Lens-Artists Challenge #124 – Now and Then

airplane wing over NYC

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”

Bill Keane

This week Amy challenges us to share a comparison between “now” and “then” in an area of our lives for which there is a notable difference. As this is the season for holidays, and hence for being with our families, I’ve chosen to compare our holidays now versus those of the past.

Central Park, NYC

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Søren Kierkegaard

Like many of you my husband and I typically spend our holidays with family, which means flying or driving with an overnight stay. Based on our concerns about the ever-present virus, and CDC warnings, this year (or NOW in Amy’s challenge terminology) we’re staying here at home. We’re hosting some very close, very careful friends from our “pod” all of whom will also be missing their families this year as well.

Autumn, Ghent, NY

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

Mother Theresa

As much as we are missing our families, I like to think we are keeping them safe, and they us. There is a vaccine on the horizon, which means there will be an end to this pandemic in the not too distant future. Until then I will keep my memories of family gatherings in the northeastern U.S. close to my heart and know there will be many more to come. We won’t be flying to share our holidays this year, instead we’ll be observing flying “Kiawah style” as shown below.


“Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering”

Ida Scott Taylor

As time passes we will look back on this time knowing we did what we had to do to insure family time in the future. One day soon the pandemic with be “then” and we will enjoy the “now” that much more for having made it through. Until then we are thankful for our equally safety-conscious friends, family zoom calls and images of Thanksgivings past such as those I’ve shared this week.

Many thanks to Amy for her interesting challenge and the opportunity to think back fondly on times past. We look forward to peeking into your pasts as well as your present. Be sure to link your responses to Amy’s original challenge here and to Tag them with the Lens-Artists tag. We hope you’ll join us again next week as I host challenge #125 here on Travels and Trifles. Until then as always we thank you for your support and wish those who celebrate a safe and healthy holiday.

96 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #124 – Now and Then

  1. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #124 – Now and Then – SHOPPEX-NG

  2. Pingback: Lens-Artist-PC-124-Now-and-Then – WoollyMuses

  3. Nice post ~ good preparation for me as I head back to Seattle and then my hometown for the holiday this coming week. Things are going to be different, and knowing Christmas is always this magical time full of family and friends, it will a good time to remember the past while looking forward. Wish you all well!

  4. One of my favorite cities in your beautiful country Tina, a city that has always opened its arms to those seeking shelter. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving and looking forward to happier days ahead for you, your country and the whole world. Stay safe and well. 💕

    • Many thanks Andrew, on all counts – happier days ahead for all of us. In the meanwhile, much to be thankful for. You be safe too – there is a light at the end of the tunnel at last.

  5. Happy and safe thanksgiving…here in south oz we’ve just come out of a very short but stringent lockdown and feeling very relieved and blessed that a second wave didn’t eventuate and much appreciations for all that we have.

  6. Hi, Tina. I totally agree. It’s more important to keep our families safe now. We will have many opportunities to celebrate in the future. I love your photo of flying Kiawah style! The photo from the plane of the NYC skyline is beautiful, too. You captured it on such a clear day! Happy Micro Thanksgiving! Stay safe and well!

    • Thanks Patti – love the idea of “micro Thanksgiving ” LOL. I will admit to a bit of de-haze on the airplane shot 😊. Enjoy your micro-Thanksgiving too; here’s to family gatherings 2021!

      • I thought you’d like that–“micro Thanksgiving!” Absolutely! Family gatherings in 2020! Our son has already booked tickets for us to visit him next summer!!

  7. wonderful images as usual, Tina! I don’t want to admit it…but my favorite one is NYC…and the birds taking off. So glad you can spend Thanksgiving with your pod too. You write it so well. Happy Thanksgiving, and as you say, we have so much to be grateful for ♥

    • LOL – why is it everyone who likes the NYC image hates to admit it?! As long as we’re only visiting it’s a fabulous city! Then again, give me a wide beach with birds flying overhead and I’ll choose it every time. Thanks so much Ann-Christine, here’s to the light at the end of the tunnel.

  8. When you read my post, Tina, it will make sense about holiday gatherings. I have to agree with you, staying home and safe is the way to go. I don’t know when I will be on an airplane or even public transportation again. At least in your area, I assume you have warmer outdoor temps in which to enjoy eating outdoors. Your images are gorgeous and tell the tale of our stranger than fiction 2020!

    • Thanks Terri, I agree airplanes and public transport are out of the question at the moment. Hopefully the arrival of the vaccine will return us closer to normal. We are indeed fortunate that we can still dine outside although cooler weather is definitely on its way. We’re clinging to the outdoors as long as possible!

  9. Lovely photos Tina. Happy thanksgiving to you and your pod. I hope that you have some good news about your future president by then! Talk here of relaxing the rules for Xmas which personally I think is stupid. We’ll be staying home alone and hope that next year we can safely be with our family under better circumstances. If only this virus had a more visual affect people might keep their distance better. Being a silent killer means so many don’t believe it exists.

    • LOL, to me and my pod….that has quite a ring to it Jude! Thanks for the good wishes on both counts. You’re absolutely right, if the virus was visible people would surely be more cautious. It’s crazy as the numbers mount that there are still those who deny it. Amazing.

  10. Such a beautiful picture! Thank you for the reminder to be grateful for the present moment. I especially love the quote, ““Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering” 🙂

  11. Tina, I love everything about this post. Your photos are lovely and your thoughtful commentary. The quotes are so meaningful not just now but always. My favorite quote is the first one. I have a plaque on my kitchen wall that is similar – “Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why they call it the present”. I’ve seen variations on the quote before but this is the first time I’ve seen it with the addition of “of God”. I like it that way. Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving with your friends!

  12. beautiful pictures as always, Tina. i love them all. i share your sentiment about staying home for now, it is best for all of us. take care and stay safe! happy thanksgiving!

  13. More wonderful photos from you, Tina. As you know, I find a great deal of joy in being out and about in our beautiful wild and semi-wild regions, so I find your nature shots exhilarating. However, this week I have a clear favourite and that is your cityscape of NY. The city looks so alive. I’ve never been there of course, but I can see from your photos how it might be as exhilarating as some of our natural wonders.

    • Many thanks Tracy – we are of like minds on that. I too strongly prefer nature but alive is the perfect word to use to describe NYC. It is a glorious place to visit but as they say, I wouldn’t want to live there. It’s for younger and heartier souls than yours truly!

  14. Nice take on this week’s challenge. I love the photo of Central Park. Having never been to NYC, this image lets me know that the city is more than just a concrete jungle.
    We are also “downsizing” our Thanksgiving celebration to include only two additional people that aren’t regulars in our household, but who, I know, are careful in their daily interactions with others. Still and all, it makes me nervous.

    • Thanks John, there are an amazing number of incredible green spaces in NYC – most famously of course the glorious Central Park, and now the new High Line high above the city. It’s quite an amazing perspective on nature in the midst of the high rises and glitzy 5th Avenue. As for nervous, you and me both my friend!

    • Thanks Sarah – glad you enjoyed these. I took a dozen images of those birds and this was the only one where they weren’t on top of one another LOL. Nice of them to streamline for just a few moments anyway. Here’s to pandemic “then” indeed.

    • Thanks very much Jane – it really is glorious in the fall – and the spring – and not bad in summer or winter either 🙂. Hopefully will be able to visit again before too long.

  15. I join that desire for the pandemic to be a “Then” soon… and I also wish that from that “Then” we had learned what really matters. Beautiful post! 🙂

  16. I have to admit this is going to be tough one for me and my family. Due to being at high risk, we have no pod, no bubble. It’s me, my wife and the kids. I’m struggling to find a then and now photo.

    Normally for Diwali festivities, we buy new clothes, decorate our home, and visit each other homes and break break each night. On Diwali day itself we have a big get together and show the kids with gifts before visiting a Hindu temple. My wife’s father passed away in April from COVID. The family has a year of morning and celebrations are not allowed. COVID would prevent us gathering anyway.

    Our yearly Thanksgiving celebrations are always at my house. The pandemic ended that as well. We are are not all in this together.

    • I hear you Khurt and find myself wondering how those who are immune-compromised are able to carry on. At least you have a wife and children who love you – many are alone and I’m sure very frightened. Don’t give up, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is not that far off!

  17. In a funny way the global middle class has converged on a single way of life, that is what you describe. Stay at home, meet few people, learn to depend on the company of those around you. A very positive lesson, but what a way of getting there!

  18. Love those NY fall colors. We’re mostly golden yellow here.

    With the harder, darker days upon us, it is more important to stay well, to stay safe over the next few weeks. Laurie would add that making good choices, good decisions matter. It is one day at a time. Stay well, stay safe.

    • Thanks David – one day at a time indeed, and yes, good choices are the only option at the moment. You be safe too, and Happy Thanksgiving whatever you’ve chosen for the day. Hope your girls will be with you.

      • Hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving Day too. Laurie, Andrea and our daughters are home. Laurie and Andrea will be heading back to work on Monday. The girls will stay home until the spring semester begins in January. They have continued to be COVID tested on a random basis, and I’ve been added to the test list.

  19. Beautiful images Tina! This year I have a 12 pound turkey. Last year was a 20 pound turkey. I think here in the U.S. we are under 2 pressures, the pandemic and the change of presidents. I’m hoping both will have a peaceful end soon. Take care.

    • 20 to 12 – in that little phrase you’ve summed up Thanksgiving 2020 Anne! Of course you’re right about our double trouble and a peaceful end to both is something for which we can all hope – sooner rather than later please!

  20. What a diplomat your are. I love this post. Kind and caring thoughts, gorgeous (to die for) photos, and acknowledging the way we celebrate family today, is to make sure we behave in a way that will make it more likely that we’ll be able to see them next year. It is much the same with my family.

  21. Your photos are lovely — the birds in flight remind me of how we freely flew to other countries, and now I can’t remember being on a plane at all. So glad you have friends coming for the holidays. We all remember what full-on events were like, and, although I’m guilty of saying how tired I was planning and cooking and serving, I find that it’s those things I’m missing right now. Thanks for a lovely visit to your world.

    • Thanks Rusha – I know just what you mean about missing the work, the prep and the cleanup. It’s all part of the “fun”, although perhaps not the best part LOL!. Yes our days of flying freely around the world are definitely on pause but let’s hope not full stop!

  22. That Header is magnificent, Tina, and Autumn in Central Park must be really something. 🙂 🙂 I’m in denial over Christmas at present. Many of our UK friends are flying back next week so they can self isolate for 14 days before the big day. We no longer have a UK home so that’s not possible for us.

      • Many thanks Jo – Thanksgiving here is very much oriented toward families gathering so it’s a bit sad for most of us but on the other hand we have much to be thankful for, not the least of which is our health and good friends with whom to share the day. My family has already agreed on no family Christmas this year. The first time, literally, since I was born. But again, we have not lost anyone we love to COVID so we have much to celebrate – especially if the vaccine is on track for early 2021. What more could we want indeed! (PS I don’t think there’s a Thanksgiving holiday in the U.K. but I’ll wish you a happy one anyway 😀

  23. I love your “Now and Then” post! Fabulous images, Tina! I’m so glad you will be host the Thanksgiving dinner with your close friends. Enjoy!
    The vaccine sound promissing. “One day soon the pandemic with be “then”, I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

    • I’m sure we are ALL looking forward to it Amy. They say after health care and front line workers older people will be next in line. See, I KNEW there would be an advantage to getting old some day 😀😀

  24. I love “ landing Kiawah style” as we have all fortunately been allowed to embrace. While it is a reflective time missing our Thanksgivings as we so love, I am so grateful for my safe “ pod” friends…. thank you T

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