A Year of Stories

stories 2017 - week 1 by Carey Pace

We knew when we agreed to move here that we were risking forsaking childhood memories of snow. Further east, lower elevation, and less mountainous. All things working against the gift of mighty snowstorms. We knew there were years, sometimes seasons of years, where this new place went without snow at all.

I bought the gear anyway. I always have, every year in new sizes. Always a gamble whether it would go unused.

Insulated boots to keep toes warm. Rugged snow bibs (not just pants where the snow surprises you going down your backside). Special gloves that go up to your elbows so they don’t come loose while you play. Thermal under layers both thin and warm. I never want them to know the feeling of frozen AND wet.

The risk has paid off. Two snowstorms last year each gave us more than we’d ever seen in Tennessee. And now, last Saturday morning we awoke to a Narnian wonderland.

This post is part of a collaborative photography project with 14 other artists.  Visit the group here. Tomorrow I'll share sunset of this snowstorm gift. 

The Boy came down with a mysterious illness Friday evening that only shares the symptom of a fever.  Most unfortunately he just didn't feel well when we went out to play and head in early ahead of all of us.   

a year of stories - 39 of 52 by Carey Pace

*This post is part of a collaborative project - a year of stories shared by a group of 15 photographers every Tuesday in 2016.  Please visit my fellow Virginian TESS RUNION after you read this post to continue the circle.*

There is a perfectionism that causes you to strive for excellence in what you do.  And then there is a perfectionism that whispers doubt in your ear every second you turn around.  It is an insidious companion, for you rarely even realize his presence despite the evidence of it surrounding you always. 

I had initially decided I'd not participate this week.  I didn't have time to work up a STORY.  

But as I was about to brush past this item on my to do list for Monday, I realized I DID have images.  I just didn't have ALL of the images from these days edited.  To tell the PERFECT STORY. Portrait images paired together perfectly. Context images to set the scene. Sequence and angle and progression. It was just a smattering.  

So yes, I could create a much better post than this one.  But sometimes DONE is better than PERFECT.  Today, I share images from our last couple weeks.  Just us. Just life.  Imperfect.  But shared.  And sometimes, perhaps most of the time, that is better than not done at all.  

a year of stories - 36 of 52 by Carey Pace

*This post is part of a collaborative project - a year of stories shared by a group of 15 photographers every Tuesday in 2016.  Please visit ALLISON GIPSON after you read this post to continue the circle.*

For months she's brought up the hopes of rearranging her bedroom.  

For months, I've dodged, weaved, distracted, redirected, and any other -ed word you can think of in the hopes she'd forget it or change her mind. 

I can't quite put my finger on why the interior of my home matters so very much to me.  I don't know if it was that I grew up poor in a home that I choose to describe here as 'not decorated' or if it boils down to my personality type whose emotions are so deeply affected by my surrounding environment.  How a space FEELS is immensely important to me.  I've tried to temper that and be rational about what we've purchased over our adult lives, but learning the techniques of interior design, arranging, color theory, etc. have been areas I've researched.  I wanted to know how to make my spaces fuel me and create a haven of refuge for our family without wasting ten tons of money.  

I can't tell you how many times my husband and I have had a vehement discussion about NOT butting furniture up against each other.  He sees no problem with it and I'm screaming THAT IS NOT AESTHETICALLY APPEALING. THERE MUST BE SPACE.    Alas... 

So, when she started peppering our conversations with her plans for how she wanted to move the furniture in her room, I cringed internally.  She wanted the bed up against the wall -- I hate beds up against the wall.  It's ugly and it makes making the bed sooooo much harder.  She wanted other pieces in her room up against each other.  We'd already screwed the lamp into the wall.  We'd already hung up all the wall art.  This ruined everything.  

I didn't say those things to her, of course, and I tried so hard not to reveal my true feelings.  As she continued to bring it up, I realized the desire wasn't going to disappear.  It was time to let her do with her room what I've always let her do with her clothes.  I never struggled much with the clothes, and her room is only seen by us as her family so I'm not sure why it has been so hard for me to let go of what I felt was her beautiful little girl bedroom.  But it is HERS, not mine, and should reflect who she is in this moment to the best of our ability.  

So on our day off from school for Labor Day Monday, we pulled out the sliders and moved things around.  

She is in love.  

My heart died a little with the bed in the corner.  In front of the window.  My heart died with the cubby shelf thing right up against her dresser.  But she loves it, and that's really the whole point.  

I had a pom pom I had tried to hang pompoms with 3M command hooks a while back but some of them fell off the walls.  As a means of just getting it up off the floor, I connected it to one of the hooks remaining on the wall. I figured I'd reassess the pom pom situation when we redid the wall art once we were SURE this was the final arrangement.  But I'd pulled my ribbon basket upstairs for some reason and she saw all my ribbon.  She had an idea and asked if she could use my ribbon.  I told her she could go for it.  This was all completely her idea. After some struggles to get the ribbon to stay put, I showed her how to double it up and pull the tails through, and she was all set.  

The next morning when the sun rose through her window as I woke her for school, and I saw that beautiful light shining through all that ribbon, I, too, fell in love with her new room.  

I'm so glad I let go of my own control and let her take the reins of her space. 

*This post is part of a collaborative project - a year of stories shared by a group of 15 photographers every Tuesday in 2016.  Please visit ALLISON GIPSON after you read this post to continue the circle.*