Saturday, September 5, 2009

Young Love

Tuesday was sunny and warm, and it beckoned me to grab my cameras and take a walk. My destination was a park about fifteen minutes away. I've photographed the area before. You may have seen an early blog post showing children playing at the splash pad. My seagull and cormorant dramas unfolded there too.

I arrived at the dock and took a seat, hoping to see something worth recording. I snapped a few shots of the gulls in flight.

(please click to enlarge)

They were hoping to steal a morsel of bread being fed to the ducks - right beneath this sign.

I see that happen all the time.

An attractive, older couple sat watching me from the next bench. As I got up to move along, and around the lake, the man stopped me to ask about my camera. He had a warm smile and twinkling eyes. He asked about the zoom on my cameras and how far I could be from my subject and still get a clear shot. He told me that he used to be interested in photography but had to give it up when someone used his camera to take a picture of him. He saw how wrinkled he appeared and concluded that the camera must be too old!

We continued chatting comfortably. And every now and then he'd punctuate his humourous remarks with a gentle nudge to the woman's elbow, or with a wink in her direction. She didn't say very much. She let him do the talking as she smiled quite adoringly at him. They touched one another often. A squeeze to her hand. A pat to his arm. An embrace with their eyes.

I moved along to continue my walk. When I made my way to the opposite shore, I could see that they were still seated on the bench. They were busy chatting and pointing things out to one another. I wondered if they could see me hold the camera to my eye and take their photo from across the small expanse of water.

(please click to enlarge)

It only takes about a quarter of an hour to walk around the lake, and I figured that if they were still on the dock after I'd completed the tour, I'd show them the photograph.

As it turned out, I met them part way. They were ambling along, deep in conversation, hand in hand like two teenagers in love. He greeted me like we were old friends, and I showed them the picture of the two of them. They were amazed and amused that I managed the shot without their knowledge from across the pond. He commented on how beautiful his partner was and asked about how my camera lens coped with his own mug. He teased that she looked great for a woman of 112. I laughed and told them that I thought they were a great-looking couple, and I asked how long they'd been together. He looked at her for confirmation as he estimated about a year and a half. Again, I thought he was joking, but he quickly explained that they'd met at the nearby retirement home where they both live.

Over the course of the conversation, I learned that she was a lifelong resident of Ontario. He was born in Italy but immigrated to Canada when he was 18. I smiled at him and exclaimed "Oh so you've been here for about 30 years now!" He told me that he appreciated my math skills. He revealed that his partner was a very young lady of 90, and that he was 81. I teased them about how she robbed the cradle. And he replied with "Yes she did, and she really rocks my cradle!"

We chatted for a short while longer and then she nudged him and suggested that they continue their walk around the pond. He told me that they had already walked that path earlier that morning, and now she wanted to complete another tour. He suggested that she was trying to tire him out so that he wouldn't get frisky later on. She laughed and told him that it was just the opposite - she was trying to give his circulation a kick-start.

I went home feeling great. I'd met the happiest couple on earth, and their spirit was contagious. What a lovely gift they are to each other - and to those they encounter.

Below are a few random photos taken over the last month. Please remember to click to enlarge.

I saw this interesting pattern on the highway on the road in front of us. It was taken through the windshield which is why you can see the glassy reflection. (please click to enlarge)

I have no clue what they were. Any ideas? (please click to enlarge)

A lovely Monarch lights upon a beautiful Coneflower. (please click to enlarge)

Children splashing and wading through the creek. They weren't alone - Mom was just upstream. (please click to enlarge)

Benny also loves his regular creek swim. He happily fetches as many sticks as we'll throw. (please click to enlarge)

An early eveing shadow cast in golden sunlight. This was taken from Frank's back deck. (please click to enlarge)

And here's the plant that the sun kissed to create that shadow. (please click to enlarge)

Nighttime in park. (please click to enlarge)

See you in a few days with more.


Maggie May said...

I just LOVE coming over to your place and seeing your photos and the story of the old couple warmed my heart.

I wondered at first if those stacks of things might be roof tiles stood on end?

I am pleased to say that it was much easier to open your blog today than it has been for several weeks! (My Internet seems to be improving!)

Tabor said...

I was also going to guess roof tiles of some sort. Lovely story about the couple and glad you added their photo. I love visiting here.

Kerri Farley said...

Oh Hilary - you've made their spirit contagious even more by posting this. I have such a lighthearted feel now! You have brightened my day!

LOVE LOVE LOVE the shadow on Frank's deck and of course - Benny and his stick! What a cutie!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

I love the coneflower, and of course, Benny :)

Daryl said...

Love that older couple and that flutterby on the echinacea ... he'll not get sick this winter.

Zuzana said...

My favorite; the butterfly on the cerise coloured flower.
But nothing beats the tale. A lovely story of a precious subject told by a talented photographer.;))

Dianne said...

there is an older couple near me who regularly walk together
they hold hands, you can hear her laugh in the evening air
they are so very beautiful

just as your couple is

I love the sun on Frank's deck
and the park at night

and benny!! wonderful benny

NJ said...

Hilary, I love this story of the couple in love. Sometimes we only think that kind of love is there for the young. He sounds like a wonderful character to have met.

photowannabe said...

Your story about the "young lovebirds" wastouching and a pure delight. I think its fitting advice for us to appreciate each day and the people we spend them with. Sometimes the daily grind makes me forget that each day is a gift.

photowannabe said...

Forgot to comment on the think they are fabulous and love the golden hour shots especially.

steviewren said...

The backdoor shadow shot and the night in the park shot are my faves. The night shot looks like an illustration or painting instead of a photo. The story about the old couple was really lovely.

Anonymous said...

A heart-warming story is just what I needed today, Hilary. Thank you for including us on your walks!
I continue to be amazed by your steady hand and incredible macro shots, but today what struck me the most was the gull in the first photo. Incredible!

~JarieLyn~ said...

Hilary, that is the best story ever. You had me immersed in your writing about it. I love the photo of the couple too.

I'm not sure what those things on the truck are. Like the others, I thought they were some kind of roof tiles, but upon closer inspection they look more like some kind of metal. My husband would probably know what they are, but he's not here right now.

Your last photo is stunning. I want to hang it on my wall. It reminds me of a Norman Rockwell or similar early family magazine like the Post or something. It's gorgeous.

I love, love, love your blog. You always have such interesting stories and photos. Lots of critters to showcase and your dog Benny is just so darn cute.

Hilary said...

Marvelous pictures, and the couple are inspiring.....very sweet.
I loved this post.
Signed, the other Hilary.
(the older one)

Cloudia said...

Oh my!
What a treasure trove; your pictures are amazing, your adventures fill me with joy.
Love has no age....


Comfort Spiral

Anonymous said...

He told me that he used to be interested in photography but had to give it up when someone used his camera to take a picture of him. He saw how wrinkled he appeared and concluded that the camera must be too old!

Nooo, I love the faces of older people and the wrinkles.

The last picture looks like an oil painting!

Finally, this type of exchange you had with the couple, is always a fabulous surprise for me. They sound lovely!

SandyCarlson said...

I love that older couple. I would love to be them some day. That was a great walk around the park. I will be back again to visit Benny, the stranger in the park, and the other wonders of your beautiful world.

Swetha said...

Your blog is really beautiful with those inspiring pictures and designs... i enjoy every post!

Joanna Jenkins said...

What a way with words! That's a great story. I'm so glad you chatted them up. Some people wouldn't have given them a second glance.

As always, your pictures are stunning :-)

Thanks for sharing,

robert said... grateful must one be to have found this site...please have a nice new week.

Country Girl said...

Nightime in Park is like a painting, Hilary. These are all so beautiful. Love your butterfly, but especially love how you captured the young couple. I knew it when you asked him how long they'd been together! I knew he'd say something like that. Great post.

Hilary said...

* Thank you, Maggie. I'm glad you're having an easier time of connecting online. I don't think the items are roof tiles. They're most definitely a heavy metal of some sort. I'm still at a loss to figure it out. Thanks for guessing though.. and thanks always for stopping by. :)

* Thanks, Tabor. I'm always glad when you visit too. Thanks for the kind words. :)

* Thanks so much, Kerri. Your very kind words mean a lot to me. I'm glad this post could brighten your day. Thank for the visit. :)

* Thanks, Gary. I'm glad you like the pics. :)

* Thank you, Daryl. He might not have to migrate now. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks so kindly, Protege. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I'm always happy to see you visit. :)

* Dianne, they must be such a lovely sight to see.. and hear. It gives hope for true love. Imagine that. :) Thanks always for the kind words. :)

* Thanks, NJ. They sure were. We'd be quite short-sighted to think that love like that is only for the young. Good thing we get these reminders every now and then. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thanks very much for the kind words, Sue, and I think you're so right about taking the time to appreciate what and who we have.

* Thanks kindly, Steviewren. I thought there were unusual colours in the night shot too. It came from the amber lights nearby. I'm glad you liked the effect.. and the rest of the post. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* KC, I'm always happy to have you along for my walks. Such good company! Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm glad you liked the photos. :)

* Jarie-Lyn. Thank you so much for your very kind words. I hope your husband will see the photos so that maybe he can solve the mystery of those (yes, metal) tiles. I just can't for the life of me figure out what they are. I appreciate your lovely comments. They mean so much to me. Thanks always for visiting. :)

* Thanks very much, Hilary. I'm so glad you enjoy my blog, as I do yours. And age is only a number. You're they other Hilary.. and oh so young at heart. :)

* Thanks so much for your kind words, Cloudia. How sweet of you. Much appreciated. :)

* Thanks, MT. They were indeed lovely. And I too, love the faces of older folk. He was such a card with his comments. He made me laugh with that remark. Thanks always for the visit. :)

* Thanks so much, Sandy. I know what you mean and I'd love to be them someday too. What a lovely way to spend your days.. happily enjoying your partner. Thanks kindly for your sweet comments. :)

* Thanks very much, Pranksy. Much appreciated. :)

* Thanks so much, Joanna. I so enjoyed chatting with them and sure hope I'll see them again. Thanks for the very kind words. :)

* Thank you so much, Robert. I'm very grateful that you think so. Very much appreciated. And I hope your weekend is wonderful. :)

* Thanks very much, Kate. I'm really glad you like the story. Your kind words always mean a lot to me. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Sandi McBride said...

That is the most beautiful love story I have heard in some time. You told it with exquisite ease and imagery. Love the photos, all so nice but Benny is my fave....that and the cone flower.

Indrani said...

I liked your caricaturisation of the elderly couple with words more. :)
Interesting shots, though I could not make any intelligent guess with those patterns.

King of New York Hacks said...

Wow...brilliant pics...not what this city boy sees every day.

Frank Baron said...

What an inspiring couple! Thanks for telling us about them. :)

SandyCarlson said...

Please tell me what kind of pup Benny is again. My daughter and I want to bring a pup home, and Benny seems to be the ambassador of his kind.

Shrinky said...

Aw, how wonderful to see love blossom in a youthful heart. The body may age, but I think most of us always stay twenty-something inside.

Your photography is breath-taking, particularly the butterfly, you captured the light so beautifully there.

Michele said...

Beautiful post... not many folks here in the water anymore. It's getting so cold in the nights. This morning I awoke to 3 Celsius. Unbelievable... it's getting chilly and waters are cooling fast. I don't mind! Leaves are turning yellow fast!
I adore the butterfly on the flower! I try to take butterflies but they always know I'm sneaking up on them and off they go!! =)

Russell said...

I used to think people such as the ones in your photo were soooooo old! Now they do not seem very old at all! Age is relative.

I have read and heard that often the most gratifying love is experienced latter on in life -- once a person has matured, the kids are grown and life has sort of settled down.

Some people sort of rediscover their partner of many years and others - either because of death or divorce or whatever - find a new person in their life.

I am happy for this couple and all those like them. Life is meant to be lived! (I think someone else may have already said that.... heh!)

Mental P Mama said...

I love those people! What an inspiration they are to us all. And, of course, all your photos just make it all the more wonderful to visit here!

blunoz said...

My guess on the things on the back of the flatbed truck are some sort of roof tiles?

What a heart-warming story of your encounter with the couple by the pond.

Wonderful pictures as always, thanks for sharing!

Nancy said...

What a great story. Very heartwarming. It's nice to know love can happen at any age. The pictures were beautiful. It was interesting that a large white bird looked like it was circling above their heads. I'm sure it was a play with space - the bird was probably over the pond.

Benny and Lucy have swimming and fetching in common. :-)

SandyCarlson said...

Thanks for stopping by, friend. God bless.

Brian Miller said...

lovely pics but you had me at the story of the elderly couple. too cool!

Merisi said...

"I snapped a few shots of the gulls in flight."

That's the understatement of the month! :-)
I don't know how you do it, I am so bad with birds in general, and worse with birds in flight, I often think there's a conspiracy against me taking pictures of them out there in birdland.

The story of the not so young anymore lovers warmed my heart and your images too.

MaggieGem said...

Once again, a wonderful set of photos with a story to make a heart smile. Nice work Hilary!

Cheffie-Mom said...

This post brightened my day and brought a smile to my face! Thank you!

Hilary said...

* Thanks very much for those kind words, Sandi. They mean a lot to me. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

* Thank you, Indrani. Much appreciated. I'm still at a loss as to what they are too. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thank you KofNYH. Much appreciated. I sometimes long for great city shots. ;)

* Thanks, Frank. And you're welcome. :)

* Sandy, Benny is a Jack Russell Terrier (or at times Terror). He's pretty good for for his breed. Read up on JRT's. They're great dogs, but are extremely active and need a lot of attention and exercise. I hope it works out for you. :)

* Thanks so much, Shrinky. This couple was younger than most newlyweds in many ways. They sure are a delight. Thanks for the kind words. :)

* Thanks, Michele. You sure took your time warming up out west, and now you're cooling off quickly. Summer is so fleeting. And yes, butterflies are tricky to sneak up upon.. dragonflies too. Thanks always for the visit. :)

* Thanks so much for your always thoughtful and inspiring comments, Russell. I totally agree with what you said. Love is wonderful at any and every age.. but perhaps more appreciated as we age. :)

* Thanks so much, MPM. I'm glad that you enjoyed the post. As always, I so appreciate your visit. :)

* Thanks so much Blunoz. I don't think they're tiles as they're a heavy metal. I still have no clue. Thanks so much for the very kind words. Very much appreciated. :)

* Thank you, Nancy. That seagull really wasn't very far from them at all. They were hanging around for bread that people were (but shouldn't be) offering to the ducks. Thanks so much for your visit. :)

* Thank you again, Sandy. :) You sure make the rounds faster than I do. I hope you return to see the reply about Benny.

* Thank you, Brian. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thank you, Merisi. I do have a hard time with birds but I just keep snapping and every now and then one of them works out. They're tricky. Thanks so much for your always-kind words. :)

* Thanks very kindly, MaggieGem. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Much appreciated. :)

* Thanks kindly, Cheffie. Much appreciated. :)

Anonymous said...

Great pictures, as usual friend. I especially like the shadows on the house and, of course, the one of Benny. He always makes me smile.

I LOVED the story of the elderly couple. Just charming. I'm so glad you met them. I'm guessing it made their day to be able to tell their story to such a receptive audience!

Leah J. Utas said...

What a beautiful story. Excellent pics, Hilary.

Pat - Arkansas said...

That's a wonderful, wonderful story about the 'young' couple from the retirement home.

Love your photos, as always. Have to say that the plant's shadow on the door is my favorite today.

Geosomin said...

I want to be old and in love like that...made me happy just reading about it.
Thanks :)

Woman in a Window said...

love LOVE how you describe that couple. Gives great hope, it does, all of this love found even later in life.

Organic Meatbag said...

Wow, beautiful pictures!

Hilary said...

• Thanks so much, Sandra. I'm glad Benny makes you smile. He does likewise for me. And I sure don't know if my listening made this couple's day but they sure did make mine. Thanks always for stopping by, my friend. :)

• Thanks very much, Leah. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and photos. It means a lot to me that you do. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Pat. I'm really glad you enjoyed the post. Very much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Geosomin. Certainly something to aspire to, eh? :) Thanks very much for your kind words. They're much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, Erin. You gotta love people who give you hope. I'm so glad you read and enjoyed this story. Hugs to you. :)

• Thank you, Organic Meatbag. Much appreciated. :)

Louise said...

Wonderful story. I love the monarch and shadow pictures.

Hilary said...

• Thanks kindly, Louise. Much appreciated. :)