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A Rainy Day

On September 13, we awoke at 4 a.m. and made our way over a skybridge from our hotel to the hospital at MD Anderson Cancer Center. There, my husband underwent a 9 hour surgery, done robotically by wonderfully skilled surgeon, to remove his cancerous bladder and reconstruct a new one.

As I sat in the waiting room, with family and many other families present for their loved ones, time warped again. Everything in our lives stood still as we awaited the conclusion of surgery and the doctor’s report. Finally, my husband was out of surgery and in the recovery room. His surgeon told us the surgery went fast and well. And because my husband’s cancer was superficial and noninvasive (at surgery), the surgery offered a cure and a long life.

As I write this, my husband is recovering well and we remain in the Houston area for follow-up doctor visits. Less than two weeks after surgery, he feels energetic and is walking over a mile a day. Time still runs slowly as we wind through the healing process and patiently wait to go home.

View from My Window at Rotary House, MD Anderson

View from My Window at Rotary House, MD Anderson

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Fannin Street, Houston “The Smokin’ Woman”

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Waiting for the Fannin St. train

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Exhaling

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Finished but chaos and frustration at the ticket booth

While my husband recuperated at MD Anderson hospital, I walked around the nearby streets and train stops. This woman seriously enjoyed her cigarette while the ladies behind her grew frustrated over the Metro ticket machine. The exhale starts with Photo #1, goes big in Photo #2 and completes in #3.

Midnight Voyageur Journal: 4th of July Parade

 

July 4, 2016

In the early morning of the 4th of July, I hauled my camera and running shoes to a rural community named Mineral Point, about an hour’s drive west of where I live.  Mineral Point offered a day of festivities for the celebration of Independence Day. Events started with a “fun run” up and down the hills of the city, followed by a parade through the historic downtown, and then afternoon soft-ball games. Finally, to conclude the day,  a “steak feed” was held to make sure no one went home hungry. While I took no selfies during the fun run, I photographed the parade and the community to capture the feel of the day.

Mineral Point is one of the oldest cities in Wisconsin, settled in 1827 by Cornish immigrants who mined the  lead and zinc in the hills along Brewery Creek. The historic cream-colored sand stone buildings in the town center attest to the city’s prosperous past.  Today, however, this city is not much more than a village, with about 2500 residents. For the 4th of July, many more people from surrounding communities joined these residents, filling the city streets and parks.

Mineral Point’s main street is only a few blocks long so space on the curb for parade watching came at a premium. By mid-morning, people had started to stake out their space by parking camp chairs (often occupied by the grandparents,) together with coolers.  By late morning, when the parade started, thousands of people lined the street, all in a festive mood. Rain threaten to spoil the day but fortunately, it just remained overcast.

When I think of parades, fancy floats and extravagent costumed revelers come to mind. But Mineral Point’s parade had no floats and presented nothing fanciful or pretty. But it offered marching bands, patriotic displays of the flag, clowns and many Knights of Columbus and Legionnaires marching with guns. And fire trucks and ambulances from all the surrounding towns. The crowd watching loved it all and had great fun.

In my photography, I noticed and tried to capture the seriousness and intensity of the participants as they march along, contrasted with the jubilance of the observers.

 

NOLA

Howard’s New Orleans family on his mother’s side has gone to Galatoire’s Restaurant for generations. His great great uncle walked there daily from his store on Canal Street for lunch. Apparently he ordered the same salad every time, and Galatoire’s named it on the menu as the “Godchaux salad.” Keeping the tradition, our family spent an epic evening eating and drinking and hanging out there together for hours. Three of us wore hats to dinner and you can see them hanging on the pegs above the diners. The morning after, when I awoke, I was struck by the sunlight streaming through our Antonine Street place.

The Featured Image shows the hands of a busker doing a street performance in the French Quarter (and Blue Dog.)