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I am generally camera adverse in the sense that one of the reasons I love being a photographer is it means that I get to stay on “that” side of the camera. But if I’m going to show my mug, it’s going to be a good cause. I was recently “nominated” by friend Brooke Shaden Photography to participate in the #icebucketchallenge for ALS.  What is the ALS #icebucketchallenge ? Well, chances are you’ve already seen this show up on your newsfeeds. I’ve seen some amazing posts, as well as annoyed posts from people saying “so what….another internet meme….but what good does it actually do?” Well, here’s the good that it aims to do: raise awareness about ALS, and to raise funds. ALS is a horrific disease and anything that can spread awareness and raise money for one of our world’s many terrible diseases can only be a good thing. Read more about ALS here: http://www.alsa.org/about-als/what-is-als.html Raising money: you can make a direct donation here - https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/LoginRegister.aspx?eventid=153928&langpref=en-CA&Referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.als.ca%2Fen%2Fdonate . Since this campaign has gone viral it’s raised over $10 million for ALS. This time last year, their total donations were under $100, 000. The “challenge” is that if someone nominates you, you either participate in the ice bucket challenge (which is to say you get doused by ice water so you can experience, for however slight a moment, the tiniest fraction of symptoms that a sufferer of ALS suffers - which is, as The Independent Writes, “When muscles aren’t used enough, they stop working. Sufferers begin to feel weak, especially in their arms, legs, and during speech, swallowing and breathing. As muscle tissue atrophies, limbs start to get smaller. In the later stages of the illness, patients may become totally paralyzed”), or you donate. I think it’s a $100. I’m going to do both. And even if you aren’t nominated or don’t have $100 to give, hopefully - at the very least - you can gain some insight about this terrible disease by checking out some of the links I provided. I will admit myself that this time last week I had no clue what ALS was. ALS hasn’t touched me personally, but I know the pain that degenerative diseases can cause. My father suffered from MS for years until his death last year. About this image: this was photographed at the end of my creative portraiture workshop in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia by the amazingly talented Jon Brown Photography (please LIKE his page….someday he will take over the photography world!!!) . The “set” was my campsite and our crew was a great group of people passionate about photography, including Curtis, Lynn, and Margaret. You all get my “nomination” to continue this. Alejandro, I’ll add you to that list.
I am generally camera adverse in the sense that one of the reasons I love being a photographer is it means that I get to stay on “that” side of the camera.

But if I’m going to show my mug, it’s going to be a good cause. I was recently “nominated” by friend Brooke Shaden Photography to participate in the #icebucketchallenge for ALS.

What is the ALS #icebucketchallenge ? Well, chances are you’ve already seen this show up on your newsfeeds. I’ve seen some amazing posts, as well as annoyed posts from people saying “so what….another internet meme….but what good does it actually do?”

Well, here’s the good that it aims to do: raise awareness about ALS, and to raise funds. ALS is a horrific disease and anything that can spread awareness and raise money for one of our world’s many terrible diseases can only be a good thing. Read more about ALS here: http://www.alsa.org/about-als/what-is-als.html

Raising money: you can make a direct donation here - https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/LoginRegister.aspx?eventid=153928&langpref=en-CA&Referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.als.ca%2Fen%2Fdonate . Since this campaign has gone viral it’s raised over $10 million for ALS. This time last year, their total donations were under $100, 000.

The “challenge” is that if someone nominates you, you either participate in the ice bucket challenge (which is to say you get doused by ice water so you can experience, for however slight a moment, the tiniest fraction of symptoms that a sufferer of ALS suffers - which is, as The Independent Writes, “When muscles aren’t used enough, they stop working. Sufferers begin to feel weak, especially in their arms, legs, and during speech, swallowing and breathing. As muscle tissue atrophies, limbs start to get smaller. In the later stages of the illness, patients may become totally paralyzed”), or you donate. I think it’s a $100.

I’m going to do both. And even if you aren’t nominated or don’t have $100 to give, hopefully - at the very least - you can gain some insight about this terrible disease by checking out some of the links I provided. I will admit myself that this time last week I had no clue what ALS was. ALS hasn’t touched me personally, but I know the pain that degenerative diseases can cause. My father suffered from MS for years until his death last year.

About this image: this was photographed at the end of my creative portraiture workshop in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia by the amazingly talented Jon Brown Photography (please LIKE his page….someday he will take over the photography world!!!)

. The “set” was my campsite and our crew was a great group of people passionate about photography, including Curtis, Lynn, and Margaret. You all get my “nomination” to continue this. Alejandro, I’ll add you to that list.
When I talked over the past year about doing this current cross-country tour, I can’t count how many people looked at me with surprise, and then asked the question, cautiously, “are you nuts?” Two straight months on the road with three little children (ages 2, 4, and 7), living in a modest camper trailer. I’ll admit, at times, that I had a little fear. What if we, well, hated it? It sounded romantic, but what if day in, day out we hated the long drives (or worse, our children hated the long drives and made us hate the road as a result?) We’re now at the one-month stage of our trip - which in itself blows my mind - and here’s my honest thoughts on this trip, whether or not we’re loving it or hating it, and whether I’d do it again: This has been the single greatest summer of my life. If you ever want to get to know your children, spend a whole bunch of 12-hour driving days in a confined space. It sounds like it could be torture but I find I’ve caught myself bursting out laughing, or grinning ear-to-ear, almost hourly, due to the words and the observations they make. If you ever want to have fun, spend time camping with them. Playing catch. Watching them ride their bicycles. Playing with abandon. Marshmallows. Campfires. Swimming. Dirt. Mosquitos. Potty humour.  If you ever want to beam with pride, wake up and watch your children, one-by-one as they wake up, climb into your bed. The feeling you have when you know they’re content to snuggle under a few layers of blankets for thirty extra minutes and share laughs before heading outside to greet the morning sun. If you ever want to learn about your country, hit the road and see it. Talk to people in each place. Watch the sun rise and set and rise and set. Then watch the stars. Drink a local beer. Find the place that sells the amazing perogies.  I’m technically “working” this summer. A lot, to be truthful. This is a family trip, a fun trip, but we have a schedule and city after city, I’m teaching, we (my wife and I) are working out logistics, and I have a responsibility to the people who have paid their hard-earned money to give them the best possible experience. But as many hours as I’ve worked this month so far, lack of sleep aside, not a minute has felt like work.  We’re born for the road, and the only sadness I feel is that this has to come to an end about a month from now. But that really just means that we’ll go home, and stop, and try to figure out how we can do this again. And again.

When I talked over the past year about doing this current cross-country tour, I can’t count how many people looked at me with surprise, and then asked the question, cautiously, “are you nuts?”

Two straight months on the road with three little children (ages 2, 4, and 7), living in a modest camper trailer. I’ll admit, at times, that I had a little fear. What if we, well, hated it? It sounded romantic, but what if day in, day out we hated the long drives (or worse, our children hated the long drives and made us hate the road as a result?)

We’re now at the one-month stage of our trip - which in itself blows my mind - and here’s my honest thoughts on this trip, whether or not we’re loving it or hating it, and whether I’d do it again:

This has been the single greatest summer of my life.

If you ever want to get to know your children, spend a whole bunch of 12-hour driving days in a confined space. It sounds like it could be torture but I find I’ve caught myself bursting out laughing, or grinning ear-to-ear, almost hourly, due to the words and the observations they make.

If you ever want to have fun, spend time camping with them. Playing catch. Watching them ride their bicycles. Playing with abandon. Marshmallows. Campfires. Swimming. Dirt. Mosquitos. Potty humour.

If you ever want to beam with pride, wake up and watch your children, one-by-one as they wake up, climb into your bed. The feeling you have when you know they’re content to snuggle under a few layers of blankets for thirty extra minutes and share laughs before heading outside to greet the morning sun.

If you ever want to learn about your country, hit the road and see it. Talk to people in each place. Watch the sun rise and set and rise and set. Then watch the stars. Drink a local beer. Find the place that sells the amazing perogies.

I’m technically “working” this summer. A lot, to be truthful. This is a family trip, a fun trip, but we have a schedule and city after city, I’m teaching, we (my wife and I) are working out logistics, and I have a responsibility to the people who have paid their hard-earned money to give them the best possible experience. But as many hours as I’ve worked this month so far, lack of sleep aside, not a minute has felt like work.

We’re born for the road, and the only sadness I feel is that this has to come to an end about a month from now. But that really just means that we’ll go home, and stop, and try to figure out how we can do this again. And again.