It’s Been a While

This is a habit I need to break, so we are starting anew. I start writing and sharing stories and photos and then stop. I’ve skipped a year in between posts which is ridiculous. I took a class before the pandemic that was about how important it is to share our stories. At the end of the class we all had to give a “presentation” which was sharing our stories about our faith journey. There were a lot of tears and a huge realization about how important grandparents were to many of us. What is it really all about if we don’t just love each other and share our stories? We all have them. In that class, I chose to share my story in photos and then just add some narration. I think that’s my favorite way to remember and share stories. Afterall, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, right? So, I’ve done a little re-construction on my site and I am going to see if summertime is a good time to start a new habit. Wish me luck!

Perfect Weather for a Trip to Utah! 

So, we are lucky enough to be able to do crazy things like this. It’s been years of being an airline pilot family and even our families don’t understand how we can live flying by the seat of our pants! We were sitting at JFK, waiting for a flight to Denver for a vacation that we had planned. While we were waiting, Mike checked the weather in Denver and a snow storm had closed down parts of  Rocky Mountain National Park. He said “Is there anywhere else you would like to go?” So, we looked at the weather and chose Utah! We changed to a flight to Salt Lake City and he made calls cancelling and booking rental cars and hotels and 4.5 hours later we were in Salt Lake City. We headed to Cedar Breaks and Bryce the next day and began our week trip through Utah which did end in Colorado before heading back to Salt Lake City. These are only some of my favorite photos. We had the best weather, saw amazing things and it was a perfect vacation, as always! Here’s to spontaneity!

 

Sunflower Fields Forever 

I cannot drive past a sunflower field without stopping. Mother Teresa said it best. “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” 

A Field of Sunshine and Smiling Faces

I love color.  I would say that my favorite color is yellow and I think it’s because it’s bright and  cheerful. A sunflower field makes me think  of a bunch of smiling faces looking at me.  Today I stopped by the field a few times as the sun changed its angle so I could take photographs in different lighting.  On my first stop, the farmer, who planted the field, and his wife were there cutting sunflowers to sell. I thanked him for planting the gorgeous field. I thanked him the last time he planted it too. I think he thinks I’m funny – to him it’s a means to make a living – to the rest of us it’s a field of sunshine. Each time I stopped by today I met someone new. Most people can’t drive by the field without stopping to soak up the beauty, take some photos and/or to buy some sunflowers. I met a sweet couple photographing the field, taking a leisurely walk and searching for the perfect sunflower to take home. Later,  I met a family with two little girls, one of whom had me convinced that the field smelled like honey. It was fun watching them in awe of the gorgeous field at sunset. I think the world needs more sunflower fields. I will do my part by sharing the photos and I will keep stopping by until the last sunflower blooms. 

Sunflower Fields Forever 

Every year I plant my own little patch of sunflowers – many different varieties. Sometimes the chipmunks eat my seeds before they sprout and sometimes the weather isn’t conducive to growing huge sunflowers- sometimes I’m lucky and sometimes I’m not. I always hope that the farmer down the road plants fields of sunflowers and every few years he does. Boo! for crop rotation and boring feed corn! Yay! For sunflower fields that go on forever! This year I got lucky! 

Laundry as an Act of Love

When I was in graduate school I was lucky enough (though I don’t think I thought so at the time) to live with my grandparents for a year or so. Although there was a perfectly functioning washer and dryer in the basement, my grandmother used a wringer washer. If you don’t know what that is – google it! Then she would hang her clothes out to dry. If I were home, of course I would help her. At the time I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t just make her life easier by throwing the clothes in the washer and dryer. I would have to say that laundry is one of my LEAST favorite household chores, EXCEPT in the summer when I can hang the clothes out to dry. I do have a perfectly functioning dryer as did she, but…..when I take the time to hang  the clothes out on the line, it becomes a meditation of sorts; almost like the relaxation that gardening brings when I pull weeds and daydream. When I hang the clothes out to dry, the sun warms me. When the clothes are dried by the sun and the breeze they smell and feel so wonderful. When I climb into bed on crisp sheets that have been hung out to dry and the summer breeze is blowing in the window, I don’t think there is another feeling quite like it. When I hang the clothes out to dry, laundry becomes less of a chore and more of an act of love that I am doing for my family and myself. When I hang the clothes out to dry, my grandmother is with me each time, even though she has been gone for over 20 years. She was doing laundry the “green” way before that idea was ever even discussed! Thank you Grandma, for teaching me the art of loving through chores and taking me back to a simpler time.

Top 20 Favorite Photos From Alaska Trip (Seattle and Victoria are there too)

I’ve always wanted to explore, or at least see Alaska. I did go to college for Wildlife Biology and although that is not the degree that I graduated with, it was not a lack of interest nor passion that made me switch majors. What I really wanted to be was a National Geographic Photographer, but exactly how was I to do that and have a family and be a wife/mom? So, especially because I was going to marry a pilot who would also be gone because of his career, I had to make a choice between struggling to do that and having and raising a family. I chose the latter and a career that would navigate me through the fjords of human emotion. Last week I was blessed to be able to take a cruise on a ship that navigated me through a fjord in Alaska and was blessed again with being able to experience the beauty that made me want to be a wildlife biologist.  I saw whales and sea lions and seals and eagles, all in their natural habitat. I saw glaciers that came right down to the ocean or river and I saw a glacier calve in the silence of a fjord in the wee hours of the morning. Seals/sea lions were floating on little icebergs that broke off of the glacier. I saw unspoiled gorgeous landscape that can only be accessed by boat and/or plane.  Some of this I captured in photos and some is only imprinted on my memory. I only saw a smidgen of Alaska and some of Seattle and Victoria, BC. I met some wonderful people and had the best time with the best traveling buddy ever. I learned about bible journaling and diving into the word of God with paint in hand. God painted this gorgeous world and it’s OK to paint gorgeous pages onto the Word of God!  As a matter of fact, I’m sure that it makes him happy. So, here are a few photos that cannot begin to do the lovely works of God justice, but I continue to try! I look forward to keeping in touch with the wonderful people that I met on the cruise and delve more into the word of God in my journaling bible!

 

 

My love of Alsace France in Photos

I’m blessed to have been able to go here twice this year. I absolutely love Alsace. 

  

I love the ancient walled cities, the gorgeous vineyards, the colors, the  way everything is decorated with beautiful flower boxes, the culture, the old churches, the statues of Jesus everywhere and of course the food and wine. I love everything about this charming part of the world. 

    

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

   
    
    
    
    
    
    

    
    
    
    
 

Monarchs Return 

In the Autumn I have always loved the time in September where the last cycle of monarchs hatch and get ready to migrate. We would always find the caterpillars eating the milkweed – so I always let the milkweed grow in my gardens and have even planted different kinds. I became a part of monarchwatch.org and started tagging them to see where they ended up. Three years ago,  in the fall we didn’t see one caterpillar and I never saw a monarch.  The same thing happened last year. I’ve been worried about the Monarchs. This year they are back! The caterpillars have been eating our milkweed and I’ve seen chrysalis’ and over the last few days our yard has been decorated with monarchs in flight and many stocking up on nectar from our purple wild flowers (ok, so I have complained to my husband that he let the purple flowered weeds grow up near the grapevines- and thank heavens he did because it’s become a nursery for newly hatched monarchs!). I’ve spent many patient moments trying to catch the perfect photo as the newly hatched monarchs spread their wings to dry them and exercise for flight. They are gorgeous blessings and in my opinion the most awesome example of God’s amazing work.