Before the Coffee

February 28, 2010

Memory Lane Is Never Closed

Filed under: Black and White — beforethecoffee @ 5:58 am

With a sad heart I’d like to share that my dear Mom passed away on February 23, 2010. She was filled with a passion for life and a curiosity and energy difficult to match. On her last day she went to the doctors for a routine checkup, had lunch with her very best friend and talked with all her children. She was in her home, tucked in her bed, watching her favorite TV shows. Sometime that evening she quietly and peacefully drifted into the night. It was a blessing that she lived a life without pain, surgeries or rehab, she never “grew old.” Mom was 79.

I haven’t slept since Tuesday night, I get an hour here and there. When I wake, I walk the house and stop at a window and look out. I usually stand there for a couple minutes then I go look out another window. The first night after she died the snow fell in large flakes, there was no wind so they fell straight down and I could pick one out and watch it fall. I kept doing this and it started to feel like tears from the sky, I’ve never felt that before.

The irony of posting an image with the title “Memory Lane Is Never Closed” 3 days before she died on FaceBook is going to stay with me a long time. My mom was a bit shy but she did post a comment on FaceBook and I’m so glad she did. (Her name was Rita Pezzella McCollough).

If your Mom and Dad are still living, tell them often you love them.

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February 13, 2010

Let it snow….. I think

Filed under: Black and White, HDR — beforethecoffee @ 10:20 am

Wow, snow is beautiful, to a point. I like 5 inches, I like 10 inches, I even like 15 inches but when the ruler sank into the snow to 28 inches I knew there would be a lot of clean-up hours. It’s interesting how neighbors began talking again, one’s I haven’t seen in years came over to chat and catch up. I think the hustle-bustle and pressure to make a living is temporarily put aside and it’s OK to pause and say HELLO.

Photos: Both of these pics are HDR images tonemapped in Photomatix at the default setting. I followed with a BW conversion in PS using Image>Adjustments>Black&White. After some dodging and burning I went to my folder of textures and found some pics of a boat hull taken at the marina. I laid a pic of the boat hull over the image below and the image with the fence, I laid a pic of a painted piece of paper over the image. Splashing ink on paper and staining it with some coffee is a fun way to make textures.

February 4, 2010

Triathlete Suzy

Filed under: people, Studio — beforethecoffee @ 8:57 pm

Suzy McCullough-Serpico is a sweetheart and I’m so glad she stopped by for a photo session. She is an Elite Triathlete who has earned her way into the prestigious Ironman competition in Hawaii this fall 2010. She wanted some promotional pictures for her website that will hopefully bring her sponsors.

Triathlons combine three events, swimming, biking and running. Being a triathlete isn’t something you do casually like joining a softball team. It’s all about preparation and dedication. After spending a few hours with Suzy I learned what it takes to be an Elite Triathlete. She is someone who pushes through the pain, someone who sees distant goals, someone who thinks about and plans the next workout, and for protein…. Suzy loves peanut butter. All the best of luck to you this year at the Ironman competition.

A little Ironman History:
Ironman began in Hawaii in 1978 with 15 competitors. Gordon Haller, a taxi-cab driver finished first in 11 hours 46 minutes and is considered the “original” Ironman. The following year Ironman got a boost of publicity when ABC sports filmed the event. Julie Moss, a lifeguard, lead the swim and the bike and was set to be the female champion when just 20 yards before the finish she collapsed. Trying to stand, her legs wouldn’t support her, she collapsed again and began to crawl to the finish. Julie came in second and ABC’s Jim McKay called it the most inspiring sports moment he had ever witnessed.

In 2009 the top finishers completed the course in a little over 8 hours. There were an estimated 1770 athletes representing 48 countries and all 50 states and ranged in age from 20 to 80 years old. The race starts at 7am and competitors must finish by midnight, 17 hours later.  This year we will be rooting for Suzy. GO SUZY!

Suzy Serpico’s Website

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