First, I’d like to wish everyone a happy new year! Second, I apologize for being a blog-slacker and I hope to make up for this in the coming weeks (but don’t quote me on that…).

The ferris wheel above lives in Ocean City, New Jersey. It’s a gigantic affair, towering far over the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, delivering beautiful vistas to anyone brave enough to ride. My children? They love it. Me? I prefer to keep my feet on terra firma.

I took this photograph during a solo venture to the shore during a frigid December weekend. The temperatures hovered around 20 degrees, but the relentless winds that caused mini-sand storms and that howled through the bare trees brought with them wind chills near zero. I couldn’t hold my equipment properly with gloves on my hands, so I removed them and hoped my fingers would retain enough sensation to at least not drop my camera in the sand. In addition to my heavy wool coat and scarf, I also donned a pair of Wellingtons (knee-high rubber boots) over thick wool socks. I was ready. Bring on the wind.

This particular morning, in addition to the thrill of blowing sand stinging my exposed hands and ears, the sun decided to play a game of hide-and-seek.

Me: “Oh! Look! What beautiful lighting!” *fumbles with frozen fingers to remove lens cap*
Sun: “He he he, time to disappear behind those huge grey clouds!”
Me: “Never mind, perhaps I should go back and try again tomorrow.” *sighs, replaces lens cap*
Sun: “Hey, lookee here, I’m back out again!”

This went on for at least an hour. Finally, as I turned once more toward home, the sun broke through the heavy grey storm clouds and gave me a few beautiful moments of light. I snapped away, capturing at least twenty different views of the silent ferris wheel as it loomed brightly over the winter seas. I kept stepping backward, further toward the water, as it afforded me the best view. I had my Wellies to keep my feet dry and I was smiling. The sun warmed my nose and allowed my fingers to function. I felt the waves lapping near my ankles but paid them no mind – I had an image to capture, after all. Then I felt the waves IN my boots, as I apparently wandered much further into the surf than I anticipated. The sun, of course, chose this particular moment to shine her brightest, so despite wearing boots filled with frigid ocean water, I stood still and took this last shot.

It was a long walk home, made all the more challenging with the addition of sodden wool socks and numb toes…but I survived, driven by the idea that, at the very least, it was a funny story to put in my blog.