Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This is the time of year when the weather of two Zip Codes begins to diverge.  The Northern Zip Code begins a steady decent into the pits of winter.  The South Zip Code dons its beckoning Sunny Smile and says, "Come on down, Yonder Snowbird!"

The winds for which Eastern Idaho is Famous were in full force yesterday blowing steadily in the mid-20 mph range and gusting to 40.  It was the first day of fall so far when the thought of being at Montezuma Well seemed like a Real Good Idea.

Susun spent the day doing what she truly loves to do--fondle photographs.  First, she goes off to a place to make prints from the funky little digital camera cards.  Then she comes home with a giant pile of prints and happily entertains herself for hours fondling photos.  She makes all sorts of albums and mails off prints and is generally filled with the same glee young boys once had when they played around with stacks of baseball cards.  Yesterday, she put together an outstanding album of the Habitat For Humanity Dedication.  She then hand-delivered it to Karen L. along with a CD of 98 photos.  I can only imagine how nice it would be to receive such a great volunteer gift.  I'm sure Karen was thrilled.

People often tell Susun how special her albums are.  it seems these days that few people actually print out any of their digital photos.  Their electronic pictures stayed entombed forever on camera cards or hard drives.  The only way to glimpse them is to sit hunched awkwardly in front of somebody's computer monitor or to squint at a faint, tiny image on the back of a small camera.  Consequently, even though most people take a pretty good amount of digital photos, nobody really ever gets to see them.  That's what makes Susun's hobby of fondling photos special.  She rapidly converts images from "digitals de jour" into good old fashioned 4x6 prints you can hold in your hand and enjoy just like in the Good Old Days BD (Before Digital).

Her love of playing around with 4x6's creates the best of both worlds.  In the BD Days, she would go through seemingly countless rolls of 35mm film, wasting miles of celluloid and costing us hundreds of dollars in prints that were never used.  If she captured 5 good shots on a roll of 24 frames, it was a good day.  It got to the point where I often discouraged her from taking shots I knew she would never use.  Now it's the opposite.  She can shoot to her heart's content--hundreds of photos if she wants.  And I encourage her to shoot more because she can carefully select and print only the ones that are the winners.  She's had perhaps four or five digital cameras and each of them has more than paid for itself by the savings over the former costs of printing 35 mm film into 4x6's.

Speaking of cameras, Susun notched a significant milestone in her Photographer Career last week.  There was a day when she was a total Technophobe.  For years, she avoided digital cameras like that had the bubonic plague.  After Stasea artfully coaxed Susun into using her first digital camera, Susun relied on me and other people to help her with all of the technical stuff.  Gradually that changed and a couple of years ago, Susun began reading the camera manuals and learning how to use all the arcane features.

After her Canon Powershot A1000 bit the dust in San Diego, I bought her a hot rod Samsung with dual LCD screens front and back.  One day, she announced she didn't like that camera and that I could take it back--she had gone to Wally World and selected and bought her own!  Folks, that's huge!  She did all her own shopping and evaluated various cameras and made her own selection based on her particular wants and needs.  I didn't have to do a single thing.

Meanwhile, she brought it home, learned all by herself how to mess with the lithium battery and the card.  She spent two days mastering the other bells and whistles and I didn't have to utter a single word of advice or caution!  I must say the rig she picked out is perfect for her and the lith-ion battery charger even fits in her small camera case!

I said it above and I'll say it again here--this was a huge milestone for Susun and she deserves a collective round of virtual applause.  Way to Go, Sweetie!

During the past few days, I've been thinking a lot about "five years ago."  You know people tend to think in terms of "one, five, ten, twenty, 25 and 30 years ago" and so forth?  Five always seems to be a magic number for thinking of what was happening 60 months ago.

The Year 2005 was the proverbial "long and winding road" kind of a year.  One of these days, I'll have to try to summarize that pivotal year.  Five years ago today we were arriving back at Montezuma Well with the determined and focused intention of putting our place up for sale.  It was a huge and breath-taking step in our lives, one which obviously led to giant changes in our lifestyle.  I'll never forget the feelings of trepidation and the sheer overwhelming weight of impending responsibility as we drove up to our straw house five years ago today.  WOW--so much has happened since then--sometimes it seems like a blur.

Have a great day & Many Cheers, jp

1 comment:

Maggie said...

What Susun does IS special. I will print out photos, too, but it's a rare thing that she is doing for people. It's like my mom - she's one of the few people I know that still sends letters. She writes leters every day and when she was here this summer, would get 2 or 3 letters in the mail box. Real letters! Not junk mail. Amazing.