THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

Made me think


I captured this image on the deck at Fagers Island Restaurant on the deck in Ocean City. I almost went right by it with that brutal sun in the middle of it but I started looking more closely. I thought of all the things people might interpret from a shot like this.

Photo by Mike Hartley

I purposely left the two cups in front of each of them because each of them was with someone so they were not alone. I could have easily cropped out the second drink in front of them. But the shot somehow conveys that to me with them back to back and no visible partner even with the glasses in front of them.

I remember now how my mother would sometimes say when I would ask what she was having, “Oh, I don’t know, it’s not much fun eating alone.” And we always lived nearby and would eat with her as often as we could. But I certainly understood her feelings. I could really see it with all the people that are in independent or assisted living. I would go several times a week and she would point out the ones that were always alone with nobody visiting. And it was no small percentage.

Being a senior I’m sometimes at restaurants where I see individual diners. I might have to draw up the courage to see if some of them want to join us in the future. There is a lot of loneliness in the world. That is not a good thing. Families have been too splintered.

Remember, smile at someone you don’t know. It might make their day or change their spirits. Offer a kind word to someone, hold a door for someone, and say I hope have a nice day as you check out at the register and a thank you for your waitress.

A Day with My Grandson

Yesterday I got to spend the day with my grandson. What a joy that was. And being he is a little over a year now and walking it takes a ton of energy to keep up with that little guy.

My son and his better half had a chance to go to the Orioles playoff game which provided my opportunity. It’s been a while since my granddaughter was this young and it’s been a while also in watching them alone. My better half is usually involved anytime there is an opportunity but she had plans with our daughter.

I know yesterday made my weekend. Those smiles, the hugs, when he crawls into my lap or stands between my legs with his arms outstretched over them as I sit on the couch watching the game for a few seconds with a half eye and the other 1 and a 1/2 on him. I know his dad must be watching games with him because if the crowd got excited he would start to yell and raise his arms.

But we played and played for most of the day with his toys, went for a stroller ride around the community, and did some laps on the deck.

He seemed to really like boxes. I had brought some toys from home that I know he likes and some he hasn’t seen yet. He dragged that empty box around for several minutes from one end to the other. Suddenly he stopped and stood there, looked at it, and started to get in and then sat in it, looked around inside it, looked around outside it, and then looked at me and let out a shriek of happiness with a big smile.

So I crawled over and pushed him around the house for about 20 minutes on my hands and knees and he was so happy. I said Papa has to take a break. He was out of the box for just a minute or two and I was sitting on the floor in front of the couch and he wanders over and just lays across my legs and stays there so I started to rub his back. Even at that age, they know ways of saying thanks. Either that or I wore him out somehow. Too much excitement maybe?

I also forgot what eating machines they were at that age. They warned me that he is sloppy and a thrower at meals. But I didn’t have any issues. He seemed intent on getting all of it into his face. There was one small piece of mac and cheese and a small piece of blueberry on the floor but nothing else and the tray was pretty clean.

I was exhausted and when I got home, I snacked for 5 minutes, laid down, and was out in 5 minutes. He waved goodbye as I was leaving last night which was one of the first things I remembered this morning. Grandchildren have made me very happy getting into my senior years. They remind me of the important things in life. Learning, happiness, and love.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Deserts are one of the sweet parts of life. Old fact, when I was young I worked in an ice cream factory for a summer. I was on the half-gallon line. I guess that is why I don’t mind having ice cream in the morning because that was my shift.
  • Important expectations, lessons, limits, and rules are not being taught and enforced at a young age. At the same time, it’s hard to expect that as a standard for those living on next to nothing and surrounded by negative examples once they step out the door no matter how much their parents support them.
  • Sports are fantastic in their genuine form, the game being played itself, at any level. Watching or as a player. It’s all these other pregame, prediction, gambling, fantasy, and fluff shows surrounding it that I can do without. Halftime entertainment is fine. Also, give me school bands instead of DJs at college games, please.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

2 thoughts on “Made me think

  1. Aa deep emotional connection with your grandson is beautifully conveyed. The joy and happiness you experience in spending time with the child is palpable.

Leave a Reply