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She stands at the sink, cleaning dishes from last night, a little after nine am. Her son helps empty the dishwasher with haste then rushes off upstairs to listen to music on his iPod. Her daughter has the TV on in the living room, filling the room with voices. The mother is quiet as she works, still waking from sleep.
After clean up, she makes her coffee in the french press, and as it steeps, she sneaks back into her room and crawls under her covers. "I don't want to get out of bed", she moans. Her daughter finds her way into the mother's room. They snuggle and giggle and they play with each other's hair. "Its our Saturday morning ritual".
The house is slowly filling with morning light, despite the clouds outside. Its warm inside and the knick-knacks and art everywhere offer a sense of comfort. I've been in this house before, many times. Yet, each time I visit there is always something new to see or read or explore. She recently finished half of her basement. "I wish we would use this space more. The light is amazing." Its painted a light shade of gray and hosts a white L shaped sectional, with splashes of bright yellow pillows and a teal TV stand. She asks me to take a practice shot of her yoga pose in front of the wall, for a future project she's working on, just to test the light. We discuss camera settings and the light at this time of day. She is also a full time photographer; and mother; and teacher; and house keeper. As we chat, the kids begin to argue, she issues tasks to separate them. There's some back talk, and no back up. She re-iterates. They adhere and head upstairs.
She stops to pick up some things off of the floor while still in the basement. She's always organizing and cleaning, "It's never ending". We head upstairs to start breakfast. As we drink coffee and chat in the kitchen, her daughter occupies her time at the computer, in the adjacent room. She begins to set up for pancake prep. She carefully and intentionally pulls spices from the cabinets, in between glances at her phone for the recipe: pumpkin pancakes. Without lack of care, she gently removes the bowl for mixing, not avoiding the clanging of pots due to minimal storage space. "Its my only complaint with this place; lack of storage space."
Shortly after, her son emerges and heads downstairs to do his laundry, he's only thirteen but she has taught them independence.
She purchased the town house, on her own, a few years back and makes her mortgage payments with her teacher salary. Her photography income helps off set the incredibly high cost of life. Not limited to: feeding the kids organic foods, gas, utilities, school expenses and after school care. As for food, her fridge is packed with healthy items and her freezer is stocked with local butchers meats. She is thrifty and environmentally conscious, she buys local whenever she can.
As she combines the main ingredients, she invites her daughter to assist with the rest of prepping. This always turns into a learning experience for her daughter and a time for bonding for them both.
After the pancake batter is made, the mother begins to cook as her daughter retreats, back to the computer. The process of cooking the pancakes takes time, so we chat as we drink our coffee.
Tomorrow, Part 2 will be featured. Stay tuned.
Thanks for reading.
Copyright 2015 Danielle Campbell Photography