1 Shot Wednesday: March Street

My stepfather died three years ago. 

Photos trigger memories and transport one to the past. That is the purpose of the Wednesday 1 Shot series.

This photo is from my hometown in Illinois. Just a typical street on the blue-collar side of town. The sky lacks definition. A misty rain coats the trees making them look gangly and tragic. Cracked streets and decaying homes suggest depression in our town.

The setting echoed how our family felt about the passing of a steadfast man who devoted decades to my mother–mind, body, and soul. Maintaining his corner of the world with dedication, he ignored the drama of humans surrounding him and expressed love with pride in his home and garden. He was a man who showed love not with words or touch but by action.

At this point, he would wave me off and tell me not to be so melodramatic. So I will try to obey. I raise my beer can and salute. “Thanks for taking care of Mom.”

March. Sadness & Hope

The wind blows. Soon, the leaves will fill the branches. The sun will return. Soon, a walk down this simple street in the heart of my town will elicit the nostalgic scenes from my youth and replace the chill. But not today.


July Jewels


Travel to Illinois in July? The humidity. The heat. It’s just gardens and cornfields. The pace of life moves like a tortoise. The options for excitement are nil. I have adopted this attitude from time to time about my Midwest hometown. That’s why I need photography. I am otherwise obtuse about the unassuming, abundant jewels of nature. My folks are as content in their backyard as Sam is in the Shire. Their wisdom? Let the beauty come to you instead rushing out to find it. No, they don’t share my adventurous appetite, but they are the calmest, emotionally sound pair on the planet, and I believe it’s because their Disney World is out in the backyard.








Garden vegetable salads. Yum!  Which shot is your favorite? 


Illinois Cherry Pie

DSC00148  Thousandacrescover Surrounded by fields of corn, I’m visiting my folks and family in Smalltown, USA. If you saw the film Field of Dreams or read the Pulitzer by Jane Smiley, you have a sense of my childhood setting. My roots are German–efficiency, manners, and chores were a big part of my upbringing.


One of many tricks I learned growing up was cooking and baking from Mom. When we decided yesterday to make cherry pies, we made them from scratch including the cherries. My step-father is a great gardener. Don and I plucked and pitted.

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Mom cooked and we made our crusts.


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Would you like a slice for dessert? We have fresh vanilla ice cream to serve alongside. First, we have to tackle the BBQ ribs, potato salad, and the variety of vegetables picked from the garden. Pour me a glass of beer, and that my friends, is how it’s done in Illinois.


Another week, blackberries.


Future coleslaw and sauerkraut

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blossoms on vines

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“Fill your garden with the beauty of flowers and the songs of birds.” These are the constant companions of my parents. Well wishes to you from the Heartland!

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