Nothing says “I Love You” more than seeing a Mother with her offspring.
In 1978, “a stranger” walked into my office and introduced himself as Nino Piccolo, the architect who would be designing a new office building for my employer, and from that day forward we have been good friends. While in Chattanooga just before Christmas we got together for lunch for what may be the last time we see each other before he returns to Italy, his homeland, in April. Our time over lunch was spent talking about the good times we have shared and the many mutual friends we have lost over the years. Nino’s daughter, Christina, is accompanying him and will be teaching English to students in a nearby school. They will reside in Nino’s home overlooking a beautiful countryside in Ascoli Piceno in the Marche region. I wish you well, my friend, enjoy la dolce vita and I will keep my promise to visit you in the not-too-distant future.
As the Christmas season approaches I find myself thinking about a wonderful trip I made recently to the Biltmore House in Ashville, NC with four friends. It is a special place to visit any time of the year but I find it especially beautiful when it has been decorated with poinsettias, red bows, wreaths, sprigs of greenery and Christmas trees in every room. One photo will not give you enough of an idea as to how beautiful its rooms are so I elected to provide you with a “diptych/triptych.” I am wishing all my friends and family a Merry Christmas surrounded by those you love.
Each visit to Chattanooga my husband and I engage in its “urban exploration.” Looking back over the years, we continue to be amazed that Chattanooga, once called “the dirtiest city in America,” is today the fourth largest tourism market in Tennessee and has welcomed big companies like Amazon and Volkswagen to locate their facilities there. Not too many years ago, living downtown was unheard of but today it is a most desirable place to live. This photo was taken during a girls’ trip last October and as I walked across the glass bridge I could not help but notice the new condominiums and apartments which were not there a few years ago.
As I stood in the field taking this photo, I felt sad and my thoughts went back to when this barn in Sequatchie County, TN must have been a vibrant structure with meaning to the farmer. I imagined it filled with equipment, baled hay and perhaps even a few horses. Now it is “abandoned” with its barn wood decaying and rusty tin roof peeling from neglect.