Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Well, all work and no play makes Ricky a dull boy so it is my job to find something fun for us to do, right? I have recently taken an interest in photography and one of the best things about landscape/nature photography is that it gets us out and away from the work at home. Ricky is great about loading up and taking me to see the beauty of the Ozarks or somewhere else equally as amazing. I’m sure there are other places on earth just as beautiful as Arkansas but we definitely live in photography heaven right here.
Recently I decided that I would like to visit a spot known as the most photographed spot in Arkansas, Whitaker’s Point (Hawksbill Crag). To get the best shots we needed to be there early in the morning so I asked Ricky if he wanted to go camping that weekend. Now remember that my style of camping in the past has been in a heated/air-conditioned travel trailer with a microwave, refrigerator, comfortable beds, running water, a toilet and a shower. We sold our camper some time ago so at this point in the conversation Ricky is assuming that I booked a cabin. Much to his surprise I was really meaning camping… without a tent.
But our journey back was a pack of three instead of two. While taking in the sunrise we were joined by Jim. Some would be disappointed to have such a private moment interrupted by a total stranger but Jim packed two cameras and shared my desire for just the right shot. After visiting a few short minutes we learned that Ricky and Jim have a common bond – teaching. We have teased Ricky for some time about his ability to talk to anyone – anywhere, and this just proves it. In territory labeled as “Wilderness Area” Ricky made a new friend and they held animated conversation for hours. Little did Jim know when he woke up that morning that he would later be introduced to the common name and Latin name of most all trees and plants in that area. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, the teacher or the student.
Later, after Facebook stalking Jim, I learned that there is much Jim could teach us regarding animals as his past titles include University Veterinarian and Director of Veterinary Services at Duke University and University Veterinarian and Director of the Animal Care Unit at the University of Kansas. Our little time together left us all wishing for more time to get to know each other better. Hopefully our paths will cross again someday.
There are moments in life that you look back on with a smile and this was definitely one of those. I wasn’t able to get that perfect picture to hang on display in my art gallery (one small wall in my office) but the picture in my mind will last forever … or at least until dementia takes over.
LIFE LESSON: (You thought I forgot didn’t you…) Take time to make memories with those who are special to you. You never know when, but a day will come when the memories are all you have left of them.
Steele Creek, near Ponca