The Power of Capturing Moments and Memories

“Memories are not the key to the past, but to the future.”  Corrie Ten Boom

People ask me why I do what I do and why am I so passionate about it?

Those who are gone are not forgotten!  They are always with us in our hearts and minds.  I spoke to my mother almost every single day of my life until she died unexpectedly of Lymphoma.  I desperately wish I had more photographs to remember her vitality and joie-de-vivre and to eventually share with my grandchildren. The same goes for my Dad and grandmother.

“Take care of your memories for you cannot relive them.”  Bob Dylan

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On a sunny afternoon in Positano

Don’t make the mistakes many of us make.   I was always the one who wanted to take photographs so I wasn’t usually in the picture.  If I was busy, playing hostess or dancing at a wedding, I often let it slip.  I usually asked someone else to do it but it wasn’t their priority so once again… ‘no pictures’.  Even if you only have a smartphone, snap away!  They take great photos! One of my sons captures moments and memories through his music and these tell ‘his’ stories. My passion and inspiration is gardening and I capture the moments through my photography.  Capture the moment and the memory forever!

Cherish your memories and visit them often and share them!  Record the memories and the events of your life!  They are the key to the future of your family. Look for the happy moment in each when you look at your photos.  What was it that inspired you to take that picture?

What inspires you? Is it writing, music, running, playing an instrument, poetry, sports, photography or gardening?

“Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming!” Joseph B. Wirthlin

My parents gifted me money to get my landscaping well under way.  I had just purchased my dream house and I wanted the gardens established quickly. I wish I had found the time to take more photographs to preserve my memories.  It was never the right time!  That was 2005 and through an unfortunate set of “wrong place”, “wrong time” we lost the house in a foreclosure that occurred when my husband and I lost a company we had purchased prior to the recession of 2008.  Sadly, our homes were collateral for our business and a 50 year old company disappeared almost before our very eyes.  I never took enough photos and was thinking I would wait until the garden grew into itself.  I always thought “tomorrow” would be soon enough. I wished I had taken more photographs of my dream house and gardens.

Now they are a memory only to me!  The following is an excerpt from a song in the movie Yentl called A Piece of Sky that has always had great significance for me.  There is so much to experience in this world.  Why ever stop searching for it all? I will always want to experience more!

“No matter where I go,

There’ll be memories that tug at my sleeve,

But there will also be more to question,

Yet more to believe…” Yentl – Barbra Streisand

I may have lost my dream house but the truth is I can create another garden and another memory TODAY! What memories would you recreate TODAY if you could?

Photos are our connection to our past but we don’t always know what those connections are. It’s wonderful to look back but we must look forward. What are the photographs you are going to take NOW? This is what being alive is about our opportunities from now on!  What will those photos mean to us and future generations? We must put mindfulness and intention into them. How will your grandchildren and great-grandchildren know you?  Will they see your sense of style and your personality in those photos you leave behind?  Tell your stories through your photographs and not just in the ones you have already taken, but in the photos you have yet to take!  What was important to you may be important to them and they didn’t know there was a connection.  Are you a painter or a gardener? Was your great grandfather a painter too or do your children share your passion for gardening?

“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.” Rosa Parks

When I look back through old photographs I see images that make me laugh, like bad hairdos, or make me cry, like my Mom in the hospital dying but ALWAYS, ALWAYS I remember the wonderful, loving times of them all and I can laugh.  Laughter is a key ingredient to finding happiness.  Laugh at the absurd and at yourself … often! I try not to take myself too seriously as life is so unpredictable.  Just when we think we have it figured out, it fools us again. We can’t take life for granted though! Don’t take nature for granted! Nature goes through cycles like life!  Spring is a time for reawakening and every year we have a chance to start fresh. Keep exploring, seek out new experiences and opportunities.  Keep believing and sharing with those you love.  Those moments of sharing forever bind us to our loved ones.  They comfort and sustain us in times of sorrow and are the cornerstones of great joy.

Here are some of my most precious memories:

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Steamboat Springs ski vacation with my precious sons

 

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Relaxing on Martha’s Vineyard one of my favorite places!
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Edgartown Lighthouse

 

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Daddy!
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Another Half Marathon completed! Aim high you never know what you can accomplish unless you try!

 

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Ziplining in Belize! Bucket List!!!

 

MATERA: a UNESCO World Heritage Site

SASSI di MATERA- Ancient cave dwellings

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This is a true walk back in time but amazingly people inhabited these caves until the 1950’s. Before the Sassi (historical center) were abandoned this was one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.

These natural caves dot the steep ravine and were first occupied back in the Paleolithic Age.

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Sassi di Matera
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Notice the Belvedere Piazzetta Pascoli standing tall in the background

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There were approximately 1,500 Sassi and they were expanded into living spaces as these peasant dwellings were occupied. Many of the caves had their ceilings extended to make a vaulted ceiling to expand the available living space so it was not so cramped.  This was a typical Sassi that we were able to tour and is open to the public. The rooms were dug into the soft limestone.  These were very poor people sadly.

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Casa Grotta di vico Solitario – kitchen area
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Even the animals lived in the Sassi notice the Bread on the table

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To tour this ancient city is a fascinating experience.  We walked down into an underground area where deep cisterns collected rain water for drinking.  There were 8 deep interconnected cisterns throughout this ancient city.  This 16th century cistern complex is right under the main town Piazza surrounded by historic buildings!

Check out the water lines on the walls!

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Piazza  Vittorio Veneto – Palazzo dell’Annuziata

This is a popular city for shooting movies like the remake of Ben Hur  starring Morgan Freeman which began shooting in early 2015 (below) and Passion of The Christ.  It is one of the oldest living cities.

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Right out of the movie Ben Hur

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Chiesa dei Santi Pietro e Paolo
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Love the ancient doors

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The Matera Cathedral.   Magnificent!

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Pane di Matera

Bread is this city’s symbol.  It’s form and unique taste are symbolic of a tradition that is still strong today. The bread’s shape is reminiscent of the hills or a mountaintop range. Each family had a brand on their bread using a wooden stamp so they could recognize it in the shared ovens. It has a slightly salty taste with a crunchy crust.  This traditional bread goes back to the Kingdom of Naples in the 15th and 16th centuries.  The wheat which is grown in this area has a unique and distinct flavor and the preparation of the yeast uses fresh fruit!

Again, we had a wonderful guide who regaled us with all sorts of history and stories. Thanks Giovanni! Next up Lecce! Follow along as our journey continues!matera-18

Hiking on the Amalfi Coast (part 3 of 5)

So let’s continue our tour of the Amalfi Coast!

For those so inclined there are plenty of hiking adventures to be had.   We chose the Sentiero degli Dei (Path of the Gods), which winds its way from Agerola for 5 miles to Nocelle and then down to Positano. This is the Amalfi Coast’s most famous walk. The views are astonishing of both the Mediterranean and the mountains. The Amalfi coast is a World Heritage Site. You will see mules and people, abandoned buildings and remote hillside farms. On any given weekend the people of the Amalfi coast get out and enjoy nature. Many can be seen walking or picnicking on the trail and just relaxing on a Sunday afternoon. So let’s begin!  Here is a sneak peek at what you might see while on your hike on the Path of the Gods.

 

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Our welcoming party!
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Which way will you travel? We went from Agerola to Positano

 

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How will you travel?

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Need a home? These hermitages cling to the hillside seemingly suspended in mid-air.

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The views are so special
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Looking in every direction the view unfolds with untold beauty with plunging views of the Mediterranean and the towns below

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Praiano

 

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Have no fear the trail is well marked

 

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People out enjoying the day
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Be prepared of course as you are hiking, bring snacks and water since there are obviously no services along the way

 

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The path is a little tricky at times but easily negotiable. The walk is moderate but the path can be narrow in spots. Do NOT step to the left!The path is a little tricky at times but easily negotiable. The walk is moderate but the path can be narrow in spots. Do NOT step to the left!

 

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Just around every corner the views are expansive of the coastline here from Positano to Capri and beyond.

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Finally our destination – Nocelle and then down to Positano.  You can walk down the 1500 steps but we took a ride.

 

There are many other paths we also did Ravello to Minori.

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Stopping for a breather.  A long way down.  We took a cab back uphill to Ravello!
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Stairs, stairs and more stairs! Look up the view towards Salerno was gorgeous!
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Figs, olives and grapes greeted us all along the paths

You might also check out Ravello to  Atrani via the Valle del  Dragone or on Capri, one of the most beautiful coastal walks in the world, the “Path of the Forts”.  Get out and enjoy the views like the locals.  You won’t be disappointed! Did you miss Part 1 and 2 of this series? Here you go: The Amalfi Coast part one.  Ready to read Part 4: Come Fly with me to Ravello and Amalfi – here you go!

 

Ciao!  See you for the next in the series: Ravello and Amalfi

“Positano bites deep” in the words of John Steinbeck (part 2 of 5)

Continuing on our tour of the Amalfi Coast we come to Positano!  The jewel of the Amalfi coast is most likely Positano, the most photographed fishing village in the world is southeast of Naples.  John Steinbeck when he visited in 1953 wrote “Positano bites deep.  It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” The houses seem to be sitting on top of each other as they cascade down the slope.  “The artist Paul Klee described it as “The only place in the world conceived on a vertical rather than a horizontal axis.”

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Positano from Path of the Gods

Are you in search of beaches?  Well look no further than the Spiaggia del Fornillo or the Spiaggia Grande in Positano.

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Spiaggia Grande

Positano’s 3 town areas are connected by an endless series of staircases.  This is not for the faint of heart!  Wander down the Via dei Mulini among the shops and bakeries or just sit by the pool.

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Covo dei Saraceni

 

Maybe get a pair of sandals made while you wait.

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Don’t miss the Palazzo Murat!  It looks like a palace with its bougainvillea covered balconies.

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Palazzo Murat- Positano

 

At the heart of every town is a church.  Here it is Santa Maria Assunta with its green and yellow majolica dome which is visible from everywhere in town.

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Santa Maria Assunta

At every turn the views are dramatic and memorable.

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Amalfi coastline – Positano to Capri

All over the Amalfi Coast you will stumble upon wedding after wedding.  Beautiful spot for a destination wedding.

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Weddings in every church all along the coast

While you are here try your hand at a cooking class.  There are many offered all over the coast.

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Making Bruschetta

 

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Eggplant Parmigiana anyone?

So plan your trip but leave time to relax, eat, drink and soak up the magic that is the Amalfi Coast!  See you on our next leg of the journey when we travel to Sentieri degli Dei or “The Path of the Gods” above Positano.  The views are breathtaking!

See all the photos from my trips to Italy on my Flickr page and be sure to Follow my Blog so you don’t miss the next installment. Part 3: Hiking on the Amalfi Coast!  Did you miss Part 1? Here is a link!   I would love to hear about your adventures on the Amalfi Coast. Post comments below.  Follow me on Facebook.

Ciao!

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