Montco Mornings – Visit Again

You’ve heard me mention art drop-offs and Poetry Marathons at Montgomery County Community College (nickname – Montco). I take a photo from my car when I arrive and send it to my husband to let him know I am there each morning. I’ve got a lot of those photos and have posted arrays of them before now. Here’s another group.

I generally park in about the same place each time I go to the school, so the views are similar in each photo. For reference, the blue-painted squares designate the handicapped spots at the top of the lot – looking out of my windshield, they are in front of me or to the right, if I have to park a little further out. The trees and the light poles also serve as orienting marks. But usually I park within a 10-space area in the lot, always facing the same way.

There is something about the slow changes as the year rolls around that appeals to me. I like series photos  and I think the banality of the image becomes kind of timeless when it plays out over a longer period of time.

Or, it’s just fun to look at, I hope.

 

 

A Quick Drop-Off at Montco 1/10/20

I was at Montco today for Poetry Marathon and I thought I’d leave a tile in the outdoors there.

School is still not in session yet but you never know who might happen by. I decided I’d set it on this concrete barrier near the parking on the walkway into the quad.

The tile is small but bright:

Here it is in place.

I set it out in the morning. It was still there when I left for the day. I’ll check next week. The tile I left last week in the vestibule:

is not there this week! Fantastic!

Quick Art Drop-off in a cozy warm library on a very cold day in December

I was at Montgomery County Community College today for Poetry Marathon and I left two tiny clay portraits on the shelves there. These are the last two little faces like these I have left. Time to make some more!

Montco 12-19-19 (5)

Here is one little face near the audio books (excuse the blurriness).

And the other one just a few feet to the left.

All the ones I left here in the summer have moved on. To somewhere. How do I know that? Because I left them in the DVD section and the library has moved that whole collection to the next floor. The shelves are empty. That’s the only way I know – because to be honest, I have lost track of where I left who in this building!

Art Drop-Offs – Pennypack Trail and Montco, 4/19

How about a couple of art drop-offs to look at – and see a little scenery as well?

On April 9, I went to the Pennypack Trail for a run/walk and left a tile in a former control box overlooking the Pennypack Creek. In this location the trail, a former train line, is high above the water. I like this spot.

You know that I frequent this trail and over the years I have left a lot of art here. I haven’t used this particular box much, though, because much of the year it’s entangled in vines, even in the fall and early winter. Only in spring is it very visible.

I’ve also mentioned this phenomenon before, I know, but every spring I enjoy seeing it happen again. I’m talking about escaped daffodils. You know, the clumps you find in places where there’s been no one to plant them. Like in the flood plain of the creek. See the little group out in the middle?

Pennypack Trail #3 4-9-191

Then, on April 11, I was at Montgomery County Community College for my weekly poetry session. I left a tile in the DVD area on the main floor. I set it behind a row of DVD’s but…it’s visible if you are looking. You have to reach through the first shelf to grab it from the back of the facing one.

I thought I’d make this drop-off a little more challenging. I’ll check on it the next time I here, most likely next Thursday.

All right! Here’s to art and finding an unexpected keepsake.

The Joy of the Routine

If you follow my poetry blog, you know that each week I take a day, or part of a day (or sometimes parts of two or three days, depending!) to devote to writing poetry. I’m currently in year two of this practice and 2018 is: Day Trip Poetry Marathon.

I like to leave home and do this activity in a suitable place, which for me has usually meant a library.

For the past year or so most of the time I have gone to Brendlinger Library, Montgomery County Community College, in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. As a county resident, I can check out books and enjoy the library as much as I want. And I do enjoy it – I like the atmosphere and being around students and books.

Each week I park in the lot in about the same place. It helps in finding my car if I don’t vary things too much, plus – we are creatures of habit, all of us, and this is one of mine – parking in a certain spot.

I take a photo and send it to my husband to let him know when I have arrived. Over time, I’ve got a lot of photos of the same view. Take a look – here is an array from March 3 – November 2, 2018.

Time passing in a very tangible way…

If you are a real fan of the parking lot saga, look here for a previous post I did back in February, the same thing…only a different time…

Tiles and Letting Them Go

How about a couple of art-drop offs to look at?

On May 10 I left this tile face at Montgomery County Community College library. The green arrow points to the location in the bigger scheme of things.

On May 10 my husband and I went to a play at Allens Lane Art Center and…I left these two tiles behind when we left.

AD 5-13 #3

I’ve got a box full of tiles and clay odds and ends to leave around the world. I am just getting started!

Stick Ladies Go to College

I set down a stick lady at Montgomery County Community College last week and she was gone when I was just there, May 3. I left this lady next to a tree in the quadrangle. I’ll check and see if she is still around when I go later this week…

Over and Over

If you follow my poetry blog you know I visit a site to write poetry once a week, spending the day.

For some time I’ve been going to Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA, to the Brendlinger Library. When I arrive, I usually send my husband a text to let him know I’m there, as I often do when I’m out driving around. Many times I just send a photo.

I realized not too long ago that I’ve gotten into the habit of parking the car and snapping a shot with my phone through the windshield at Montco. I also park in the same lot in about the same place and always facing the same way. I can do this since I get there at the beginning of the day and I have my choice.

I don’t know why it’s pretty much always the same location but we are creatures of habit, aren’t we? And as a practical matter I like to pull through the space, so that I don’t have to back out when I leave.

Anyway, here is the collection I have built up of a very ordinary scene as it passes through time. Sometimes I’m closer to the campus (the photos with trees to the right) and sometimes a little farther out. The Health and Sciences building is off in the distance. The main part of the campus is out of sight to the right – that’s where I go.

 

Walking in Circles

Today is the last day of the Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) Senior Games, and that means it is time to walk.

This year, my plan was to accompany my husband on the course and go at his speed. We are celebrating his continuing recovery from his accident and knee surgery.

We arrived at Montgomery County Community College nice and early, about 8:15 AM. The day was cool but sunny, with clouds coming in for the rain tomorrow, but no precipitation today at all.

Montco, as it is nicknamed, is maybe 20 minutes from home and set on a spacious campus. I remember when the school was way out in the middle of nowhere, but 35+ years since I first saw it, it is now surrounded by houses and apartments. The event was taking place at the health sciences building, AKA the gym/fitness center. It’s recently been updated and it is beautiful.

We went inside for a few minutes, where the vendors for the expo were setting up.

Then we went back outside and got our names in for the event. The way things work, a group of contestants assembles at the start.

You take off down the walk, go out a bit (past the guy in the blue jacket to that lady in the green shirt, you’ll see her, just keep going), turn at the orange cone, come back, pass the start, go some more, follow that loop in the back of the building, and come back. Do that three times and the race is done. You went 1.5 miles. Oh, and to get your time, listen as you pass the finish line – the timer will call out the time. Remember that number and tell the scorer.

It’s all pretty casual, but it works. Here is my husband (left) waiting to start as a volunteer explains the deal to a latecomer.

Well, we got started on our way. I took this picture pretty near the beginning.

I am so happy and proud of my husband. All the hard work he has been putting in in therapy and in exercising on his own really shows. He was able to walk at a 17 or 18-minute mile pace, which I think is great. It is hard for me to believe that less than five months ago he was getting around with crutches and a brace, if he was able to move at all. Determination pays off.

Well, we finished. And then…you knew this story did not end here, didn’t you?

I had no intention of doing this, but I got to Montco and my competitive instincts kicked in. I can’t pass up a race. So before we went out on our joint tour of the course, I asked the officials if I could go around with my husband and then do one on my own. Sure, they said.

All right. My husband took these pictures. Here’s a quick commentary.

I went out with Group #2. Right from the start I identified my competition. And I don’t mean, for medals – there is no telling if these ladies are even in my age group. I just mean, right here, on this course. Let’s go. Here at the start it’s Pink Shirt, Blue Shorts, and me, in the black, behind them.

We zipped around the course. In Lap 2 Pink Shirt and I lost Blue Shorts. Here we are in Lap 3.

Well, I felt I could take this race and I planned my strategy. Soon as we came out of the loop, I put on some speed.

The drama builds. I’m ahead, but can I hold on? So much is at stake! The crowd is on its feet (there are only a few benches and they are filled up) and paying rapt attention (to the football throw going on in the next field, to the registration table, to the free shopping bags they picked up at the expo…you get the atmosphere). All right, my husband was paying rapt attention, and really, that’s all I needed.

At the finish, I prevailed. I have to tell you, I felt happy about it out of all proportion to the importance of the event.

Now, last year I practiced for this race. I had done none of that this year. Well, so what? It’s just walking. Now think about that and what a different context “just walking” is for me and for my husband. I have a lot of gratitude for what each of us can do in our individual ways.

Well, that’s the end of this year’s games. I have a lot of enthusiasm for next year, already!

(Take a look here for my other event in 2017, orienteering.)

 

Walk This Way

Today was the final leg of my Senior Games odyssey – the timed walk.

I’ll start by saying that I have never in my entire life been timed as I walked. I knew nothing about the event other than watching race-walking on TV, and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to pick up that kind of technique any time soon. But, I did practice walking fast, several times a week, for the distance that we would be doing in the Games, 1.5 miles. And I studied race-walking a little to see if there were any tips I could adapt for my own use.

Because I’ll tell you, I wanted to win my age group. There. Now you know.

All right. My husband and I drove over to Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA, about 25 minutes from home. We planned that I would do my event and then we would continue on to Doylestown to set up for the Tile Festival this weekend. This was nice – I had a cheering section and photographer.

The course was the blacktop walk around the central quadrangle of buildings, starting at College Hall.

Here’s the view from the start.

The event was scheduled as a drop-in event, meaning that contestants could arrive anytime during those hours to compete. A group was assembled and set off on its way. Once those people finished, another group would do the same. Since I arrived before 9 AM, you can see I was eager to get going. A few others felt the same – our initial group was a small one, which was nice. Later groups were larger – more than 100 people competed in this event.

So we lined up, got our instructions, and took off. I am wearing the pink shirt and purple shoes.

The course was said to be 1.5 miles, but everyone agreed it was at least 1.75 miles, given our times. Everyone also agreed it didn’t matter. In any case, we went around 6 times plus 1 leg of the quadrangle plus 1/2 of the next. It was possible to lose count but the officials helped us out with splits and lap counts.

I have found walking fast takes focus. It’s easy to drop off in pace if you lose attention. Being in the competition with other people walking as well as the college students who occasionally wandered in was a little distracting. I tried to keep my mind on my feet.

Here I am in action at various points.

And at the finish. I did the course in 24:22.

finish walk 5-16 small

Then I waited and watched the next groups. Over the week I have met quite a few people and some of them competed today. I also ran into a friend I haven’t seen in some time, so I watched her race. And — I did want to see if I could achieve my goal of winning the event. I admit it!

At the end of it all, I did win. Both my age group, and – I was the fastest woman, as well. Now, let’s remember, I was also one of the youngest competitors in the race, so I had an advantage. Still, I was happy. I felt my planning and training had paid off in something I hadn’t done before.

I like this kind of walking and I think I’ll keep doing it as part of my exercise from now on. I’m glad I was introduced to the idea of trying it.

So, now the Senior Games are over for this year. I am thinking already about what I’d like to compete in next May. Guess I enjoyed myself, didn’t I?

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