SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2006
I don’t know how that saying caught on, much less why it annoys me. Possibly it is just so redneck that I associate it with the hordes of bible-thumpin’, NASCAR-lovin’ fools who (with the help of their bosom buddies the Very Very Rich and Greedy) put Bush in office and – with flag waving – also want to Git ‘Raq Done. It’s emblazened on T-shirts and caps and demolition derby cars, not so subtly implying that the rest of us couldn’t possibly Git ‘R Done even if we knew what ‘R is and why it needs to be.
Last week I saw another saying that essentially means the same thing: You can’t leap a twenty-foot chasm in two ten-foot jumps. Now that one I like. It puts the hay down where the goats can get it, and it doesn’t smack of stupid.
The trip from my home to the neighboring State of Vermont takes me across the northernmost part of New York – an “upstate” so far north that its existence is completely unknown to people who aren’t native to the area. It’s a place whose natives speak with the hint of a Canadian accent.
Much of the way I drive a road called The Old Military Turnpike, following (in reverse) the route taken by some of my ancestors exactly two hundred years ago. I pass the stone ruins of Robinson’s Tavern, a stopping point built shortly after the War of 1812, and eventually catch a glimpse of Lake Champlain in the distance, the mountains of Vermont rising beyond it.
About a hundred miles from home, I drive aboard the Lake Champlain Ferry and turn the ingition off. For the next fifteen minutes I’ll enjoy the sun and wind, note the absence of the dozens of white-sailed boats dotting the lake during the summer months, and reflect that soon my crossings will involve stinging cold winds and the breaking of ice. I resolve to photograph one of the boat’s flags, using it to frame a long view down the lake, but no matter how I try, the flag and the lake just won’t cooperate. I climb the stairs to the upper deck and walk toward the stern, and as the rear flag comes into view, I see a crew member removing it from its pole!
I mutter a discouraging word. The one thing I wanted to photograph, and this guy takes it down! But wait… As I descend the aft stairs, he unfurls a brand new flag and fastens it securely to the flagpole. Frame, focus, click. The warm wind blows my hair around and I slip my camera back in the case. It wasn’t the picture I had in mind, but it’s a good day on the ferry.
The Northern Arboreal Apple-eating Pincushion Sloth (petting not advised)
This was yesterday’s photographic challenge: to illustrate “a perfect match” by showing the final piece of a puzzle fitting into place. It is to be used for a print piece my husband is working on. The tricky part was getting the yellow “head” of the dinosaur to float above where it should come to rest when the puzzle “fits together.” ‘Wish I had a “real” studio instead of my back porch, but this was an entertaining challenge! Cute critter, isn’t he?