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mnhtnbb's Journal
mnhtnbb's Journal
October 27, 2020

There's always something to shoot

on the way to watching the sunrise

and on the way back...

the happy photographer

October 26, 2020

At the beach--edited

I drove--all the way in the rain--yesterday to Emerald Isle (NC). It's about a 3 hour drive from downtown Raleigh where I live. The sun was out when I arrived!

Here are a few shots from yesterday

And today

the guy next door out fishing after a very foggy morning

the house where I'm staying has very wide dunes in front of it

life on the dunes

When it turns blue...

Displayed on the picnic table on the deck of the house

In a planter on the deck

Adding a little visitor this afternoon

To end the day with the rising moon and the sunset glow

October 25, 2020

The juxtaposition of the wedding

to the anger really hit me today. The fact that I could see them both but they couldn't see each other. I know the wedding guests could hear the guys on the street corner, but I don't know if they could hear the music from the wedding. Then there was the moon that if any of them looked up, they would have seen it. The whole scene really spoke to me about perspective and experience and how separately we live right next to each other.

Made me glad I'm going to the beach tomorrow.

June 15, 2020

Remembering Snowy: April 2006-June 15, 2020

I didn’t think I would have to make this decision about Snowy.

In July 2017 she had surgery to remove bladder stones at the same time I had a knee replacement. We recovered together. Fortunately I didn’t have to wear a collar to keep me from licking my knee wound and she didn’t have to use a walker to get around. But, while she was connected to the heart monitor during the surgery, it became apparent that she had a heart arrhythmia that the vet said would make her susceptible to sudden death. Be prepared, she said, because the research shows that most dogs who are diagnosed with this particular arrhythmia don’t survive past six months. That was the prognosis three years ago next month.

Snowy beat the odds, but in the end, old age and probable congestive heart failure was making each day more challenging for her to eat, to breathe, to get up and down and not lose her balance. In this time of coronavirus and social distancing at the vet, I couldn’t bring myself to take her there. So a vet who makes house calls came this afternoon and Snowy went to sleep one last time in my study, with classical music on the stereo and the balcony door open so she could smell the summer rain.

I don’t believe in heaven, but I sure hope there is a Rainbow Bridge. We had a reminder yesterday afternoon.

Snowy came to live with us in December 2009. She’d had a tough start: rescued out of a high kill shelter in Georgia by a South Carolina group which primarily rescues German Shepherds. But, she wasn’t. As far as we know, she was part Golden Retriever and part American Eskimo. That’s what I told everyone who asked. She was a beautiful dog. I’d hoped to train her as a therapy dog, but she didn’t have the personality. Indifferent to most people, she loved playing with other dogs. And the cats! She wanted Simba to be her best friend and eventually he would come and lie down beside her to sunbathe together.

The rescue group warned me that Snowy liked to play hide and seek. I had no idea what they meant until we discovered that if she got out without a leash, she was off and running. She always came back. But she’d look at me when I was calling her as if to say, “Chill, mom. I’ll be back in 20.” And she always was.

At the beach, walking in the morning, Snowy was my photographer’s assistant. She loved early morning beach walks but did not want to get her paws wet. We watched—and shot—many a beautiful sunrise together at the beach.

Last October we went to the beach, for what I was pretty sure would be her last time, because she was having so much difficulty getting up and down the steps to the beach house and from the deck to the beach. One hind leg was weak, and it would collapse. So we went up the steps with me behind her to prevent her from tumbling down when her leg would give out.

For the last two years we’ve lived in a high rise apartment building. Snowy continued to love her walks—greeting other dog residents we’d pass in the halls or while we waited for the elevator--and finally came to serve as somewhat of a therapy dog. We couldn’t go out that someone wouldn’t ask to pet her, or tell me what a pretty dog she was. Snowy generated lots of smiles from lots of people as we walked the streets shaded by big oaks in downtown Raleigh. Young and old. Black and white. Men, women, children. So many people responded to her with joy for a few moments while we passed each other on the city streets. And it made me happy to see her bringing happiness to others. Well done, my beautiful little white wolf. Mommy is going to miss you so much.

Now, no more fences, decks or leashes. Run free, my Snow girl. Run free.

April 12, 2020

Life in the City

I have written previously about various aspects of living in downtown Raleigh. Capital of North Carolina. Posted photos I've taken from my balcony.

While the city of Raleigh covers a lot of square miles and has a population of about 1.2 million, the downtown of Raleigh has a population of about 11,000. There has been a lot of development in the last few years (my 23 story high rise apartment building opened in 2015), increasing the downtown population. Lots of great restaurants. Marvelous performing arts center with three different stages. Lively music and bar scene. Recently redesigned four acre park across the street from my building where $13 million was spent to redo it. The main bus station is across the street from the park. Gorgeous new Amtrak station.

While all of these amenities have served to attract a growing downtown population--especially young professionals--homelessness has been rising, too.

This morning, on Easter Sunday, while Snowy and I were out on our 7 am walk, we witnessed the stark reality of violent mental illness. Homeless? I don't know, but would guess, yes.

We were in the park, at the end of our walk, heading towards the corner to cross the street to our building. I heard him before I could see him. Yelling. Angry. Louder and louder. Sounded like he was coming from the bus station towards the intersection we were approaching. I held back. Didn't want to get to the intersection at the same time as this person. (Snowy and I were attacked last summer when a homeless woman threw an outdoor chair at us, barely hitting Snowy. She was known to the police and arrested before our walk was done.) As the man came in to view--a black man-- I saw him throw something at one of the windows of the coffee place on the corner. A police car pulled up from the direction of the bus station--where there is routinely a police vehicle stationed-- just as he was throwing something at another one of the windows. Rocks? He really put his arm into whatever he was throwing. Here are the broken windows.

The white police officer got out of his car and put his hand on his holstered gun. At that point I started backing up with Snowy, away from the intersection. The man turned the corner, walking away from the police officer, who got back in his vehicle, and pursued the man, driving up over the curb at the entrance to our apartment driveway, blocking the man. The man just reversed direction and walked around the police car and headed back in the direction of the coffee place at the corner. Headed my direction. Then I heard the siren of another approaching police car coming fast towards the intersection and he pulled up to block any traffic that might be coming blind around the corner and turn up in the midst of this. The white police officer got out of the second vehicle. At that point, the man stopped. He stopped yelling. Unless he ran into the street, there was an officer on each side of him blocking his way. The first officer walked up to him. Took one of his arms and put it behind the man, who did not resist. Took the other arm, put it behind him and cuffed the man. Both police officers talked to the man for a bit, then he was placed in the first officer's car. Both officers pulled their vehicles in front of the now broken windows and sat there for a few minutes.

Snowy and I crossed the street towards our building. I thought about whether to volunteer to the officers that I'd seen the man break both windows, but I figured they had noticed me and if they wanted a witness, the second police officer would have approached me as we crossed the street.

Thus endeth the experience of Easter 2020.

I've been thinking about this all day. Thinking about how this coronavirus and the stay at home policy has affected the homeless. They have no homes to stay in. Nobody else is looking out for them. What are the ones who are mentally ill supposed to do? Many of them are loners, too. Nobody is looking out for them, especially if they are violent. A packed homeless shelter right now is the last place any of them should be.

I've also been thinking about how well the two officers involved handled the situation. Two white cops and a violent black man who had just hurled something with great force--twice-- to break two big store front windows. When he was cuffed, he was standing up. He wasn't thrown against the hood of the police car or forced to the ground. He didn't resist and no force was used to cuff him. No guns were drawn.

I am so disappointed in our country right now. We have so many problems, not the least of which is the lack of leadership in the White House, but so many people just don't care about anything or anybody beyond themselves. What's in it for me is priority #1 for them and they are determined to prevent tax dollars being used to benefit people they would like to just go away.

What a sad mess we are in. The coronavirus isn't going away. The homeless aren't going to disappear. The tremendous wealth inequality isn't going to magically reverse and start to equalize. Provision of health care--and particularly mental health care--tied to employment isn't going to cut it with massive numbers of people out of work. It wasn't really working before the onset of COVID-19 and now it's going to be another disaster. The system must be changed.

We need to elect representatives at all levels of government--local, state, and federal--who will implement the changes that are so badly needed. We need to have record setting voter turnout this November.

March 3, 2020

Rx for stress relief (edited to add)

Sunset last night

And sunrise this morning on Bonaire.

Birds singing, light breeze, and waves lapping the channel rocks.

Just in case there's any doubt, picture yourself...

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NYC
Home country: USA
Current location: Durham, NC
Member since: Sat May 7, 2005, 11:13 PM
Number of posts: 31,434
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