Sunday, August 16, 2009


If you've been following along on facebook, you'll know that a few important things in my life have ceased functioning.

The repair guy told me my laptop is irrepairable. Nothing he can do with it. My backup plan was to take the three desktop computers over to a guy who rebuilds computers as a hobby and ask him to put together a Super computer for me. But Clint withdrew his not-working computer from the pool and then Max did too. (Leaving me with the 10 year old one Drew and I share that has no memory, a sticky keyboard and the inability to stay connected to the internet.)

Do I really need a computer?

And then, on Wednesday, when I had it all set up to take staff head shots with my camera for our website that I am now in charge of updating, it started going psycho on me. The camera. Not the website. (Although that could happen too.) I would take one pic and then I'd get the Err99 message. So I'd turn off the camera. Count to 2 and then turn it back on again. Repeatedly. Over and over again. Annoying. And a little bit scary because I didn't know what Error 99 meant.

I phoned Canon on Friday and Error 99 meant that I had to take my camera in for servicing but because my camera is already an antique in terms of technology...
(The closest approved Canon service centre is in Mississauga, Ontario and I should expect to be cameraless for 6 - 8 weeks.)

Just before I hung up, the Canon girl said to me in her cute french accent, "check to see if you get the error message if you use other lenses". And know what? I think the problem is my zoom lens. Maybe keeping it stored in a sock isn't the best idea? Or maybe it's just tired of taking pics.

Do I really need a zoom lens?

Now. I don't want to say that photography or writing are the most important things in my life. But not having access to a computer so that I can download pics or blog about my day? Yeah. It sucks.

And I wonder if I'm supposed to fast from these things that bring me joy. Have I been grounded? Am I to look into more /holy/healthy/relational ways to spend my downtime?

Drew, Max and I all got home at roughly the same time last night, and I got all tense in my stomach knowing that if I wanted to get on the computer, one of them would have to share. I snuck onto facebook for about 10 minutes and then I got bumped. It was only midnight and I had thoughts, man. Things to think about with my fingertips. (I'd been to church - and for the first time in 18 months, I sat beside someone who wanted to sit beside me. Marj came to Northview with me and I had forgotten how awesome it feels to have a friend share a pew with you. AND on top of that, I realized how much I love having someone to talk to about the sermon afterwards. Enthusiastically talk about the preachin'.)

Anyways, I wanted to explore those thoughts for awhile and edit some pics I took on Friday night. One of Sandra's friends got married in a backyard, low-key wedding, and she asked me to come by and take some photos. Sandra asked. Not the bride. The bride didn't care. Photos, flowers, chairs and decorations were not on the bride's agenda for the evening. She just wanted to get married.

Sandra the wedding planner had a vision and a plan though. And part of that plan involved me and my camera. (Which you will remember from earlier in this post, is/was not cooperating with me.) So I borrowed Clint's new camera as well as Sandra's zoom lens and took 1000 pictures on 2 different cameras using 4 different memory cards. (Why so many memory cards? Because I haven't had a secure place to download my New York, Alaska or Creationfest photos.) I keep uploading them onto various computers so that I can see them (and blog them) but I haven't had access to a computer long enough to edit them and save them to my external hard drive. So, those memory cards? Are almost full (I have 20g's of memory on 6 cards.)

And know what? I HATE THAT ALL MY IMAGES ARE MIXED UP MESSES ON 6 CARDS IN NO ORDER. This is not the way I handle photos, people. No it is not.

H'anyWAY... in case you're wondering how the wedding turned out, here are a few of the pics:

Aunty Donna doing Sophie's hair. Sophie is the flower girl:

Sophie's brother, Jesse, playing at our feet with his truck:
The backyard set up:
Donna helping the bride (Tanya) with her strap:
Tanya and Sophie looking out the window into the backyard to watch guests mingle:
Tracey, the matron of honor, mother of the flowergirl and wedding host, getting ready:
Jessie touching things he's not supposed to (according to his big sister):
Tanya, looking out the front window, watching guests arrive:
Trying on the ring:
A friendship ritual amongst this crowd? Drop by to see the bride before the wedding and show her your underwear? (By the way? Tracey asked that you not comment on the items she has stored around her room...)
Peaking over the railing...
The groom, a pastry chef, baked the wedding cakes. (Blackberry cheesecake):
Waiting for the show to begin:
Walking down the "aisle" (driveway):
Waiting for Tanya at the front:
Short and sweet service:
The legal part:

Mr and Mrs ... uhhhh. I forget. Mike and Tanya:

And then, for someone who didn't even want a photographer, she sure had alot of pictures taken. (Although... come to think of it - that list of "must-have pics to be taken", was all in Sandra's handwriting....) I took photos of every conceivable family combination possible. This is Tanya and her brother:
And then, after all that, just as we were losing the light, I had 2 minutes to take some shots of just the two of them:

Our location? Tracey's front yard. Green and brown house with a tent trailer on one side. A house with dead lawn and no flowers on the other. A street jam packed with cars on the north side. And a hedge with a deck on the other end.
So there are hundreds of pics of the hedge and deck.
I realized that night, that I could never be a wedding photographer. All those people, expecting you to know how to arrange them. All those important shots that you shouldn't miss. The pressure to know how to use a camera you've never even held before. The being friendly and funny amongst people you've never met before. The being sensitive to all the combinations of family that may or may not have been previously married to each other. The reflections of Christmas lights hanging in the window behind the happy couple. Vey, Oh.
Also on Wednesday (the day my camera/lens stopped working and the same day the computer guy told me my laptop can't be fixed) Clint mowed over a metal stake I'd left on the lawn after weeding one of the gardens and announced, "the lawnmower's broken, you need to buy a new one." (I just spent $110 getting it serviced this summer.)
Do I really need a lawnmower?
Know what? If you have things, you have to spend money to care for those things. And this year? Flip. I have spent alot of money that I have yet to earn, caring for things. And it's giving me a stomach ache. I don't have the confidence in my earning capacity to continue to keep up this lifestyle. Feels like everything is falling apart. Every day one of the kids will point out something that needs to be replaced or re-invested in.
And then.
And then I step back and peak outside "my" world and hear about folks in Guatamala, China, Mexico, Brazil ... and feel guilty about my earning capacity and know that if I was less materialistic, my wages could probably support a second family in some third world country.
Can you tell? Last night's sermon was on wealth.
I don't think Jeff's intention was nessessarily to make us all feel guilty. His goal was to make us think.
So this is me.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Celebration tonight! Sarah's 24th, Drew's 15th and MY DAD AND MOM'S 50th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!
2. The sun is back. Summer isn't over yet - the fat lady has not sung.
3. Grace and forgiveness.

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