A Photo a Week Challenge: Coronavirus Changes

When I work up this morning, I realized that I hadn’t posted a challenge on Thursday. Sorry for the delay. With all of the changes during the pandemic, my schedule has taken a huge hit. There are days when I can’t remember if it’s Monday or Friday. I live in Utah, and today (Saturday, May 16), the governor moved most of the state from an orange level to a yellow level. This means that all businesses can open, all restaurants can open their dining rooms (with distancing limitations), and we can have gatherings of 50 or fewer people. Even with this new “freedoms”, we are still urged to be wise. You see masks everywhere, and some stores require that employees and customers all wear them, like Costco. There are some stores that hand out disposable masks at the door and some that still limit the number of people that can be inside at one time.

One change that I’ve noticed for me is that I’m getting better at recognizing when someone is smiling even if they are wearing a mask. This is my mother. We did a social distance dinner with her on Mother’s Day (we ate outside on her patio and we all wore masks before and after the meal). For family members who came to visit but not for dinner, we set up a small table in the garage where she offered self-serve strawberry shortcake. My sister made her this very stylish mask. We are very aware of the risks and dangers for my mother (who will be 87 next month) and my mother-in-law (who will be 88 tomorrow). We are allowing them to manage their own risk, and they are both being smart while also being aware that as widows living in their homes alone, complete social isolation isn’t good for their mental health. I’m looking forward to the day when I can give both of them a big hug again.


Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

Thankful November 21st: My Heritage

I have a very diverse heritage. English, Irish, Danish, Swiss, Italian, Jewish, Spanish, French, Scottish. And we don’t know if that’s all. One of the biggest influences on my life was my mother’s mother, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Switzerland in the 1880s. I had promised my mom that I would make sure she got to Switzerland in her lifetime, and we took that trip in the summer of 2016. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for my mother, who was 83 at the time. She will probably never get back to Switzerland because of her health, but she will always remember that trip.

Thankful November 3rd: Wonderful Parents

My parents are wonderful. My childhood was somewhat amazing. We didn’t have much money (my dad was an elementary school teacher when I was younger and finally retired from the United States Department of Agriculture; my mom was an office manager), but we always had enough. My mom and grandmother made a lot of our clothes, and friends would ask me where I got many of those clothes. My father was a hard worker. When he quit teaching, he took whatever he could find to support his family before getting a job with the USDA Arial Photography Field Office. I had more than one friend tell me that they wished they had grown up in my family.

But more than just providing for our physical needs, my parents instilled in each of their five children a love for family. When we could afford to travel, we drove across America seeing amazing things, learning crazy travel songs, and playing every travel game you can think of (license plates, alphabet match, I see). My parents also loved each other fiercely. They loved holding hands, sitting next to each other, and sharing a quick kiss no matter who was watching.

When my father was at the end of his life, my mother did everything she could so that he could stay at home and not have to go to assisted living. When it got to be too much for just her, hospice came in the mornings to help, and we took turns helping her at night. Dad didn’t always remember which of his kids was there helping, but he always knew when my mom was near him.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a wonderful example of selfless love and devotion.