Took a short drive last night and a few pictures. Had to go visit that wonderful home off 108 in Beaverbrook. Many thanks for the enjoyment and pleasure you give the community.
Howard County Maryland – Holiday decorations – Off Kings Arm Tavern Ct which is off Rt 99.
OK, finally getting in the holiday spirit. Hope to fill these pages soon with holiday lights of Howard County Maryland.
Tonight, I went to visit an old friend at Howard County General. Another friend called me and suggested it and I’m so glad he did, as we met there shortly after. She is fighting cancer and just had surgery today. She is a beautiful person and I’m sure she will beat this. The older I get the more people I know are fighting this illness. It’s a fight I also had at one time and hope to never do battle with it again. I know many people who cancer has taken also and I think about them often and give thanks that I have been one of the very lucky ones.
But the thing that struck me tonight was how laughter helps. And to have laughter you have to make the time to spend with the person. And those two things are one of the best gifts you could give or receive in your life. And not only should you make this time and laughter available to your friends and family when they are ill, but also when they are healthy.
I remember the first visit I had from my friends after my surgery. Those laughs left me feeling better and positive about the next day. Because it reminded me that good times could be ahead again despite the current pain. Making time for others and sharing laughter is something I must do more of in the future. It’s a blessing and gift I have to share and I feel such a great reward myself. I can’t let how tired I am or the number of chores in front of me or the job get in the way of helping those closest to me.
And don’t forget to try to brighten the spirits of the medical staff while at the hospital. Those are some hard-working people who are dedicated to caring for your loved ones, and maybe you someday.
So the next time you get a chance to go see someone who could use a laugh. Do it because it will be just what the doctor ordered. For both of you.
Shot this earlier this year. Looks like one of our prehistoric friends has come back to visit and landed in Centennial Lake.
I was bringing my mother in-law back from the hospital from visiting with her husband and we got to talking about Halloween. She started to tell points of her memories with her children, dressing up, going out and coming back and dumping their bags in the living room. Trading candy back and forth, talking about who gave what and did you see that costume. And I’m sitting there having the same memories of my children and how I miss that so now because they are grown.
Thankfully they (my children) still have the spirit and dress for work and parties. My son borrowed a few items of mine for his costume and my daughter texted me photos of her costume today, so I’m still loving the celebration.
But I digress. Keep an eye out for youngsters tonight. Slow the hell down, if you’re in a vehicle. Complement their costumes, give them candy, smile or act scared and think about when times were simple and you didn’t have the worries you do today even about something as simple as Halloween. And enjoy the evening.
In Contrast to today’s Wonderful Skies, I found ones that weren’t so beautiful one summer here in Howard County.
Some weather shots up by the Howard County fairgrounds. Put these in sequence. I’ve got to do more storm photos. Nature is so impressive. Sorry about the slight shake on the 7th photo down. That boomer was very close and the shock wave got me. Should have had a tripod set up. Live and learn.
Thought I’d stop and snap a few along Folly Quarter Road on the way home last night. I’ve driven this road and enjoyed the views for many decades. I remember speeding down it on my way home from work after my wife called me and said she was in labor with out Son. I remember driving down it after I left the Times Newspapers after 21 years. I remember driving home on it and seeing a wonderful sunrise that morning, a few hours after my Mom passed. To me this is a therapeutic road.
“Don’t you just hate it when someone takes a picture of someone taking a picture of two people standing in a picture?”
We might want to pause and consider, can we fit everything we want into this small space?
Blessed to have lived here, is what I think sometimes when I look out my back window in the morning. I think to myself as I look at all the wonderful images from around the world from other photographers that I really don’t have to go anyplace. Well that isn’t entirely true but there is so much here to appreciate. I also believe that if were not careful in the near future we may destroy some of that beautiful balance we seem to have come to in this county. We are a city and farm. We are businesses and forest. We are schools and parks. We are neighborhoods along reservoirs, lakes and streams. We are a balance that is getting overpopulated and over developed. Hopefully we have the common sense to say uncle soon.
“It’s hard to pull off a successful Vanity License plate, but some get it right.”
On such a rainy start to the weekend I thought I’d share some of the beauty nature shared with me this summer. My neighbor’s garden attracted color from the sky. Another observation though that didn’t please me this past summer was the surprising lack the quantities of butterfly’s I usually see.
With the chill in the air this morning it reminded me that fall is here and winter right on its heals. But before that nonsense (winter) I hope to appreciate the beauty of the fall season. But my first observation this Fall is that we have leaves falling very early without even turning colors yet. I also see lots of leaves coming down that are still green. Not sure what it means, but either I’ve been missing the details of Fall or this season is starting off a bit strange.
I look forward to that yellow at the intersection in the picture. I look forward to the reds in downtown Ellicott City. I look forward to the palette that Rocky George provides and the reflections of those colors in the water. I look forward to the various size and colors of pumpkins/gourds that people display.
I hope to share the upcoming beauty that nature gives us the next few weeks. For those not lucky enough to get out and enjoy it themselves.
We had the pleasure of going to the Shanty Grille twice this summer. And both times were wonderful. I was hoping for that because we were always regular customers of the Crab Shanty for decades. We had one bad experience when they first changed and it caused us to take a break for a while. And to be fair it was near the opening months.
Anyway on both times this summer, we have come early where the dining room wasn’t open yet (5pm I believe). And that is not a problem for me at all because the bar and booths are wonderful. Very comfortable and good views of TV’s and the great looking bar.
The service was great both times. Fast, friendly, seemed to check with us as soon as that thought entered my head, had refills without asking. Knowledgeable of the menu and made some good suggestions. And the food both times was great. We always did appetizers, entrees and or small plates and deserts. Each was wonderful for both parties. Very fresh, perfectly cooked, well spiced and generous portions. I know we will be giving the dining room a try again this winter. Think I’ll take the family.
And the reason I’m likely to keep coming back is because of the generous menu selections. Unique combinations, and a million and one things I like. This has the potential to become one of my regular places again.
Please be careful driving there. That corner off 40 is busy and its a quick turn into a busy and small parking lot. Also with most well established food landmarks in Howard County this one has some older and slower moving clients from time to time, so be patient when they are making their way to dinner. But I’m sure this place also attracts a young crowd also.
I think their upcoming Bourbon and Bacon Dinner is a wonderful idea.
Give them a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed at all.
Today marks another significant change in my lifetime. This Tuesday evening I got the call from the Baltimore County Superintendent of schools. Well yes it was a call and a recording and it was for my daughter, but none the less it was the mark of yet another school year for my daughter who teaches in that system. Her 5th by the way. But this year is different. For she got married this summer and isn’t here to hear his words. Nor is she here for me to see the new outfit she got for the first day of school. Nor is she here to give a big hug and kiss to and wish her well.
But I digress, this is about teachers, who people always make a fuss over in a number of ways. I wish people had the ability to look at it from both the parents and teachers perspective. I’ve learned allot from listening to her stories. I’m looking back at how we interacted with teachers for our own children. We got better as they progressed but in the beginning I think we probably hovered a bit more than we should have.
In thinking about teachers and the work they do, its beyond me how we got to this point. But I can see it because both sides are so strong. What I mean by getting to this point is that I think that the gap between teachers and the public has grown to an unhealthy state. Parents are concerned about bad teachers. Yes I’m sure there are a few. Maybe more than a few. But I can attest to the fact that a great majority are wonderful people who most should consider blessed to have in front of their children every day. Then you have the teachers unions which really protect the teachers but also protect the bad ones.
So how do we get this done. We can’t have the general public picking our teachers and police and fire people at will. There isn’t any job consistency in that life. I think the system is more than capable of policing itself if it was allowed to. I think some general change of standards, based on the kids performance can be really unfair to disadvantaged areas where teachers are not only have less tools, they have more problems outside the school that the kids are dealing with that sometimes make school seem like small change. To me those teachers have to be graded on some kind of curve but there still needs to be accountability on every level and area. But not taking social inequity into account could damage those areas even more.
All I do know is that education is very important. We have and continue to fall further behind other nations in education. It’s not our teachers faults. Its our systems faults and if we don’t correct it soon we will not be the strongest nation in the world. Because knowledge is the true power. Its something we used to know and pride ourselves on. Now we can’t get our asses off of Facebook and Twitter and other mindless games and crap.
So lets all help and step up and make this a discussion and point that this country turns around quickly. Keep in mind, while Howard County has one of the best school systems in the country, we are bordered by some week ones also. Those are our neighbors. Were in the State of Maryland where we all need to be strong. Lets think about how we can share the wealth.
Well, this article isn’t really on schools. Its about those big Yellow vehicles that transport our kids to and from school. You know the ones that have the RED stop sign come out at the front and back of the bus when it stops. Oh and there are those yellow and then RED flashing lights that tell most normal people that they need to STOP.
For I’ve had it watching people just drive past buses when they are loading or unloading the children of this county and state. Now these people aren’t going to be inclined to read this article. Maybe that is the issue, some of them can’t read and don’t know that RED sign says STOP. But I digress. What I think we need to do is to start recording these infractions and put some stiff fines to them. Either us citizens or the bus drivers or the county by installing cameras need to remedy this before a innocent life is taken.
So keep in mind that Schools in the county are starting today. Keep in mind that getting there 30 seconds earlier than you would have if you had stopped isn’t worth the risk of hitting a child. And keep in mind that I might spend some time video taping you passing a stopped bus and I might just send it to someone who can do something about it.
So do the right thing. Slow down, stop when prompted and be careful. It’s school season again.
Last night was we had another great pizza from Ledo Pizza. The one we visited was in Columbia off Oakland Mills Road. There are 4 locations in Howard County as far as I can tell from their locations Map. I usually use the one on Rt 40 Normandy Shopping Center. But we started at the original on University Boulevard in Adelphi. I believe that original restaurant moved a few years back to College Park, but I read they have 100 locations now and are becoming a force in other states.
Everyone’s love of pizza is different. Thick or thin crust. The endless varieties of sauce. The variable of cheese and toppings are endless. But for this guy Ledo pizza is my favorite. Everything comes together and its consistent and its done with a smile and good service. And this is a company that gives back to local communities. Everything I like in a pizza is in theirs. The constancy in the variety of toppings I try with their pizza is tops.
May favorites are the pre cooked bacon. I also go for the sausage and pepperoni. The green pepper, onion, mushroom is fine for those not meat inclined. The Hawaiian pie (sorry pies are round and Ledo pizza is RECTANGULAR). Let me try again. The Hawaiian pan is also a favorite.
To me their ability to franchise and train and maintain the consistency while also doing good things for the communities they are part of, leads me to believe this is a good organization. One I have supported for many decades now and one that will continue to get my business.
Oh, my other half wouldn’t be happy unless I mentioned their salads which are great along with the house dressing. And now that I look over their online menu I see a few things I would like to try so looks like next week they might be getting another visit. That Sweet Baby-Q Chicken one in craft pizzas looks like a winner.
Also wouldn’t be right to not mention the Calzone and Stromboli. The meat lovers are great.
Hope you enjoy your experience if you decide to try. And if your a Facebook junkie, they have contest pretty regularly for various things.
When you say institutions people might think of buildings, government, reform or prison, mental facilities. I tend to think of them as people. Like the guy below on Main Street. Barry and his bubbles. Barry seems to be part of Main Street himself. In front of the store Forget Me Not Factory on Main Street is where you can find him. Entertaining both young and old.
It’s kind of infectious. He makes kids smile and that makes adults smile. There is laughter and an appreciation for the simplest of things. Bubbles. They make kids chase and reach for the sky. They are wonders of color and ever changing shapes when you do the size ones Barry creates. A mild breeze is his friend. And the street is his theater. May he continue to charm and entertain our locals and tourist. Because he has become part of the fabric of that street.
OK, the launch of another section of Howard County Living as seen ThrewMikesEyez. And it’s FOOD. I love food. I love to eat out and take my family and see them try different things. Food like art is subjective to the person creating/viewing or in this case cooking/eating. So as with all reviews of the arts its subject to personal interpretation.
So were ringing the dinner, lunch and breakfast bells and share the great feast we have in the county.
So today’s establishment is Shannon’s Saloon and Restaurant. I just noticed they are also celebrating their 30th year serving the community. Wow, that takes care of the first item. They have withstood the test of time. And with good cause, they serve good food with great service in a nice homey place. While the bar isn’t the largest and gets crowded at times, the food and drink are tops. We have been there a number of times with many family members and always walk out satisfied.
They have an older clientele but I’m sure these peoples kids know about it. Because I’m sure they talk about it and how much they enjoy it. That might not be entirely true with the bar area but its not your young peoples hangout. Which is fine with this old fart.
I love their cream of crab and french onion soups. The chili is also good. I’ve sampled most of the appetizers except for the wings and wasn’t disappointed. I like their crab cakes. And the shrimp salad I’ve always found to be one of the best around. Nicely spiced (might be too much for some) and nice size and tender shrimp. I’ve tried most of the entries and sandwiches and always have been very satisfied. From seafood to steaks to the liver. Its all good.
Sorry I didn’t take some images of our visit there last week but just came up with the idea to start including reviews of places we have loved to dine. So check out the website, but better yet, go dine there and you won’t be disappointed.
One of the long standing county traditions, the Howard County Fair has come and gone for another year. In some ways, its the same good old fair it was 50 years ago when I first attended. In other ways it’s changed considerably. As I wandered the grounds some very fond memories of working the fair at the Howard County Times Information booth many years came rushing back. Those were some proud days. Ones where you had a true community newspaper. Where the people that wrote and photographed and dug out stories lived and worked in the community.
Also I’m not seeing the familiar farm names I once knew. A few but some old ones are missing also. I also seem to be recognizing less and less people each year. But you still have families and children. Then there also are the teenagers running around just as they always have, checking each other out, chasing and hitting on each other.
You still see the children taking the first amusement rides. And each year there seem to be the same rides but in reality that is one of the biggest areas of change. I think that the midway has expanded a good bit from what it used to be decades ago.
Then there are the rides for big boys. But you can see the desire in the youngest of men. One thing that I can’t remember changing is the Chevy/GMC cars and trucks. I always wondered by other brands didn’t get involved in the fair. Now mowers I can understand Kubota and Deere being the only two. That’s not a big field beyond them. But cars and trucks. We got every brand dealership right here in this county and rarely do they come out. Wonder if its a space issue? Could be.
And as always there is EATS. A cheeseburger, onion rings and a Mountain Dew were starters, followed by a cherry dip cone. But there are other eats as always to satisfy most. I heard from my son in-law that the pit beef was good.
But as they say, its a circle of life. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Not sure how I feel about the pig races. Seemed to draw a good crowd. And I do like BACON.
Well, a few last shots before signing off from FairLand.
Sorry about the absence. Sometimes life throws some hard punches. But on with some updates of Howard County. As we approach our coming ice, sleet and snow this evening, I will share some photos from the last event.
I met this nice woman skiing up to the Post office. I believe she said she lived in Waverly. She was very nice and I’m sorry I didn’t get her name. But she was dressed and prepared for the weather.
As this weather approaches may I remind all those white collar workers (yes I’m one of them) to take it easy with the snow removal. Even if you have the snowblower, it’s going to be very cold, windy and heavy. And then again, it could just rain.
What’s the old adage? Nor rain, nor sleet, nor snow will delay us from our duty. Well this one might just do that. I can’t see these little trucks making it through a foot of snow.
This just finished melting down the last few days. Now were going to cover it again.
OK, so I should have called this Howard County Maryland, when I can get to it. But I will improve. Got a big storm coming so more boring or interesting snow pictures. So to provide contrast of what is to come.
Good thing I have a stock of shots of the county already.
Wine guard dog. He looks rather mellow.
And finally the only way your going to get around after the snow.
Another Sunday, another snow. At least it was just a small one. Did see a number of spin outs along 70 on the way home and slid a good bit myself entering intersection of Marriotsville and Rt 99. I’m about through with Winter myself. So I thought I’d share a few photos of warmer moments in the county where things are GREEN.
Sometimes pictures do bring words to mind.
And then combined with other make sense.
And then add in history.
And then a warm memory of many years ago.
Give them their DUE. No government agency is perfect. Even the best ones can make mistakes. But as always, its how you reply to adversity. And in this case as was the case before it happened the Howard County highways division has responded very well. I’ve always been amazed at the service during the winter season our county gives us. During those bad storms I even try to catch the drivers to see if they need something to drink or eat by standing at the end of my driveway as they come back up from our dead-end street as they plow with food and drink in hand.
I’ve been living here almost 3 decades now and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the plow hit a curb, and that is saying something given the snows we have had during that span. This year we had our road resurfaced and its higher now and therefore the curbs appear a little lower so my guess is this has made it more difficult for the drivers. Then again it could have been some idiot coming down the center of the street forcing the plow over further than he needed to go which I’m sure happens to those guys all the time.
Anyway the county quickly responded to my email. They replied with a report number and contact info and estimated repair time. I’m a happy camper and my back is happy I don’t have to deal with those chunks of asphalt.
One of the interesting things about winter is you can see the mansions sitting back in the woods where they are hidden from road view allot by the normal foliage of the spring, summer and fall seasons. Then there are the sections of huge homes which have denuded the woods around them. And there seem to be plenty of them. I can now easily see why this is one of the most affluent county’s in the country, let alone the state in just riding around a small part of the county for a few days.
Some of these places are absolutely amazing from the outside. I can’t image what might lay on the insides. And while these people may have worked very hard to achieve mansions, I wonder when enough is enough. And I’m beginning to wonder how many more we can shoehorn into the county.
I myself am very glad I moved to Woodstock about 3 decades ago. It was a wonderful place to raise my children and I’m still extremely happy to have a home here. When we first came here the village of Waverly wasn’t even a dream. So I was surrounded by lots of empty space. I really got nervous about that development changing my feelings about the area. For if my memory is correct it was a 700+ acre track of land that was woods and farms I believe for the most part. Now its just the frustration with people pulling out in front of me from a standing stop while I’m tooling down Rt 99 at the 50mph speed limit.
This area reminds me of where I grew up in the southern part of the county 5 decades ago. Yep, between the bustling towns of Simpsonville and Scaggsville. So I think I’ll stay here and ride out the development storm that has overtaken the county. Plus this county will always be home to me and my family.
I love looking out a woods and wildlife and feeling like if my neighbor spits it won’t hit my house. And I like being close to parks that aren’t just ball fields and plastic jungle gyms.
So let me venture out to the populated areas and see what I can capture in the coming week.
OK, some of Day 6 photos were taken on Day 7. Want to be honest about the shooting part. But the thoughts are from Day 6. My thoughts this day are of the benefits of starting this business in how it has opened my eyes and is taking me down roads I haven’t traveled. That’s a fairly sad statement that I’m not the one to travel off the beaten path much. But in starting to examine this county, I find myself excited to turn down a road or neighborhood I haven’t been before.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been through more of this county than most individuals. I grew up in the newspaper business so as a child I had a paper route. I put on many miles on a few bikes in my youth. Right out of high school I got work at the local community paper chain (Stromberg Publications) as it was known back in the 70’s and that did the Howard County Times and 13 other weekly papers. I mainly worked production but through the photographs of talented photographers like Keith Weller, Tenney Masson, Chuck Weis and others that I would reproduce for printing, I got to know the people and places I hadn’t seen before.
As a newspaper co-publisher at Zip Publishing of the ZIP 21042 and 21043 newspapers (later called “The View”) I helped circulate tens of thousands of papers through those two zip codes on a weekly basis. Yeah allot of that was in the dark but you can also see some very interesting things at night also. Plus I got to try my hand at doing photography when I wasn’t wearing a number of other hats.
But I feel like I’m rediscovering things again. Finding life and homes and business and woods and farms that I’ve never laid Eyez on. I’m also excited to be meeting the people of the county and I hope I learn some good stories from them to share here also. But until then you’ll have to listen to my boring behind.
I’ve been marveling at the growth and change I see. And also wishing it would slow. And that wish is an old one of mine but doesn’t look as if it will be granted. For wonderful people, space, schools and resources are a popular thing. So we keep growing. So much growing that were groaning more collectively now.
The affluent status this county has also reached is very impressive. But as is the case with much of the country, great wealth can be right next to great poverty. And while we continue to contract on the poor in this county, we see no end to the high end housing developments. Hey, I agree growth, provides opportunity. I just wish it was better distributed. I hope to see our ADD (attention deficit disorder) society wake up and really start dealing with hard issues instead of throwing a few dollars at it and walking away.
For instance I’m hopefully going to retire in this county. But I’m really worried if I can afford to. I would hate to leave our family home. I can’t imagine leaving the lifelong friends I have here. I can’t imagine moving further away from my children. But I also don’t want to live where I’m house poor. Hopefully I’ll have it paid off by the time I retire from my main job at the Newspaper, but just the cost of living even without a house payment is staggering here.
OK, how bout a big hand for all those men and women out in this mess cutting trees, restoring power, directing traffic, attending to accidents and towing your car to the garage. To those making the deliveries like food to your stores and your daily paper in your driveway at the worst part of the storm. At least mine was there fairly bright and early. So if you were outside you must have been moving because anything that wasn’t, wasn’t.
Wish I had a full day to shoot instead of just a few minutes. Enjoyed the ice, didn’t break anything on the slipping and sliding. But man, I’m sure Howard County General was hopping today with broken this and sprained that and busted butts. Also hats off to those people staffing our doctors offices (my wife included) who are there to treat our wounded behinds.
Schools closed again. The young’ins will be going to class all summer. For the most part this morning people were driving respectfully. But as the traction got better on the main roads people were ready to bogie where some were still being very conservative.
Hats off to BG&E for keeping my power on. Well except for one 3-5 minute period early this morning. Take the time to send those guys a note of thanks. Better yet, when you see one in your neighborhood or around it fixing things offer them a warm or cold beverage depending on the season.
I was really looking forward to this Friday because I had the day off my regular job and was going to really pound away at improving this site and working with my new camera. But with the number of limbs down outside I think I’ll be firing up the chainsaw.
I went outside this morning, when I guess the ice was the heaviest. It sounded as some Goliath type creature was walking through the woods behind us. Limbs and whole trees were falling at what seemed to be a huge rate.
Later today I’ll try to post some warmer images to see if we can turn this winter around and be done with it despite what the groundhog said the other day.
Well, were back on track, I missed a post on Super Bowl Sunday so now were 5 for 5. Will try not to let that happen again.
I was going to go on a long rant about driving, but I will hold that thought till I can compose something thoughtful, because its such a complex subject and I believe needs some serious attention in this area as well as the region. I’ve always told my kids that a car is a weapon. Use it responsibly. I take driving seriously but I’m also far from the best driver on the road. I listen to music too loud, sometimes play drums with one hand and have been guilt of driving while too tired. I used to deliver newspapers and can steer very well with my knees. But I don’t do that anymore. I never text and drive and I try to limit the use of the phone as much as possible and pull over if its something that needs thought. Yeah I can multitask like a SOB but driving and thinking about a complex problem on the job don’t match.
But two things happened yesterday that I guess provided some balance to being on the road. My job that pays the bills takes me to the heart of DC or Tyson’s Corner Va. and or now Ashburn Va. and on the rare occasion Springfield Va. Not the ideal commute for someone on the north end of Howard County but I know I’m far from alone with the throng of people all around me coming down 29 or 95 in the mornings and more impressively all trying to get home around the same time despite going in over a longer span of time. And no matter if you have done it for a few decades like some of us road warriors or just a year or two, it changes you because you can see the worst of people.
The way in was its normal madness. People of wildly different abilities and all different vehicle widths and lengths driving at a huge differential in speed in fairly heavy traffic in the dark. Yeah I leave the house between 5 and 5:30am on days I venture to the office. But this was an unusually bad morning. Tons of near misses, a rear end’er. The ride home in pre-rush and rush hour (by the time I reached Howard County) were just as bad if not worse with lots of crazy behavior.
As I entered Howard County from the southern end of Rt 29, I said enough is enough. I exited that at Rt 216 immediately. This if familiar territory. I grew up in Hammond village which is a stones throw up the road. As I headed out I was admiring all the new area of Maple Lawn. I thought about stopping and wandering around the shop/food area but even that seemed crowded so I proceeded on. As I pass the new (weren’t there when I grew up) elementary and high schools (Fulton/Reservoir) on the right it then begins to look like the area I remember. There is the turkey/cattle farm on the right. Some old homes of elementary, middle and high school friends. I found myself thinking if any of their parents were still around. But it was a much more relaxing ride. The same route I rode on the school bus in elementary at St Louis and to Clarksville middle. 216 to 108 and to school and back. So in between the old homes/farms there seemed to be a lot of new churches.
But I digress, as I entered Clarksville the traffic picked up again and there across the street is the snow plow getting ready for the evening ice storm. So I pulled off on Sheppard Lane where the photo of a partial fence and barn was shot. As I progressed to Folly Quarter road which I’m very familiar with also having come home that way from working in Columbia for a few decades I slowed and stopped on the side to photograph a field of geese. A woman in an SUV slowed and pulled up and stopped as I was walking towards the back of my car and asked if I was OK. I got to tell you that little gesture restored some hope for the other drivers on the road and showed that Howard County helpful nature. Yeah, we got a lot of selfish SOB’s also. No place is immune from them. But we got our share of good people also. And as I did when she stopped, I’ll express my thanks again today. I’m sorry I wasn’t quick thinking enough to snap a photo of you and get your name. And I’d like to point out that this was a black woman a few decades younger than me. And I’m no helpless old man stuck on the side of the road. And it reminded me to also do my part and if I see someone on the side, to stop a minute and make sure they are OK and don’t need assistance. We shouldn’t take it for granted that everyone has a cell phone or someone to call.
Oh, and I apologize for rambling on. I’ve been up since 1am doing my full-time job. Time to go photograph the ice in the morning. Have a great day.
I was on my way home when I looked over to the ball fields at Wallace Park on Rt 144. On a snowy, rainy, no sun day these fields seem so far away. But as I stopped and looked over them I can still see the teams I’ve coached running on the dry dirt in the warm sun with grass and dirt stained uniforms. I can hear the parents encouragement and screams at each play or swing. I can see great joy and great disappointment in children’s faces. And it made me warm standing there on a very cold February afternoon just before dark.
Now that our children have grown, a number of us who coached for many years find ourselves looking back on these days as some wonderful times. Helping kids learn not just baseball but many lessons and tools they could use in every day life. We have talked about coaching again but all of us are so busy with jobs and family still that time is limited. But I believe one day it will happen again. I know were not finished passing along our wisdom and desire to teach.
You can bet your last dollar that I’ll have some great pictures this spring, summer and fall of our county’s kids in action.
Some times you just got to eat right and spend a day with your best friends and watch the big game and you know the rest. And that is what I did yesterday. And here is the proof below in the photos of the food we cooked up before the game. This put a serious crimp in my plans to do some night shots on the way home from the game.
But just to maintain the true spirit of the Post. I’ve included a few reflections shots of one of my favorite Italian Restaurants Portalli’s in downtown Ellicott City from a warm summer day in mid August this past year.
As I ventured out this morning just before sunrise I thought about the history and changes I’ve had the pleasure and pain of witnessing in this county over a span of 53 years. We moved here when I was 4 years old so now you also know my age if you can add.
One of the things I love about where I live now in the county is that when I pull out on Woodstock road I see farmland. What I used to believe was Browns Farm and now is the Howard County Conservancy. I grew up seeing farmland and woods and wildlife. For a long time before Columbia came along, that was about it to see.
As I pulled out onto Rt 99 I said let’s go have a look at Turf Valley at Sunrise. I believe in 1992 The Turf Valley golf course opened. Not that I’ve ever played there. Today we have the new Turf Valley Towne Square. Even though the sun is coming up over it in this picture, only time will tell. I can tell you its a nicely designed strip shopping area. It has a few good restaurants and the anchor store of Harris Teeter. And while it doesn’t look that busy now wait till all those homes are built and occupied in Turf Valley.
It seems sometime every time you turn your head you see development going on and in no small way at all. It worries me that we are losing our balance in this county and its rapidly becoming a small city in itself. And if traffic is any indication we are already there. But right after I saw this new scar on the land, I looked up and here was the sun peaking over the trees as I headed out of Turf Valley.
I then took a ride down to Main Street in Ellicott City. It was still a brisk (low 20’s) this morning and there was a slight mist rising in the sunrise. There was a couple with a photographer taking what looked to be engagement photos. But for a Saturday morning this place was quiet. I’ve worked on this street for a few years (6) of my life. I’m pretty familiar with its ups and downs. It seems like it’s in a bit of a down swing at this time. While there has always been transition, renovation, rebuilding, restoring and change. There have been improvements from the local government. It does have a lot of nice restaurants. It does still have some very nice shops and businesses. But it also has its share of empty space and areas in need of repair.
That is when I ran into this guy at the bottom of the hill, All he was concerned about was that the water was getting warmer, the ice was melting and sunshine was on its way. So that is it for the morning shoot. I hope to venture out later today to capture some more of Howard County Maryland.
Starting on Feb 1st you can see daily images of our wonderful county (Howard County Maryland) here. I was going to start this from the first of the year but hey, I’m in charge so it starts a month late. I’ve been plenty busy and the nice thing about being the boss of a sole proprietorship with no customers yet, is that nobody gives me crap.
Actually there were two things that happened in January 2014 in this area that gave pause. First of course has been the weather. Talk about in your face. I have a hard time with winter when it’s in the 30s and we get a few dusting’s of snow for the whole winter. This has kept me inside as much as possible. The next one was the mall shooting. I thought about going out and shooting that event but I didn’t want to start with that type of tone. Even though it might bear a lot of discussion and is certainly a contrast to this quiet (for the most part) county.
I hope to detail this county from side to side and top to bottom and as well as I can of all points in between. I have lived in this county almost all my life and one might think I’d be bored with it. Yes I’ll shoot and share a lot of things but I believe a real beauty is here and its right under my nose and I haven’t taken the time to appreciate it all and share it all. I might litter a few photos of long time ago when shooting some areas for comparison but will mark the date as close as possible.
This has been a wonderful place to grow up, work in and hopefully grow old in. I think it contains a lot of wonderful people and of course some great towns and neighborhoods and farms and parks and businesses. So let us transition from the frozen tundra to the warm fields of late winter.