Thursday, February 25, 2010

You Capture - Shapes

As we get ready to depart Colorado Springs, I looked for shapes that I might not find in the Midwest. The one that stuck in my mind was one we drove past many times. It wasn't the shape that caught our attention but the warning it conveyed; but it's the shape that will fit this assignment.

And I know this looks like a scenery picture and it is of course. But everywhere I looked in this picture I saw triangles and I suspect that a lot of the wild beauty of the mountains lies in the triangular shapes: big, small, wide, sharp - they're everywhere.

And finally, the stunning beauty of the glass tile shapes that are part of my son's renovation and constitute the accent of the shower boxes that he's installing.

I won't be able to look at all your captures until I get home but I can't wait to see them. To get a look at the captures that I'm going to be browsing, visit Beth at Ishouldbefoldinglaundry.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I wanted to join Beth's You Capture last week but too many things stood in the way.

One - We're in Colorado Springs visiting Firstborn Army Guy and his family in anticipation of his deployment to the Middle East next month.

Second - When we're out here, time seems so short; and when time seems short, time flies.

Third - My heart just wasn't in it. The kisses that I photographed were too poignant and hit too close to home to publish.

When his little, three-year-old darling ran to him when he got home from work, squealing, "DADDY!". I couldn't help but think about what she couldn't know. In a few weeks, Daddy wouldn't be coming home from work every day. In fact, it would be about a year before she'd leap into his arms and in that year she'd change a lot and grow a lot and despite her mom's best efforts with movies and photos, Dad will miss a big part of his little girl's life.

And then there was the 'sweetheart' kiss. The kiss where they both knew, with painful clarity that in a few short weeks, there wouldn't be any kisses. There would be a long, lonely stretch of worry and stress for both of them.

They kissed in front of a renovation that is targeted to be completed before the deployment. And this is where they pour their efforts and time prior to that difficult day. And perhaps that's a good thing. A distraction that promises great rewards that they'll both look forward to enjoying a little over a year from now.

Those are the kisses. And the reasons why, although they're sweet and beautiful, they're painful.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I'm very happy being 63. I'm blessed to be retired and I've got more things to keep me busy than I could keep up with in one lifetime. And I know that's a blessing too.

I love being a mother and a grandmother most of all. Of all the roles in my life, these are two of the most important.

Then it happened. I was going through a miscellaneous box in my bedroom and there was a small hand sewn pillow with flowers painted on it and some writing. It was very faded but I could read Happy Mother's Day Mommy. It caught me by surprise and it startled my heart a little bit. No wait.. A lot. Mommy. The sweetest word in the English language. And I was lucky enough to be Mommy to the six wonderful people that are my children. I was their mommy. They turned to me for every need - emotional and physical. It's been so long since I was called Mommy that I forgot what it was like until I saw that little pillow.

I love my role as mom but it can't compare to those beautiful, sweet days when I was Mommy.

Monday, February 8, 2010


I'm writing this post because it's just a good time to do so.

Yesterday was Beth's birthday and that always brings back memories of her babyhood, her childhood, and her journey to who she is now.

I may not know Beth better than anyone else but I have known her longer. And I know a lot about her. I know she's independent, self confident, and a care taker. I know all this because that's how she's been since the day she was born.

The winter of 1976-1977 was, I believe, the fifth coldest in the history of weather records for our area. Starting sometime before Christmas, the temperature never once got above freezing until 33 years ago today. I spent lots of time looking out the window at the growing mountains of snow, wondering if I would make it to the hospital when it was time.

It was the longest, coldest winter I had ever known, I was experiencing the longest pregnancy that I could remember, and I was about to experience the longest labor I had ever experienced.

She was so stubborn. I went to the hospital in the morning, optimistically sure that birth was imminent only to spend the day walking the halls, trying to get things going. Finally, late in the evening of February 7th, our baby girl was born.

And all the long dark winter, and all that long, worrisome pregnancy suddenly disappeared. Thirty three years ago today, a happy, new mother looked out her hospital window and saw a miracle. Melting snow was creating beautiful rivulets of water running down the streets. Beth's birth turned the corner for us all that winter. What a beautiful miracle she was.

Her big brothers and sisters adored her and so did her mom and dad. But she was a stubborn little girl. She enjoyed being carried around but she wasn't shy about letting us know what she didn't enjoy. So that I could get things done around the house, we bought a papoose type carrier so she could ride around wherever I went. She HATED it! I couldn't wait to put her in the high chair so that she'd be upright and could follow the activities of our busy family. She HATED it. So things went her way. I happily (for the most part) carried her around a good deal of the time and her daddy carried her around when he got home from work. And this worked well for Beth until she started walking.

At that point she took off and never looked back. She wasn't a lap baby anymore. She was too busy keeping up with her older siblings.

And she had special friends. From the time she learned to talk, she told us frequently about her best friend, Lois. Lois was not a popular name back then. We'd never heard it on TV or among our friends or family. But Beth often talked about her. One time she even told us that Lois' family was sick and that there was a sign on her door saying people couldn't come in. That's when I started becoming very curious about past lives. There were other friends in Beth and Lois' circle and Lois' mother was also discussed but I no longer remember the details. Pretty soon, Beth became shy when Lois was brought up and the memory of her slipped away.

Beth also HATED fireworks. There was nothing about them that she enjoyed. She couldn't bear to watch her dad set them off and she couldn't bear to hear them or see them. So I'd keep her in the house with me but that wasn't enough. She cried her little eyes out because her brothers and sisters were still outside in all that danger. She was such a concerned little baby mother.

Beth was a wonderful, independent child and I don't think she was ever a problem. (Of course I didn't know about the Natural Light and all in college.) She was editor of her high school newspaper, had an incredible sense of humor, and was very obedient.

When she and Brian were in the same picture in the school yearbook, I said, "there Beth. Go out with him". She did one better. She married him.

So you see there are many reasons that we love Beth so much. She's been a joy to us for the last thirty-three years and, God willing, she'll be a joy to us for the next thirty-three years.

I think we're all so blessed that she shares so much of her life and love with us. Thirty-three years ago, Beth made her appearance and changed our world forever. And it's been a better, sweeter place ever since.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's A Small 'Bloggy' World

Yesterday, as I did some much needed email filing, I came across a comment from Thea at I'm A Drama Mama; and, I decided to visit her site. I enjoyed the first post I came across and became more interested when she mentioned moving from Ohio to Maryland.

I browsed through a few previous posts and when I got to this one which asked for a vote for a photograph she had taken, I immediately decided to cast my vote because I liked the photo SO MUCH! Unfortunately, it was too late for my vote but the picture haunted me. It looked so familiar and then I remembered where I had seen it. It was in my January picture file. Here's my version. Now look again at hers.

Go ahead. Compare. It's definitely the same barn but with a different setting. She had snow. I didn't. But obviously we both thought it was unusual enough and picturesque enough to photograph it. Remember this isn't at a famous tourist site or near a national landmark of some kind. It's a barn along a highway in Pennsylvania.

And that's proof that blogging is making our world smaller, more accessible, and friendlier than it's ever been before.

We meet people that we'll never see. We empathize with individuals that have nothing in common with us at all. We compare notes with others about weather, work, family, friends, shopping, kids, schools, etc. etc. etc. Because no matter how different we are or how far apart we live, we share a bond with a million other people who write about their everyday lives.

And we become part of a family that gathers when there's heartbreak or tragedy and that celebrates together the victories and accomplishments.

The blog world. It's a beautiful place. Unless you've been there, you can't really appreciate it. The worst thing about it is that it's so captivating. As you become interested in more and more sagas and histories and updates, it consumes more and more time. But it's all good because through the blog world we're all evolving. We're learning and empathizing and understanding and caring about people we don't know and we're understanding different points of view that in another situation we would ignore rather than attempt to grasp.

Yes, the blog world is a beautiful place. And it's making this big, cold world smaller and warmer every day, blog by blog.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Recently our 'lovely' youngest daughter and her family spent a couple of days as our guests.

Adding to the fun of spending every moment with her family is the opportunity to capture special and everyday moments on film ..

Here's Sarah with her newborn. I can't even tell who looks happier or more comfortable.

And of course Proud Daddy has to have his turn.

And it's not often that I can catch a photo of a new grandson watching his grandpa talk to him but I did here. Trey is obviously QUITE amazed at some of Grandpa's perfectly articulated baby talk.

But soon he became a little bored and after a hearty stretch, turned his attention elsewhere.

And if you look at this picture closely you'll see how poignantly beautiful it really is.

And of course we can't forget Trey's big sister and brother who added so much fun and love to the visit.

And then there's that final family photo just before they head for home. It's the new look of their family and it's absolutely perfect!

We may not get to see them as often has we'd like but these little in-house visits are truly priceless.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Get Under The Car!

Disclaimer: This post is not about texting so don't skip it just because of the first paragraph. If you have to, skip that paragraph. Just be sure to read the rest of the post.

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about a terrible accident that inconvenienced us on our way home from Louisville. Although in this post I hinted at several possible causes of the accident, I was really being generous because in my heart of hearts I suspected and feared that texting was involved. I felt compelled to write about it because I think it's the cause of many, many serious accidents and it's SO preventable. (And, sorry girls, but I think today's modern young women with more on their plates than their mothers would ever understand are the most guilty. Just sayin') Also, I know that many of us have great confidence in our ability to text while driving. We'd NEVER do it if there were the SLIGHTEST chance that there could be an accident ESPECIALLY one that might hurt our kids. We KNOW we can handle it because we've done it so often and so carefully and we've never ever had an accident while doing it.......yet. Most of us would have to admit that there have been close calls but, because of our care and alertness and skill, we were able to avoid anything really happening.

Now, I'm climbing down off that soapbox because that's not what this post is about. This post is about yet another possible cause of a lot of auto accidents that most of us are completely in the dark about. So PLEASE, watch this:

And if you didn't watch it all the way to the end, please go back and do so because some of the most important stuff you need to hear and see are past the middle of the segment.

It could save your life or that of someone you love. And, I think you'll want to pass it on to everyone you care about after you've seen it.

So, have your Mr. Right or your dad, your brother, your neighbor or your good friend get under there and check it out. And if you just can't find a guy to do it, do it yourself. You're just as capable. The only reason I suggested getting a guy to do it in the first place is because they like to get under cars. Really! All guys do.

And then I'm thinking when we buy tires we need to be able to look at the set that's going to be put on so that we can check that secret code ourselves. That we can do because women like to read secret codes. Really! All women do.

Okay, that's it. Let's start a no texting but always checking rule for our cars. The life we save may be one we love.