Home Sweet Home – Finding Richness in Life

The Harshness of Reality

I realized I have problems. Life problems. I can’t just think “Okay, everything will work out great!” When everything is falling around me.

No, I’m not dying or anything. I just am financially strapped (as so many others are right now.) I haven’t been able to pay the rent in almost 5 months.

The bills have been piling up and Winter is still making the most of it. Providing the necessities of life for my family is a daily struggle. There may be no end in sight to all of these depressing facts.

Not Depressed, Just Thinking

I don’t like to talk about sad, depressing things. I don’t like talking about negative influences in my life when I see so much beauty and kindness around me.

I am generally a positive thinking person. My family may be living in a small 400 square foot house with a yard only big enough to fit a small car in.

Here’s what I see. We have a house, we aren’t living out of the car, we rarely go hungry, and we have the companionship of our fur babies to entertain us and keep us happy.

I see that I am almost in perfect health, that I can go out and walk with my friends every day if I choose to. My family is together, we have each other and have never been separated. Despite some of the crazy stuff that happens, we all still love each other.

Building Momentum in What Seems to be an Ugly Place

Some people think of Taft as an ugly town. I don’t see it that way at all, they just aren’t looking hard enough. I have lived here almost 9 years and have found amazing things to photograph. I have found secrets. There are hidden treasures here.

This town has a rich history deep in the foothills of oil country. Many people don’t even know this place exists. When I first moved here, I realized there was much more to Taft and I wanted to know about it.

I dove in, posted something about taking pictures on Center Street in the middle of summer during what locals called ‘Cruise Night.’ That was it for me. That was my step in the door, my opportunity to discover more of Taft and meet new people.

The Meet up With Fellow Photographers

I put myself out there to meet up for a photo opportunity, I was contacted by a member of the local camera club. She told me it was a great idea to take photos and she had invited the rest of the club members to meet with me.

I was excited and nervous, but I love photography and I wanted to get some great photos to document what ‘Cruise Night’ was like in Taft. I knew there were going to be classic cars and music. What I didn’t expect was how friendly everyone would be.

Cruise Night

The people I met were very helpful as to what I should check out and we talked a little about cameras and what kind of lighting would be great. We also talked about getting some shots of the Taft Fox Theater. I heard it was refurbished and looked great inside.

Interesting story about that, my husband attended the grand re-opening of the theater and he was amazed at the work that had been done.

I loved Cruise Night right away. The people driving the classic cars were ‘cruising’ up and down Center Street. Some demonstrated what a ‘burnout’ was.

There was some great barbecue food being served on one corner. Most of the businesses stayed open later and joined in the festivities.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I try to go to every Cruise Night now. It is one of the events that occurs year-round every first Friday of the month. So if you ever want to meet up for a photo op or just hang out and enjoy the show, don’t hesitate to check Center Street to see me aiming my camera for the perfect shot.

Fast Friends and Long Lasting Memories

I ended up getting a LOT of photos that evening and met some great people who ended up being close friends who I still hang out with. I was surprised when I was invited to attend the next club meeting. It was an honor for me and I gladly accepted.

We have gone on some fun photo shoots, camping expeditions, tours, hikes, and visited some special places. I will never forget the many ‘spur-of-the-moment’ trips we went on or the planned event that ended up totally different than what we expected.

Even though things may have not always gone right, we ended up becoming closer friends because of it. I can’t wait until the next adventure.

Finality of Realization

So even with all of my financial burdens looming over my head, I refuse to forget all the fun times I have had and adventure will always be waiting for me to take the next step.

I will always be looking for that one opportunity, that one moment that I alone can capture for the world to see. There is so much more in Taft and I will find it.

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