I Heart Distance

Just two guys on the end of the pier, fishing and drinking Sun Drop. You can’t get any more southern than this, y’all!



This week’s theme on I Heart Faces is “From a Distance.” I wish this could be the theme every week. I would certainly have a lot of photos to choose from, since most of my photos are snapped from a distance, around my town and are often candid, random shots of strangers.

Because, let’s face it, it’s easier to take a photo of a stranger from several feet away.

I snapped this photo last summer on Johnny Mercer’s Fishing Pier in Wrightsville Beach, NC. The end of the pier is my favorites spot on this earth. I did not edit this photo at all – it is SOOTG (straight out of the camera!)

I Heart Faces is a photography sharing forum that focuses on the art of capturing faces and their various emotions. Each week, people from across the world enter their favorite face photos.

Click on the picture for a better view and click the button to check out lots of other faces, or to enter a photo of your own.

Going Home

This is my home, Wilmington, North Carolina. I was born here, but I haven’t always lived here. My family relocated to Florida when I was five years old. But Wilmington was always home.

Most families leave home to go on vacation. My family’s vacation was to go home.

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.  ~Charles Dickens

Yesterday’s challenge on the Daily Word was What is your favorite word? Why?

“Home” is the best word to my ears. It conjures up comfort, warmth, familiarity, love.

My family moved a lot when I was a kid. I went to thirteen different schools in twelve years. Some years, I went to different schools in the same year. It was hard to feel like you had a “home” when your home kept changing from one rented house to another every few months.

I guess that’s why “home” became so important to me. I needed, desperately, a place that I could feel connected to.

Every year, in the summer, my parents would pack my brother and myself into the back of whatever car we happened to have at the time, from whatever city in Florida we were living in, and they would say, “We’re going on vacation kids! We’re going home.”

It was a good twelve-hour ride in the back-seat of the car, cooped up with my younger brother, and books and toys that were supposed to keep us occupied. There was also no air conditioner in the cars in those days, so it was hot. My dad liked to get a good early start, which meant getting up at three am so we could be on the road by four.

After a long day on the road, enduring the heat and the constant bickering with my brother about who was taking up more room, the best part for me was driving over the Cape Fear River and my first view of home.

My dad would say, “Look, kids! We’re home!”

I would get a lump in my throat. I would crane my neck to look out of the backseat window, so I could get a view of the familiar Wilmington waterfront – the church spires, the boats in the river including the majestic BATTLESHIP NORTH CAROLINA, the quaint historic buildings.

Going home meant visits with friends and relatives; aunts and uncles, cousins, both grandmothers. It meant playing on my grandmother’s front porch, eating from a huge pot of goulash that was prepared by her loving hands, going to sleep on the back porch with my cousins, listening to the crickets, giggling under the covers.

Going home meant spending the day under Johnny Mercer’s Pier at Wrightsville beach, slathering on Coppertone, eating hot dogs with chili and  coleslaw, riding the waves on rented canvas rafts, walking on the beach listening to the seagulls screams mingling with the joyous cries of children playing in the surf, smelling cotton candy and popcorn and salty air.

Going home meant listening to my parents laugh, watching them try to dance the shag and cut up with their friends from high school, getting up early to eat scrambled eggs and taste sweet coffee in my grandmother’s kitchen. It was listening to old stories about how things used to be. It was belonging somewhere.

Now I am 53 years old. I have lived my entire adult life back in, or near, my hometown. There is no one house that I can point to and say – that was my home. I have adopted the whole city as mine. Today, driving over the bridge and seeing my precious city still brings tears to my eyes.

I’m still happy to be home.

You Capture Water

I’ve been trying to participate in a photo forum on Thursdays. Brought to us by Beth, at I Should Be Folding Laundry (me too, by the way), it’s called You Capture. Every week there is a new theme. This week it was “Water.”

And yes, I know today is Friday. I work a swing shift schedule, so I’m doing the best I can, y’all. I just got done working three nights and today I will try to transition back to days. It helps to go to the beach and get lots of fresh air and sunshine.

All of these photos were taken at my favorite place in the world, Wrightsville Beach, NC. I always take my camera and work on my photography skills. You never know what you might capture.

I am passionate about trying to capture photographs of the water. It really isn’t an easy subject to capture!

I like to take pictures of strangers when they aren’t looking. With my zoom lens, I’m able to zoom in on the action and get some very candid shots.

Lip gloss at the beach? Obviously, she’s southern.

I would spend every day here if I could, just looking at the water and walking on Johnny Mercer’s Pier.

In fact, today we’re going right back here. What better way to spend a few hours drinking bloody marys trying to figure out what day it is?

Wilmington, NC: A Year In Review

I enjoyed documenting my past year’s experiences with a photo review so much for You Capture, that I decided to do another one!

In case y’all didn’t already know from my frequent  ranting and bragging occasional mentions about where I live – I live in the beautiful, historic southern town of Wilmington, North Carolina. Last April I started another blog, Wilmington Daily Photo, where I try to (but did a dismal job in December) post a new photo every day of something that shows off the beauty of where I live.

These photos are my picks of the best of each month. If you click on the photo, it will take you to the blog post on Wilmington Daily Photo, and you can see a larger version, plus read a bit about what you are lookin’ at.

Hope y’all enjoy the tour of my hometown!

April 2009, Horse Drawn Carriage Tour


May 2009, Battleship NORTH CAROLINA


June 2009, the Spring Garden at Airlie Gardens


July 2009, The Cape fear Riverwalk

old pics 227

August 2009, Johnny Mercer’s Pier


September 2009, The Henrietta Riverboat


October 2009, a shrimp trawler


November 2009, Pilot House Oysters

December 2009,  Heavenly Bamboo

January 2010, the Bellamy Mansion

To learn more and see more  photographs of my beautiful city, please visit Wilmington Daily Photo. Thanks, y’all!

Mellow on Monday

MYMMellow Yellow Monday is a photo meme. You post something yellow on Monday. Be sure and visit the other participants to see how creative everyone is with their yellow shots. You’ll be amazed, y’all!

Well, if not amazed, then mellowed out. How’s that for a Monday?

I took this picture from Johnny Mercer’s Pier. I thought the bright color was amazing.


Summer Stock Sunday #4

Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all. It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.

It’s ridiculously hard ….damn near impossible….a monumental task on the weekends..the biggest challenge of my life so far….can we just say only seven days left?…almost over and I have really, really run out of things to saybecome the bane of my existenceworse than I ever imagined it would be…forcing me to dig deep these last few days…*sigh* almost over.

Summer is almost over, too. Here are a few interesting shots that we took this summer at Wrightsville Beach, NC. I can’t take credit for this first one. My husband took it, standing waist deep in the surf. He was out there for a while that day, but his patience paid off.


I got this one while we were walking up on Johnny Mercer’s Pier. The girls were furiously texting enjoying an ice cream while I took photos. I thought this little sand piper was cuter than teenagers with cell phones growing out of their hands.


This photo has “Summertime” written all over it. Sandy toes and flip flops, what could be better?


Summer Stock Sunday JPEGThis is for a meme called Summer Stock Sunday. If you’d like to participate, post a picture of anything that says summer to you, and link back to Around the Island so that other folks can find you. Have fun with it, and take time to visit the other blogs to see what summer looks like all over the world.

Johnny Mercer’s Pier for Watery Wednesday


This is one of my favorite spots in the whole wide world. Johnny Mercer’s Pier at Wrightsville Beach, NC. It is soon going to be warm enough to start hanging out there again!

waterywed2bWatery Wednesday is hosted by 2sweetnsaxy at Eyes, Mind and Heart. It’s so easy, even cavemen and southern women can do it! Just post a photo, on Wednesday, y’all, of something with water in it. Then link back to Watery Wednesday so other folks can enjoy your photo! That’s all ya gotta do, I swaunee.

Ten Reasons Why Wilmington, NC is my Favorite Hometown

This week’s spin cycle, brought to us by Sprite’s Keeper at  www.sprteskeeper.com is about favorites. We were supposed to go through our archives, find our favorite blog and post the link or copy it into a new post, or something equaly mystifying, but since I’ve only been blogging for a few months, and since I don’t know how to work the link thingy, I decided to write about one of my favorite places, WIlmington, N.C., instead.

So here are ten reasons why I love Wilmington. I’m going to let the pictures do the talking, since they can say a thousand words, silently, without any typos.

1. The Battleship North Carolina makes her home here, the centerpiece of the Wilmington Riverfront and a living Memorial to the men and women who fought in the pacific theater of WWII.


2. The HENRIETTA III, a steamboat on the Cape Fear River.  A trip on the HENRIETTA III is a scenic experience, complete with dinner, dancing and narration by Captain Carl Marshburn.


3. The Waterfront, along the Cape Fear River, filled with charming historic buildings, homes and the churches that gave Wilmington her nickname, ” The City of Churches.”


4. Horsedrawn Carriage Tour’s impressive horses and costumed drivers narrate the journey, as passengers ride past the stately mansions, impressive restored homes and the cobblestone and brick streets of historic downtown Wilmington.


5. Johnny Mercer’s Pier, the gem of Wrightsville Beach. It used to be made of wood, before being destroyed by Hurricane Fran in 1996. It was rebuilt in concrete in 2001, and is considered one of the most popular attractions in southeastern North Carolina.


6. Every year, in April, Wilmington is home of the Azalea Festival, which includes a grand parade along the riverfront.


7. Southern Belles in the Azalea Festival. These local beauties wear authentic antebellum dresses and have come to symbolize the Festival season as much as the flowers they represent.


8. The incredible beauty of our beaches. This is a rocky stretch near Fort Fisher, and a favorite spot for fishermen.


9. Summer Rest Road, a little slice of heaven on earth, located along the scenic Intracoastal Waterway. The mature live oaks and the dangling Spanish moss make this one of the most tranquil spots in the area.


10. Wrightsville Beach, in the fall, at sunset. There is no better time, and no better place on earth to relax, unwind and reconnect with nature.