What I can do is document the proceedings. Here you see my parents in their accustomed spots at the table turning to watch Aladdin, which the cold-ridden Bean was watching from the sofa.Those of you who have been reading me for a while may remember that I'm particularly fond of everyday-life shots where A) there's something going on in the background that complements the foreground; B) strong diagonal lines enhance the picture's visual interest; C) the gazes of the people -- or animals -- in the photo direct viewers outside the frame, making "off-screen" space powerfully felt; D) and a preponderance of sharply resolved details provide the raw material for a sociological interpretation of the image. This isn't a great photograph, but it's one that pleases me a good deal for the way it matches my realist aesthetic.
Here you see my parents engaged in their typical morning pursuits. My dad is thinking about his New York Times crossword puzzle. My mom is thinking, perhaps about the book she's reading on the Johnstown Flood of 1889.Believe it or not, my dad has been wearing that same shirt since I was Skylar's age. Even longer. When I saw him emerge from our bedroom this morning I was plunged into nostalgia for our rustic life in Pennsylvania. The topic of my mother's book and the fact that we're supposed to see their friends from that era over the weekend -- they now live in Phoenix -- adds to the pang. Yet it's a good pang, one I welcome with the season. I just wish I could step outside to feel the charp chill of a November blue sky and smell the sweet decay of the damp leaves at my feet. Tucson is entering its most user-friendly phase of the year, but I do miss the classic fall days of the Eastern Seaboard.