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Archive for August, 2010

Kindergarten begins

August 12, 2010 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood

It’s odd to be on the opposite side of things as Claire now begins kindergarten. We went to meet the teacher two weeks ago, and Claire acted goofy. She hid. She wouldn’t say hello to her classmates who were also there. She sat in her new classroom seat and read a book loudly as if to say “see, I can do this already”.

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The first day of school I was blessed to have friends cover my morning classes so I could join Claire and Donna at the elementary school. We were there super early with teacher gifts, kleenex, and cameras in hand. We took photos of Claire on the recess equipment and smiled as her second grade friend ran up to us. We chatted with her teacher and the other kids in the class, too. The first week was all about procedures, rules, and how to pay for lunch. I was eager for her to begin bringing home homework because I knew this was something I was good at doing with her. That week she had no homework.

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This week though it was a little different. She had homework every night. For example, one night she had to write the letter “A” over and over again to practice it in some oddly formatted handwriting called dinelian. We also got our first teacher phone class. Claire was being gregarious and was moved to a solitary table where she broke a handle off a materials carousel. We made her write her teacher and apology and take dollar bills our of her piggy bank to pay for her mistake. It’s Friday now and she’s come a long way in just two weeks. Wednesday she was to recite “Mary Had a Little Lamb” which she did by reading the lyrics online on my Droid. I’ve watched her sit down at her desk when she gets home to do homework or read through directions for other worksheets that weren’t assigned. Sure, there’s been consternation on Claire’s part about not coming to high school with me, as she’s done for four years now, but there’s also the excitement of the day to tell Daddy when I pick her up after kids express.

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Pittsburgh Summer

August 07, 2010 By: nooccar Category: Adams, holidays, Pittsburgh, Travel

This summer I had the opportunity to spend a month in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Claire was with me the entire time and spent a good deal of the month visiting our family. I expected more time sitting, watching movies I’ve not seen, and generally being a log lump while working on my lengthy to-do list. I didn’t expect to travel around as much as I did. For example, one week I drove to Lawrence County to visit with my mother’s cousin all day on Monday, road around with my cousin Brian another day to shoot our city, and the third day I went with a friend I’ve not seen in 15 years to photograph another part of the city. Friends surprised us by driving from Virginia for a long weekend, and people I didn’t think I’d see I spent a lot of time with.

AuntieM & Claire
Auntie M & Claire on the John Deere in our parent’s backyard.

Claire and I fished at Trax Farm, my uncle and I had some good talks, I drove my mum back and forth to the train each day (so I could have the car), etc… My brother-in-law, Danny, and I installed lighting on my parent’s porch one day and another day we took Claire kayaking, after Donna arrived for two weeks in PA.

While there, we drove to Warren, PA for the fourth of July. I first made this trip 16 years ago with Donna when we first dated, and it was good to see so much of her family, including a cousin we’d not seen since our engagement party in 1999.

I shot many abandoned buildings and captured the history of Pittsburgh from the old farm homesteads out near Bridgeville to asylums in Scotts and New Castle to an old iron mill in Braddock. I also photographed the Strip District and Southside before turning the camera on the families.

I’d never live there again, but I know the true love I have for a city I once took for granted and now miss from time to time. A city that still holds my heart.


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