Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Eric & Erin

It's been a while since I ran around chasing a girl in a white dress who was anxiously awaiting a man in a black tux. 

This spring I've been fortunate to photograph two weddings and enjoyed both days so much. In May Eric married Erin in southern Indiana. I was in awe of the detail these two put into decorating and planning the rest of their lives together. Every single glimpse was personal and country chic! Ah, I was so at home. 

Here are just a few from their beautiful day - 

Congratulations to the Padgetts!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Do Too, Ms. Evans

One of these days I'm going to write a blog called, "The Things Parents Do For Children" -
It will include things like searching in the dark for a spare key, then sitting in the child's home office at 2:30 AM, calling each of said child's credit card companies to cancel accounts after the child realizes her purse has been stolen from the Texas dancehall she's boot-scooting around on a September Saturday night. 

It will also include rummaging through thirty-three years of items collected in a man cave that will be demolished for that same child's wedding. 

We're tearing down the white garage (not to be confused with the Red Barn) that has housed our chest freezer and pre-lit Christmas wreath for as long as I can recall.

As Momma, Dad, Cody and I sort through decades of Dad's collectables that occupied his time far before Shorthorns did, we've found a little bit of Bowman Superior Genetics history: Micky Mouse fishing poles, size 4 cowboy boots, welding rods and walnuts still hanging out to dry - 18 years and counting. 

We've also found content for today's blog. 

Last night we cleaned out a (no kidding) turquoise cupboard that was hanging in the garage when Momma and Dad bought the place in July, 1979. Tucked away in a box was a sheet of paper that was folded, musty and yet, still glossy. The only timestamp I could find on the piece read, 
"Compliments of the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company
Akron, Ohio
Roots Blower
1854 - 1954"

 I had never heard of piece or the author; but Dad recalled both well. He made Cody and I stand in the midst of white garage destruction and read the article. I'm so thankful he did. 


I Speak for Democracy
By Elizabeth Ellen Evans
I am an American.
Listen to my words, Fascist, Communist.
Listen well, for my country is a strong country, and my message is a strong message.
I am an American, and I speak for democracy.
My ancestors have left their blood on the green at Lexington and the snow at Valley Forge
- on the walls of Fort Sumter and at Gettysburg
- on the waters of the River Marne and in the shadows of the Argonne Forest
- on the beachheads of Salerno and Normandy and the sands of Okinawa
on the bare, bleak hills called Pork Chop and Old Baldy and Heartbreak Ridge.
A mission and more of my countrymen have died for freedom.
My country is their eternal monument.
They live in the laughter of a small boy as he watches a circus clown’s antics
- and in the sweet delicious coldness of the first bite of peppermint ice cream on the 
      Fourth of July
- in the little tenseness of a baseball crowd as the umpire calls “Batter up!”
- in the high school band’s rendition of the “Stars and Stripes Forever” in the
      Memorial Day parade
- in the clear, sharp ring of a school bell on a fall morning
- And in the triumph of a six-year-old as he reads aloud for the first time.
The live on in the eyes of an Ohio farmer surveying his acres of corn and potatoes a pasture
- and in the brilliant gold of hundreds of acres of wheat stretching across the flat miles of Kansas
- in the milling of cattle in the stockyards of Chicago
- the precision of an assembly line in an automobile factory in Detroit
- and the perpetual red glow of the nocturnal skylines of Pittsburgh and Birmingham and Gary.
They live on in the voice of a young Jewish boy saying the sacred words from the Torah: “Hear O Israel; the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might.”
- and in the voice a Catholic girl praying: “Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee”
- and in the voice of a Protestant boy singing: “A mighty Fortress is our God. Bulwark never failing”
An American named Carl Sandbur wrote these words:
      “I know a Jew fishcrier down on Maxwell Street with a voice like a north wind blowing over corn stubble in January. He dangles herring before prospective customers evincing a joy identical with that of Pavlova dancing. His face is that of a man terribly glad to be selling fish, terribly glad that God made fish, and customers to whom he may call his wares from a pushcart.”
There is a voice in the soul of every human being that cries out to be free. America has answered that voice.
American has offered freedom and opportunity such as no land before her has ever known, to a Jew fishcrier down on Maxwell Street with the face of a man terribly glad to be selling fish.
She has given him the right to own his pushcart, to sell his herring on Maxwell Street,
- she has given him an education for his children, and a tremendous faith in the nation that has made these things his.
Multiply that fishcrier by 160,000,000----160,000,000 mechanics and farmers and housewives and coal miners and truck drivers and chemists and lawyers and plumbers and priests----all glad, terribly glad to be what they are, terribly glad to be free to work and eat and sleep and speak and love and pray and live as they desire, as they believe!
And those 160,000,000 Americans----those 160,000,000 free Americans----have more roast beef and mashed potatoes, the yield of American labor and land;
more automobiles and telephones
more safety razors and bathtubs
more Orlon sweaters and aureomycin, the fruits of American initiative and enterprise;
more public schools and life insurance policies, the symbols of American security and  faith in the future;
more laughter and song -
than any other people on earth!
This is my answer, Fascist, Communist!
Show me a country greater than our country, show me a people more energetic, creative, progressive -
bigger hearted and happier than our people, not until then will I consider your way of life.
For I am an American, and I speak for democracy.

And I do too, Ms. Evans. 
If you agree, I sure hope you'll pass this on. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Robbed at CVS

I was robbed at a CVS last night. 

Plain daylight. 
5:57 PM. 
Walked right into the deal. 
No one even noticed. 
The gal even told me to "have a good night"-

As soon as I entered the store I realized I had forgotten every coupon that has been snail mailed and emailed to me in the last month. I put two coupons in my purse just last Thursday. I switched purses for the wedding on Saturday...Same ol' story. 

Fact: CVS coupons only appear in your wallet exactly two days after they expire. 

Already feeling a bit sorry for myself, I went on to browse the clearance section. I found a weird blue nail polish that had approximately five days of life left before drying up and some brown shoe laces marked 90% off. I took them both. Never know when you'll meet a troll. 

I'm a sucker for a good sale, and there were yellow sale signs everywhere - from corn chips to envelopes. To get my head in the right place, I had to do a bit of a recap: 

On my list:

1. Face wash
2. birthday card
3. Nail polish remover
4. Alka-seltzer Plus

The problem with a list like that: You have to walk the entire store to find the things you need. Including past the coupon machine that prints all of your potential savings right there in front of you. I don't mean to brag, but my CVS coupon list yesterday was something like two miles long. 

I had work to do. 

Twenty-three minutes later and my CVS basket had graduated from my two bare hands into one of those stupid mini-carts. 

I don't want to sound like a super shopper, but about a month ago I saved something like $4.90 on the coupons I used for denture cream, diapers, solar yard lights, expired Juicy Fruit and a AAA battery. While we're on the subject, how in the heck can I use a single AAA battery?

What should have been a quick trip to CVS turned out to be a 9-bag fiasco that left me stumbling up the steps to my door way. I don't know why, but the super-clearence hardwood floor mops we're entirely too big for the CVS bags they gave me. I had to buy 3 to even save the $.60 - Rude.

I've developed this love/hate relationship with CVS. I generally go there twice a month with an intent to buy one or two things and leave with sale products that I have no absolutely no use for. 

I stood in the check out line last night and the kid behind the counter evaluated my purchases. 

"Looks like a fun night to me," she said, braces and all. 

I looked at the counter: Sharpie markers, a bottle of wine, a bag of CVS pretzels, a flash drive, four greeting cards and a box of hair color. 

"Nope," I responded, half confused, myself. "Just another blog."

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Casually or With Intent

Monday I sat in a frigid ballroom in downtown Nashville, working to keep up with  a presenter who failed to pause at the conclusion of a single sentence. His content was beyond worthy of my time, but his presentation skills were slowly extinguishing the flame born inside me when I learned he was a rural photographer, passionate about telling life's stories by way of camera lens.


The presenter spoke of how he captured such incredible images, and the steps he took to ensure his work - his efforts - were of some sort of value.

I had refilled my water glass twice and collected all of the free Sheridan pens from the middle of the table when a single line from the monotonous presenter ignited an interesting thought. I looked around wondering if I was the only one whose wheels were set into motion by the words. I jotted it down in my iPad:

What an interesting question. It is incredibly simple to lose sight of that in everyday life, and I'm no longer speaking of cameras.

I can recall a very specific time in my life when I was - no questions asked - living casually. I woke daily dreading another mundane day at work. I didn't hate my job but I was bored. And boredom is in fact the desire for desires, according to  Leo Tolstoy. I adored the people I worked with, but I didn't understand how anything I was doing made a difference anywhere but on the bottom line - and that bothered me.

I spent my evenings at the farm having a Budweiser with Dad and tending to our cattle. I don't discount any of those hours; it was then that I recognized the value in treasure hunting and cow paths. Those evenings formed the foundation for this blog.

But the days and nights began to run together and somehow never ended. I stayed up far too late sitting around with friends, old and new in the greater Greens Fork area, reminiscing of days past and wondering how our lives would turn out. Understand: there is no worse gut-check than going through your days wondering how your life will turn out. I was living then; I was in the middle of it.

It was time for a change. I needed intent.

So I began discovering ways to pass on the good things I see or hear. I acquired a camera and never let it leave my side. I realized the value in a good nights rest. My intent became creating a medium to pass on all the great things in this life. This blog was born. 

When you look at your life, are you going through it causally, allowing the important days to pass with an annoyingly packed schedule? What are those busy things that occupy your mind and your energy? How do they infer with your life's intent?

Today I live with the intent to use this medium to translate all of life's best lessons and stories on to you, a group of people I may never have the opportunity to meet. While I'm not always so great at it, it keeps a certain focus in my weeks and definitely has changed my Tuesday nights. And that isn't my only intention. 
I live with the  intent to be a loving, supportive wife and one day a mother. And I'm also with the intent to support and supplement my family and our operation. I also have an astounding intent to vacuum my carpets weekly. But that is so lofty. 

A life lived casually can be a dreadful, dangerous one. Don't just let the days pass. 

The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom. 
Arthur Schopenhauer

Are you living casually or with intent?