Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wood Piles and Pictures

I was planning to go visit a friend in Colorado this past weekend, but the trip had to be delayed for another time. I had already taken Monday off for my vacation and I suppose I could have actually worked instead, but it was nice to have a day off with no other commitments. I was able to run some errands and just hang out without a child or husband for most of the day. As much as I love them, it was quite delightful to have this time to myself. 

Since I wasn't working I was also able to pick up Riley at preschool and since it was still early it seemed like a good idea to have an impromptu visit with my dad. 

When we arrived at my dad's house I found him moving his huge pile of wood. For the past 30+ years my dad has stacked his wood on property bordering his. When he bought his house a farm existed next door and all this time it's been for sale. It finally sold last year and now they are building houses right next to his property which means he has to move his wood a few feet onto his land.

Just a small fraction of the wood he has

I told my dad we would help him next weekend, but apparently he couldn't wait and spent all day Monday moving wood. He mostly heats his house with a potbelly stove when it's cold so he goes through a fair amount of wood. He claims that he has about 2 years worth of wood, but I would argue it is more. 

Did I mention my dad is 85... with a fake hip, and carpel tunnel? It doesn't matter because this man works harder than anyone I know and has no intention of stopping. 

Dad finally decided to sit down and relax when we arrived, he convinced us to eat dinner at McDonalds (how does he convince me to do this? Gah!), and he humored me by letting me take his picture. 

Sometimes I wonder if I take too make pictures - do I really need to capture the moment? Every moment? Sure there are times I don't need to take pictures, and I don't always have the camera with me, but I'm glad that I do have these memories. 

My dad said I should take a picture of his flowers - he was proud of how they turned out this year.

I was recently reading a blog about self portrait tips. Near the end of the article the author talks about the power of photos especially when she lost her brother. It really hit home with me - perhaps because I also lost a brother and find viewing pictures of him comforting - and it confirmed one of the reasons why I take pictures. Photographs can capture a moment, tell a story, express a feeling... it can bring you right back to that day and evoke so many emotions. 

The article made me think about all the pictures I haven't taken and what I would want those to be. Getting more pictures of my dad came to mind first, but also making sure to capture the rest of my family and my friends... and heck, the cats, and of course, my husband and kid (no worries there since I take an obnoxious amount of pictures of Riley). 

McDonald's ketchup mouth

Always with the mouth open and the goofy face.

But mostly I wanted to take pictures of my dad.

My dad was perplexed by the number of pictures I told him I could take with my DSLR and even more blown away that it didn't need any film. I actually ruined one of his new rolls of film recently because I forgot how to load film into a camera. 

New houses in the back - getting closer and closer. :(

I guess you could say that I credit my dad with fostering my interest in taking pictures even if he doesn't fully get why I do it. One of my most memorable birthdays was when I was 17 and my dad gave me my first point and shoot 35mm camera. It wasn't anything fancy, but he knew how much I would appreciate having my very own camera. My dad is a straightforward guy. He's a hard worker that rarely takes vacations. He grew up working - not playing, so I think it sometimes surprises people how creative he can be and how much he tried to foster that in me.

I guess it's a good thing that I'm the one taking pictures in the family, because if we left it up to my dad his thumb would be in half the pictures. No offense, dad - we all have our strengths. Now if I can just get him to let us move the rest of his wood pile. Anyone want to bet if the pile has been moved or not by the time we show up this weekend?

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