Sometimes, you can know someone, but there are parts of them that can still surprise you. My younger daughter, Amy Royce is just like that. When she lived here is Casper, Wyoming, she wasn’t really much of a gardener, but now, in Ferndale, Washington, she suddenly has a green thumb. She grows the most beautiful flowers. Her yard would be the envy of any gardener here in Wyoming, because we just don’t have the right climate for the kinds of flowers she can grow. Suddenly, Amy has Calla Lilies, Bleeding Hearts, Day Lilies, Peonies, and so many other flowers. Her yard is beautiful. She says she couldn’t get things to grow in Casper, and I get that. She and her husband, Travis recently set up a fountain and pond in their yard. I don’t know if they will add fish to the pond, but it is beautiful anyway. I really never pictured Amy as a gardener, so that has surprised me…in a good way.

Amy, the insurance agent/account manager doesn’t surprise me one bit. She was an excellent agent when we both worked at The Stengel Agency, and we really hated to lose her. Our loss turned out to be Rice Insurance’s gain, and Amy just received an award for five years of service, where she is their largest account holder, and she has the privilege of working with her daughter, Shai Royce. I know how wonderful that can be, as I have been able to work with my daughter and my granddaughter. That is uncommon unless you are working in a family business, which we weren’t…it just felt like a family business.

I can’t say that I am totally surprised at just how much Amy loves the Ferndale/Bellingham area of Washington state. The weather there is milder, and Amy really doesn’t like the cold and wind in Wyoming. The rain forests of Washington have appealed to her since the first time she visited there after her high school graduation. For Amy, that trip sealed the deal, even if she didn’t move there until her children were grown, which was mostly for me, I know. I wanted to be close to my grandchildren, Shai and Caalab, and I will always be grateful that Amy and Travis gave that privilege before they all moved. In reality, I can’t think of a prettier place to go visit, and, we probably would go as often as we do if they didn’t live there.

For Amy, living near the water, be it a lake, the Puget Sound, Birch Bay, or the Pacific Ocean (when they take a weekend trip to the coast), is like a slice of Heaven. She loves the water, the lighthouses, the whales, the dolphins, starfish (especially the purple ones), and even the seagulls. She loves to go on whale watching tours, and of course, the casinos…not that Amy and Travis are huge gamblers, but they do seem to have some pretty good winnings on occasion. The beach is one of Amy’s Happy Places and you just can’t deny your child a happy place. I can’t think of a nicer happy place to have. Today is Amy’s birthday. Happy birthday my sweet daughter!! Have a great day!! We love you very much!!

imageAs any photographer knows, half the battle is being in the right place at the right time. Everyone loves a great photograph, especially the ones that capture something that isn’t often seen. Being in the right place at the right time is crucial, because some events don’t happen very often…especially in front of people. That is exactly where my daughter, Amy Schulenberg Royce found herself recently. While walking on the beach near her Ferndale, Washington home, Amy commonly sees seagulls in flight. The Puget Sound is a prime feeding ground for seagulls, so they are everywhere.

imageAmy loves to walk along the beach, view the sunsets, and listen to the sounds of harbor life. The horns of the ferry boats, the gulls squawking, the waves splashing onto the shore, and the people out enjoying themselves. It was during one of these peaceful walks that a seagull flew in close to shore. Amy took a picture with her iPhone and then realized that this gull had a starfish in it beak. As he landed, she scrambled to take more pictures, but he didn’t stay long. When she looked at her pictures, she realized that the first picture…the one where she had no idea that the gull had a starfish, was the perfect photo capture. What an exciting moment that was for her. It wasn’t planned, it wasn’t staged, it was just perfectly right…all by itself, with no help from anyone. All she had to do was snap.
I’ve looked at lots of photographs taken by lots of photographers, professional and amateur alike, and while planned shots are great, it is the shot that was pure chance that sticks in your memory files. The one where a seagull looks right at you, because he can’t figure out what that human, with a camera on its face, is exactly. Or as in Amy’s case, the picture you took when you didn’t know what you had…yet. Those are great, because they are such a nice surprise. It may be a really long time before Amy finds herself in the right place at the right time to see a seagull successfully capture a starfish, or it could happen again tomorrow…if she finds herself in the right place at the right time again.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Check these out!