Friday, September 25, 2009

Story Behind the Picture: Dandelion

It was a delightful summer afternoon. I gathered up the boys and we took a lazy stroll around the neighborhood, enjoying the shade of the trees and the sounds of the birds and tree frogs singing as we walked underneath. I think we only actually walked a few hundred meters, but it took almost an hour - curious little boys love to stop and investigate every leaf, flower, and blade of grass they encounter. As we walked back up the hill to our house, I saw this dandelion glowing in our front yard as the sun began to dip low in the sky. Danny squealed with delight and raced ahead to grab it, but I begged him to wait until I took a picture. He and Lucas stood patiently while I took my usual ridiculous number of photographs, and when I was finished, I gave them a smile. Danny raced to the dandelion and blew the little fluffy seeds all over our front lawn. I watched him dancing around as they fell to the ground, knowing there would soon be a new, larger crop of weeds for him to enjoy. My husband finds it odd that I photographed a weed. I told him he needs to look at it from a child’s point of view.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Story Behind the Picture: Skates

Roller Derby.
You can have your football and baseball. You can keep golf. You can even have basketball. After watching my sister-in-law skate in a Roller Derby tournament, that's the only sport for me (to watch, mind you, not to play...I used to play rugby in college and it wasn't half as rough as what I witnessed in that skating rink).

Do you need to understand the rules to enjoy it? Not at all: just cheer and scream for your friends (or sisters) as they fly around the rink and crash into one another. Somewhere, points are tallied. I think points should also be awarded to spectators who successfully avoid being hit by the occasional skater careening out of control.

We brought our two boys to witness the event: "Knock 'em down, Aunt DeeDee!!" became the battle cry of the evening. They sat on our shoulders and cheered louder than most adults could manage. They saw tough, agile athletes compete. They realized girls could play just as hard as boys. Would I ever lace up my skates? Heck no: I've seen the bruises on those women! But count me in as a fan of the unpaid, unpretentious, and unbelievable athletes of this awesome sport.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Story Behind the Picture: All in a Row

I'm always surprised by how my personal life gently colors even the most simple photograph. Two weeks ago, I brought home a huge bundle of pears. As I placed them on the kitchen counter, I was struck by the personality each little pear seemed to exude. I chose six of the pears, set them in a row, and started shooting.

Not until I saw the images on my computer did I realize I had chosen the same number of pears as the children in my husband's family. I'm an only child, but I married a man with five siblings. Those six children are the most wonderful, yet diverse set of individuals: each is an incredibly unique personality, each has their own set of gifts and strengths, each leans their own way. The way these pears are sitting mirrors the personalities and the relationships of all six brothers and sisters, yet the effect was entirely unintentional. A dear friend just told me it reminded him of "The Last Supper." With fruit.

I love to see my own children growing into their little unique selves: diversity is a beautiful thing. Just like these little pears.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Story Behind the Picture: Ocean City Rocks

I love the beach in the morning. The surfers paddle out, waiting for the perfect wave. Fishermen, clad in waders, patiently wait near the ends of the jetties. The sand, smooth and clear, bears only a few foot – or paw – prints from the early risers. The beach, in the morning, is full of possibilities. The black rocks of the jetty still feel cool underfoot, the seagulls still stroll at the water’s edges, the sun still climbs lazily out of the sea. Soon enough it is time to head home and begin the real work of the day, but the stolen moments at the beach in the morning are enough to carry me through.

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