Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Family, friends and a politician

What did YOU do Labor Day Weekend? Whatever you did, I hope everyone had a happy and safe end of the summer, and enjoyed time off of work. I think this was the first year in a long time that I didn't bbq with my family...I spent the weekend "working". Well, working is probably not a really appropriate word for what I did this weekend. I met family, made friends and met a politician. As you know from my previous post I've been in S. Dakota to photograph a wedding on Saturday. I extended the working vacation by photographing some senior portraits yesterday before I left.
One of the highlights of my trip was what I did on Sunday! My mom's side of the family is quite extensive and I literally have hundreds of relatives I've never met. When I think about the fact that my mom's dad came from 12 kids and my mom's maternal grandmother was one of 15...well, you can imagine the amount of cousins she has. Although I've never met most of my cousins, I have met just about every aunt and uncle that she has. On Sunday I had an amazing opportunity to meet my cousin Diane and her husband Ray. As she and I said, we've both known about each other for years, but had never met (even though at one point she worked in SJ where I was living--hmmm, go figure). Anyway, I drove about an hour and a half from Sioux Falls to the little town of Letcher where she and Ray own the farm that belonged to his grandfather. I loved looking at all the family history that was in this house and hearing about the legacy of this wonderful country home. We had an extraordinary lunch of french duck (yes, duck that they brought home from their last trip in France) and pecan pie for dessert--delicious. We actually had dessert in the loft of the barn where Diane and Ray were married four years ago.
After we had lunch I had an incredible opportunity...Diane is the assistant to George McGovern (yes, THE George McGovern who was the democratic presidential candidate in '72). What a kind, softspoken, gentle man! He regaled us with some stories of when he was a young serviceman during WWII and stories from his political days decades ago. He also gave me something that I will always treasure. He wrote a book about ten years ago about his daughter Terry. Terry was an alcoholic who lost her life because of the disease. George was kind enough to write a message in a copy of the book and give it to me because he knew I have a family member afflicted with this disease. If you ever have the opportunity to read this book I would highly recommend it. It is truly a touching and very personal story! I couldn't leave that night without taking a photo of my new friends in S. Dakota!
As I was telling you on the last post, I saw a lot of odd little statues in the downtown area. Well, not so much odd (although some of them were), but there didn't seem to be any theme related to all of them. I found out that each year the downtown area hosts a year long "contest" where sculptors offer up their works of art to be displayed. During the year tourists and citizens can vote on their favorites.

Once the contest is over some companies purchase some of the statues and display them either at their property or donate them back to the city. I thought it was a great thing to do to keep some beauty and originality to the town.
It was a wonderful trip, but I missed my husband and daughters and was glad to get home. A nice little way to end my trip was that I was standing in baggage claim at Sac airport when I saw one of my brides from earlier this year. I began talking to Cara (Jim and Cara's wedding blog was posted back in March) and she was telling me she and Jim were coming home from the Grand Canyon AND that we were on the same plane from Salt Lake!!! I guess they saw me on the plane, but didn't have the opportunity to talk to me until we landed. I LOVE it when I see my couples after their weddings in situations like this!!!
Well, it's good to be home and am looking forward to all the other weddings I have in the next few months!

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