At 3:30 am I heard the phone ring and Jeanne answered it. I couldn’t make out what she was saying and I kind of drifted back to sleep. She finally jiggled me and said “Well I got that call that you never want to get, Dad’s gone.”
A flood of emotions washes across you at a time like that. The shock of how sudden and without any warning. Because I had just seen him Christmas day and he was in good spirits. I think I described him as robust.
The sadness that never again would I see him or be able to shake his hand or hear him sing a song or hear his bowling stories.
Then a feeling of calm and peace surround me as I thought about him. He was 88 years old and had a loving wife of over 50 plus years, two wonderful daughters, four grand children and one great-grandson.
He had been retired many years and enjoyed his retirement immensely with golf, bowling, and volunteering. He had more friends than you can count on all fingers and toes and everyday he drove to Hy-Vee in Ames and had coffee and cookies with his cronies.
Except for a couple of bouts with some staff infection he had been pretty healthy and lived at home. He used a cane but got along pretty good. He passed in his favorite recliner, in his own home, in his sleep.
It is as if God said, “John, you’ve been a good man and it is time you come home to me and because you’ve been such a good man, I will make your passage comfortable.”
Both of my parents spent their last years in a nursing home and their last days in a lot of discomfort and pain. I was so thankful that John did not have to experience that. Certainly we will miss him and it will not be the same without him but he is in a very good place and finally singing in the big choir
Although the dense fog of late has made driving somewhat of a challenge it has also made the drive beautiful as well. Each morning this week my commute has been a scenic winter wonderland of frost on barren tree limbs shrouded in misty fog all wrapped in a blanket of glistening, pristine snow.
Well yesterday morning, since my laptop ran out of power early, I decided I might as well get around early and go into work. The sun was just coming up and I saw lots of places I’d like to stop and take shots but the snow along the roadside was deep and there was never a good place to park.
I was getting a little frustrated until I got to the Hurstville turn off and I had just started toward Maquoketa when I came upon this clump of trees with the rising sun shining through. So I captured a couple of images (well truthfully only a couple worth showing) and finally had something to remember this foggy week with.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your wonderful thoughts. I appreciate you. 🙂
Difficult week so far. Both personally and at work. Plus the fact I left work last night in a fog. Mentally and actually, weather wise. I left my laptop power cord at work so I’m running with about five minutes of battery left.
I wanted to leave you with the parting image of the Christmas tree shoot I did earlier this month. This is a nondescript ornament that is on the tree. I have no idea where or from whence it came, but I like the image so here it is.
I’m also posting a link to a video (about 15 minutes long) featuring a candid conversation between two of the giants in the photography industry. Scott Kelby and Joe McNally. I think you will enjoy it if you are so inclined to visit the web site.
Thanks for stopping by.
On December 11th we had a night snow storm and the sky was this iridescent gray color that was just beautiful. I grabbed a camera and wanted to see if I could capture the essence of that sky. Now this tree is in our back yard so I though it made a nice anchor to center the image on and I could still capture the brilliant sky.
The trouble is the Radio station that is just up the street also was in the picture. And because of the focal length of the lens it compressed the distance to make the station look much closer than it really is. Not to mention that it takes a pretty decent image and wrecks it aesthetically.
What to do? Well the image above is just how it came out of the camera. I shot it in the RAW format so once I color balanced it, white balanced it, sharpened it and made a few other adjustments I still had a crappy image.
So I took it over to Photoshop and got rid of all the distractions and put some greenery in where the station used to be. I took out the satellite dish and the radio towers and the building.
So if I had shown this image first and never shown the original would you have known the difference? Maybe not. But what Photoshop allows is the creativity of the essence of the image to come though without all the negative distractions.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful Tuesday.
WOW! What a way to start a Monday. Above is a screen capture of one of the photography blogs I read every day. His name is Scott Eccleston and his Blog is called “Scott’s Weekly Tips.” He is a great guy and he does a weekly YouTube instructional video. In fact that is how I discovered his work. I liked how he teaches and the way he presented the material was so helpful. He is also a Vietnam Veteran and has some very profound thoughts on life and how he approaches his photography. So I started reading his blog.
Well I submitted a couple of comments about an article that appealed to me from time to time much as some of you do on this blog. So today I was reading his blog and when I got to the end of his post for today I noticed “Christmas Images From Our Readers…”
The very first image was my snowman above. At first I thought, wow that’s cool someone else took an image like mine, then I notice my signature watermark and OMG it’s mine.
Then I scrolled down a bit further and there was my Nativity scene. Double WOW! Now I know I’m not ready for the big time yet, 🙂 I do have to admit I am really bolstered by the fact that a professional photographer of Scott’s caliber would consider two of my images worthy of his blog. My head should be normal size by tomorrow. 🙂
Thanks for checking in. If you would like to read his blog he has a lot of great tips and techniques that will help you make better images. Here is the link to his Blog if you’re interested http://weeklyphototips.blogspot.com/
These are Angie and Mark’s Cousins. (L-R) Mark, David Rowley (Senior Journalist Major at Iowa), Angie, Ben, Joshua, Tim Rowley, Brooklyn Barton, and Jackson Barton.
Well I feel better now that I’ve had time to burn through the 10,000 calories I consumed yesterday. Not only did I eat 3/4 of the almond bark pretzels that were there but I took on a full course Christmas dinner as well.
For the firs time in memory I did not have dessert after the meal. OMG what is going on here. In fact I didn’t eat any dinner or anything else until breakfast this morning. I actually feel normal again (what ever that is.)
I like this image of John (Jeanne’s Dad.) He is 88 and still pretty robust considering all he has been through. His daughters sometime give him a hard time but so what if he takes a nap ever so often. He’s entitled. Hell if I make it to 88 I’m going to get fatter than I already am and start smoking again. 🙂
I liked this image of Jeanne and Jay lovingly admiring their great-grandson and grandson.
I hope you have some great Christmas memories of Christmas – 2010. I am thankful for the fact that I didn’t have to travel this year. I think there have been 4 times in the 34 years that we have been married that we didn’t travel at least 3 hours for Christmas.
Every day I count at least three of my blessings for that day. There are so many that when I try to narrow it down to just three it is hard. I am thankful for my family, for my friends and for my work.
Oh yes, and I’m pretty thankful for this little guy coming into our lives as well. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the rest of the Holiday Season and be safe.
Merry Christmas to you all. Above is the entire family that made it this year. Missing are John and Olive Walker and Ron and Marilyn Moen. It is always a bittersweet time for me as I remember my family that has passed.
Great Grandma Andreae enjoyed the time she spent with Josh. He was asleep for most of the time (even with all the noise) but after his Christmas meal he was awake and alert for sometime.
The four generations image that I didn’t get a chance to make at Thanksgiving because of my migraines. Today was a different story and I enjoyed the family gathering. We all gathered at Ben and Angie’s home in Dubuque so there was no travel for us. 🙂
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.
I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful, and safe Christmas with the people you love. It is a time to be thankful for the birth of our Savior and all the blessings we have. A time to pause and remember those who have gone before us and have comfort in our sadden heart that they are with God.
God Bless Us All
I read a comic strip this morning that pretty much summed up about what I feel right now politically. “99% of the politicians give the rest of them a bad name.”
The above image is from the Christmas tree shoot I did on December 2nd. I enjoy looking at the ornaments and most of them bring back a flood of memories from Christmases past, when the kids were little and the house was always filled with excitement as the time for Santa’s arrival drew near.
It will start to feel like that again as Angie and Ben’s family grow. Josh will be so much fun to watch next Christmas. Thank you for stopping by. I wish you all a blessed, safe, and wonderful Christmas. You honor me with your comments and support for this blog.
I’m running late as usual but wanted to post a quick thought for today. Wednesdays have become a tradition for me to post and it lets me be reflective of the first of the week and helps give some perspective to the remaining days of the week.
I was reading a photography blog yesterday and the author had a stunning B&W image of a young girl. What was remarkable about the image was that the original image was in his words “a throw away shot” until he converted it to black and white.
So I was thinking about my little girl and all the hundreds of photos I’ve taken of her and I wanted to see if I could duplicate his technique with this image I took of Angie last Sunday evening.
While it certainly wasn’t a throw away it wasn’t one of my best efforts. In fact she had her coat on and was walking out the door as I grabbed the camera and called her name. She is so used to posing for me (from six months of life on) that she just always stops what she is doing and gives me a little pose.
It was great in color but I think I like it better as a black and white. Hope you have a good rest of the week. Hard to believe that Christmas is only three days away. Is it me or has this been one of the fastest Christmas seasons on record?
Thanks for stopping by. Oh I almost forgot. Someone sent me this quote yesterday and I really like it. “Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.”