Monday, July 29, 2013


Sometimes the ordinary can give you extraordinary. As I was taking something to the trash can at the curb, I glanced at a field across the street and saw this perfect combination of a light dew on a field of grass and the sun peeking over the trees. Extra ordinary.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


This week children visited "The Kingdom of the Son" during Vacation Bible School (VBS) at our church. It's always so much fun and the children are adorable. Talk about photo opportunities!

This is hand painted on the glass doors entering the sanctuary. The "sun" on the left side is the large window at the front of the church that just happened to show through the paint.  I was crouching to get the window in just the right spot.
But it wasn't the children or their lessons or even the fun they had that struck a cord with me this week although that was all heart-warming and full of laughter. It was the army of people who helped make this a great week for the children and their parents that impressed me the most. Our little church was transformed into jungle of animals by a talented decorating crew.
This fellow is hand drawn and painted before being applied to a jungle motif. Isn't he cute? 

I'm sharing some of the decorations with you as a visual, but there were also people making dinner every night, the snack team, teachers, assistants, actors who memorized their lines and a terrific praise band who added so much to the festivities. One team couldn't do it alone. We worked with prayer and one another to come together in fellowship. What a great find...that we don't have to do it alone.  Wonderful things happen when we depend upon one another!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


For me, the answer to that question is, "whatever you think it is."  Another birthday is coming up next month when I will turn 63. How did that happen???

When I was a little girl, I don't remember thinking 30-something was old. My grandmother, with her white hair, soft wrinkled skin that I loved to stroke, her stockings rolled and tied just below her knees, the snap-up-the-front flowered "house dress" as she called it, and her refusal to wear a bra (guess she was ahead of her time in that department)  made me think Grandmother was old.

A few days ago, I'm driving my grandson to camp. At six years old he tells me he wants to become a boy scout. It's never been discussed before so I ask why. "Because I want to help little old ladies like you across the street," he answers while I smother a laugh.

What is old? Old is experience. Old is saying, "No I don't want to serve on that committee." Old is accepting that a size 6 is way out of my league and that's OK. Old means comfortable is better.  Old means family and close friendships come before anything. Old is giving up the type A stuff of life at least some of the time.  Old is understanding that God loves me anyway...and other people accept me for me...why didn't I know this earlier?   Old is liking big band sounds and 50's music, Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. It's thinking Singing in the Rain and The Sound of Music are two of the great movie musicals of all time. Old is before special effects and the words "geek" or "techie."  It's a coke float at the Woolworth's counter.

It's all those things and more. And to a little 6-year-old with green eyes, I'm old and that's a good thing.  

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Reading through some e-class notes, I was reminded of a challenge to post "10 Truths" about myself.  So I'm going to jump in.

1.  No matter what type of day I'm experiencing or what plans I have, it can change in an instant because family is always first.

2. I love my church family too. There I find support and encouragement to be me.

3. I love God. Should that be #1? Don't know and I realize this can create all types of discussion, but I'm trying to put my truths out there so here it is.

4. Texture, color in that order (most of the time.)

5. I seem to search out graphic designs and/or texture when a camera is in my hand. Hence the selected photo.

6. I need lots of alone time to read, study, think, create, be.

7.  During the summer,  my screened porch is my evening oasis where I read, study, think, create, be.

8. There is a love/hate relationship in my life with email and Facebook. They can consume a lot of time.  

9. Amazon is my friend.

10. I love rain.

That covered a lot of territory. Now your turn!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


This past week, Charlottesville, VA, once again hosted Look3 Festival of the Photograph.  We live about 11 miles from C-ville as it is referred to so we took advantage of a beautiful late spring day to walk the downtown mall. The mall is an old brick-covered street that does not allow traffic. Instead people can stroll under the trees, eat outside at their favorite restaurant and/or some frozen yogurt and just enjoy people-watching.

The festival includes free photography exhibits open to the public as well as many paid events. Although I've never purchased a ticket to see it all, I have felt enriched by experience of attending some events.

Take a walk with me.

Each annual festival (it does skip a year now and then) features one photographer's work displayed in the trees. This year's topic was Birds of Paradise. 

I go weak in the knees for a bookstore. This one on the mall is small and locally owned.  I want to live there. 

I call this the "Freedom Wall," a spot where people can express themselves in chalk. It is a permanent installment. 

 This was a shot taken from inside a gallery featuring the process of creating a photography book.  I didn't photograph any work in the galleries figuring that was a major no-no, but thought this one said something about the subject matter.  
Who can resist this "lady in pink?"  The mall has many street vendors selling scarves, hats and jewelry which just adds to the color and atmosphere.  I  wonder if she bought something pink?

Thanks for strolling through town with me. If you are interested in more festival highlights, check it out via Google--LOOK3.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Artists communicate differently and I am so grateful for that. They write, draw, paint, cook, create plays or music, or they photograph their perception of people, places, things and attitudes around them.  If our senses are open to their artistic communication, we "feel" things differently. We allow ourselves to be transported.  Julia Cameron, author of "The Artist's Way," says it so very well, "Known or unknown, famous or anonymous, all art is an attempt to map the territory of the heart."

I visited exhibits this weekend during Look3, the Festival of Photograph in Charlottesville, Va. Walking into those galleries I felt I was saying, "I want to hear what you have to say.  What is your story?"  And looking intently at the photographs, I listened and heard and was inspired.

More information to come about the Festival, but today I hope you can find inspiration in the wonders of the world around you.

a grateful heart,

Monday, June 10, 2013


As the song goes, "Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime!"  Our grandson officially is a rising first grader. He's excited about some sports camps this summer, but guess what? Most of the time he will be staying with Omi and Opi (that's us) while Mommy & Daddy go to work.  So on this first morning of the official summer vacation we opened up what was a treasure when I was growing up, a brand new #64 Crayola box with a built-in sharpener!

He was delighted and broke them in properly by creating a sign for his new "cafe" where we eat lunch everyday. It's a room I typically call the kitchen.

I'm looking forward to the smells of a childhood summer such as rows and rows of books in an old library that has a squeak in its wooden floors; coconut sunblock at the pool; peanut butter sandwiches; waxy crayons, paints in primary colors, popcorn during a matinee at the movie theater, play dough and the best smell--a sweaty hug after playing in the summer heat.

To be a grandparent to appreciate the joys of youth again.