be a goldfish…

I thought I would write part two of Farewell 2021 being nostalgic and looking back over my year.

I started sorting my photos, many of those memories were truly delightful. I met two brilliant & handsome 18-month-old boys (Cru, my great-nephew, and Roger, the grandson of dear friends). I also saw The Rolling Stones for the very first time.

Other memories of 2021…well, let’s just say they weren’t ALL delightful. I learned a helluva lot though.

This morning, I watched a TEDtalk Choices that can Change your Life by Caroline Myss. This got me thinking about the nature of choice, the power of language, integrity, and how I can observe my own behavior in new ways. Caroline’s TEDtalk won’t land the same for everyone, being reminded of the POWER OF CHOICE was what I needed to hear today.

“I will not pass my suffering on, but my wisdom.” —Caroline Myss

wisdom NOT woe, check…

Today, I’m making a choice to spend more time thinking about and planning my future than dwelling on my past…especially childhood bullshit. I’m 55-years-old, good grief it’s time.

I want to look forward with an expansive, heart-swelling sense of the endless possibilities that exist in the universe. This is my goal, aspirational I know and I will slip up often. Ted Lasso’s advice just might help me stay on track.

“You know what the happiest animal in the world is? It’s a goldfish. It’s got a 10-second memory.

Be a goldfish!”

—TED LASSO

In 2022 want to be more like a goldfish than an elephant.

Thank you Judith for sharing this TEDtalk. ❤️

Thank you, Caroline Myss, and the writers at Ted Lasso.

Wow, I guess the TEDs really spoke to me today.

ancient memories…from early 2020

I was going through photos today and realized that my memories from January and February seem like a lifetime ago. Us Vermonters are now in the 5th week of sheltering in place. It’s quite remarkable how much the world has changed in such a short time. WOW!

I decided to give my not-so-old images a treatment to make them appear as vintage and fading as they now feel to me. I provided captions for the images and a few links below.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it is a memory.”
― Dr. Seuss

  1. Spiderman ready to take on the Bad Guys
  2. Celebrating in Burke, SD https://www.facebook.com/The-Burke-Gazette-104189784512700/
  3. Ellis napping with Karen at home
  4. Jeff’s daily coffee snuggle with Karen
  5. Dinner with Chloe and the clan at Frank Day’s in Dallas, SD https://www.frankdays.com/
  6. New Year’s Eve in Burlington, VT
  7. Joan & Maggie—Trivia Night at the Saint John’s Club/Burlington, VT http://stjohnsclub.com/

the field behind my childhood home…

“Trees were so rare in that country, and they had to make such a hard fight to grow, that we used to feel anxious about them, and visit them as if they were persons.”
Willa Cather, My Ántonia

feeling nostalgic as the tide shifts…

As my girls head back to their second year of college, the memories of my family’s past summers are making me exceptionally nostalgic this year. Last week I walked Cape Cod’s, Town Neck Beach in Sandwich before heading north to Vermont.

So much flooded back to me…oh, the remarkable nostalgia of middle age.

While admiring the rocks, I got an idea for a photo series and a way I could honor this time of transition.

My memories feel both permanent and somewhat elusive, they can come and go as the tide shifts…just like these rocks do every six hours.

New England Patriot’s recently retired tight end, Rob Gronkowski once remarked, “I just like the beaches in summer, man.”

I wholeheartedly agree, Gronk.

fluid memories. girlhood…

fluid memories, summertime…

homesteading women…


cellular residue

Do you possess some form of heartache, pride or even a sense of neutrality, depending on how things turned out for your ancestors?

While researching the stories of female homesteaders on the upper plains one dominant trait surfaced again and again.

Women are remarkably capable of creating something out of nothing.

Leaving all things familiar to take a chance on a new life for themselves and their families was an enormous sacrifice, requiring great courage. So often they were very young women, ages we still consider to be children by today’s standards.

It seems that perhaps we all possess some cellular residue from the migratory ventures of our ancestors. This courage is exhibited (and often maligned) every day, all over the world, as people are forced to leave their homes.

They’re not fleeing for the heady chance to “prove up” 160 free acres as the homesteaders did. They’re most often trying to stay alive and feed their children, a brave migratory gamble in hopes of a better life.

getting nostalgic in black & white.

twins lisa lillibridgeMy twin daughters are graduating from high school on Thursday, June 14th at 10am and nostalgia along with a handful of other complex and occasionally irrational emotions are settling into my midlife psyche.  For so long photographing my girls was my muse, something creative I could do all the time.  However, as they got older (and had cameras in their pockets) I photographed them less frequently together.  I have plenty of travel and birthday photos, but I can see now as the years progressed, they increasingly grew into their individuality, less of a unit and I followed their lead.  Now, every photo has to be “approved” which I can understand for a 17-year-old coming-of-age in this era and about to graduate from high school.

Here’s to honoring nostalgia however it surfaces in your life.  I know for me, it’s helping the transition to an empty nest to take a look back.  I’m less anxious that I could’ve been a better mother and prepared them more by seeing these photographs through a slightly different lens.  A pleasant byproduct of middle age wisdom, I suppose.

When my three kids were young, to offer a little grace at the end of those seriously ass-kicking days, I would ask myself:

“Did you love them more than you were pissed off at them today?” 

The answer was always the same.  I can live with that.

girls flipping the bird lisa lillibridge

Scrappy Bird-Lillibridge (22) copy – Version 3

lucy and willa deck bath lisa lillibridge

There are so many photographs to sort through, here are a few of my favorite black & white shots of Lucy and Willa. 

I’ll post my favorite color images next.

fade & shift

Memory…is the diary we all carry with us.

—Oscar Wilde

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dreaming of spaciousness…

prairie-moon-lisa-lillibridge-dakota-1966

Above is my original painting.  It was in a show at a restaurant that used to be downtown Burlington, Smokejacks.  The light was low so I designed this series to show up in the soft light.  This piece also was also in a show at the Herrick Elevator in South Dakota.

I thought I could stretch the life of this painting by playing with it and layering the moon.  The farmhouse and flora in these images are photographs I shot around Burke, South Dakota.  I guess as the snow falls in Vermont I’m dreaming of a quiet and spacious rural landscape.

lillibridge-dakota-1966-moon-over-prairie-farmhouse

prairie-moon-and-flora-lillibridge-dakota-1966