Artwork by Bruce Zboray www.bruce-zboray.artistwebsites.com
I love stone walls.
I live in New England and pass many stone walls on my daily walk.
Some are very neat, crafted with an artistic eye and fitted very precisely in beautiful patterns, like big rock, little rock, little rock, big rock. They’re cemented together.
We had been saving for a sunporch for a long time. Finally, we came up with enough for two fellows who could just work on the project after their actual jobs. We grabbed this golden opportunity.
When the project began, we were excited, taking pictures step by step. It was predicted to be completed in six months.
However, something happened that no one had predicted or expected: the COVID-19 Virus came to Connecticut. It seemed the world changed, overnight. Our windows and other materials that were to be delivered were not arriving. It was a difficult time for all.
I thrive being around people with imagination.
People who can see things that aren’t there yet and talk about them as if they are real right now. Like cars that fly, a practical end to hunger and healing sounds that work infinitely better than chemical drugs.
People who can create – pictures, music, dance, inventions.
People who can see the world in a better way.
Without these people, I feel lonely. Yes, my wife and children fill a kind of loneliness, for which I am very thankful.
Grandpa always wore a three piece suit with a white Oxford shirt. In the heat of summer, he removed the vest. In the winter, when he went on his daily walks, he added a topcoat and a fedora to his outfit.
Two blocks from his house was a small grocery store where my brother Mike worked as a manager.
Every day, grandpa, in his late eighties, walked to the store to visit Mike and to pick up an item or two.
One of our favorite summer days was blueberry day.
We’d put on old clothes, our straw hats, then gather our baskets and make our way to the Jones’ Family Farm in Shelton. We’d hitch a ride on the “berry ferry”, and be driven out to the blueberry bushes.
Blueberries are easy to pick and practically popped into our small baskets. When our small baskets were filled, we’d dump them all into the big basket and fill that up. The camera was always on hand.
After the picking, we’d drive to Huntington Center and have lunch and dessert at Sassafras Restaurant.
We live on a quiet street. Each house is surrounded by a wooded acre. Our only excitement is watching small wild animals frolic in our yards.
On the first Saturday in December all that changes. The Community Center holds “The Jingle Bell Run.” The first year of the run, about thirty people participated and they were probably the committee members.
This year hundreds participated.
On the morning of the event, everyone registers at the Community Center and gets a number and a necklace of bells.
Several years ago, I worked in a computer lab at the university I attended as a graduate student. Since I was the one who usually had to open the lab, I often got to campus very early, and was one of the first people in the parking lot.
Getting up early and commuting on the Merit Parkway was not fun. Sometimes there would be traffic jams. Other times, there was so much ice, I could barely get to work safely.
As much as I hated the commute, sometimes there were nice parts about arriving early.
I am drawn to where the past lingers on, like Sturbridge Village Museum in Massachusetts, where people dress up in yesteryear clothes and character. It is truly amazing how these people fit their parts so well, as if being transported back 300 years.
Seeing the farmer in a long coat shepherding a flock of sheep thru the village green.
Seeing the potter casually spinning a clay pot.
Seeing the tinker making a lantern of tin or a candleholder of pewter.
Seeing how they cook in a hearth with an open fragrant log fire.
There’s something about a very old photograph that really draws me in. Perhaps it’s the black and white monochrome world that looks oddly “at a distance” – as if that’s the best that could be done at that time – almost like a dream.
I like to see how people are dressed and I try to sense how it felt to be in that place at that time. Did the air feel different?