For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Find a Penny, Pick it Up...

I haven't been writing as often lately because I've been so busy taking pictures.
When I started my photography business, I never dreamed I would be getting so many calls.
I'm not complaining.
But for the rest of the summer until school begins, I just have to let certain things slide.
Like housework, yard work, and this blog.

The other day, as I was doing a photo session for Allison in a nearby old town, we ventured into the site of a building that had been taken down.  As we were walking across the rubble toward the brick wall pictured above, I saw what looked like an old dime.  I didn't have my glasses on, so I couldn't really see it very well.  I put it in my pocket.

Yesterday I remembered it was there and showed it to Kerry and Annie.
Kerry looked at it and said it looks like a penny from the year 1891!

We thought for sure it was worth something!
Kerry immediately googled it and found it was worth 200x its original value.

Our excitement quickly faded.

Then I started thinking about how old it was, and
wondered what was going on in the world when this penny was shiny and new.

This is what I discovered:

- Benjamin Harrison was president
- Wyoming became a state
-  James Naismith, a YMCA instructor in Springfield, MA created the game of basketball.
   The first basketball game was played by 18 students at Springfield College.
-  Carnegie Hall opened its doors
-  Thomas Edison patented the motion picture camera
-  Thomas Edison patented "transmission of signals electrically" (Radio)
-  Stanford University opened
-  The first gasoline powered car debuts in Springfield, MA
-  The Wrigley Company was founded
-  The first electric oven was made
-  W.L. Judson invented the zipper
-  The first submarine was invented in Holland

 Pretty cool to consider what life was like for the people that carried this penny around in 1891.

What will I do with it?

I think I'll save it for my grandkids.
Maybe one of them will love history.

Or maybe by then it will be worth more - like $3.00?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Friend Joyce

A year ago I wrote a post about a beautiful woman that I know.  At a young age of 70, she knew the end of her life was nearing from years of smoking.  She asked me to tell everyone I know not to smoke.  Here is a link to that post: Joyce

I saw Joyce a few more times in the fall.  When Tigger was lost, she was very concerned and I'm sure she spent many hours looking out her back window into the woods, hoping to spot him.  She told me that she tossed her leftover meatballs and food out the back window and Tigger would often come by for a snack.  That explained why he never lost weight, no matter how much we cut down on his food portions at home!

Over the winter, I spotted her outside on her front porch on one of those really nice, warm winter days and stopped to chat.  She was always cheerful and happy to see me and asked if Tigger had ever come home. 

I haven't seen her outside lately, but then again, I haven't been walking the dogs as often as I should.
Last night, I saw her next door neighbor.  After chatting for a while about the kids, I asked her how Joyce was doing.  This is when I found out she passed away in April.  I was hit by a deep sense of sadness. I was so sorry that I didn't know.  I don't read the obituaries. 

Joyce loved life.  She loved people.  She loved animals. 

I will always remember her, waving me down so she could give the dogs a cookie.  I will remember her warm smile and laughter - a very hearty smokers laugh with a little crackly sound in it! And especially how she talked nonstop, hardly taking a breath between sentences.

Most of all, I will remember how, no matter how sick she got and no matter what hand she was dealt, she remained positive and appreciated the world around her and the life she had left.

Here is a picture of Joyce and a paragraph from her obituary:

 Joyce Krol

Family was important to Joyce, and she enjoyed making those around her happy. She was happiest spending time with her grandchildren, and traveling with her husband. She was famous for her homemade sauce and delicious lasagna, which was served at every family gathering. She had a unique way of making everyone around her feel special. Joyce appreciated nature, and enjoyed gardening and watching the wildlife that flourished around her home. Joyce had a beautiful smile, and lived life to the fullest everyday she was on this earth. She gave to others, and expected nothing in return.

So, in her memory, I am taking this chance once again to ask anyone out there who smokes and believes even for a moment that you will be the one to escape any consequences to think again.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Look Who's Twenty!

My daughter Kerry celebrated her 20th birthday on Saturday!
After much deliberation on Kerry's part, she decided to continue the tradition of her birthday celebrations by going once again to Wooster Street Pizza with her best friends and family.

With her friends from high school - Parker, Mel and Kaylee

And Jojo, of course!

The night also marked the first time father and son shared a beer together!

Then back home for cake, lovingly made my Annie and Adam in the likeness of Maddie.

 As her friends eyed it, you could almost read what was going through their minds.  Are we going to have to eat that?

While it was an outstanding likeness to our cat, Maddie, it was not exactly appetizing.

 Mel was brave and bit into a paw.

The black fondant coated her teeth and that was her first and last bite.

After a call to missing friend, Taylor...

and after opening up a few gifts...

We all went to Sweet Frog for frozen yogurt, along with Adam's friends, Jordan and Andrew.

 Before leaving, we took a few pictures with the birthday girl...

 with her friends...

 and even with Adam's friends...

It was a very fun night! 
We love spending time with our children and their friends!

Kerry has been thinking of changing the tradition for her 21st birthday next year.
And I don't think it will involve frozen yogurt!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Girls

You probably know I have two daughters, Kerry and Annie.

What you might not know is that I have a bond with MANY other girls that I spent a LOT of time with over the years.  I was the leader of two Girl Scout troops. 

This summer, the girls in the youngest troop became Seniors in high school, and I have had the honor of taking some of their Senior portraits.  We haven't really been together as a troop since the end of 6th grade, but I see them here and there and I still feel like they are "my girls", feeling a bond with them that has remained in my heart since the olden days.

So far this summer, I have taken pictures of 4 of my girls.

Annie, of course... 

And now:

Sarah - then:
And Sarah - now:

Gigi - then:
And Gigi - now:

And Renee - then:

And Renee - now:

As I look at them now, I can't help but remember all of the fun times we had back then.
I get nostalgic and think about how fast they have grown up.
As I aim the camera at them, the line between the little girl I once knew well and the beautiful young women they are becomes blurred.
I still can so easily see their innocent little faces free of makeup and free of cares.
This next year will not be an easy one for them.
SATs, college applications, and a year of LASTs.

I feel fortunate that I can be a part of this time of their lives in this way.
Capturing this moment in time before "the rest of their life" begins.

And I look forward to seeing more of my girls over the summer!