Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Patriotic Pride, Photographic Addiction and Blindness

Last week, on Friday morning, I was feeling inspired. Let me start by saying this: I have fallen in love with photography. I'm not anywhere close to being a professional photog and I only have a little six mega pixel Kodak EasyShare camera - which I am about to wear out from overuse - but I love taking pictures.

I never leave the house without two cameras and some extra rechargeable batteries. By the way, the best, longest lasting rechargeable AA batteries I have ever used are the Energizer Rechargeable 2500 mAh batteries. My knees shook and my hands trembled when I bought my first four-pack with the recharger because I knew it was a big investment for batteries which I didn't know would stand up to the Energizer reputation. These batteries are not cheap but they last for close to 900 photo shots in my camera before they have to be recharged. And I don't just use them for my camera. I use them for everything in the house. Gone are the days of buying cheap (and they are not really that cheap) disposable batteries. For me its Energizer rechargeable batteries or none.

So, back to my photography addiction - My kids are starting to get annoyed by my constant need to pull over and jump out of the van to take a picture of the sunrise or sunset or some unusual flower on the side of the road - and I have developed a talent for spotting them. Then there are the times when I frantically call out "Quick! grab the camera from my purse and take a picture of the sunrise! HURRY, YOUR LOSING THE LIGHT!" Although they are developing a love for taking pictures themselves, they are really getting annoyed by this new addiction. It cramps their style and brings unwanted attention to them at times when they don't want to be noticed - like when I pulled over in the school parking lot and jumped out to take a picture of the old rusty "no parking fire lane" sign.

So, on Friday morning I was feeling inspired by yet another beautiful sunrise, and off in the distance across the Grand Prairie skyline I could see a gigantic American Flag waving in the morning breeze. I have never been able to get an up close photo of this particular flag, and my camera's zoom is not adequate to capture it properly from down the street. Thus began my chase for the perfect picture. I made my way from one flag to another all across town for about two hours trying to capture the flag and the sunrise all in the same shot. At the risk of permanent damage to my eyesight and about 329 photos later, this is one of the many beautiful photos I captured. I call it "Morning Glory". (And I'm not kidding about the blindness - taking pictures of the sun is not a safe addiction.)

This flag is one of the most beautiful sites across the land and it can be seen everywhere you go on any given day. This is not a natural wonder that you have to travel to see on a hard earned vacation. It is completely man made but worth all of the effort and history that has gone into it. The ideas that it represents have been fought over, wrestled with, debated and dreamed about for more than two centuries. My ancestors came to this country in 1774 to pursue their dream of what this flag represents. They fought for their dream of freedom of religion, freedom from tyranny and freedom of prosperity.

As I stood on the Kroger parking lot, eyes squinting in the sunlight, taking picture after picture in pursuit of the perfect photo, tears filled my eyes at the thought of all of the people who have sacrificed their personal freedoms to preserve and protect mine.

Thank you to all of the patriots and soldiers who have fought to preserve freedom and protect our country from tyranny and terrorism. Thank you to my ancestors who fled religious persecution and came to America only to find that they would have to fight for the freedom they came here to pursue. And most important - Thank you God for allowing me to live in such a great nation where I am so blessed every day.

1 comment:

  1. I think my wife must be your kindred spirit. She also has MY camera attached to her hand. Two nights ago I had to search her work bag for the camera to download some pictures I had taken, and there were over 600 pictures on the memory card. And the oldest picture is just ONE month old. So, are you related to any Hatfields in Utah? (lol)


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