I saw that magical lit up ball, and sent a link to Danica, "We need to do a photoshoot in this Cinderella sphere."
"In my wedding dress!"
And from there, we talked about doing a fun shoot in the snow (because for the first time in the history of FOREVER, we have perfect conditions for this. WE HAVE SNOW. And we have sunny clear skies. It's like we got divine approval for our creative, imaginative idea.
It came to pass that Dani had a spare hour during the golden hour on Tuesday, and I had one Flex day left. So we met at my mom's at 3:40pm. She rushed to get into her dress, and I ran around getting my camera supplies, while adding a few more layers of clothing to my already well-insulated body.
We met in the front entrance, where my mom said, "Do you need a warm coat? Do you want to borrow my mink? Bups would be thrilled if he knew you were wearing this jacket."
It was perfect. The absolute exactly most awesome addition to the day. (I had thought about asking to borrow it, but wasn't sure if she still had it. The boys used to snuggle into it when they were younger, because it was so soft. I have a pic somewhere of Max sleeping in it with legs sticking through the arm holes. That kid has always been stylish.)
She still had it. In the front hall closet, right beside her wedding dress.
Apparently during dad's last years, while in care, he'd talk about that article of clothing. (It was important to him that he was able to dress his wife in fur and diamonds. For an uneducated immigrant kid who arrived in Canada not knowing the language, he was determined to keep his May Queen dolled up. Twas a matter of pride for him.) His mom used to clean houses for a living. and one of her clients was the family that owned Pappas Furs.
So when dad was in a position to buy his Billie a coat, he went to Pappas. Again, probably a pride thing. (I just googled Pappas, and found that they'd gone out of business in 2015. If you've got 2 minutes, this is a good article.) I'd like to think they'd be thrilled to know that the great granddaughter of their house cleaner was wearing a vintage fur from their store.
Dad, you didn't get to know Dani before your brain broke, but you would love her. She is kind and good and smart and beautiful and talented and strong and principled and she loves Jesus and she really loves your Drew.
So dad, even though you weren't there, I thought of you the whole time I was shooting our girl.
This is for you.
I know you're smiling.
Thanks for loving mom so well.
|Jim, Me, Mom, Jule, Dad. Early 80's at Harrison Hot Springs|
(Mom in her fur. Me in a Lafarge cap.)
Dani in the snow. First shot of the afternoon. We had 16 minutes until the sun set.
It was -5 degrees. Under her dress she had on tights, socks and knee-high rubber boots.
We took 400 pics in 20 minutes.
Earlier during the day, I was supposed to dress up in something "Christmasy" for a work luncheon. The president wore a Santa suit, the gal who organized it, was a head-to-toe elf, there were a few tacky Christmas sweaters, a number of antler headbands... and I borrowed the battery-powered strand of mini-lights from my mom's Kitchen Sink Christmas Tree and wore them like a scarf. Yay me. So much effort.
I still had them in my pocket, so I gave them to Dani:
One year ago,exactly, Dani stood in front of this tree, with the people she loves, celebrating her engagement which had happened in the snow, on Cypress, just hours before.
So very grateful that this girl is in my family.