The great outdoors

Normally one doesn’t associate mid-50’s and rainy with the month of December. Well, not in the midwest United States anyway. Around here we’re more used to chilly and/or snowy days followed by frosty nights, warm blankets, fires in the fireplace, and soup brewing all day in the crock pot. The end of 2015 was a bit different though, and instead of cold and showy we got warm and rainy. It happens though, and one might go so far as to say that Midwest weather is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get. And if it’s also true that you can tell a lot about someone by his or her shoes, I certainly hope this image tells something about the owners of these :)

On this mid-December afternoon I was home with my two boys¬†while my wife was meeting some friends from church for a cookie exchange and the kiddos were starting to get a little stir crazy. It had been cold and rainy all day so we couldn’t do much outside, and we had exhausted much of the usual indoor activities to the point where nearly everything ended up in some kind of little fight or squabble. (You know, typical of kids just being kids.) About 4pm we finally got a bit of a break: the rain stopped, the sun came out, the kids got their jackets on, and outside we went! Before spending the next half hour looking for bugs under rocks, playing hide and seek in the bushes, and pretending to be lions sneaking up on unsuspecting prey I took a quick shot of both boys as they stood on a patch of leafy ground freshly washed by the day’s rain. I should have taken this photo¬†after we were done playing as the mud and dirty pants would have spoke much more to the afternoon’s backyard playtime but hopefully this picture at least captures a little bit of what the day held in store.

Since we were going outside I brought (what else?) my usual D200 + 50mm combination because that camera can take a beating and keep on shooting, and I wasn’t too worried about it getting wet, muddy, or dirty. I also tried to keep the photo-taking to a minimum and spend as much time as possible just playing with my kids. Even though I might not have pictures to prove it, we sure did have a fun time :)


  1. Jacqueline says

    What great things to be out doing with your kids! Sometimes it seems like a lost art nowadays. And as much as I like having pictures of doing stuff with kids, the fact that you don’t have pictures to prove it, is probably a testimony to time well spent.

    • I feel the same way sometimes, Jacqueline. When I was a kid my parents didn’t let us have TV or video games until we were older so we spent most days just running around getting dirty outside. It sure was a fun way to grow up, and I hope kids today are able to turn off their phones and tablets from time to time and get out to experience nature a bit more often :)

  2. Loved this, and just goes to show how much the outdoors has to offer – great. And the pic was good too!

    • Thank you Teresa! I’m amazed sometimes at how much there is to see in nature even in, quite literally, my own backyard.

  3. In twenty years you will look back at this photo and smile. It will bring back the memories of the rainy day and the mud, and your heart will be happy you took it.

  4. Nice shot of the shoes, Simon, but my one observation of this particular photo is, does the kid on the left have his jeans on backwards? Those sure look like back pockets, instead of front ones!!

    • He sure does Tom! And I never even noticed until you pointed that out :) Some days it’s all we can do to just make sure they have pants at all…

  5. Simon —
    Looked at your picture today and it reminded me of what I did last Sunday. I went through some photos I had taken about 18 years ago of my two baby girls. One of whom graduated from OSU last year and the other is a senior at OSU! I have to agree with Rebecca, many years from now you will look back on this photo and see your boys little legs and bright colored tennis shoes. You will know that there is a God!

    • Oh my, I can’t imagine looking at photos 18 years from now David. I can barely think about looking at photos 18 days from now! But you’re right, these kids grow up so quickly and we have to cherish the time that God has given us with them. I hope your daughter is enjoying her senior year here at OSU, and if she ever tells you about some guy riding his unicycle around campus…it’s probably me :)

  6. Great pic! Just shows how the mundane can be interesting.

    The boys sure are fortunate to have a dad who plays with them – even if he does take the time to take pictures! They’ll carry these wonderful memories throughout their lives. How wonderful! Some of my most cherished memories are of my father doing things is my sister and me.

    • I’m so glad to hear that CathyAnn, and sometimes I wonder to myself just what my kids will remember 10 years from now. Will an afternoon playing in the dirt be something they think about when they are teenagers or grownups? I honestly don’t know, but hearing stories like yours are a good reminder that we have to do whatever we can to make every moment count :)

  7. Ever since I started following your blog a week ago, I am taking time to listen to your earlier podcasts, maybe two in a day to let the ideas sink in me. And I kind of like how you are always looking out for a photo opportunity. Do you ever leave your camera behind?! This picture to me is priceless. The colorful shoes on that rain soaked road is just bang on, bringing out the spirit of childhood. Awesome.


    • I’m thrilled that you are enjoying the podcasts, Thothar and thank you for being a part of this blog! I often leave my camera behind but I really do try to bring it many places that I otherwise might not. It’s kind of a balancing act, to be honest. I don’t want to be so busy taking photos that I forget to pay attention to the people and things happening around me…and yet if I never have my camera with me I won’t be able to take any pictures :)

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