Saturday, September 28, 2013

Learning, Growing

I have a confession. When I went on that photo walk in a cemetery not long ago, I used my program modes on my camera instead of shooting manually. I was a bit embarrassed because everyone else talked f-stop and aperture. I just chose portrait, landscape, or sports mode and shot away. Actually bumbling through a conversation because I didn't want to admit that I was clueless about those things.

In fact, my automatic, portrait, and sports modes on my camera have been three of my best friends. They have rarely failed me although I know, deep in my heart, that my photographs could be better if I would learn how to use my manual settings. So guess what? I signed up for a class. And I'm already learning.

Now my f-stop is my new best friend, and I tend to like it on the lowest setting. That's what I used to create this photo of my bobbin jar.

There's still so much to learn, but at least I'm tackling it head on this time. And not hiding behind my easy buttons.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hello Fall

Fall has not yet arrived here temperature-wise even though the calendar says it has. I decided to go ahead and welcome it with open arms anyway in hopes that my enthusiasm will make a difference. I love cooler weather. I love seeing the leaves change colors and dance their way from tree top to pine-laden black top. I love that slight nip in the air. Not so cold that you have to bundle up, but just enough to make you settle into your jackets and sweaters with cozy comfort. I love a fire place and an outside marshmallow roast. Football games and brisk morning walks.

Speaking of walks, I decided against using the Elliptical machine this weekend even though it pretty much guarantees a 600+ calorie loss. Instead I opted to walk to the river. My reward, I convinced myself, was the opportunity to photograph the water and sky without having to park in someone's driveway or risk a car coming up behind mine as I scoot to the edge of the bridge. That reward at least took care of the first half of the trip. Trudging home I decided that getting to look through my photos would be my reward for making it back. I had purposefully left my glasses at home.

Did I tell you that my neighborhood is full of very steep and very long hills? Which is why I took this photo.

It may not look all that steep here, but it is. Believe me. And the bad thing is that when you're standing at the bottom of the hill looking up, all you have to do is turn around to see another hill just as steep and even longer on the other side. 

I can't tell you how many times I've considered sitting down and waiting for someone to come by and give me a lift. I've imagined myself going back and forth between the two hills and never reaching the top of either one. And the best plan I've come up with involves a helicopter hovering overhead and sending down a ladder for me to climb up.

But when all is said and done, my mama always told me not to accept rides from strangers, so waiting for a ride is out of the question. Going up and down each side hoping I'll gain momentum like on a carnival ride won't work. There's no generator or electricity to keep me going. And the helicopter.... That's.Not.Happening. 

What it takes to climb that hill is to put one foot in front of the other. And then do it again and again until I reach the top. 

As I made my way up, step after step, it occurred to me that reaching the top of that hill is a metaphor for everything that happens to us in life. There's usually not going to be an easy way out. That's for sure. What it takes, without any ifs, ands, or buts, is to just do it. So I did.

I hope you reach the top of whatever hill you're trying to climb. And that you're hills aren't falling too close together.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Day Trippin'

My daughter had moving-up day to commemorate this as her senior year of high school. It's been so much fun watching her grow up, but it's still bittersweet to know that she will be in college next year and that she won't be my little bird in a nest much longer.

If you have a daughter, I'm sure you know how challenging it is at times to find a dress that you both can agree on. This blue/green number received the okay from both of us, and a resourceful young man helped her tighten up her new shoes by punching an extra hole in the strap. These are two of her best friends....

We were planning on taking a short road trip this past weekend, and I had already decided that I would ride in the backseat with Hannah, so her uncle could sit up front with my husband. I couldn't help but think about Hannah and her best friend jamming out in the backseat on our way to the beach each summer. Usually, they're sharing one set of ear buds. I didn't say anything, but I nearly jumped out of my seat when she offered me an ear bud and said, "See if you like this song."

Of course, I accidentally pulled her ear bud out a few times in my enthusiasm.... I posted this same photo of us on Instagram. I crack up every time I look at it.