Time Away

Stressful days, not fun, needed time away from everything. Didn’t really work out that well, the only thing I wound up with time away from was this blog; I didn’t like that.

Right now, there are some men outside the house cleaning up the greenery. One younger, two older. The two older are very good at telling the younger what he should be doing, as is the prerogative of older men everywhere. They are actually helping, too, so it’s more amusing than anything else. it’ll be nice to have a decent-looking yard for once. I can’t do it myself – no longer have the stamina, which is incredibly frustrating. Seriously, used to be able to do just about anything the average man could. Got a history of strong farm women in my blood, built to carry a pig under each arm while beating off wolves with my apron. Until fairly recently, I probably could have done just that. I’ve had to learn the hard way – more than once – what my limits now are, thanks to this kidney thing, primarily. Now there are additional problems spinning off from not being able to do what I used to, aches and pains that come with age, and lots of frustration. it comes, it goes.

Memorial Park, Colorado Springs, CO. Each branch of service is represented on that tower.
Memorial Park, Colorado Springs, CO.
Each branch of service is represented on that tower.

It’s Memorial Day weekend here in the US. It’s the day when we remember those who fell in the service of our country. Not the ones currently serving, that’s Armed Services Day, observed the third Saturday of May. Not the ones who have been discharged, that’s Veterans Day in November. Nor is it for the people who we lost that did not lose their lives in service to this country – that’s November 2nd, All Souls Day in many churches. Not sure what that would be for those who are not religious.

It’s not even the day to complain about wars you don’t agree with, to rail against military personnel who have served, but did not have a choice where they would serve. I have my issues with several conflicts, all fairly recent, but this is not the day for that.

Yesterday, yes. Tomorrow, absolutely, but please not today. Today is for those who have served our country and paid the ultimate price, and for the families they left behind. Just as any grieving family, they deserve a little peace.

Okay, off soapbox. That one, anyway; I make no promises that another won’t sneak in somewhere further along.

This three-day weekend has been a full one for me. Friday, I took a half day off work so I would have time to go to a friend’s son’s wedding. It was beautiful, truly beautiful. The bride was radiant and happy, the groom teared up a bit, and when they saw one another, there was no one else in the room. Saturday morning I did laundry. Figured it would be my only chance this weekend, and it kinda was. Saturday afternoon, I had a wedding to shoot. I didn’t study the map showing me how to get there well enough, so I wound up a good ten miles into the hills of Kentucky, before I called the primary photographer to get a confirmation on where I needed to be. The wedding didn’t start on time anyway, so we had time to go over the plan, and what would be expected of me. Did it for experience, rather than money. The photographer is happy to share her valuable knowledge. Now how could I pass up an opportunity to learn, hmm?

St John church, Middletown, OH. I don't yet have the equipment - or experience - to shoot one in a place like this.
St John church, Middletown, OH. I don’t yet have the equipment – or experience – to shoot one in a place like this.

It was outside in a lovely yard on a quiet street just off the interstate. Wouldn’t know it was all that close though, couldn’t hear a thing. A large tent was set up outside for the reception, and served as the aisle the bride would walk down. Again, the bride was radiant and happy, the groom teared up a bit, and when they saw one another, there was no one else in the yard. There were a few times I teared up, but I’m getting a grip on that. Can’t shoot weddings if I cry all the time. I didn’t get all the shots I’d have liked, still trying to figure out the best setting for doing that – on fully-automatic, the camera decides what’s important to focus on, on manual, I don’t have time to adjust for the scene when it’s constantly changing.

The bride and groom haven’t seen the photos yet, and I’m not about to ruin that surprise for them by being unprofessional, and publicly showing what I got.

About six hours on my feet, walking around on the hilly lawn, looking for the shots I wanted, hoping my camera felt like cooperating and shooting what I saw (the majority of my photos are just that), paying attention to any pearls of wisdom from the photographer herself, observing, seeing how she handled the bridal party, I enjoyed myself. I noticed that was the 2nd time I had a shoot and said exactly that, that I enjoyed it. I think I’m on the right track for what I really want to do.

Yesterday was even fuller. I had about an hour to myself. Church in the morning, time with a friend around lunchtime, and the evening at my father’s house with a fair slice of my family. Busy day. I was exhausted at the end. So tired, I didn’t do such a good job of parking my car when I got home. Had to be at least a foot away from the curb. Trust me, that’s tired.

I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. The entire day. Every minute of it.

Today, of course, was recovery, and I had planned to go to Taste of Cincinnati this afternoon, since I hadn’t had time to do that all weekend. At least, that was the plan until my sister knocked on my door this morning. There’s now most of a tree in my driveway, and the aforementioned ‘managers’ in my yard. I hope I get to go soon. It’s the last day, and this is a festival I don’t miss if I don’t have to. The unofficial start of summer, and the festival season.

So how am I observing Memorial Day? How do I honor those who gave their lives in service to this country? By living my life in the sure knowledge that today, at least, we don’t live in a dictatorship or fascist state, despite what some want to believe, and that if we get upset enough with the way things are going (Corporations as people? Really?), we still have the option of speaking up, instead of being silenced by our government, we are no longer British subjects, we are not Japanese or German subjects, we didn’t live under Soviet rule.

Honor, not celebrate. Celebrate implies you are glad for the deaths of these men and women in this country’s history. I am not; I would have preferred another choice had been made. War is not glorious, war is messy and deadly, it changes people, sometimes for the worse.

Today is not the day to go into that. We can talk about it tomorrow.


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