Friday, May 3, 2013

Blessings, expenses, losses and mourning inanimate objects...

Let me take a moment to pour out my woes. I know they are trivial and really not a big deal in the big scheme of things. I am happy to be where I am today after all you are about to read. I just wish it had been a little easier on us to get there. AND it puts me in a pickle as a photographer.

It's coming up on the one year mark of when Theodore came to live with us. How he ended up being a permanent resident is a whole different story and not now that I am at liberty to put out there. We'll just say it was an adventure in all of the things I lack-like sympathy for stupidity, patience, a filter for my mouth... You get the idea.
When Theodore came to spend a few weeks with us in the end of June we had no idea he'd become such a HUGE part of our family-permanently. He came just to visit while his sister, brother-in-law, older brother and niece and nephew were home for vacation.
What he came with was nearly nothing in the form of clothing or necessities. Not much of a big deal. We knew that the family was surviving on an income that made us look like we made millions. He was roughly of a size that he could wear Leonardo's clothes and shoes so, not really a big deal. Well, when we found out he would be staying with us for school we also found out that what he came with? Was pretty much all he had. That was an expense, to put it mildly. He needed EVERYTHING from underwear to a toothbrush to clothes and shoes.
School was another situation. Theodore's mom lives in the next town on down the road. Theodore goes to school in the next town on down the road. There's no getting on the bus to go to the school over yonder. So, we decided we had no choice but to suck it up seeing how we couldn't move him-we didn't have guardianship or anything of him yet. That meant driving Big Betty the gas guzzling Ford Expedition to and from the next town over there every day-twice. Thankfully Theodore had been receiving services through the McKinney Vento act prior to this and the school stepped in to help us some. I still have to pick him up a couple of days a week or for sports but, the bus picks him up in the morning and returns him on the other days of the week.
I mentioned sports there. He wanted to play football and we firmly believe in extra curricular activities. So, we made sure he could play football. Talk about expenses there. Thankfully the team had already planned on his situation for the sign up fee and that was covered but, there are a lot more expenses than that. There is the cold weather gear for under his pads and uniform, cup and jock strap, cleats etc... OH! And actually getting to and from practice. OF COURSE, football practice wasn't right after school so he could just stay there. Nope. That meant we had to take him down and either wait for him or go back and get him. We'd have waited, except Leonardo also plays football for our home school. They're smart enough to have practice after school. It ended however, about 1/2 hour after Theodore's started. Naturally we don't live close to the school where he could walk or jog or skateboard home. Nope. We had to go BACK to our home school, pick up Leonardo, drop him off at home and go back to pick up Theodore.
THEN his mother got visitation-much needed-and WE had to take him to and from the city about 15 miles away to visit her for 2 hours every Sunday in a restaurant. His mother has no income so, we made sure Theo had at least money for dessert.
OH... and his mother demanded that we take him to scouts in the town (she no longer lived in) where he goes to school one evening a week. That can't be done smelling like a football locker room and for midget football there is no shower/locker facility for him to get ready in. He had to come home, shower and go BACK to Next Town-where we had to either wait for him or do the round trip again. We waited.
Not sure where we were supposed to actually EAT in there or do homework or... well anything but, somehow we did it.
Which leads me to what I was getting at: It got MIGHTY expensive. All total we were putting about $150 or more a week in gas in Big Betty plus we had to meet what his mother demanded, provide for him what he needed and what the court ordered for him. BUT, we weren't receiving his survivor's benefits-his mother was. And she wasn't giving him a dime of it for his needs.

Saying it was financially hard is putting it mild. We used our liquid savings between what he needed and court costs. Then my car blew up and we were down to only Betty and the costs got higher. I dipped into my camera fund from business to make ends meet until we could get his survivors benefits for him.
And then my beloved Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens passed away. It was going and I knew I had to replace it soon... I just prayed I could nurse it through until I did a session and it worked like a Tilt-Shift Lens and everything was jacked blurry in odd parts of the image. It now sits in a place of honor where I can gaze lovingly at it and mourn it's loss. My problem is this: I've done that thing I say to other photographers NEVER do. I used the $ for gear upgrades for family expenses thinking that the poor 17-50 would be able to limp through one more year. Murphy's law. That leaves me without a wide zoom. I rely on my Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 for most everything and I am OK with that. I LOVE the 70-200 range for EVERYTHING. However, family portraits? It doesn't work so well. Wedding groups? Well I am out of the wedding season. I need a wide to normal zoom. THAT, my friends... brings me to the reason for this post. I've entered to win the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 Di VC USD lens I have been drooling over in THIS CONTEST.  I've entered a LOT of contests over the years and never really much won anything. Let me tell you... I am praying-hardcore. Otherwise? I'm kind of down for the summer-senior portrait season and for all those Christmas portraits.
Help a girl out and say a prayer for me????

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