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Happiness Is...

image copyright Fred First

In this house, where usually there are just the two of us, how wonderfully discombobulating it was for those few days last week to have a house-full of family. Rooms were peopled, chairs weren't empty, silence was unheard of. There is something different about housing family: I find no urgency to entertain, have no guilt that each moment is not filled with structured activity. We are simply together.

And so it was not long before everyone nestled into their own niche, making themselves at home in our home--reading something entirely for fun, wrapping something semi-secretly or bantering cheerfully with another guest-relative to settle ancient debates about the silliest of matters. With histories that go back lifetimes, there was seldom the need to look outside our shared stories for conversation.

I recognize and lament how seldom I see both my children under the same roof over the past few years, and so am busy squirreling away little vignettes for future reveries when they are here. Few of these special moments can be captured in a picture, though, so I don't often try. Family snapshots too often miss the unposed and spontaneous nature of the times. But there are exceptions.

Abby's mom, in her full sweep of the house for the family's dirty clothes, exchanged a played-in top and bottom for a warm fleece blanket. Our three-year-old people-puppy, swaddled in her favorite wrap, found the warm dog lying next to the woodstove and draped herself lovingly across him. How could a photographer resist!

And so, here is the picture: perfect in that both the subject of the image and the photographer are found in that rare state of perfect bliss and contentment. Happiness is a warm puppy, a warm little girl, and a warm grandpa behind the camera.


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She's adorable! What a great photo.

Yes, I agree with you on what happiness is! It's great to have them all home; it's nice when the house returns to 'normal' again, too.

This is not only a heart-winning photo, Fred, but an award-winning one. Abby is so angelic!

I look at this image the photographer in you has captured; I read the words the writer in you has written and I too could feel the warmth and the happiness.
You are such a blessed man Fred and in my opinion, rightly so because you so often find a way to open your private world and let us get a small glimpse, thereby blessing a multitude. Thanks so much.


Looks like Tsuga enjoyed the extra company too! Lovely photo,lovely post.

A precious picture - one to cherish..............

Assuming that your photos are not 100% talent, I would like to know something about the camera you use. Is it digital? If so, what have you found out about digital cameras that may assist me in buying the right one for posting the same variety of pictures you post online (portrait, landscape, extreme close-ups)?

If you're inclined to address this, don't make it a chore -- maybe 25 words or less!

Thanks. Your pictures are just stunning.

Absolutely superb! A moment to treasure.

I just thought she was lying on some sleek, furry Thing--never occurred to me that the Thing was Tsuga!

This is priceless, Fred. Really.

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