The value of a moment

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Sometimes you don’t know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
~Dr. Seuss

Wow. Talk about a huge FAIL. Carol challenged me to a 3 Quote Challenge back in November. I got one in on Nov. 22 and then………oops. So, here is my second quote post. In my defense, I did mention I probably wouldn’t post consecutive days.🙂

These two shots capture why I drive everyone insane taking photos. Entrepreneur rolls his eyes and others drag their feet when I mention “family photo time.” But let them gripe and complain. I think it’s important to capture as much as possible as often as possible. Most of those complaining are under the age of 35, so they haven’t hit that time in their life when looking back is just as important as looking ahead.

Precious memories. That’s what looking back provides. And that’s all they are now….memories. So often, we’re so caught up in life’s stresses and interruptions that we fail to really take in those fleeting moments. Photos capture those times when we, perhaps, were too busy to notice or care.

It’s only when your children are grown and gone that photos from their childhood take on a newfound importance.

It’s only when your spouse is no longer with you that those photos become cherished memories of a life together.

It’s only when you’ve had to say goodbye to those that now wait at the Rainbow Bridge that you realize how special those muddy paws were on your clean floor.

No, we rarely realize the value of a moment until it’s past and all that remains is a memory.

So, as we all enter the holiday season…get those cameras ready!

One prayer

thanksgiving72If the only prayer you said
in your whole life was,
“thank you,”
that would suffice.
~Meister Eckhart

Carol at Wanderings of an Elusive Mind tagged me to participate in a 3 Quote Challenge. I’m to write and post about a quote that impresses me each day for three days. Then, I’m suppose to tag 3 people to do the same. I am terrible about tagging, but I will do my best to try to pick some people. I see you cowering over there……

Since Kelley and I play Quotography, I used her prompt of Thanksgiving for this first one.

I don’t know about you but my prayers always seem to revolve around a mountain I want God to move so life becomes a bit easier. And, more often than not, that mountain remains, and I’m left with having to navigate around or over it. Do I say thank you for that answer? Rarely.

But, maybe I should.

It’s so easy to be thankful for the things in life that go our way; things we view as benefits…loving family, that promotion at work, the Turkey Day spread of food most of us will have on Thursday, the near miss on the highway. Yes, being thankful for those things come easy for us.

It’s really not in our nature to say thank you for the crap in our lives…the behavior issues with children, the conflict with family members, the job loss and resulting financial hardship. No, we don’t view those as blessings worthy of thanks. They’re just mountains we want moved. And the sooner, the better, thank you very much.

But what if we looked at them with a thankful eye and ask what we’re suppose to learn about ourselves when we’re desperate? Because a person learns an awful lot about themselves in the middle of conflict, strife, chaos and crisis.

What if, instead of asking for that mountain to be moved, we ask for a guide to show us how to get to the top where we can see our surroundings better? Many times when I’ve faced adversity, it’s served to point out a major character flaw…..in myself. While those revelations are often humbling and painful, they are always necessary adjustments needed in order to make me a better person.

And that is always worthy of thankfulness.

So this is Day 1 of the 3 Quote Challenge. I probably will not post for a consecutive three days…just saying’. As for tagging, I’ll throw it out there for Peabea at Peabea’s Patch Photography, Roger at Ramblin’ with Roger, and my Quotography buddy, Kelley at the road goes ever on. I will not be tagging each day, so if you are so moved, please feel free to play along.

November reflections

november-leaf-quotographyNovember’s sky is chill and drear,
November’s leaf is red and sear.
~Sir Walter Scott

November is only half over, but a lot has happened, hasn’t it? The election fallout is still falling out and I’m both surprised and saddened by the behavior of some people from both sides. This quote may sum up November in more ways than one.

It’s strange to me how those whose presidential candidate lost have completely abandoned all semblance of common sense and decency. In 2008 and 2012, I don’t recall riots and hysteria when Obama won the election….and I knew plenty of people who detested the outcome. This election has shown the worst side of some people….or sadly, maybe it’s shown them for who they really are.

Bad men cannot make good citizens. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience are incompatible with freedom. ~Patrick Henry

In my opinion, there is absolutely no excuse for anyone demonstrating violence against another person because their candidate lost…or won. It makes me sad to hear of assaults by Trump supporters that spew hatred and “white supremacy.” There is no place for that in America, and those people should be prosecuted.

People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’m equally appalled at some Democrat supporters who are rioting in the streets and causing mayhem because Trump won. In Portland, a mob attacked a pregnant woman. She was trying to get to the hospital for a medical emergency. Someone hit her windshield with a bat and then attacked her outside her car. And, what’s with the person taking the video…and posted it on social media? Are these people so heartless and self-absorbed that they have no common decency?

The vitriol on Facebook, Twitter and other forms of communication from Democrat supporters towards anyone who voted for their opponent is so caustic that I believe they’ve turned into the very personification of character traits they rallied against during the election.

The viciousness of words in the populace on both sides are driving wedges between friends, neighbors and families. It’s ridiculous. No amount of justification will excuse being mean-spirited and hateful because you disagree with or want to gloat about the outcome.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. ~1 Peter 3:8-9

In light of all these protests, let’s have a little history lesson.

  • Abraham Lincoln received only 40% of the popular vote in 1860 and narrowly received enough electoral votes to win. No riots resulted from the opposition’s supporters, and he went on to become one of the most beloved presidents in history.
  • In 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes won the election over Samuel Tilden by one electoral vote, but lost the popular vote by more than 250,000 votes. No violent assaults erupted.
  • Benjamin Harrison received 233 electoral votes to Grover Cleveland’s 168 in 1888. But, Harrison lost the popular vote by more than 90,000 votes. Again, no hysterical protests or calls for abandoning the Electoral College.
  • America is a Republic with a Federalist government. That means power is divided between the states and three branches of government so to avoid disproportionate mob rule.

If a simple majority was to rule the land, candidates would never bother with most of the states except those along each coast. Their focus would only be on states with the largest populations.

And, here’s a few event in history that would not have happened if the majority had had their way:

  • The Declaration of Independence would not have been adopted because most colonists were afraid of the consequences.
  • Slavery would not have been abolished.
  • Women would not have the right to vote.
  • Civil rights legislation would not have been passed.

Wow, those Founding Fathers were pretty darn smart setting up our country to NOT have majority rule.

Up until quite recently, America was one of a few nations where a peaceful transition of power could happen. Apparently, not anymore. The protests that have resulted are anything but peaceful and should come nowhere near being considered a First Amendment Right. How have we become a nation where we have forgotten the tenants of why America was formed; to escape tyranny.

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. ~John Adams

Sharing with Quotography and Life Through the Lens.

There are layers to Autumn’s beauty

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Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of maturity; but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance.
~Hal Borland

November is here and the strangest thing has happened. In the course of just a few days, a coziness has settled in and everything just feels different. October is lovely, and the wildness of the autumnal colors peak about the third week here in middle Missouri. But now, watching the leaves fall like rain with the November wind, everything is becoming more subdued and a quietness is descending…much like when wisdom and maturity sets in after the wildness of youth.

November is the month we close our windows and begin to turn inward…to hearth and home….to focus on relationships….to take time to assess our lives and count our blessings. The force that drives us indoors is the same one that invites us to look inward at ourselves.

There is mystery in Autumn like no other season. Spring holds the excitement of rebirth, and summer is nothing but a scattered, free spirit. Winter is deceptive with its mirage of bleakness all the while harboring growth and anticipation underneath its white mantle.

But, there are layers to Autumn.

As we are drawn inside (physically and psychologically) during Autumn, we tap into our inner selves and in reflection…reflect outwardly on the year as well as inwardly in self-evaluation. And, that inward evaluation can lead to feelings of vulnerability as we asses our comfort zones and areas where a seasonal shift may be necessary. Outwardly, Autumn’s harvest has been brought inside and is neatly stored in the pantries and cellars for winter nourishment. Inwardly, Autumn is a time for us to nourish the soul by letting go of behaviors and mindsets that keep us from thriving, and focusing on priorities of the mind, body and spirit.

So put on that cozy sweater. Simmer a pot of soup. Walk in the brisk, cold air with the summer’s leaves crunching under your feet. Feel the warmth that stirs both body and soul.

Welcome November with its sweet reflections and rich blessing.

Playing Quotography along with Kelley
and with Lisa at Life Through the Lens

October Photo Challenge: Water

photo blog challenge

Here we are again, the end of another month—and ready for PJ’s photo challenge. This month’s prompt was Water. I know everyone is sick of me commenting on how quickly time is passing and how little of said time I seem to have each month. So I’m not going to say any more about that except that I was able to put together five water-based photos to survive another month.🙂 If this prompt would have come in February, I’d have tons of beachy, vacay photos to share!

Watery #1
water-4-pond
My in-laws live on a farm and run a few head of cattle on their land. This is a shot of Entrepreneur’s brother’s house, taken from his parent’s barn lot. This is a shot of their backyard, and the cows are not allowed in this particular pond. But, now you’re stuck with shots from land-locked Middle Missouri.

Watery #2
water-2-birdbath
It is that time of year—Autumn, but our temps still say summer with the thermometer running about 20 degrees warmer than normal. The leaves are falling like rain from the trees and I did finally take in the hummingbird feeders….much to the yellow jacket bee’s irritation.

Watery #3
water-5-fog
The change in seasons is usually accompanied by temperature inversions. Here we have water suspended in mid-air (aka: fog). If the temps were colder, we would have had frozen fog on the cedar trees….one of my favorite things to capture with a camera.

Watery #4
water-3-car-wash-soap
What to do while sitting in the car and being pulled through an automatic car wash? Take photos, of course. This might make an interesting photo texture…hmmmm…the muse may need to play around with that idea.

Watery #5
water-1-droplet
My favorite of this grouping; front porch mums after a watery shower.

For more wet photos, pop over to PJ’s and see what others shared for October.

September Photo Challenge: My Town

photo blog challenge

Here we are again with PJ’s photo blogging challenge. This month’s theme is My Town. There are many aspects to life in my town, but most of these photos will be primarily in and around the University of Missouri’s flagship campus, located in my little town.

My Town #1
mmorial-union
The University of Missouri-Columbia (or Mizzou as it’s nicknamed) began in 1939 with an investment from 900 citizens of Boone County. The library was created in 1841 and the first graduation occurred in 1843. In 1862, the university closed from spring to fall because federal troops engaged in the Civil War were quartered in one of the buildings. This is a shot of Memorial Union, a massive, gothic-inspired building that was built as a memorial to the university’s alumni that died in WWI. Pledges from students and faculty totaled $238,000 and construction began. You can read more about the history of Mizzou HERE.

My town #2
jesse-hall
Jesse Hall serves as an admin building and houses the University Concert Series in an ornate theatre located inside the building. The original Academic Hall on campus burned in 1892, leaving the six columns you see in the photo. Jesse Hall was built in 1895 as the new “Academic Hall,” and renamed in 1922 after retiring university president, Richard Jesse.

My Town #3
mu-tiger-stripe-game
The university’s mascot is a tiger. The name was selected in 1890 shortly after the football team was formed. The name, Tigers, didn’t originate because of a love of the animal….it came from a band of armed guards called the Fighting Tigers of Columbia who, in 1864, protected the town during the Civil War. This photo was taken at the recent Tiger Stripe football game where each section of the stadium was supposed to wear either black or gold.

My Town #4
heidelberg-front
The Heidelberg restaurant and bar celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013.  A group of investors initially purchased former Ever Eat Café and renamed it The Old Heidelberg after one of the world’s oldest universities in Germany. It’s a beloved dining tradition among alums located across the street from the journalism school. The original restaurant burned in 2003 but was rebuilt because it holds many nostalgic memories among students and alums alike.

My Town #5
missouri-theatre
Just off campus is the Missouri Theatre. It’s a concert and theatrical production venue built in 1928, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s also the town’s only surviving pre-Depression building that housed a movie theatre and vaudeville stage. The theatre was designed after the Paris Opera House and the interior is done in the ornate baroque style of the Louis XIV and XV periods. In addition to offering theatrical productions, it is home to the area’s only professional orchestra, the Missouri Symphony Orchestra.

There’s my five for September. Please make a point to visit PJ’s place and enjoy touring other towns.

 

Dear Younger Me

If I knew then what I know now…….how often have we said that? Or, I’d go back if I could take the brain I have now with me.

Do you ever wonder how different life would be if your younger, more stupid self had been sent a letter by your older, much wiser self?

We’d be able to see what younger self was about to do and warn them, Hey dumb-@$$, don’t do what you’re thinking about doing or you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. How awesome would that be? We could avoid a lot of pain, suffering and hardship.

And yet, all those stupid mistakes my younger self made…and the lessons learned….has molded me into who I am today. Okay, maybe I could do without some of those aspects but, on the whole, I know all those experiences happened for a reason. They all were part of a bigger plan and served to skool me in much more than academics.

lisa1976And yet…..if I could warn my younger self about life, here’s what I would say:

Dear Younger Me,

Love yourself. Regardless of what that tag on your clothing says, love the person inside those jeans. If, in your opinion, the packaging needs work, then take measures to become a  healthier me. And remember, you are more than a number on a pair of pants.

Stop being afraid to take a risk. But what if it’s a mistake? Then, it’s a mistake. The awesome thing about life is there’s always the opportunity for a do-over when the sun rises. Don’t look back when you’re 60, 70 or 100 and say, I wish I would have done…….

Life….your career, your marriage, your children….will be a roller coaster ride most of the time. Sometimes it will all feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle, and other times it will feel like an out-of-control, downhill race to the finish line. And there will be those loopy-loops in the middle that make your stomach lurch. But the good and the bad serve a purpose, even if that purpose is above your pay grade at this time. So, don’t be afraid to live, laugh and love….a lot.

Don’t obsess over the small stuff….or small people. Everything from traffic lights to idiot drivers to that five cent error in the checkbook. Life is much too short to be angry or worried over these things. And, likewise about small-minded people whose mission in life is to make you feel inferior and inadequate. These are part of those character-building experiences your parents told you about.

Don’t wish away the pain. Emotional, physical, psychological. You’re going to feel all of it more than you’d like. It sounds trite, but the pain is there to teach and, if you let it, mold you into the best version of yourself. Rarely are lessons learned from the easy, good times in life. Life lessons are mainly learned through pain, heartache, struggles, challenges, devastation and loss. You may not like it, but that’s the way it is. So, embrace the pain and discover what you are supposed to learn from the experience and then move forward…not backwards.

Your faith will wax and wane like the moon. Life experiences will bring you to mountain-top epiphanies, but will also lay you flat with doubts. Through all of this, do whatever it takes to understand these are challenges designed to refine your faith and strengthen it. But even if you walk away and do unspeakable things, remember it’s never too late to turn around and come back. You are never too far gone for forgiveness and grace if you truly desire to have it. God may have just let you wander around feeling lost for a reason.

Some day it will all make sense. But, perhaps not in this life. And that’s okay. You don’t need to figure it all out. Trust that things happen for a reason and God has a specific mountain valley abyss path you need to take. Pray for guidance, and use your head and heart to make the best decisions possible. It will all get sorted out in the end.

With love,
Your Older, Much Wiser Me

And then I’d leave Younger Me with this music video.

Sharing with Life Through the Lens