mike + mary :: faith, hope + love in hope town

the word for the day: dramedy.
that's my life.
i just saw it on wikipedia.
not my life; "dramedy" ~ surely i'd heard it before, but guess i'd forgotten about ol' dramedy.
the word was almost FLEISCHMAN because tycho (our 8 year old who now wears glasses!) says "fleischman" so darn cute.
why does he say fleischman? well . . .
[THIS is going to take some background, i can tell.]
so my ULTIMATE GOAL is for you to meet mike + mary.
i led with their slideshow in case you just couldn't wait.
but i'm thinking of taking you to hope town via cicely, alaska . . .
ready for this?!
so years ago, paul + i chose to not have cable tv in our house.
at the time, it was probably a combination budget decision with us wanting to limit TV content (and thus limit TV time in general) for our kids.
our goal was to have the kinds of kids who don't sit around and watch cartoons 24-7 but would play outside or play with each other, or build legos or read or pretty much anything instead.
BUT we didn't want TV in general to get some sort of sacred fruit appeal.
so that was the compromise: no cable. thus the cartoons you can see in our house air through PBS -- except for saturday morning. seems good.
THIS you may know:
there are times when there is NOTHING on network tv.
and though avery, zoe, and tycho do read and build blocks (tycho) -- and crafting is avery's big thing, sometimes they're in the mood for tv...
...yet nothing's on.
the result: they've each amassed some quirky dvd favorites. the first time tycho saw an episode of northern exposure he was 6 years old and he LOVED it.
(btw: he called it northern explosion instead.)
what a funny show for a little boy to love. no battles. no action. just stories.
mike + mary . . . never seen it.
neither one of them. (!)
paul + i found ourselves trying to explain it: could seinfield or friends have come to be without northern exposure?
it was like sex and the city without sex or the city.
realizing you (fictional blog reader) might have more in common with mike + mary than paul and i, here's a bit of background:
cicely, alaska was the setting and fleischman a young jewish doctor who had just finished med school in NY + was brought to town by the mayor, a former astronaut: maurice.
the town needed a doctor. some sort of deal was made to forgive joel fleischman's med school loans for serving this under-served population.
most people and packages got to cicily via bush plane. maggie was the pilot. LOVE maggie!
she sometimes loved, sometimes was driven crazy by joel fleischman.
the mayor, (remember, maurice) also happened to own the local radio station, the newspaper and most of the land.
he was kind of a development/entrepreneur guy ~ rich, semi-famous; sort of materialistic; sort of dumb.
the monetarily poor (but amazingly rich in life's important ways) heart-throb of a guy was the resident philosopher who also happened to be an ex-felon, the minister i believe, and the local DJ ~ chris (who later played aidan on sex and the city, yum!) his on-air ramblings often tied the story together.... generally profound yet very down-to-earth ideas built upon chris' interpretation of plato or freud or dr. suess on his morning show.
there was one restaurant/bar and no matter where they went, newcomers and town residents alike would cross paths, interact and reconnect with the same small group of folks again and again.
ruth ann. ed. maggie. holling + shelley (they own the bar) . . .
story arcs. lots of history.
funny clashes between native ways and how things might be done on the "outside" ~ lots of "fish out of water" stuff.
but lots of cohesion.
lots of love.
cicely, alaksa -- it's isolated. colorful. filled with characters. but ultimately, not REAL.
but HOPE TOWN the 500-person settlement on the abaco islands ~ real and better!
warm. BEAUTIFUL! and outrageously colorful in so many fabulous ways.
mary actually said,
"i've never felt more welcomed anywhere i've ever been. this is like a caribbean mayberry"

-- and she's right, but in part because she doesn't have the cicely, alaska analogy to draw upon. :D
and paul and i were lucky enough to spend a week there, staying in the mission house with mary.
you'll see IT in the slideshow. found it yet??
mary + mike hadn't seen each other for a few months AND NOTE: the slideshow opens at the marsh harbour airport. it might not LOOK like an airport at first. all the seating is OUTSIDE. and when you land and walk in from the tarmac, there's a sign above the door that says "Welcome to Marsh Harbour. Rotary Meetings Thursdays at 7" -- i so wanted a picture of that sign, but there was a "no-pictures-because-of-security rule" so i said "yes sir" and tried to commit it to memory.
and then we took a FERRY to get to hope town.
know what else hope town reminds me of?
iselsborough, maine. (think: gina + jolly from this summer!)
wow, what a year 2008 has been.
lots of hope town residents don't own a car. it's a little island ~ there's no need for one.
though most have bicycles and a boat ~ there IS a need for a boat! lots of golf carts, too.
someday (hopefully very soon) i'm going to post EVEN MORE images ~ a people and places of hope town thing.
mary came to hope town to accept a youth director position for the island little church. little but active.
incredibly alive!
the oldest of the youth group raise money for a mission trip.
and mary and mike have both been heavily and heartfully (if that's not a word, it SHOULD be) involved in a program called TEAMeffort.
the thought in my head: perhaps, much like hold that hug! we can post pictures of hope town and have print proceed sales being directed to the good works of mary's youth group. more on that to come.
so many highlights:
-finding sea glass on the shores;
-seeing mary's face just LIGHT UP when mike finally walked through those airport gates;
-hearing hip-high kids call out "miss mary, miss mary" around every bend;
-munchie's hamburgers (and visiting with munchie's owner, morris, each day on our way in + out of the mission house)
-bingo at captain jacks,
-that MOST DELICIOUS chicken curry quiche at the incredibly charming hope town coffee house;
-playing KNOCK card game with mike + mary
- paul reading in the yellow chair;
-going to thanksgiving dinner via boat and hearing those local stories OMG! the funniest stuff EVER!;
-the homemade bread and coconut pie made by the grocery store owner (vernon, who also happens to be the minister)
-and YES! being there for the town's annual box car derby celebration [there's one big hill aptly named Big Hill] . . .

. . . and most of ALL having paul there while he and i:
........got to know, admire and fall in love with mary + mike.
what a week!!
fyi: mary also happens to be an amazing vocalist (and teaches piano, voice and guitar on the side)
and has told SilverBox that she'll record a few re-makes of bee gees tracks for future slideshows.
who are the bee gees you ask?
clearly THIS is as good a place to wrap things up as any.
with love + happiness,

sneak peak from Hope Town

it's never easy leaving paradise.

this morning paul and i say goodbye to heavenly weather
(and our wonderful host! and her Beloved)
and fly north toward that freshly fallen midwestern snow . . .
if i'm productive on the plane, i may have a slideshow to upload soon,
but just in case we're a few days from that point, i couldn't resist sharing.
scroll on: a few early favorites from mike + mary's bahamian engagement session:
above: just in front of mary's place, the mission house at hope town
and she has the CUTEST little phone booth at the front edge of her sidewalk:
here mike + mary are next to st johns methodist church (and the ocean in her backyard):
wanna meet a few of the kids from her youth group?
and they LOVE LOVE LOVE "miss mary"
it's easy to see why:
THIS little island (abaco) is the "real deal bahamas".
oh we're so glad we came!
what joy it is to soak in the colors!!!!
hope town redefines picturesque!
(or maybe it's THESE TWO who make the magic)
mary + mike: thank you is no where near enough.
what a wonderful time we've had!!!
we'll never forget taking the boat to thanksgiving dinner and
can't wait to share that sea glass with our kids.
and speaking of kids, the other big BIG thanks goes to paul's parents (and my mom!!)
there's nooooo way we could have pulled off this trip with you.
hugs to all! see you soon!!!

san francisco engagement shoot ~ a day in the 'hood [kristan + bryant's neighborhood that is]

Kristan + Bryant met me at the airport with a sweet handmade sign and the magic words "are you hungry?"
With a place like Terzo who wouldn't be hungry! Here' a discovey thanks to Terzo tapas: BEETS....beets are a real vegetable ~ that vinegar thing and wacky color...just some midwestern deal I suppose.

And then, aaah, what better ending to a weary travel day than a comfy and fabulous boutique hotel.

The Hotel Drisco was a most scrumptious place to stay. It's in Pacific Heights just a block or two from Kristan + Bry's new place and oh so divine. Here are three of the first images I shot as a walked out of the hotel that morning. Aren't you just LOVIN this town!


We started shooting at Lafayette Park, a great historic park down the street from their place. It's a leash-free dog park and so much more. Yet dogs really are the park's primary focus as you'll note when you catch a glimpse of park signage in the slideshow.


And look at this. What a C-H-A-R-M-I-N-G place Kristin + Bryant live:


Then to Rose's for brunch, another one of their favorite local spots. Again, yummy, yummy! I took pictures (yes, even of the food -- it's the kim wade in me!) but you'll have to peek at that slideshow for the results.

After Rose's we drove out to San Francisco's Legion of Honor.


Another discovery: Where do you think Rodin's "THINKER" is located?

OK, but would you have guessed San Francisco if that wasn't the theme here?


Aha- gotcha.

Trick Question.

The Thinker IS in Paris, and there are also casts in about 20 other places around the globe. In Paris, specifically you'll find him thinking at the Musée Rodin, which was opened in 1919 in the Hôtel Biron and surrounding grounds to display the works of yep, French sculptor Auguste Rodin. [Isn't the Silver Lining a great place to learn stuff!] Back in San Fran, The Legion of Honor has a TREMENDOUS collection of Rodin sculptures (more than 70 according to their website), including THE KISS . . . but wait, there's more:


Chihuly (BIG Chihly) is here, too. (Now could you just please take a look at this, ...it's Dale Chihuly's site....now really, shouldn't we send him a note hinting that he should bring SilverBox out to take stills for him? See how cool it CAN look via that slideshow.)


By this time it was mid-day, so staying inside for awhile seemed perfect.

Kristan (who's brilliant as well as beautiful + kind) had thought all of this out and
proposed that we all see the (drum roll) Annie Leibowitz "A Photographer's Life" exhibit while there. I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity! This show (a retrospective based on Annie's book by the same name) is nearing the end of a 7-stop tour. After May 11th it leaves the country, going next to Paris and then the final stop: London's National Portrait Gallery. I have lots of thoughts to share based on seeing these 200 images...but am going to save all that for another time. We were after all, really just getting started.

This next image (which I adore) was taken just outside the Legion of Honor which seems to go by a few different names, including:

The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, which I think officially houses de Young Musuem as well as the the (officially titled) "California Palace of" the Legion of Honor.


Then, we all took naps :)

Well, except for Bryant who opted for a work conference call instead. But can I just say that not only is Hotel Drisco a lovely place to spend an evening. Whew, it's PERFECT for a mid-afternoon siesta!

And look at this beauty, this is the Palace of Fine Arts...breathtaking!


As the sun was preparing to set, we made our way to the St. Francis Yacht Club. The site of THE proposal. I kept pulling out more speedlight flashes not realizing we were putting on a bit of a show for the diners inside. Here's the thing though, everyone EVERYONE loves a couple in love. We walked back into the building to applause. Gotta love that!


We called it a day with dinner at Frascati, their first date spot ~ and yes, I have pictures of THAT meal, too....but hey, gotta say goodnight SOMEWHERE.

What an experience.

What a couple!

Bryant and Kristan, thank you so very much.

Am so looking forward to meeting your families this May!!! ~ amy

san francisco sunset....the golden gate bridge from st. francis yacht club with kristan + bry


me: home + exhausted + completely in love with bry + kristan. 
what a couple! what an adventure!!
i found san francisco (it was my first time) amazing! and reminded me more of hhmmmm a european city or san juan ... than well.... my previous california experience. SO.....southern california is not ALL of california it seems.
you already knew?
oh, and also, i LIKE beets...they don't HAVE to be in vinegar...i swear i learned so much! ~ will explain later

and will have MUCH more to share, too...but just peeked at these end-of-the-day shots (taken at the spot bryant proposed ~ st francis yacht club) and couldn't resist a quick jpg conversion, will soon post many many more....

check back for:
* more pictures of jenny + daniel's wedding!
* delightful day in san francisco
* oh yeah, the winning couple....



anne + doug: first home, first flowers, kansas city country club plaza + the yellow wall

and such fun one!

from weekend engagement shoot with anne + doug in kansas city....starting at their house (look, their first flowers!) down to loose park with the "Proposal Basket" then the plaza and then nelson-atkins at nightfall. PLUS, they SANG this song. how could i not???

crazy travels yesterday. arriving in san francisco took much longer than expected but 2 counts Silver Lining here:
a. air travel without children even with major delays and missed connections is (compared to IF kids were along) pretty much a walk in the park
b. some unexpected airport time allowed for SLIDESHOW CREATION! and what fun it was to relive the weekend shoot with doug and anne.

so sometime i want to tell you the STORY of how i first met anne, YEARS ago....but for now, want to just say: oh my anne + doug are the perfect SilverBox couple. what an afternoon! we went to one beautiful spot after another, but crazy thing is some of my most favorite images from the session are against this shed wall....oh my! images i love for a couple i'm just crazy about!!!:

more soon...
out the san fran door with kristan + bry.....
(pinch me!)

thanks for taking a look!
amy enderle