A Favorite Quote

"If you look the right way you can see that the whole world is a garden." from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Story by Aiden

I have the joy of sharing with you a story written by my 8 year old grandson (His Mommy helped him by editing and embellishing the story a little bit.  But this is his story line.)

Once upon a time, Ramsey saw a squirrel through the back door
window. Sammy was too small to see out the window, but she sensed
Ramsey's excitement and knew that SOMETHING was up. Mamma decided to
let both dogs out before they drove her nuts. As soon as she opened
the door, both dogs bolted out the door. In his impatience, Ramsey
almost bolted THROUGH the door, but since brick walls don't even seem
to register with him, this fact is of little importance.

The squirrel scurried up the tree and Ramsey tried to bark him down.
This had never worked before, but you never knew when barking COULD knock a squirrel out of a tree.!!!  The squirrel actually DID fall out of the tree. Imagine that! Sammy, the fast one, almost caught it, but...she didn't. She ran as fast as she could in order to get it, but...she still wasn't fast enough for a squirrel. Besides, Ramsey, the "big oaf", was all beside himself wondering which way to go and what to do and bowled Sammy over during this strenuous thinking process. Sammy was disgusted and embarrased. The squirrel had gotten away and she was left lying in the yard with all four legs up in the air. Her attempt at being the Mighty Super Hunter had been destroyed. Ramsey just stood there looking around wondering what had just happened. And Sammy was wondering, again, how Ramsey had been chosen to become a part of this family to begin with. The household was made up of all relativly smart people... except for one big yellar dog! Had anyone SEEN this rediculous escapade? Sammy looked around sheepishly. There was a dog being walked down the hill on Walker Drive, but he wasn't looking their way. Whew! Besides, the Leyland Cypress that surrounded the property had grown in quite a bit since last year and had the fortunate tendancy to sheild such distressing displays. Sammy knew that she couldn't be mad at Ramsey for long. He couldn't help the fact that he was....ummm... a little short on marbles. (He is actually downright dumb, but we are trying to be polite in this story.) Besides, he had already forgotten about the squirrel. He had decided that the chase had made him tired and he was taking a nap. In his dreams, HE was the Mighty Super Hunter and he DID get the squirrel.  And he evern gave the whole thing to Sammy who decided to roll in it so that EVERYONE would know about their hunting adventure by the smell of her new perfume. However, Mamma was NOT happy about Sammy's new perfume! Humans do NOT like "Essence of Dead Squirrel". And so, to Sammy's great embarrasment for the second time in one day, she was plunked into the basement sink straight away and tortured by a rather vulgar dousing of Suave "Sweet Pea" shampoo! How much lower could a dog's day get?! Why couldn't it be Ramsey who got the bath? He LOVED baths for some strange reason, but then, he WAS missing some marbles... And then, all of a sudden, the sound of Pappa's truck turning into the driveway made both dogs jump up. Their dreams were blown away as quickly as dandelion dust in the wind as thoughts of supper suddenly took the place of any previous memories. Such is the life of a dog!

Ramsey - the yellar dog

Pop Pop holding Sammy.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Waterfalls at Longwood Gardens

     On this beautiful June day a friend and I planned a photo shoot at Longwood Gardens.  We both rented electric carts.  Since I've had knee issues these carts are "the greatest thing since sliced bread."  A great way to get around this vast estate.  I have been to Longwood many times but I don't ever recall seeing this waterfall.  It was hidden away in a nook right next to the Italian Water Garden.  Water was the main focus of my shooting today.  I love the sound of the cascading water.  It seemed as if it called to me and held me mesmerized as I stood there admiring it.
     Up in the center of the conservatory I admired the water lilies.  On my way out I saw a lady staring at a lacy plant in the water.  I hadn't noticed it before.  But as I followed her gaze I was blown away by the beautiful design this plant made in the water.  Now, I always try to shoot a picture of the plant tags whenever I shoot plants.  But, of course, I forgot this time and I don't recall what this plant was called.  But I'm sure you will admire the artistic design of it rippling on the water, just as I did.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Season of Rain

     This past weekend I was driving to a photography conference at Kutztown University.  It was dark and dreary and I didn’t know where I was going.  I was on unfamiliar roads.  The rain was pouring down and I was listening to the radio.  I heard Michael W. Smith singing “We Bow Down” and his song sent my mind into deep thoughts.
     I began thinking about the seasons of life we go through at times.  I began to sing along with the radio and I thought about the season I’ve just been through.  A season of rain… In Dec of 2011 I had surgery for breast cancer.  In Jan and Feb of 2012 I had radiation therapy.  All through that time I was having major back and knee issues; so much so, that I was often in a wheel chair.  In Oct of 2012 I had total knee replacement.  It was a difficult recovery.
     I lost interest in my old hobbies.  I couldn’t garden.  I couldn’t bend over to take a photograph.    The weight of the rain on my body made me droop.  I felt like I lost my petals.  But as I looked at all the flowers and trees along the road that night and saw them droop with the weight of the rain I felt worship fill up my heart.

     God brings the rain to the earth to give the flowers a drink, to bring them refreshment.  The earth cannot survive without the rain.  It knocks off the flowers and makes the plants bow down to the ground.  They are heavy with the weight of the rain.  Yet, they need that rain to grow and gain strength and to bloom again in the future.
As I went through my season of rain I was able to continue to praise God for His many blessings.  On this side of the storm I can testify of how He helped me.  I saw His hand of mercy at work in my life.  I received the blessings of love and fellowship and friendship through the rain.  Today my heart is blooming with the thought of all the blessings the Lord has given me.  As I drove that night the words that went up to God from my heart were “I bow down and worship you Lord, even in the rain”.
     I had an awesome time at the photography conference.  I had the opportunity to meet and listen to Mike Moats a professional macro photographer (along with some other great folks, too).  As Mike talked about his blog, his words were an encouragement to me to get back to my own blogging.  Viewing his photographs made me want to go out and shoot puddles.  Yes, puddles!  I will never look at a puddle in the same way again.  Thank you Mike for your tips and encouragement and for chatting with me at supper!  You all will certainly want to view his website and photos.  If you get the chance take one of his workshops, you will learn so much.  Visit his website at www.tinylandscapes.com.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

No, I didn't fall off the end of the earth!  But so many things have happened to me that kept me from blogging.  First of all, I was diagnosed with cancer.  In the meantime I had major issues with my back and knees.  I had knee replacement surgery.  So, now I hope I am back on the mend and can resume sharing some inspirational thoughts with you.  Last week I had the opportunity to visit Longwood Gardens and my sister took my picture with the flowers in the background.  Please look at the other pages now available on my blog.  I have discontinued my web site but...I have a second blog that I enjoy posting on.  You can check that out at www.rootedinfaith.wordpress.com.

Can you guess what this is?