Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Woman in White

"Are you leaving?" asked the old man. Yes, she said and finished her outdoor routine. She picked up her camera and whooshed out, screen door slamming behind her. The old man blinked a few times and looked around the room. More green, he thought. More green. One wall was covered with 4x6 photos, the other walls each contained one large print-more green.

She walked briskly up the road, camera at the ready. Covered neck to toe in white and wearing a big navy blue flat-brimmed nylon hat and a reflective vest, she made her way slowly north, bending over and looking through the close-up lens. What she could see there! The patterns and the details! Triliums, trout lilies, dandelions, wild strawberries. Horsetail, crabgrass, buttercups and daisies! The side of the road never ceased to amaze and awe her...I catch a glimpse of her facial profile in the rearview mirror as she straightens up. She could be young or not. Long dark hair and dark glasses conceal eyes. Look up, I want to say--new leaves, blossoms! Birds, clouds! Look up!

You may wonder where this came from...real life and a story. I usually make up stories about the pictures I use in my art. Now I realize that I am making up stories about real life in the present. That's a good thing, right? On my petsit drives back and forth on Ashfield Road, I see her. Almost every day, bent over her close-up lens, never acknowledging a car or nodding to anyone, she examines the ditches and banks on the side of the road.

Who is she? Does she live alone or have a family? Does she live in the little cabins by the Mill River? Is she someone who has been here forever, or a former city person who just recently discovered nature? Her seeming reluctance to acknowledge puts me off. I don't want to break into her solitude. What might I find if I did?

Like bees in a hive, we are all interconnected. Some of us reach out and others look within. Life would be wonderful if we all embraced each other with a smile or a nod. But as my Uncle Mike used to say, "it takes all kinds!" Meanwhile I'm waiting to hear about an art show--subject: the side of the road.


  1. Hi Sweet Sherry..What a nice story..and an even nicer way of expressing our interconnectedness. Your writing is so descriptive..as usual I could almost hear the screen door slamming behind the voice. Girl..YOU CAN WRITE! Are you sure you're not one of those famous novelist who secretly blog on the side?

    I enjoy your photography as well. In this particular post, my favorite was the beautiful blossoms snapped while Looking Up. Ya know it's true..we humans simply don't take enough time to stop and LOOK UP. I'd say from looking at your awesome photos, we're sure missing some gorgeous sights.

    Thank you once again for sharing such a glorious day with us.

    Blessings, Joy & Tuesday Sunshine, Terri

  2. I love your story Sherry. It deserves a place on my other blog or you will have to write a special one for me please www.pastandpresentstories.blogspot.com Have you gone visiting there yet?
    If flowers were friends, I'd pick you.

    Have a great day

  3. I love this story! Will she appear in one of your collages? This woman in white? I hope so.


  4. I'm in awe of the roadside as well. I've been known to just pull off the road at a glimpse of color and pull out my camera. That's where I get most of my wildflower photos.

  5. I love photographing the roadside too - maybe someday you'll see me on one of my walks!

    Unfriendliness, especially in the country, never fails to baffle me. When I'm in the city I strike up conversations with perfect strangers without a problem, but sometimes around here I feel as if I'm overstepping my bounds simply by saying "hello" and smiling. Still, one has to try ; )

  6. Lovely pictures, that tree in blossom is stunning.
    I could very well be that lady in your story. Although not directly at the side of the road, I can be found running around the neighborhood with my camera in my hand, taking close ups of plants and leaves and flowers. I have often wondered if I appear mad to others.;) I would rather hope though that I might be perceived the way you perceive your lady in white.

  7. HI, found your blog thru sweet Terri. So glad I did, will have to now read your old posts while waking up drinking my coffee.
    Best Regards from another gal,

  8. The first year we moved up here, I ran around with my camera taking close-ups of all the wildflowers so that I could then research & identify them. I probably looked pretty weird.

    It's kind of a reality-TV 'Northern Exposure' up here. Everyone is a character. A cat named Hoss and a dog named Earl live over at the hardware store, a wise man works at the local RV campground, and the millionaires you bump into at the grocery store seem really ... unhappy.

  9. Hi Sherry,
    I've been missing you. I don't know why you haven't been showing up on my blog roll, but darn it, I still found you!
    I was visiting Terri at Dimples and Dragonflys
    and saw your comment and knew that I hadn't seen you around.
    I love your story today. Yes many do look for happiness within while others share. We bloggers love to share!!!

    hugs dear friend. I'll be back over soon.


  10. Sherry... I tried to email this to you, but for some reason it couldn't be delivered... Thanks so much for coming by... As for the weather and oil... There was some damage to a building just a couple miles from us... but our tornadoes are not as big and don't stay on the ground as long as those in the midwest. The oil has not come ashore in Florida and we pray that it doesn't. So far, the wind has been in our favor. Many agencies and organizations have crews and staff standing by and ready to deploy for clean up and wildlife care, as the governor has declared a state of emergency here on the west coast. The government agency that I work for just gave us new accounting codes for it, just in case. Hopefully, we won't have to use them. There is fear though, that if the slick reaches the Gulf Stream Loop Current, it will even affect the east coast. Let's keep our fingers crossed...

  11. Sherry,
    Oh how I love your pictures & stories. I agree with Teri above. I've said all along you need to do a book. I look at some blogs to get decorating ideas, some for art inspiration, some make me laugh. In yours I lose myself, & see your stories in my mind. Lisa

  12. Sherry, what a wonderful story. Your "woman in white" knows something special: life is in the details of the little things. Life isn't about Ipods and the newest type of laptop or the fanciest car with all the gadgets...with no electricity or batteries, what do we really have? Not much. So the "woman in white" won't ever have to worry about where to focus and what's real, will she. She's very blessed and because you noticed her when others would just pass her by, you know the real stuff too!

  13. Love this post. I find that I am taking pictures of things I would never have looked twice at before. Something about blogging has opened up a world to me I didn't think about before. And since I am trying to find things of interest and beauty in daily life, I am always with camera in hand. I am sure for the mysterious roadside lady, nature holds many thrilling opportunities for photo ops. Wishig you a most wonderful week ahead. :) Tammy

  14. Hi Sherry! You sucked me right in!!! What wonderful story!!! When my honey and I used to go camping I'd take my camera out into the woods and take tones of photos of nature. I miss it soooo much. He promised we would go again this summer. Have a wonderful week sweetie!

    My Desert Cottage
    Valentine Design

  15. The Woman in White,,,,love it. I would be tempted to leave her a message in a tiny bottle. You know how it is when you are lost in your art, as she must be. Photography is a great artistic escape...I'll bet she is very interesting.
    Have a wonderful day!


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