Monday, December 13, 2010

Because of Chris...

In October, one of my friends passed away. His name is Chris. He lived in England and we never met in person. But we shared many things in common and one of those things was photography. Despite being online, he liked his privacy and we never talked about being friends on the message board where we met. Our friendship was private and none of anyone else's business.

When I was recovering from my knee replacement, he sent me English Cadbury. Loads of it. I'm convinced that English and Australian Cadbury has healing powers. His parcel came while I was still in the hospital. I made the kids bring it to me.

Anyway, while I was recovering, I told him that my goal was to get well enough to go downtown and take photos of the historic area of this town, for him. He always had amazing photos of castles and other scenic places in England and from the road trips he took to other countries. The little town I live in doesn't offer much in the way of scenery and my photography is limited to the "fine art" variety, mostly in macro (closeup) and mostly nature-related.

I did go to a place in Illinois that has a castle, back in October, over my birthday weekend. Chris never got to see those photos. By the time I had them uploaded to share, he was in the hospital. He passed away a short time later.

Over the weekend, (December 11th and 12th) we had a huge storm sweep across the Midwest. It dumped a couple of feet of snow up north- even caused the roof of the Minnesota Vikings football stadium to collapse. By the time it hit us, it didn't dump a lot of snow, but it brought bitter cold and 40 MPH gusting winds. Sunday afternoon, the sun came out and right before sunset, I threw dinner in the oven and headed out to a school at the edge of town. Its on a hill and surrounded by open cornfields.

When I reached the car park of the school, it wasn't quite sunset. So I put the camera in macro mode and took some shots of the frozen branches with the orange-sunset light reflecting off the ice. When the wind would gust, I'd turn my back to it and hold my camera close to wait it out.

What's all this got to do with my friend?

Well, as I was trudging through the snow drifts to get close to the branches, trees, and formerly landscaped shrubs, I thought about him and it made me chuckle. I was standing, knee-deep, in snow drifts, with my human knee and the "cyborg" knee, contorting myself at weird angles to get the shot... and all I could think of was Chris seeing those photos and saying, "Good on ya!" or even something ridiculous involving an inside joke we had about my "Cyborg Alien overlords" and how pleased they'd be with my progress. Another thing we had in common- dry humor. Chris had the greatest sense of humor.

I know its a little silly- but along with the smile I had from the thought of my friend (who was the human liaison between the Cyborg Alien overlords), I realized that I was standing there, for over a half hour in the bitter cold, and I wasn't in any extra pain. My gloves failed massively in their job at keeping my hands warm and by the time I got back into my still-running heated truck, Raynaud's Syndrome (one of the things Chris and I had in common) was rearing its ugly head. But my fibro wasn't killing me and I felt pretty good.

And I still miss my friend.

Since I've been going on about the photos, I'm going to share them with you here...

Ice on branches

Iced branches

More iced branches

The setting sun looked great on the ice

I think this is my favorite shot from the macros-

One of my favorites from today

This isn't a macro, I just stood back and zoomed in because I like how the sunlight looked on the ice.

This isn't a macro, I just zoomed in

The sunset- (I took loads more of the sunset, these are just a couple)

And to show how hard the wind was, here's a shot of the snow blowing across the road on my way to the school.

Snow blowing across the road

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