Thursday, December 31, 2009


Amber: car ride up to JMU, SO pretty!

Ben: The music played, and the record turned and turned; there was only a few hours more before taking to the road and looking to the future.

Morgan: Sitting at the gate on a plane for 2 hours due to maintenance issues.
Taken by Erica Cofer

Rachel: Arbys; I wonder if my sister planned to come through the drive-thru at the perfect time on the last day of 1:04... or if it was just fate. Either way, it's touchingly appropriate to end this year-long experiment with my job and my family; two topics that seemed to have graced most of my photographs over 2009. It's been quite an experience, quite a journey, and a wonderful way to reflect on the day-to-day happenings of four individuals. Tomorrow begins the next phase and the next year of our experiment. Can't wait.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Amber: yea so what.

Ben: Above head, one story higher, up a flight of stairs and down the long, bruised wooden corridor Jake lay. He's in a bedridden comatose, his body in a curled ball, and his arms drawn in tightly. Sounds of moaning come from the door. He's whimpering like a child in pain, calling out, "Water...I need water." I hear the cry and climb the stairs, carefully negotiating the stained wood, where small knots are and visible signs of age too. I imagine the possibility of stomach pyrotechnics, and so I ready myself, like a soldier before battle, tightening my jaw and then taking sustaining gulps. "Water," he cried out; it was like watching and hearing a wounded soldier-mate, with outstretched arms, pleading to be pulled from the wreckage. I got him his water. And then bombs came again.

Morgan: Movie time.

Rachel: Laurie came all the way from Kansas to go hiking boot shopping.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Amber: Looking for keys, and cleaning up a little from the night before.

Ben: Haiku of the day:
"Where's the mechanic?"
"He's off some wheres, maybe lunch.
"He'll be back. Please sit."

Morgan: The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss.

Rachel: Arbys; Cleaning.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Amber: Work lunch

Ben: The old man writes: "With surfboard tucked under my arm, I made my lone walk to the beach...Standing in the swash zone, I contemplated the breaking surf and paddled route to the serene position beyond the churning, collapsing crest to trough, foam spitting waves."

Morgan: Cellular phone.

Rachel: Arbys; Suada plus roasted chicken. Slice, weigh, portion, repeat.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Amber: Mom-o-, shopping for food is a wonderful thing

Ben: It is Christmas, round-two; and as "the old man" opens his gift, wrapped keenly in folded "Times" columns and strips, I say: I hope you like it; it's Joyce. You like Joyce, correct? Yes, of course; who doesn't? "The old man" looks up, and he's smiling. Thank you, he says. And I beam a bit, and then say: You're welcome; but really, I hope you get to read it. And I know it's a bit long--and I'm then cut off; my brother chimes in. "A book club in hell meet on a tuesday morning, and Shirley asks the bunch, 'Now ladies, what should we read next?' And one, Sarah maybe, raises her hand and says, 'Why not Ulysses?' And the ladies, around the table, surrounded by tortured souls and fire and demons and pointed tails and pitchforks, laugh. Shirley says then, 'Ulysses, that'll take two eternities.'" And we all, "The old man" included, laughed.

Morgan: Lunch with my cousin, Dan, and his family.

Rachel: Arbys; After a nice five day break from the fast food world, it's back to sneaking M & Ms between orders.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Amber: This is the second time I have been in this store in Nelson County VA, at one oh four in the afternoon, and I have only been there three times in my life.

Ben: With a cup of coffee in hand, book too, I sat back and watched the crowd of people usher in and then out of the shop, one after another, and then another, and so on.  They had their bags, their husbands, wives, children, and grandchildren in tote too.  They carried, also, faces of joy and spirit, faces that gushed contentment and warmth, reddening their cheeks and noses.  "So it goes," I thought, and then took a sip of the coffee I had, from the cup I had, and then opened the book I had.  I too, I knew, had red cheeks and nose.

Morgan: Which car will be in the Mystery Hot Wheels? This one!

Rachel: Shopping for those post-Christmas sales.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Amber: Thank you Santa.

Ben: Jake: "Pens! I can always use...pens. Thanks."
Mom: "Oh good, I was hoping so."
Me: "And Jake, if you can use them, I have a few paperclips and a rubber-band around here somewhere."

Morgan: On the way to Christmas lunch with my dad's family. It was surprisingly small and calm.

Rachel: Getting ready for a Merry Christmas lunch.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Amber: dil-dil and cal.

Ben: When walking, where the snow gathered and the ice too, children were playing; they threw snowballs, and made snowmen. They were laughing and made snow angels. I slowed my pace a bit and watched, out the corner of my eye, and thought: Where are the snowballs and snowmen of mine, the snow angels, and the sound of laughter? I figured then, there comes a time in a "man's" life when he gives up snowballs and snowmen, and then finds something else to inspire the sound of laughter.

Morgan: Off the plane and onto Whataburger. Oh and its snowing here in Texas. 

Rachel: Sigh.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Amber: Finishing up shopping with dad.

Ben: I saw the curls of breath that then dissipated the higher they reached, into the air and above the frozen limbs of trees half buried in snow. I watched those curls, how they wrapped around those limbs, and how they, then, seemed to go somewhere else; a place where things like that go. It was rather cold then, but I stood there. I stood there frozen like the limbs, watching those curls.

Morgan: Cofer Christmas Day.

Rachel: Helping teach Becca how to pump gas in her.. new car!! (Named: Mista Williams.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Amber: fun times, going home.

Ben: I told a friend: Snow is both beautiful and sad. It can bring two together, and where they might sit fireside and stare out the window while tenderly holding each other and, maybe, sipping cups of hot chocolate; or, in many cases, it separates two, keeping two from each other and the warmth they wish to share, like a gift.

Morgan: Doing some last minute holiday shopping for my mom.

Rachel: Arbys; Oh warm macadamia nut cookies... why do you tempt me so?!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Amber: Work lunch!

Ben: Two birds came and landed on a chair, not to far from where I sat. There was some chirping from them, the kind you'd expect from a pair of birds sitting on a chair. It was as if all they had was their chirping, that chair there, and nothing much else to worry themselves over. They fluffed their wings, once maybe, but probably more times than I remember, and that was it; that was all they had to do to get by.  

Morgan: Heading back home for the holidays.

Rachel: Arbys; Observing another snow filled day through the drive-thru window.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Amber: Back porch is a winter wonderland.

Ben: The ice and snow, at first, appeared pendulous atop the terraces, serene in their pallor, cold but inspiring, reflecting bits of light that shown through low hanging telephone wires; and then, when the fractured rays, those tiny bits of light that carried with them pockets full of midday warmth, and that cast down upon the ice and snow, fixed themselves tightly, and to where the ice and snow had no other choice but to melt, did.

Morgan: I blame you.

Rachel: Arbys; All the snow and ice from the roof was about to fall right over that door. Despite the caution tape and the warning signs on the door... people still dared to crawl under it to get in. Guess entering in one of the three other doors was too hard... they needed their roast beef ASAP.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Amber: Getting back from breakfast after winter wonderland sleep over.

Ben: The snow bit and had turned my hands and face red; it piled high and was in dirtied white clumps, blackened at the edges by what had lay, earlier, between the cracks of the street's stone and fractured concrete. I trudged along while digging deeper into my jacket's pockets, searching for whatever warmth might be found. What was snow at first, and that had soaked through both shoes, was then nothing but what had left numb toes to burn.

Morgan: Cautious drive back to Richmond, after a snow storm across Virginia.

Rachel: Kasey didn't feel like battling the 13 inches of snow to use the bathroom.