Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Graduation

It took a little longer than expected to get her all the way to her college graduation. Their commencement exercises rescheduled due to the biggest blizzard in decades along the East coast, the December graduating class of 2009 finally walked across the stage just a few days ago in Salisbury, Maryland. To commemorate their unusual journey, the president of the university held up a sample of a very special gift each graduate was given than night... a snowglobe featuring the school's mascot!

So congratulations to you, Rebekah Jeannine!

Thank you for every lesson you taught me along the way!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rainy Days

It's a rainy day at my house.

I used to love rainy days when I was a kid. Sure, I couldn't do things I had planned to do, like riding my bike or climbing the neighbors chinaberry tree or playing football in the backyard with my brother.

But then I also didn't have to do other things my mother had planned for me, like working in the flower beds. Instead, I was free to discover something new and spend time on things I usually didn't slow down long enough to notice.

Like curling up with that big-kid book... the one with no pictures and more chapters than I'd ever read before.

Or playing dress-up with my big sister's old clothes and see if any of them fit me yet, wondering if I'd be as pretty in them as she had been.

Life is full of interruptions like rainy days.



Accidents or death of a loved one.

Even as we face these challenges we know we’ll eventually get past it all and go on to something better. Still, living right there, in the meantime, can be very difficult.

I’ve lived through a couple of significant interruptions in my life and I’ve learned a thing or two about how I cope with the stress of the unknowns…

…or how I don’t.

I actually led a seminar on this topic for a ministers wives retreat a few years ago and I've toyed with the idea of writing a book about living “in the meantime”, but I think I’ll start with this blog.

How do you cope with the interruptions and in-betweens of life? What do you when you're stuck at Point A, wondering if you'll ever get to Point B?

Do you shake your fist at the universe…?

Or do you see it as an opportunity

…to learn something new

…to be something new

…to see something new that you might never have seen

...if not for that darned interruption?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

A Significant Investment

I bought a camera.

Let me say that again.... I bought a camera.

I hardly ever spend any significant amount on anything, mainly because I never have any significant cash.

About 25 years ago I took a leap of faith and bought a Minolta X-700 and a couple of lenses. As time went on I was able to add a couple more lenses and a flash to my camera bag, too, often by buying and selling vintage cameras. I'd been using an old Miranda G camera outfit that had belonged to my father and felt sure that I could be a better photographer if I could only get past the limitations of my equipment.

I was right. My images improved along with my confidence and I eventually worked for several years as a freelance photographer.I shot portraits and covered campus events for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor's public relations department (including darkroom work). On a volunteer basis I documented the life of my church for the eleven years we lived in Belton, Texas, too.

But the industry passed me by as I was taking a little break, having relocated from Texas to Maryland. The cost of investing in a digital single lens reflex camera and related equipment was well beyond my budget. I did what I could with a couple of point-and-shoot and "pro-sumer" cameras while saving up my pennies from my Etsy and Zazzle shops and researching each new model of camera and finally....

I bought a camera. 

A Canon T2i. I'll spare you the details, but you can read all about it here.

This is a significant leap of faith for me, as I can think of lots of other things I could have done with the same amount of money. But I know that this camera will be able to shoot as fast as I can see. It will enable me to shoot in low light without using a flash, which I love to do. It will even shoot video in full HD...not that I even have an HD TV yet, but one thing at a time!

I confess that I'm the kind of techie geek who reads the whole instruction book from cover to cover and I've still got a few chapters to go. But I've already been putting it through its paces and you can be sure that I'll be posting more photos here in the days to come.

I think you ought to make a significant investment in yourself every twenty-five years or so, don't you?