Monday, August 31, 2009

A Look Back

Today I am posting an old photo of my parents wedding day. On October 28, my parents will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary. They have stayed true to those vows spoken quite a few years ago. They have taught me to endure, even during the difficult times.

Also pictured here are my grandparents, all now deceased. On the left--my mom's parent--Big Daddy and Big Mama. Although after 25 years of calling her Big Mama, she decided she didn't like that name because she wasn't big and we had to start calling her Grandmama McKinley. Big Daddy used to pour his coffee in a saucer to let it cool and then sipped it from the saucer. We of course had to follow his example.

On the right, my dad's parent's--Mama Lucy and Papa Hop. I didn't know Papa Hop very well. He died when I was about 6. I know he was a barber. But Mama Lucy--who also later changed her name to Grandma--taught us how to crochet and let us cut paper dolls out of her old pattern books.

My grandfathers both died when I was young, but my grandmothers played an important role in my life as a young person.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Standing Tall

With school starting, not much time for taking photos. So I decided to work on my editing skills and went back to some of my old shots from last summer. It is funny how you sometimes dismiss a shot as mediocre, but when you come back to it a while later, you find something pleasing about it after all. This is a shot of the lighthouse on the US Naval Air base in Pensacola. We visited here in the Summer of "08 while vacationing in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Here is a bit of history, taken from

The U.S. government designated Pensacola as a naval base 1824, and authorized a lighthouse for the location--making Pensacola the oldest lighthouse site on the Gulf Coast. At 80 feet in height and blocked by trees; the original lighthouse was not tall or bright enough for the location, and was replaced in 1859. The tower's stands an impressive height of 171 feet which is augmented by it's location on a hill.

The first Keeper, Jeremiah Ingraham, was appointed December 22, 1824 and served as keeper until his death on September 6th 1840. His wife, Michaela, succeeded him and continued as the keeper until her death in 1855.

At the start of the Civil War, Pensacola and the mainland were taken over by Confederate forces while across the bay, Fort Pickens was in Union hands. On April 12, 1861, the same day that the first shot of the Civil War was fired at Ft. Sumter, the occupying confederate troops extinguished the light. They feared the Union Naval ships were using the light to re-supply Ft. Pickens. As part of the siege of Fort Pickens, the lighthouse was used as a lookout tower and cannons and mortars were emplaced in the immediate vicinity. On November 22 and 23, 1861 the opposing sides exchanged canon fire. The lighthouse was struck several times by Union shot but not badly damaged. Following evacuation of the confederates the Union Army tried to re-exhibit the light. They found that the lens and apparatus had been removed. Following the end of the war a fourth-order lens served temporary duty until it was replaced by the present lens.

Prior to 1939, the lighthouse operation was done using clockwork mechanisms. The light was done in oil, whereby the Keeper would have to traverse the spiraling steps of the 171 foot tower with a 5 gallon bucket of oil. In 1939 the old mechanisms were taken out and the lighthouse became electrified. In 1965, the lighthouse operations became automated.

At present time, the Pensacola Lighthouse is maintained by the US Coast Guard, but it is located on the Pensacola Naval Air Station. The NAS is open to the public, and the grounds are accessible for a lighthouse visit. Tours of the tower are only by appointment or during s
ummer Sundays.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Coming Soon

As the air starts to get a little crisper, I have already started thinking about our Annual Family Bonfire the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It is always the one of the highlights of my fall. We have it at my parents. My dad has built a firepit just for the occasion. Here are some shots from last year. All family and friends are invited.
Grandaddy lighting the fire.
Chris roasting a wiener over the fire.
The guys!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Last One--I promise

Okay--last Jennifer and Josh shot. I had such fun taking these. Jennifer didn't love it, but Josh is an actor at heart and love working it for the camera. Thanks Josh.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Historic Falls

Visited Falls Park again in Downtown Greenville.
A beautiful spot in the Reedy River, with lots of history.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shiny but not new

Took this shot at our Isbell family reunion on Sunday. Someone in the family has restored this beautiful old car. I always wonder about the history of old cars--who road in them--where they have been. Not sure if this one was in the family all along or was purchased for its beauty.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quiet Passion

Playing around with Jennifer and Josh. They make a great pair for a photo shoot.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fresh Flowers

Taken at a friend's home. I noticed this lovely bouquet under the lamp light. It made a nice image. Thank you Janis C.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Quiet Spot

I don't know what it is about benches that is so appealing to me. I think maybe it is because they are usually weathered from the hot sun or various types of precipitation. ( i am getting a little weathered too.) Or maybe because I like to sometimes just sit in a quiet spot. Regardless, if I have my camera and I see a bench I will be looking for a good angle for a shot.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Longing for Rain

My parents have a beautiful stream behind their house. My mom has spent many hours planting and tending this garden spot. Right now, due to the lack of rain, there is a dry stream bed and only a bit of stagnant water in the pond. But here is how it looked in the early spring, when everything was green and new. I love summer but I am getting a bit weary of these hot, humid days and the brown, crunchy grass in my yard. Longing for long, soaking rain to refill the stream and the pond. (By the way, my dad built the bridge himself!)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Frogs are cute little creatures!

This is one of the first images I took when I got a digital camera. This one was taken with a point and shoot camera at the aquarium in Charleston. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. But this photograph really inspired me to buy a DSLR camera and start looking for photo opportunities.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ring that Bell

From my parents garden--I guess this could be called a dinner bell. But it reminds me that those school bells will be ringing very soon!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sweet Little One

Meet Owen--sweet little one belonging to my first cousin. I love taking shots of little ones. They have such expressive faces and aren't camera shy yet. Trying my hand at some editing--to get better.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Finally Done!!

At the beginning of the summer, I commented several times on the deck we were building. Today I am posted a shot of the finished deck. I am so proud of Ronnie because he did most of it himself. I did the landscaping. We talked about doing this for 10 years and can't believe we waited this long. We love it. Almost every night we go to sit on the deck and enjoy the stars. Our springer spaniel, Sadie, love the deck too. If we haven't gone out by 10:00, she is standing at the door waiting. For this fall, we have purchased one of those fire pits. Can't wait to use it too.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I've never had much luck growing purple coneflowers. Finally this year with the big oak tree gone and my new deck built, I have gotten some to grow. They look lovely beside the deck and I have been able to keep them alive despite almost 8 weeks with very little rain. I hope I will be enjoying this perennial again next year.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

All Grown Up

As a follow up to my last post--here is a recent picture of my 3 children. Derek is always being clown. They have all grown up to be caring, loving adults. I miss the baby days, but I don't want to revisit those tough teen age years. I really enjoy my children now as we have become friends.