Monday, November 30, 2015

My 366-day photography project: Thanksgiving!

On Tuesday, November 24th, I went to the Grand Island Memorial Library to interview Lynn Konovitz, the director of the library, for an article about him. After working at this library for 32 years, Lynn is retiring. When he was first appointed as the librarian here in Grand Island, the library was located in a large room on the second floor of town hall. It was a very small space for the library. Part of his job was to find a new space for the library, to give the library room to grow. The space that was found was on land that had been donated to the town by the Funk family. A new library was built and the rest of the land is now Veterans Park.

The picture above is in the children's section of the library. There is a comfortable place to sit and the picture on the carpet is of the Very Hungry Caterpillar (based on the 1969 book by Eric Carle).

Doesn't this caterpillar look as if it wants to eat everything in sight, including the alphabet and the red chair? Eric Carle wrote and illustrated the story of a caterpillar who ate so much that he actually made himself sick before he managed to metamorphose into a beautiful butterfly. So which food made him sick? According to Wikipedia, the very hungry caterpillar gobbled down: one apple, two pears, three plums, four strawberries, five oranges, one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, one slice of watermelon, and one green leaf.

OK. The caterpillar is obviously fictitious because the only thing that a real caterpillar would find palatable would be the green leaf. The wackiness of the food choices adds to the delight and humor of this lovely story.

The library has become a delightful community center. On Tuesday, children's librarian Anne Slater was setting up for a program.

This is the very colorful display of books to attract the eyes of the very young children who come with their parents or caregivers to the program.

Later in the day, I went to the hairdresser. On my way there, I took a look at Woods Creek and took some pictures of how it looks late in autumn.

The vegetation is turning brown and is ready for dormancy. According to Sally Cunningham, who writes a gardening column for The Buffalo News, Western New York gardeners have much to be thankful for, including the fact that we have winter. I will readily admit that I don't like winter because I don't like slipping on ice and being cold. But the period of dormancy is good for apple and pear trees. It's also good for the smaller plants. Sally Cunningham said that, when the snow comes, it is like having free mulch! 

After leaving the hairdresser, I thought that a treat was in order. I bought two tiramisu cupcakes at the Baked Cupcakery (1879 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island). Isn't that pretty? It tastes as good as it looks!


On Wednesday, I went to Island Presbyterian Church to help peel potatoes and to take pictures for an article about the church's annual community Thanksgiving dinner. This dinner is free to anyone who comes, and it features a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. If people have a favorite Thanksgiving dish, they are encouraged to bring it to share with the community. Approximately 100 persons were expected at this dinner. This dinner is one way to ensure that no one has to spend the holiday alone.

Preparing food is a joyful thing, especially when you know that it is food to be shared.

Suzanne Grafinger and her son in law display beautiful homemade pecan pies.

On Thanksgiving, I walked over to Island Presbyterian Church for the community Thanksgiving dinner, so that I could take pictures and ask people two questions for my article. My questions were: What is your favorite Thanksgiving food? What are you most thankful for this year?

The Rev. Carla Kline is the pastor of Island Presbyterian Church. Here she is offering a blessing before the big meal.

Don and Evelyn Lewis are among many folks who enjoy having their dinner here.

At the dinner, Candy Bouley shows off the lovely wreaths that she has designed and is selling.

Thanksgiving was a magnificent day. There was much to be thankful for. I enjoyed the community Thanksgiving dinner, and I enjoyed dinner with my family. I was well fed and happy. On Friday morning, I woke up and saw that the sun was rising, and the sky had been painted with these vibrant colors. That sky is one of the many gifts of nature. More reasons for gratitude.



On Saturday, it was cold and yucky. I still had to take at least one photograph for the day so I chose to set up a still life with these figurines. There's a compass, a seashell, and a treasure chest. In my imagination, I could be a sailor or a pirate or a mermaid, even when the weather was cold and yucky.

On Sunday, during coffee hour after church, Father Earle showed one of the nativity sets that he purchased during his recent trip to the Holy Land. The nativity set is made from the wood of olive trees.



On Sunday afternoon, I painted six wooden snowmen and one wooden snowflake.

It was a fun project. They went from being nondescript pieces of wood to being snowpeople wearing bow ties and buttons and black hats.

This is a rainbow snowflake. Even during the dreariest days of winter, it is nice to think of the world as being full of color.

This morning, I sprayed the snowpeople and the snowflake, and I set up all of them in a still life.

Don't they look like a little chorus? There's a bass, a baritone, a tenor, a contralto, a mezzo soprano, and a soprano. Singing brings joy, as you can tell by the happy smiles on their faces.

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