“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” ~ Hans Selye
Weeks ago at Shakertown, the rentals and I took a brief hay ride. With Kelly and Cassie engaged in conversation, Pam and I had our own talk. She and I had a few of these talks that weekend. They are treasured moments for sure.
“No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen.” ~ Alan Watts
The Rental Sisters and Rental Niece, Cassie, met at Shakertown for a whirlwind 24 hour historic, walking, gastric extravaganza. Despite the short stay, and even the Sunday wet weather, we had a wonderful time together as always. We’re determined to go back for many of the hiking trails, the river boat, and more Shaker inspired food. I love my rental family.
“Be polite. Be blind to the shortsightedness of others. Walking away is not necessarily weakness; sometimes it’s real strength. Very few confrontations are worthy of a line in the sand. Don’t seek to rule others and don’t live as if you’re being ruled. Live a life that’s honest to yourself. Love isn’t what you feel. It’s what you do.” ~ Steven Roth
The Rental Sisters and I were not alone in Augusta our first day and night. Rental Nieces Cassie and Lisa joined us for a rare young mother’s day away from their toddlers. Along the way we caught wind of George Clooney’s side business. We kept seeing signs for Casamigos Tequila throughout town, and eventually learned that this was George’s side business. (Get your minds out of the gutter!) The local pub featured Casamigos straight up and in a variety of cocktails. After a long day that ended with a nice dinner at Moyer Winery, we retired to our respective rooms. The nieces waited for us old gals to go to bed, as we learned the next morning, and then high-tailed it to the pub to try some of George’s side business. The thing I love about these two is how easily they fit in with the old crowd and still want to go out on their own. I’m so glad they came with us. Time spent with them is never time wasted.
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” ~ Audrey Hepburn
The Rental Sisters knew a lot more about Augusta than I did. We walked into an adorable antique shop on Main Street, of which there are many, to be immediately greeted by a delightful woman and her tiny shop dog named Nate (I think that was his name). Apparently, Nate had had a long day by the time we arrived. Ordinarily, so we were told, he’s at your feet as soon as you come through the door. He greeted us with a yawn from his basket behind the counter. We fawned over him just the same and continued our perusal of the Donny Osmond vinyl, vintage books and toys, and assorted celebrity photos and magazines. I was eyeing a mural-size canvas photo of a young Nick Clooney and colleagues behind an early 70’s-era CBS news desk when Stacy leaned in and whispered, “This is Nina’s store.” “Oh,” I said, as if I knew who Nina was. Stacy, who knows me all-too-well, was quick to recognize that I had no clue who Nina was. “Nina Clooney,” she whispered again, “George’s mom. Nick’s wife. That’s her at the front desk.” “Oh!” I replied, now understanding who Nina was. By the time we left Nina’s shop we’d been treated to smiles and kindness and sweet conversation. Nina was beyond adorable! We assumed that would be the end of Clooney connection for the weekend. Sunday morning, while I was taking pictures of river fog, the sisters had gotten a table at the General Store for breakfast. The first person I saw when I walked in was none other than Nick Clooney. He raised his fork to me with a smile and nod as if he’d been expecting me. And maybe he was. I found the sisters at the table next to he and Nina and two others. (What an opportune time to photograph the sisters, I thought) When The Clooney’s left the General Store, waves and goodbyes were exchanged because, of course, they and the sisters had been chatting with each other before I showed up. Nick, like Nina, was as honestly warm as could be. The Clooney’s are sweet down home Kentuckians that you can tell are pleased as punch to live in their tiny river hometown and show kindness to everyone that visits. It was an honor to be in their company.
“Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul.” ~ Unknown
Cassie dropped me a note asking if I’d snapped any pix of her and hubby Jeff at the wedding. She was having so much fun that she forgot to take a pic of them on their night out. They’ve got a toddler and an infant now, and date nights like the one they had for the wedding are super rare. Naturally, I didn’t pop-off the typical couple photos of them, but hopefully I caught enough of their happy to count. In case I haven’t mentioned how cool The Whitehouse’s are, let me rectify that. They’re way cool. Plus, they’re sweet as the day is long with the most beautiful babies imaginable. It’s always a pleasure to be in their company.
“Let us not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around us in awareness.” ~ James Thurber
It’s heartening to see the joy and hope new lives bring to a room. Just yesterday the girls (Annabell whom I call Apricot, and Lucy) were exposed – so to speak – to me and my camera. They weren’t quite as enthusiastic as the boys. In fact, they weren’t amused at all. On the other hand, Jackson AKA Cincinnati Red and Grier are becoming increasingly enthralled with the camera. This bodes well for future images I think, and it also means we’ll have a blast along the way. The girls may never warm to the camera. I’ll take my chances.
“Don’t promise when you’re happy.
Don’t reply when you’re angry.
And don’t decide when you’re sad. ”
I joined the Yelton sisters at the family cemetery in Burlington, KY to view their father’s recently placed headstone. Beautiful day as it was, bone chilling wind made short work of our visit. We drove to Pam Yelton Bick’s in Milford where we were joined by most of the remaining family. The cousin count has nearly doubled in the least two years. It was a hoot with these little ones around. The boys are both walking, running actually, so there was loads of fun to be had on the floor while the girls oooo’ed and awwwww’ed and compared hair bows. I’m awfully lucky they let me hang out and watch their babies grow up.
“Spread positive energy wherever you go. It all begins with a positive attitude.” ~ Unknown
I saw five-month-old Grier Whitehouse at his auntie Tay and Ash’s baby shower today. If his beaming smile doesn’t fill you with happiness, there’s no happiness to be had. I’ll just leave this here to complete your day. He certainly completed mine.
“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” ~ Pema Chödrön
If baby Grier hadn’t brought us all together Saturday, rental nephew Brett’s birthday would have. Brett’s son, Jackson, aka “Cincinnati Red” has not been quick to warm up to the camera as you can see. Despite aunt Cassie’s coaxing of a smile, he was having none of it. In Jackson’s defense, however, he hasn’t seen enough of me to really understand what’s going on. I’ve noticed how little kids reach a point of aggravation with cameras at a fairly early stage. You may recall my photographing Riley Morrow every month during his first year. I can see his progression from fascination to annoyance from one month to the next. It started around his seventh month and he hasn’t gotten over it yet. He’s three and a half now, just a few months older than Jackson.
Besides, there was daddy’s birthday cake waiting to have its candles blown out. Who’s got time for pictures when there’s ice cream cake? I’ll tell you what, Jackson is so stinkin’ adorable you just want to squeeze him and never let go. And after he had a bite of the icing he said, “De-lish-ous” in the most adorable voice. Every heart in the room melted with joy and every voice rang out with laughter. It was an unforgettable moment.
At the end of the day Jackson kissed his new cousin Grier goodbye. If this picture doesn’t warm your heart you don’t have a heart to warm. These two handsome boys are going to either love me or hate me when it’s all said and done. Then again, most people in the outhouse probably feel the same way. <insert smiley face> I’ll be keeping my camera charged. It’s just what I do.