“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”
Each year, at this time, I look through the images I created throughout the year and choose my favorites. Typically this project has been a relatively easy thing to do. This year, I spent significantly more time making my selections and
thinking about the reasons for each selection.
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone on the planet. The year was challenging for me even before the global pandemic. Due to the challenges of the year, my selections for favorite images are much different from those of past years as my focus has dramatically shifted. This year has given me the gift of focusing on what really matters.
In March, when life changed dramatically for all, I began taking daily walks. These walks allowed me to step away from the computer I was now relying on for work and focus on the beauty of the natural world.
My dog, Maui, was my constant companion on these walks and during my days spent working at home.
Friendship has always been extremely important to me. I have friends who have weathered life’s storms with me for decades. I also have such wonderful friends who I met through my love of photography in the past 13 years.
In 2020, while nothing else seemed normal, I was able to meet dear friends in photography to explore the world using our cameras.
Dena has been my friend since I got locked out of my house when I was ten years old. She invited me to her house where we ate ice cream until I could get back home. Recently, Dena invited me to spend time with her at her beach house near Fort Fisher. The time we spent was filled with joy, shared stories, and laughter. Before I headed home feeling restored and loved, I experienced and photographed this sunrise. When I view this image, I will always remember the love we shared during that extended weekend.
Family has been such a blessing during this stressful year.
My brother and his wife, Janet, have spent more time here than in typical years in order to help out.
In the winter, my son, Jeremy, was sworn in as a police officer. We are so incredibly proud that he has chosen a life of service.
In September, we officially added a new member to our family. Abi, Jeremy’s wife, actually became a member of our family a long time ago. On this cool fall morning, Abi allowed us to drag her out of bed at 3:00 a.m. in order to drive to Roan Mountain in time to photograph her at the top of Round Bald in her wedding dress at sunrise.
Randy, my husband, has been my support and rock through all of the challenges this year has presented.
Creativity has always allowed me to express my feelings about a situation. I have created two composites this year that have helped me express my new normal working life and home life.
My last favorite image of the year is one I made at the very beginning of 2020. Each year, Randy’s parents give me an incredible poinsettia plant. I am always so sad when I have to say goodbye to it. When it was clear I needed to say goodbye last winter, I decided to create an image using what was left of the gorgeous plant.
While 2020 has presented more challenges than perhaps any other year in my lifetime, it has also presented so many gifts. I am thankful to have experienced them.
I am looking forward to 2021 and the gifts it brings.