Big Sister, Little Sister

Amanda and I go way back. Seems she’s always been involved in the Big Sister program. Love that about her! When I asked for unique ‘twosomes’ to volunteer for a project I was working on she jumped at the chance to schedule a session for she and her ‘little’. This is ‘Joy’…she loves to read so I met them at the Minneapolis Central Library…..she’d never been. So fun!

(click/tap any image to enlarge)

“Come to Croatia!”, they said…

Last fall I found myself staring at some chalk art on a board behind the counter of a new wine shop in my little lake community. The Real Wine Republic, in Excelsior, MN was announcing a “Wine & Culinary” tour in Croatia! The artwork caught my eye so I inquired. The owners, Patti & RJ, began to fill me in on the trip. Now, I’m (sadly) among those who (at that time) didn’t even know exactly where Croatia was even located so considering to go was not even on my radar OR on any sort of “bucket list”. Fast forward…I leave tonight. Wheels up at 9:45p!

I’ll be joined by 12 others on this trip. All from surrounding communities whom share my love for exploring other worlds….and, of course, wine! I’m, needless to say, pretty pumped about this trip and look forward to sharing it with you…we can explore together!come-to-croatia

Betsy

The other day, I tossed my 50mm 1.2 lens on and had some fun with my girl. She never sits for too long so the razor thin depth of field makes getting a crisp shot of her more of a game for the both of us. I like playing…and sincerely believe that she does too! Recently, I’ve been making some changes and updates to my WhiskerDo site. I love animals, particularly pets, so back in 2011 I launched this site in hopes that I could surround myself with all sorts of critters and capture them for their humans to enjoy! With the mobile age that’s upon us, it was time to make the site more mobile friendly! You can reach me through that site if you have any questions or simply wish to have your furkid captured!

The Setting Sun

As much as I love a blue sky kind of day…when I can, I try to make a point to get somewhere so I can devour and marvel at the curtain call on the day. Sometimes I catch it setting from my sofa beyond the steeple of the church up the block. Last week, as I drove down 19 and rounded Lake Minnetonka, I caught myself wanting to pull over several times from different vantage points as I sensed the glow hit my face from the passenger window….KILLED me not to be able to. Many stretches, along the lake shore, are too dangerous and some areas prohibit parking…rightfully so.

The above shot (Gideon’s Bay) is about 4 blocks from my home and always offers a fabulous vista at sunset. It’s a short stroll away at the end of the day and when there are clouds, it’s even more magical!

What was notable, on this night, was that the season of boating hadn’t quite begun so the silence was eerie! “Ice Out” was called on April 5th but not many boat owners had their boats on the lake. I stood there, on the point, and watched for about 15-20 minutes as the color of both the sky AND its reflection in the water changed until the sun merged with the horizon. I am always in awe of the setting sun. Each night offers something different to witness…no two sunsets are alike…I love that.

Unexpected loss of a child.

Today, I attended a funeral for the son of a high school classmate of mine. We aren’t close, nor do we see one another much…mostly just at church on occasion. Yet, when I got the news about the accident, I was gutted. I’ve buried both parents (that’s to be expected at my age) but I don’t have any children of my own so the thought of enduring that pain just left me with knowing that I needed to stop, say hello and offer my sympathy for what is sure to be one of the most devastating losses.

As I entered the church (the very one I attend and where my friend is employed) it was full and bustling with the typical funeral attire: black suites, ties, black coats (it had just been snowing heavily..not unusual for early April). There were two guest books positioned near the door…I signed my name and city, looked up and quickly surveyed the gathering space for familiar faces. I first saw my friend’s sister (aunt to the young man who had died) and went in for a big ‘ol hug…hadn’t seen her in maybe 30 years. She said she wasn’t sure where her brother was so I wandered my way through the crowd and back to the long stretch of tables and easels where images of him were displayed. I’d never met him…he looked just like his dad….spitting image. I’m certain he heard that his whole, albeit short, life. Then I ran into a couple of male classmates, hugged and mentioned how I am going to forever hug people the way I do at funerals; long and purposeful…always.

Made my way back through the crowd, in search of my friend. I couldn’t stay for the service so I wanted to be certain I could greet him in person. I spotted him, we smiled and I walked through the circle of people and embraced him with all my might. I felt tears building as we slowly let go and the words “I’m so sorry” came out. Those 3 words always seem so lame to me..weak.  Like what we say when we don’t know what else to say. I sometimes think the hug is more meaningful yet we feel we have to fill dead (pardon the use in this case) air or something.  My friend held both my shoulders and looked me in the eyes and said: “Sue, we don’t know what God’s plan is.” And I said, “But we know that it is perfect.” He smiled, we hugged again, I kissed him on the cheek and said “Take care.”

I didn’t stay long but I couldn’t not go. I just remember the people that surprised me at my mother’s funeral 5 years ago and what an impact that had on me. Even if I can’t stay for the service, I will always do what I can to be there for the people in my life…regardless of knowing the departed.

Rest in peace, Zack.

friends, turned lovers, turned friends….

I recently ran into a former lover…hadn’t seen him in months. Our eyes met, we smiled and walked towards one another. First, a long lingering hug (it felt so good to be wrapped in his strong embrace) followed by some casual pleasantries. We caught up with one another’s lives, and hugged good bye…no kiss, just a touch of the arm. I often wondered when I would run into him and if it would be difficult. It was good to see his smile. It was the first step in returning to a friendship…which is where things began.