A while back, I signed up for a blogging course, and since then I’ve gotten to be good blogging friends with some incredible bloggers from around the world. Each month on the 10th, some of us form a 10 on 10 photography circle. Our circle contracts and expands. This month we have contracted. We share 10 photos (occasionally more – my bad!) from our life – a day of our life, generally – and one of us link to another. Our visitors have the opportunity to make their way around the circle. Sam at The Annoyed Thyroid is my partner in crime this month as there are just two of us. We hope you enjoy!
When you’ve been away for awhile, it’s hard to know where to begin again. The last time I published a blog post was way back in March. I hadn’t necessarily intended to take what has become a three month break from photography and blogging. But I did. It was only going to be a couple of weeks. And then it wasn’t.
There are lots of reasons why, and I’ll get into them some time in the future. I suppose, though, it really just comes down to there was too much else going on.
Every year at the end of the school year, my Sner (my mom) flies in. We head out on a road trip and make our way to visit far flung family, always winding up in Nashville, TN for Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam. It strikes me that this road trip and those awkward visits with family – people you’ve been away from for awhile – could be a metaphor for the extended break that I’ve taken from photography. (Without photography, there’s no blog) In both cases, you sit there, wondering what to do next, what to say (or shoot), where to look. There are brief bursts of focused work and then it’s all quiet and awkward again, silence filling the space.
And then you move on.
Road Trip – First Stop: Texas
For this year’s edition of the annual road trip, we made a bit of a detour to Texas to visit with my uncle, his wife, and their son. It’s been a couple of years since we last gathered in Missouri to visit with Grandma and begin the process of preparing ourselves for the end, which may never come. My uncle has had some health issues of late and the thinking was that perhaps we needed to say hello and I love you and goodbye. When we left there, we struck out for Missouri on a route that took us through Paris, TX.
That’s a cowboy hat. A cowboy hat sits proudly atop Paris, TX’s replica Eiffel Tower. While we were there, three other groups of people stopped in to take their photos with the Eiffel Tower of Texas. Our visit only lasted about 15 minutes. There was a lovely little downtown area that I would have liked to wander around and photograph, but we needed to make some time.
There was someone important waiting on us.
Second Stop: Missouri
My GrandSner will be 91 in October. A nursing home has been her home for the last seven years. She has heart disease and even though she has quite a few stents in her heart, there is still a significant blockage. That blockage has resulted in vascular dementia. She hasn’t known us or remembered who we are for a couple of years now. It used to be that we could prompt her, and she would eventually recognize us. She would say that she knew that she should know but she just couldn’t remember. She hasn’t said that for at least a year, though.
When we visited at Christmas, GrandSner was frail. For quite awhile, we’ve worried that for GrandSner, the end could be near. There have been many worried conversations and a few trips home, but with this trip, she seemed to be healthier and more stable. I think she’s gained a good 20 pounds since I last saw her. While she is still tired, I suppose that is to be expected with the severity of her heart condition…and her age.
The last time we visited, an older gentleman who was also a resident of the nursing home saw the three of us, and said, “Well you two obviously belong but you (motioning to me) don’t quite fit.” I think that the older I get, the more I look like them. I’m OK with it.
Third Stop: Tennessee
After we left Missouri, we made our way to Nashville, TN for Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam. This year the World’s Best In-Law’s made the trip up to see the show with us. The Late Night Jam really kicks off the events of CMA Fest, so we spent an afternoon on Broadway, having one heck of a time. (I have the tame pictures. My mother-in-law might have photos that were a result of tequila and beer)
Broadway is a cacophony of sound in most circumstances, but during CMA Fest, it is almost overwhelming. When you think of bar bands, you don’t necessarily think of great musicians. In Nashville you can’t survive if you aren’t very good.
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this trip was the first time that I’d picked up my camera in at least a month. It was probably the first time that I’ve seriously considering taking pictures since I last posted. With school out, I feel like I might be ready to dive back in. I signed up for Tracy Clark’s Picture Spring (but haven’t done anything with it. In July I’ll print the prompts and work through them). Just this morning, I went to a photography workshop with a local coast photographer in a place that I want to make sure I get back to because my time was limited this morning.
Several of you have reached out to me during my absence and for that I’m grateful. I regret that I did not respond to you because I appreciate your concern. I forget to respond if I don’t respond immediately. And then when I do remember, as I said above…when it’s been awhile, it’s hard to know where to begin again.
Speaking of beginning again, I’m beginning to create a vision of how I want to do that. With the summer upon me, I’m hopeful that I will be able to begin creating the changes here that I’ve long dreamed about and even talked about but not made happen. In the next few weeks. there should be time to begin putting the plan into motion. Thanks for being patient with me.
In the meantime, while our circle has contracted to just a duo this month, please pop on over to visit with my friend Sam. She always is up to something fun, and I can’t wait to see what she has for us!