Posts Tagged With: Mount Auburn Cemetery

Day 2870: Sleepless near Boston

Although there are fewer reasons to be on high alert near Boston, someone needs to tell my brain that. I’m still waking up in the middle of the night wondering “is it safe enough to relax?”

One of my insomnia cures is blogging, so I’m going to share yesterday’s photos from a perfectly glorious, unseasonably warm November day near Boston spent with my friend and “sister” Deb.

If those photos and sweet recent memories won’t help me get back to sleep, maybe this tweet will:

Here’s what I tweeted, soon after I read that:

Sweet dreams, everybody, and thanks to all who help me get some sleep near Boston, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, insomnia, life during the pandemic, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1603: Yield

Whenever I start writing a blog post, I consider millions of ideas and then usually yield to the simplest solution:  sharing an image I captured the day before, which is often the first photo I took.


What does that “Yield” sign at Mount Auburn Cemetery mean to you?

To me, it means yield to the beauty of your surroundings.

While I was yielding to the beauty of Mount Auburn Cemetery yesterday, I captured another “yield” in two photos:



“In surrendering

life for Eternity,

I yield to and

trust implicitly

in the Power that

created me.

Oran McCormick


Let us now yield to contemplating other images from Mount Auburn Cemetery, accompanied by sounds similar to what I heard yesterday.























I now yield to any thoughts and feelings you have about this post. 

Yielding and profound thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of  course! — for meeting me, here.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1220: We Live Here

We live here, where the weather forecast is rainy and cold every day before I go back to work on Monday.

The Pat Metheny Group lives here, playing “We Live Here.”

We live here near Boston, where there are lots of things to see and do even when it’s rainy and cold.


“We Live Here” was playing in my headphones as I walked around Mount Auburn Cemetery in nearby Cambridge (where I used to live).







Many birds live here in Mount Auburn Cemetery.


After I took that photo of those ducks that live here, my phone stopped living, temporarily.

We all still live here, thank goodness.

Living thanks to all who contributed to today’s post and to you — of course! — no matter where you live.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 499: Random Numbers

On the last day of my first (and I originally thought only) Year1 of Living Non-Judmentally, I wrote this, in a footnote:

* I don’t want people to get the wrong idea, regarding my feelings about numbers. I love numbers, sometimes.  However, numbers are not my native language, so sometimes they challenge me. Hmmm. I don’t like the way I said that. “They challenge me” is too mild, too wimpy a statement. How about this? Sometime, I hate numbers. Nope, too strong.  How about this? Sometimes, numbers make me crazy.  Nope, “crazy” is not a great word for me to use. How about this?  Sometimes they make me angry. Nope, people have trouble with anger.  Arrrghh!  What’s the right word, regarding me and numbers?  Damned if I know, right now. Maybe I’ll figure that out next year.

 from Day 365: End of Year (Big Deal!)

It’s well into next year, and I have yet to figure out my feelings about — and relationship to —  numbers.

Here are some things I know:

  • I definitely notice numbers.
  • I can have trouble holding on to them.  For example, yesterday I had a 3:30 appointment with one of my doctors, and, in my mind, it was a 2 PM appointment. Another example: today I’m meeting an old friend from college, and I can’t remember how many years it’s been since the last time I saw him.
  • Remembering numbers can seem critical to my survival. Therefore, when I can’t access a number quickly, my automatic response can be negative (anxiety, self-criticism, worry, etc.)
  • There are lots of numbers to deal with, from the past, present, and (I assume) future.
  • I can’t quite figure out how important numbers are, for me.

Some numbers I’m thinking about, right now:

  1. How many more days should/will I stay home from work?2
  2. When I go back to work, how many hours per week will be the “correct” balance, taking into account my (a) health and (b) finances?3
  3. What’s a good-enough weight for me, right now?4
  4. How many more items will there be in this list?5
  5. How many more words in this morning’s post, before I’m done writing?6
  6. How many pictures will I show here?7

Hmmm. Some of those questions have more obvious answers than others. As always, I shall do my best, figuring things out.


I’m going to conclude this post with some recent photos I’ve taken. In order of appearance:


Here are some numbers regarding that photo.  The number of times I’ve walked by that sign: 100’s. The number of words — and legs — on that sign: 2.  The number of days since I took that photo:  I’m guessing … 5. Wait!  There’s some data I can check, to find out the actual number. Aha!  I was wrong (but very close) … it’s 6.



How many limbs there?  2.   How many limbs was I expecting?  4.



As you can see for yourself, there are lots of numbers in that photo.



How many dandelions in that photo?  3.   How many blisses?  The answer depends on what — and how — you’re counting.



How many times have I been to that restaurant? 1.   How many days before I expect to return? 3.



How many people in Massachusetts have a license plate with the word “Toad”? I’m assuming more than one.



How many strings on that instrument?  6.   How many stripes on those cushions?  Ahhhh … forget it.



How many papers is Harley sitting on?  1.    What’s on that paper?


Eeeeek!   Math!

Thanks to numbers everywhere, to people who have varying reactions to numbers, and to you — of course! — for reading this today (one time, I assume).

1   The year I started blogging was 2013.

2   Most likely, I’ll return to work in 2 days. 8

3   I’ll probably start out working about 12 hours/week, increasing as I can. 8

4  Weight is such a loaded issue.  I’m definitely NOT going into that now.

5  There were 6 items on that list.

6  I’m too impatient — or it’s just not important enough to me — to find out how many words I wrote after that.

7 I showed 9 photos. Or — more precisely — I showed 8 photos I had taken, plus one zoom, blow-up, close-up, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it.

8  These numbers are subject to change.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 498: Life, death, etc.

I like today’s post title:  Life, death, etc.  Why?  Because it covers EVERYTHING, and I enjoy looking at the “big picture.”

Also, since I was young, I’ve known how awareness of mortality can help someone

  • be more in the moment
  • appreciate every little thing
  • set priorities
  • overcome obstacles
  • be authentic
  • develop values and be true to them
  • let go of fear and other “baggage”
  • get clarity
  • learn
  • grow, and
  • feel joy.

Of course, awareness of mortality can also help someone

  • freak out and
  • get paralyzed

… but, like everything else, those things pass.

All in all, I am quite grateful for “the gift of mortality.”

Why this title, today? I thought of it yesterday, while visiting one of my favorite places: Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

According to Wikipedia, Mount Auburn Cemetery was

founded in 1831 as “America’s first garden cemetery”


is credited as the beginning of the American public parks and gardens movement.

Here’s what I saw, yesterday, at Mt. Auburn Cemetery:

































One of the last things I noticed, before I left Mt. Auburn Cemetery yesterday, was this bench:


Many years ago, when both my parents were still alive, I lived in an apartment very close by.  I remember sitting on the same bench, back then — reading, sunning, dreaming, feeling, thinking, etc.

Here are two views from that bench, yesterday:




I love Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Today, I hope I was able to show you why.

I shall now ask myself a familiar question: Does this post feel complete?

It MUST be complete.  Didn’t I say, in my introduction, that the title had EVERYTHING?  And look at everything we covered, here!

However, I did leave out a lot of history, details, etc. about Mt. Auburn Cemetery. And many of my readers have told me that they don’t click on links within posts. So here’s one important fact, from that same Wikipedia page:

Mount Auburn’s collection of over 5,500 trees includes nearly 700 species and varieties.

Wow!  Imagine all the trees  I did NOT show you.  Well, as I  recover from recent physical ailments,  taking shorter walks than I usually do … I did the best I could.

One final Wikipedia fact about Mt. Auburn Cemetery:

The area is well known for its beautiful environs and is a favorite location for bird-watchers.

Hmmm. I didn’t see any bird-watchers, yesterday.   I’m sure they were there; I just didn’t notice them.

I know!  Let’s end this post with bird-watchers, in the here and now:




Thanks to trees, flowers, people, benches, birds, cats, etc.  And thanks to you — of course! — for visiting today.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 171: I Look

Yesterday, I picked up some new glasses at Eye Look, in Lexington, MA.  I first went to Eye Look about six years ago, when a co-worker at my previous job — who had the coolest glasses, ever — recommended them.

This is Nora.  She is an eyeglass frame artiste, of the first order:


While I didn’t get Nora in perfect focus with that photo, maybe I can do a better job in words.

I love working with Nora, because she looks at your face, goes away, comes back with amazing frames, tries them on you, looks at you again, goes away, comes back with more amazing frames, and so on, until you are wearing the most flattering frames ever, that fit you in every way.

When I went through that process with Nora before, this was the result:


Obviously, you’re not getting the full effect of what an incredible match these glasses are for me. Nevertheless,  I hope you can see how great the frames are.  I get compliments on them all the time. I often feel like I actually look BETTER with these glasses on, than without them.  And that’s a pretty reparative experience for me, especially considering that when I first got glasses — in 4th grade — Nora wasn’t in my life, and those first frames put a sudden halt to the developing interest (even some marriage proposals) I’d started getting from the boys in my class.

I was considering searching for pictures of those 4th grade frames — or similar ones — to illustrate my point, but … no.  Instead, I’ll show you my second pair of Nora-facilitated frames, which I picked up yesterday:


Again, the model isn’t ideal, but I hope you can see how special those frames are, too.  I love them, with a love that is true.

Nora is a genius.

Paul is the other genius at Eye Look:


After Nora helps you choose the frames you will love with all your heart for all time, Paul does everything necessary to make sure that those frames fit perfectly — for good looks and for optimal vision.

Even better: both Paul and Nora make the whole process fun, comfortable, and interesting.

I’ve written about how much I appreciate working with people who are kind and who are good at what they do. (See here, here, and here for other posts about “members of my team.”) As I’m writing about Paul and Nora, this morning, I’m also thinking about another characteristic I value in others: a passion for the work, whatever it is.

Thanks, Nora and Paul.

Now, I’d like to take this opportunity to show you some of the images I’ve been seeing lately, as I’ve looked at the world through Nora-and-Paul frames:


This is Mount Auburn Cemetery, in Cambridge, one of my favorite places to walk and visit. (Mount Auburn Cemetery has made a previous appearance in this blog, here.) I took the above picture a couple of weekends ago, when I went there with my son.

More shots from that day at Mount Auburn Cemetery:



Later that day, my son and I walked around Watertown, MA, a place that was in the news a lot two months ago. (Here‘s one of several posts about this.)



There’s always a lot to see out there.

Thanks for taking a look here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 131: How I spent my spring vacation

Whenever I take a vacation from work, I consider the vacation officially over on Friday night.  Saturday and Sunday don’t really count, because it’s just a weekend, after which I will return to work.

Therefore, the Saturday of the weekend before I return to work seems like a good time for this photo essay.

How I Spent My Spring Vacation

by Ann

On Monday, which was such a beautiful day, I stopped at a very cool store,  Bessie Blue, to look for a sun hat.


Marcy, on the right, greeted me very warmly, and was fun and helpful throughout my visit there, even though I didn’t find a hat that fit my needs.  When I said I would need to look elsewhere, she said, cheerily, “It will be a fun quest!”  That’s when I knew I wanted to put her in my blog. Cathy (in the middle) and Ashley (the manager) were also really great. Ashley liked that I acknowledge helpful and kind people in this blog. She told me, “I have worked in retail for many years and I’ve always really appreciated it  when good service is recognized. ” Ashley also said that when she was growing up,  she noticed how her mother went out of her way to tell people she appreciated them.


Speaking of fun quests, this is where I started my walk (without a sun hat, but okay with that) on Monday.  This  photo was taken in Cambridge, looking out toward Boston. Look at those friggin’ trees, people!  Aren’t they gorgeous?  And get this — I had just found a parking spot, in front of MIT, where I could leave my car, all day.   (Yes, parking spaces like this still exist, at this writing.)


Ahhhh.  Look at that view of Boston, across the Charles River.


This is one of my favorite walks around Boston.  Isn’t it amazing?


After I crossed the Longfellow Bridge into Boston, I took this picture of the MBTA subway stop, near Mass General Hospital. While I was taking this picture, a man, who was sitting on the ground outside of a CVS, started talking to me.


This is Antonio.  He and I spoke for a while. He told me several sad stories about his life, including how he was abused and treated dreadfully as a child.    He told me he did not want to go to a shelter — although I kept telling him I thought he should. He said it frightened him to be in a place with lots of strangers, and he felt safer on the streets.  He also told me stories of how he cared about and had helped other people. I believed him for lots of reasons, including how he acted with me and with other people who walked by.  He got very upset when he talked  about the Boston Marathon bombings.

Antonio also told me how he wants to die; I told him I hoped he wouldn’t, because the world could use more kind people, like him. At one point, he laughed and expressed gratitude toward me. That’s when I took the picture of him, which I showed him. He said it was okay if I put him in my blog. I really hope Antonio decides he wants to live.


This is Amanda, who works at Isabelle’s CurlyCakes, on Charles Street.  She grew up in Houston. She’s been in Boston for seven years. She said, “You fall in love with this city.” She told me how CurlyCakes — which had the most incredible looking cupcakes —  was the idea of the daughter of Todd English (a very famous Boston chef and restauranteur).  She showed me some wonderful photos, taken by Isabelle (Todd English’s daughter).  She pointed out this one (on the top):


which showed Isabelle surrounded by the children of the contractors who helped build the store. I really liked that photo.


It was difficult to decide which cupcake to try, but I chose this one, which was called the “Triple Chocolate.” It had chocolate cake, chocolate pastry cream, chocolate butter cream, and cocoa crisps dipped in chocolate. I don’t mean to quibble, but, according to my calculations, the accurate title for that cupcake would be the “Quintuple Chocolate.”  All I can say about this cupcake is this (and I shared this with Amanda): I’ve been yearning for something very chocolate-y for the past few months, and apparently, this was it.  Thanks to Amanda, Todd English’s daughter, and anybody else even slightly responsible for that cupcake.


I walked by this Starbucks, on my way to the Public Gardens. I had my second date there with my bf, Michael, a couple of years ago.  He told me several funny stories that day; I remember thinking he was the coolest dude, ever.


Here is the Public Gardens. If you look carefully, you will see one of the famous Swan Boats. Again, what a beautiful day.


This was taken on Tuesday. I went to another one of my favorite places to walk, Mount Auburn Cemetery, with Mia, a new friend, who also owns a great hair salon  (MiAlisa, in Watertown).  Mia speculated how the family in this crowded plot, shown above, probably interacted when they were alive. She acted out how they were all fighting for room at the dinner table. I thought this was quite hilarious.


Another family plot in Mount Auburn Cemetery, with considerably more elbow room.


Tuesday night, at Friendly Fenway Park. The pre-game ceremonies included three family members who had been injured in the Boston marathon bombings, who were now healed enough to be introduced on the field. Also, the mother of Krystal Campbell, from Medford, who had been killed in the bombings, was there, and threw out the first pitch. People in the stands applauded for a long time. I was really hoping the Red Sox would win this game. They didn’t, but then I realized it didn’t matter.


Later in the week, on the fun quest for the hat, I went into Irresistibles and met this lovely woman, Rose. I told Rose that I had never gone into her store before, because I never wear the colors they show.  She suggested that I try these colors — that I might get used to them and really like them. I found a hat there, which fit my needs.


This is the hat, resting on the head of one of the tigers in my son’s room. My son puts all his hats on these tigers.  Thanks to my son, for letting me borrow his tiger for this photo.

Today, I had an adventure at a bank.  Imagine!


I was at a Citizens Bank, and realized that I was experiencing Bank-related Anxiety, relating to a deposit I was making. I told the helpful teller there, Ryan, that I always had doubts about whether deposits would get credited to my account, because of a mistake a bank made in the 80’s. (I’ve been realizing, lately, that a lot of my fears are based on things that happened many years ago, and that it makes sense to let go of those fears.) Ryan was patient and clear with me, giving me information about new procedures banks now use to make sure that deposits are almost always credited accurately.  The other two tellers were also friendly, interacting with me in a very welcoming way.

I asked whether I could take a picture of the tellers, and they told me to ask their manager, Mike. Mike said that would be great.


This is Murari, Armine, and Ryan. I loved how when I took the first photo of them, Armine said, “No! We should be standing closer together.”  She was right.

Later today, I went for a walk in my neighborhood. I saw a sign, hanging from a rope that blocked the front stairway to a home.  Curious, I went to see what it was.


Earlier today, I had read a sad article about how the western African Black Rhino had just been declared extinct. This sign helped me feel (a little bit) better.

So, on Monday, I’m going back to the hospital where I work.  Teresa  (who is  a loyal reader of this blog and a nurse who used to work at that hospital)  told me about this wonderful photography book:


I bought a copy, from Amazon, which I’m looking forward to presenting to the nurses when I return. Thanks, Teresa.

I’d like to end this essay with something I got the first day of this vacation, at a terrific store in Concord, which is — unfortunately — closing next week. (It’s closing because the owner is retiring, after many years of happy operation.)


I like ending with this, especially since my son just told me he thought this was the best mug, ever.

Thanks for reading, everybody.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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