Sunday, August 31, 2008


I'm not sure if I have the ability to put into words the loss that I feel with the passing of my Grandma. Betty Jo Davis was the matriarch of the family. Her and my Grandpa were the example of how a couple should be. Their marriage of 61 years is the stuff of legends, now in days. They were described by their pastor as being 1 person almost, "WaltandBetty". The more I think about that the more I believe it is true. They were best friends and could finish each others thoughts without even blinking. I hope and pray that me and Jennifer are like them in every way possible. When I received the call from Melanie on Tuesday morning, I went into a daze and I think that I'm starting to come out of it. I have been beating myself up all week because I was to have my kids call and talk to her and I kept letting it slip my mind. I kept saying we would do it tomorrow, now I will never have the chance. Why the hell didn't I just have them call. Why didn't I call and have my chance to say good bye. I attempted to be the strong one for my Mom and Aunt on the flight to Florida. I think I put on a good front, I know that I will never know for sure. I did a fair job until Wednesday morning when my Grandpa gave me a hug and said that she sure loved you and then the quote "Up Mamaw, pretty outside". I was trying to be strong in front of him and not start crying and until that point I had not really cried. We left the house shortly after that to go to the mortuary to see her remains. Now that was really hard. She had decided that she wished to be cremated long before Tuesday morning came. The mortuary did what they had been asked to do which was making it so those of us that could get there could see her before the cremation. The hard part was since she was not going to be buried she did not have a casket. The viewing was in a cardboard box. My mom and the Aunts did not handle this well. I lost it there and had to sit down. I was wishing my wife was there, she could have helped me hold it together. I know that I'm rambling, sorry. Wednesday we had preparation for the memorial to keep us busy. We also had the expected arrival of Melanie and my Cousin Candy who were driving in and Todd, Kristen and Isiah who were flying. Mel and Candy arrived at 2 AM on the Thursday and we all went to bed to get ready the memorial. The memorial was at 3 PM on Thursday. The memorial just proved how much she was loved and the impact that she had on the people around her. I spent the time looking around the church and seeing the reaction of the people she touched was a powerful sight for me. During the service I looked over at Grandpa and I saw this look of peace on his face and I had to wonder to myself during this how he could be at peace, then I thought back to how much they loved each other and realized that was only part of it. She was, as their minister of 9 plus years said, a child of god and she was in heaven. I'm not overly religious but this day I have to say that I believe. The rest of the time was just reflection with family and comforting Grandpa as much as possible. The women spent time helping by getting Grandma things out of the condo so that Grandpa wouldn't have to. We all know that he is going to want it back someday but today is not the day. We have sat aside things that he will want back over time. Friday seemed to fly by, we went to the beach for breakfast as a family, went to spend time with Grandpa, dinner with family, then a sunset at the beach, packed for the trip back, and then off to bed. Saturday morning, we went and said our goodbyes before getting on the roadback to Indianapolis. The drive back was pretty uneventful. Now the hard part is fact that we have to do the memorial again in a week or so. I love you, Grandma.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Grandma "Betty Jo Davis"

My loving and perfect Grandma passed away Tuesday morning in Bradenton, FL. She has gone to be with the Lord and is truly in a better place.

She has been fighting cancer for the past two years and according to her accounts never had a bad day. She was a rock and never wanted us to know that she was hurting. The family knew that she was in pain and we are glad that she is no longer suffering.

I was a 2 yr old little boy when I made a quote that has stayed with me for my entire life. I was so excited about being at my Grandparents house I couldn't wait for them to get out of bed. I ran in to the room and jumped up on top of my Grandma and said "Up Mamaw, pretty outside!" I have heard this story on almost every visit I have had with my Grandparents since I was 2 and I used to think I would never live that down.

Now all I can think is that I wish I could say it just one more time to her, so now I'm going to have to do it in this forum. Up Mamaw, pretty outside! Enjoy your time with God!

Love Ryan

Thursday, August 14, 2008

First Photo Shoot

I owe a huge thanks to Tammy Moon and her lovely family. I was looking for a challenge but it turned out to a great time. Emily,MacKenzie,Katelynn, and Tristan were absolutely perfect and great models. I would be honored to shot them again anytime. I had a blast and it made me feel like I was a "real" photographer. Here are some of the picture so you can see how I did.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Everest has been surmounted, the moon landed has happened, man has conquered flight and all of the pale in comparison. OK, I might be overstating it. None the less, I have finally got a picture on FlickR on Explore.

Explore? Yeah, it basically means that one of my pictures was 1 of the 500 most interesting photos uploaded on a particular day. Now, when you think about the fact that this picture was among the millions uploaded each day and then it was selected it makes it feel like a real honor to be selected. I was not the most interesting of the day I ranked in at #474 out of 500. When I saw it, I got cold chills.

I want to thank Lana's friend (Sorry, I don't know her name) for being honest and telling me that I was getting predictable and stale with my shots and Lana for being her voice. I have been pushing much harder since that day and I will continue to do so thank you both.

So the picture that got selected was taken at the Night Glow at the Indiana State Fair, which is an annual event in which they line up the hot air balloons that are going to race the next day and give opportunity for the public to get up close and personal with them. All the balloons are tethered to the ground so that you can get up close for some great shots. They do this at dusk so you get to see the balloons light up or glow. I was with a Photography group that I met though FlickR. They are great group of people and I look forward to more events in the future with them.

The here is a link to the FlickR page to see more of these pictures.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

long, long, looooooong weekend

Well, where to start...

Friday, I took the day off so that we could get ready to go and get the kids from West Virginia. They had been there for the last 4 weeks visiting there Dad (I'm step-dad, in case I haven't mention that before). Friday, was planned to be just a leisurely drive to West Virginia and then we would spend a night. The drive out there was great. We stopped on the way to pick up sign's for my wife new business, Parti Gras Face Painting. She worked out a deal with a local Kinko's and they made the 3x5 banner for free. She was so excited. I'm proud of her, I would like things to be moving a little faster but I am very proud or her. Before we know it we were pulling into the hotel in Fairmont, WV. We checked in and got ready to get some dinner. We went to a great little diner in the same parking lot of the hotel. The food was good and it had a great 50's vibe. We really must be getting old we were back at the hotel and in bed by 10 PM (could also be that Fairmont is a really small town).

Saturday, the day started off good. We got up and had breakfast at the same diner and then got on the road. We call the kids and let them know that we were 2 hours away and to start saying their "Goodbyes" so that we could get back on road once we got there. The drive to the Davis,WV through the mountains was like photographic torture. Now, I know that sounds rough, but we had a time frame and I couldn't stop at every thing I wanted to photograph. I was like a kid going, look, look, look, did you see that. I know that I was getting annoying. Jennifer put up with a smile and I love her for it. We got there to pick up the kids and guess what? They were not ready. I wasn't surprised but I had to keep it to myself. After an hour of getting them ready we decided that we would go to the falls in a the near-by national park. OK, I was OK with this because I could take pictures. I thought after the hour there we would be on the road, but I was wrong. We had to go see another member of their family to say another "goodbye". We finally got on the road around a 1:45 PM and
this is not a good time if you want to be home on Saturday. See, if I didn't have to be at work on Sunday morning, we would have simply gotten a hotel and finished the drive on Sunday. The drive home was further complicated by the fact that my lovely step-daughter was taking it a little rough that her dad was staying in West Virginia. She was very talkative at first but became very quiet. About the time we decided that we were going to get a lunch she was crying uncontrollably. The crying didn't stop the rest of the day. This made for a very difficult drive home. I felt horrible for her but there was nothing that I could do to make her feel better. My step-son is a different story. He is the ruler of his world and all you have to do is ask him and he will tell you it is true. He has to disagree with everything that I say and fight me every chance he gets. I did everything I could just to avoid conflict with him. So despite all of the challenges, we did finally make it home at 1:30 AM.

Lucky, I'm the manager and I have enough flexiblity in my schedule, so that I could go in and do what needed to be done and then leave at noon.

I know that not much photography in this post but I just needed to get this rambling off my chest. Thanks for listening.

Ryan Baxter Photography