To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's About Time

I just got week fifty-one up this morning. I'm just starting to sort through the mountain of photos from the wedding I shot that week and this one really caught my eye. My Mother should not bother to's headless. She'll never understand :-)
I'm kind of stumped on the final week. I feel like it should go out with a bang but I can't really come up with a...bang. Oh, well. It's not as if the 52 Weeks blog is going to go away. I'll start the first week of January with the alphabet. So original I know but this year's project was an any kind of shot so I decided to work within a theme this year. Not sure where I'll head when I reach 'Z' but I have twenty seven weeks to figure that out.
Until then, here is one from the last session of the year that I do with the kids. It's become a tradition of sorts. Sometime between Christmas and New Year's mom herds them all off somewhere to snap away.

This year was different though. They've all grown and matured so much over the last year. With that maturity a new element is added to the multi relationships that intertwine..mother and daughter...mother and son...sister to to sister. We laughed and played together in a different way than we have before. It's less directed, less activity centered the way it can be when the children are younger. It's more organic and free flowing.
There is a huge concrete drainage ditch just past the church that got my attention one day, something about the light and shadows and the depth of field I guess. I've been wanting to use it as a location with the kids so that's where we went yesterday. We walked all the way to the end without incident. Well, not completely incident free...we hadn't been there for long when Abby hit a patch of acorns causing her legs to fly out from under her which made the rest of us laugh hysterically in the way that only family can. Sam had a blast running up and down the sides, leaping and sliding wildly. Every now and then he'd go down and you'd hear, "I'm okay!" I lost my grip on a tree limb that was keeping me in place while I took a shot and did the crazy windmill fall. I did manage to stay on my feet but just barely.
As we were walking back there was this sweet moment when Sarah came up and put here arm around me on one side and Emily on the other. I was so overcome with the precious moment of affection, thinking to myself how special it is to have daughters like them. It started to become a little awkward walking that way so I moved forward and turned back to look at them...only to notice that they each had a handful of the other's hair. Goof balls.
Then it happened.
Scary, mean looking dogs looking at us through the fence above us.
Scary, mean looking dogs trying to wiggle through the fence above us.
There was a certain amount of panic introduced into the atmosphere at that moment. But I began to talk to the children very calmly (ha!),
Stop running! Do. Not. Run.
Claire, stop climbing up my leg.
Don't scream!
Give me a stick.
At this point we were walking very quickly, Sarah was carrying Claire and I had wrapped the strap to my camera around my hand because let's face it...I love my camera but not as much as my kids so if it came down to it I was going to introduce Cujo to the fine art of photography in a really big way.
Thankfully it didn't come to that but one of the dogs did get through the fence. Didn't do much but sniff and walk the rest of the way to the van with us. Once we realized we weren't going to be savagely attacked we breathed a little bit with relief although we remained a wee bit skittish around Milbo. That's the name Sam gave the dog when it didn't eat us and he asked if we could take it home with us.
Uhm, no.
I really hope the dangerous dog thing does not become part of our tradition.


Tammy Lee Bradley said...

Love the group photos! Hat's off to you! Just three exhaust me. Don't know how you do it. :)

maureen said...

I love your tradition of taking photos of your children. And the timing is great, more relaxed than trying to get photos before Christmas. And your photos are all so sweet of them, I love the second one, I love that they are being silly with each other. And I'm so glad you had a happy ending to your story.

Beth Crocker said...

I've officially been inspired...traditional annual photos! I think I'll have to start the tradition in my home! Thanks!

iarepilotswife said...

I love your kids, Marty. I'm so glad they weren't eaten by a dog.
Oh, and you too. :)

And I'm glad your camera didn't have to give a beating.