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A Bittersweet Affair

I love taking photographs, you know that I do, however, yesterday's assignment left me feeling more than a little bittersweet. Angela and Matt have always relied on me to take photographs for one thing and another. In their home, they probably have at least ten pieces on their walls, so there's that. In addition, I've taken numerous Christmas card photos for them as well. I especially liked this one taken for their 2012 card.
And really, this is how I'd most like to remember Matt. That said, his spirits are still amazingly high. In the ten plus years we've known him, he's always been such an exuberant and quick witted person. Matt made up the name for all their pieces from me---The Gaillery. He was good to Angela's son from the start, because he is such a family man, in spite of not marrying until he was 40 years old. He is especially close to his parents as they saw him through his first bout with cancer. And his brother Rusty, who was in town for the ceremony from Seattle. Tricia, Matt's mom, has been here helping out for months.
They set up chairs in the gazebo, and a minister came to perform the ceremony, with about fifteen of us in attendance. I manned the Nikon, while the Panasonic, pictured behind the Strombergs, sat on the tripod with the video running. I'd never done a video before, and thank goodness for Matt's friend Justin, in town from Newport Beach, RI, who knows what to do with a video once it is shot, because, Lord knows, I don't! Cassandra, a friend of theirs, made a sweet poster.
The weather was lovely, a nice little breeze, not too much, which was good because Matt gets cold very easily. In normal circumstances he wears a ski cap to keep his head warm, but as you can imagine, Angela was having none of that!
As you well know, I'm no pro when it comes to knowing what to do in every situation, and yesterday was no different. Because of the way it was set up, I was shooting into the light, which is not ideal. In hindsight I've been wondering if I should have put the video camera on the other side? There was both laughter, and tears.
Matt wore the microphone for his vows which were sweet AND funny. I told you his spirits were high! The share a kiss after it was all said and done.
Following the twenty minute service, lunch was served on the lawn, but not before we took a few group photos. The men in attendance:
You might be wondering about the crazy jackets that both Matt and Justin are wearing, and rightly so! Justin and Matt were Marine pilots together, thus they share some private jokes, the jackets being one of them. The first time around, not only did Russ and Tricia care for Matt, but Justin was by his side as much as possible to see him through those difficult days. Russ, Matt's dad, is standing behind him. Justin is holding Henry, one of the cutest little dogs you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. Justin got behind my camera to take this one of the ladies.
For once I did not mess up a group photo! The ladies on either end were Angela's bridesmaids, and the tall woman behind Angela is a friend from their new neighborhood. So, what else is there to say except it was both a happy and sad occasion which left me drained? The truth is, from a photographic stand point, everything about the lighting was wrong, taxing my limited technical knowledge. Furthermore, I am a little too close to this situation to have left there unscathed. On the other hand, you do what you can do for your friends. Right?

Matt held up remarkably, during both the ceremony, and the luncheon, but after a bit, he'd had all that he could take, and his brother put him down for a nap. We straggled out, Stephanie back to work, Dodie, the same, Justin and Julie were flying out at 4PM, with Rusty leaving later in the day. Bruce was back at his desk by the time I returned to look at what I'd taken, all the while hoping, hoping, for the best. No do overs for this day. Happily, some came out just fine, and they now have the digital album of those. Keep your fingers crossed Justin can work some magic with the video!

Because I didn't want to mess up my hair in the morning, I rode my bike in the afternoon, as much for exercise as to clear my mind. I visited the owl babies, finding them in a new place, one their parents have been known to like, however, this is the first time I've seen them in the palms.
They're growing up aren't they? There's that lighting conundrum--one in the sunshine, one in the shade. :)

Bruce worked late, dinner was leftovers, followed by a little trip down to the lake at sunset.
The conclusion to a bittersweet day.

Grateful for every day,
Gail
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