This summer was filled with sweet and sour moments. I enjoyed the season, but the heat has stuck around long enough. I am looking forward to cooler temperatures and the chance to keep moving forward.
I celebrated a year of living and working in Charleston in mid-May. Then, in-between working, I spent some time with my ailing grandfather who passed away at the beginning of June. It's been sobering and sad to realize I won't ever be able to photograph him again. He meant a lot to me and my family, and I am sure many people already knew this or at least saw some of the many pictures I posted of him. He was one of the first people to let me follow them around with a camera. I give him a huge chunk of credit for helping me realize how much I could learn about people and life by photographing quiet, real, and slow moments. My grandmother, Ruth, and he had been married for over 60 years, which included having six children, countless grandchildren and great-grandchildren and so many friends.
After saying goodbye to Pappy, I came back home to continue working. Historic and deadly flooding hit the state at the end of that same month. It resulted in a whirlwind of flood coverage at the newspaper. I still have boots covered in dried mud to prove it. There were countless people who shared their stories of loss and frustration with me and I am thankful that they trusted me enough to take their picture while they were dealing with it all. These people lost their homes, they lost their loved ones, they lost pretty much everything they had.
The rest of the summer was much lighter. I moved into a new house that has an awesome covered porch. I've already had many beers and read many newspapers and books out there. I also turned 24. Time continues to march forward quickly.
Here are some images from the past several months. Thanks for looking.
Grandma prays at Pappy's hospital bed at Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Virginia, on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. He passed away a couple days later.
Pappy's funeral, Maysville Cemetery, Maysville, West Virginia, June 5 2016.
Grandma feeding my cousin's chickens in Scherr, W.Va., on Friday, July 29, 2016.
Kathy Bostic sits on a torn roof as she looks through a muddied plastic tote full of family photographs that she rescued from her home along Jordan Creek road in Elkview, West Virginia, Friday afternoon, June 24, 2016. "Everything else can be replaced, " Bostic said, "Lives can't and pictures can't."The totes were sitting in her house as heavy rainfall and flooding hit the Elkview area on Thursday, June 23.
Kathy Bostic's family photos, muddied by flood waters, sit out to dry as she grabs things from her home along Jordan Creek road in Elkview, West Virginia, Friday afternoon, June 24, 2016.
Left: A view of flood water that hadn't receded yet on Frame Road in Elkview, W.Va., June 24, 2015. Right: Flood mud marks how high water rose during the severe flood that hit the Clendenin area. The flooding killed at least 23 people across the state and left many without their homes, electricity or water.
Debris and mud are strewn around Clendenin, W.Va., on Saturday, June 25, 2015, after flood waters from the massive storm that hit the area on Thursday evening receded. The flooding killed at least 23 people across the state, said Tim Rock, a public information officer for the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Gail Zickefoose holds the door of a tractor trailer open to show how much mud was caked inside after the flood waters had receded in Clendenin ,W.Va., on Saturday, June 25, 2016. Zickefoose and others from Lipps Wreaker Service in Jane Lew, W.Va., came to remove the truck after it had to be abandoned by the driver near Exit 19 on I-79.
A view of the flood water is seen from I-79 Northbound above Exit 19 (US 119 – Clendenin) in West Virginia on Friday, June 24, 2016. The flood water did not fully recede from the Clendenin area until late Friday.
Volunteers Benjamin Shofstahl,12, Katie Shofstahl, 14, and Eliana Shofstahl, 16, wash flood mud off of dishes in Howard Creek for a family, who is working to salvage goods from their destroyed home, in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., on Friday morning, July 1, 2016. Their father, David Shofstahl, traveled with the children from Clifton Forge, Va., to help provide manual labor for any families in need during the post-flood clean up process.
Kayla Parker, the new pastor, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Charleston, W.Va., on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016.
Women socialize as they participate in a silent auction during Girls Night Out, the 19th annual YWCA fundraiser to support victims of domestic violence, at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston, W.Va., on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. Attendees were asked to don their favorite shade of purple in honor this year's purple themed Girls Night Out, which was held from 6-10 p.m.
The Poca Dots warm up on the field before the game against the Nitro Wildcats at Poca High School in Poca, W.Va., on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. The Wildcats defeated the Dots, 9-6.
Poca's Anthony Ford (66) and his teammates huddle together after warming up on the field before the start of the game against the Nitro Wildcats in Poca, W.Va., on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. The Wildcats defeated the Dots, 9-6.
Colors blur as a young girl's hair flies on the spinning Himalaya ride at the 92nd annual State Fair of West Virginia at State Fairgrounds in Fairlea, W.Va., on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. The 10-day fair will continue through Sunday, August 21 with more free entertainment, livestock shows and carnival rides.
Natalee Sibold, 5, brushes her cow, Macy, after giving it a bath during the 92nd annual State Fair of West Virginia at State Fairgrounds in Fairlea, W.Va., on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. Sibold, who first started showing goats at one-and-half years old, will show Macy at the Hereford Cattle show on Saturday, August 20.
West Virginia Mountaineers fans enjoy the season opening game against the Mizzou Tigers at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. The WVU Mountaineers beat the Missouri Tigers, 26-11.
WVU running back Rushel Shell (7) makes a touchdown in first quarter as Missouri defensive back Anthony Sherrils (22) hangs onto his legs during the season opening game at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. The WVU Mountaineers beat the Missouri Tigers, 26-11.
A West Virginia Mountaineers fan looks down at the field in the fourth quarter during the season opening game against the Mizzou Tigers at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. The WVU Mountaineers beat the Missouri Tigers, 26-11.
The Marshall Thundering Herd rush the field before taking on the Louisville Cardinals at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, W.Va., on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. The Cardinals defeated the Thundering Herd, 59-28.