Breaking My Radio Silence

Yes, I’m long past due letting you know what’s going on in our brave new How to Photograph Your Life world. I almost feel like I owe everyone I’ve ever known an apology, but not quite. I’ve vanished for while because I needed to, it’s that simple. Big stuff has been going on in our family and we are not through the tunnel yet, but we are getting closer to the light in the distance.

In case you’ve missed my previous blog announcement the Kelsh clan continues to migrate from Philadelphia to the Catskills in upstate New York. The boys started school here at the beginning of September, but mom and dad are still packing and prepping the house in Philly to be sold. We take turns staying with Alexander and Teddy but the progress is predictably slow.

Both places are glorious in their own ways for sure, but it’s time for the change we’ve long wanted to make, from beloved big city to adored country. I say the clan “continues to move” because it’s a work in progress. (I’ve sprinkled in some photos from the new neighborhood to give you a taste.)

It’s a huge dose of stress and limitless complications but we’re plowing ahead anyway despite the requisite insanity. (Fortunately the dread and stress only comes in waves—daily, almost hourly waves, but waves. It took me most of two days to reassemble my computer in an office in New York. I must admit, mine is not exactly the most elegant montage of wires and speakers and audio interfacers and aging adapters and God knows what else. Miraculously, it all seems to be working as the result of some vigorous relaxation breathing exercises. But there are peaceful moments of joy tucked in between, too. Driving the boys the twelve miles of country roads from grandma’s house to their beautiful school is like a meditation for me. I just love it.

It would be an exaggeration, however, to say that the family vote to move was a unanimous decision. Alexander wasn’t dragged screaming to New York, he simply wasn’t speaking to us. It was quite painful for everyone.

But now I’m happy to report that his grades have taken him to the top of his class and although he’s not exactly the captain of the cross country team he’s enormously committed to practice, rain or shine. On a pouring rainy day recently the coach dropped them off seven miles from school and let them run back through the trail in the woods to the warm locker room. His race times may not be perfect but he now has the body of a young Greek god. I can’t believe I’m related to him.

He’s also stuck with the enviable position of trying to figure out which girl to ask to the homecoming dance. (Each of them is more charming than the next. I’m happy to report that the ancient ability of the opposite sex to put a new perspective on the world lives. It’s sweet to watch.)

Also, Alexander attended his first Boy Scout meeting in New York last night. He found the many parts of his uniform among the bomb of clothing boxes so I’m happy to report that his path to Eagle scout has survived. I wondered if the move might be the end of the Boy Scout road for him but he’s embracing the switch to the smaller rural troop.

Teddy, on the other hand, has no time for frivolous boy/girl homecoming dance rituals. He just can’t believe the good fortune of attending a school with a full-sized basketball court, an ultra modern running track, and tennis courts. On a tour of the school last summer he looked out the window at the facilities, took me aside and told me that “this is all I’ve ever dreamt of, Dad.” Teddy’s dreams have come true. (And HIS grades are excellent, too.) And, of course, he continues his soccer career up here in the hills without missing a beat.

The boys and sometimes their parents are living with Anne’s beautiful mother, Linda. There’s no way this would happen without her and Aunt Rebecca and Aunt Katharine who both live nearby. We are so blessed to have so much loving support from them and the nearby cousins.

Probably the most noticeable result of all of this from YOUR perspective is the absence of my Fan Photo of the Day. I’ve just had to give myself a break. We’ve gone back-and-forth more than several times between Philadelphia and the Catskills and it was just too much for me. It will be back, for sure. Thanks for all of your kind words and your patience in the meantime. With my recently untangled computer the words and photos will start to flow again. I’m looking forward to it. It feels so good to be sitting at my keyboard as I write this.

There is a rainbow at the end of the road and we will get there. It’s so beautiful up here, the reminder of why we’re doing this is ever prevalent. Photographing the natural world has astounding healing powers.

When we finally come out of this fog we are going to introduce some new programs and new opportunities for all of you in the How to Photograph Your Life universe.  We treasure the relationship we have with all of you and plan to be better providers of photographic knowledge and inspiration very soon. We’d love to here what you think would be the most valuable thing we could contribute to your photographic life…let us know in the comments below. We look forward to moving forward!

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