July 4, 2013: Celebration Turned to Sadness… No Pictures to Say the Least

When Michelle Obama remarked, ““For the First Time in My Adult Lifetime, I’m Really Proud of My Country,” members of the American status quo went ballistic. The American status quo simpy cannot imagine any American not actually “feeling” like an American. Apparently, it is un-American to not “feel” like an American in spite of all that America may have done to you, continues to do to you or its failure to always regard your citizenry as an important part of the fiber that makes America great.

Yesterday was the Fourth of July, 2013. When I awoke, one of my early thoughts was to install American flags on the windows of my truck. It was America’s birthday and time to celebrate. I thought of the pictures that I would take and of the settings required for proper exposure and the desired effects. I thought of my husband’s late night toil over his grills, time with my family and the walk up the hill at the end of the day to view the fireworks. Ah, the fireworks… the best part of the Fourth of July. Nothing, however, is more amazing than the looks on my daughter’s face as the explosions change color and change shape in mid-air.

Viewing last night’s fireworks show with my family was especially difficult. I was uncomfortable because I had no answers to the my daughter’s question of, “Mommy, what does that word mean?” The word that she was referring to was the racial slur that we were called both as we walked to the top of the hill to watch the fireworks and as we sat. “Niggers!” The people on the back and inside the pickup truck yelled at us. They circled the area at least three times and yelled the obscenity. My husband, the retired Marine, was furious. “When does it end?” He questioned, and my heart sank…both for him and my daughter.

It’s typical for someone who does not share my lineage to remark, “Why not just ignore it?” or “Don’t let it bother you.” People really have no idea how the slur affects a person whose lineage includes the denial of basic human rights, lynchings, senseless killings, rape, people being burned alive and many other forms of brutality when the slur has been used. Someone who does not share my lineage does not realize that the slur/title has affected the entire socioeconomic ability of my group and as such, cannot simply be “ignored.”

I did not take any pictures. My mind was scattered. I learned at a very early age that when a group of people in a pickup truck call you a “nigger” it is best that you be on guard.

So when Michelle Obama remarked, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country,” after her husband won the election, I understood. I understood what she meant at that time and I still understand. I didn’t “feel” very American last night as the word “nigger” always carries the implication that this is not my country, too. Perhaps when I figure out a way to shelter and protect my children from this senselessness I will go back to “feeling” American (in spite of having been born here).

Happy Birthday America. Perhaps I will feel more American and will be able to take pictures next year.

Not part of today’s plan…

There’s something freakishly convenient about the camera on my iPhone. It’s more readily available than my Nikon. I have no problem with keeping it on my lap or on the console of my car. My Nikon, not so much. I handle my Nikon with the care of a mother handling her newborn child. My iPhone has the freedom of a 19 year-old with keys to a Ferrari while the Nikon peers out the window waiting patiently until I take it out to play. Freedom comes at a price…a much cheaper price. My iPhone was acquired a la upgrade privilege from Sir AT&T and cost less than dinner with my husband at the local pizza parlor while my bouncing baby D700 came at the tally of one month’s mortgage for me and a gal pal. Yes, I mean two mortgages.

Something’s gonna have to give. My paparazzi senses start tingling and I immediately reach for my iPhone. If I waste one moment thinking about grabbing the Nikon, the iPhone misses the shot. I can only relate this to tattling on my brothers when I was a child – if one suffered, we all suffered. There was really no point in tattling unless I too, wanted to suffer the wrath.

I’ve been thinking about bringing home a new “baby” to give the D700 some freedom but I’m not sure if I want to give up my own freedom. Okay, so I’m starting to understand why some people only want one child. I’m also starting to appreciate why someone would purchase a fancy car, spend a mint on it and not drive it daily. I don’t think that I want more responsibility and I don’t think that my Nikon wants to be dangling out of a window like a reckless teenager.

I reckon the iPhone will be my adrenaline junkie, GXS-R roadie and partner in roller coaster chasing. The Nikon will be spared and savor es for finer things.

(Snagged these on I95 with the iPhone today)




A moment in time…

…taken with my iPhone

This is a photo of a project that I finished with my husband. I found the idea on Pinterest and have no idea why the thought of trailing my family’s photos down a wall never occurred to me. My husband handled the hammer and nails, and I only needed to tell him where I wanted him to hang the frames. Once the frames were mounted, I selected the photos in which to fill the frames. Simple enough, right? Wrong. It was one of the most tasking emotional experiences that I’ve had since my husband and I decided to make a life together. Photos have a way of taking you right back to a moment in a way that the memory simply cannot perfect. I cried as I selected my photos. The photos date back to when my husband and I were dating, include the birth of our daughter and various family Christmases. I can now relive the amazing life that I have built with my family everytime I walk down the stairs.

Purchasing a camera is probably one of the best decisions that I have ever made. A camera doesn’t just capture the happiest moments of your life. It reminds you of how blessed you are even when you’ve forgotten to be thankful for you life.

Do I Look Suspicious?


May God have mercy and patience with the rage and anger that Trayvon Martin’s parents must be experiencing. Who knew that Walking While Black could ever be so deadly? Armed with a bag of Skittles and a can of Amazon iced-tea, Trayvon Martin’s life was cut short after his girlfriend told him to run upon reporting to her that he was being followed. Many will say that this was not an act of racism or a hate crime. However, when you’re part of a culture that has been enslaved, abused, hanged, lynched and set on fire and the perpetrators always happen to be of the hue responsible for all of the aforementioned atrocities committed against your people, race comes into play.