Oh my goodness, this was the craziest morning I’ve had in a long time. First off, Bella decided to chase the chickens that got their little butts out of their pen. In a successful attempt to get away, the chickens went under the fence from the backyard into the pasture. Pearl, my mini donkey, did not like that one bit! She chased them and I was so scared she was going to stomp on them! I got inside as fast as I could to retrieve a towel so I could pick them up. When I got to the pasture, the poor little chicks had their heads in between the water troughs and the fence as if to say, “if I can’t see you, you can’t see me!”. I picked them up one at a time and walked them around, through the gate, to their pen in the backyard. Once I had them all back in their pen, I finished watering the horses, watered the chickens, and started watering the garden. Having a bucket full of tomatoes is a luxury but I didn’t harvest much from the other plants. All I got from them was one banana pepper, one okra, and one squash. This heat is so hard on the plants!
While this cutie patootie cuddles against me and sleeps soundly, I can’t nap! Having her pressed up against me so hard is uncomfortable but I can’t bare to wake her. She’s only 6 months old, is still a little turkey, but she tracks animals like a pro. I am so glad we have her! Here’s a little throwback to when she was a blue eyed baby.
Many of you may not know, I have a form of muscular dystrophy known as Facioscalpulahermal Muscular Dystrophy. It affects a variety of body parts and, essentially, causes my muscles to deteriorate. There are certain standards people have set for others to be accepted into society. I have never been accepted into society. Even before my dystrophy began affecting me, I danced to my own beat, and have always been unique. Since this challenge has entered my life, I have done things even more differently than before. It takes me a few more steps to accomplish things than others. Sometimes, I need to place something on a chair, in order to pick it up. Other times, I need to get on top of a counter, so that I can carry the weight of dish ware on my scrawny shoulders and arms. Having muscular dystrophy sucks but it’s helped me gain patience with myself and others.
This makes every day a challenge, from carrying in laundry from the line, putting away dishes, and hurrying to the car. Hurrying is not in my vocabulary. If I attempt to speed walk or, RUN (haha very funny), I will end up falling. My legs do not cooperate as quickly as my mind tells them to. Some days are great and I accomplish goals I set for myself. Other days, however, are a battle between my body and my mind. Today, was a good day. I carried in huge bags of dog food,
carried feed to the pasture, and carried in a load of heavy jeans. Most people would be able to do all of this without a problem; quickly and efficiently. However, I am not most people. I do things differently and that’s okay. Take the laundry, for example, 14 pairs of jeans gets really heavy, so I decided to take two trips. No shame in that, right? I carried about eight pairs in one arm and went back for the rest in the laundry basket. Carrying the pairs of jeans in my arm was much less difficult than carrying the laundry basket. Why, you ask? Because I had a free arm without the laundry basket and I could hold onto the gate rail while I went up the steps to the house. It’s amazing what a difference one free arm and a little bit of leverage will make. Anyhow, here’s a picture of some of those jeans I laid over the gate while I went to retrieve the rest from the clothes line.
This all relates to photography because sessions take a lot out on their photographer and the subject. It’s exhausting! However, when in the moment, fatigue, pain, sweltering or freezing weather does not phase me. I think about Sally Mann and her documentation of her husband’s deteriorating muscles. How beautiful and heart breaking her series was. She witnessed her husband becoming frail and stuck by him through it all. She is my favorite photographer, for this and many other reasons. I want for my spouse to see me as a beautiful being, no matter the state of my body. I am doing what I can, now, in my youth, to preserve the strength and endurance that I have. I will not bow down to other’s expectations of how to handle this disease. I will continue defying muscular dystrophy and fighting this battle, because I refuse to lose.
These beautiful babes are my niece, Gracie, and my nephew, Denton. During the week after his birth, his mom and I wanted to document his smiles and wide eyes. Big sister wanted to be a part of the session, as well, and this loving gaze takes the cake. During the rest of the session, Gracie comforted her baby brother with a special song and kind words. She says “he’s like an angel” and sings a song she wrote herself, “I love my baby Denton, I love my baby Denton”. Oh, how full of love are these simple words. Her admiration of her brother pours out and is so evident. I love that I am able to capture the interaction between these two. At only four years old, Gracie, is a very concerned and loving big sister. Denton’s admiration and wonder at his big sister is evident in this image, as well. I am so excited to capture the mile stones in these siblings’ lives.
Here is an image of the clouds rolling in over Tucker Lake at Palo Pinto Mountains State Park.
It’s been raining around here today and I forgot how different the reaction is out here from where I’m, originally, from. In the metroplex, people see rain and say, “aw man, my day was just ruined.” and they feel the need to go crawl in a hole for the entire day. Out here, it is so different. We are so grateful to our Lord for the nutrition rain brings to our land! Our animals’ troughs are full, the gardens have been fed, and the rain barrels are full. Praise The Lord! Just when it was getting to a scary point in our drought, The Lord provided just what we all needed. Say no to those nay sayers of rain.
In fact, embrace the beauty that entails every thing people put a negative spin on. Do people tell you you can’t do something? Go out there and prove them wrong! You may not do things exactly the way they would, but by golly, you’re getting it done!
Take my photography, for example, I am in a group with a few people that have muscular dystrophy and are amazing photographers! Most people with physical disabilities would say “I could never do that.” but they can! There are so many people in this world that are proving the world’s assumptions wrong! Go out there and DO YOUR THANG! no matter what anyone else says.