Happy Birthday Cara, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:48am

Today is Cara’s birthday. Who is that, you might ask?

They drive me bloody mental but I do love these three eejits.

A photo posted by caratakesphotos (@caratakesphotos) on

One of my young Internet friends. The online world allows us, spectacularly, to find friends in our age cohort. Witness the many midlife bloggers and the community that has developed around our shared questions about retirement, health, and style over 50, among other topics.

But the Internet also brings us like-minded people from other generations.

Sunrise, bringing the drama. #uist #westernisles #outerhebrides #uistskies #sunrise

A photo posted by caratakesphotos (@caratakesphotos) on

And such is Cara.

I’ve posted about her before, she owns Bluebird and Bear family photography. In 2015 she was living in London and owned a wedding photography business with her husband. They quit the business, spent several months in France, and have now moved with their twin girls to North Uist. It’s on beyond zebra remote.


A photo posted by caratakesphotos (@caratakesphotos) on

They have a dog.

You probably need to follow Cara on Instagram.

Over the past year I’ve told Cara a whole lot of “Congratulations!” And “Hooray!” And “I can’t wait to see your photos from Uist!” But today I wanted to say Happy Birthday, and in particular to address something she posted just recently on her blog, Peonies and Polaroids.

“I talked to someone about my wanting to write and was instead told ‘writing is just a hobby for you, stick to what you’re good at.’ I won’t pretend it didn’t hurt.”

I believe very strongly that people own their own talents, that they owe them to no one. You don’t have to do what you’re already good at if you don’t want to. Just because you happen to be an extraordinary photographer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stretch and write a book. Your talents belong to you.

Oh beautiful island, I might miss you while I’m gone. But I probably won’t. #FREEDOM #GREATESCAPE #THEMAINLAND

A photo posted by caratakesphotos (@caratakesphotos) on

Cara’s turning 31. A wee thing, as they say. It is such a privilege to be an older voice in a young person’s life. In that role, I often make discoveries of my own. Since Cara’s writing, I thought I might in turn draw her a card. Totally goofy, but getting older means you get to offer as much foolery as wisdom.

I haven’t really drawn much of anything since high school, when my teacher gave me a B because I chose deadline over art, ruining a print in an effort to get it done on time. This was not helpful to a High WASP teen. Et voilà,  40 years of trauma undone. Not to make a big thing out of it, but the earlier you address bad counsel the better.


Here’s to Cara, and the trying of new things, birthday after birthday after birthday.


All photos except the goofy one by @caratakesphotos on Instagram.

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  • Recognizing bad counsel is the key.

    Thank you for introducing us to Cara (and Instagram, for that matter – I was a latecomer but love both contributing and consuming).

    1:05 pm
    Lisa said...

    My pleasure! I find it hard to follow many people on Instagram, I get so visually overwhelmed. But I’m totally going to pop over and say hi to you.

  • yes! to many things, but among them, trying new things, being open to new people, and finding commonalities — and friendships — across the generations.


    1:23 pm
    Lisa said...

    @jane, And, friendships across half-generations too:).

  • Hello Lisa, Oddly, none of the photos displayed, except for your drawing, which this time gets an A.

    1:24 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Parnassus, You are so sweet. How odd about the photos, they delay in loading for me but do show up eventually. If you click the photo area, do you go to Instagram?

  • Every last bit of this post is delightful, especially your card! I’ve been following Cara’s feed, thanks to you, and enjoying it very much.

    1:29 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Frances/Materfamilias, Thank you:). I thought of you and your wonderful watercoloring as I drew.

  • Beautiful photos (and drawing :-))!
    One has to follow one’s dreams,life is too short not to try ( I agree with Cathy about bad advices). And friends are here for support(so nice of you Lisa!)
    So,happy birthday Cara ! I wish you luck in whatever you choose to do!

    1:34 pm
    Lisa said...

    @dottoressa, Thank you for chiming in to say happy birthday to my young friend:).

  • OK, am I the only one who had to Google Uist?

    Boy, you learn something (interesting) every day!

    I’m off to instagram to follow her–I adore the days when someone links to me and my numbers jump.

    I think all of us should give this belated birthday present to your invisible internet friend, because you are ours.

    8:40 pm
    Wendelah said...

    @Poppy B., No. You are not the only one. I’d never heard of these islands. They do look lovely.

  • What a talented young woman!

    1:52 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Mary anne, Isn’t she though!?!

  • Thank ou for sharing Cara’s photos with us. They are magnificent!

    1:52 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Susan D., My pleasure.

  • Thank you for this beautiful post, and for the introduction.

    1:56 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Mardel, You are very welcome. I think you’d love Cara’s work – the photography and the writing, both.

  • Beautiful photos. Your drawing is wonderful, so charming and full of life. Have you considered doing more art?

    1:58 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Kathy, I have considered it, in the way that one sidles up to something fun but scary. Thank you for the encouragement, I really appreciate it.

  • What a beautiful testament. . . “A privlilege to be an older voice in a young person’s life”. A blessing to both of you I am sure.

    2:01 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Patricia, I hope so:).

    7:49 am
    Cara said...

    Definitely. @Patricia,

  • Thank you for being an encourager, Lisa. We need more of them in this world. Speaking of which, my dear friend and fellow “Civil Disobedience rebel,” Sarah, was singing at a coffeehouse on Friday night and invited terrified me to join her on the chorus of “Have you been to jail for justice?” popularized by Peter, Paul, and Mary. So I did! It was joyful, fun, and liberating singing in front of 40 people.

    And happy birthday to Cara with the beautiful photos and creative mind. WRITE, Cara!!! Because you want to. And draw, Lisa, for the same reason!

    2:04 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Mamavalveeta03, How wonderful that you sang in front of people! And for such a good cause! Isn’t it a joy to be figuring out what you don’t have to be scared of at this age?

  • Love her photos and now I’m following her. Your drawing is delightful. Isn’t it amazing how a few words said can drive our lives ?

    You have talent. Please use it to delight us.

    2:23 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Sandra Sallin, What a wonderful way to look at this. Using one’s talents for delight. I will do my best – it sounds like fun.

  • Happy Birthday to Cara! And thank you for introducing us to her! Her IG feed is stunning!

    What a difference discouraging vs. encouraging words can have on a person’s life. I’m glad you are an older voice in her life. I feel very fortunate to have had a number of older friends over the past 25 years or so. And, now, I also have a number of younger friends (some not much older than our older son), and I also feel very fortunate to be the older voice…

    2:25 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Andrea@WellnessNotes, It must be wonderful to have both experiences. There weren’t many older voices in my life, other than my parents, so I’m making it up as I go along:).

  • Happy birthday, Cara! May you have many many more years to come!

  • Thank you all so much, for your birthday wishes, your encouragement and your IG follows, I appreciate each and every one of them.

    And thank you a million times over to Lisa, for this lovely post and for all of the years of invaluable counsel, past and still to come. xxx

  • Happy, happy Birthday, Cara of North Uist! Which looks both familiar and yet, completely alien, but through your camera’s eye, totally gorgeous.

    If the drawing thing, doesn’t pan out, Lisa, maybe cake decorating?