Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

Last Wednesday, I drove through a heavy storm. As we drove west then north, the clouds became thicker and darker. The clouds opened up. I could hardly see through the windshield. I slowed to 40mph, and many cars pulled over to weather the storm. O and I, with Ivy along, were driving pick up W from wrestling camp in Wisconsin a day early. It’s been stormy – hot, humid, and muggy in the Midwest since late last week. Thursday morning we were on our way to Ohio driving through a cloudy morning on our way to a different kind of storm – the passing of a loved one.

before the rain began, shot 2
before the rain began, shot 2

My father-in-law, B’s dad, passed away after a long life filled with love for family, country, and hard work. We will miss him. The visitation was Thursday and the service was Friday. He will be in our memory forever.

We – W, O, and Ivy have logged over a thousand miles since last week: to Wisconsin and back, to Ohio, and finally to Michigan. We drove up Saturday afternoon. We arrived in time for the sun to set. The kids could not contain themselves and dragged their kayaks to the lake, jumped in and paddled out to watch the sunset for the first time this summer.

summer's first sunset - W's photo
summer’s first sunset – W’s photo

The cottage, this is grandpa’s place. It was his dad’s before it was his and it was his dream to have it around for his grandkids, and their kids and grandkids. It’s a special place and I can hardly walk around without thinking about him. I have been spending summers here since 1992; B and the kids have been every summer of their lives. It is a special place. B will be driving up today and we will have a week to decompress – it’s been stormy weather.

At times like these, I think of the song, Stormy Weather. I have a few versions in my collection.

Stormy Weather

Don’t know why, there’s no sun up in the sky
Stormy weather, since my man and I ain’t together
Keeps rainin’ all the time

Life is bare, gloom and misery everywhere
Stormy weather, just can’t get my poor self together
I’m weary all the time, the time
So weary all the time

When he went away, the blues walked in and met me
If he stays away, old rocking chair will get me
All I do is pray the Lord, above will let me
Walk in the sun once more

Can’t go on, all I have in life is gone|
Stormy weather, since my man and I ain’t together
Keeps rainin’ all the time
Keeps rainin’ all the time

I walk around, heavy hearted and sad
Night comes around and I’m still feelin’ bad
Rain pourin’ down, blindin’ every hope I had
This pitterin’, patterin’, beatin’ and spatterin’ drives me mad
Love, love, love, love, this misery is just too much for me

Can’t go on, everything I had is gone
Stormy weather, since my man and I ain’t together
Keeps rainin’ all the time
Keeps rainin’ all the time

The song is about a break up between a man and woman or woman and a man, depending on who is singing, but it fits how we all feel… I walk around, heavy hearted and sad…. I don’t think grandpa would want us to mope around and feel sad. He’d want us to get busy and get things done.

One of grandpa’s biggest worries was who would take care of the cottage when he was gone. We are here often and we’ve taken over many of the jobs that he took care of – he worked hard and believed in a good day’s work, then fun. When he was here, he was always busy, sometimes inventing jobs to keep busy. Up here, or anywhere for that matter, there is enough to do without inventing jobs. So, I had better get moving – today is gonna be a great day. I know it and I can feel it, so I had better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, taking the weather as it comes, and weathering the storm.

Is there a song you listen to when you are sad?

Today’s post is in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge – prompt – at Word Press.  This week’s prompt is Contrasts: Light and dark, tall and short, happy and sad — this week, share a shot that captures a contrast.

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13 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

    1. Thank you. My wife and I were working yesterday – weeding – and I looked over and told her, “every time I work on the poop pile (our raised septic filed) I think of him (her dad).” She replied, “I do, too.” Thank you.

  1. Oh, Clay, I’m sorry to hear about your father-in-law passing. What a wonderful legacy, though, in that cottage. Enjoy the happy memories you have of it and him. The photos are a wonder of nature.

    I love the Lena Horne version of Stormy Weather.

    Wishing you blue skies soon.

    1. Thank you. Lena Horne’s version is the one I used and was listening to as I wrote. He was a great man, I couldn’t have had a better father-in-law, he was like a second father to me. I walk around here thinking of him and being grateful for his vision. Thank you.

    1. Indeed, we’ve had some scary weather roll through the Midwest in the last week. Monday night O and I sat on the deck and watched spider-vein lightning to the west as severe weather rolled across the Michigan – having already trampled Iowa and Illinois. It went to our south and we got a few sprinkles but nothing like they experienced further west. Grandpa would’ve been watching wit me oohing and ahhing. Thanks.

  2. Looking at those wonderful pictures of – well, weather really – and reading about your family’s loss made me think of Bach’s Matthew Passion, which always has the power to make me both tearful and reflective. Not a song, exactly, but great music certainly.

    1. Thank you, my music collection is mostly modern pop rock and roll with jazz and country interspersed. I am limited on my classical music, I looked in to and listened to Bach’s Matthew Passion, it is indeed a powerful piece. Music is soothing and comforting. Thank you for your suggestion. Cheers!

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