Catching up on things for 2018!

Catching up on things for 2018!

Chrystal, myself and sister April enjoy some Chicago Style Pizza at a local place a few blocks from her apartment. Good stuff, but way too much for the three of us to eat!!

Well, as always, we’ve both been behind on doing our blog posts here!! It’s not that we haven’t been on roadtrips since September, but haven’t taken the time to write about them, so this post will cover a bit!!

My sister April and I both love to travel and even though we’ve been cutting back lately as we’re trying to save up for a trip to Europe in 2019 to visit with my nephew Brad and his family, who’s stationed in the Air Force in Germany. I lived in the Frankfurt, Germany area for 3 years when I was in the Air Force and made many, many more trips back to Europe on photo assignments after I left, until I retired from the Air Force in 1995. I haven’t been back since then and really looking forward to a return trip to some of my old stomping grounds, plus a few new spots I didn’t make it to, such as Ireland!

However, this post is about catching up so here goes!!!

Fall Photography Weekend at Pennyrile and Shutterbug Kids

Jayden was all smiles after picking up his “Best of Show” trophy for the Kids Division at Pennyrile Forest’s Fall Photography Weekend.

In October we took my nephew Jayden (5-year-old Shutterbug Jayden) with us to the Fall Photography Weekend at Pennyrile Resort Park in Dawson Springs, Ky so he could participate in his first photography competition. Sis and I normally go every spring and fall and this year we’ve started taking one of the older kids; the fall was Jayden’s turn and he did outstanding in the kids division! There were about 10 or so kids this fall and one of his pictures won “Best in Show” for the division, and he also picked up a first and second place! We all were so proud of him! 

The category he won Best in Show with was “Water,” where he shot a photograph of canoes being reflected in the water at the boat dock. His 2nd place winner was in the “Close-Up” category with a flower being eaten by bugs. We all had a great time, but I think he had the best, especially when they presented him with his “Best of Show” Trophy. 

Next up will be Xavier when we attend the Spring Photography weekend in a few months. 

Chicago Trip to visit Chrystal

Our ride to Chicago, Illinois!

Our next trip was via Amtrak to visit my niece and my sisters daughter, Chrystal. She works for the EPA  there and we like to visit as often as we can. We took the train up, which of course is a favorite mode of travel in my book. The trip was pretty much centered around a concert by the group “Celtic Thunder” which we all three like a lot. We did a bit of other things such as the Christmas Market in downtown, but they both indulged me and my obsession for trains! The concert was great as was the market and other sights, but I enjoyed photographing and riding the trains of course. 

Railfan trips of Course

Other than the trips above, I’ve been out and about photographing trains of course! I usually try to get out at least once or twice a week somewhere in the tri-state area! Sometimes I link up with fellow railfans such as Ryan Scott or William Crupper, but more often as not it’s me, the scanner and my cameras! Sis doesn’t usually ride along when I’m out chasing trains! She puts up with my obsession on trips, but that’s about it! 

iPhone Black and White Photography Challenge

January 13, 2018 – Day 75 – iPhone Daily B&W Photo Challenge – Ties and Trees – This stack of railroad ties with the row of interesting trees in the background make for an interesting photograph! When out, always keep an eye out for things that make for good contrasting scenes!! I got the extra width in this photo by taking the picture while I was in video mode with the camera! That’s what that little silver button is for!!!

Another project I’ve been doing is a daily challenge where I shoot and post a black and white photo daily on my website and Facebook. Theme is pretty much anything I feel makes a good picture, which a lot of the time it ends up being the kids! I started this project as part of the week-long black and white challenge that was going around on Facebook this fall. 

I enjoy doing something along these lines from time to time as it forces be to think outside the box and to keep looking for something that makes for what I feel is a good photograph in black and white. I really enjoy black and white photography and while I do one daily as part of my routine for posting train photos, I wanted something different. I think these days black and white photography kinda has been taking a backseat to photography. It seems that the world has been consumed more by color with the advent of the smart phones. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still other folks shooting black and white, but I don’t think there’s as many as there used to be.

Upcoming Trips

This March sis and I are back to Chicago for another concert and to visit Chrystal. This time we’re going to listen to a group called “The High Kings” at the City Winery Chicago. Again we are going up on the train and I’m looking forward to going up in a bit nicer weather than our December trip!

Then in May I’ll be headed to Monticello Railway Museum in Monticello, Illinois with fellow railfans Ryan Scott and Bryan Burton for Southern Rail Productions photography charter with Southern Railway No. 401. This should be a fun trip and we all three are looking forward to the trip.





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A “Jesus Loves Me” moment with Damion

A “Jesus Loves Me” moment with Damion

As I was strapping Damion into his booster seat he did his normal thing and grabbed my reading glasses from my pocket and put them on! I was also quick on the draw with my iPhone to catch this moment with him!

September 17, 2017 – Sunday we loaded Damion and Elaina into my RAV4, after a great day at church, and headed to our favorite after church place to eat, which is Silver Star. As I pulled out onto Main Street I could hear Damion singing, “Jesus Loves Me…” softly from the back seat! A moment that lifted my heart for sure. He and Elaina are in their second year of kids choir at church and their cousins Jayden and Journey started going this year. Nothing sweeter than the sound of a young child singing in my book!!! I just hope that they all continue to do so!!


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A road trip to look for a lost train! At least to me!!

A road trip to look for a lost train! At least to me!!

August 15, 2017 – This morning about 10am CSXT 323 leading, with the L&N Herald on it, passed my house in Richland, Ky headed south toward Calvert City Loadout. I didn’t have time to give chase so I figured I give it enough time to get there and start its way around the loop.

So I headed down about 1pm, following the Paducah and Louisville line which the train takes to Calvert City, Ky. I checked Princeton Yard to make sure it wasn’t there and it wasn’t so I headed on down to the loadout.

When I arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find this empty BNSF train getting ready to depart toward Paducah, Ky. There was another train in the loop and so I figured the CSX train had already started around and decided to head down to the Paducah and Louisville Yard and get some shots of the BNSF train there, as it would take awhile for CSXT 323 get get back around the loop where I wanted to shoot it.

Well, I got the shots at Paducah I wanted, plus a few others that I’ll share over the next few days, and headed back to Calvert City, as I figured I had given the train there enough time for the engine to move around the loop where I could photograph it.

Well, I arrived back and a train was right where I figured it would be, but it wasn’t CSX, but a loaded P&L coal train from Warrior Coal in Madisonville! So, now I’m still trying to figure out where they put the CSX train as I checked all the accessible sidings between Princeton and Calvert City. So, I’m guessing they put it into the siding at Dawson Springs, Ky as I didn’t stop there and check of course. You can’t see the head end of a train in the siding there anyway as it’s about 1/2 mile from any crossing and around a curve.

Some days just don’t go as planned! LOL Still got a few nice shots and stopped for some great BBQ on the way home! Maybe I’ll get lucky and catch it tomorrow on its way back north!

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2017 Pearson Family Reunion trip

2017 Pearson Family Reunion trip

Family reunions are the one time of the year that everyone can get together with cousins, aunts and uncles, and the like to visit and to reminisce over old times. Counting kids we had just over 30 this year!

Last weekend we had the family reunion for the Pearson family in Springfield Ohio. We have a lot of cousins in our family, as my dad’s mom and dad had 15 kids that survived 17 counting the ones that passed.

While aunt Jean is the last surviving sibling. we also still have aunt Janet, the wife of Jean’s brother Dick. So technically we have two aunts!

All our Littles were tied up in their busy lives with their moms and dads so Sis and I went up for the reunion by ourselves this year. We do enjoy taking kids with us when we go and of course several people asked where they were when we got there. Hopefully next year, we can work it out so that the kids can go with us.

We had all kinds of good food, and everybody had a great time. Since aunt Jean has moved into assisted living, cousin Sherry made it by her house and packed up a lot of knickknacks which we raffled off at the reunion. Not sure what the total was that we took in for the raffle, but it all went to aunt Jean for spending money.

Next year we’re planning on having the reunion at Snyder Park in Springfield. I’ll try to make the reservation after the first of the year as that’s the earliest it can be done. They have a shelter next to the new playground and water park there and that’s the one I’m going to try to get. Hopefully it’ll attract a few more of the people that haven’t been coming to the reunion! We’d love to have more of you there!

Next year we plan on doing a few more genealogy things so we can actually make it a more productive reunion, not just visiting, but actually accomplishing some research perhaps.

I have posted a family worksheet to our Facebook group that I would love for you folks to download and email to me. Now that I’m doing this research I could use all the help I can get. I’ll be able to share with everyone some of the things I have found at the next reunion.

This was a really fun road trip for Sis and I! I even caught a couple trains going up and back, how about that! Hope to see you next year!

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A “Be still my heart moment,” with Elaina

A “Be still my heart moment,” with Elaina

Today’s roadtrip was a very short one… to church! Of course we do this every week on Sunday and we almost always take some of the little ones with us, unless they’re tied up in their busy schedules! LOL

In this frame grab from the video of today’s service, Elaina (center) heads up the aisle after Children’s Moments.

I run the video camera equipment at First Christian Church in Madisonville, Ky and today was a busy morning as we had a lot going on with a congregational meeting afterwards, but I’m getting a little off topic here.

The audiovisual/sound platform is at the rear of the sanctuary and has several steps leading up to where the camera and sound gear are setup. I was doing my thing after the Children’s Moments, where I position the video camera for choir’s anthem, when I feel this tugging on my pants! I pivot around and look down to find Elaina looking up at me with her lips puckered and eyes wide open waiting for a kiss! Of course I obliged and then she throws in a hug for good measure before turning and bounding off to her Worship and Wonder class. Talk about making my day! 

For most of my nieces/nephews and great nieces and nephews I was off on roadtrips traveling the world with the Air Force while they were growing up. I’d get to see them when I came home on leave (vacation), but it’s not the same thing.

Now most of them have kids of their own and I’m loving the fact that I’m here as they’re growing up and doing things that I unfortunately missed out on with their parents and grandparents. I know they all get tired of me taking their pictures sometimes, but thankfully they put up with it. I try to make sure to balance between the shooting of photos and participating. I didn’t get a shot of today’s moment with Elaina, but it is embedded in my memory for all time!

Moments like this make life wonderful! I look forward to many more with all the “littles” in my life these days!

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