holiday snaps

I hope everyone is enjoying a bit of holiday cheer. I am taking a bit of a break from my home-office and computer but wanted to share a few photos from December. Two of David’s cousins are in town from New York so it has been fun to see the kids together. I will be back with some Friday Finds and my 2016 bucket list … but until then, have a good one!

1The great tree hunt of 2015. Unlike Clark Griswold, we have no problem going to the local lot. David got his own tree this year.2We made a heck of a lot of shortbread cookies
3.1My favourite view in December
3.2An early Christmas at the Ackerman’s. Your eyes are not playing tricks, that is half-a-tree!
3.3David squeezed in a morning at soccer camp session. He loved it.
4I may only go once a year but when I do, I make sure to find the cutest church out there.
5What’s Christmas without matching PJs?
6David and Margaret are adding raisin buttons to the cookies for Santa.
7 8A little quality control.
9Christmas Eve. Erin, Jill (and Sam) played some beautiful holiday songs on the piano for us.
10If I can’t have a white Christmas, I’ll happily take +15 degrees and sunshine. Perfect weather for an 8km run with Alex and Allie.
11Jill’s friend made a plate of amazing sweets for our Christmas dessert.
12Boxing day hike in Wentworth.
13Rocks do not work as great tripods. You get the picture – a big family walk.
14Better late than never. David and I drove around looking at the Christmas lights in Halifax. Photos by David.
15Dinner with the Hulk and Darth Vader.
16Turns out suitcases with wheels were a big hit for all three kids this year. They all loved them.
17 18 19And finally, the three sisters had a pasta night at Jill’s house. Margaret and David helped.

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hey, soul sisters

There’s something special about sisters. 05thebrownsisters_ss-slide-ZKLJ-jumboScreen Shot 2015-03-30 at 1.47.07 PM

Forty portraits in forty years

Jill (younger sister) sent this to Erin (older sister) and me the other day. Forty Portraits in Forty Years is a photo series by Nicholas Nixon of his wife and her sisters every year for forty years– I can’t stop looking at these photographs! In all honesty, my first reaction was sadness because I quickly scrolled down watching them age in 10 seconds. Yikes, life is fast! Once I read the story behind the project and looked slowly through the photographs, I totally fell in love with the series. In 1975 social media did not exist, which means special moments captured on film were usually only shared with your family and close friends. It amazes me that people started things and kept them going for their own preservation … Who imagined, forty years ago, one photograph would start something special and circulate all over the world? Here are some excerpts from the article in The New York Times Magazine:

Throughout this series, we watch these women age, undergoing life’s most humbling experience. While many of us can, when pressed, name things we are grateful to Time for bestowing upon us, the lines bracketing our mouths and the loosening of our skin are not among them. So while a part of the spirit sinks at the slow appearance of these women’s jowls, another part is lifted: They are not undone by it. We detect more sorrow, perhaps, in the eyes, more weight in the once-fresh brows. But the more we study the images, the more we see that aging does not define these women. Even as the images tell us, in no uncertain terms, that this is what it looks like to grow old, this is the irrefutable truth, we also learn: This is what endurance looks like.

With each passing year, the sisters seem to present more of a united front. Earlier assertions of their individuality — the arms folded across the chest, the standing apart — give way to a literal leaning on one another, as if independence is no longer such a concern. We see what goes on between the sisters in their bodies, particularly their limbs. A hand clasps a sister’s waist, arms embrace arms or are slung in casual solidarity over a shoulder. A palm steadies another’s neck, reassuring. The cumulative effect is dizzying and powerful.

The sisters’ privacy has remained of utmost concern to the artist, and it shows in the work. Year after year, up to the last stunning shot with its triumphant shadowy mood, their faces and stances say, Yes, we will give you our image, but nothing else.

*  *  *

If we start this summer, Erin will be 78 when the project wraps up. Doable. We’ve already been unknowingly practicing. SistersSisters2Sisters1Sisters3Sisters4Sisters5

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Photographs of the Brown sisters by Nicholas Nixon are curtesy of The New York Times Magazine