“To be kind is more important than to be right.
Many times people need not a brilliant mind that speaks but a patient heart that listens.”
Little did we know that we were warming up for the Mary Chapin Carpenter finale. I wonder how many shots like this I’ve taken of Crystal over the years? More than I remember, that’s for sure. I trust there will be many more to come.
“Dare, dream, dance, smile, and sing loudly! And have faith that love is an unstoppable force!”
~ Suzanne Brockmann
Yesterday was a big day. Not only did I get to see Sara Holroyd, but I got to meet Mayzie, Crystal and Mr. Boyfriend’s baby dachshund. You may recall that Crystal’s beloved Bianca was in the outhouse recently, just a few days before she crossed the rainbow bridge. Crystal wasn’t looking for another dog. Instead, Mayzie found her (much like Bianca had done). She’s only six-months old, give or take, and I think they told me she’s a mini. You can imagine how petit she is, and she is as adorable as can be. Crystal is already telling us grand stories of her adventures. I’m looking forward to more as the days roll on. God is Dog spelled backwards; balm for the soul.
“When your spirits need a lift, think of the virtues and talents of those around you—one’s energy, another’s modesty, the generosity of a third, something else in a fourth. Nothing is so inspiring or uplifting as the sight of these splendid qualities in our friends. Keep them always in mind.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
Wally and I had a house guest yesterday. It was a special treat to entertain someone of the canine variety. Bianca AKA Binx AKA Little Dog AKA The Snake Slayer spent the afternoon with us while her mom, Crystal Heis, took Mr. Boyfriend out for his birthday. Friends of Crystal know Binx really well. She’s notorious for the number of snakes she kills. Some years back there was a healthy nest of garter snakes in Crystal’s garden. She kept a tally that year, and the next and the next, until word got around the snake world that Little Dog’s kingdom was not open to them. Binx’s fame grew; her hunting prowess became legendary. Chipmunks weren’t safe, and no cat with half a brain dare tread through her territory.
Binx hasn’t been well lately, but that didn’t keep her from being keenly interested in Leo and Lily after they made their way downstairs thinking the house was dog-free; lulled into a false sense of security when they heard Wally go out the back door. Binx wasn’t fast enough to give chase, but she was plenty energetic to keep them treed, as it were. There they remained until she finally needed a nap. When she wasn’t occupied with the cats, she was a great helper with the wedding photos. She’s extremely photogenic herself, and might be the world’s most photographed snake slayer. Naturally. Wally and I were honored to have a star in our midst.
“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”
~ Jack Canfield
As I mentioned yesterday, I was tasked with photographing the wedding of my Aunt Charlene and, now, Uncle Tony. I wondered how I could do it and still be part of the ceremony, too. You see, all of Charlene’s nieces and nephews who were present (along with their spouses) were to line the aisle (a path cut in the hay field) to the wedding arch (also in the hay field) as she was escorted in by cousin Missy and Uncle Greg. Being one of the oldest put me at the front of line. So, as Charlene began her procession, I stepped into the aisle and did a selfie. I had a unique angle, so why not take advantage of it? Besides, it’s the kind of shot you’d expect from me in this situation, and that’s why Charlene wanted me to do the wedding. I’m not your usual wedding photographer. What’s funny about that is, when I got home and began to look at the photos, I found that Crystal had channeled my style throughout the day. It’s usually the other way around. By 3 a.m. I was giggling like a kid at her over-their-heads-punchbowl shots that sometimes had no one in the shot at all. My day, and the wedding photos, wouldn’t be half what they are if Crystal hadn’t helped me. There’s no way I could have done a 45 minute ceremony alone even if I hadn’t been in the party. There’s not enough money in the world or thanks in the universe to adequately convey how grateful I am for her. I owe her big time. Plus, she’s now an honorary cousin/niece.
“Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll
The Terrible Triplets convened for another retirement gathering this afternoon (a different person retired, just to be clear). After some nibbles and drinks and pleasantries, we three gathered in a corner for a pose and a laugh. As we calculated our own years to retirement I snapped away. Being the youngest, Crystal will eventually be the left to carry on without Matt and I. She’ll forge ahead like the strong gal she is, and we’ll think of her as we sip fruity umbrella drinks on a retirement beach. Of course, we’ll have a seat saved for her, umbrella drink at the ready. I sure love my people.
“Love your poor neighbor as yourself.
Love your sick neighbor as yourself.
Love your old neighbor as yourself.
Love EVERY neighbor as yourself.”
~ Nathan Hamm
Here are two reasons I enjoy going to work everyday. Matt Harris, Crystal Heis and I attended a retirement party this afternoon. I looked around the room and realized how lucky I am to be in the company of so many wonderful people. A lot of those people have already retired, but I feel okay with that so long as these two are still with me. They tolerate me really well.
“If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier.”
~ John R. Wooden
My old friend and colleague Louisa Trott Reeves (bottom left) came to UK from UT Knoxville for some spiffy training today. We were lucky to have a nice lunch with friends and catch up. Our chat was much better than this cobbled picture of us squinting into the noonday sun. I’m very grateful to be in a profession that has allowed me to make good, lasting friends like Louisa. I hope it’s not so many years before we have a chance to catch up again.
“Turn your face stubbornly to the light, and keep it there.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
A few weeks ago Crystal traveled to Austin, Texas to attend a Photogrammetry workshop. This type of photography involves many photos, multiple angles, and a single object from which a map or a 3D model can be created of said object with specialized software. Basically, the software uses the photos to measure the object.
This afternoon Crystal decided to photograph the giant Abe Lincoln head in the Special Collections lobby from which to create a 3D model. Abe is a hollow bronze created by Gutzon Borglum, the artist who created Mount Rushmore. Our Abe was a model for that larger work. I lent a hand (and a flash), and I learned a lot about Photogrammetry along the way. One thing we both learned: close your eyes before the flash goes off.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
~ Melody Beattie
Crystal sent a note this morning. “You realize we graduated from UK twenty years ago today, right?” Well, I didn’t until she told me. I’m not real good with dates or names, but that day I remember really well. My best friend Jim Brown had died just a week before. He and I were supposed to walk through graduation together (he’d finished his degree in Business in December), but he didn’t survive. Instead, I walked the smaller Fine Arts graduation, but I didn’t walk it alone. Crystal walked, too. She’d finished her BFA in only four years, as where it took me five years for a simple BA. In my defense, I was still playing a lot of music and working a couple of part time jobs. I tell you what, Crystal and I had a lot of good times, and great conversations back then. She’d take smoke breaks with me. She didn’t smoke. I had a two-pack-a-day habit. A lot has sure changed in these last twenty years; some good (I quit smoking), some bad (a lot more people have died), but all in all it’s pretty awesome because I’m still hanging out with Crystal. She’s the kind of friend you want in your life, and I’m incredibly grateful for her, and to her…even though she still looks like she’s twelve. Maybe a little of her anti-aging secret will rub off on me if I stick around her long enough.