Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dog Days

This week I'm taking photos for our local library of dogs and their owners to celebrate the Dog Days of Summer. Here are a few of my favorites.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Class Photos

Here are two photos of mine on display for the end of the week Show & Tell at the John C. Campbell Folk School. I'm particularly proud of the one with the girl in the doorway watching the contra dancing.

One of the ladies who was dancing in the picture bought two of them! Yipee!

The one lying down is a sunflower bud covered with dew. It's a really good macro shot but kind of generic. I like the dance one much better, because it captures a moment of time that will never come again. I'll always be able to find another sunflower bud.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Many Sides of Love

" two children, even within the same family, have identically the same parents.
That is because the personality and gender of each child
brings out different things in the same parents."
~ recently quoted by Shari Howerton, author of Breaking the Chains
I was so glad to find the above statement, because it states a truth I've been trying to convey to some of my children. We don't treat our children exactly alike. If someone does, then I want to meet that perfect person!

Just as we respond differently to other people outside the family, so we do within the family also. I act differently around different friends, because they each bring out a different aspect of my personality.

Within the last month of so, two of my children have called me out about favoring my oldest son. After giving it a lot of thought and talking extensively about it with them, I have to admit that they're right. At least I can see why they think that. Of course I don't love him more, but I do treat him differently. He just makes me happy, because he's crazy and funny. He knows no boundaries (which sometimes gets him in trouble). He's a big nut. He also drains me of energy. I can only take him in small doses. But I love him for his craziness and how he makes me feel.

I love the uniqueness of all our children. I love Laurel for so many things I can't even begin to list them. She's my best friend. I just said why I love Garrett. I love Tyler for his sincerity and gentleness. I love Dylan's thoughtfulness and courtly manners. I love Darcie because she's my baby and always will be. And I'm not forgetting my two children-in-law, Matt and Leigh Anne. Our family has been greatly enriched by having added them. I love Leigh Anne's forthrightness, truthfulness, and willingness to work to put Dylan through school and Matt's willingness to talk about anything and everything at any time. Also, he's the best salesman on the planet.

I'll admit that I need to be more sensitive to my children's feelings and watch that I don't act like I love one more than another. I'm very thankful for children who love ME enough to exhort me; painful though it may be.

A Good Post From a Blog I
Less chaos. More life.

It’s All About the Story
By Luke on story
“I don’t regret the way I did life. I like the stories I am able to tell.” - an eighty-three year old, terminally ill gentleman
The above quote is from a story I read last weekend in The Simple Life. The elderly man told the author stories about his life, from the Great Depression onward. And after all the stories about the struggles, joys, pains, and thrills, that was his proclaimation over it all.
When I’m 83 years old, I want to be satisfied with the way I lived my life, and enjoy telling my story to others. This started me thinking about something else, too… at the end of my life, the stories are really all that’s left.
When we gather with your family at holidays like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, do we reminisce about how much money you made way back when, how much time you volunteered, what your quarterly sales numbers were back in 1983? No, all that has faded into oblivion – it’s meaningless, irrelevant information. The conversation is about something hilarious that John said when he was three, or how you took your cousins “snipe hunting.”
All that’s left is story.
When a person has a disease like Alzheimer’s that begins to steal away their memories of the past, often the first things to go are facts and figures, and things that happened recently. The last to go? Stories, especially about people and events that happened in the distant past. All the numbers, all the information that was so important to us gives way.
All that’s left is story.
As a follower of Jesus, I know that my life is really all about the part I play in His story… the stories of our lives are relevant only because they fit into the Grand Story of the redemption of all things to Himself. Everything in my life that isn’t a part of His story is lost in the end. All the false measures of success I measure myself and others by… gone.
All that’s left is story.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the fluff, the busy work, the errands to run and the practice to get to, the blog post to write and the email to respond to. Living the simple life requires two things: eliminating all of the non-essential stuff we can, and being vigilant to keep everything in perspective, to not let anything take a higher priority than it should.
I made the comment to my wife last night that I want to live a life that’s full of stories… rich stories, memories that make us laugh when we remember them, adventures that were scary at the time but were worth it in the end. I want to live a life that’s Ridiculously Extraordinary, and better learn the Art of Great Things.
Every day I’m writing the words, paragraphs, and chapters of my story, and you are, too. My hope is that when I get done writing, it’ll be something that I’ll actually want to read!

Friday, July 23, 2010


A quote from last Sunday's message: "Fasting tests us to see if Christ is our delight or the material things He has given us." Lots to meditate on there.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Great Book

I know a book is good when I catch myself beginning to pray for one of the characters. Talk about being absorbed into the novel!

I'm reading Sepulchre by Kate Mosse, and boy, is it riveting. It's a french, gothic tale that flip-flops between present and past and interweaves both sets of the characters' lives together.

Actually, I'm listening to it on CD, so I'm constantly thinking up places to drive to so I can listen to it. Yes, I could listen at home, but there are people there who like to interrupt at crucial moments. And rather than take the chance of me blowing a head gasket, I'd rather drive somewhere. I could take the trash and recycling off...and this would be a good time to buy school supplies!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Fun and a New Quote

It's been a busy summer so far. Last week I was at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina for a week of intense classes in digital photography. We learned how to operate in full manual mode and how to use Photoshop. I learned tons; some of which was over my head. I may write more about that later.

But for today, I only want to quote from a book I'm reading by Elizabeth Goudge called The Scent of Water. I've always loved her writings. The stories are always good. She really develops her characters in a very slow, English village sort of way just like I like them. Here's the quote: "If you understand people, you're of use to them whether you can do anything tangible for them or not. Understanding is a creative act in a dimension we do not see."

I believe it's an act of love to really listen and understand another person. When we do this for another, it's a precious gift. I pray to be able to love with Christ's love and to be able to understand and appreciate my fellow human travelers as we journey together through this life.