Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Time To Move On

2015 was a strange year - there was loss, sadness, violence, things that made you realize that life can change in the blink of an eye. There was also adventure, wisdom, and events that made one realize what was most important in life.

Let's start with January shall we. Of course, the best way to do that is through pictures.

Tony and I spent a late afternoon photographing (naturally) and above are a couple of shots from that particular day in January.

At the end of February we lost a dear friend and client - author, Barbara Bickmore. We miss her terribly, but she lives on in her books. RIP dear friend.
Tony and I spent a beautiful February day on Whidbey Island. We found this wonderful beach on the west side. Here are a couple of photos from that day.

March must have been a bit busy.

My friend Kathleen Kaska and I did a talk for the Skagit Valley Writers League. We make a pretty good team, if I say so myself.

Tony and I spent an evening looking for a field of daffodils at sunset, instead we found a field of snow geese.

We did our usual Sunset at the Bridge. This particular night was brilliant in color and a tugboat graced our images just as the sun was setting.

We went to visit a friend in Lynnwood and decided to make a day of it, so we drove down Whidbey and caught the ferry to Mukilteo.

The highlight of April was our trip to Oregon. We took Betty (our little 91 yr old) to visit her god-daughter, Jill, in Fall River (just outside of Bend, OR.) While Betty and Jill took a day to visit friends, Tony and I took off and went to a bucket list destination - The Painted Hills. The weather was moody that day - rain, sun, snow, rain, but it only added to the drama of the area.

April would not be complete around here without some tulip photos from the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Due to the warm weather we were having, the season was very early and ended early.

May seemed to rather uneventful, but that's okay. The days were getting longer and we had such glorious days of beautiful lighting.  One of our favorite places to photograph is Dakota Creek Industry in Anacortes. They build and maintain large ships.

Tony's mother passed away in June. She was living in Texas and unfortunately Tony was unable to go visit her.

In June, Tony and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary. My how time flies.

Tony taught his first Long Exposure class in June.

To celebrate Tony's birthday and also Father's Day - our son and daughter-in-law, and my sister and her family came up and we went hiking up at Artist Point. It was a gorgeous day and special time spent with family.

In July we always go to Shipwreck Days in Anacortes. Downtown turns into a HUGE flea market and it offers so much to photograph.

Here is Tony getting his wheat.  He was sitting amongst the wheat fields at sunset trying to capture that perfect image.

In August, we had a unusual wind storm that knocked out power, so what are photographers to do? They gather their equipment and go out to take photos.

September was an exciting month for me. I self-published my first children's book- An Adventure with Peter and Penny in Hudson Bay. The photos in the book are from my friend Joan Silling, who passed away from cancer in 2014. The book includes fun facts about polar bears, and the story is told from the cubs point of view. The book is great for kids between 3-11, but adults are really enjoying it. It is also on Amazon.

Another highlight in September was a visit from our youngest son, Chris. He lives in Colorado, so visits are usually sporadic and short, but oh so sweet.  And, of course, since this seems to be a photography family - we had to go out shooting.

October was a mix of blessings and sadness.

The month started off with one of my photos winning a Washington State Ferry Photo Contest - the prize was a behind the scenes tour of a ferry.  I was so excited. This is the photo that won.

It got a lot of news coverage, including a large front page spread in our local newspaper.

We did our behind the scenes tour on the new Samish Ferry from Anacortes to San Juan Island. We spent most of the time in the pilot house with the Captain, we also got a behind the scenes tour of the whole ship, including the engines room. All I can say was it was incredible.

Here is Tony and I with the Captain.

And here is the amazing engine room crew.

I also got to call into Seattle Traffic to let them know our whereabouts.

Tony and I took one last trip to Artist Point before the season closed off.  Here is Tony taking a photo.

Here is the photo Tony was taking.

In the middle of October, our little 91 yr old (Betty) got sick with an infection. It was touch and go. She spent two weeks in the hospital. As her health care power-of-attorney, and her friend, I spent a lot of time next to her bed side as we began a long battle of trying to get the infection under control. In November we had to put her in an assisted living facility and on hospice, thinking the end was near. She is now off of hospice and somewhat stable. She is still weak and needs help for a lot of her physical needs, but she is doing therapy and giving it her best shot.

It was a reminder that life can change for any of us so quickly. Today we take it one day at a time and are grateful for the time we have.

As we closed 2015 - I try to reflect on what was wonderful about the year and what to be grateful for, but to be honest, I am just so glad it is over.  It seemed like the last few months of it were a mix of tragedies, violence in the world, and loss for so many. On December 29th, right before midnight, a 4.8 earthquake shook things up in our little part of the world - it was almost as if the universe needed to send out one more reminder that things change. As we move into 2016, change will happen, it's inevitable, but with change sometimes comes opportunity and growth. So here is to 2016 - may it bring you opportunities and growth.

I end 2015 with immense gratitude - for our two sons, who bring such joy into our lives, to Betty (our 91 yr old) for her support and generosity and becoming a part of our family, for my sister Mica and her family - you are all so special, and for the amazing and supportive community in which we live