A Lesson in THINGS


This morning, I learned a little lesson about THINGS.

This comes ironically the day AFTER I snapped a pic of a thick glass bowl full of treasures and trinkets. They were the topic of an article I had just written in Druid City Living, the little paper I love to write for in my “Lake Living” Column.

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The things were mostly meaningless without the story behind them, from places known and some I have to admit, unclear. My curious kitten sent the bowl crashing to my desk in a thunderous plunk and a pile of mess just where I was typing.

Until now, it sat on my windowsill between me and the sunshine. I glance at it now and then, remembering the times my babies (now grown) gnawed on a small melodic, silver rattle. It is nestled among feathers gathered from my parakeets and chickens as well as sheddings from gulls and a bluebird. It is accented by dried leaves, bright orange rock fragments from North Carolina, a golf tee and marker from Mountaintop, a small Bible with a magnifying glass tucked in the back cover that I got as a child. Sand dollars, some broken, some glued to a piece of wood. Sticks, mostly in shapes that spoke to me while I meandered a labyrinth with my best friend just before brain cancer sent her to a better place.

EF67B0E5-6F74-425D-B873-7562102A8704The slow motion movement from the bowl and the twice as fast dart of the cat is still engrained in my mind. A reminder that we can contain our things, but life still has a way of breaking our concentration, unleashing what is important.

I yelled at the cat, I screamed out loud. I watched in horror as he scrambled to the floor, then spoke aloud, “What is MY DEAL?”
BDA68D24-56AA-40BF-BA25-5452098EA62FSomehow, instead of cleaning it up, I ended up in my closet FILLED with trinkets, books and treasures. I sat on the floor. I took out a box I have carried around since I discovered it in the back of my mother’s closet. A glimpse into the life of the uncle I would never know, killed at age 18 in World War Two. Without his death my mother would have never been adopted. I would have never been. I snapped this pic of the box, the pic of, he, his mother and his sister at the time, before my mother was even a thought. The envelope returned to sender with the words “Missing in Action”.

I resolved today that things should either be displayed, shared (as in a museum) for some purpose, or TOSSED. I cringe at the third option. I used to rummage for hours in the upstairs rooms of my grandparent’s abandoned home. They closed it up, left every thing there after Allen died. What remained were things such as this chair, these photo albums, items of someone’s glorious yesterdays, avoided, forgotten.0E9266F3-0344-47AC-8973-40BC77A4D2E1

I scraped up the tiny shards of glass only after snapping a pic of the pile too. I could not deny that there was beauty among that mess as well. This pile of glass reminded me, even on my desk, of tiny grains of Alabama Gulf Coast beach sand where I collected so many of these things.

E8541A48-5734-45F7-B505-58F6D2C3BED6As I sorted to add them to a “non-breakable” plastic topped box I remembered some of the places I had stopped to snatch these things: a rock in a creek bed in Norcross, Georgia at a horse farm; a butterfly I vowed to wear in my hair if we bought it in Ashville, NC; A crystal ornament I couldn’t pack away at Christmas; a lock of my daughter’s blonde hair tied in mesh; shale looking items and sticks from the beach (because those are more rare there than shells); a paper American flag; a cork from our first anniversary.

We may think things will make us happy. Yes, these did, somehow, but they cannot replace the memories of the moments that go with them.

I culled a few shells. Perfect, hand picked, store bought shells I rescued from our beach house the week before my mother sold it with everything in it. I also took the less perfect ones I would often add to her “decor” collection, remembering the coolness of the water on my feet as I would search for them at the water’s edge. She probably doesn’t remember what catalog she bought those from. But I remember every creak, every uneven tile in the beach house floor when I look at these. I remember the home of my childhood that proceeded the newer version. The sleeping porch, the spiral stair, the wood balconies. The humming of my grandmother, the unusual softness of my grandfather’s fingers as he swirled his cane while rocking in his rocker. All of those memories simply triggered by a large rock my daughter, now 20, painted on a day when it was too cold to go outside when we lived there along the water’s edge in Gulf Shores. (We would also paint hermit crabs and release them in the bay across the street). I am pleased to discover I do draw a limit in my treasure collection.

Which brings me back to the lesson of things. None of these were elaborate gifts, jewels or shiny treasures. Even the rattle is coated in black. They are mere triggers for the memories that I hold dear.

I could toss them. But for now, I’ll just move them to a safer place. After all, the article I wrote just before this one was all about USING your treasures, making them a part of your every day life.

Looks like I’ll just have to keep the cat out of the china closet, because if I have it, I’m gonna start using it and quit saving it for that someday that might just never come.

Have a blessed, wonderful happymess ~memory making life!

Allison

 

 

#30Daysofcreativity #paintingaday #30paintingsin30days! @lesliesaeta


I’ve been inspired once again. I am ever eager to jump into every challenge, to feed off of enthusiasm that blooms every January, despite the dead branches and absence of color all around me.

I was inspired to let my daily journaling inspire paintings and took on two challenges at once!

http://www.lisasonora.com/30-day-journal-project/

http://30paintingsin30days.weebly.com/

This January was no different, and while there is still time left in the month I think I have to call a truce with my sanity. I came out of the shoot with vigor, but the mundane task of actually posting the pictures to the place on their website, the thought of blogging every day about what I wanted to accomplish, well, it was quite exhausting.

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I have been reading instead, books to inspire me to set guidelines and make TASKS towards my plans so I might actually conquer 2016 (not much unlike I did in 2015 before it faded into the abyss). Epic Blog byRegina.com , Your Best Year by Lisa Jacobs  , The Conquer Kit ( shetakesontheworld.com )  and The Creative Entrepreneur by Lisa Sonora Beam.

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Either way, whether I paint each day or not, I plan to continue to think of all of the paintings I would do if I weren’t in the carpool line, or out with my husband, or showing property sometimes in the morning, sometimes the evening but never when I can plan it. (Its the way of the job, which is what I love about it.)

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I find my #30 day challenges (PLURAL) on my mind each morning, some scribbled in my daily pages (which have some blank pages but none the less still contain thought provoking and sometimes unbridled ideas I didn’t get from paper to canvas) and many texts to myself in my Iphone as I would make my way far from my easel during my daily routine but the ideas were still flowing.

I can say, I have let the “DO IT EVERY DAY” slide and resorted to “thinking creatively each day”. So much pressure to perform can stifle creativity, but the thought that it “might need to happen” has actually inspired me to do more with what I have ALREADY created.IMG_4478

So with that said, I pull out the first three paintings I did “as requested in the challenge” and a few other things that came as a result of my “thinking and talking about creativity”. Either way, my mind has a comfortable bounce throughout the day between the mundane and the creative. It is how we should be EVERY day.

I am grateful for the challenges and relieved that I have let myself off the hook to simply absorb the creativity that was already living in my world before I decided to make it a daily checklist.

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I am noticing the creative food we ate while on vacation (carrots in butterfly form) and the cookie shaped sandwiches my daughter made. The candle I stuck in an old piece of bark that made a fabulous candle holder on my porch. Maybe we don’t have to perform to be creative. Maybe we just let pieces of creativity follow us around and flow when they are ready.

 

I urge any who are working hard to create, to let go and let LIFE. NO my gingerbread pancake is NOT perfect, but it sure got a chuckle this morning.

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Watch out how you waste your creativity, you are probably missing a sunset just as I was about to by reading this! Get OUT and go catch the sunshine, wherever it may happen to be. Notice it doesn’t plan to impress, it just DOES.

Blessings.
Allison Adams
@artallie

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/allisonadamsartist

http://www.facebook.com/allisonadamsphotography

https://allison-adams-art.myshopify.com My Shopify STORE

SOUTHERN SCRIBBLINGS ~ Adult Coloring = Southern Style


SouthernScribblingsCOVER

 

It’s here! The SOUTHERN version of that relaxing thing you keep reading about and seeing on the news. ADULT COLORING BOOKS! Tested by a business professional in a high stress, computer oriented business who said, “I am actually coloring at night before I go to bed and I haven’t slept like this in years!”

But coloring isn’t just for relaxation. It also connects us with the thing we did most when we were children. We played without thought of time or limitation.

It opens the rusty valves of creativity that still live within us. Check out the book and see if you don’t find yourself looking for more to color!

These are HAND drawn, loose, so there is no intimidation to get it wrong! DIG IN with pencils or markers.

The pages are blank on the back (with ideas for other creative adventures) so you can tear them out when you find the one you want to share or frame.

So what are you waiting for? There is a FREE coloring page for you just in time for

THE KENTUCKY DERBY

and

MOTHER’S DAY

Downloadable to your printer at the website for SOUTHERN SCRIBBLINGS (www.southernscribblings.com)

PRINT ONE for you and your daughter, grand-daughter. And share in the love of coloring.

They will be asking you what took you so long to learn to “chill”. Just sayin’!

Have a BLESSED Weekend!

 

Allison Adams

And this is the first copy of a series so if you have requests or ideas on how to improve the process, I’m in creative mode! Send it to me!

This Mother’s DAY PLAY in the colored pencils with SOUTHERN SCRIBBLINGS


Mother's and Daughter's on Mother's Day by Allison Adams

Celebrating Mother’s and Daughter’s on Mother’s Day by Allison Adams

This Mother’s Day I am celebrating the launch of a new project called

SOUTHERN SCRIBBLINGS with color pages for you to get colorfully creative with.

Email me for a quality scan (direct to your email address) for you to print and color with your own daughter of our first edition pages (this one the first draft for a sneak peek so you can feel the creativity without getting too inhibited about branching out).

I’d love your ideas of your favorite Southern Subjects and would love for you to visit the website at

www.southernscribblings.com and appreciate your feedback!

Join the ADULT COLORING CRAZE-SOUTHERN STYLE!

Adult Coloring Books are all the rage. Get your color on with the Southern Scribblings Coloring Book featuring all things that make you want to slow down and color like you are in the South. Cheers and raise a glass (Mimosa? Mint Julep? Bloody Mary?) to creativity Y’all! Allison Adams

Get ARTSY! It’s Spring!


This past weekend I had a booth at the Druid City Arts Festival. Thanks to all who came out and especially those who gave my paintings some new “homes”.

There are a number of opportunities for you to get out and “get artsy”.

Sometimes, just getting out in the countryside can be all it takes to get you in the mood to create!

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Photo: Magnolia Springs

If you are along the Gulf Coast, you can stop on Hwy. 98 just west of The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, AL and watch Bill Harrison do a demo or take a class at The Garage Studio. www.facebook.com/thegaragestudio

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On APRIL 18 Art on The Lake at Lake Guntersville (www.artonthelake-guntersville.com) will host 130 artists and craftsmen with juried requirements. It is held rain or shine indoors at the Recreational Center. It benefits local scholarship programs.

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Photo: Laurel Browning’s Paintings at The Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival in March

April 24-25 The Magic City Art Connection (www. Magiccityart.com) will be in Birmingham. If you have not been to this one, it is worth the trip. Many of the artists I have seen at national shows such as the renowned Coconut Grove show in south Florida travel this circuit. There are stages with music and educational events, a Corks + Chefs special dining event and many activities throughout the weekend. It is located downtown Birmingham in the green spaces and fountains of the beautiful Linn Park.

May 1-2 Foley Hot Air Balloon Festival

This years festival will feature a Crawfish Boil and is sponsored by Tanger Outlets. There will be chances to go up in tethered balloons beginning Friday night.

See the site at www.southbaldwinchamber.com/gulf-coast-hot-air-balloon-festival-overview/

May 9 Art in the Park Jasper (www.facebook.com/artingamblepark )

Will take place from 9-4 at Gamble Park in Jasper with more than 80 artists from a variety of medium.

May 16- Birmingham’s Do Dah Parade (which begins at 11:01 am along Highland Avenue and the festival (www.dodahday.org/ will take place in the Caldwell Park with bands, families and their pets on blankets on the grass soaking in some good music and laid back dog focused events.

Be sure to share YOUR favorite events and get the family out (this week don’t forget the umbrella) and GET ARTSY!

Allison

Custom Graphic Design/ Newsletter APA Designs


Stop letting everyone else’s customers get all of the FUN PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL!

YOU TOO can have a great looking newsletter, e-mail blast or one page flyer.

I created a fun 8 page newsletter for the Bark in the Park Event.

The Link for the Newsletter in FULL /Design is here (in red):

BARK IN THE PARK 2 NEWSLETTER

Bark2 Logo

If you would like a quote for a newsletter (The one at link on Google Docs printed through Colonial Printing in Tuscaloosa)

Feel free to contact me for all of the details.

I would love to help you get the word out about YOUR business.

This design began as a blank slate. If you have material already in Word format, I can create one of these (ready to email to your customer email list or send to the printer of your choice), for only $150 (until May 30).

This price includes material for an 8 1/2 X 11 (finished size) newsletter from a folded 11X17 page with center spread. (can be smaller)

($150 for a 4 pages/ $275 for 8 pages) (actual printing cost will be additional).

Includes: as many pictures as you would like to provide, Two “articles with full content from scratch” written by me, and Four edits of the final draft). Additional,content/edits are charged by the hour ($20 for this promotion).  Will divide payment/collection into two months (credit with $5 fee) for my ARTSY friends if you mention this promotion.

I am a member of SCBWI, Women’s Council of the Chamber of Commerce of Tuscaloosa and Alabama Media Professionals and assure quality work and satisfaction.

OTHER SERVICES:

I can also set you up with a BASIC website that HOSTS for free

Visit mine at www.allisonpadams.wix.com/allisonadamsartist

or www.allisonpadams.com/artist-site (if you have lots of GRAPHIC content)

OR www.allisonadamsrealtor.com (this is a paid site by the year but I can design you one and it

will pull in your MLS information (for REALTORS only) ) This one is more complex so starts at $350.

For a basic site I charge $200. and show you how to update and maintain the site. (you provide the graphics as a jpg). That is for the initial setup. If you decide to make changes after signing off on the initial design, edits will be done at 20-$30/ per hour.

See these sites you wish you knew how to use? Let me help get you in the “know”. For a postcard or mailer layout with QR code $40 per item with training on how to do it yourself the next time. (ex. Vistaprint)

Custom Photobook layout created from Snapfish or Picaboo (you supply the photos on Dropbox) $50.

Contact me HERE if you would like a quote or to set up a meeting!

SPRING IS A GOOD TIME TO CHECK THOSE “WANNA DO FOR MY BUSINESS”

GOALS OFF YOUR LIST!

Allison

Also find me on LinkedIn

Note: I did NOT design the flyer~ but can do graphic design upon request

Photography: Photo shoot $100 on site (you get one time use of 25 of the digital images). Any reproduced will be negotiated. See my photography on FACEBOOK 

Water for Life


 The lake outside my window has taken on a whole new life. Mother nature has dumped gallons of water across the Southeast, making us all take notice of the power of water.

Here on the lake, not only is the beauty, the million dollar homes, the leisurely lifestyles and the fishermen who flock here the focus, but so is the quality of the water and the love for nature shown by those who will gather in the next weeks to clean her shores.

Water brings with it the gift of life. The stored treasure beyond my yard fuels our children, quenches Tuscaloosa athletes, bathes us as we prepare for each day. It flows freely from the lake to filtering systems to our faucets. We work to conquer our little empires, meet our goals, and work to afford vacations to other waterfronts across the world.

As we gathered over burgers on the back porch, the value of that water we take for granted took on new meaning. I learned of groups from local churches venturing to Haiti and the Dominican Republic 6-8 times a year, carrying water filters into the hillsides where families with million dollar views live in three dollar shacks with no clean water. Each year 3.4 million people die from water related illnesses, almost the number for the entire city of Los Angeles.

A group there worked with Church of the Highlands to hike into the jungle, going door to door in Voodoo country taking 600 free filters to families.  Volunteers visit each home, placing water filled with mud into the filters and and out comes water that the team drinks in front of them.

On a particular trip, a mother had recently passed after giving birth. Four other children remained with a father, who was terminally ill. The team took him to the hospital for treatment and has arranged for the children to be taken care of.
“The needs are so great,” a local participant said. “We cannot do it all, we know that. But it is like those starfish that you throw in the ocean. Some of them DO make it back. We return as often as we can to find those starfish.”
There are teams working on adding space in their building there to take in children who are orphaned and have nowhere to go. They also are sponsoring children for school. Education is the key to their escaping this life.

I recently met a sweet girl who ran the Mini Cooper tour business there. Twenty four, bright, educated, but unable to ever leave the country. We offered to host her here. She now has a baby and will probably never leave.
As I stand on the hillside and look out across the Caribbean beauty on a recent vacation with my family, it is hard to express what hides among the hills with the best views.

It is this groups goal to find each one and bring them the fountain of life that we here in America expect to simply drip from our faucet, straight from our freshwater lakes.

I!f you are interested in learning how to get involved, contact info@filterofhope.com or visit your local church to find a trip you can be a part of!  www.churchofthehighlands.com has a number of ministries across the world for you or your child.

Dock of the Lake by Allison Adams

Dock of the Lake by Allison Adams

http://www.adamsacrossamerica.com

 

BAG 101 ART SHOW THURSDAY for First Thursday Northport~ Allison Adams


Bag 101

will  be representing my GIRLFRIENDS Series

 

 

 

girlfriendsallisonpadams.com

 

Stop by Bag 101 

205-722-2298

312 Merchants Walk Suite 6

in Northport 

(McFarland between Zoe’s and Talbots)

 

FIRST THURSDAY ARTWALK 

NORTHPORT

 THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 4

Drop by between 12-6:30

for some refreshments 

and to say HI.

I will be there all day.

 

The entire store has been arranged around my newest paintings!

 

I hope to see you!

 

Allison Adams

ARTIST

 

 

 

EZULWINI AFRICAN PRESERVE


 

This photo contains small photos of our trip.

This photo contains small photos of our trip.

My husband and I bid on a trip at a charity auction a few years ago and had the opportunity of a lifetime. We bought a trip for a Safari at Ezulwini Game Preserve. The only way to visit is to purchase by donation to a charity.

While talking to a friend, I soon learned that she had lived in Johannesburg for two years and shared her love for Cape Town, South Africa. My husband and I were determined to add it to our trip.

We flew into Johannesburg directly from Atlanta (an 18 hr direct flight) The couple who bought the Safari the year before us flew into Amsterdam with a layover for a night while celebrating their honeymoon and then continued into Johannesburg a day later.

We stayed in “Jo-Berg” overnight at an American Hotel Chain and enjoyed an incredible meal.  It was a late flight so we ate there, had a bottle of wine (all for about 40 bucks including a steak…be ready to spend tiny bits of money for elaborate meals in South Africa~ and no scrimping on the quality) and turned in.

There is a lot to see in Jo-berg but it is dangerous at night. We were just ready to sleep to get ready for the new day and adjust to the time change. A little prescribed Ambian on the plane is not a bad idea either. I usually do not take anything ever….but as someone who already creatively gets my days and nights mixed, I thought it best to get on the same schedule as my traveling companion.

We rented a four wheel drive car (recommended) and drove to Ezulwini’s main camp the next morning. It is a beautiful drive but if you are not comfortable exploring and ending up on roads that lead to nowhere, then you might want to arrange public transportation.

Some people took a short flight from Johannesburg to the place they recommend near Ezulwini and Krueger National Park.

I believe it was a four to six hour drive through mountains and on back roads and once we ended up at the end of a road after a wrong turn in a township which was a bit scary but that is how we roll.  Let me also note that there ARE signs at exits that say HIGH HIGHJACK AREA DO NOT STOP.  WE whisked through that one looking LEFT RIGHT LEFT…NOT GOOD AS YOU DRIVE ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ROAD SITTING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE CAR. Luckily THEY stopped as we entered oncoming traffic to the left.

Do not let that deter though. South Africa is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and that includes most of Central Europe, Costa Rica, Mexico and across the U.S.

We DID make it and as we drove through the huge gates into the property we were all alone in a car passing monkeys, elephants, giraffe and some hippos on the way in. Imagine the excitement of that!

Driving from the city we were able to get an idea of the industry, huge diamond mines and mills along winding cliffs and fields coated in dark black stones with cattle grazing among the rock. We began to wonder how South Africa can be so poor yet so rich at the same time.

We stayed at Ezulwini’s main lodge for two nights and Billy’s Lodge three nights.  I would recommend that combination. Each night others who have bid arrive and together we enjoy shared dinners around the table cooked by the staff at both places.  It is incredible to meet people from all over the world who have also won the trip through a donation to a charity. We each had an individual “hut” that was airtight (sealed from the critters that include scorpions and other things I had not studied up on) but they make sure to sweep out each night and there are nets to give you the feeling of security from things that bite. Again, I have to admit, Ambian became my nightly friend.

There is a pool at the Main Lodge and open air bar that is a fun place to look at all of the photos of others who have passed through, write in a journal, sit around and meet the locals who work there or you can wait for the sunset views from the tower overlooking the watering hole.  You will not be disappointed by the facilities. It is more like visiting someone’s home than a resort. The Billy’s location has more of an open air/ hotel feeling. There they have long overlook walkways and some of the homes have private pools. Ours did not but our neighbors were so sweet to share it one day when they were out exploring. There we were, sunbathing overlooking the bush as animals roamed just in front of our feet in the valley below.

They DO recommend you be escorted at night anywhere on the grounds, as in all camps there because WE are prey to lions and many times those animals pass through. There is also the thing I did NOT research and that is the BLACK MAMBA. So it is not for the faint at heart but we even had an elderly woman with cane-like walker who did FINE on the trip and rode in the vehicles on all of the drives. She had no problems.

Our first night at Billy’s Lodge the owners were there. They invited us to their private wine cellar located in a luxury cave that still had line drawings etched in the walls from hundreds of years before. There was a complete bar and a staff member to serve us.  He shared the history of the places. They emphasized that they only allow those who have a heart of giving to be a part of their preserves.  We never met a person we didn’t love getting to know as they all had various philanthropies and the same urge to explore the world while also giving back.

After that we travelled to Cape Town by plane and will both say that is the most incredible place in the world.  It is wine country that competes with California in climate and sophistication. The beaches have white sand and are clean with crystal blue waters. Whales pass through seasonally and there are seals that make their home on the nearby rocky shore. The hotel we stayed in was just beneath Table Mountain and first class. I think it was Harbourview, a name that later in my life became significant. The pools were oriented, as well as the entrances, so that you felt you were there all alone. Community dinners gave us an opportunity to again make friends with a couple from London who later went to dinner with us at a local restaurant that served the freshest food and some of our favorite wines to date. We ended the night in a pub where karaoke soon rang out with a little “Sweet Home Alabama” twang.

We had drivers take us around in Range Rovers as you can quickly end up in a township that is best explored with someone guiding you.

Ezulwini’s owners also own an incredible house tucked beneath a mountain overlooking the sea just about an hour outside of Cape Town. Here is the LINK to Maritime on Moonlit Bay.  It is remote on the end of a peninsula overlooking a lighthouse and not much else. Baboons roam free there across the roads. We travelled out there by car and they were so kind to just tell us “stay, really stay”. It was a private house when we were there but that is how the owners are. There is also another private home with security.  They are incredibly generous and just want the world to know how great South Africa is.  Everyone in Cape Town speaks ‘LONDON ANGLISH”. BEING FROM THE SOUTH, I GOT A KICK OUT OF THAT.

If you want to visit contact them for information.

Website Click HERE

Follow Ezulwini on Facebook.

Twitter

Trevor and the guides update the hunts as they happen. We just saw that the lion king of the pride died since we have been there. Big Boy. So as you see, even two years later we are connected to what goes on there.  We saw all but one of the big 5 (Cheetahs were off in another area but some others the day we got there had seen them) on tours that were made twice a day.

The unique experience here is that they are a part of an innovative group taking down fences to ensure a natural environment for the animals to have free range on private lands.  A number of the owners in the area work together to see that they have more open range. Many are fenced.  There is NO hunting on this preserve, but the photos and memories are priceless!