The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

It’s been a minute since I last posted and the plan was for a longer hiatus until I happened upon Tina’s Lens-Artists Challenge, the final one for 2022.
This challenge is to post photos from 2022 that have not been previously published. Couldn’t resist.
It’s a hard thing to plumb the passage of time. In one sense it seems like yesterday that I was chilling outside the local coffee joint while my grandson Jackson squirmed in his baby carriage. At the same time, those days seem like a lifetime ago. Twelve years.
Basketball is Jack’s love. Years ago stumbling and unsure, his game has benefited from confidence and maturity.
Taken in a dimly lit high school gym, the quality of this photo is iffy but for me the subject is priceless.

Forsaken and polished
During a road trip this past October I happened upon an automotive relic sitting in front of an old barn.

Every June, the nearby town of Pinole hosts a classic car show. The bright red beauty below caught my eye.

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons.” ~ Herman Hesse.
This past October, a road trip took me along the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada. I was driving one afternoon along an isolated, winding two lane mountain road that followed the course of a stream lined with aspens, all of them dressed proudly in their autumn finery. I wanted, needed, to stop and capture some images of the fleeting brilliance that in a matter of a few short weeks or less would be gone, not to return for another year. I finally found a turnout where I could park. As I was taking out my camera a woman emerged from the woods and pointed me to a faint path the led to the stream.

Two days ago I was hiking on the hills above the fog bound Carquinez Strait when I came upon this lonely old soul on a promontory overlooking the water. Looking haggard, and weary, bent steadfastly against a biting breeze the scene brought to mind the holiday carol, In the Bleak Midwinter.

A tale of two skylines
Two horizons that couldn’t be more dissimilar; one sculpted by nature and the other by man. One day I could gaze at one and marvel that there could be no view more sublime and the next day take in it’s contradiction and affirm that its beauty has no peer.
During my autumn road trip I was constantly followed by the brilliant autumnal sweep of the eastern Sierra.

The Embarcadero follows the shoreline of the San Francisco Bay. The views are unrivaled urban beauty. Cora and I were walking towards the farmer’s market when I stopped for this image.

Morning moon and evening sun
Two images taken in California’s, Alabama Hills; one captures the moon in the morning and the other the sun setting behind a cloud bedecked Mount McKinley.

Driving along Highway 97 in Oregon, I stopped to photograph an old gas station/store outside of the little town of Kent.

San Francisco’s Union Square is where it’s all happening, especially during the holidays. It’s where you find the legendary bustle of the holidays; excitement, color, joy and yes, frayed nerves. Surrounding the square are luxurious stores decked out in holiday cheer. Below is the storefront of Macy’s, brightly colored and reflecting the facing buildings.

Please visit Tina’s site, Travels and Trifles to see her Last Chances. Then scroll down to the comments to find other last chance offerings.

Happy Holidays

34 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge: Last Chance

  1. mistermuse says:

    Love the photos.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Mr. M, Glad you enjoyed the photos. A Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year.

      1. mistermuse says:

        I clicked “Like’ but it wouldn’t take. Several blogs I follow give me this problem, and yours is one of the (un)lucky ones. Such is life (and like). 😉

        1. Paul says:

          I’ve taken this up with the boys at WP and here we still are.

          I do appreciate your reading and commenting.


  2. Cool to see you back, Paul. Great pics as well! Merry christmas!

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Peter,
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed the photos. A Merry Christmas to you.

  3. Jane Fritz says:

    Always glad to see you back, Paul. Great photos as always, and wonderful contrasts. But … as a grandmother I definitely like the one of Jack playing basketball best. My oldest grandson’s passion is basketball as well. It was SOooo tough for those kids during COVID. Happy holidays to you and yours.

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Jane,
      Thank you as always for reading and commenting. I try to make it to every one of Jack’s basketball games.
      Happy holidays to you Jane.

  4. JohnRH says:

    WOW. Great great selections. Love the action basketball shot, the old truck, the red custom truck, et all. Excellent!

    1. Paul says:

      Hello John,
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Happy holidays to you.

  5. Beautiful photos, Paul! I think my favorite is the “evening sun” photo below the morning moon photo. Side note, many years ago, in the early 90s I believe, my friend and I did a quick trip up from San Diego to San Francisco. She was staying the week with friends, I flew back down on Sunday (I believe). My favorite memory of that weekend was evening in Union Square! It was dark and decorated for Christmas. Beautiful. We saw a cable car go by full of rowdy happy people. Someone was playing beautiful saxophone music in the area. I still have the coffee mug I purchased in Macy’s with the city skyline and “Macy’s” on the front. An awesome memory!

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Lisa, Great story about your visit to San Francisco. Did Macy’s have the pet adoption display in their windows when you visited?

      When my kids were younger, up into their teens, we took a regular day trip into San Francisco, staying into the evening and visiting the grand hotels to see their Christmas displays. We went back home over the Golden Gate Bridge so that on the way we could see the light displays in the Marina District.

      1. Oh I bet that was beautiful! I don’t remember seeing the pet adoption. I just remember it felt so magical! …and beautiful!

  6. Toonsarah says:

    I’m so glad this challenge inspired you to post these shots! There are so many I loved 🙂 The beat-up old truck and the shiny red one (great cropping on that shot), the aspens, the Mount McKinley sunset, the Oregon gas station – those are probably my favourites. Have a wonderful Christmas, and I hope to see many more posts from you in 2023!

    1. Paul says:

      Hi Sarah, Thank you so much for reading and commenting. A Merry Christmas to you and your family and I’ll be seeing you, in the blogosphere at least, in 2023.

  7. Lovely photos. Loved the paired wheels on the vintage car, and the silhouette of the leaning tree. Totally fascinated by the ground penetrating arrow in its bow.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words. The arrow is indeed an interesting piece of urban art.


  8. Anne Sandler says:


    1. Paul says:

      Hello Anne,
      I got Word Pressed again. I went back and fixed it. I hope the fix holds. This isn’t a new phenomenon. Thank you for the heads up.

  9. Hi Paul,
    Greetings from India.
    Other than your first image, which is a colourful multi-storeyed building, I don’t see other images.
    Earlier commentators were lucky.
    Can you have a second look?
    Sorry for the trouble.
    Happy Christmas and happy holiday season!
    Take care.

    1. Paul says:

      Greetings Philo.
      Thank you for the heads up. I went back in and fixed the post (hopefully for good).
      Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you.

      1. Thank you Paul for taking the trouble.
        Fab collection.
        I having a visual treat .
        Love the cars.

        1. Paul says:

          No trouble at all. I thank you for letting me know of the problem. A photo blog loses it’s luster if one can’t see the photos. Thank you for the kinds words.

          1. Thank you Paul for your kind words.
            Happy holidays.

  10. Tina Schell says:

    I am so happy you found our challenge just in time Paul, because these images DEFINITELY needed to be shared! I loved them all – your love of nature comes shining through and your B&W treatment of the time-worn images is beautiful. John Steiner will love the shiny red truck especially. My favorite of the set though has to be the Macy’s image. It simply doesn’t get more festive than that!! Happy Holidays to you and yours, and thanks for joining us as always

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you so much Tina. I hope you’re having a joyous holiday season. We’ll see you again in 2023.

  11. Anne Sandler says:

    Paul, thanks for fixing the problem! This post is great with wonderful photography and narrative. I loved all your photos, especially the one of your grandson. I hope you stick with LAPC in 2023. Your posts are so enjoyable.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you so much Anne. Yes, I plan on showing up on LAPC in 2023.

  12. Hettie D. says:

    My favorite is the Evening sun!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Hettie.

  13. Priti says:


    1. Paul says:

      Thank you

      1. Priti says:


  14. eden baylee says:

    Hi Paul,

    “It’s a hard thing to plumb the passage of time.” < Funny I should start by reading this line of yours today. After not reading your blog for awhile, I knew had a few to catch up but found myself scrolling back to December!
    So I'm not going to read backwards as I told you, makes more sense going forwards.

    The images of Morning moon and evening sun are superb. Evening sun, in particular, shows Mother Nature in all her wonderful layers.

    The shot of Jackson shows great movement, and I love the intensity in his face. 😀

Would love to hear from you

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