"Following where my camera leads me!"

"Following where my camera leads me!"

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

You've Got Mail

I'm old fashioned. I love to get mail. 

I'd rather get one good long old fashioned letter than three dozen emails.

And postcards! I so love them! I ALWAYS sit down on vacation and jot a few lines to friends and family. I purchase post card stamps the week before we go, then when I write them, I have the stamps ready in my billfold to grab.....and throw those cards in the mailbox! Fast and easy. And postcards don't cost all that much to mail.

 I have noticed in recent years that it's getting increasingly harder and harder to come across postcards though....unless you are in a resort area, there are not as many postcards in small towns or cities anymore. Heck, several times IN RESORT/VACATION spots, I've asked where the postcards are and I've been given a look by a much younger person like "postcards? not.........sure.......what that is?"

I love to receive postcards as well, and have a pretty big collection from over the years. Fun to sit down with them on a rainy day. Colorful and exotic postcards from all over....wonderful little mementos to keep and treasure. Pieces of the world--from all over.

Thank-you notes. So important to take the time to write them and to send them. They are short and sweet...it doesn't take much effort to properly thank someone for a gift, a lunch, a party, a job interview. It's just good manners. And isn't it just SO NICE to receive one?---for a book loaned, a one dish meal taken to someone who just had surgery, a ride you gave someone on a sizzling hot summer day. 

Catalogs---fun to receive. Fun to sit down, take a coffee break and look at your favorite fashions, home furnishings, shoes, jewelry---whatever catalogs come to your mailbox. Fun to look at the seed catalogs in the dead of winter and start planning our gardens and making out our orders and looking at all the pretty pictures of plump red tomatoes, peppers, marigolds, fresh corn, green beans, scented rose bushes, squash, and big bright sunflowers. In the old days I loved to receive the Sears Roebuck and JCPenny and Speigel catalogs....loved to look at all the fashion! When I was little I made paper dolls from them.  And around November the coveted "Wish Book" from Sears would arrive---we sure had fun poring over those toy pages and making our Christmas lists! Sometimes while watching "The Grinch that Stole Christmas" or "A Charlie Brown Christmas" ....or the "Rudolph" movie. Those were very special presentations....and only aired once a year! Just
like the Wizard of Oz---once a year!  We had no VCR'S or DVD'S or rentals or Netflix.

Magazines...ah yes........good old fashioned magazines. I know we can read them all online nowadays...but I will never give up my real magazines. I love to receive my favorites in my mailbox each month. Look forward to seeing how they've styled the covers on each issue according to the seasons.Just like a brand new fresh book, I love the way books and magazines smell and how they feel in my hands, turning the pages. Love to carry a magazine or two in my purse in case of long lines or office appointments. 

Cards.....cards are very nice to receive aren't they? You know somebody was thinking of you, or that they remembered your birthday or anniversary. I love to send cards and I so enjoy sitting down and making cards and valentines, the old fashioned way. Give me a box of photos, tape or glue, stickers, lace and ribbons...and I'm in my happy place! And while the end result is probably NOT going to look 'professional'...who cares? Isn't the thought of the card and the sentiment with it--thats what counts, right?

Christmas cards are the best! Sadly, that is a tradition that is fading away. I never thought I'd see the day when people no longer desire to send Christmas cards. I know we are all busy. And I know so many say it's "expensive". It's not really....if you buy ahead, a little at a time, or even make your cards. We've had to get more selective in how many we send out anymore....but I hope to never give it up entirely. 

Back in the old days...I remember during the holidays people hanging up their cards and there would be SO MANY! They were fun to look at and so festive. Hanging on a string (or two or three!), taped to the door or the staircase or even on the frosty winter windows---Christmas cards were part of Christmas. The mailman's arrival each day bearing mysterious packages from far away and stacks of colorful envelopes  plastered with Christmas seals and postmarks was something to look forward to, especially if you had friends or family who lived far away. Sometimes that Christmas card greeting was the only thing you would hear from some people all year, so it was a nice way to catch up on everybody's lives....plus pictures!--many cards had portraits or snap-shots tucked inside! 

Back when our kids were little, we would usually take them to the "photographer" to get their annual holiday portraits made. We would dress them in their holiday best...reds and greens were the most popular of course, and get them into their brand new little clean un-scuffed shoes and boots and scoot off to our local Sears/Wal-Mart/Olan Mills/J.C.Pennys/K-Mart Portrait studios.
 Children and even little babies were put in front of all kinds of "background" choices....it was fun to pick! Snow scenes, fire place with stockings hung, Christmas wreath, wrapped packages, toy-land, etc.  About four weeks later, our "proofs" would come in and we could go view them and choose our packages to buy. It was a custom and a tradition I surely miss. I just don't think young families do that anymore, do they? I think most of those portrait studios closed down.
I sure miss alot of the old traditions. 
And I sure miss getting good mail.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Burns Lane

We hadn't been down this long alley yet. So we set off to explore.

Walking down the alley I kept admiring the big windows and their trim. I was wondering what the building was originally. No clues on the outside.

The alley empties out onto the bustling street. The front of the big brick building looks like this. I thought it was pretty and said so. I guessed maybe it had been a bank originally.
The stone arch and the urns out front are pretty. I could also see a pretty staircase.

 One of the stained glass windows had a soft light shining through. I stood there and admired that. And I said "well SOMEBODY'S home". LOL
On our return home I did some research and found this most certainly had not been a bank. LOL This was the old mortuary/funeral home of J.M. Connelley & Co. 
Jesse M. Connelley was an early Charleston resident who worked for the railroad and also sold sewing machines. He saved his pennies and purchased Frederick Ansel's undertaking business (on Calhoun Street) and founded his own business. Years later he purchased an old Federal style building built in 1796. The bricks were made at the old Boone Hall plantation. 
In 1893 Mr. Connelley bought all the corner land at Meeting and Burns streets. He had his architect/builder built the Romanesque style building in three stories and trimmed  the tall brick building in stone. 
Mr. Connelley was the first to introduce embalming in our state, and all the (then) modern ways of the undertaking business.
His morgue and coffin warehouse were large and well known and his house was right next door. In between the two buildings he placed a nice garden and a sparkling fountain. He was also known for his six big greenhouses and he had the very first cut-flower business in South Carolina. 
His funeral home was known as "the best" and he successfully served the elite of Charleston for many years. When he died in 1913, his son took over the business and later on became one of the very first to use motor carriages and motor hearses. 
He renovated the old building around 1930 and he is the one who placed the colorful and pretty stained glass in the big windows which I stood admiring, which was the chapel and had a big pipe organ!
In the fifties the business was bought by Harry Hooker, and when he died in the late seventies, the business was closed. 
Investors renovated the lovely old building into condos in the early eighties. 
What I want to know is "is the garden and the fountain still there??"....I plan to go by this week and find out! I will let you know. 

Down the street:
I have not shopped here, but I think it's a shop with vintage clothing and jewelry.

Laying by the model's feet was this bright and sparkly disco ball!
I would probably buy that over any of the outfits! ha ha LOL I would hang that in our living room!
Look what I bought several days later!! I just LOVE IT!! 


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Colonial Lake Dogs

Today we saw some very happy dogs enjoying a cool swim in the pond!
party in the water!!

This one was so excited...waiting patiently and very alert for the toy to be tossed into the water!
And away he goes!

And comes right back for another try!
"come in! the water's great!"
The dog on the right, I think his name was "Tobey". Just look how he had his big head up while swimming!
I didn't catch this little fella's name but he sure did love jumping in and swimming in the water!

"I've got it! Here I come!"

"Tobey" was a good jumper as well...loved to run and get a BIG jump into the water. Then he would swim way way out to retrieve his toy.
Just look at that gorgeous face! Love those pretty eyes and those wet whiskers.

I think the dog in the middle's name is "Suga". Also a water lover and sure did love to swim. So friendly too.

And at the end of the day...a good "shake it off" and lets go home for treats and a soft bed!
I'm so glad we got to see these beautiful dogs take a dip on this hot day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Upstairs Living

There are many charming upstairs apartments in Charleston

They are fun to look at. 

Many many of the old houses in our city have been converted into apartments or condos. Some have four or many more apartments in them, depending on size of the original house. I like it when they divide into ONLY TWO apartments....the whole floor downstairs and the whole floor upstairs.

Lots of plants on this porch:
Went by days later and noticed something different! At first I thought they had hung festive lights but on second glance...maybe these are "grow lights" for the plants? Anyone know?

This is an interesting way to grow plants! not sure how they did that?

colorful flag banner and hanging "doo-dads"
To me, this is a 'happy porch'. There are clean clothes drying, maybe a beach towel or two thrown over to air dry so someone has been to the ocean, happy vines cascading down, colorful little flower pots.

This upstairs balcony intrigues me every spring and summer....they have so much green growing up there! I wonder how they water it?