Saturday, May 28, 2011

Let No Vandalism of Avarice or Neglect


"Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect,


no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations


that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic."
General Logan - May 5, 1868


"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both." Dwight D. Eisenhower


Putting skin on the idea: watch this remembrance of what a father's sacrifice meant to the family back home, by Karen Spears Zacharias.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Sometimes I get so frustrated. What I see through the lens falls short, woefully short, of what I see with my eyes. My camera's viewfinder is just too limited.

Early this morning I noticed a wave of fog had quickly moved in over the field outside my window. I grabbed my camera and ran out the back door. I was immediately greeted by the sight of a rising sun peeking through trees across the road. The subtle rays swathed in mist were glorious. The light was golden.


My shutter clicked away. Then I would stop and look. Then take a few more pictures. But the camera just could not keep up with what I saw with my own eyes. The lens wasn't big enough to take in the entire scene. And I couldn't stand any farther back to get it all.


So I turned my attention in the other direction, toward that field that had drawn me out to the morning cold and damp in the first place. The fog had dissipated somewhat, and the sun's warmth was falling on part of the field.


I love this part of the morning.

It was all over in a matter of minutes. Capturing the movements of the sun teaches you the brevity of the moment. She who hesitates misses the glory.

The images live on in my mind. That glorious sun. That beauty. My heart is still full.



Yes, the viewfinder is limited. But it can immortalize the fractions of a second of a moment. That fraction is so rich, so full, that it is enough, gloriously enough.

It is golden.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Something for the Soul and Something for the Stomach

The sun (!) warmed my skin as I walked from the back door to the car this morning. That glorious sun. I just wanted to stand there, close my eyes, and absorb the warmth. It's days like this that will make me recall western PA with fondness, days like this and dear friends. And sharing good things.

Something for the soul,

El Cielo de Canarias / Canary sky - Tenerife from Daniel López on Vimeo.

and something for the stomach, Crockpot Chicken Pie.

Have a lovely weekend.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dancing and Counting

Our winter of never ending snow gave way this year to a spring of unrelenting rain. As I listen to the thunder booming and rain splattering, I think of my family in Texas in the midst of a drought. It's a strange, helpless feeling to be overwhelmed by so much, and wish for less, when you see others in the midst of great need, desiring more. There's a sense of guilt that arises.  And the questions.  Why me?  What should I do? What can I do? 

We set off in the rain Tuesday morning to venture into Pittsburgh for an appointment. I love the country, but the city has its own beauty. Especially in the rain.

We arrived just in time to catch a rare appearance of blue sky.


An hour and a half later, we emerged from the doctor's office to an all too familiar sight.


I watched the buildings go by through the blur of rain.  And I began to see the beauty there.


Rain is a soft lens that capriciously subtracts some details while highlighting others.




Color, form, movement caught by blurred brush strokes from the sky above, the wind around, the earth beneath.

We arrived home during a brief respite.  The earth waited in hushed expectation as the clouds held off only a moment or two,

May flowers and showers


then pummeled the soaked ground and fragile flowers again and again.



It was then I knew what I could do.  I could dance in the rain.

Dancing faces you towards Heaven, whichever direction you turn.  Terri Guillemets

Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.  Author Unknown 

And so I did.

 I believe that we learn by practice.  Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living.... In each it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one's being, a satisfaction of spirit.  One becomes in some area an athlete of God.  Martha Graham

And in so doing,  I practiced...becoming an athlete...of God.

I continue practicing with the community of gratitude by counting thanks for:
275. rain
276. getting there safely
277. getting home safely
278. time spent with my Dear Professor
279. his firm hands on the wheel
280. lunch on the road
281. blurred lens
282. seeing the old familiar in a new way
283. unexpected sunshine
284. unexpected beauty
285. dancing in the rain
286. His grace always there
287. everyday moments of awe
288. acceptance and the heart change it brings
289. a glimpse of the "shaping of achievement"
290. "satisfaction of spirit"
291. strength in weakness

Saturday, May 14, 2011

To the Dandelion




How like a prodigal doth nature seem,
When thou, for all thy gold, so common art!
Thou teachest me to deem
More sacredly of every human heart,
Since each reflects in joy its scanty gleam
Of heaven, and could some wondrous secret show,
Did we but pay the love we owe,
And with a child's undoubting wisdom look
On all these living pages of God's book.

James Russell Lowell, excerpt from "To the Dandelion"

Saturday, May 7, 2011

To My Children

You three brave souls.



You three brave souls made me a Mother.  I know, it wasn't easy for any of us, but we survived.  We all grew into it together, through the bumps, the broken bones, the meatloaf surprise, the tears and the laughter.  

My biggest regret is working harder on molding your behavior than listening to your hearts.  My biggest comfort is knowing you love me in spite of that.

I read these words before any of you were born, and tried to live by them:

"My child is a temporary trust from God.  He is 'mine' only in the sense that God entrusted me to love him, to discipline him, to train him.  He was not given so that I might boast about his good points any more than I should be ashamed of his failures.  I am temporarily watching over the development of another human being who rightly belongs to God, and whose destiny will be ultimately decided between him and God alone."

I cannot imagine what God was thinking when He entrusted you to my care.  I do know you all have given me many more opportunities to boast than to be ashamed.

Many more.

You enlarged not only my waist, but also the borders of my heart.  It is a  priceless treasure to be your Mom. 

And now there is a fourth brave soul that has joined your company, one who has made my firstborn a husband and father,


and me a grandmother. Four times!

Nuhouse Sprits


Thank you for holding his heart well, and sharing yours with us.

Love you all lots,