Monthly Archives: December 2013

Saying Goodbye…

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Well goodbye, adios, adieu, 2013.  Loved parts of you, hated parts of you and now we’ll only look back for a second and just, as the Panthers say, “Keep Pounding”!

 

I have mixed emotions about 2013.  It started out as a new adventure with David and I moving to Dublin Georgia in February, my mom getting sick and passing in August, becoming caretaker to my 95 year old aunt with dementia, three major events that changed life as I knew it.

 

The move to Dublin (if you’ve read my blog post) was eye opening in many ways.  I left my family, myfriends, and all that is familiar and moved to a quaint and unhurried way of life full of some surprises.

 

I soon found out that Middle Georgia offered a plethora of opportunities to feed my love of abandoned places and Remy, my wire fox terrier,  and I did our fair share of wondering the back roads of Laurens County.  I also had some great road trips from Hawley, Allentown and Philadelphia PA with Jan Baucom, to Cataloochee Valley, NC, Cades Cove, TN, Kite, Swainsboro, Wrightsville GA with Maxine Gordon, as well as most of Middle Georgia with Remy and David.  I hope you will go to the archives of post to read about some of my finds.

 

I also met some great people who welcomed us into their lives and homes and for that I am grateful.  Mike and Cheryl Brooks and Diane Clarke thank you for making us feel at home.  My time in Dublin was cut short just as I was getting to finally find some kindred souls when my mom became ill and I had to return home.

 

Loosing a parent is one of the most surreal moments in one’s life.  When the people who birthed you, nurtured you and gave you the life you know becomes ill, you feel helpless to care for them as they always cared for you.  Suddenly time rushes at you like an out of control train, one minute you feel like everything is in slow motion like Keanu Reeves dodging bullets in The Matrix, and the next like riding one of those bullet trains in Japan reaching speeds that seem unfathomable.  My mother was a strong and healthy woman that walked 2 miles everyday until 6 weeks before she died.  My sisters and I all have different parts of her personality in us and now that she is gone those are the pieces that will remind us of who she was and the impact she had on our lives.

 

Being a caretaker for my 95 year old Aunt Helen with dementia is proving to be the most monumental challenge I have.  I am learning a lot about this debilitating disease and my heart goes out to those that have family members that are suffering with it.  I have come a long way in this process and am finally getting a handle on it to help me and my Aunt Helen.

 

I have always been a “living in the moment” kind of person.  My mom and dad used to get so aggravated with me about it because they were planners of the future.  They had planned on doing so much after retirement but sadly my dad passed away before any of that was fulfilled.  Shortly after my dad died my mom looked at me one day and said “Terie, I think you might have had it right all along.  Dad and I planned to travel and do so many things, but now he’s gone and we didn’t get to enjoy any of our retirement plans together.”  After that anytime my sisters or I would be on the fence about doing something that we could put off until later, she would say, “Do it now while you can, don’t wait and regret your decision.”

 

So 2014 I’m ready for you and all you bring to my plate.  Hopefully I will eat all the portions and savor each one, even the ones that taste bad.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that there is a greater master plan for my life than I could ever dream for myself.  If I didn’t believe that, I could never believe that a boy from Texas would find his way to my street and 6 months later become the best husband, friend, lover and cheerleader I could have ever imagined.

 

To my husband David, thank you for another great year of always being there for me and your constant and unwavering support.  Even though we faced some major challenges the one thing I could always count on was you.  I love ya babe!  Here’s to great things in 2014.

 

To all my photog buddies, I can’t wait to experience all the new photography opportunities we will have in the coming year and hopefully I can share some of those together with you.

 

To those of you that have viewed my work, read my blog and continue to support my vision, thank you.  You may not realize how a simple comment or “Like” means to me, but before this year ends I want you to know how much I appreciate you and the time you spend here with me.

 

So…2014  I’m another year older and wiser with a few more scars and scrapes but I’m here and raring to go.

 

Are you ready?

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You Never Know…

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My home town, Pineville, North Carolina is a small town, but it is really close to Charlotte, NC.  When we moved to rural Georgia, I missed having access to the major department stores, restaurants, my friends, and most of all, my photography group.

I felt like I had been whisked back to a much simpler, less harried way of life.  As I settled into this different way of life I began to discover how much real rural country there was to explore.   There was an abundance of abandoned farmhouses for me to photograph.  You literally could not go 5 – 10 miles without seeing an abandoned farmstead.    My dog, Remy, and I started driving around to small towns and down back roads to see what we could find.

One outing with my husband, David, included a stop at a garden store.  The store had quite a display of boots which we thought was a little unusual.  One of the store employees came over to tell us  “All those are snake proof”.  Since that sounded important, we decided to ask, “What types of snakes do you have in this area?”  His list included: Copperhead, Cottonmouth Water Moccasin, Eastern DiamondbackRattlesnake, Timber Rattlesnake, Pigmy Rattlesnake, and Coral Snake!

OMG!  I’ve been tramping around all these abandoned houses in low rise hiking shoes!  Needless to say this knowledge has cut into my exploring a little.  I started looking for snake chaps right away.  I also realized that I couldn’t go out alone anymore, because if I did perhaps get bitten, I would be so far away from any help that I could die.  Now that’s a sobering thought.

Every time I talked with one of my photography friends I would tell them about my adventures.  I was sure they thought I was exaggerating because coming from the Charlotte area, you just can’t imagine there would be so much to explore.  Finally, my friend, Maxine Gordon, decided tocome down and spend a week with us and ride the roads with me.  Max is a great navigator and has a secret weapon called the Gazetteer Map.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have a Gazetteer for Georgia.

We made do with a county map and started on US 1 in Augusta and going through Wrens, Louisville, Bartow, Wrightsville and finally Dublin.  All these small towns were very interesting, especially Bartow, which is abandoned.  We found what appeared to be a huge old general store, and we visited a Revolutionary War Graveyard.

The next day we drove to Milledgeville, the capital of Georgia during the Civil War.  Along the way Max foundlots of potential roads for us to explore.  She taught me that the names of the roads often held clues to what we might find.  Road names with ‘Mill’ in them often led to an old mill.  We also stopped in Gordon, McIntyre and Irwinton.

During our back road journey we got lost on a long dirt road.  Off in the distance, on another dirt road, we saw a tractor and driver.  We drove down to meet them and get some directions.  As we got closer, we realized it was a tiny, little woman on a big, older model Ford tractor.  Max and I looked at each other…OMG this was the icing on the cake!  There she was in a dress with boots, and not one, but two sun bonnets and cheeks so rosy that it appeared she had just been told something very scandalous and was in full blush.

She was smiling and I said “Hi” and I just couldn’t help telling her how beautiful she was.  She really blushed and her smile got even bigger.  I asked if I could take her photo, and she looked so shy and said, “Well, I guess.”  I snapped away afraid the moment would be lost.

As I sit here writing this now, I wish I had gotten out of the jeep and really taken some more thoughtful photos.    Anyway, we asked for directions, and she gave them, and off we went.  I look back now and a thousand questions come to mind;  how did she get up on that huge tractor, did she livealone so far removed from any town, did she farm, where was she going, what was her life like?  I would give anything to sit down and talk with her.

Max and I had a great  trip.  We saw some cool places, took some great photos, and had a run-in with a security guard at a huge abandoned VA Hospital.  The guard said, “I know you’re not taking pictures, are you?”  To which we politely said, “We are on our way out”.

For me, I will never forget the tiny woman on the big Ford tractor with the double sun bonnets, rosy cheeks and huge smile because if nothing else, she will remind me to slow down and seize the moment, because more than likely there is a story right in front of you!

I hope you enjoy the photos below of our trip.  Be sure to go to the prints tab to see a few of the photos that I made into digital art.
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