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Thanks for watching! xoxo
This year I decided to make another run at a 366 project. I tried this in 2012, and alas, the project died a very sad quiet death on Day 194. Today is Day 194 for 2016. Will she make it til Day 195? I think I can, I think I can! Of course, I may have to go with the 366 thing from now on. I’ll be like leap year and come around every four years. Hah!
What is different this time around is that I’m not trying to shoot and edit and post all in the same day. Hell, being an empty nester now, some days I barely make it out of my pajamas. This time around is all about editing for me. Shooting isn’t my problem. I love love love to shoot. Where I struggle is sitting down long enough to edit when it’s just for me. So far 2016 is working because I have a big enough backlog of shots waiting for love and adding a heaping lump of guilt over that compelled me to clean house! I have powered through a lot of travel photos, starting with a 2010 trip to Paris and London.
Chapel of Saint Madeleine, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben, London. Fun fact: It is the actual bell that is Big Ben, not the Tower itself. Fun fact two: The tower was known as St Stephen’s Tower until the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth in 2012.
I followed those with a trip we took in 2015 to Zurich, Prague, Berlin, and Amsterdam. Yes lots of travel stuff because I shoot lots and lots on vacation and those are the most neglected images. Once we get home it’s like trying to eat the proverbial elephant. Holy guacamole, where to start? This on top of the unpacking and laundry? Ahhhh!
Old Town Square, Prague
Driving and walking through the site of the Berlin Wall.
Amsterdam. A lover of light can get a little drunk here.
The biggest challenge came when we went to Hong Kong for a week and I came home with close to 2000 shots. (No we didn’t sleep much on this trip, why do you ask?) When we got home, I got right to the editing. This time, not only am I am a pajama clad empty nester, but I have more editing confidence than I did in 2010 when I was learning something new about digital editing everyday and repeatedly starting over with Paris and London. And while I’m still always learning, knowing how to start was key.
I’m definitely part of the photographic sandwich generation. A gal who cut her teeth on film who has gone wild in a digital world of having a new ISO at the twist of a dial or composing one image for black and white and the next in color all without wasting half a roll of film with each change of want or need. These new fangled digital boxes might just be a hit after all.
I’ll admit that Lightroom has become my best friend in this endeavor. Bam – same dust mark off the sky in 10 photos…Kapow – 5 images now synced as black and white with reduces blacks, popped contrast and an oh so subtle vignette. Sigh, I love you, Lightroom.
Street sweeper, Hong Kong
While the whole of my 366 year thus far has not been travel, I have made a big dent in my backlog of images. When I started, I was nervous about where to start. Now I’m nervous that I won’t know what to do when I get through it all. I know I know, keep shooting and do a 365 like a real photographer. I also have all my mom’s slides to scan and clean up. Maybe that’s next year’s 365? For now, this is working for me. I feel a little like Samwise Gamgee, “If I take one more step, it’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been.” I look forward to Day 195.
Second 100 days video to come!
Coming together and letting go.
If we are friends on Facebook, you may have seen some of my posts from February and March about my mom’s passing and how I sorted through the days that followed. I appreciate all the love and support that you offered to me and my family in those days. You guys are the best.
This past Saturday, we did my mom’s interment. We didn’t do this when we had her funeral for several reasons, one of which being that while she had lived for the past twenty years in Indiana, she was to be buried in Illinois next to my dad. In March we had her funeral and it truly was a fabulous celebration of who she was. There were so many people and an abundant outpouring of love and Oliver Soft White Wine – her favorite – not mine. I’ll just say that I think my mom had better taste in books than she did alcoholic beverages. She would have replied, “Then that’s more for me!”
My dad’s name was Jerome, but he never used that. He went by “Jerry”. Family knew him as “Coke”. Back in the late 1930s, there was a radio show which featured a character called Little Cokey. My grandfather said Little Cokey reminded him of my dad and thus a nickname was given and stuck.
And while all that saying goodbye was going on, we still had to plan her burial. We chose July 4th because it offered a three day weekend on which most everyone would be available. Four months have now passed since my mom’s death and while the sorrow isn’t as acute, I think it’ll just linger on the fringes for a little while longer. I still catch myself wanting to call her to ask her something or share something with her. Last Wednesday I had my first “oh that’s Mom” experience when I had to find a piece of paper for the memorial on my desk and knew it was going to mean an hour of cleaning it off when – ta dah – there was the paper right on top. Something I hadn’t seen in four months. Don’t ask me to explain. I just knew it was her. (Thanks, Mom!)
I pulled all the rose petals off the roses from my mom’s funeral back in March and shipped them off to be made into rosaries and bracelets. They all turned out so lovely and the rose scent is divine. They were made by Rachel at Rose Rosaries and Jewelry. The paper I was looking for had the list of who got what type of rosary and so forth.
My dad passed away six weeks before my wedding twenty-seven years ago. I’ve always felt the sadness of what he missed all these years because he would have loved his grandkids: five grown grandsons and one three year old granddaughter who would have completely stolen his heart (as she did my mom’s). I tell my boys how much he would have appreciated the things they and their cousins did and do. He would have been very proud. My nephews got to know him some when they were little, but damn, all those boys would have had a great time with him now as adults.
My mom got to watch the all boys grow up. And just when her youngest grandson turned 16, she got to have the joy of new granddaughter (he was a good sport about handing off the title of “The Baby”.) She got to watch all the school things, graduations, weddings and celebrations. And she loved it all. She loved us all.
First Cousins: Two of my nephews and my little niece with my boys, my oldest nephew’s wife and my oldest son’s girlfriend.
While we were back in Illinois, I gave my kids the tour of the area where my grandparents lived and my dad had grown up. My parents lived there for about 18 years after they married, and then my dad started taking overseas transfers, so we left when I was about 10. I have very little close family there these days, so I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to go back there. Still, driving around to all the old houses, churches and little neighborhoods that were part of my family for decades before I came along always makes me feel connected. For a girl who spent the majority of her life moving every 3-4 years, this is saying something. It was a real treat for me to share this with my kids.
Today this is a duplex, but back in the 1930s and 40s, it was the neighborhood grocery store that my grandparents owned and ran.
It is said that funerals are for the living and I’ve always believed that. We lean on each other and it makes us all stronger. My siblings, our kids, all of us. We spent five days together between her passing and her funeral. Lots of tears were shed, but so much laughter was heard as well. This past weekend, more laughter than tears. This family that carried on after my dad died will carry on now that my mom has joined him. And I’m pretty sure they would have loved that too.
The family of Coke & Brenda.
Please continue around the 5 on 5 circle by visiting the art of Kim Thompson Steel. You’ll be glad you did!