Industrious Kids

As anyone who follows my blog knows, I have not been posting much lately. It is hard to explain but right now I just feel so old and worn out and basically overwhelmed with trying to keep everything in order. I am a perfectionist, so that means my house, yard, etc, needs to look nice and well-kept and I am the one everyone is relying on to get it done. Lately the physical stamina it takes has waned a little,especially since I had 5 stents put in last summer and I get overwhelmed thinking about everyone that relies on me. Now you might wonder what on earth was all that about? Well its just a little insight into why not many photos are happening for me right now. We had what I consider to be one of the prettiest snow storms this week and the trees were covered in cotton candy like fashion for well over a day. All that time I usually would have been running ragged trying to capture it, but this time I just sat at home thinking that is really pretty, yet I could not find the enthusiasm to go shoot. The above photo was taken while I was working and I happened to spot this scene on the back roads.

It is a group of one room school kids who seemed to be having a snowman building competition. There were at least 6 snowmen, and all were tall and each had a group working to outdo the others. I love this image because I not only captured a unique moment but I got to see some genuine ingenuity by young children. First the group on the right had to make a second giant snowball so they could then place a chair on it to give the young lad a platform to hand snowballs to the leader. Thankfully I still get a rush when I spot things like this and capture special moments. As Bette Davis famously said,” old age is not for sissies”, and I already feel like its going to be a problem for me but we are all in the same boat I guess. like that is any relief. When I was young I had all the time in the world, and in the blink of an eye, I see my own demise on the horizon. Sometimes I think there is a link between creativity and depression, and when I see people like Thomas Kincade or Robin Williams who both killed themselves, I see similarities in how I feel when my creativity is low and my very essence seems to be lost. You look at gifted people like that and wonder how is it possible they don’t see themselves as gifted or blessed, but the drive to create can also be a burden at times. Hopefully future posts will be a little lighter reading than this one was.

33 responses to “Industrious Kids

  1. Perhaps looking through your work and at the beauty that you captured will help. We are here but for a short time. And you have helped others really slow down and appreciate that beauty. Thank you Don.

  2. You’re photos are always so beautiful. This one shows the creativity that children have when working together to produce something fun! Take time Don to relax and have fun. Life is too short!

  3. Loved the picture. You can almost see them rushing as they compete. Also, good to read your open comments about where you are at this point in your life. Jesse has always believed it’s important for men to be more open, partly because there is a lot of loneliness in the way we operate now.

  4. Today is my 66 th Birthday and the saying about old age is true. Winter weather is not the best for those with arthritis, but this scene made me smile despite all my painful joints. Thank you for the gift! May spring come soon and bring sunshine and warmth for everyone’s spirits to lift.

  5. That is an AMAZING photograph!
    Reminds me of a Norman Rockwell magazine cover!
    And for what it’s worth….. I liked your post today. It’s real. And many of us feel the same things. Helps us know we are not alone.

    • There was a day not too long ago I would never have bothered even speaking a word on such things. I am an only child and in my case I think growing up with a Marine as a father taught me to handle things by myself, be self reliant and don’t bother others with your problems. There are pluses and minuses to being an only child and independence and knowing you are the one that has to figure things out is something I am glad to have. As I get older I realize a lot of people suffer from things the same as I do and being quiet about is not helping really, although I am not a talker at my core, and thats just in my DNA. thanks

  6. Donald from someone who is an mood altering drugs — there’s nothing wrong with reaching out for help from your family doctor or a psychiatrist! I’m worried about you and am praying for this ‘season’ to pass for you!


    Karl Peifer

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Thank you Karl. I have experienced the entire gamut on a couple medicines. First med was almost 30 years ago trying prozac and all was great till one morning I sat straight up in bed to hear what I call the most intense evil voice talking from outside my body into my ear telling me to end it right then and there. It was relentless and I told my wife, do not leave me alone and thankfully it happened one single time. It was right after that the commercials were on tv telling about the side effects of suicide in young people. That did it for meds for 20 years and then people kept telling me to smile all the time, which I found strange,but I knew I could be very explosive and anger was almost an everyday feeling, so I finally got brave to try something again. Found a great one, but it proved to be too costly, then tried my current one which has made me more able to be kind and considerate. I still have some stretches were I feel like what I think normal people feel like and then days where worrying gets me more than I wish. Recently I had about a two week period where my wife saw the guy she married and I felt like who I knew I really was was shining through, but then that waned a bit and great things that I would say or do subsided somewhat. Brain chemistry is a very complicated thing and the fact I had three concussions early in life does not really help. thank you for your kind words.

  7. Donald, I am a follower and so enjoy your photos. This one in particular with all of it’s industry and energy and vibrant youth is so lively and joyful. All the things you are not feeling at the moment. Sometimes we just need to fill our creative wells. Just soaking in the beauty without capturing it. I find March to be a very difficult time to get through. I feel like this last bit of dormancy of the soul is just part of the cycle of returning to the growing season with full force. Take good care of yourself. Looking forward to more of your inspired images when you are ready to make some more. Best, Catherine

  8. Nothing anyone can say is going to change everything like magic. I’ve been there for a long, long time and know what you’re feeling, its a nightmare but its our own creation. Depression is like an intricate maze-I hope you keep looking for the exit. Great photo by the way.

  9. THANK you for the beauty you do bring to others. Your photography is appreciated whenever and however you feel up to it. It is a gift. And I totally get what you mean about creativity and depression. I want you to know that your photography has so inspired me that my daughter and I are flying to NY to meet up with a friend and her daughter to then road tripping together through Lancaster. I directed her to your work about a year ago and we decided to plan this trip and tix are booked for this August. All from your photography.

    • thank you very much. I like the backroads around Intercourse and Strasburg but I sometimes just drive anywhere. Sunday mornings are usually a good time to see Amish walking to their farm services and that happens from like 730am to 9am. I usually just criss cross roads till i finally see a convergence of sorts. you could simply pull off the road and watch them go by if you have a chance. Obviously a scene can look great one day and average the next but if there is anything you want to see first hand that i shot,let me know and i can try to give you a road name.

      • Oh boy, that could be a long list! Right off the top of my head, I’d love to know where the trail to Gnome Village is. And there’s a red barn you photograph a lot. I’d have to look back through your posts to pinpoint it. Also, the sunflower fields. Thanks!

      • the gnome village is behind my house in Akron along the rail trail. I am about ten miles from Intercourse, which is basically the middle of Amish country. Another little town near me is Lititz, which was voted americas coolest small town a couple years ago. There is also the Strasburg railroad where you can take a steam engine ride across the Amish countryside.

      • Thank you! Yes, all of these are on the list. Can’t wait to see the gnome village! I initially wanted to travel through the area during Farm Days because of your series of photos last summer but, unfortunately the dates didn’t work for the friend I’m travelling with. I’m so looking forward to this trip all inspired by the magic you share in your photography.

  10. Take care Reese and have time for self to heal. I am sure others will step up to the plate once you take a step back. 5 stents – no joke! You really need to rest up first and once better, you can beaver about again. Take care.☺🤗

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