Photographers Anonymous

Before mom left for her trip, I was given one mandate:

“Take pictures of my peonies as soon as they bloom and email them to me.   I wish I wasn’t going to miss them blooming, but I can enjoy it via a picture.”

Before I continue, let me give you some background – this woman has literally thousands of pictures of ‘the aspen turning’.    When I lived in the mountains, fall meant frequent phone calls, “Are they turning yet?  Should I come up this weekend?”   Once I moved back to the plains, the dialogue became, “Let’s go to the mountains!  Will you drive?   Wait, Wait, WAIT!  Pull over!  I have to take a picture of this.”

I love my mother – and her 20 some odd photo albums that I get on a step ladder and pull down from the top closet shelf when the urge to view photos from long ago strikes her.

I’ve oohed and ahhed over more sunrise and sunset pictures than I can imagine.    My ooohs and ahhhs sometimes aren’t exuberant enough and I land in the dog house.

And I swear, if I wanted to, I could go through her digital library and show you pictures of the same durn tree from every year between 1990 something and present, just at the point it’s leaves turn from green to gold…

I’ve backed up her digital photo library onto 3 separate external hard drives and she backs them up on CD’s and flash drives, just in case I dropped the ball….

So you can imagine my internal dialogue when the request to photograph the peonies, right at the very second they started blooming, was made.

**********

I love photos – I’m starting to follow quite a few photography blogs and it’s such a relief to view, press the “Like” button and move on.

(Thanks photographers, for letting me get off easy and not having to explain just WHY I liked it!)

It may surprise you to know, I was once an avid photographer myself.   Lead photographer for my high school yearbook two years running, even.   But once I graduated and no longer had access to a darkroom – photography became a very expensive hobby and I let it go.

And before digital cameras and smart phones became the norm, I had changed.

**********

I can tell you precisely when it happened – family members had returned from a Grand Tour of Europe.   After taking a week to get their laundry caught up and get their pictures burned onto 12 different DVDs, they came over for supper to share their vacation with us.  (The modern equivalent of the slide projector – nope, people still don’t get that it’s rude to trap others into this in their own home….)

Nevertheless, I was excited – I’d love to travel, but by this time, I’ve come to the conclusion that unless I win the lottery, world travel is probably not something that will get done this lifetime.   So I live vicariously through the travel pics of others…

As the scenes played before me, I oohed and ahhed….   Where is that?   What’s the name of that town?   Oh that’s beautiful, which church is that?

To which they replied, “I think that was Germany – – No, Austria – – you know, I don’t know.”

After a few attempts, I quit asking.

It struck me that photos are great, but I want to KNOW about the place.   Which festival was being celebrated when you took the pics of all the buxom beer maids in the nifty outfits?    What year was that church built?   Where are those beautiful hills located?  I might actually be able to go there someday and I’d like to know how to get there…

After the evening was over, I vowed to become a Heart Photographer.

You know the ones – they take one or two pictures, then sit back to enjoy the present.   When they get home, they show a 10 picture slide show that lasts for 5 hours, because as each new picture loads, they say,

“Oh!  This was when we found that little village that was having their annual Harvest Home festival.  It was so awesome!   They had all these market stalls and dancers – we even danced too!   And the food!   Let me tell you about the food….”

So here’s the pictures I took to send to her – no, I didn’t catch them blooming – but let me tell you about the time I helped her clean the rocks and she smashed my finger so hard, it durn near broke it…

Flowerbed in the Morning
Flowerbed in the Morning
Bloomin' Peonies (I think)
Bloomin’ Peonies (I think)
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