The Good Stewards

Been quite a while since I posted anything new but we got a decent clinging snowstorm yesterday and I actually made the effort to find a shot. This farm is a place I have photographed many times over the years but it has new owners now and they have made a lot of improvements to bring this property back to its former glory and have really been incredible stewards of this place. When it was listed for sale, I was hopeful that it would end up with a family that appreciates its unique qualities and I honestly cannot imagine anyone caring more for it then the new owners. From fresh paint, to a new picket fence, to fixing the crumbling stone wall by the red barn, each improvement has been noticed by the dozens of cars that travel the road each day which bisects the main house and the barns. To travel the road today, one would wonder why on earth would they put a road right down the middle of the property, but I imagine back in the good old days this road only saw the occasional horse and buggy.

For folks that follow my work you certainly have heard me mention my depression before and how it has really put the brakes on my photography and many other things I enjoy. I think my medicine plays a big part in not only reigning in my negative thoughts but also hamstringing anything that I enjoy as well. My father passed away a few months ago and despite the fact that I literally only cried once, I seem to be struggling more since then, and coping with things that seem simple to others has become like an anchor around my neck. I constantly go online looking for anything that can help me make sense of why this is so relentless. I understand self diagnosis on the net is not a good thing but I recently took an online test to see if I might be suffering from one of the major recognized afflictions in the DSM handbook. I completed the test and the highest score range was 26-33 labeled as severe, and of course I had a 34 as my result. It was quite eye-opening to see certain behaviors listed and I could say that is me to a T.  While brain chemistry is a huge part of depression, the test talked a lot about things that I could relate too in my childhood and it seems that even though I feel like that’s ancient history, I am starting to wonder if stuff like that just sits in your periphery and gnaws at you in the sneakiest of ways?  I have had days where someone may make a seemingly insignificant comment to me and that leads to this cascade of really intense negative thinking that drives me to the very edge of life itself. Then within a couple of hours or the next day I find myself in a better state of mind and glad that I am still around. I still have a certain amount of guilt for not shooting and posting very often right now but no amount of will power overrides the subconscious thoughts for me. This morning I went back to bed three times in 30 minutes because my brain kept telling me it’s not worth the effort. Well I managed to go out and get a shot so there is a glimmer of hope. I hope those that enjoy my work can read the above and understand why I am so absent here right now. I hope to see an expert sometime soon who hopefully can offer some thoughts and confirm if my self diagnosis is on target or not.

Welcoming Home

This old farm-house has been lovingly cared for by the owners for as far back as I can remember and since I only grew up about two blocks from here I saw it pretty often. It is hard to tell that it sits on a hill but way back in my youth the Boro used to actually block off this street for us kids to sled down. I told the owners I would be doing a photo outside in the rain so they turned all kind of lights on for me. I finished up and went to say goodbye and they asked if I wanted to see their Christmas tree?  Well being the nostalgic old-timer I am, I took a look and decided I just had to try to capture the magic. Again they were very accommodating because I noticed the hardwood floor was very reflective but there was an area rug covering most of the nice wood, so we moved the rug out and got this great reflection across the floor. Imagine a snowy winter night outside and you are snuggled up on the chair with visions of candy canes dancing in your head.

Almost Run Over

One of my Christmas images from this year and it was almost my last too. The area where the tree is situated is an island in this small town and occasionally a car will make a loop around the island. I was facing toward the camera and was standing right beside the curb when a car blows by me no more than a foot away. I am positive they never saw me in my black sweatshirt, so someone was watching over me that evening.