FOTOFRIDAY: And in the end…

Posted on: Friday, January 22nd, 2021
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

  • Shovel away the mess, notice a little light on the horizon.

And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make.

            ~ The Beatles

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FOTOFRIDAY: Everything Old is NOW Again

Posted on: Friday, January 15th, 2021
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

  • My kids are taking FILM pics and listening to LPs. HELP!!! (Photo by EH)

Go figure. Over the years, I’ve gradually—and begrudgingly—purged my piles of 2,000++ albums, dozens of cameras, and enough toys and tools for using them to fill a large barge. They’ve been deemed as mostly worthless when I’ve tried to sell them off, never that that they cost me millions of mowings, shovelings, and waitering hours!

This is not a “new” thing, of course. But the fervor seems ramped up such that the “cool” factor of carrying an old Pentax SLR or spinning an LP is, well, almost alarming. Some of us are still trying to catch up with the dang Digital Revolution, for crying out loud! Why didn’t we just stick with all that stuff from the start!?!

This here oh-so filmy pic comes courtesy of my daughter, 17, who also is posting on an Instagram film site, along with millions of other film-to-digital-to-website images. Is it still “film” when you make the picture digital? Is it a “picture” if you’ve posted it online? There’s more to say about this, but I must ruminate first. Meantime, whatever your media, heed your kids, go to film school, and take more pics!

PS That’s me, on the right, with my son on the left. I had fun, but caught no fish…

PPS The ’87 imprint is a bizarre fluke-mark that an old camera of mine put on. I guess that’s cool too!



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FOTOFRIDAY: Deliverous

Posted on: Thursday, January 7th, 2021
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  • Deliver us from evil. Amen.

Yesterday was a dark, dark day for the USA. Apparently, co-existing with a deadly disease and a long list of other problems just isn’t enough. It appears that riots and violence at the nation’s capital are what some people think we need right here, right now. 

In the Caribbean, passions can also run often loud and occasionally shocking, though I’ve never seen anything like yesterday’s DC hysteria. Boats down there almost always have a whimsical name. And this one caught my camera a number of times as I ferried from one island to another with DELIVEROUS tracking alongside.

A small delivery boat, the name made perfect sense as it raced from place to place, unloading cargo before moving on. On this day when words don’t work and not much makes sense, “Deliver us from evil” will have to do. Amen.

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FOTOFRIDAY: The End of a Year-a

Posted on: Friday, January 1st, 2021
Posted in: Unplugging, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

  • Rough year, anyone? Even the snow knows… 

There will be volumes of verbiage written about this troublesome year. So for now, I’ll try to make no sense of it, and leave that to smarter Thought Leaders.

I must, however, note the challenge—nay, the absurdity!—of hosting a site that advocates career breaks, long-term travel, taking time off, unplugging, and such.

Why? Well, many (most?) of us experienced job insecurity or loss that made viable careers more valuable yet shaky than ever.  As for long-term travel, that became an ill-advised financial outlay that could make you sick and take you to a shut-down dystopia. Time off, while always welcome, this year was forced way more that most people wanted. And as for unplugging, forget it! I want my NTV!

Still, I found things to think and write about, even if it sometimes felt like filibustering. And frankly, there were unexpected gifts and pleasures too. My kids were home and together more than I ever would have expected. My house got C-19 but we got through it okay mostly. I spent more time outdoors and exercising than ever (never mind that it ended in knee surgery). And all that dead time forced some introspection and meaning-of-life pondering that, though often heavy, is important stuff.

I hope we can get back “normal” (whatever that is) in 2021, including struggling with finding balance and dreaming about BreakAways. Meantime, lay low, keep the faith and, don’t forget to SCREAM…


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FOTOFRIDAY: Washed Up!?!

Posted on: Friday, December 11th, 2020
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  • Hey, how did that sculpture land on this pristine beach?

On New Year’s Day 2010, on the island of St John, USVI, I stumbled upon this beast, as today I stumbled upon the photo. The seas stay mellow on this side of the island—as you might surmise by surveying the shallow water and the surrounding reef islands.

So how did this mega-ton sculpture of cement end up on this quiet beach? How could such gentle waves move such a weighty thing? Where did it come from? When will it erode into the sea or be moved so nobody gets hurt? We’ll never know.

These kinds of mindless mysteries make travel so fascinating. And when on a BreakAway, one actually stops to ponder such questions. I hope to return to that beach someday, 10-plus years later, and find out if it’s still there.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Bluer Skies Ahead…

Posted on: Friday, December 4th, 2020
Posted in: SoulTrain, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

  • Hey look! Airplanes!

A dear friend was in my neighborhood yesterday and—rather than text passively—he called me. When I answered, he said, “Can I stop by?” And I replied, “Hell, yeah!”

So we sat outside, 6’ apart, and caught up on the months that we haven’t seen each other, never mind that we used to often (weekly?) for social, sports, and more. The conversation was at once funny, heartfelt, and deep.

One realizes the importance of friends. Of connections. Of a life often too busy but blessed with community and conviviality. As he walked away I felt a flood of gratitude, melancholy, and uncertainty.

So I looked up to the sky, as if for answers. And two puffy plane tails were crossing the silent blue yonder. I immediately sent him the picture with the message, “Bluer skies ahead…Our paths will cross again soon!” He replied, “That’s our souls reflecting an awesome conversation.”

Beyond the beauty of the vibrant vapors and December’s strained light on naked oaks, I couldn’t help pondering…maybe brave pioneers in those planes are soaring toward a BreakAway heavenly haven? Maybe we all will again, one day soon enough.

Keep the faith.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Who wants to run away?

Posted on: Friday, November 13th, 2020
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  • We will sail again…someday

I’ve often referred to my sabbaticals as “running away.” As one who’s been blessed with a handful of multi-month BreakAways, that was one way to refer to it that most people would accept, though many would rather sneer, “F*ck you!” It’s been a while, and lately that seems like forever.

Winter arrived early this year. So this is about the time—nay, exactly the time—when long winter escapes seemed particularly alluring. And of course, any vacation from the cold gives any northerner something to look forward to, to relish, and later to cherish.

This year? The world is stuck, like a snowmobile in a snowbank. Heck, a night out at a neighborhood eatery is nearly forbidden, if not dangerous. Who knew that sailing away, whether to St. Thomas or the supermarket, whether for the worldly or the newbie, would get beached?

Nobody. No one can predict pandemics and things. You can, however, rest un-assured that life brings unexpected un-pleasantries. And that’s what makes travel—and making memories—so important. As for me, well, I just had another knee surgery. So I can’t go anywhere anyhow. It brings new meaning to “Winter of Our Discontent,” although the timing seems somehow savvy. And I do adore my recliner.

The point is, I’m so glad I roamed when I could. And that for now I can sit around and get lost in the photos, like the stunning sunset above. So, please, let us remember: Moments make memories. When again possible, take one and make one.

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FOTOFRIDAY: A fine (property) line

Posted on: Friday, November 6th, 2020
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  • FOTOFRIDAY: More signs of the times, 2020

It’s hard to BreakAway from election stress, Covid angst, economic uncertainly, and ubiquitous WTF these days. So I gotta give these good neighbors credit for agreeing to disagree while practicing their freedom of expression.

I just hope that, when the signs come down, they can also agree on friendliness, kindness, helping each other with yard & snow chores, and accepting the outcome of the election. Since they live on a lake, maybe they can even enjoy a beer next July 4.

Keep the faith.

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Posted on: Friday, October 30th, 2020
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  • Did you?

I may look pleased with my-selfie, but…

Voting isn’t easy in 2020. Nothing is. Seems like we were always told to vote. Vote Vote Vote! That’s still the message, but…why is this so hard?

Keep the faith.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Live Music Lives On!

Posted on: Friday, October 23rd, 2020
Posted in: SoulTrain, FOTOFRIDAY, Wily Mktg | Leave a comment

  • What will you be doing at age 92?

When it comes to Wily Marketing, few businesses can compete with Crooners, a large jazz club here in the ‘burbs. (Yes, the ‘burbs!) They’ve found ways to keep open, keep the conviviality flowing, and keep the musicians working—much to the glee of the socially-distanced, sell-out audiences. Their latest innovation: The tent.

Last week, at age 92, the Marvelous Marilyn Maye filled the big-top for 5 nights with world-class music, spontaneous and spot-on humor, and enough Covid-may-care charisma to leave the audiences deliciously, if temporarily, filled with faith. Don’t believe me? Peruse this rave review from the Star Tribune’s seen-it-all critic.

I sit in awe during her shows. And I’ve seen, oh, 55? 95? Because I spent a few summers working a club in Okoboji, where she played—and has for 64 years—2020 being the first miss since the run started. She also plays fine venues all over including in NYC, Palm Springs, and (in the day) Johnny Carson’s show a record 76 times. No wonder I still show up giddy.

A silly pandemic couldn’t stop her from a five-night run at Crooners. She even flew in her favorite but often-unavailable pianist (since he also accompanies starry names like Liza and Bette), Mr. Billy Stritch. Never heard of him? Just trust me when I say he’s the best. And their harmonious chemistry makes your heart pound.

So…YES! Life goes on. Mini-musical-BreakAways can still happen. My obsession with live performance (best served live with good friends and red wine) has not died of C-19. And there are still savvy establishments like Crooners that won’t shut down, and won’t shut up. Instead, they throw up a tent and invite everyone inside.

Marilyn and Band remind us to fight the fear, support your loves and causes, and of course, to…

Keep the faith.

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