Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Be There .... I Can Do That

Summer fun has set in and we've been gone a lot. The good news is we found a summer house/dog sitter who is wonderful and available, which means we can go places on the weekends without having to drag the dogs to the kennel. They hate it there and it makes us feel bad to take them. Win/Win for us and our new sitter. She is a teen who loves to watch Netflix and eat frozen burritos. I can do that. 
Not everything is wonderful right now and I've been kind of numb lately. Too many friends and family members are going through tough times and they are on my mind constantly. Serious stuff. Chronic illness, family issues, financial strife.
This week my beautiful, smart, funny daughter-in-law was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I'm okay talking about it here. That cat is out of the bag now and I'm glad it is not a secret. Since I'm the queen of denial, I have refused to think about it very much but it creeps in and then it's all I can think about. Fortunately, she assured me that if one has to have cancer, this is the kind to have. I think she said that to me ... or ... did my denial just make that up? At any rate, we are all glad she finally has some answers to many questions she has had the last year. She says it is curable. I'm running with that.
As to my other friends who are struggling, I feel so powerless.  But I'm not. The one thing I can do is be available. It's about the only thing but that's worth something.  When I worked at hospice, I learned from the grief counselor that sometimes all we can do is provide a warm silence.  Be there. Words are not always necessary. Just be there.
I can do that. I love you.
love, susan

Monday, June 1, 2015

Lessons Learned

I feel like I was transported to another world this weekend. Here I sit on Monday morning, thinking about the week ahead and smiling about the events in my life the last couple of days.
Friday was a good day! Some of my most favorite friends gathered after work Friday night at the park for a BBQ. It was my birthday and it's really all I wanted. I keep telling them we should gather for the sake of it but it seems like the only time we do is for some special occasion. I'm 56 now. In my mind, I'm still 25. I have to admit I'm starting to feel physically old.
Saturday night we drove out to a country barbeque to do a photo shoot for a friend whose daughter is graduating from high school. It was big fun and I was transported to  times when our family gets together for an outdoor party. Hubby came with me and we sincerely enjoyed meeting my friend's extended family and creating some documentation of the evening. I've never seen so many beautiful people in one gathering.  
I love being a weekend photographer.
There are so many things to learn and every time I go out with my camera I feel like I'm building on what I've already learned. Saturday night I got schooled by a young girl. I could see it in her face so I just asked her if she was tired of me taking her picture. Her sweet, polite response said it all.  Lesson learned. Kids just wanna have fun and not have to stop to smile for the stupid camera. Thankfully, I know when to stop.
The other lesson I'm learning is to delete pictures that don't make the grade. It is probably the hardest part of photography for me. I only took about 140 photos Saturday night. The weekend before I shot 600+ at the wedding. Too many. When I open them up, I am attached to them and have a hard time hitting the delete button. My mentor says when she is working for the studio, she does the shoot and sends the card in for someone else to edit, someone who isn't emotionally attached to each shot. Each image should tell a story. It's all business for a studio.  For me ... oh my gosh ... deleting photos is like erasing the fact that I was there. Must work on this.
How about you?  Were you transported last weekend?  Where did you go? What did you do?  Do you cringe when you delete photos?  Tell me!
love, susan

You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...