Oh, What a Day

My Tuesday morning started with rain.  Lovely, silvery, crystal rain that makes the drab streets shine and the colors of everyday life vibrant.  I made sure I had my camera AND memory card before I headed out the door.  School is out until January, but I wanted to snap my view shots in the rain, so I swung by the college just for you guys.

San Gabriel Mountains, 12-18

San Gabriel Mountains (or not), 12-18

Naturally, it stopped raining before I got there.  I tried to take my mountain shot without the parking lot, but my auto focus rebelled.  I like my auto focus a great deal, much more than my manual focus, so I compromised and gave it some lines to focus on.

Construction, 12-18

Construction, 12-18

I had hoped to be in the rain, to prove my “stoicism in ‘all weather’ shoots” to Steve Pulley.  Oh well.

Boone Sculpture Garden, 12-18

Boone Sculpture Garden, 12-18

As you can see it was still plenty drippy out.  I decided it was the perfect time to introduce you to the sculptures in the sculpture garden.

The first thing you must know:  there are only three…yes, three…whole sculptures in the sculpture garden.  There was one more, but it seems to have disappeared.

"Bound Goat" by Jack Zajak

“Bound Goat” by Jack Zajak


Close up of “Bound Goat”

Before I actually looked at it, I thought this was a bull.  Hmm.

"Column Figure" by Stephan Balkenhol

“Column Figure” by Stephan Balkenhol

Close-up of "Column Figure"

Close-up of “Column Figure”

Column guy here is roughly 10 feet tall, including his column.

"Red Pine" by Deborah Butterfield

“Red Pine” by Deborah Butterfield


Close-up of “Red Pine”

Last week I learned something astonishing about this beautiful driftwood sculpture:  it’s not wood at all!  It’s metal! Cast bronze and scrap metal to be exact.  Even up close it looks like wood: you have to touch it to believe it.

The lingering droplets of rain and extra-vivid colors were too good to pass up, so I took some flora close-ups, too:

Fountain grass

Fountain grass

Pampas grass

Pampas grass

More pampas grass

More pampas grass

My favorite pampas grass shot

My favorite pampas grass shot

Raindrops on something green

Raindrops on something green

These were the unedited shots.  I played with some special effects on my paint program to make them look extra special in black and white, but I won’t bore everyone with those.  You can view them here if you’d like.



The elevator in the parking garage has a mirrored ceiling. 🙂

I took myself to the Reyn for coffee, breakfast, nice people and a comfy corner to spread out my book notes. (In case you’re a new friend and don’t know, I’m writing a book for my grandmother, my Oma, about her experiences during WWII in the Netherlands.) I decided to tackle the beginning, the opening that describes her family and life before the war came.  I thought it would be easy since she wrote a good chunk of it herself, and the rest she dictated while I typed.  The plan was to simply organize the information into a decent opening.  Easy peasy, right?

No, not at all.

As I went through my notes, I found lots of little mistakes.  Oma has more than a touch of dementia, so I already anticipated something like this.  During our interviews I had her repeat as many stories as I could without being obvious about it, just to make sure they were consistent.  I didn’t think to double and triple-check background and family information.  I can do my research and fix it all, but it’s time-consuming and she wants her book sooner than yesterday.

My biggest concern, though, is that making these corrections is beginning to alter the story:  it’s becoming her story versus the story.  But whose story is the story?  Mine?  This isn’t a book that’s going to be on any Best Seller lists, so in the grand scheme of things I guess it doesn’t matter if some of her details are wrong, especially since they’re true to her.  If she was in her right mind, though, she’d want me to make the corrections.  At this point I don’t know which is the more ethical choice: to correct or not to correct?  It drove me to frustrated tears.

Back at Mom’s house the weather was funky.  First it started to hail itty-bitty balls that looked like nonpareils.  Then it started to rain big drops…

Sunny rain.

Big rain drops and proof of my stalwartness

…but it was sunny!  Look!


Sun in the rain

Sun + rain = rainbows, so I scanned the skies.

No rainbow here.

No rainbow here.

Or here.

Or here.

Nothing but clouds there.

Nothing but clouds there.

Maybe it slipped through this cloud hole?

Maybe it slipped through this cloud hole?

I never found a rainbow.

About ten minutes after the rain stopped, the wind picked up.  It blew the clouds clean away, but somehow the skies were still dark.  The mountains were illuminated orange, then pink, and wouldn’t you know the camera battery decided it was the perfect time to die completely.  Which was okay, really, because the wind was freezing cold!  It drove us back inside to scramble for any little bit of warmth or coziness we could find.

The wind blew through the night.  It was calm this morning, but still so cold.  We were thankful, though, that we didn’t get a windstorm like we had last year, that kept us cold and without electricity for four days.  (Here are some aftermath shots from that exciting night.)

Whew!  Quite the Tuesday!

Hope you all are keeping warm and holding your loved ones a little closer.  ❤


12 thoughts on “Oh, What a Day

  1. Stoicism won the day, Janine! Well done. I especially enjoyed your current writing project (and interesting complications) about your grandmother’s experiences during WWII in the Netherlands. When it comes to memory, it’s not just those who suffer from dementia who “elaborate” the past in different ways. I discovered much to my astonishment that I was doing it too. When I lived in Bolivia many years ago, I had been invited (this was in 1969) to a tiny indigenous community (Cala-Cala) high in the Andes to assist in a day-long project, and where I’d been assured that there were people there who spoke Spanish so I could explain certain procedures. Not! Everybody spoke Quechua exclusively…except me (who only could say “imaynalla kasank?” (how are you?) and “Mana japisanichu” (I don’t understand). Only one small boy spoke a little Spanish (worse than my own at the time), but he was too shy to open his mouth. Anyhow, we all had a lot of fun together, everyone laughing that a gringo who spoke no Quechua had been sent to facilitate those gathered. Years later (1995), I wrote about the experience in some detail. Then one day, I came across a letter I’d written to my parents in 1969 right after my visit to this population. In it I described my trip to Cala-Cala, and it was quite different from what I’d written about it 26 years later! So I sympathize greatly with your endeavors to extract from your grandmother her account of happenings 70 years ago.

    • Oh I do it, too. I get events from yesterday wrong. *L* I was expecting it when it came to the war years, because she was only 12 when Rotterdam was bombed (less than a year older than Anne Frank…isn’t that amazing?) and 16 when the Nazis were defeated. So even without the complication of dementia, I knew 70 years and her immature point of view would give me subjective accounts. I guess I knew, too, that family and background facts would be wrong. I didn’t think correcting them would make a such a big difference, though, and I hadn’t considered that I’m yet another filter. Her stories are fascinating, and I panic a little when I think I might not do them justice.

      • Actually, I think the perspective of a 12-year-old child is quite relevant—and why not just as relevant as that of an adult?—especially under the harrowing circumstances in which she lived. I’m sure you’ll do just fine, and it’s a tribute to you that your are allowing your aging grandmother to say her piece and not have it fade into the mists of time, as so many other remembrances have done.

  2. I l ove the sculptures – PCC is really expanding on a lot of levels; did i tellyou i was in a writing group with young woman who will be teaching there next semeester-writing; i like her;

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