september 6, 2015

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“Note to self: Let things go.” ~ Unknown

 

into the sunset
into the sunset

 

I started processing photos from cousin Richard’s wedding. The ceremony was held on a island in the middle of a beautiful pond in southern Ohio. The island is accessible only by a swinging bridge. I don’t like swinging bridges, mostly because of Richard. Oh, how I love the irony of life sometimes. You see, before Highway 80 cut through our ancestral holler in Perry County, known as Ball Creek, we took a trip for one last visit. It was around 1970. Back then, you drove up the creek, literally, as far as you could. Then, you got out and walked a trail to the old home place. There was a pile of us Terry’s on that trip. We were walking the trail when we passed an old swinging bridge. I’ve always had a fear of heights. That was especially true as a child. I saw the bridge and felt the need to overcome that fear. Why I wanted to do it then I have long since forgotten. I was half way across the bridge when it began to swing wildly. I looked behind to find Richard on the other end jumping up and down causing the bridge to sway, laughing his head off. Naturally, I started screaming bloody murder, crying, the whole meltdown. I don’t remember anything else about the trip after that moment. Yesterday, as folks headed back to the mainland across bridge, my Uncle Greg, Richard’s dad, did much the same to my aunt Virginia, Richard’s mom; rocking the bridge back and forth, and laughing. Virginia handled it better than I did, but in that moment it was clear that this apple named Richard didn’t fall far from the tree. The bride and groom and I stayed behind for a few newlywed shots, then it was our turn to cross over. I was about to step onto the bridge when I saw Richard was now the one in the middle of the bridge. I smiled. He sacred me to death 45 years ago, and I never loved him more than I did yesterday watching him walk across that bridge. He helped toughen me up. He helped teach me about forgiveness, and how to laugh off whatever happens. I’m indebted to him for those things, and I’m honored to be his family.

august 14, 2015

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“So in the end, remember, do your best, follow your arrow and make something amazing out of your life. Oh, and never stop smiling.” ~ Unknown

 

Wallace in the sunset (snapseed)
Wallace in the sunset (snapseed)

 

Wally and I look forward to our evening walks. I think he’s just beautiful in the sunset, but then, I’m a little biased. I kinda think he’s handsome all the time. And he’s so sweet. I’m a lucky gal!

 

to the east (snapseed)
to the east (snapseed)

july 9, 2015

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“Whatever makes you weird is probably your greatest asset.” ~ Joss Whedon

 

on a good day
on a good day

One evening Angie and I went driving. She stopped quickly and pointed to this house. The sun was setting perfectly. I showed the image to Pam Kingfisher the following day. It turns out that this is the house she passes frequently and photographs during stunning sunsets. It also happens that her great grandmother’s house was next door. It has since met its demise, of course, much like this house will do sooner rather than later. There’s nothing quite like an Oklahoma sunset. Even the boring sunsets are something to behold. A good sunset drive with Angie is my favorite.

june 21, 2015

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“Those with a passion for life have saved the world for all of us.”
~ Joan Chittister

 

horse henge (snapseed)
horse henge (snapseed)

 

Happy Solstice everyone. May this year’s longest day bring you every happiness. As the days begin to get shorter, and the nights longer, may our kindness and compassion for one another grow with the coming seasons.

june 20, 2015

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“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.”
~ Marianne Williamson

 

street henge (snapseed)
street henge (snapseed)

 

I was supposed to be at Serpent Mound in Ohio to watch the sun set into the serpent’s mouth as it does every summer Solstice (technically Solstice is tomorrow, but observance was tonight). Instead, I sat inside most of the day and watched the winds of Tropical Storm Bill blow rain sideways and ruffle trees like they were weightless feather dusters. Waiting out the storm wasn’t much of an option since it was headed directly to the place I wanted to go. However, by 6 o’clock this evening, as the sun was peeking steadily from behind the clouds, I was kicking myself for not going. I’m pretty sure the folks who weren’t bothered by the threat of flooded roads are right now preparing for a beautiful sunset over the native mound. Meanwhile, I’ll watch the sun set down the center of my suburban street, just me and Wally and my trying-ever-so-hard-not-to-be-bummed positive attitude. Solstice isn’t the only time to enjoy Serpent Mound. I will try again.

april 20, 2015

posted in: photography | 3

“It costs $0.00 to be a decent person.” ~ Unknown

 

ray of light
ray of light

 

There was a tiny sliver of sunlight late this evening. It hit the blooming dogwoods and parting rain clouds just right, but for only a moment. I grabbed my camera. It felt so good to do that. Sometimes you take for granted how little things like that can be impossible if you have a migraine, or some other debilitating malady that keeps you from enjoying all the beauty and glory life has to offer. Never take the little things for granted.

march 12, 2015

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“The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough of is love.”
~ Henry Miller

 

night ride home (instagram)
night ride home (instagram)

 

An advantage driving west in the evenings are the sunsets. There’s little finer than a colorful sunset. They say every snowflake is unique, that no two are the same. I’d say the same about sunsets. A good sunset can remind you to be thankful for another day lived, and to give hope for tomorrow. I was given a beautiful sunset this evening.

january 7, 2015

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“Peace: It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.” ~ Unknown

 

into the sunset (west)
into the sunset (west)

 

This is the last day of my forties: light snow flurries and bitter cold. I’m told it was a day much like this when my mother went into labor. Twenty-two hours later, at two in the morning, I arrived at the old West Liberty Hospital where Bank of the Mountains now stands (what’s left of it after the tornado anyway). Unlike forty, the approach of which filled me with no small amount of dread for some reason I still can’t explain after ten years, I am actually quite proud to turn fifty tomorrow. I’ve survived a half century despite my ridiculously perilous/fearless ways; driving way too fast on mountain roads long before a seat belt law; playing in creeks filled with glass, cottonmouths,  and God knows what else; sliding down muddy mountains, sometimes face first; traveling 80,000+ miles a year for years on end; taking my chances in every smoky beer-encrusted dive bar from New York to California, dodging drunk bar flies left and right, no doubt I passed a serial killer along the way, but who would know? They look like us; eating horrible, horrible foods, drinking horrible, horrible drinks; even a very bad gallbladder and extreme case of Mononucleosis didn’t take me out. Do you know how lucky I am to have lived this long, let alone live and be in good health, save for the allergies? I’m extremely fortunate. As loved ones have punched their time cards and walked on over the last few years, there has not been a single day that I don’t know just how lucky I am. I have been blessed beyond measure with devoted family, trusted friends, a good dog(s), strong mind and body, and an unquenchable need to do better, live better, and be a better human being. I don’t know what else anyone could ask for. Goodbye forties, and thanks for everything.

 

into the sunset (east)
into the sunset (east)

november 1, 2014

posted in: photography | 4

“We probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do.”
~ Olin Miller

 

into the light
into the light

 

I spent the day helping Crystal Heis photograph a wedding. She’s a real pro at this stuff. She knows how to pose people, and how to make them look their best. She even knows how to make an impromptu boutonniere when necessary. All her hard work makes my role fun and easy. I’m the camera off to the side; the camera that gets to go find fun stuff to shoot because I’m not busy herding cats like she is, which is essentially what it’s like when photographing large groups ready for an adult beverage.

 

This photograph is from Cassie and Jeff Whitehouse’s wedding in 2013. It was my second wedding with Crystal. I was both a guest and a photographer as Cassie is the daughter of my Rental Sister, Pam Bick. That makes her my Rental Niece. Cassie married one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met. It was a gorgeous wedding for two of my favorite people, and to get to photograph their special day with my bestie Crystal made it all the sweeter. I wouldn’t do weddings with anyone else but Crystal. She’s just that awesome, like Cassie and Jeff.

september 26, 2014

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“Cultivate a talent for whimsy.” ~ Dr. SunWolf

 

Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights

 

Growing up, I remember many a football game framed by beautiful sunsets. The Sorghum Bowl of 2014 lived up to those memories. Back then, the field was inside a double fence with ivy growing up its chain links. The vines had become so tall and thick that it formed a canopy you could walk through like a tunnel. It was dark like a tunnel, too. Legions of stories born inside the leafy confines were no doubt lost when the fence came down. That happened long before the tornado blew through. It’s all left to nostalgia now.

 

a girl and her man
a girl and her man

 

Tonight, Kim Cox, my BFF from High School, introduced me as her “partner in crime” to her man Tim Tingle. With good reason, too. We had quite a few laughs about our shenanigans inside that ivy fence. We were so lucky to grow up with one another in such a loving, kind little town. And contrary to our youthful indiscretions, we were actually very good kids. I wouldn’t trade her friendship for anything.

 

memories
memories

West Liberty is very, very different now, but I couldn’t be more thankful for it. My life would be so less rich without this little village and all its beautiful sunsets.

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