If you were ever a Girl Scout, you undoubtedly recognize those lyrics. I remember the beauty of that song sung a capella and in round by young girls at camp, many moons ago. And really they have been a theme for my life. Every year I attended a different school until I reached middle school. There have been many other good byes and "start overs" in my life and sometimes making friends has been hard. Generally I have been on the fringe in life, hanging on the edge, not quite in the inner circle - too quiet, too smart/nerdy, too conservative, too intense - fill in the blank. My Mom had many a wet shoulder consoling me through the years. But those experiences taught me to choose genuine people to develop friendships with.
One of the hardest parts of moving to California, was leaving behind the sisterhood of friends I had developed at Northwest Pediatrics/Madrona Medical Group. Nurses and medical staff work together through a lot of stress to get the job done and the bonds created in camaraderie are strong. I don't regret coming here with Hubby, because he is my home, but I do miss those friends. And when I go back to visit, it is hard. You can't just drop by in the middle of a busy medical schedule to say hi - well, you can but you get in the way. So, it has been 5 years or more since I have seen many of the people dear to me, but each visit home I try to visit my friend J. J is a "golden" friend.
J is one of the nurses I worked with for about 9 years at Northwest Peds. At first we knew each other in passing and then circumstances brought us closer. One year J had a heart attack and since, at that time, I was working part time for Dr. K and part time on the desk, I was chosen to fill in for her doctor. Not an easy job working for a perfectionist doctor. Not an easy job filling J's shoes! Praise God, J survived and healed and returned.
Somewhere along the line, I began photographing her children's weddings. I have enjoyed and been challenged by photographing 4 of her 6 children's' weddings and twice I have done family pictures with the whole big group. In spite of one of her sons being grumpy :o) about smiling in the pictures, it has been fun. Through the years I saw her family grow and change. One of the things I found satisfying about my years in pediatrics (as opposed to my other experiences in ob/gyn, family practice and various specialties), was the relationship you develop with your patients, seeing them change and grow and getting to know some of them personally due to the nature of frequent pediatric visits. I experienced that same joy photographing her family and then remaining friends. Now one of the children from the first marriage I photographed is a teenager! And two of the girls from that marriage are identical twins born during the blizzard, the same night I met Hubby online! None of us will forget that night! :o)
August tenth unfolded the next chapter in our friendship. K and B, the two girls whose weddings I photographed were there with their children. J whose wedding I also photographed, was there with his children. All our children played together, just as if they always knew each other. Kids can be mean, it's true, but they also have an amazing capacity to expand their play realm to include others. It wouldn't surprise me if they didn't even know each others' names - they just get down to the important stuff - PLAYING! Discernment is a good thing, but maybe we adults should loosen up and learn a few things from our children!
He wasn't quite sure what to think of me with the camera, but watched from his safe position.
L has a big sister named E who has all kinds of adventures that her Mommy shares with us via email. When I took this picture she hadn't decided yet what to think about me.
This picture cracks me up. L looks a lot like his Grandma's side of the family and I thought it was funny to get them both in profile, but looking opposite directions.
Sharing a special moment with Grandma.
L is admiring his Papa! Here J is with her Hubby M. They have been married almost as long as I have been alive! Together they have a wonderful family and homestead.
L and E are the children of M and J's youngest daughter B and her great Hubby T. E was still not real sure - can you see that the tears are not too far away.
Apparently L just wanted to see Grandma's face. I kept shooting. There were giggles and it was cute.
My girls had fun playing with E. They're in a blur because they are running circles around one of the vehicles. Hey, whatever gets the energy out! LOL Remember I have city kids. They were so happy to get out on the farm and play.
I went to the other side to capture the kids' faces as they watched and fed the birds. Unbeknownst to me, there was a peacock roosted above me and when he jumped down noisily in front of me, I must have jumped ten feet! J got a good laugh at my expense! LOL
Oops! They caught me. Now we became the villains in their play drama. A was right in the midst of all the boys, happy as a clam. J is a bit overwhelmed when we are with a lot of people so she watched with me.