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Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

Featured, Nature, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day, Tips, Travel

On Seeing…

June 30, 2018

I started out as a traditional artist, and I mean from the time I had my first vivid artistic memory. My father was drawing a pencil sketch on an entire wall of our home, and I remember watching him (while he whistled) and feeling at peace and thinking how beautiful the drawing was — I felt joy. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s, and questioning my mother about the drawing that I was told, “You can’t remember that you were only six months old!” Hahaha! I was always drawing, painting, singing, feeling and looking for wonder. It’s in my blood. My great-grandmother was among some of the first women to attend the Art Institute of Chicago. It was while she was there, that she met my great-grandfather, who had been invited to this country to perform violin with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. (He had been brought up in the King’s Court in Austria where he achieved Concertmaster).  There are ballerinas, painters, singers, writers, storytellers, and musicians on both sides of my family, so I don’t think I could have outrun art, even if I’d wanted to. I was lucky enough to know, and be influenced by many of them. However, I never met my great-grandparents — but I feel them all the time.

I told you all of that to tell you this…

I believe that seeing is so much more than seeing. Seeing is also feeling, and making a mental note about how you feel. Take this seagull photo I recently captured in Norway. I was standing hillside and looking onto this beautiful scene when all of a sudden this seagull showed up and flew right next to me, in front of me and soared high above me. I felt joy! As soon as I recognized my joy I went for my camera because I knew that something magical could happen (and so did that seagull). Sure enough, with a little patience, things lined up. Haven’t you ever been driving somewhere and looked out your window and saw a beautiful sky or shoreline, or tree, or haven’t you been present and heard a child giggling and felt joy? Or peace? Or wonder? Whatever the feeling was, you felt something, right? Oh man, when you do, when you feel that something, make sure you stop or go back or do whatever you have to do to see, see what you felt. Once you feel it, you can see it, and once you see it you can capture it.

I wish you joy, peace, wonder, feeling and seeing.

Kalebra

Featured, iPhone, Nature, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day, Tips

On Waiting…

June 25, 2018

My husband and I recently returned from a glorious trip to Norway. It is now one of my most favorite destinations, and if you were considering it, I highly recommend that you go. One of the things I wound up, most unexpectedly, falling in love with were the seagulls. They are very different from their thinner, fry chasing, cousins here in Florida in that they are big—very big—very healthy looking birds. They are also plentiful and seem to love being around people (very close) but not uncomfortably close. Hard to explain but they soar above and around a person with a subtle confidence that makes you feel at ease. I loved them! The photo above is of seagulls that followed our boat out to one of the Fjords. It was exciting because there were so many birds, flying so many patterns, and with so many amazing backdrops, and I knew, if I were patient, paid attention, and fired off enough shots that I would get something I liked. This photo above definitely qualifies as one of my favorites as these precocious birds wound up perfectly framing the landscape. I was lucky enough to get several well-timed images, and I credit them to waiting or actually, how I wait.

Waiting for things to line up the way I want used to be difficult for me until I discovered a secret. One day while I was waiting, I could feel my heart rate increasing as I felt myself getting anxious—and then it hit me…

I realized that, ultimately, what I wanted was to have the image—to have the bird, animal, subject or moment, captured. What I was most fearful about was not getting the image at all. I knew if I didn’t get it at the exact right moment—I might have waited too long and it (or the moment) would be gone. Aha! Figuring that out was key. So, what I’ve started to do is take a few (or more) shots before that all too critical moment so that I know I have it. I have something; even if it’s not perfect, I have it. Once I’ve taken a photo or two, the pressure is off, and I can relax and wait.

When using the iPhone (and it’s time to get a shot like this), it’s probably best to let the camera autofocus (you’ll know if that’s the case because you’ve already taken a few shots, remember?) Also, you’d better be taking advantage of Burst Mode—I use it all the time. Any iPhone above the 5 will take ten shots per second and will continue to fire as long as you press (and hold) the shutter button. Then, all you have to do is go through the images and pick your favorite.

I hope this makes your waiting a little easier and if you use the burst mode, you won’t miss a thing.

Have fun!

Kalebra

Black and White, Featured, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

I want to be just like the woman at the coffee shop when I grow up.

May 12, 2018

When I was around 20 years old and playing in a band full time, I would stop by the coffee and donut shop, near my apartment, after the gig. You’d always find me and several other regulars there, night after night, winding down from our “shifts” with coffee and a donut.

Or was that the reason we were there?

I knew that, for me, it was more about visiting with the woman behind the counter than it was for any coffee or donut — but oh the donut! The reason it was so good was that she knew I liked the maple glazed kind so, when she saw me coming in, she would take one and drizzle extra maple on it just for me. She’d greet me with a smile and a hug and tell me how happy she was to see me and then she’d always ask how the gig went? 

But here’s the best part.

She listened (really listened) to what I had to tell her. She’d laugh and smile her beautiful smile — I mean, who wouldn’t want that coffee and donut?! She made sure I knew I was special and she knew how special she was to me. Then one night, many nights into this coffee shop routine, I looked around the room and saw on the faces of others what I felt inside — welcomed and cared for — I mattered. If to no one else, I mattered to her and so did they. 

I listened to her conversations with them, as much as I listened to my own with her — this woman — this wise and beautiful woman was in her way…well, healing people from the inside out. Over the years I watched from across the room as laughter erupted, tears fell, and anger subsided. I don’t know what all the stories were about, but I do know they were made better by her. 

One person — one beautiful, wise, kind and caring woman — intently listening to people and making a difference in their lives.  What a gift! Making people feel…no, scratch that, making people understand that they matter and sometimes (by my observations) for the first time. I felt privileged to watch it happen. 

I was reminded of those times as I watched my mother from across the room, listening to my Yittle, just as beautiful as she was all those years ago in the coffee shop. Listening in that special way that she has always listened, and as I saw the look on my little girl’s face (a look I have seen on so many faces before), I felt privileged all over again. Privileged and grateful that my children have this beautiful woman in their lives to listen and listen well. 

Mom, in case I haven’t told you lately, you pour the best cup of coffee — ever. When I grow up, I want to be just…like…you.

Happy Mother’s Day — I love you.

 

I wrote this a few years ago, and it has now become a tradition to share it every year. To all the mothers — I hope your day is special and Happy Mother’s Day!  💐💝🌺

 

 

 

Personal Side Interviews, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

A Peek at The Personal Side of Tim Wallace

February 1, 2018

“I’d rather live an amazing day that I would remember always than ten years of dull grayness.”Tim Wallace

After Tim’s Personal Side interview he became known around our offices as the real Batman. The full interview can be found here at KelbyOne.

Thank you, Tim, for the honor and pleasure.

Kalebra

 

Moments, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” – Madeleine L’Engle

January 16, 2018

In honor of my son turning 21 today, I’m re-running the post below (one of my favorites) from years past. He was an amazing little boy—full of love, joy, kindness, and questions. He’s grown into an open-minded adventurer, an intelligent, interesting, fun, caring and compassionate individual. Just a fine human being and I couldn’t be more proud of the man he’s turned out to be. He’s “dreaming with his eyes wide open.” I like that about him.

Happy Birthday, Son!

I love you,
Mom

 

A Moment In India I’ll Never Forget

When my son was very young, say four or five years old, I told him that one of the greatest gifts a person could ever receive was the chance to say I love you too. “Because if you get to say, I love you too it means that someone else said, I love you, first.” After that, he would often follow up his “I love you too’s” with “Hey, Mommy, I win!”

When I wrote this he was much older, a much taller than me, deep-voiced, hulking, athletic teen — with a girlfriend, friends, teammates, school, video games, interests, etc. You know, a life of his own and with a lot of childhood things left behind.

Then one day, a few years ago, my husband and I were traveling in India and something about standing alone, amongst the many, in the din of this Indian street corner caused me to miss the few — my children. Finally, I managed to get enough signal to send a text home so; I sent my son an “I love you” text. A few minutes later I got an “I love you too” response and then, a second later, a second text that said, “Hey, Mom, I win!”

I lost my breath, and my heart fluttered…he remembered. I let him think he won but in that brief moment, I had my five-year-old boy looking up at me and holding my hand (as we crossed a busy street) and telling me…he loved me too.

Hey, Son…I win.

Moments, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

Happy New Year! From Three Wise Men? That’s Weird.

December 31, 2017

I’m not one for resolutions but I don’t want to leave 2017 without saying something to you so I’ll let my late uncles do the talking for me. Since they’re all passed this should be interesting. My mother’s three brothers were all characters and very different from one another—making them the best uncles ever and I loved each one dearly. You can take their advice into 2018 (or don’t) either way, they were awesome, and I wish you a bright, healthy, and Happy New Year!

From the oldest to youngest…

The Coach/Businessman who said, “Don’t let anyone just bring you a problem. They also need to show up with three possible solutions.”

The Cowboy who said, “Never follow a snake into its own hole.”

And the Hippy who said, “Give and keep it—to yourself.”

Love and Hugs and a Happy New Year!

Kalebra

Featured, Moments, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

The Personal Side of Rick Sammon

December 28, 2017

Award-winning photographer Rick Sammon is inspired by the world around him. He aims to have his creative visions come to life through his photography as well to help teach others to do the same. While you may know of his many awards, books, and various other accomplishments, hear from Rick about his travels, love of music, his family, and how it’s all shaped the person he is today. Amidst the stories, you’ll be inspired by the words he lives by and, just maybe, learn to view the world in a whole new way.

It was a joy to sit with Rick! His smile and attitude are infectious, and they make you want to jump up, run out and have fun—with your camera, with your loved ones, and with the life, you’re living. If you want to smile (and you won’t be able to help yourself) I encourage you to watch The Personal Side of Rick Sammon.  It’s the perfect way to start the New Year!

Thank you, Rick, for starting our 2018 with a collective great big smile!

Happy New Year, Everybody!!

Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

December 24, 2017

By Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, DASHER! Now, DANCER! Now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! On CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside on his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!

I hope the holidays have you gathered with those you love, telling stories and giving hugs, in homes filled with warmth, love, and laughter.

Best wishes for a bright and happy new year!
Kalebra 

Featured, Moments, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

What a night!

December 11, 2017

This past Saturday night we were able to celebrate with another gallery showing for another winner, artist/photographer and member of KelbyOneSteve Wallace. Steve is an anesthesiologist, a lawyer, a talented photographer (with a goal), and KelbyOne member. His magical Myanmar images and artist’s talk delighted everyone that attended and watched around the world. His photography inspired us to want to engage with other cultures in a more subtle and human way, and his talk was fascinating, fun and thoughtful. If you missed it, you can watch it at this KelbyOne link. I’d like to thank Steve (right), his lovely wife, Becky (left) and all the members who showed up to The Gallery at KelbyOne and made the night so special.


Steve during his talk with Larry Becker as he answered questions from the live web audience.


Steve explains how he manages that magical light.

Who wants to be this cool? Everyone! Meredith Duffin was calling the shots in the control room and making it look easy.

I’d also like to thank BayPhoto for always providing such beautiful prints, and the KelbyOne team because I don’t think there is a person in the building who doesn’t touch this effort in some way and I’m grateful for them as well. From individuals like Viktor Garcia (my right-hand man when it comes to the gallery) to Pam Suttmiller in accounting (who helps create a beautiful wine and cheese presentation) to our excellent video, marketing, graphics, and web teams. Heck, even our editors are tweeting about it! Haha! Everyone has a hand in it, and that’s not even counting the selection and judging process (loads of help coordinating all of that from Mr. Erik Kuna) to arranging the travel and accommodations for all the winners (thank you, Jeanne Jilleba). So many hands on so many things and I’m so very grateful—thank you.

We gathered, we celebrated, and we promised that we’d all do it again. I like that about us.

Kalebra