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November 23, 2014 / pjcharles

Faded Rose


November 21, 2014 / pjcharles

Father’s Day Remix


I posted this post for Father’s Day in 2013. For very personal reasons it resonates with me today.

We are all in movement – going away from or to something. A new journey began yesterday and I am an unwilling traveler.

Originally posted on pjcharles photography:

I’ve always loved the ballad “Leader of the Band”. The song’s central theme is a son sharing his thanks and gratitude for the lessons his father taught him, his values, and the choices he made. The last lines of the final stanza resonate strongest with me for the empowerment and encouragement my Dad gave to me.

This year he turned 80. When I look at him he is locked somewhere 45 years ago… I think that was the time I first thought of him as a man, and not just my father. I still think he can do anything and heal any wound just like he did when we sat on those steps in Richmond Virginia all those years ago.

In two weeks we are going on an adventure. Just the two of us. Off to explore and to understand – for me to be his daughter and him to be…

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November 21, 2014 / pjcharles

Window Wisdom


My Mother used to say “when God closes a window he opens another.” Tonight I find myself thinking about this. I consider the window that may be closing and find it hard to believe that one could open and provide the same air and light.

November 20, 2014 / pjcharles


tossing flowers

November 19, 2014 / pjcharles


dead bird-2

In these last weeks before leaving this home that has been so good to us, I find myself pausing. I reflect on objects we have collected through the years knowing that they will be tucked away in storage for months only to be placed somewhere else. I remember when I bought them and with whom and reconnect with why it is a treasure to me. I think of my grandmother and the many moments we had in this house honoring her and recall how she lived to the end surrounded by the things she loved. I hope the same will be true for me. That I will always remember that afternoon with DC at Grange Hall when we found this reminder that life is short and to avoid chasing your reflection.

November 18, 2014 / pjcharles

Nostalgic mornings

golden hour

I refer to it as doing the turtle. As the alarm goes off my head pops out from under the warm comfort of my bed to sniff around and assess the air temperature. My arm comes out next and reaches for my phone to look at the weather. And on days, like today, when it reads 26 degrees with a windchill that makes it feel like 21 degrees I turtle back into my shell – reverting to the downy softness of my bed. At that point a debate begins in my head about doing the right thing versus doing the warm thing and 30 minutes later I emerge. At that point, I begin the debate again. Same principles only now I am vertical. And that’s when it happens… my mind wanders to the beauty of California and the consistency of the early morning light as it appears over the hills behind my house. I think of how I rarely consider the temperature as a part of my morning routine. The consistency with which I attack the morning climb waiting right outside my door.

November 17, 2014 / pjcharles



She lays there looking at me as I take the photo. The sunlight sharpening her mirrored reflection. She is no doubt tired from her day of napping, eating and looking for someone to rub her and so she stops in an inconvenient location to assure she is attended to.

November 16, 2014 / pjcharles

Home is where the Hearth is…..


Literally just arrived back in Dallas. The weekend flew by – clear skies and 70 degree weather made the re-entry a bit harrowing. This is the view I will remember from this house during the cold months. I have a routine when arriving home… Walk in. Set aside any packages I might be carrying. Adjust the lights, turn on the fireplace and then hang up my coat. Next step… sit on the hearth until I am good and warm. That is precisely what I did after hitting the grocery store for the week’s fare.

I will miss this view and the many nights I have sat on this hearth.

November 15, 2014 / pjcharles

No photo necessary.

There are times when taking a photograph seems intrusive. Such was the case last evening disembarking from the plane as it arrived in California. Sitting in the row in front of me was a businessman ending his week and next to him a WW2 veteran. I know this from the hat he proudly wore. As I collected my things and stood ready to free myself from the shackles of seat 6F I overheard the businessman ask his seat mate whether turkey would be on the menu for Thanksgiving. The veteran replied… “My son has cancer and so we will eat what he can eat. I am just glad to be here and to spend time with him.” We all patiently waited as the businessman cleared the aisle for the veteran’s safe departure. Slowly, the cabin emptied following him up the long jetway, at the end of which everyone scattered in different directions.

Leaving the jetway I happened upon the businessman collecting his things and looking for his parking ticket. Moved deeply I stop to note his kindness to his seat mate. It was so charming and lovely and I felt honored to have seen this gentle and simple act of humanity.

The airport was empty as it was nearly the last flight of the night. I too was harried wanting to reconnect with CF and begin our short weekend. I stopped and looked around, to firmly fix in my memory, the story and emotions of this moment I had just experienced.

No photo necessary.

November 14, 2014 / pjcharles

My little corner of the universe

…. bursts with the colors of Fall. The crisp autumn breeze encourages a rhythm in the grass that is soothing. I turn my nose to the air to sniff the changing smells – much like Sophie used to do. There is a smell to cold that is an intoxicating freshness mixed with musky smells of chimneys springing back to life. This is the last fall in this house that has been so good to us and I relish this moment outside, surveying the backyard and thinking of warmer afternoons splashing in the pool or long dinner tables set for friends or the three of the cats as they strolled the back yard looking for adventure and repose. I pause to take it in and place it deeply in my memory bank. Times change. Where there once were three there is now only one. The afternoons spent languishing pool side are now often spent in California. It is time for change – time to embrace a new adventure. It is also time to be thankful for the joy this home has brought us and the many memories we have created here. It is an investment in time to stop and smell the roses or in this case, the fall.


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