After the rain

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Yesterday was one of those perfect summer afternoons I remember from my childhood. After a much needed rain, the neighborhood kids gathered outside, rode scooters through puddles and tried to catch "snakes" (aka, worms). And while all that was going on, I was having my own fun, with my very own toy.

Mama's got a brand new camera.

Well, it's brand new to me. I bought a Canon EOS Rebel XS off Craigslist.org, and it looks like new, acts like new and is still under warranty. For months, I've been whining about how I've been missing moments, trying to snap pictures on my Android phone.

Some of you told me the solution was the I'm-too-sexy-for-everyone iPhone. But I couldn't shake the image of wearing a camera around my neck and running after my kids like a wanna-be professional photographer. And I've been drooling over beautiful pictures taken by lovely ladies, Kerstin and Bella. Recently, Kerstin, who takes a lot of her photos on a Nikon D80 as well as her iPhone, sent me a link about depth of field. That's how I knew it was time.

I mean, I don't know how to capture photos with depth of field, but I really want to learn.

Right now, my entry-level digital SLR satisfies an immediate need to capture my children before their smiles turn to ugly fish faces and they walk out of frame.

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And, when they start a parade.

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And decide to mow the sidewalk with a bucket on their head.

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And flash a sweet smile when they whizz by on their bike. (It seems bucket-head is having a problem back there.)

I have a lot to learn, and that's the sheer fun of it. I realize, as a writer, I spend a lot of time observing moments rather than actually living them. But when I was running up and down the street, trying to freeze images in time, I felt like I was observing and living. I want to get better at snapping pictures for my own personal satisfaction and enjoyment. And that feels huge.

Friends, I think I have a hobby.