Every year, I have the mental goal (not officially written down) of doing a work or two for free for a larger cause or benefit. In year's past, this has been a session to a few families who couldn't afford it for their newborns, a high school senior session for an expecting young mom, or entering a family session in a few silent auctions to benefit some public schools in our area. Earlier this year, the silent auction was held in April and a second opportunity came my way just last week for a place near to my heart: Jordan House.

Jordan House is part of the West Des Moines Historical Society as one of the buildings they work to maintain. She (because all buildings are "She's" right?) shares a parking lot with the land that our church purchased (Jordan Park Campground) as a place to hold retreats and larget-scale events. In her early years, Jordan House was a part of the Underground Railroad and then became a museum of sorts to explain to school kids the history of slavery in our country-including a school kid visiting family from California: me.

I was raised Quaker and Gerard & I were married in the church I would attend while visiting Iowa every summer of my childhood (Honey Creek New Providence Friends Church). Learning about the history of my family and the beliefs that Friends held, showed me what a huge difference this quiet group of Christians made. They were among the women Suffragettes for the right to vote, founded the City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia) as a place for any denomination of Christianity to worship with William Penn, helped slaves escape via the Underground Railroad and supported the war efforts of our country in non-violent ways. (Ironically, most of my family is military, so we just skipped over the "non-violent" part...)

So, when the people of the West Des Moines Historical Society called to see if I could photograph their fundraiser last week, I was honored and excited to visit a place of my childhood.

I loved the furniture inside the House-so elegant, yet simple!

A place setting after my mother's heart-complete with a mini salt dish:

The main event of the fundraiser was a performance by The Iowa Shakespeare Experience and their rendition of 'Romeo & Juliet'. What shouts "Summer!" more than a play out on the lawn?!

Juliet's nurse-maid was played by a man and he did a fantastic falsetto voice. Absolutely hilarious.

As funny as a man in tights and a fake "woman suit" is, I think the following shot might be my favorite of the night.

Thank you so much to the West Des Moines Historical Society for the invitation!



PS You view more of our time together