Hello, all! The last 3 months has flown by, and I'm just about caught up with everything to wrap up 2015. I hope you all had a happy Holiday Season, whatever that means to you. I love this time of year for a variety of reasons; but although we may differ on what this time of year means, I hope that at the essence, it means peace, love, and compassion for all.
Having just arrived in Milwaukee from Texas, I can tell you that because of the nearly 80 degree weather there, I was missing snow. The weather was so summer-like, that I didn't even bother to pack sweaters. The last night of my trip was a reminder of how unpredictable Southern Winters can be! Tornadoes in Dallas, flooding in certain areas of the state, and 2 feet of snow in El Paso all culminated in my flight being cancelled. My dad was happy to have me an extra night, anyway. And, of course, my 'white-winter' prayers were answered with a snowstorm the minute I arrived in Milwaukee. Be careful what you ask for!
Before I left, I did a photoshoot for some dear friends for the purposes of a holiday card. So much fun. I love my unconventional friends! I also put on a 'Pop-Up Studio' for Christmas, and was very pleased and thankful for the turn out. Check out the Pop-Up Gallery to see the images.
My trip home was very fullfilling. I made the decision to not be a 'photographer' for the holidays; I captured images when I felt compelled to, yet I just wanted to sit back and enjoy my family. The weather was such that Dad had a couple of beautiful roses blooming, so I captured a pic of a bud just about ready to open. I also photographed what was left of his garden. It's been awhile since I've seen snails, but I captured their images, because they aren't something I see every day.
I visited with my brothers as much as possible. My brother Rudy found a way to light his house with laser lighting, making short work of home decorating for the holidays. It really looks beautiful, and I did my best without a tripod to capture the effect. We sang carols, ate Mexican food, and enjoyed the time we had.
My Brother Frank is one of my favorite people in the world. He is so musically gifted, and every time we get together, he puts up with my 'Lucille Ball' voice and asks me to sing with him. I enjoyed singing with him, spending time with him and his wife, and most of all, attending his church on Christmas Eve. The service was awesome, and he sang and played beautifully.
The most joyous part of the Holidays was the fact that, for the first time in 20 years, we were all peacefully together. My family is starting to heal, and it feels wonderful. My brothers and father have not been the closest, but it's amazing to note the things they have in common. That's why, when we finally came together for a meal last week, I had to point out that all 3 of them have flip-phones, and all 3 absolutely refuse to move with the times! That's why I love the image of them together with their phones! I love them. Hopefully, we can all continue to get together and find common ground to build upon.
I also had the chance to spend some time with my lifelong friend, Debbee. She is still pushing forward, despite kidney failure, a broken tail bone, and a staph infection. She is raising her kids with more dignity and grace than I have seen from people with far less on their plate. I have so much respect and love for her.
Thanks, all for a wonderful year. Let's look forward to being all we can be in the coming year, and remember life is about connection and love. I can't wait to see what each new day brings! Happy New Year, everyone!