Basketball Practice: Variations on a Theme

During basketball practice, I spend most of the time looking down at my phone rather than watch my kid’s every move. I feel bad about this, but I try to watch the important parts.

Black and White kids playing basketball in

Glancing up, I see the kids running, dribbling, shooting, passing, traveling, shouting, laughing, and looking up farther I see the old windows of the community center, a former elementary school. The gym was renovated over the summer, so the peeling paint and holes in the ceiling and walls are gone.

Elsewhere in the old building you’ll still see missing floor tiles, sinks and fountains with no water, fraying carpet, holes and stains. Outside you’ll still see the seperate entrances marked Girls and Boys, as well as rusted gutters and fallen drainpipes. Rumors are always going around that the place will be shut down because at this point it’s too badly neglected to be repaired.

Old wooden stage of a former elementary school

Looking down, past my phone, I see the old floor of the stage on which I sit each week. I am a part of the scenery, along with other parents, coats, and water bottles, as little sisters and brothers tread the boards.

Sometimes I think of my old elementary school, which had a similar multi-purpose room—our gym, cafeteria, and stage, was the same space used for dismissal where we lined up for the buses each day. In first grade I was in a play about the seasons and I got to walk across the stage with my slicker and umbrella while I spoke about the rain in spring.

Once we had an assembly about Earth Science and the performers told us all about global warming and the shrinking ozone layer and acid rain. “It will be up to your generation to fix it,” they said.

Fix it? I don’t think we’re doing a good job.

I read the news on my phone and feel bad about it, and I try to pay attention to the important parts. Rumors are always going around that the place will shut down once its too badly neglected to be repaired.

I hope we find a way to fix it and save what must be saved.

Variations on a theme

Photo Challenge: Admiration

A carpet of pink petals on the green grass in afternoonI admire nature for bravely pairing this pink and this green. I wouldn’t have had the courage, but now that I see it, I’m completely sold. It’s perfect.

(These are petals from the crabapple trees from last year. This year they fell more gradually and the wind scattered them, so we didn’t get this gorgeous pink carpet.)

For the photo challenge Admiration.

Photo Challenge: One Love

Heart-shaped celery root, celeriac

I know it’s actually two different celeriacs that had grown together, but at first glance I got so excited to think I saw a heart-shaped celery root. Does it really matter though? Let’s embrace the “One Love” concept and agree that they are all beautiful and delicious.

For the Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: One Love

Photo Challenge: Harmony

Coffee and a nutella crepe

What’s better together than coffee and a crepe?

Nutella crepe and coffeeeeeee, sit together in perfect harmony,
Side by side on the table let’s try, oh my, so yummyyyyyyy!!!

I’ve had “Ebony and Ivory” playing in my head since seeing the photo challenge on Friday, and I’m not complaining. I like that song, and love Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney.

And taking a note from the challenge post about the museum’s music that was both chaotic and melodic, I thought about Times Square in the same way. It’s made up of so many people, each trying to get to a different place, all at the same time, yet somehow it works out in its own unique way. One moment a guy is pushing a nuts cart down the middle of 7th Avenue, and the next minute he’s back up on the sidewalk and traffic resumes.

Times square at night

I love the music and energy of Times Square. For some people, like my dear friend, it’s practically cause for a panic attack. I suppose I get energized and inspired with the possibilities found in New York. It is full of surprises and potential. This concept seems to be distilled and exaggerated in Times Square, but I love it anyway in all its loud and neon glory.

Photo Challenge: Seasons

icicles, bush, snow, sunshine
This week, the Daily Post asked to see our interpretation of the weather where we live. We could also represent the season, or phase, of life that we feel right now. My photo represents both because it lets me show that while the trees in my world are still firmly in winter’s grip, the sun is shining and it’s almost time for winter to melt away for good.

I’m feeling ready for spring, so maybe I’m showing my idealized version of my current weather. Truth is, we’re not quite that close to spring. There are still plenty of chilly, rainy grey days ahead. This year has been warmer than usual, so most of our snow has come to us in the form of very cold rain. That doesn’t have quite the charm as a pretty dusting of powder. This photo is actually from last year. I haven’t seen many icicles this winter. It sure has been a weird one.

We got our huge blizzard just under a month ago, which I took a walk through. The next day was bright and sunny, as well as a week later when I went outside to check the progress on the melting snow. Earlier this month there was a very dramatic and pretty snowstorm that provided some nice winter scenes. But otherwise, it’s been pretty drab and chilly.

Photo Challenge: Time O’Clock

Clock showing 5:00

I told my kids that they could watch TV at 5:00 when I started cooking dinner.

“But we don’t have 5:00 on our clock,” my daughter said with disappointment, looking up at the wall.

I realized that while it was a cool design, the only clock hanging up in my home wasn’t going to help teach my kids how to tell time.

In response to this week’s photo challenge, Time.

Photo Challenge: Vibrant Toys

Colorful magformers

My new favorite toy that I– I mean, that my kids got for Christmas. These bright plastic beauties have magnets inside, allowing you to create to your imagination’s content. It’s mostly rocket ships, Milennium Falcons, and TIE fighters, but we’ll also build houses for other toys. Sometimes a whole town. The pieces make a nice clicking sound when the magnets snap together.

For the photo challenge called Vibrant.

See my other entry for red plates at an antique store.

Photo Challenge: Optimistic

Lottery tickets with crumpled up lottery tickets

Growing up, I remember constantly hearing ads for the lotto saying, “All you need is a dollar and a dream.” Today, a Powerball ticket costs $2, but who’s counting.

(Technically, that slogan was for the New York lottery, but here in New Jersey, we get all of NYC’s radio and TV channels.)

In response to this week’s theme: Optimistic.