet to finally fall.
Three days ago our good friends Travis and Rachael had their baby girl. She was a month premature, and was born at 4 lbs 4 oz, and only 18 inches long but she is doing great! Yesterday Melissa and I went to visit them at the hospital. Here are her first glamour shots…
Last Summer was miserably hot. I remember the weather guy saying Kansas City had 20 or more days with 100+ degree heat. It was also bone dry. No rain to give the parched earth any relief of the blazing sun.
Then, this past winter, three massive snow storms (in March) pounded the midwest, shutting the city down for days on end. Winter was bitter cold and simply refused to leave. Only until this past week did we see and feel the first signs of Spring. And oh how sweet it is!
Redbud and Bradford Pear trees, which I thought might have actually died from the harsh Summer have begun to bud leaves, unfurling from their tiny housing to soak in the Spring sun.
Even Melissa’s small herb garden, planted in a large pot on the deck, showed signs of life. We peeled off a top layer of dead leaves and sticks to reveal green sprouts of lemon thyme, rosemary, mint, basil, and oregano. Even in their infancy, the little shoots and tiny leaves smelled wonderfully of their distinct scents.
It will snow a few of times a year in Kansas City, but nothing like this. Last Thursday it snowed 12 inches. We couldn’t even make it out of the house for nearly two days.
Then, only four days later, another storm system moved in and dumped another foot. During this 2nd round, the heavy snow stuck to every tree limb and powerline, rendering them weak and useless. Our power went out, so we have set up camp at Mom and Dad’s a few miles down the road to stay warm. As hard as it is to shovel countless driveways and attempt to take the Jeep out to concur the cold frozen tundra, the snow-covered neighborhoods lend to us a fascinating beauty.
You step outside and the world is dampened and muted, a soft silence where the hustle and bustle has been forced to a screeching halt. As you walk out of the house and peer up through the white-covered trees, time and space seem suspended. As inconvenient and annoying as the snow storm is, I can’t help but smile. It is a rather breathtaking scene.
The pictures below are from our journeys over the last 5 days.
My favorite beer, for the moment, is Boulevard’s Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale. This bottle was delivered to me yesterday on a cold Christmas afternoon by my next door neighbor Sean and his wife Sarah.
The story goes (according to the 750 ml bottle) that Boulevard’s fermenter number seven had always been that one piece of equipment to act a bit “persnickety”- the black sheep of their cellar family. During a batch of experimental Belgian-style farmhouse ale, it would be this very vessel that produced one of Kansas City’s favorite Smokestack Series beers.
Naturally, to honor such a libation, I took a few pictures before drinking the bottle in celebration of another warm and blessed holiday season.
A weekend trip, at most, consists of a few hours in the car to find a new adventure. Melissa and I took the “weekend get-away” to another level when we drove through Kansas flat-lands for 9 hours until we hit the Rocky Mountains. Specifically, Chautauqua Park as you see below.
Here are a few more pictures from the (now old-school) iPhone 4.
The weekend we were there was the last weekend before heavy snow-fall in Aspen and surrounding high-elevation ski-towns.
A view of the “Flatirons” from below.
Over-looking Boulder, CO from atop a roadside bluff.
A winding road off of I-70 led us to a trail around 10-11,000 feet.
Glacier lake in the summer. Off in the distance, not pictured, a naked man with his 4 large dogs jumped from a cliff into the ice-cold waters below. Just sayin’…
It’s hard not to get nostalgic in an antique shop. I’ll find something interesting, say an old toy soldier for example sitting on a shelf. So I pick it up, examine his miniature gun and scarred metal body. I feel the weight of the iron, I even notice that musty metallic smell. Then I think about what kind of life this little man has endured… the children he belonged to, the houses he lived in and the places he has traveled over the last 70 some-odd years to end up on the shelf in front of me.
He has his own story that will be forever untold outside of someone’s own imagination or assumptions. I find that fascinating. Only the toy soldier knows the truth about the past.
That goes for everything in the store. Each and every item from a thimble to a set of golf clubs has passed through generations of people who were proud to say it was theirs (well, I assume were proud). Did these things just sit in a forgotten corner of the house like they do now in the store? Or did they somehow change the course of someone’s life entirely? Who knows.
With THAT said… here are some pics taken with the iPhone of some of those forgotten objects of our past.
Welcome to the River Market Antique Shop in Kansas City, MO.
River Market Antiques.
Close-up of a rusted metal lawn chair. I like the colors and textures.
Even the building itself was an antique… light switches.
Typical find in an antique shop… just an old doll.
18 holes anyone?
The edge of an old wooden desk.
Did somebody say Hand Grenades? I thought the box had some character.