It’s been a busy but rewarding season. My parents came from Ireland to visit and experience glorious summer weather and the constant circus of wildlife that surrounds our house in New York’s Hudson Valley. I celebrated my 50th birthday in my wild but fruitful garden, surrounded by family and friends. My wonderful daughter and mother helped me cook up a feast with lots of tasty local produce. Every day I marveled at my daughter’s artistic skills–painting, writing, embroidering. I watched my youngest son find grace and joy with each new physical skill he mastered. My eldest son’s summer was one long celebration of friends and freedom after four diligent years of high school. Taking him to college we got to explore two new amazing cities and states, Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. In between times, I interviewed fascinating and talented artisans for Dirt magazine. And I’ve been out and about with my notebook and camera, making the most of the long beautiful days. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the season as much as I have. –Your health! Melissa
Here’s a link to my latest article in Dirt Magazine
Those gorgeous photos tell me you had a lovely summer, Melissa…..and I thoroughly enjoyed your article about Mena Messina….the arts, particularly those in which we use our hands, I think, are such healers of the spirit!
Thanks, Cynthia. Hope you had a good summer too. All my best, Melissa
Wow Melissa -so lovely. Our summer was nothing like that but ended up productive. I feel like all the things I care about deep down were on hold while we took everyday life and tipped it up on end and shook it. Nice to see that some one was attending to the considered life. We loved seeing you and your lovely extended family. Thank you for having us and thank you for tending to the important things while we couldn’t. We’ll have to have you to our new house to pump you for your creative and artistic ideas on how to help make it ours. Cheers- Love to the rest of your lovely clan.
Kind words indeed, Mark. I wish you and the family all the best with your new home–I’m sure you’ll make it yours very soon. Can’t wait to visit.
Not sure if this will find you, but I couldn’t figure a way to leave a comment on the blog. I’m so glad you got to visit the north Oregon coast. That will always be home to me. We’ve been in Portland since 1979, but the north coast … that’s home. If you’re going to be out here again during your son’s tenure in school, use this email to let me know, if you like. We’re in Portland, quite close to Lewis & Clark College. Our daughter lives in Seattle, so she’s another potential resource.
Jim Stewart firstname.lastname@example.org jamesrichardstewart.com
Good to connect with you, Jim. I’m hoping to visit again soon. And if you’re ever in the Hudson Valley, give a shout.
A fabulous summary of your summer and wonderful photos. And belated happy 50th!
Thank you, Karina. I’ve been enjoying your lovely photos of Irish summer. Regards to you and the family.
These made me feel like I got a whole extra summer, and just when I needed it too! 🙂 Great article on Mena Messina’s renewing art. All the discarded, broken things we can find inspiration in, if we choose to.
So glad you enjoyed the photo and article, Sunshine. Yes, Mena is a great inspiration not only for her art, but how she’s used it to keep herself and her family strong.
At first I thought too many photos, but I’m very glad I took the time. Gorgeous! I enjoyed each one. My summer played out much quieter than yours, but here in the mountains peaceful is golden. Come check out WV sometime. You’ll have free room and board!
Ah, Brenda, you’re a sweetheart. I’d love to visit your neck of the woods. Don’t be surprised if you get a call one of these days . . . Hope all goes smoothly moving into your new home. Best wishes, Melissa
Love your shots. All of them, but that snap of the split rocks tends towards freaking me out. Both because it’s a great capture—and how the heck did dem rocks do dat? Brrrr~!
One word–erratics! That particular area is called Balance Rock state park because of an enormous boulder which literally balances on one precarious point–talk about scary!I’ll post a photo of it some time. Anyway, I’m guessing this “x” rock is another one of those erratics left behind by the last ice age, 10,000 years ago. Now you’re thinking you wished I hadn’t given you a straight answer because the notion of a coven of rock-hexing witches would have been way more entertaining. Sorry!
Beautiful photos, Melissa… I love the kid floating in the water.
Nice article in Dirt. Who did you choose? Seattle or Portland.
Thanks, Ted. My son mastered the dead-man float this summer. We visited both Seattle and Portland on our trip. Fell in love with both of them. Luckily they’re so close together it’s easy to visit the pair of them. Hope you had a good summer too.
That sounds like a wonderful summer, Melissa. And what beautiful pictures you have brought back from it. A treat for us all!
Thanks, Adele. I take way too many photos, but they are a real pleasure to look back at, especially in the depths of winter. All my best, Melissa
Whew! Well, congrats on the big birthday. It sounds like the celebration was superb. And your family appears to be a dream come true. You are a lucky, lucky lady, Melissa.
And the photos of your journey? Breathtaking! They’re truly stunning pictures that leave me searching for a pencil to mark down the names of places I need to add to my bucketlist of visits. Fantastic work.
Thank you, Shelley. Lucky–and don’t I know it! My glass is always half-full–which doesn’t mean I spend my time sipping Irish whiskey, or not most of my time, though that wouldn’t suck. Cheers!
Happy 50th my beautiful creative blogging friend. This is a real milestone, and how wonderful to have the most important people around you and have such a wonderful warm summer , warmth within and without. All the best and richest blessings and thanks for sharing such a warm and personal time of joy and family Mel!
I appreciate your kind comments. All the best, Melissa
Wow, you have some wonderful pictures here Melissa, beautiful celebration of summer! 🙂 It’s lovely to have these to look back on. I realised recently I don’t take nearly enough pictures, and those that I have taken and posted on the blog, it means a lot to look at them now. Like a scrap book of memories. And I think it helps to hold those memories a lot clearer in mind. Thanks for showing us your lovely summer, and also your interesting article in Dirt magazine. I might have seen that magazine before somewhere, it seems familiar. I’ve bookmarked it so I can give it a link in my magazine (When I get some time to get round to creating those other magazine links – there’s a lot of them!)
A stunning set of photographs. Always enjoy visiting your blog Melissa. Only wish I could pop over more.
Most kind. Thank you, Pearl!
What a treat to read and go through these breathtaking images! I felt as if I had been somehow in attendance … Thank you for that!
As a side note I want to bring to your attention that the site linked with your name/avatar on wordpress is melissashawsmith.wordpress.com, which is no longer active. I wasn’t sure if this was intentionally and luckily I am able to find proper link to your blog through my e-mailbox.
So glad you enjoyed the photos. And thank you for taking the time to let me know about the issue with WordPress. I’m still trying to get to the bottom of it.
Enjoyed your post about your family’s summer adventures. The pictures are wonderful; your eye terrific. Seymour was super impressed!
Keep on enjoying life and your blessings.
Thanks so much, Bernice.
My goodness, such an incredible exhibition! You are beyond talented capturing such crisp and clear images, one could nearly feel they were looking through a window.
I can feel the love in your words as you recap your summer. It really touched my heart Melissa. I think I saw a side of you, that you revealed some personal details that helped reveal why you are so good at what you do– you are a wonderful observer (and maybe very patient and a good listener too?). Loved this post! Xx
Such kind words. Thank you!