We love a great bottle of wine and a really good story.

And Belle Glos does not disappoint. It is full of family and history and respect for the generation that came before. Strong matriarchs play a leading role – not dissimilar to my family.
Bella Gloss
Winemaker Joseph Wagner chose the name Belle Glos to honor his grandmother Lorna Belle Glos Wagner the cofounder of Caymus Vineyards. The video that follows is a tribute to her. I chose to include it because I love the message about family and being deeply rooted to each other.

The wine brings us such pleasure. We share experiences with friends over these bottles, but mostly, it is when we crack the deep red wax for just ourselves. No small feat I might add. It means a night of sharing and talking and enjoying one another. Those are my favorite times – just the two of us – whether in our sitting room or in a restaurant.

Ironic that, with our love of wine, we have never been to Napa – something we plan to remedy next month as we head off to join the Beachrats for a long bacchanal. Whenever we are together it is an orgy of food adventures complimented with amazing wines. And, I am certain, an opportunity for some photography. I am looking forward to it for so many reasons.

For now, though, I’ll settle for a bottle of Belle Glos and two glasses and a rainy Dallas afternoon with CF.

Waiting for laughter

laughing

I didn’t take this photo – my friend and photographic mentor did. He was playing around with my Leica while we were having lunch after a morning of shooting portraits of my mother. This winter has seemed particularly long and hard. The barrenness outside is felt deep inside as all of us heal from Dad’s passing.

This photo is imbued with hope… Seeing her laugh makes me smile and fills me with the purpose of trying to do all I can to ease the hurt we share. I hope the warmth and sunshine of Texas filled her with a sense of what is possible and that she knows how much her visit helped me. I hope Hawaii does the same for my brother. And that as the flowers begin to bloom, we all do as well.

Wishing for Spring

I think everyone is wishing for Spring. At least now the weather is warmer but the skies are still gray and raindrops keep falling.

Peter Review-6

I took this photo on an unseasonable day for my part of the world. Rarely do we get snow. We are not prepared for it. We don’t have snow plows, or shovels, or salt and sand. On this day, we were forced inside except for this shot of the Perot Museum in Dallas. I love that the sprinklers are still running. I guess hope does spring eternal.

When do you feel most accomplished?

I have an app on my phone that acts as a pedometer. It is handy for those morning walks and to make sure I hit my marks in steps.

As we moved into the house, I put it in my back pocket thinking how interesting it would be to measure the distance traveled as we settled in. On deck – opening boxes, putting things away, and then taking the boxes to the garage for recycling. Imagine my surprise at the end of the day when I realized I had traveled 11 miles in my home. Mind you – our house is not that big.

Peter Review

Up and down the staircase, in and out of each room, bending, pushing, climbing – left me exhilarated (finally in our new home!) and exhausted.
We made a point to stop the day – have a beer (why is it that after “hard labor” a beer seems just perfect?), look over our progress, and prepare for dinner. I knew a good night’s rest was in front of me and as I made my way upstairs, the bathtub looked too inviting to bypass.

These are my favorite kind of days. The ones where you can actually measure your accomplishments – it’s tangible. It’s the best kind of tired that leads to the deepest sleep and the chance to do it all over again the next day.

Which we did.

What is Fang Sheng?

It is a Buddhist practice dating over a thousand years. Known in English as “release life” Buddhists free caged animals – often birds – into the environment as a way of generating positive karma through acts of kindness.

Yet another reason to love birds.

I didn’t want to remember the hours I sat at this table during our transition from our old home to our new home. It was here I constructed my love letter to my Dad – his eulogy. My mother has a saying that you are never given more than you are capable of handling although those 3 months put her words to the test.

As I was about to close the door on my time here, I looked out and thought ahead to when the bruises wouldn’t be so fresh and each memory a poke at a space already sore and I reached for my camera. The result is a photo that looks like a bird in the space – a bird that was a present from my friend SW who simultaneously experienced the loss of his mother. It has softened my thoughts of the days and nights spent here and shrouded them in good karma and kindness. I will forever be able to look at this photo and not be sad but remember that when a window is closed, another one – a more hopeful one – opens.

Peter Review-7

There has been incredible inspiration through my journey and as I sit, blanketed in the comfort of my new home, I share with you a poem by Mary Oliver. She is a fascinating and accomplished woman with whom I share much in common – both born in September, with lives lived across the landscapes of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio and New England. I relish these words for their inspiration and the valiant choice to come out from the sadness.

By
Mary Oliver
The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

What about the Bluebird of Happiness?

Ornithologist

There are times when my shot is the completion of a thought. Suddenly after pondering something there appears a shot that so aptly illustrates my point. It’s as though my subconscious is out there searching even though I may not be fully aware. Then there are times when something inspires me. Such was the case when I happened upon this feathered friend. The bluebird of happiness immediately sprung to mind. In a case like this, I use the inspiration to teach me a thing or two. In this case when researching Bluebird of Happiness I found many references to Birds and the freedom they inspire. I know I have always had a penchant for the winged creatures of the world. I have used one as my gravatar and icon for as many years as I have been on line. Perhaps it is because “hope is the thing with feathers”.

In the spirit of happiness for all, here are some verses going back a bit referring to the Bluebird of Happiness. May we all have Blue skies smiling at us (I don’t know about you but I am mentally finished with cold gloomy winter), rays of light, and Hope.

 

And when he sings to you, Though you’re deep in blue, You will see a ray of light creep through, And so remember this, life is no abyss, Somewhere there’s a bluebird of happiness.

Life is sweet, tender and complete, when you find the bluebird of happiness.

– Bluebird of Happiness, lyrics by Edward Heyman & Harry Parr Davies, 1934

Blue skies Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies Do I see
Bluebirds Singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds All day long

– Irving Berlin, Blue Skies, 1927

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all, ….

– Emily Dickinson, “Hope” is the thing with feathers, 1891

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