Abandoned building in Philippi, West Virginia, former ball room.
Meaningful and tired are the words for my thoughts, feeling and photos for 2018. Over the year I was able to take beautiful photos, spend time with people I enjoy, do work that I find meaningful and I am still surprised at that. Being tired was my overall experience this year.I have never worked so hard at something I love so much in my life. Often I would work my 8 hours and walk 6 to 7 miles a day, up and down 3 flights of stairs. Then spend one day a week processing the items that I had carried down those same stairs. Some how,I kept my clothes washed, got my son to school and I walked another mile or two with my dog every day. I pushed hard on the weekends too, with updates to my house and trips with friends and family. I think, I finally collapsed into bed on the 21st of Dec. and just slept… I took a nap that afternoon that lasted 3 1/2 hours and then went to bed that night at 9:30 and slept 8 1/2 more.
So for fun I put together some of my more favorite photos from the year. 50 has been very eye-opening for me creatively. I have found “myself” as an artist and photographer and have finally found a subject matter that excites me!!As you will see, I have fallen head over heals in love with antiques and windows. I never realized how much I love the glow of light through a window and how that light fascinates me. Someone once said that we are always taking the same photograph over and over subconsciously until we discover what we love. Then we can focus on that subject and make a world out of it. Well the world opened up for me in 2018.
So I hope you enjoy my photos from the last year and I hope to do better next year with reaching my goals.
Clock at the Barbour County Court House
Court Room of the Grand Jury of Barbour County
Stained glass in ceiling of the Barbour County Court House
My first few days at the new AmeriCorps location at the Barbour County Development Authority. It was at this court house that I realized my future was working with the history of this community and it’s treasures.
main floor of the Golden Rule mess t 1st Day
Third floor wall and mess 1 st day
large collection of dirty doors 1st day at the Golden Rule
The following week was an over view of the project that I am still working on today. The Golden Rule building was purchased in April of 2018 and I was brought on board to help clean up the mess and help preserve and liquidate all the assets in the building. Needless to say I am still working on cleaning up the mess but some of the photos I have taken inside the building are priceless.
Buffy table in dinning room of Adaland
bathroom window at Adaland
In June my office was invited to a luncheon at the Adaland Mansion ( circa 1841) where we explored and toured the grounds of the historic home in Barbour County. The food was traditional to the late 1800 to 1900’s and everyone dressed in time period costumes. It was a great break from the dirt and dust of the Golden Rule.
Adding Machines, type writers and cash registers stored one at hardwood table
Basement full of bottles and plates
Broken Boy with Grape basket lamp by window.
Spoiled canned fish from the 70’s?
As the Summer wore on I found items that were strange, beautiful and unusual in the Golden Rule. My work was labor intensive, being the main person moving 7,000 pounds of garbage into bags and boxes day after day wore me out. But, the pay off was seeing, photographing and sometimes saving pieces of the past that would other wise be lost if the building had belonged to someone other than Woodlands Development Group.
Frog on moss covered stone Cranberry Wilderness WV
Bickels knob observitory Elkins WV
Allegheny trail head bridge Harmon WV
Finally in July we took a few days off to rest and spend time with the family. We fished, hiked and spent afternoons swimming in the river just enjoying a holiday weekend.
As summer came to a close it was announced that my home office would be moving and we were able to tour the new location for Woodlands Development Group in Elkins WV.
Door at the new Woodlands Development group office in Elkins WV
door to no where at the new Woodlands Development Group office
Wild Mountain Laurel Elkins WV
In Oct. we watched the West Virginia episode of “State Plate” with Taylor Hicks. I wondered how Tom and I ever survived cooking and eating on national TV. We both enjoyed seeing what they made out of day together.
Jolynn Powers and Taylor Hicks cooking in the kitchen.
Baked Apple Dumplings fresh out of the oven.
Then the Open House at the Golden Rule was an overwhelming success. We had over 100 visitors and gave tours to over 65 people in 4 hours. We raised over 300 dollars to help the preservation and rehabilitation of the building and I must have made 14 trips up and down those stairs again. I was really tired when it was over but it was worth all the work to put it together to see people enjoying my work!
Golden Rule Building 1902, Belington,West Virginia with window murals
Vacation time came and I celebrated my 50th birthday in the best way. I went back in time and relived the joy and happiness of my youth at Hershey Park, PA. Riding roller-coasters and eating Hershey’s chocolate was so much fun and I got to see several old friends that I love dearly. Could not have planned something better if I tried.
Alex Smits, Christopher Powers and Tom Powers having fun at my birthday trip to Hershey Park, PA.
Hershey Tower drop
Halloween is my favorite time of the year and this year I explored two ideas for my haunted house costume. The first was the idea of making myself into some kind of moth-man or fly-man and the other was the evil crow. In the end the mask and wings of a bird won out and I spent a great night at Christopher’s after-school program volunteering to scaring the heck out of young and old a like. I then went with the kids Trick or Treating as the scary crow and had a ball… the best few weeks of my year!
Halloween Costume #1 for 2018
The Holidays were a blur, I remember that we had a nice couple of holiday dinners and I got to spend lots of time with my family and friends. I got to see Christopher sing at his choir concert and watched three movies at the theater in 9 days…. so much fun!
Christopher Powers in Santa hat age 10
Govenor’s Inn Main Street Buckhannon, WV
So it was a busy year and I learned tons about myself and what I want to do as an artist in the future. I think my photos are getting better and I realized that I do much better with natural light and I am not great at photographing people. I hope to work on that this year. So the goal is set to take at least 6 natural light portraits this year. We will see if I can reach that goal while painting another couple of murals.
Hope your holiday was a good one and I hope you have a productive 2019. Maybe it will slow down just a bit for me in 2019. I can only hope to do more traveling and spending more time with friends and family and continue to grow as an artist.