What are YOU?

IMG_3319 (1).jpg

Last weekend I went to Houston with my husband to celebrate the birthday of a very favorite friend, Jeff. It was joyful to gather around this wonderful man with his family and friends. Although I had a commonality with the family, as a very long time ago I had lived in Houston…they are all friends from Vermont, where they have a summer home. Our friends Jeff and Katherine have had oodles of family and friends from Houston visit over the years so it was great fun for us as we knew many guests at the festivities over the weekend.  I had not been back to Houston in 19 years since I left with my 5 little children to start a new life.  It was really good to be back. If felt like home again. I can’t wait to bring the children back and show them all the places that were important to us. I was grateful to share it all with my husband Donald who I met three years after arriving in Vermont.

We attended a dinner Friday night at hands down the most beautiful home I have ever been in.  Although I didn’t have the nerve to take any photos other than some candids of the birthday boy with his family, I am going back!! Julie and David, I’m coming for you and your gorgeous house, brazen Yankee that I am, camera in hand. Saturday night was spent in an amazing venue in Houston. The band was joyful, the food fantastic and our hosts for the evening are the best! I am so grateful to have been included. Do you know Sunday night they threw another party for 300! I called “Uncle!” and was in bed by 9. I couldn’t keep up! That says a lot for a St. Lawrence girl!

I love to travel and do it fairly well. I am a professional traveller. In fact, my business card title is “traveling stitcher”. I wear this self proclaimed title very proudly. I am not a gadget person in real life, like a tech gadget or kitchen gadget person…but I am a travel gadget girl. I am also obsessed with luggage and travel capsule wardrobes. Adventure and packing are my jam.  I freaking keep notes on what I pack on trips. I try to bring only what I’m going to wear and I add to my notes after my trip. I am a huge traveling dork!

And I always travel with my camera. I’m not a tidy, great camera gear bag kind of gal. Oh no, I am a throw my beloved dusty camera over my shoulder kind of gal. It’s always available and an extension of my being. There are times that I snap lots of photos, for example if I am taking photos of one of our soon to be NINE great nieces. Photographing little people sometimes takes a lot of photos to get just the absolute perfect candids. Other times I lift my camera, take one photo and I know I have my shot.

The photos below were taken on Sunday at a restaurant in Houston called La Table. I had come in wearing my camera on my shoulder, sat in my seat, and saw some things I wanted to capture. One, two, three, done. French food, here I come!

There was a young couple sitting at a table a foot away from us and the gentleman who was across from me asked if I was a photographer. “No, I have a blog that I love” I said sheepishly and that was the end of it. He didn’t look convinced and I went back to eavesdropping on his conversation….first date, blind date, fixed up by family friend and a hairdresser, he was quite a bit younger than she. She didn’t appreciate him or was trying way too hard to play hard to get, which I found ironic because he seemed way out of her league. Dying to know if there is a second date!!


What I am left with after the lunch in this restaurant was that I said “no” when asked if I was a photographer. I would tell you I was a sailor (spent my childhood raised on the family boat and in sailing camp.) Yet, I am a better photographer than I am sailor. (The Thorn family will attest to the fact that I am the worst sailor in a family of very accomplished sailors! My comfort on boats has zero relationship with my interest in navigation or sailing jobs.) Why can I not say I’m a photographer?

What makes us something? Is it time? Confidence? Accolades or financial compensation? Should we, or in this case I, own what I love and claim it as my own? I think this month I am going to spend some time pondering what I love and what I feel good about and how to make it my own. Today I start my saying, yes, I am a photographer.

Tricia Heaton