Moments – When I saw the nuns… bang, the moment, period.

“When I saw the nuns, I thought it was an unusual group. I’ve never seen so many nuns together. That would make a nice shot. Then as I got close, it was difficult. I was being jostled. People were all around me. I have a Roloflex, and dangling. So, I had to be careful what the best shot I could get. It’s one shot I’ve always been proud of, because everything worked. Everything came together. And bang, the moment, period.” – Morrie Markoff

Los Angeles Times – A life in Pictures: 99-year-old photographer looks back

Morrie Markoff hasn’t been bored “one minute in my life,” he told LA Times columnist Steve Lopez. The LA-based photographer has raised a family, run a business, created art and cheated death in his 99 years – and captured much of it. Read more about Morrie: Thriving 99-year-old is right at home in today’s lively downtown L.A.

 

“If you love photography, shoot pictures. Keep shooting pictures. You’ll beging to notice a difference when you first started and two years later. Some people look, but they don’t see. Keep shooting pictures. That’s all.” – Morrie Markoff

Love is how you stay alive even after you are gone.

OIHM-1

I’ve been a member of the Orcas Island Historical Museum for a few years now. I joined after spending a weekend circumnavigating the Island by car to visit resort properties and locations owned or managed by members of my family in days gone by, as well as spending time perusing the museum archive files doing personal research.

Last year, I donated money to purchase a commemorative a brick for the walkway of the Orcas Island Historical Museum in Eastsound – Orcas Island, Washington. An act of love and personal tribute to my maternal grandparents and a dream they shared years before I was born. Leif Henry and Ruth Odell Erickson relocated with their four children, the eldest being my mother, from Bellingham to Orcas Island, owning and operating Waldheim Resort in Eastsound in the 1940s.

I had no idea where the brick was installed. As it turned out, their commemorative brick was part of the latest installation, which I literally stepped over following the path from the sidewalk to the entrance of the museum to inquire about it’s placement.

Although this engraved brick is a special tribute to my beloved grandparents, it brings a flood of memories of my summertime visits to the San Islands – vacations and reunions during the 50s and 60s with our extended family who still lived on Orcas. Several generations – great grandparents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins beach combing for shells and driftwood, building bonfires, clamming, crowded together is cozy cabins, cooking meals together, cracking jokes, laughing, playing cards, reading books, boating, swimming, horseback riding along the lake…. Recollections that spring to life as if only last summer, reminding me how much I still love those who are gone, but remain so deeply rooted in my heart and fondest memories.

 

Love is how you stay alive even after you are gone.

The Little Moment that Turned Big – Part I

By Laura Lavigne

Some moments are huge, and they announce themselves right from the start.

The moment when we answer Yes (or No) to what seems like a big question. The moment we first hold our baby in our arms.

The moment our heart breaks and we’re not sure it will ever heal.

Other moments are just as big but they dance into our lives without any warning. We barely know they’re there until one day we turn around and BAM! Our terrain is completely altered yet it takes a little bit of looking back to find “it.” To find the moment.

The Happiness Sprinkling Project was not meant to be a Project, even less a Movement. It was meant to be a goofy hour of fun with a few friends.

In April of last year, someone posted a photo on my Facebook wall. It was an image of several people wearing bright orange clown-like outfits, and holding handmade Signs above their heads. The Signs said things like “You Rock” and “Go For It.” As soon as the photo showed up on my wall, people started commenting excitedly and it wasn’t long before I chimed in and asked “You guys want to do this?”

The answer was a resounding YES, and from the comfort of our own keyboards, across town and even a wee bit further, we organized what was to be an hour of us standing at a busy street corner in Anacortes, the following month, and “doing this.”

Still from Facebook, I asked: “What do you want your Sign to say? If you are going to stand on a street corner and broadcast a message, what do you want that message to say?” And within a couple of hours, I had a list. “You ARE a good parent.” “Everything is going to be okay.” “Sure, You Can.” “You Are Loved.” And more.

We were all pretty darn excited – you’d think none of us had jobs to pay attention to. This was happening so easily, I just knew we were going to have a great time.

Next, as I “designed” this one hour bit of fun in my head, I felt that to bring some visual balance to what was sure to be a wild group of Sign-holding peeps, we needed some consistency, something to tie us together. In the same way that I create a painting, I created the scene in my mind. And I saw that (1) the signs had to be super legible and all in the same font, and (2) we needed to be united by a color theme.

I called a friend who has a local printshop, presented my strange idea to him and asked him if he would print our Signs. Because he is who he is – and because this thing was ready to be born, he said YES.

Then I asked everyone to show up wearing bright yellow.

 

 

And that was that. A couple of weeks passed and on May 22 2012, we met at the corner of 12th and Commercial, at the very spot where people usually show up with heated political messages and we “sprinkled happiness.”

There was honking, there was waving, there was jumping up and down, and more than anything there was an extraordinary amount of JOY.

No agenda, no plan, just a bunch of people who together, had said YES to the moment.

Click here for Part II

Moments Contributor Laura Lavigne is a life coach, author and tribe builder. She is the director of the Anacortes Center for Happiness, creator of the Happiness Sprinkling Project, 90-Day Gratitude Challenge and Anacortes Happy Hour. She lives on Fidalgo Island and you can visit her at lauralavigne.com, and view her talk “Go For Joy” – Laura Lavigne at TEDx.