Looking toward the future

I took my granddaughter to her first ice-skating lesson on Saturday. Before her lesson, she watched the older girls spinning and jumping and said that she wants to do that. After the lesson, she quietly commented, “This is hard.”

Watching the skaters

Watching the skaters

 

Love

I attended a beautiful funeral Mass today for a great woman who was finally released from the crippling pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Later, I caught this moment between her husband and son. IMG_4730-2

Blogging, Retirement, and Models

I used to be an active blogger, writing daily and posting every image that I thought was fabulous. (Of course, they weren’t, but I thought so then.) From time to time, I’d talk about my life and share images of my family.

And then I retired. And got BUSY. Ironic isn’t it? Now that I am retired, it seems that I have less time, resulting in only sporadic posts.

I’ve picked up a few photo jobs here and there .. engagement shoots, family portraits, and (oh I’m so anxious about this one) a wedding this Friday.

Here’s David, who so graciously agreed to sit while I practiced lighting patterns.

IMG_5233-Edit

 

Spirit Trykes

I took a solo mini-vacation this past weekend, spending part of it in Jerome, AZ. A blessing of traveling alone is that you have the opportunity to meet people, which doesn’t happen much when you travel as a couple, because you tend to focus on each other.

Jerome is a ghost town. To be more accurate, it is an old mining town that became a ghost town, virtually bereft of inhabitants. Enter the artists, musicians, and enterprising restauranteurs. Jerome now is a destination for tourists and Phoenicians aching for an escape from the heat.

IMG_0341-Edit-EditSaturday night, I met Tim, who operates Spirit Trykes Rides. Tim built that bike (er, tryke) and gives rides around Jerome for tips.

I am not sure why I was so dense about this. On Saturday night, Tim said he’d give me a ride on his Spirit Tryke, and I thought, “Oh sure, like that’s gonna happen.” I saw him again on Sunday, chatted with him and some other bikers (owners of some sweet Harleys) who told me that I should let Tim ride me around town and I could get some good pictures. I commented that it didn’t look safe. When I got the images on the computer I saw some details I’d overlooked. Duh! He does this for tips (read: income). Had I realized, I would have taken the ride and tipped the guy (who really had some interesting stories to tell). Maybe next time.

Chinese Girl

We are a bit of an attraction here in Feicheng, because they rarely get international visitors, especially those from America. People giggle and point at us, then get embarrassed when we notice them. We smile, say hello, and attempt in very bad Chinese to communicate. Frequently, the teens and children come to us to talk; all of the children take English in school, and some speak moderately well.

This girl approached me in the park, talked a little bit, and asked to take a picture with me. After we posed for her mother’s cell phone, I asked if I could take her picture.

IMG_9820I think she is beautiful.

Teenagers

A high school senior sitting in my writing workshop asked me today if teenagers in the United States are very different from teenagers in China. She represented most of the Chinese teachers and students I’ve talked with when she said, “I think American teenagers are free and do not feel stress.” I explained that most teenagers in my country work hard to get good grades and to perform well in extracurricular activities in order to get scholarships because college is absurdly expensive. There are some teenagers who are lazy; however, their future opportunities are limited.

I was taking pictures of the people shopping in the streets last week when I heard these boys shouting that they wanted me to take their picture. When I look at this image, I see teens who could live anywhere in the United States.

IMG_8902We are more alike than different.