My friend Amy turned me on to something called Freecycle. There are groups on Yahoo.com that you can sign up for and you can give away stuff, or ask for stuff. A lot of it is baby clothes and gear, sometimes pet supplies. A lot of old couches, furniture, broken or semi-functioning electronics... yard items like plants that people are thinning out from their yard.
I got a nice big table to put the second computer on to (once I clean out the brown room, which I should be doing now) and a bike rack... and the book that Geoff uses for his stamp collection. It came with sheets and everything, which was really cool.
Not just a taker, I have responded to people's requests for items. I gave away a small pet carrier, the one I bought Brodie back in 2006 when I thought we'd be transporting her to Pennsylvania in the truck and keeping her in a hotel for several hours. I also gave away some plants that a neighbor left in my garage last fall that I'd completely forgotten about until they started sprouting green shoots in May. I think they are irises and Spiderwort mostly, and I hope that whoever took them is happy with them. I read the listings and sometimes I respond to something that I'd really like (the cappuccino maker in Boxford really caught my eye!) but I'm too late. It is a very competitive little online yard sale, but no money changes hands. People ask, others respond. People offer something up, and others take it.
I had not asked for much because I am not actively looking for anything really. The table was an offer right up the street from me and it beats going to IKEA and buying a desk assemblage or something... so I took it. The bike rack was an offer, so I took it. And then I asked for one for the hatchback and no one has yet said that they have one available... so I may have to go out and buy one. I'm keeping my eyes open for a decent couch. A lot of the ones I've seen so far are kind of whooped on. Michael and Jon offered us their old one but transporting it here from Ashland may be a huge pain... I'd have to rent a truck or something to do it...
Anyway... I have been toying with the idea of trying my hand at film photography. I feel I've run the course of my talent with the Nikon Coolpix point and click kind of format... and I don't have the money for a really nice digital SLR like a Nikon D40 or D200. I want to learn more about the control the photographer has to exercise to take a really decent photo on film... where you can't just take 200 pictures and delete the ones you don't like off your memory card. You have to think, and plan, and know settings and focus and really construct the image before you shoot it... and if you shoot it, it's yours forever. No deleting off a roll of 35mm film. I want to build my knowledge and skill with the craft. And doing so on film is a more permanent manner in which to do it.
Last week I posted to the boards for Newburyport and Haverhill that I was looking for a used 35mm non-digital camera, asking people if they have one in a closet or attic somewhere and aren't using and probably never will, I'd love to take it for a spin.
Today I got email from someone nearby saying:
Christine, I have dearly wanted the camera that was owned by my beloved father, before he died, to be USED by someone. I keep meaning to use it, and never do. It's very nice, with a case, lenses, etc. I do not have an instruction manaul [sic], and recently bought a new battery for it. I even put film in it and have not taken more than one photo. It is a Pentax, I believe.
Linda in Plaistow
And I got the chills. I wondered how long she thought about responding. Could she really part with this? I thought about her dad and maybe his deep connection to this item, perhaps a great photographer and a caring visual scribe who took a lot of pictures of the family over the years... and how this was one of his favorite things on Earth.
To me, it was just amazingly beautiful that someone would offer it out. So I responded that yes -- I would love it if she really wanted me to have it, and I promised to do good by him.
Hopefully I'll have that in hand sooner than later. I'm inspired by her generosity. And I didn't think anyone would respond. A 35mm camera isn't cheap. But in this day of digital, so many have moved on from that an no one takes print pictures anymore. I'll probably have to buy film in a real camera store because I don't think they sell it at CVS...
I'll keep you posted.
In the past 2 hours I've seen two interesting TV commercials. The first was for T-mobile featuring Romeo & Juliet. She is texting him from the balcony and calling out "Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore art thy text messages Romeo?" Her dad, Mr. C, comes in and starts yea verily berating Juliet that she is forsaking her family texting plan by texting out of network. She sets him straight about T-mobile's awesome texting plans, and he says "Okay. I never hated that boy, but just thought it was too expensive to text him."
The second was for Playstation3 and featured the "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother..." speech from Henry V. You can watch it here if you've never seen Brannagh do it up.
I just thought it was hysterical that both plays got some advertising attention in rather unique ways. Shakespeare? He is not dead. Just shilling for Sony and cell phone plans.
The summer solstice quietly came and went. We had our longest day of the year, one of my favorite days on the calendar, where the light is just always light. Where Jessica is, sunset isn't until 9:45pm this week. Here it wasn't that late, but I so very love this time of year when it is all sunlight for many hours, and then the night comes cool and refreshing so that by 2am it's chilly in the bedrooms with the fans going.
I know it isn't that way everywhere. A lot of my readers are locked into their AC this time of year for a lot of hours. Sleeping is difficult in the heat, and the fans just don't cut it. We had a really hot snap at the beginning of the month but since then it's been warm in the day and nice at night. My favorite.
And now it is downhill into darkness from here. But for now -- this is my favorite. When it is bright and happy from early until late. I relish it. Love it. And can't wait to take pictures of it.