Promises of travel appear on these pages with France as the prime destination. Variety is the spice of life, so other journeys with their high and low points are presented for your enjoyment, or occasionally sympathy for me. Visits to dermatologists, gynecologists, ophthalmologists and even a colonoscopy specialist were voyages beyond the ordinary. Puzzling over a title for a doctor, I asked: “Jim, what is the name for a doctor who performs a colonoscopy?” Quick on the spot, Jim answered: “Glad to be of help. He’s an anal-ologist!” On that note, Jim backed the Jeep from the driveway and asked me to look at the walkway to view some droppings of manure pellets, scattered here and there. He said, “I think some type of wildlife was here during the night.” Seeing only a few black dots of stuff on our cracked concrete, I told him: “Probably possum poop. My coffee wasn’t strong enough for this type of conversation early in the morning.”
We continued on the road to Dothan, Alabama for my final appointment with the doctor after the surgery on my eyelids. I can see much better and friends tell me that I look prettier. Aren’t friends the best of all? With that checkup behind me, we had a nice lunch and headed back home. My camera was on the backseat, ready for any good shots for the blog and especially for the Google Photo Challenge that I mentioned earlier. The subject for the week is: “Get Low”. Now, I don’t know if I need to get low in position to take the photo, or if the subject of the photo should be low. I had a couple of ideas. I thought it would be cool to catch a photo of cows from a lower perspective of the legs with the udders in good focus. We passed fields with cows far away in the distance.
How do you call a cow? None of the brown-eyed, black and white bovines posed for an udderly-fastastic photo. Didn’t they know their beauty could appear around the world on I-pads and smart phones, possibly singing: “Selena Gomez, will you go to the prom with me?”
Around the half-way mark on our drive home is the community of Level Plains, Alabama. A produce stand with big banners advertised boiled peanuts, fresh strawberries, turnips and collard greens. Cattycorner to the veggies and fruit is a junkyard crammed full of old Volkswagens. I’ve noticed the old rusting cars and wanted to snap away with my camera, but the yard was always closed when we passed. Somehow, there’s something lacking in the beauty of the picture when a chain-link fence topped by razor wire is front and center. Jim replied to my suggestion of a quick right-hand turn: “Now let me try to understand this. You’re all dressed up pretty and the fine doctor said your surgery is perfectly good, so you want to celebrate by going to a junkyard!!”Outside the yard an old tractor and a bright red antique car was parked. I was absorbed in focusing on the old tractor with my camera when a big dog raced through the entry, scaring me out of my wits. I froze while Jim did his friendly, dog-decoy act. As it turned out, we had no worries since the only danger we faced was being licked to death. However, around midnight when the gate is closed, any foolish person expecting a friendly greeting would be sadly disappointed!
I hoped to find a good camera angle at a low level of the old Volkswagens, but they were packed tightly together like rusted toys. I wedged my way between the metal bodies of the vehicles, hoping my bright coral, long skirt wouldn’t catch and rip apart. The cars were parked on rusted sheets of metal roofing. I worried that rattlesnakes could be under the cars, or in the driver’s seat waiting to strike faster than greased lightning! A psychedelic snake could have claimed a VW for its winter home instead of a hole in the Alabama clay soil. I squatted on the ground to center my camera in front of a Karmann Ghia VW and heard Jim shout: “Watch out!” Suddenly, the rusty red muscular dog hit me full-force when I was kneeling on the ground. I was already spooked by the snakes, but I didn’t have much time to gear up my fright level since he quickly sent me sprawling on the hot tin roofing. The rusty red dog thought I wanted to play! I laid down some rules, “Listen dog, you don’t show appreciation by licking the photographer and slobbering on her camera lens!” I dusted and buffed the old cars with my swirling skirt and bumbled around on the tin sheets underfoot. We never spoke to the manager since he was busy talking with others in the far corner of the yard. I could imagine the junkyard owner telling his customer, “Oh, I get folks like that around here all the time. Did you see that woman with the swirly, ruffled orange skirt and the glittery purple shirt? She’s a flower child if I’ve ever seen one! She and her honey were probably reminiscing about the The Love Bug, and all of the times they spent at the drive-in theater. “
I told Jim that I still wasn’t sure that I had any photos suitable for my Google venture. With no cows flashing their udders for me, I hesitantly mentioned another idea. “Now, don’t think I’m crazy. I was thinking about taking a picture of an old grave site with a rusted iron fence and a tall green cedar as a background. The name on the tombstone would be hidden, and I could shoot the picture late in the afternoon shadows. What do you think? You have to admit, that’s as close to low as you can go!” Jim looked at me like I had lost my marbles.
Somewhere inside a big plastic storage container bought at the Bed Bath and Beyond store, photos of old Bermuda graveyards, are hidden away. Why did I take those pictures? I saw the juxtaposition of the present with a remembrance of the past through my camera. Did the men buried there build the pastel pink, blue and yellow cottages surrounded by red hibiscus? Did the young children build sandcastles in the pink sand by the crystal clear waters? The picture was intended to capture the moment and honor the people who came before and left their mark. Facing the facts, I asked myself, “Would I want a picture of a graveyard on my wall or a sunny yellow cottage a few steps from a pink sand beach?”
We got home before dark and Jim was studying the poop droppings on the sidewalk like Indiana Jones on an Egyptian exploration amid the pyramids. I unloaded my camera bag from the car and he called out, “I really think these are deer pellets. Can’t believe they came as far as the front yard! Bring your camera over here and you can “Get Low” for Google.”
I had to beg, plead and cajole these few pictures to download into my story. I will be calling for support next week and following the same routine. I apologize for fewer pictures than usual. Do you have an old Volkswagen beetle in your past, or do you drive one presently? I would love to hear about it. Thank you for your comments.
If you would like to see France instead of Alabama jaunts, just CLICK to France-Storytelling and Pictures page.