Link Ups, Reflection

Six Favourite Photographs: #SundayStills Black & White Edition

One of the things that has helped keep me sane (or at least slightly more sane) during our various stages of lockdown has been connecting with friends and family virtually. Two of these digital meetups take place weekly with fellow bloggers. In both cases, we take turns kicking off a guiding question for the week, e.g. ‘What is your kryptonite?’ The conversations easily flow from there.

In one of these recent calls, the guidelines were: ‘Share six favourite photographs, then write a haiku about one of them.’ I initially considered having Richard phone in and say that I was sick. Seriously! I had not written a haiku since elementary school. More importantly, how could I possibly whittle down my 10,139 computer photos…or my gazillion print photos (many of which have been chaotically shoved into shoeboxes)?!

Drawing a deep breath, I ignored the print photos and the shoeboxes. I then selected six digital photos to which I always seem to return. None of these pictures will win awards for photographic excellence. They also do not fully include all important events, or all important people, in my life. But they do give a good snapshot of who I am and what I value. Here are the six photos that I shared, plus my attempt at an overarching haiku.

Top left to bottom right:
(1) My mother and father, August 1952. (2) Our first day of retirement as we faced our new life on Vancouver Island. (3) I love thinking of all of the influences that helped shape this young girl. (4) Our first Christmas back in Canada. We need to update this shot. (5) The moment I realized that despite taking a few roads less travelled, everything turned out great.(Major parenting guilt averted!)
(6) Teaching and School Administration – a career for which I am incredibly grateful.

Upon reflection, I realized that almost all photos that I selected had to do with new beginnings.
1) My parents beginning their new life together.
2) Richard’s and my start to our retirement.
3) Just before entering preschool.
4) Our first large family celebration after returning home (from 14 years away).
5) Creighton embracing post-graduate life.
6) This shot was taken in the last month of my official career life.

It is remarkable how our ‘quick selections’ are often much less random than we first realize. Here are a few more shots to give an updated view of our immediate family.

Photo Updates Slide Show:
1) Christmas 2018. Richard and me (√) My parents (√), All of our children (√), DILs (√), Granddog (√), Grandchildren (2/3). Still, important people are missing.
2) Zoom Family Christmas 2020. Pizza (or substitute) was arranged for this year’s virtual Christmas gathering. The big win was that all of our children, their partners and our grandchildren (plus our granddog) joined Richard and me for this celebration.
3) Weekly Zoom Cooking and Dinner Date: My niece and I have a weekly Zoom Cooking Dinner Date. It has been an awesome way to spend time together while distance and the pandemic have kept so many of us apart.

Do you have a favourite photo? If so, please tell us about it in the comments. Or share a link to it. Or, why not try writing a haiku about it? (Easy peasy: five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables!)

My ‘Black and White’ song choice was released in April 2020. Yes, you read that correctly. That’s about 40 – 60 years later than my typical song selections. I have finally burst into the current musical decade. It may only be a quick visit, but I have enjoyed my time here.

To get you started, here is my version of the opening lyrics in haiku form. I’d love for you to play along. I need the inspiration!

black and white haiku
evening at your door
me fumbling…wanting, needing
warmth, breath, touch – your kiss

Black and White, Niall Horan. Released: April 2020. Label: Neon Haze.

#SundayStills
#YourBestBlack&White

Enjoying #SundayStills? Love black and white photography? Why not check out these posts on the same theme. If I’ve missed seeing your #SundayStills entry for this week, please leave your link so that we can all view it. If you have never entered #SundayStills before, it’s not too late. We would love for you to join us.
Deb
Hugh
Janis
Jo
Kristin
Marsha
Sandy
Sue
Suzanne
Terri

81 thoughts on “Six Favourite Photographs: #SundayStills Black & White Edition”

  1. So here we go – two haikus for the price of one!

    A set of photos
    Summing up family life
    Nothing can beat that
    ———————————–
    Aren’t you so clever?
    Mixing two lots of homework
    into one great post
    ———————————-

    Great job my friend – well done! xx

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  2. You are so clever
    Looking back at life through pics
    Embracing new sounds

    My off the top of my head attempt at a haiku :). Great photos and a fab post!

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  3. I loved this, Donna! I always enjoy your family photographs. Confession…I’ve never written a haiku in my life. I probably need more coffee, but I’ll try.
    You brightened my day
    Sharing your new beginnings
    Cherished memories

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Jill – You never had to write a haiku in elementary school…or high school?
      How did you get away with that?
      Your haiku is beautifully written. You’d think you were a writer or something. 😀
      Thank you so much for jumping right in.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s a picture of me around here somewhere, with my bangs cut ridiculously short, like your’s are in your picture as a little girl. OMG! How could they have done that to us? Criminal 🙂

    Great song. “When did you know?” “I always knew.” Love that bit.

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    1. An old photograph
      My bangs cut severely short
      Truly criminal

      See easy peasy!
      Glad you liked the song choice. I loved my visit to the current decade. Still, I won’t likely stay here long. Trailers for sale or rent. I am truly hopeless!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a joyous post! I enlarged each picture so that I could get a better look. Wonderful selection of beginnings. Also, really liked Niall Horan and will be adding him to my playlist. Lovely haiku.

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  6. Good morning Donna! What lovely photos and their memories! Family really is everything which is one reason we moved north. Great point about how each photo represents a beginning of some kind. Well captured for the ages!

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    1. Hi, Terri – I wholeheartedly agree about the importance of family. Even when we are not conscious of it, it’s incredible how they shape our thoughts and actions. ‘New Beginnings’ sounds like a great #SundayStills theme. Hey, wait, that’s happening in two weeks (aka ‘Emerge’). See you there — and before that as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Donna, having trouble from my mobile leaving comments, so hopefully this is not a duplicate. Beautiful memories of new beginnings! Funny how those moments are frequently captured. Black and white lends itself to the nostalgia.

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    1. Hi, Terri – I am sorry to hear that you were experiencing difficulties leaving a comment. Hopefully, my site did not contribute to that grief. Both of your comments came through perfectly. It’s true about black and white leading to nostalgia. I am learning a great deal about B & W photography through this link-up. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Terri – I also tend to stick with colour photography but agree that some shots are much more effective in black and white. I know that there is a science to this (composition, expression, distractions, texture, shadows, contrast) but my current system is “guess and check”. 😀

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    1. Hi, Dee – Thank you so much for dropping by. I love B & W photos as well. Richard and I finally got around to making a ‘Travel Wall’ in our stairway. We used all B & W photographs. Very effective. (at least in our minds)!

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  8. Hi Donna, Such beautiful and meaningful photos. Here I thought I was the only one with hair bangs cut short 🙂 Niall Horan is a great choice, too. Somehow I escaped writing haikus in schools. I think your choice of new beginning photos reflect your optimistic trait unconsciously.

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    1. HI, Natalie – I have always admired your optimism and how you bring it out in others as well. You even did that in this comment – thank you. 😀
      Funny about the bangs in my childhood photo. I hadn’t thought of them as being short. To be honest, what I love most about that photo is that I am not 100% sure if it is a picture of my sister (four years older) or of me. It is one of the only photos, where you really can’t tell.

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  9. I loved your photos. I don’t often do much with black and white but it fun to sometimes play with it because I am very much drawn to old black and white photos…especially of family.

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    1. Hi, Kristin – I wholeheartedly agree that black and white best suits some photographs more than others. For creating a sense of nostalgia with family photos – B & W is hard to beat! Thanks so much for dropping by.

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    1. Hi, Marty. I greatly appreciate your kind and insightful reply. I think that the most time-consuming task was to choose the original six photos. After a great deal of hesitation, I finally grabbed six that jumped out at me from my computer files. I did consider updating the original six for this post, but then decided to spare myself the agony and simply add a couple more recent family shots. The rest was relatively easy. With some reflection, I did gain (or confirm) some insights. e.g.(1) I love the excitement of new beginnings. (2) Family is very important to me. (3) I don’t like to leave anyone out.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Deb – It’s amazing how there is usually a song (or several songs) for almost any theme that you choose. One of the upcoming themes, ‘Emerge’ proved to be a bit more challenging in this regard. Eventually, I found a Mastercard commercial that worked perfectly. “D
      Thanks so much for your feedback I value it greatly.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I enjoyed this post Donna. Wonderful how you randomly selected your photos and then recognised the connections. Also loved your music selection. I imagine this being used for a wedding video.

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    1. Hi, Sandy – I only noticed the ‘new beginnings’ connection last night. Once I saw that theme – I couldn’t stop reflecting on it.
      Your closing sentence is also spot-on. In the online comment section for the official ‘Black and White’ video, one commenter dramatically stated that if she couldn’t get married to that song, she didn’t want to get married at all. Now that’s extreme! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I like your poem and photo selection, Donna. They are very meaningful. While I have more physical freedom than you and Richard these months, I do envy the connections you have and share with friends and family, despite them being virtual. It is so important to belong and connect! Happy Sunday!

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    1. Happy Sunday to you, Liesbet – I agree with you that belonging and connection are so important (with or without a pandemic). I can now see a glimmer of light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. My mom gets her first vaccine tomorrow, and my stepfather gets his on Friday. Although this is only one additional layer of protection, it is an important one and I am super excited about this!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. The pop music tragic in me is so impressed that you’re featuring Niall from 1D. Love that Haiku…and love how you’ve captured that (accidental) theme of new beginnings.

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    1. Thanks, Jo – As anyone who knows me knows, I totally cheated on the music selection thing. Actually, just the other day, Richard said ‘Quick, name any song on a current top hit chart!”. Not only did I have NO idea, I also could not name a full song title and artist for the last (very long) while. I found Niall when I was browsing songs about Black and White. I’m so glad that I did. I will be listening to more of his work.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. The haiku was a great deal of fun, Donna, and I now see haikus everywhere.🙂 I really like your phrase “…who I am and what I value.” Few words, yet powerful words. Interesting about the new beginnings. I appreciate how you discussed more in depth the meaning behind these photos. A beautiful post!xx

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  14. I think it’s great that you get together with your blogging buddies, Donna. Thank goodness for the visual proof because sometimes I look back and have absolutely no memory, even though it’s obviously me in the picture. I don’t do haikus either, but yours is great.

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    1. Thanks, Peter – Both groups of blogging buddies have been meeting together weekly for almost a full year now. The groups began as something to help us with our various stages of lockdown. I don’t believe that any of us imagined that they would continue for this long. I still greatly look forward to both each week.
      PS – I am sure that you have haikus hidden in you somewhere! 😀

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  15. Hi, Donna,
    Great pictures. You were a pre-school cutie, and your family is a very attractive bunch. We know you’re proud of all of them. I smiled a bit at the phrase regarding “retirement from official career life.” Isn’t it wonderful that we have the opportunity to pursue a number of “unofficial” careers at this stage. Looking forward to the cooking post. Have a great week. Joe and Helen.

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    1. Hi, Joe and Helen – Thank you again for your kind words. Retirement indeed brings with it opportunities for numerous ‘unofficial’ careers. This week I have been dabbling in photography, hiking, cooking, classic reading (and blogging, of course). Next week may bring with it other opportunities. I love discovering new adventures as I go along. I hope that your travels are continuing to go well. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hah! I read this wonderful post on Sunday, then totally spaced out on commenting. Some of my favorite black and white photos are from my childhood. We are so lucky to have them. Here’s my haiku:

    Treasures from the past
    Images in black and white
    Colored with our love

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      1. Thanks, Marsha – When I first joined the #SundayStills community, I had difficulty finding everyone who had contributed. I started linking to the current #SundayStills post that I found. Since then, Terri has been publishing a full list of participants from the week before – which is totally AWESOME. Still, I have continued shouting out the #SundayStills posts that I have personally read and loved. See you this weekend at #SpringGreen!

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  17. I used to write a lot of haikus, but they all dried up, Donna. However, your post got me inspired, so here you go –

    Families of life
    Not even time can erode
    Past, present, future

    I enjoyed all the photos you shared with us of your family. Such an important time to share them right now, given the pandemic and not seeing each other physically.

    I also like black and white photography and always prefer photos of me in black and white. They make me wonder if that is how people really see me.

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  18. I enjoy seeing black and white photos. As much as I like color, the change is refreshing. I have no digitized photos of my early life, but many of them are in black & white already. That’s how it was then!

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  19. Donna, your post is bursting with love of life, family and friends. Like you I would run from the thought of whittling down my tens of thousands of photos to a mere six but you did so and brilliantly. They capture the essence of you and your haiku hints at how much more there is for us to know, learn about you and your life! A beautiful post and you have me sketching haikus!😀 xx

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  20. Hi Donna – this was delightful to see … and to see/read more about your backstory … clever too that you’ve given us a Haiku … and I loved Niall’s song … thanks – delightful … Hilary

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    1. Hi, Hilary – I’m delighted that you enjoyed Niall’s song. It was a great feeling to actually be aware of a relatively current pop song. Although I do feel myself going back to my oldie but goodie favourites! 😀 Thanks so much for dropping by. I greatly appreciate it.

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  21. I so enjoyed your photos, Donna. It’s a little too early in the morning for me to write a haiku on the fly, and like you, choosing just one favorite would be a daunting task. I do love looking at photos of past vacations and celebrations, the children and grandchildren through the years, and those classics that make you smile every time you see them.

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    1. Hi, Christie – Thanks so much for dropping by. Since it was early morning, you have a free get-out-of-haiku-writing pass. 😀 Favourite photos are extremely difficult to narrow down. =#SundayStills has been awesome at having me look back through old photographs. This has instantly ignited so many fond memories! Sending warm thoughts your way.

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  22. Donna, you might be onto something with this haiku thing, a newly discovered talent! It’s so interesting that your chosen photos turned out to be new beginnings. Such a turn of mind tells me you are one who can handle the pandemic well. Happy Spring!

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  23. Hi Donna – I really enjoyed looking at these photographs and they seem just right even though it was hard to imagine picking just 6. I’ve always liked haiku, even though other poetry doesn’t grab me. Probably because it’s so simply presented. You have a lovely family 🙂

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  24. What a beautiful family and memories ypu collected. Love the black and whites. My husband use to develop black and white photos. Artful work.

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