Of Seagulls and Grandsons


Today was one of those perfect summer days. Blue skies with big fluffy clouds. A light wind and perfect temperatures. My sister’s company picnic was held at the Great Lakes Science Center. The center is located on the lake overlooking  the port and next to the Rock Hall of Fame and Museum. It really is pretty, but I digress.

 

We arrived around ten o’clock and the center was jammed with my sister’s coworkers. We made our way to the exhibitions and Tyler lead the way. He had been there twice this summer twice already. He knows his way around. What he loved was the batting cage and a stationary bike that turned on lights. He likes to compete with himself. So we wandered around and checked everything out. Every time I turned around he was at the batting cage.

 

We had lunch and took bread out to feed the seagulls and I used my phone camera to take pictures. He fed them a lot of bread and they really had fun catching it i midair and screaming if they didn’t get any. So he had to actually throw some to the squeaky wheels. It was a successful and fun day. Oh, by the way, he hit the strike zone every time he threw the ball and at nine was almost always at 46-48 mph. I was proud. A good time was had by all of us.

 

 

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          Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

 

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              Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

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                    Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

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   Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

 

 

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                                Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

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                                       Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

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            Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

 

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     Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

                   Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

 

 

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  Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

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         Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

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     Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

 

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Holding onto Mellow Yellow Monday as Summer Flies By


“Though many a house has sheltered me in the course of summers past, one memory serves to tie them all. It’s early afternoon and all is sweet peace. Just
a shift of the pillows sets the porch swing swaying gently–pillows covered in faded chintz with the musty scent that attests to their long winter’s nap in the shed. The book lying tented across my chest is slightly musty too, foxed with the brown spots of age, since it was left downstairs in the bookcase thirty or forty years ago. You may be sure there’s nothing in it to tax the brain: It’s a romance and Cressida and Percy are settling their futures over a game of tennis. But I shall simply revel in the pleasures of the present, listening to the burr of the lawn mower down the road, watching the hornets busy themselves with their nest, biting into the slice of lemon I’ve finished with my iced tea.

Ah, the joys of a summer place!…Making our house our own was always easy. We could add what we liked–and subtract. Sometimes we’d spend the first few hours hiding the owners’ plastic lobsters, fake fishnets, and seagull mobiles in the deep dark closet to allow a clean-sweep for our time there…Drape a Marseilles spread over the sofa, swap the lamps around, frag the softest chair into the landing that overlooks the lake–all is permissible, all is comfortable…Someone would gather a bucket of irresistible shells, as pink as the first light of morning, and scatter them along the mantelpiece. There were always tomatoes ripening in the windowsills and handfuls of berries found on country lanes. A seagull feather was dropped on the duck decoy, and wildflowers, filled every jelly glass, shedding their petals on the table…We’d line the sideboard with jars of beach plum jelly from the Ladies Beautification Committee Fair and hang a watercolor of a rose discovered at a tag sale– and consider all of it quite beautiful indeed ( if anyone had paused to look between the dashes to the tennis courts or bike rides to the beach.)”

—-Catherine Calvert
” Porch Swings, Old Novels, and Memories of
Summers Past”
The Quiet Center: Women Reflecting on Life’s
Passages from the Pages of Victoria Magazine

When I read this, my mind took me back to summer’s past. Summers spent at the family camp in the Allegheny Mountains. There was this rugged cabin. When we arrived we had to unshutter the windows and brush away cobwebs. Make the double bunk beds up in all the bedrooms. Wood needed to be cut because we cooked on a wood stove, or outside on this brick fireplace with a metal grill over the fire. All crafted by my Uncle.

There was no electricity and we used kerosene lanterns for light.. There was also no running water and we pumped the needed water with a hand pump. I can remember thinking my arm would fall off.

There was an outhouse and I painted the door one vacation. I painted a sugar bowl on the door and lettered “The Sugar Shack.” Hunters called my Uncle the next winter to compliment the art work.

I learned some lessons there that have never left me. This planet of ours is so beautiful and precious. I learned to walk the paths in the forest as quiet as a mouse. I learned to appreciate the wildflowers and learned many of their names. I learned that the most beautiful thing in the world is being on top of a mountain and looking up and seeing that huge sky lit by the heavenly lights

I learned that I was small in comparison but that I was connected to all that I could see in the night sky. It was a lot. I began learning the lesson of appreciating each individual moment. I learned the importance of them and the contentment of living in the present moment. I would look up and yesterday didn’t matter anymore, and tomorrow would never come. When it arrived it wasn’t the future, it was the present. So my journey of living in the present began on the top of a mountain and it has taken me to lakes, oceans, gulfs, bigger mountains and right now; at this moment I am here writing for you..

Summer Escapades


Photograph by Barbara Mattio

The best part of summer is the ability to just be. To be in the present moment. The past is gone. For better or worse, you never can get it back and you must let it go. This is not always easy for people to do. Letting go can be frightening. Often we don’t want to let the good memories fade, or sometimes, the pain of some times in our life doesn’t heal. It takes effort on our part to let go and trust that it will be all right. You don’t lose the memories and they actually become more golden with the passing of the years. The pain will diminish and your heart will heal. Divinity is always with us and we never walk alone. Divinity is within our souls so what we experience, it experiences.

The future is an enticing siren. It sings its song to us and we want to know what is coming. We want answers about love, finances, travel or a job perhaps. The siren sings and we ache to know what is coming. The future is like Tinkerbell. She flits here and there but when you reach out for her she is gone between your fingers. The future or the fairy disappears because as soon as you come close to grasping it, the future turns into the present.

The present moment of time is where we exist in the now. The beauty you are experiencing at this exact second is the present. The fragrance you catch on the wind, the dragonfly that glides across your field of vision. Each moment is a priceless gift for us to use and enjoy. Some choose to spend some of these precious moments in hatred or violence. Some choose to use them to add beauty, acceptance and inclusiveness to the world.

If each of us took the moments we are given in a twenty-four hour period and used them to make someone smile, to laugh with a child, to reach out a hand, or to acknowledge the amazing blessings each moment brings with it, we could begin to have the energy to change the world. So, I am trying this summer to fill my present with escapades of joy and happiness. So pass it on and by autumn we will be able to harvest bushels of goodness in our lives.

Photography by Barbara Mattio

Summer days and Sunday afternoons


Photo by Barbara MattioToday was a day to be in touch with Divinity and my inner creativity. I have begun a new painting and I love painting on my front porch as the world goes by. It felt so good to have my brushes in my hands again. I have had a year off from painting because of an injury and a torn bicep muscle and impinged shoulder. Having recovered from surgery and PT I am once again at the easel.

But today was also about my small by pretty garden and the fragrance of the flowers and watching the growth of old favorites and being close to Mother Earth. I am grateful for such a wonderful day and time in my life. So I will let my photographs tell the rest of the story.

Photo by Barbara Mattio

Photo by Barbara Mattio.