Thursday, May 08, 2008

Car Shows, Graduations, and a GETAWAY


They don’t remember me or know me yet. They're challenging me! In a few months, they’ll be eating out of my hand and patiently posing at the new feeders ;-)

Life has peaked lately, man. I’ve been busier than ever and craving sleep more than I can remember. The Dean of our campus is smitten with the photography on my blog and of the Wildlife Habitat. She dreams that I would be the “campus photographer” for updating the campus websites. Well, heyall yeah! I’ll gladly trade my office job to photograph full-time. Just let them provide me with a brand new digital SLR and I’ll wow them. She asked me to photograph a car show to benefit the auto body students of our transportation technology group last Saturday.




Memories, anyone? Remember the 60’s Stang?

It’s graduation time. I’ve been scrambling to organize a semester’s worth of photos for the Criminal Justice Academy and for my special group of police cadets. The cadets graduate tomorrow but I won’t be there. For them, I sifted through 400 photos and chose 116 to include in the PowerPoint slideshow I just completed yesterday. A chronological story featuring them – from my heart. They know it’s coming and I hope I don’t disappoint them. They’ll see it tomorrow and take a copy home.


A group of eighteen dwindled to eight from January to May. On a cold, early spring morning, I pulled into the parking lot and saw them run, march, and heard their voices sing with the sergeant. Beautiful. Voices strong, bodies tired.

The final eight cadets have nicknames they’ll carry with them through life but they won’t have to carry the blocks any longer. And, if you are wondering, Monique Johnson, a.k.a. Niki Parker, made it to final eight. Makes ma heart warm.


This photo was taken on Monday after Pebbles passed her POPAT (police officer physical agility test), walking off the physical drain on her way to the shower. Only one hurdle left for Pebbles – the State Exam taken yesterday. I’ll miss seeing them graduate but I’ll see all of them again – proudly wearing their police uniform.

At dawn tomorrow, Michael and I will be on the road to Maryland for a few days. Away from the starlings, grackles, job, computer. I'll see Dad. My Dad has been in his nursing home for a year and a half now and doing well, but to be quite honest, it’s depressing and very saddening for me to see him there, in the same bed, in the same wheelchair, in his state of infancy. A little sparkle in his eye will make me smile. If he tells a joke, I’ll hold back a cartwheel and shout out, “You Go, Dad!” I'll be sure to bring him McDonald's french fries and a small piece of chocolate.

We dread leaving the Licker Sisters but their dog sitter is the best. No worries.


But the birds will starve. Shall I hire a bird sitter? Maybe next time…

Thanks for all your visits and comments. Welcome new readers, too. I hope to catch up with all ya’all soon. Next week.


Cheryl said...

Hi Mary....Congrats with your photography, I am not surprised you are so good.
Hope when you see Dad you get that twinkle...daughters and dads eh!!
Have a good trip and safe journey.

Beth said...

the dean of your college must be a very smart individual, your pictures are always fantastic. Enjoy your get away and your dad--the twinkle will be there somewhere.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Have a great time on your getaway Mary. We will miss you but we will look forward to hearing all about your visit with your Dad and all the fun things you get to rest. :)

Anonymous said...

That's great news about the'll love that!! Have a safe trip!


Carol Michel said...

Have a safe trip. I'm sure the birds will "let you have it" when you return, but they'll still come and eat at "Chez Mary" as soon as you put out more food for them.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Mary said...

In case you're thinking I have a photography job to replace my current one - forget it! The Dean has dreams...

Unknown said...

Have a safe trip Mary.

NCmountainwoman said...

You must have some really sophisticated birds. Which ones use the spoon?

Seriously, have a wonderful trip and a good visit with your father. We'll look forward to your return.

KGMom said...

Enjoy the moments with your dad.
As for the birds--well, they will fend for a few days. I suspect your real fear is they will find someone else willing to feed them non-stop and they will clear out of your place. Don't let it worry you; no one cares for them the way you do.

Beth said...

Mary - thanks for the car pics. '67 Mustang was my FIRST....loved that car!

I'm thrilled to know that somebody IRL is recognizing your talent and talking about utlizing that great eye of yours for something in the community. That's awesome news - and a direct result of your blogging, right? YES! Just don't move on to cars and cadets and leave the birds and bostons behind...

Enjoy every minute with your dad. Bittersweet, I know - but a great blessing as well.

much love and wishes for safe travel...

beckie said...

Mary, The hummer-WOW! As are all your pictures. The 'girls' will be spoiled no doubt and maybe if the grackles don't have food they will move on. I'm sure you Dad will be thrilled to see you.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Now they need to pay you photographer's wages! You are sooo good. I do remember the Stags. My brother has a '68 Mustang convertible living in his garage. I remember when he bought it!
So good to see the cadets and Johnson!
Have a safe trip. Seeing your Dad and giving him a hug is worth the long drive.
I will be thinking of you.
Happy Mother's Day.

Debbie said...

Have a safe trip, Mary. The dean is smart...I love your photography.

Kathie Brown said...

Mary, so the hummers are back! I hope you enjoy your visit with your dad and I hope they pay you to take photos! Wow! Have a safe trip and hope to see you soon!

Jayne said...

I know they will all be so touched by your efforts to chronicle their journeys. What a beautifully special thing to do Mary. :c)
Be safe on your journey to see your dad. I know it's bittersweet. (((Mary)))

RuthieJ said...

Hope you have a good and safe trip Mary. I'm sure your dad will appreciate the visit and special treats.
You do have a photographic gift and I'm glad that others realize it also (even though it puts more on your "work plate")
Thanks for letting us know about the police cadet graduation and that Ms. Johnson made it through this tough course. I think we were all pulling for her.

Unknown said...

Yay ~ Goooooooooo Johnson ;-) and congratulations on receiving the Dean's compliments on your photography! We already knew you were's nice knowing someone else IRL appreciates your work too.

Have a safe trip to see your dad.

Jess Riley said...

Beautiful travels!

(And that hummingbird is so sweet! Haven't seen any here yet...)

NatureWoman said...

Yay on your photography, Mary! Yeah, they will want to throw photography into the mix while doing your regular job. That's what I get at work, too.
Hope you have a great trip, Mary!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I know the graduates will appreciate your gift to them, Mary.

I understand the bittersweet time at the nursing home all too well. It is difficult sometimes for us to visit my m-i-l with Alzheimer's.

Have a safe trip.

Peg Silloway said...

Hope you have a safe trip, Mary. It's so tough seeing a parent age, but in both your mind and his there are the pictures of life as it was. Those are the ones that will last.

It must be because you're in Maryland - this morning I had a male rose-breasted grosbeak on the deck. First time I've ever seen one, here or anywhere! He hung on the arm that holds the feeder, then chased a sparrow away as he tried to get seeds. He was too big to bend back to the opening, but that didn't stop him trying! Thanks for bringing him along.

Mel said...

Hi Mary :)
I'm sure they will love your powerpoint presentation!
The cars look very cool, before my time though... lol ;)
Have a great time!! Enjoy your getaway!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats and I think it is amazing that he wants you as a photographer and would be even more amazing if they got you a dslr!

Rose said...

I'm glad someone in your office is recognizing your photographic talent, which all of us readers admired for a long time.
I remember the Mustang well, one of the "cool cars" of the 60's.
Hope your visit with your Dad goes well.

Annie in Austin said...

Many times we know someone deserves to make a living with their art, and wish we could make it happen but don't have the power. Somehow I think that's what is happening with your Dean... she recognizes that in a better-run world you'd be paid to do what you do for your school, and wishes she could make it so.

But if Karma counts, you're sure racking up the points, Mary! Those graduates are very lucky to have a talented documentary maker in charge.

I hope your trip to see your dad goes well.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

We have goldfinches here for the first time ever!! YAY! Philo saw the first hummingbird on the red pineapple sage but I missed it. Darn.

Texas Travelers said...

Hire the bird sitter and tell the dogs I said hello.
Great photos and posts.
When you get back, take a journey with us,

We have posted:
Alaska's Haul Road - The Dalton Highway.
A 414 mile gravel road,
to the Arctic Ocean

Come join us for the trip,
Troy and Martha

Texas Travelers said...

Thanks for the nice comments.
As much as I like spiders, I like them on the web or on the ground and not on me.
Thanks for sharing your story.

Troy and Martha

Alyssa said...

Great car pictures Mary! It would be fun to be the campus photog full time! I'm glad Ms.Johnson made the final 8. I hope she will be able to progress on to becoming an officer.

I can't really imagine how it must feel to see one's father that way. Old age sometimes really sucks and we can do nothing about it! But, to stay positive and keep watching for those hummingbirds!

Donna said...

Your photos are fabulous, Mary, no wonder you were asked to be the campus photographer!
Hope you have a really good visit with your Dad.
Have a good week!

Anonymous said...

Mary, it's no wonder your photos are garnering the attention. Well deserved, young lady!

Larry said...

I love the cars! I used to have some old classic cars but they were never in that good of shape.I miss the styles-Most of the cars are so dull to me now.