Weekly Photo Challenge – Silhoutte

an A340 glides out of the sun for a landing at O'Hare - Sunday August 17th
an A340 glides out of the sun for a landing at O’Hare field – Sunday August 17th

Lately, it seems I have been very good at coming up with diversions. Errands, movies, games, practices; and on the surface, they appear legitimate, but really, they are distracting. O and I have been distracting ourselves quite well, lately. Honestly, I think we are both nervous about the coming year. She is headed off to 6th grade in three days and I am headed to 8th grade science. Saturday, I took her to O’Hare to watch airplanes land and takeoff after getting her new eyeglasses, and we did it again yesterday after the softball game. Granted, O’Hare was close, but there were so many more important things we could have been doing, but we were distracting ourselves from what’s important.

1999 was my first year of teaching. I was in 6th grade and I lasted a year at the grade level before my promotion to 7th grade. I’ve been there ever since. It’s change that’s the unknown. It’s not being completely comfortable with what is coming at you. It’s doing something for the first time. It’s almost like a silhouette, something that’s a mere shadow in the light. You have an idea of what it might be, but you’re not entirely certain until it’s upon you.

Plane spotting or plane watching is comforting.

I remember living in Paris and taking the bus to Orly Airport to watch planes take off and land when we lived in Paris in 1966. I was four years old and I could watch airplanes take off and land for hours, or at least that is how my mom tells the story. My two brothers are younger – a mere 17 months separates the three of us. It must’ve been a handful for my mom in 1966 – living in France, not speaking the language, and having three boys – all under the age of five. To this day, I do not know how she did it.

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In the spring of 2000, when W was two we planned a trip home to Houston and I remember taking him to the airport to watch airplanes to let him see the airport and airplanes. We had fun and it was comforting for the two of us. Then O came along a couple of years later, we’d watch planes at the airport or when they passed over us, but I don’t know why but we had never gone to the airport to watch planes before Saturday.

O's finished locker - all it needs are books
O’s finished locker – all it needs are books

Memory is a funny thing. Experiences and the memories we make from them are what makes us who we are. Memory is the subject of the The Giver by Lois Lowry. She wrote the book when her father was suffering from dementia late in life and she was wondering about ways to preserve memories and his memories, which would be lost forever with his passing. I’ve read The Giver and used it with my class the past five years; this year I’ll be teaching a new content area and I’m worried about my memory – what I remember about science – chemistry and physics, but that’s another story. I’ve written about teaching the book several times before, it’s a thought provoking book – perhaps the first a young adolescent reads. O and I went saw the movie Friday afternoon after she had decorated her locker. It was a diversion, I wanted to see the movie and I wanted to avoid thinking about important things for a while. We’ve had a lot to think about this year. B’s dad, my father-in-law, passed away this summer, not quite two months ago. Her sister passed away in April and we’ve lost their family memories and stories forever.

It’s early Monday morning and I have a full day ahead. We have three days before school starts and O and I are going to my school and classroom this morning. She will be helping me set up parts of my classroom and I am going to think about what goes where and what goes out the door, forever. I’ve acquired a lot of stuff over the years teaching geography and ELA and some of it has to go. We have a busy day planned – appointments, practices, and jobs – lots of jobs. W has football practice morning and evening; and B and Ivy are just biding their time until they get their home back Thursday morning. It’s going to be a great day; I know it and I can feel it. Carpe Diem – seize the day. So, I’d better get a move on and seize Monday before it seizes me. Making the days Count, one day at a time, one memory made, one memory recalled, one diversion at a time.

What’s diverted you lately? What’s kept from important jobs or tasks? Or have you been able to keep focused? Please tell.

Today’s post is in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge – prompt – at Word Press.  The week’s prompt is “Silhouette.” This week, share a photo with a silhouette. Revisit Wenjie Zhang’s post on the quality of light for quick tips on backlight, or dive into silhouette tutorials by Digital Photography School and PetaPixel for more guidance.

We’d love to see you experiment with your positioning, POV, and the time of day of shooting. Have fun!


14 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Silhoutte

  1. As soon as I saw this photo, the song “Leaving on a Jet Plane” popped into my head. I’ve never really spent any time watching planes land or takeoff – the noise is always too overwhelming for me. But, I remember watching a movie (thought the name escapes me now) where a couple would go to an airport terminal because they liked to watch happy people kissing hello! My husband and I liked the idea of that.

    I’m looking forward to reading about your new experiences in school this year.

    1. Thank you – it is noisy – but it is fun to watch the planes. I remember the days when you could wander the terminals and get much closer to the planes. I don’t know the movie, but it sounds interesting. that song takes me back to 1969 when we were living in Venezuela and getting ready to go back to ‘the states.’ I close my eyes and remeber that living room and our old counch. Funny thing about memories… have a wonderful weekend. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. My distraction lately has been planning and preparing for our cruise in a couple of weeks. I decided this weekend that I needed to start putting my outfits together – you know, in case I need something there’s still time to purchase it before we leave. That took quite a good deal of time. I’ll change my mind several times between now and then, rearrange tops and sweaters and jeans and such; try stuff on again to make sure it still fits. I know, it’s weird, but it’s a diversion tactic for sure. And it usually ends up being some kind of sick excuse to go shopping. I’m sure there’s something I’ll need yet before we go.

    Interesting about watching the planes land and take off. I remember as a little tiny kid, when we first moved to California from Minnesota, my dad took my brother and I to watch the fire fighting planes and helicopters drop their loads of water and retardant. My dad enjoyed it a lot more than we kids did, but it was interesting for a little while. Of course, when you live far far away from an airport it’s hard to watch planes coming and going.

    Fun stuff. Good luck with the new year. You’ll do great!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Thank you. A cruise sounds like the ultimate distraction – I know you will have fun. I think the theme of watching planes (or trains, or boats) is the theme of movement – something is going somewhere, someplace else, moving… and flight at takeoff and landing is truly an elegant experience to view.. it was comforting. In Michigan – where we were for part of the summer – there is a National Guard camp on the opposite side of the lake and they fly helicopters around the lake. You can hear them coming and going. We always look and watch, otherwise there is an occasional jet flying overhead you can hear or maybe see if the contrails are visible. It is gonna be a great year, possibly the best year ever.

    1. Susie – thanks for stopping in.. it was a fun diversion and we both had fun. I am looking forward to getting back to school, too…. but I’m a little apprehensive as what to expect with the new year… I have a handful of the same kids – about fifteen or so – the rosters aren’t finished, so that could and probably will change. It will be a good year, I know it, and I can feel it…. take care and enjoy that Colorado sunshine!

  3. Sometimes I need the distractions to give my brain a rest. I get caught up in over thinking so something like an afternoon of plane watching can do the trick. Speaking of watching planes, I’ve only done that once, but I really liked it. Probably bc I’d rather be on the ground, than in the air! Wishing you and yours the best for the new school year.

    1. Thanks – O and I went in to school yesterday and she gave me a hand setting up the room – it was fun. I have to go back and do a little more work. It was a blast watching planes – it brought back some fun memories… oddly O and I had never done it before. Trains, yes – planes, no… it’s gonna be a great week. Take care and thanks for stopping in.

Thanks for visiting MtDC. How are YOU Making YOUR Days Count?