Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Sights and Moments We Will Never Forget

One evening last month, Rick and I glanced at my computer showing a slide show of "My Pictures" as a screen saver. This one came up and we both agreed -- that first walk on our first trip to Myrtle Beach was one we would never forget.

We were staying at a mom-and-pop across the street from the condos that line the ocean. We walked between two of them, through the tall, reedy grass that gave some privacy to the condo property and as we passed through saw the ocean, as far and wide as we could see. The beach unfolded to the left and right of us, again as far and wide as our eyes could follow. And on that beach? A row of colorful blue and yellow umbrellas and lounge chairs.


We are Michigan people. We don't see things like that often!

It started me thinking on other moments never to forget, moments that caught our breath in some cases, mine in others. The photo below is from when we were sitting in the apartment of my friend Jerry in Paris' Marais district. We had walked hard on our first day, a little jet lagged, a lot excited. We came home with a bottle of wine from the wine shop, waiting for Jerry to return from work. There we were, on the fourth (American fifth) floor in Paris, sipping real French wine in real Paris, looking out over the rooftops of the courtyard. Le sigh.


I have other French memories as well, like my first close-up view of the Eiffel Tower, standing beneath and looking up. There would be other visits, each wonderful in its own way. But the first time is always special.


And below, the beaches of Normandy, below the American Cemetery, hidden behind that bank of trees on the cliff. Yes, the rows of crosses at the cemetery are unforgettable. But to walk on the beach and realize how enormous it is, how steep the hill to the flatter lands above was -- and then to imagine thousands of soldiers being dropped off in mine-filled waters off the beach, coming on shore where the enemy was perched on the cliffs shooting down at them. Wow. It makes me realize how very lucky we were on that remarkable D-Day in 1944. I wonder if the little girl in this photo had any idea what happened there so many years before. No, I'm sure she didn't, but I hope one day she does.


Rick and I share the memory of the Grand Illumination on Martha's Vineyard, an event we happened into due to the timing of our trip to the island several years ago. We were told by our hosts that this was an event not to be missed. (Timing is everything! So is serendipity!)

On this one-night-only annual event, people on the island gather for an enormous community concert and sing-along, followed by a magical walk through the Oak Bluffs Campground area. During the day, campground cottage residents have hung colorful lanterns on their porches.


As early evening turns into darkest night, the pavilion where the concert is held provides the only light. At its conclusion, it goes dark and in a magical moment, the lights on all the cottages are switched on. The effect is pure magic. Thousands of colorful lights hang from fences, railings and rooftops. People wander from house to house, often seeing happy residents on their porches enjoying the evening and basking in the compliments. 


I have rarely felt such a sense of community.


Rick had been to Japan many times but my first visit started out with jet lag and culture shock and I remember little of the first few days except for being exhausted, dragging a too-heavy suitcase and experiencing culture shock and a bit of fear of being separated from Rick and not knowing how to communicate or how to get back to the ryokan where we were staying in Tokyo. Then, our friend Yuka took us to see the Daibutsu in Kamakura. I will never forget standing below this enormous bronze sculpture and thinking "I'm really in Japan!"

 For me, there are several other moments that I can only describe as unforgettable. Meeting Fred "Mister" Rogers, the gentle children's television show host, was one of them. He indefatigably shook hands and chatted with every person who wanted to wait in an interminably long line after his inspiring luncheon speech at a PBS meeting. 


Then there was the morning after we arrived a Morgan's Forge, a cottage in Midford, England, outside of Bath. As we walked down the hill to the bus I had my first look at this pastoral scene. Curved hedgerows and green fields dotted with sheep. I'm such a sucker for sheep! I had been in England for nearly three weeks by then, but at that moment I felt like I was in the England of Miss Ludwig's English lit classes. I felt total peace.


Of course, a memory of the heart was the first moment I stepped into London proper, traveling with my Mom. We didn't know at the time that it would be our last big trip together. I remember my eyes taking in every sight, ears every sound. All senses were on alert. That trip included loads of theatre and even brass rubbing in the country church at Stoke Poges where Thomas Gray wrote "Elegy in a Country Church Yard." I wish I still had those rubbings we made.


There was the unbridled joy of a summer's day when we were young and carefree. Cousins and close friends together, enjoying sun and water. Skiing all day. Laughing till it hurt. Mom and Dad serving up burgers and brats, beach fires. We shared the warmth and love of friendship in a joyous way that deep down we knew wasn't bound to last.

 I leave you with one more magic moment, one that Rick and I shared. Shortly before the Best Picture Academy Award was announced on a cold February night in 2017, we received a call from Kevin. Molly was in the delivery room and their first child was on the way. We jumped in the car, headed for Detroit and several hours later met our grandson. I had never held a baby before -- at least, not one just an hour old. I was afraid I'd break it. Him. And that moment was just as magical when his baby brother arrived  a year and a half later. The heart is just so full. (Now, there are moments when they are running and playing the life out of us, I think they will break me! Nope, not a chance!)

Some things just take your breath away. If we're lucky, we have our cameras or phones to record it. But nothing can replace the photograph in the heart. 

Sharing with:    Share Your Style   /   Love Your Creativity   /  Talking About It Tuesday   /  Rain's Art and Dinner Date  

80 comments:

Tom said...

...what experiences, but I believe that you left the best for last! Have a wonderful week.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I have had great first impressions and great second impressions too. Mine involve natural events, scenes, objects or circumstances, as you might expect, and there have been many. Sometimes the first time isn’t enough and I need the second chance to drive it home. One very vivid memory is that of standing on a very high mountainous crag in Ethiopia looking down on the Rift Valley where the Earth is literally splitting apart. I saw it one afternoon but I don’t think the full impact really registered until the next morning when I went back to see it again. Then I knew what I was witnessing, I had local people with me, eagles were in the air and the scenery was beyond description. Then I knew what I had witnessed. The image is tattooed on my brain as though it were yesterday.

Linda Sue said...

All of those photos are a story in themselves, walking with you through a wonderful life at its best. Thank you! Mr. Rodgers...sigh! How lucky you have been this go around!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I enjoyed reading every word of this post, Jeanie! You've had a rich and varied life so far. -Jenn

Anvilcloud said...

You have gotten around. As I read, I was reminded that the Up Helly Aa is in Lerwick, Shetland today. I've see it on the tv series, and I think it would be awesome to actually be there.

Steve Reed said...

Wonderful scenery and experiences -- especially the "Grand Illumination" lanterns, and meeting Mr. Rogers! (Oh, and the grandchildren, too, I suppose. :) )

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Your beautiful photos and post bring tears to my eyes. You have a rich appreciation for the things in life you experience. Thank you for sharing

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

I love this joyful post. Such a good idea to review all your happy memories. They are not even my memories and I have a big smile on my face...

Karen M said...

So many wonderful memories! A life well lived. You know, I've been vacationing on the Vineyard for 40 plus years, and have yet to be there on Illumination Night in the campgrounds. Goals!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhh such great memories!!! Seriously, I love looking through my photos through time too, though on occasion while doing so I tear up a bit on those that have 'gone ahead'... Anyways, love that smile on your face holding that precious bundle - such pure happiness and joy!!
Dawn Pinnataro Albany, GA

ashok said...

Great memories..enjoyed this post :)

ashok said...

Great memories... Enjoyed this post :)

DUTA said...

The bronze statue of Daibutsu in Kamakura, Japan, is very impressive!

Our life is made-up of moments: some good, some bad, but there are those extraordinary ones that leave a "scar" in our heart forever. Mine are usually linked to people and their fate, less to urban attractions. Such are:
The visit at the leper community in Spinalonga, Crete -viewing their past attempts to live a somehow 'normal' life despite the stigma.
The encounter with all Who's Who (writers, composers , politicians ) in Russia, at the grand...cemetery of Moscow.
The sight of The Cape of Good Hope peninsula tip, at the mingling of the two oceans: Atlantic and Indian , South Africa.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,

These are all wonderful experiences and memories. It is wonderful you have the photos as reminders too. I think being a grandparent is a joyful experience.
Great post, I enjoyed the photos as well as all your special moments. Take care, have a great day!

Debby said...

I enjoyed this post of memories. What a beautiful life you’ve had. I especially love the one about holding your first grandchild. What joy!

Valerie-Jael said...

I thinks for me, holding my daughter for the first time was my best memory of all time. Hugs, Valerie

Linda P said...

You have travelled far and wide and I've enjoyed seeing photos that bring back such happy memories for you and your loved ones.

Gill - That British Woman said...

lots of lovely memories. A photo is a good reminder, as we sometimes forget things as we age.

Lowcarb team member said...

A beautiful and joyous post with lovely photographs and many special memories.
God-bless Jeanie.

All the best Jan

Sandra Cox said...

Lots of amazing memories and wonderful places. Congrats on meeting Mr. Rogers. That must have been a wondrous experience.
You weren't too far from us when you went to Myrtle Beach.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

How lovely to relive the special moments that take your breath away. Each one is special, my friend. Thank you for sharing your breath taking moments!

Cindy said...

Ah, LOVED this! You've been on some grand adventures and your pictures are beautiful! The Beaches of Normandy, I keep thinking about that one. My husband would love to see that. And that last line, 'Nothing can replace the photograph in the heart.' That is so true!

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Beautiful photos of a full and interesting life.

Sherry's Pickings said...

so many wonderful travel memories there Jeanie! how lovely.

gigi-hawaii said...

Those illuminated lanterns are so beautiful. When I lived in New York 1970-1975, I decorated my home with paper lanterns for illumination. They were very beautiful, exotic, and romantic. Those were the days when I was in my twenties and single. I just loved my lanterns.

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Beautiful pictures and wonderful memories!!
Thanks so much for stopping by as often as you do!! I really appreciate it!!
I hope you are having a great week!!
Hugs,
Deb

Rita said...

I loved-loved-loved this post! Those precious moments--wow! We all have some and so just reading about yours brings the feelings back to us. Thank you for sharing!! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, lovely post, full of lovely memories…thanks for letting us join. xo, V.

La Table De Nana said...

Sweeet:) I go down the rabbit hole of past pics too..And remember so much.Someone once told me he never took pics because they never did what he saw justice.I simply do not agree..You can relive a memory and chances are will forget it less..if you hva e visual backup:)

shoreacres said...

It's interesting that I have not a single photograph of my "most memorable" moments. In some cases, I didn't yet own a camera. In others, I chose not to use it. No matter. As long as my memory holds out, those moments live. Thanks for sharing these!

Sharon in Las Cruces NM said...

Memories warm the heart, and feed the soul.
awesome photos. I loved touring many countries with you Jeanie. such a delightful post; enjoyed it so much. hugs.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Lovely photos from your fun filled trips.how special to have travelled to so many fun places. Precious memories are in your hearts forever. Thank you for sharing these special moments.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Jeanie you certainly can paint a picture with words. Another enjoyable post of your shared experiences.

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jeanie: So many wonderful memories. I'm so glad for you that you have them.
Victoria magazine did a spread on the Grand Illumination years ago. That was the first I had ever heard of it and where I got my summertime idea although on a much smaller scale. It is always fun to look back with you. It always brings up some small detail that I had forgotten..xxoJudy

Pam Richardson said...

Wonderful memories each and every one! This is a lovely post and made me think of so many memories that have a similarity to some of yours. Nothing compares to holding a newborn grandchild! Thanks for sharing, Jeanie!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Each of these photos brought me a jolt of happiness. I especially love the photo of Mister Rogers, my personal hero. It was delightful to spend a little time with your happy moments!

thepaintedapron.com said...

This was a fun post Jeanie, memories to treasure! You have really traveled the world, thanks for sharing!
Jenna

This N That said...

What a fun post...You have had a full and varied life..so many wonderful memories...

Karen said...

Holding those newborns is an almost holy feeling. I remember holding my hour old FIRST grandchild....and that feeling....life had come full circle.

Prims By The Water said...

Some really precious photos. Dont you just love going down memory lane. When we went to Daytona Beach, it was the same way with the ocean. So much grander than our Great Lakes. Janice

Carola Bartz said...

Your last sentence is the most important one, Jeanie. The photograph in our heart. My biggest moment in my life, the one that left the biggest impression, was holding my newborn daughter just minutes after she was born. It was such a moment full of emotion, calm and peace. Unforgettable.

anno said...

What an amazing collection of memories, Jeanie, and something to return to time and again. So many great pictures, such beautiful memories... what a rich life!

Lorrie said...

You've collected many wonderful moments and memories over the years. It's good to reflect from time to time of these things, and be thankful. Love your smile as you hold that little newborn baby boy.

Victoria Zigler said...

It's wonderful you have all those memories to look back on. You've had some amazing experiences.

DVArtist said...

I really like Myrtle Beach. So much to do there. All of the journeys you have been on have made memories to last a life time. Thank you for sharing them.

Anonymous said...

I loved this post! It made me think back to some of my first memories of traveling to Japan and other exotic destinations, memorable events, and so much more.

Sandra Cox said...

Paris sounds breathtaking. Loved the pictures.

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Red Rose Alley said...

You have some lovely memories from some awesome places you've been to, Jeanie. I love those hanging lanterns all lit up, they are so pretty. And the baby holding is the most cherished memory of all. At least for me. ; ) That first picture of the umbrellas is wonderful, love that one.

~Sheri

My name is Erika. said...

Those have to be great memories Jeanie. This is such a nice compilation. Happy February. hugs-Erika

Joanne said...

These are some really wonderful memories!!

gigi-hawaii said...

Jeannie, just letting you know I mentioned you in my post today. Go take a look.

Divers and Sundry said...

A full life made up of wonderful moments. Beautiful!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I love all of the reflections you shared in this post! We share a couple: Paris and the Beaches of Normandy. It was very impactful to see those beaches and the cliffs that service men scales while taking fire. It's hard to even imagine. And Paris! Besides that I would add a gorgeous sunrise that I watched while feeding baby Paul in April 2018. Additionally, driving the Great Ocean Road on the south coast of Australia, the gorgeous beach we stayed on in Maui for our honeymoon, and the breathtaking views in Banff, especially at Lake Louise. And the list could go on and on and on!!

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories, Jeanie! The best photo of all was the last one! I can really relate to the photo of you and your cousins on the beach! Hugs to you!

Velva- Evening with a Sandwich said...

Cheers to living your best life!!! Lots of great memories here. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Velva

P.S. This is my first time to your blog. I came over form Sherry's.

Pamela said...

I love seeing these “historical” posts. You have some great pictures of a wonderful life.

Rita C at Panoply said...

What a great post, Jeanie! I loved reading this. We should all take time to capture our own personal, unforgettable sights and memories!

Kinga K. said...

I love historical places :D

Veronica Lee said...

What a journey through memories- a beautiful reminder that life is a series of magical snapshots.
It's like flipping through the pages of a well-worn photo album filled with snapshots of joy, wonder, and the essence of life.

I absolutely loved this post, Jeanie.

Iris Flavia said...

Such a beautiful, bitter-very-sweet post !!!
One to always come back to for smiles! Heart warming, thank you!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

So many of us have memories of special moments and this post made me recall many of my own, perhaps I will do something similar sometime in the future. I liked how yours included moments spent together with Rick and with family and friends and the sense of wonderderment, excitement and adventure you expressed in remembering.

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

Many beautiful and special moments shared! I love the moments you shared with your mother, and the amazing time you had in Japan after recovering from jet lag. Beautiful sight to see the umbrellas on the beach. Enjoyed your post today - visiting from Linda's site :)

Marilyn Miller said...

I thought I had commented, but I guess I didn't. I enjoyed reading this post a few days ago. What special memories. I remember you writing about the lanterns and wished I could see them too. And of course, always Paris, any sight there. Then most precious, of course, is a new grandbaby. So very special.

Nancy said...

Such a beautiful post, my friend! You were tugging at my heartstrings with several of your sweet memories. From the lanterns to holding your new grandchild… those memories last a lifetime!
Thank you for such a lovely post.
Happy New Week to You!

Hena Tayeb said...

Lovely photos of beautiful memories.

Hena Tayeb said...

Lovely photos of beautiful memories.

DeniseinVA said...

Oh my goodness, a fabulous walk down all those sweet memories in your life Jeanie.Thank you so much for letting us share in them. All true treasures indeed!

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

Wow Jeanie, what a great collection of memories traveling and with family and Rick. Meeting Mr. Rogers had to be an especially special moment! I’ve never been out of the country except to pass through part of Canada heading to Niagara Falls! Paris is a place I’d like to see!

MELODY JACOB said...

Thank you for sharing these glimpses into your memorable experiences.

Sandra Cox said...

Your time on Martha's Vineyard sounds magical. Good memories:)

roughterrain crane said...

I love sitting on the beach.
It's still cold. Take good care.

Parisbreakfasts said...

I love every one of these ❤️
A wonderful record you can play and replay ­čĹĆ

Lisbeth said...

So many nice memories. I do like when the photo app shows memories, it makes you remember and go back in time. Otherwise, at least me, I don't often go through the photos.
I will never forget the War Memorials from different countries in Normandie. So beautiful, and still so sad. Enjoyable photos and good memeories.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

All wonderful memories Jeanie, especially the one holding a brand new baby! We loved Oak Bluffs in Martha's Vineyard -- my husband was there eon business and I tagged along. That was where I discovered Susban Brach at the "Bunch of Grapes" bookshop and bought her book "Heart of the Home."

I realized the reason you were having trouble commenting on my blog was that I have enabled "Comment Moderation" so as to be able to catch and delete any spam messages. Often people try to sneak those in on older posts so moderation helps prevent that. I saw all the comments you made on that post when I went in to check and posted most of them on my blog.

Anca said...

How wonderfully diverse these moments are. I loved reading about each one of them and seeing those lovely pictures.

You mentioned you are coming to UK this Spring? We have to meet!

Jenny Woolf said...

A lovely post. I agree that some good times are not captured with the camera, but to me they are great in a different way.I think own emotions and imaginations cast a light on them which might not necessarily show in a photo. There are other ways of remembering too - sound, smell, touch, just some indefinable atmosphere. I also like to come across photos which I snapped at the time because I was happy, and then .. well not exactly forgot, but which drifted out of mind. And suddenly the memories come back very brightly and are all the better for not being new.

Christine said...

Lovely precious memories of places far away

Andrea @ From The Sol said...

The birth of a Grandchild is a stand still moment for anyone who has experienced it and my moment came flooding back as I read your own heart warming moment. There are so many moments in our life that fill our hearts and brains with memories that never fade ... if one is blessed with a good life. There are many who have never seen beyond their own neighborhoods or have never experienced the birth of a special child. My heart goes out to them and only wish I could bring them a moment as you brought us yours. Beautiful post Jeannie ...

Andrea @ From the Sol

Rain said...

Le Sigh.....ahhhh...Paris. I remember my first glass of red wine when I visited Paris, it was so dreamy in a way! And you met Mr. Rogers!!! You have shared some lovely experiences Jeanie, thank you so much! ♥

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