Posts Tagged ‘outdoors’

It has been five weeks since I returned from the second wedding of this summer.  Although, it’s not really summer anymore, is it?  I don’t know about where you are, but my furnace has been running already.  I had a job at this wedding.  I was the photographer, so there is no funny story of Bailey’s and me and brother-in-laws. I did not start one single argument.  I’m so proud of myself. 

I did post The Case of the Haunted Church « Savanvleck’s Weblog already, and a good mom/grandma story Grandma gets blasted « Savanvleck’s Weblog that occurred at the wedding. 

I have heard the average cost of a wedding is $20,000, and I have to wonder why that money is not put down on a house, and a party held instead. The two weddings I attended this summer were both wonderful events but I am sure neither one came anywhere near that cost. 

Wedding one was held outdoors in their yard and, while professionals set up the tent, and there was a fantastic string quartet, oh, and do not forget the vegetarian catering that was out-of-this world.  A lot of the wedding was set up by relatives and the groom’s mother/baker made an absolutely delicious cake.  This niece had also asked me to photograph her wedding and I really felt bad about turning her down but I was not sure I was physically up to it and I did not have backup’s of equipment or energy.

True to Murphy’s law, my camera malfunctioned during the second ceremony.  The “going down the aisle” pictures were bad quality and some totally blurry as there was suddenly a lag time in my shutter and my flash was not functioning well either.  It was almost like a near dead battery but once out of the chapel, my camera was fine.  So, either the chapel was haunted or their massive sound equipment system interfered. I asked the bride’s uncle if he had gotten the kiss, he said that he had but that he was also having a problem with his camera in the chapel.

Both weddings were celebrations of love and fun parties, without breaking the bank. 

The second wedding was a community and relative supported event.  Friends and family cooked and set up the buffet. Mother of the Bride, having been a volunteer fireman and now an EMT, rented the fire hall (it was a great place for the reception), and I believe a friend did the cakes and another friend the flowers.  I, great aunt of the bride, contributed by taking the photos.  I had photographed her mom and dad’s wedding.  When I was full of Bailey’s and a bit irate at what I saw the first wedding photographer doing, my niece (crafty woman she is) came over and took advantage of my weakness and asked me again to please do the photos. I agreed and I had a great time doing it.

I had my reservations about doing it, originally, but I found out that if I can push myself enough to shoot photos for twelve hours in a day, I can do a lot more on my rehab than I am doing. It was a good lesson and I had a great time doing it.  Just wish I could go back and do the first one, because I had that much fun.

The bride and groom are settling into their new home in Arizona, so I hope they will not object if I post a photo, or two, to share with you.


This is the family.  Left is my mom (Great grandmother of the bride).  And, she holds the arm of brother-in-law.  His wife, my sister, is in the black dress with blue flowers (on the right).  The other “just married” couple is right behind my sister.

Here is my favorite picture.  It is the bride and one of her bridesmaids.  What a beautiful smile.

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I’ve never had a great memory. Whether it was genetic, from being thrown under the dash, in an auto accident, when I was two, or a random neurological problem I have had, I will never know.  I have always worked very hard in school to remember things. I take notes, transcribe notes, transcribe my transcription, make index cards and go over them again and again to set facts in my head. The strange thing is that I will often shock myself by making a statement that I did not know I knew.

Gosh, that sounds strange. I don’t know if anyone else can relate to that. It is how I feel though when I find myself mentioning a name or fact, I had no idea I knew. If you would have asked me outright, “who is x”, I would have probably blanked. If I got into the “cash cab” I would have a brain freeze of unimaginable proportions.

Then there is my “professor” mode. This is the mode I go into when I teach art or talk about art. I have given up trying to figure it out, but all the things I have to look up to be sure I am doing it right or just plain remember how to do it, come pouring out of my mouth when I am teaching an art class or talking to a client.

For my writing, I have notebooks.  Notebooks with research, characters, location, mythology, the whole thing. I have folders for the same stuff in my computer and on a flash drive.  Okay, I’m paranoid. But, I’m not losing it.  I knew of an artist who shipped all of their sketch books to their new home and they never made it there.  That would be like losing part of yourself.  I have years worth of sketch books and guard them closely. I lost a lot of artwork in a move one time.  They are my memory. That and photos.

And, this is why, I treasure some memories, that I don’t need help with, so much. I’m sure everyone has their favorites. A few I left off my last list are here:

We start in the sky where so many of my memories are. I was at a backyard picnic once and someone brought a telescope he had put together with his father. The moon was suddenly closer than I had ever hoped to see it.  I wasn’t just seeing dark shadows, I was seeing valleys and craters and mounds. It was inspiring.

I used to travel from coast to coast twice a year doing art shows and placing work in galleries. I had a large Chevy cargo van, customized with household insulation and tongue and grove paneling. I slept in it at 120 degrees and at 30 below, comfortably, during the weeks I was on the road.  I shampooed in the highway reststops. I found out you can keep squeeky clean with wet wipes. The occasional motel bed and shower were appreciated all the more for it.  I would use the opportunity to take photographs too. I love the darkroom. It is my deviation to being an environmentalist. I love the smell of developer.

I used these trips for resource material and just because I love being outside.  I could live in a tent. I was one of the first cars allowed to enter Yellowstone  Park, I believe it was in 1988, right after their huge fire.  They were still dropping water from the helicopter buckets. I will never forget the smell, nor seeing a perfectly normal forest and then turning a corner to see black, devastation as far as the eye could see.

I worked in Chicago when they started the Music Festival on Navy Pier. One night I sat in near empty bleachers to watch B.B.King sing and play piano. How cool!  I felt like he was playing a concert for me.

Think about your great memories today and share them with someone


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