Friday, August 20, 2010

Downtown Photo Challenge

My BFF mentioned a photo contest to me at the beginning of summer. I promptly forgot about it until last night. I googled it and found the deadline to be the very next day. I never used to be an under-the-wire kind of person, right?

My entries.

Category: Living City
Living City

Cleveland would be nothing without Clevelanders. Whether it's large scale events, small informal happenings, spontaneous moments on the street, interactions among friends or between strangers... it is people that bring the city to life. Submit your best images of Cleveland's great citizens and visitors to this category.

Catergory: Future Forward
Future Forward
In this category we are looking for images that exemplify growth, optimism and positive change around Downtown. What are Clevelanders doing to make the best of hard times? What types of projects are people taking on? How are businesses weathering the economy? What are people doing to stay positive? Submit your photographs that you feel show a bright future for our city! These shots may be altered to allow for creative expression.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Decade

A decade.
Ten years.
1,200 months.
3,652 days.
520 Saturdays.

10 years ago, the day started off wonderful. Our friends, Bev & Chris got married. The reception, an afternoon affair where Bill was the DJ, was a lot of fun. The party then moved to the hotel where all the out of town guests were staying. In between the reception and the after party, I went over to my parents house to see my Dad. He was miserable. His legs were swollen beyond belief. Cancer had overtaken his body and he could no longer fight. My mom told me she was finally ready to contact Hospice for help.

It was time.

He was trying to rest in the spare room bed, but was very uncomfortable. I leaned in and kissed him goodbye and told him I loved him, as I always did. His voice, barely a whisper, replied, “I know you do, kid.” I laughed and said, “Of course you do.”

I went to the after party, but my heart wasn’t in it, so we headed home. Shortly after 11pm, the phone rang and I was out of bed throwing on shoes before I even said hello.

I knew the time had come.

I don’t remember anything about the drive to my parents house. I don’t know if I drove or if Bill did. I don’t know which roads we took. I know when we pulled in the driveway, I jumped out before the car was turned off.

The next couple of hours were a blur. I think my half-sisters, mom, and Aunt Eleanor held hands and said a prayer. A few of my moms friends came over. Bill and I left shortly after the funeral home came and picked him up.

I do remember the drive home. We took Lakeshore Blvd; about a 15 minute drive. It was well after 3am and all the traffic lights were blinking yellow. Just before we got to the intersection to turn onto our street there was a Walgreens drug store driveway with a stop light. As we approached, the light turned red. We stopped. Out of no-where a large bird walked in front of the car. The light turned green. Bill edged forward. The bird would not move. It looked right at me. I can remember the chills. I know I said, “That’s my Dad.” The light turned red again. The bird looked at me again and flew away.

There have now been ten August 19th’s . I dread each one just as much as the previous year. This day is the hardest. It sucks. The memories are close and the pain is as raw as it was ten years ago. Tears come quick.

The kids and I will go to the cemetery with my mom. My son, my sweet boy, who’s middle name is George after his Grandad, will brush the grass and dirt from the grave as he does whenever he visits. It makes my mom cry even more when he does that. Then he will take my mom’s hand when she tells him it is time to say a prayer. He will say the only one he knows aloud…..”Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. May the angels watch me through the night, and keep me in their blessed sight.”

I know my kids have an angel watching over them through the night, every night.

I miss you Dad. There is a huge hole in our family without you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We Have A Winner

I wrote a little essay for the library writing contest this summer. It won 2nd place. I can't wait to head to Bremec's Garden Center and spend my winnings!

I also won two photo contests this summer.

One for the Great Lakes Medieval Faire.

The other for the Lake Farmpark.

But the best part is that I have people interested in paying me to take pictures! Woo hoo. Maybe, I will finally get paid for doing something I love so much. I feel like I found what I want to do, now I just have to make it happen.

Nothing boosts your self-esteem like a little positive feedback!!