I haven't written a whole lot since Winter passed into Spring. I think my optimism overshot my reality. As has been my habit for most of my life, I have spent the Summer wishing for Fall. I know nearly everyone else seems to find summer this great time of being outdoors and loving the long days. For me it has always been a struggle with the heat, the humidity, the bugs, and all the vacation-ish stuff. In the past decade, Nancy and I have had one true vacation, and it was made a hundred times better by NOT happening during the summer.
In short, Summer heat makes me a grump.
I try hard not to take it out on folks, but more often than not, I fail. The ones closest to me know it all to well. When the thermometer hits 80 and the humidity makes everything stick to itself, that's when I start to fall apart.
Last year, I spent a good chunk of July racing back and forth to doctors and hospitals, trying to figure out why my heart kept freaking out. This year, we managed to keep me out of the emergency room by keeping my activity levels lower on the hottest days of summer. We even installed a small room air-conditioner in our living room to help keep me cool during the day.
The biggest imact though, was in my photography. For the most part, I photographed zilch this summer. I stopped shooting on a daily basis back in June. Three months of only shooting occasionally and I felt like I was losing my mind. I would forget little stuff. I did a shoot a few days ago and forgot to check my ISO... got home and found that I had been shooting a very normal setting at ISO 1600. Not many of the images were worth keeping. Little stuff. Just out of practice.
Fast forward to last week: the heat finally broke and with it, plenty of rain. I know most people aren't terribly excited about rain. I love it. I always feel better. A good thunderstorm makes me downright giddy. Throw in some wild winds and torrential rain and I am thrilled beyond words.
Last week I spent one day at a hearing in Syracuse and another day meeting with a surgeon in Rochester. Two days with long drives and high anxiety. Trying to explain all the in's and out's to Nancy and Aurora after dinner each night was nigh on impossible. One night, Nancy and I went out to the studio to talk a little more. In part, I wanted to try some new ideas out with my wireless flash units. More in part because we needed time to talk, time to cry, and just time to be together.
As I was setting up, I shot these two images.
I think they say more than my words can say.
Summer has been hard.
This last year has been hard.
We keep pushing onward, but it's hard.