26 January, 2007


Marlene showed me a beautiful thing.

Somebody out there, she learned, was touched by the beautiy of the Lighted Christmas balls, and we've gotten to play a part in this joy-filled tradition, and that this somebody responded by giving in gratitude from their abundance, to the Empty Stocking Fund.

Now that is something really beautiful, more beautiful, in fact, than all the Lighted Christmas balls in Sunset Hills put together. Would that we follow their example.

24 January, 2007

Street Lights

Street Lights, Ridgeway Drive at Christmas
copyright 2006 Jim Dollar
Street Lights, Ridgeway Drive at Christmas was taken by Jim Dollar, Sunset Hills neighbor, hanger of Lighted Christmas balls, friend to many, and now friend to our family. If you haven't yet met Jim, you should; you have a great joy in store. Jim is the happy faced man seen almost every afternoon, walking his well worn course, tapping his walking stick, sometimes wearing a reflector vest, starting from his home on Friendly near Ridgeway, to W. Greenway South, to Market, to Ridgeway, and that's just lap one of many. So if you don't speak to him on first spin around the block (what was I thinking, me, too busy hanging lighted Christmas balls) maybe you can do so on his second, or third, or fourth lap, like I did. I learned, all on my own, that Jim leads the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, authors a blog, and has an amazingly beautiful collection of photographs at, and just plain likes people, and he can find the Sacred everywhere and in everyone.

07 January, 2007

Sunset Hills Lighted Christmas Balls Spread to West Virginia - (pictures forthcoming)

Kate Brower writes... "Daly and I showed my niece and nephew from Chicago how to make the balls over New Year’s while we were all visiting my mother at her farm along a river in West Virginia. I’m attaching photos – I love how they show up against her Norwegian Spruces, and check out the barn and horse in the background. Isabel was enamored but despaired of being able to do any in Chicago – “Not big enough trees, Aunt Kate.” I told her people don’t only hang them high, so we’ll see what she comes up with next year! I told my mom (82 years old) not to worry, if the snow and ice don’t knock them off branches, Daly and I will lower them the next time we visit. We staged them so she can see them from her kitchen, living room and bedroom windows. Thanks for the inspiration (and sharing your knowledge!)"

05 January, 2007

Ridgeway Drive

Mario Galucci used the Multiple exposure mode in his D200 to get this; its a composite of 10 shots using auto-gain. Shot with the 75-150mm f/3.5 Series E Manual focus lens.

I'm no photographer, but to me, they're gems. Thanks Mario!

Close ups from Ridgeway

On the to the left, Mario used the Multiple exposure mode in his D200 to get this. This is a composite of 5 shots using auto-gain. Shot with the 75-150mm f/3.5 Series E Manual focus lens.

More gems from Ridgeway

Mario took these georgeous close-ups. Thanks Mario!

Smith Mountain Lake - Lighted Christmas Balls

Sunset Hills neighbor Ellen Wells writes...

"Jonathan, I don't have pictures to send you, but thought you'd like to know that there are about 13 balls shining on the shore of Smith Mountain Lake. Our daughter-in-law's parents live there, and last year their son hung them in their trees bordering the lake, after he saw the Sunset Hills balls. They left them up and have turned them on many times during the year; neighbors call to ask that they turn them on when they are entertaining! I sent the blog link to friends and family around the country, including Washington state, where we used to live. Who knows where they'll next turn up! We love it! And it sounds like Alison was thrilled to see her old neighborhood -- please extend our thanks to her for her idea."

...thanks Ellen, Alison was delighted beyond words, as was her 9 month-old daughter. They're coming back to Greensboro over MLK weekend, so we've planned on leaving the lightballs on till then...Jonathan