Miraculously, I made it out of the Portland airport and into D.C. by 3 am on Christmas Eve. I was exhausted and grateful that I was not aboard one of the 500 flights that were cancelled that day. Since then, I have been truly enjoying this break with my family. I do think I really needed it. My hands and arms were beginning to wake me in the night with loud beseeching throbs, "give (pulse) us (pulse) a break (pulse pulse)!" Okay okay okay, I hear ya, hands. I think they just wanted to have some fun. Even though we had discussed not giving each other big gifts this season, Ash and Mom decided that I needed a better camera for my product shots. While I am so thankful for the amazing photographers I've found and used and will continue to use, Enko Photography and Hickok Photography, I need to be as economical as I can in these beginning stages of my business. So the two of them decided I was to be the one to luck out this Christmas and went in together to get a great mid-range SLR digital camera for me. It's amazing. I've been going nuts with it from the moment I opened it. So let's stray away from jewelry for a moment and focus on the life that inspires it.
Great Grandma Bessie's Old House
Many of my relatives have lived in this little house in Southwestern Virginia's beautiful countryside, but the figure who is the most memorable in my mind: Grandma Bessie. When I was a little girl, there was never a visit in this little white house when she was not making fresh sweet bread (she called it light bread and it took most of the day to make it) and coffee. I suppose that was the beginning of my deep love for coffee. The front door opened to her warm little bedroom, and her modest grandma house. My senses were opened with love the instant I walked through the door; I just wanted to hug and hold her, while her sweet sweet smells locked into my memory. There is nothing like the smell of warm sweet bread exiting the oven to cool while I sipped on my 9-year-old cup of coffee with cream. Uncle Chuck noticed me taking the pictures just outside of his house and he said efficiently, "Come with me." I knew I was in for a treat:
I feel like I had heard of this graveyard, but in all my 28 years of living, I don't think I had ever braved the wooden walk into this sanctuary. A short walk past the little white house is a tiny cemetery filled with my ancestors. I was taken by this particular moss topped gravestone. My great great grandfather, J.P. Neathawk, and great grandfather, Galen Neathawk, harvested the wheat for the community and milled the wood for their homes. Even though Chuck said it's time to clean up this graveyard, I like how nature and death looks when it has merged. Of all the 250 photos I've taken since being introduced to my camera, this might be my favorite. It was taken on the walk back to the farmhouse from the woods where the old rusted over john deere tracker and sawmill that JP Neathawk used to make a living resides. It reminds me of the beautiful intricacies, the ups and downs, ins and outs of this path we call life:
My 35mm camera was stolen from my car in San Francisco in 2003. Before then, I was obsessed with taking amazing photos. It wasn't until this Christmas day when I really remembered the joy I find in taking beautiful images. I think, though, that I needed the break to appreciate what's most important: the experiences and spirit that inspires them. Now off to explore D.C...more images to follow. ***Song of the Moment: Pale Lit Sea, by Kotogoto****