January 24, 2009

A day in Lynchburg

Today Kim and I had about four and a half hours to kill while we waited for David to attend Saturday school. We have found that losing his Saturday play time impacts his behavior much more than getting to stay home all day because he's been suspended. I know these are not the victories most parents look for, but such is life with our son.

So early in the morning we headed out to take David to the downtown Lynchburg location of the Saturday school. And after dropping him off we decided to enjoy our awesome city.

It was quite dark this morning and the sky was beautiful so we headed for one of our favorite photography spots—the Old City Cemetery. On the way I noticed the sky behind the spires of two churches and stopped to take the picture. A guy walking down the street asked me what I was taking a picture of and I said, "the sky is beautiful today." He turned around and looked at it and said, “you’re right—the sky is beautiful. Thanks.”

At the front gate to the Cemetery, I stopped and took another picture. The sky can change so quickly and I really wanted to make sure I got pictures of it before it changed. And about 15 minutes after taking the picture of the Cemetery gate, the clouds thinned and the sky brightened—still beautiful, but not nearly so moody.

Since I photograph Lynchburg so much, and because I have some favorite photography spots, I like to look for unique angles of things I have photographed before. So I took the photo you see here of the chapel behind the grave stones. Previously, I have photographed the chapel only from the park, which gives a warmer look to the chapel, probably the builders’ intended look all along.

But in the photo to the left, with the grave stones in sharp focus in the foreground and the chapel slightly out of focus behind them the mood is altogether different. And I like it. I guess I was in the mood for moody photography after photographing the heavily cloud-laden sky. So this composition just spoke to me as we drove past these stones. In fact, I took this photo from the driver’s seat of the car without even getting out. That’s not an advisable way to take photos, but this scene just seemed so photogenic that I didn’t even attempt to look at it from any different angles.

After cruising around the Old City Cemetery for a while, we headed to the Lynchburg Market to buy vegetables and apples. The vegetables are for our family. The apples will be split between our son (who loves to juice them in our vegetable juicer) and the deer who now realize that we leave apples on our back patio for them each night. They wander into our back yard and amble over to the patio to get their treats. If we go outside before they’ve found the apples, they begin to walk toward us expectantly. If we go out while they're eating, they just look up at us and continue chewing. David talks to them in a loud voice, typically asking if one of them is Bambi. Of course, I've told you about Thumper—our pet cottontail rabbit. Well, his name is actually Roger—as in Roger Rabbit.

Since we still had about two and a half hours left to kill before the end of David’s Saturday school, we headed across the street to Inklings, the delightful gourmet coffee shop and bookstore. This store has a fantastic collection of books for purchase. Or you can simply read them while you're sipping your latte, hot cider, gourmet hot chocolate, or chai tea. The store was hopping this morning and it was fun to listen to some of the conversations at the nearby tables. It’s obviously a meeting place for deep thinkers and we heard discussions on classic literature, theology, philosophy, and warfare tactics of the mid-nineteenth century. I read a few chapters of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, and now want to purchase a copy. I read this book when I was in high school and loved it. The quick reading of the first couple of chapters reminded me of what a great book it is. So now I have another book to add to my wish list. It's getting pretty long.

All-in-all, another enjoyable day out and about in our wonderful city. And David did so well in school that his teacher came out to see us afterwards to say, “I just wanted to tell you that David did fantastic today.”


  1. Wow, tell David I'm very proud of him. I know how hard it is to make it through a day "well". I proud of all the effort he put into making it a great day.

    Thanks for sharing your "moody" compositions. I tell my children that bad days and boring days offer a welcome contrast to good and very good days. Without that contrast, we would not fully appreciate the very awesome days we have. I love contrast in life, in art, and music. I'm committed to living life in 3D.

    And, I'm so glad you got an unexpected quiet day with Kim. Those impromptu days are often the very best ones for memories. I'm glad you share a hobby/passion. It's so much more enjoyable when shared!

  2. I told David. He said, "Oh good. Is she pretty?" He's such a lady's man. Watch out, Lance.

    Kim didn't take her camera today, but she doesn't mind hanging out with me while I do photography expeditions and if she gets an inspiration, I can just hand her my camera.

    But we got to share two of our hobbies today--photography and reading. We both love cafes and Kim got to enjoy hot cider and perogis while we were there, so I wasn't alone in my coffee enjoyment either. It really was a great day.

    I'm glad you see the contrast in days as a positive thing and are teaching that to your kids. God has blessed us with a beautiful world. Raising a cottontail rabbit has brought us another perspective on God's wondrous creativity. He is the Master Designer.

    The other book I read at the coffee shop today is one that I think you need to read. It's called The Gifted Adult. I think you'll understand why I'm recommending it once you begin reading it. Even the back cover will probably give you a good clue.

  3. What a neat glimpse into your lives, both in pictures and in words!

  4. The cemetery Richard...I'd have a hard time not getting out and photographing there. Look at that church and that tree and the tall marker...the textures, colours, contrasts. Really very interesting.

    And a booky chai Saturday, sounds great!

    Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Decadent - you can check out some more photos of that cemetery here. It's my absolute favorite photography spot in Lynchburg.

    And this is about the Confederate graveyard that is within the borders of Lynchburg's Old City Cemetery. It's a little piece of beauty within a larger piece of beauty. I'd love to see what photos you'd come up with at this cemetery. It's gorgeous everywhere you look.

  6. Oh - and if you're on Facebook and want to send me a friendship request (Richard Gelina - Lynchburg, Virginia), you can take a look at a bunch of other photos from the larger cemetery and from the Confederate section. Plus a load of other photos that I regularly upload there in hopes that someone will be interested.

    Let me know that you're "Decadent" in your friendship request or I won't know who you are.


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