The street was quiet… no one rushing off to work this Christmas morning. The sun playing in the bedroom curtains gave me a chance to relax and reflect a little… it has been a year to give us all pause.
Normally, I am a pie eyed optimist and I’d like to say all of my friends are happy and well but the economy and general distress have been rough on everyone. None of us will miss 2009. The uncertainty needs to subside. The smiling has to come back.
I don’t mind learning to rein in the spending habits of the last years… I had a good run for a bit. On the other hand, it is very uncomfortable to have dipped below the happy medium. It will turn around… I am sure of it. Meanwhile, we have to get up every day and go about the business of making a life.
Got to give it your best shot.
I am thankful for a roof over my head and a good man to share it.
I am thankful for family, friends and nice strangers.
I am thankful for fractious cats.
I am always thankful for time to think.
In the spring of 2006, I was lucky beyond measure to finally visit Italy. I am sure Ron and I took on way too much in the short time we were there but I know I have to go back.
Rome was the last leg of our 13 days and we were getting punchy. Maybe Rome should be at the beginning of a trip like this because it was overwhelming. You need to have all of your wits and senses completely tuned in. As a photographer, I can get into visual overload pretty easily but if you combine that with the huge history around every corner, it’s almost like your brain says” Oh…just another ancient temple…”. You have to stay focused or you risk glazing over.
If you tour the Sistine Museum, the famous chapel is towards the end of the four hour trek…imagine being swept along art encrusted corridors, some light, some very dark, shoulder to shoulder with masses of visitors. Many different languages and cultural habits all thrown into this boiling crowd thing. It’s probably the closest I have come to body surfing. Somehow, I expect my art encounters to be sublime and free of this bobbing and weaving fabric. The Chapel itself should have been quiet and calm with seats for all. Instead it was a sardine can…all packed in and staring up into the rich heavens created so long ago. The guards kept yelling NO PHOTO! and each time they did some unfortunate soul would pull out their point and shoot and it would start all over again. My view of the Sistine ceiling was straight up and ringed by jostling shoulders. Not sublime.
As we left the last galleries, the crowd thinned and we started down a ramp towards the exits. The stairway that opened up in front of me took my breath away. My brain came alive and I found myself starting to frame this massive beauty before I brought the camera up to my eye. Sublime accomplished.
Built around the turn of the 16th century by Donato Bramante, the spiral staircase was part of a new entrance to the palace and was designed for riding up on horseback.
Meg and Trevor had originally planned to have their wedding at Portland’s Art Museum. They found out that the Park Blocks would be home to a huge event that day…music and food and many, many people. Decisions were made to move their wedding. Long story short, a family friend offered them his private vineyard near Dundee…a pretty space lined with trees and rimmed with lines of grapes up the slope. No electric, no bathrooms, no nothing. Oh my.
Well, you might say…that seems like a lot of work. You’d be right.
This most perfect day came together because they hired the best of the best. Vibrant Table Catering brought in everything, including the must have checkered dance floor. Francoise Weeks was given free rein to make flower art…everywhere you turned, there was another unique floral gift. Andrea Hoyt , of August Veils was on hand to keep Meg’s dress fresh and the bridesmaids up to speed…she is wonderful to work with! There were members of the Portland Opera for the ceremony and Pepe & the Bottle Blondes to keep the dancers warm later. Salmon on the grill and amazing little dessert plates to go with the rice krispies cake. Soiree did a phenomenal job of lacing together all of the pieces…I mean this party ran like a good clock!
Take a look…at the end of the day, this is about hiring people you can trust to do what they do best.