R e s p e c t

Aretha Franklin said it best, “All I need is a little RESPECT”. In the song she implied nothing was as important as respect. That is something our world is lacking right now and something I can relate to. For each person respect may mean something different. For me it simply means being valued for who you are. If you are not being valued maybe you need to evaluate the reason why.

This photo was among many of civil war officers who gave their lives for this country. They earned RESPECT. They fought in the bloodiest battle to ever take place on this continent. It wasn’t about slavery like most people think, it was about the right to protect their own land, to live freely without the government stepping in and destroying what was theirs. While it was a matter of greed from the Yankees, it was a matter of life or death for the Confederates. Before criticizing the Civil War take the time to read about it and the people who fought the battle. These men and women were valued and respected and should always be.

I can’t tell you who this gentleman is…

In my grandmother’s photo albums were pictures like these of people who were unidentified but who appear to be someone who might have been respected. How we perceive people has a lot to do with whether they are respected or not. While this gentleman appears to be someone of middle or uppler class, don’t let the clothes fool you. He could have also been someone in a borrowed suit. Get to know people before you judge them.

A woman of stature…

Women have not always been respected as a whole and still are not in some cultures. While women have come a long ways, just being respected because you are a woman or just because of your race is not enough. If you want to be respected make sure you are worthy of respect, don’t just assume you will get it. How you conduct yourself in regard to other people will determine the level of respect you receive.

People have not always liked me but I have in most situations been respected. Don’t judge what other people do unless you are willing to judge yourself first. I am probably a lot harder on myself than anyone else. I am comfortable in my own skin and try to value others equally. Race means little to me, it’s the person under the skin that matters!

Have a wonderful day and show some RESPECT.

Holiday Plans

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I have been hesitant to make any plans. Before my mother passed away last December my two sisters and I and our families would get together for lunch for food and fellowship. Today I was hit with reality again that it was time to make plans or at least make the decision to not make any. I chose the latter.

Having had to deal with a death, covid and now the results of a fraudulent election just does not add up to Thanksgiving for me. Life does go on but right now it is difficult at best to know what that will look like.

Prayerfully God has a plan. While holidays have never been my thing…I just had to give myself permission to take a “break”. It’s not going to bring my mother back, dissolve covid or right the wrong of a deceitful man but it gives me time to be me and to explore my options.

Sometimes it is ok to not do what is expected. There will be more Thanksgivings and holidays for my sisters and I.

Where will I be on Thanksgiving? I am making no plans. Maybe something exciting or just a quiet day at home. Either way I will be blessed.

Have a great day. Hug someone today….even if you have to do it with a mask.

The Right Path

The Path

As the picture implies there is a path. It can be simple or misleading with lots of treacherous detours. While this is election day it is not just any election day but one that will ask that question…not just who is the right man for the job…but more importantly who can lead us down the right path.

Don’t close the page yet my focus is not on politics! Pathways can lead us to many things: a career, education, romance. During your lifetime how many times have you had to choose a path? If your life has been like mine there have been quite a few pathways.

The Uncertain Space

Don’t find yourself in that uncertain space. A bad decision may have consequences but no decision will leave you stuck in a place where moving forward could be difficult at best.

So the moral of this story is choose wisely the path you walk down. The results could be life changing!

Have a great day!

To Be Or Not To Be…

In nature as in life a lot of things are connected but always have the opportunity of reinvention.

Lately I have been doing beadwork. What I like most about working with crafts is the ability to take something plain or raw and make something useful and hopefully beautiful out of it.

Sun Stone Quartz Pendant

The above picture defines my point. I took a rough piece of Sun Stone Quartz that I mined out of the NC mountains, added some decorative black jewelry wire for a harness and now it will have purpose as a pendant.

Not unlike this rough stone we can reinvent ourselves. Sometimes this reinvention occurs as a result of an event in our lives or like me just a desire to be the best I can be.

Have a great Sunday.

A Mountain Journey

Every year I just do not feel fulfilled until I take a trip to the mountains. Follow me on this photographic journey.

Mountain Trail

It’s hard to tell from the photo that it is fall here in the foothills. Slight golds and yellows but little else. We are at just a little over 3200 feet so we are hoping tomorrow we can venture out to a little higher elevation and see if the leaves have changed any more.

The Elusive Dragonfly

I have always been facinated by the dragonfly. They are colorful and fast but more importantly a symbol of peace and prosperity. Some years ago I was able to get a shot of one of these special creatures.

The peacemaker.

While he nestled quietly on top of an unopened day lilly, all seemed to be right in his world. Yes, this was shot with a film camera. A Canon AE1 to be exact with a micro lens.

We should all be like the dragonfly and seek to find peace not violence and destruction.

Peace be to you all.

Tree Limbs and Limbs of Society

In the pictures above you see one of limbs and one of roots. What do they say to you? I know you are asking what does that have to do with society? A lot!

The roots are like our own. They start out spindly but become a vast network into the soil to support what will become a massive trunk and limbs. Like this vast network we have our own supportive system that we may or may not even recognize. This country started with a small root system, just a small band of indians, they began to develop into a vast nation of people and different tribes. Then came the English who migrated to this country along with the scottish and others seeking a new life. They too settled here and developed their own colonies starting another root system. Already these are two different groups with two different root systems and lifestyles. More immigrants came to develop their own root systems and those systems became strong truncks. They were still fairly separate at this point but already at odds with the other systems (races). They didn’t understand each other’s lifestyle and language much like some trees can’t grow together because one of them will wilt and die.

If you look at the limbs though, they have a purpose. These limbs help to balance the tree and provide seed for new trees. Now look at trees that have no limbs, they are dying or already dead. In society, we have lots of trees (origins of people) with lots of limbs (groups within those origins). All of these limbs are important to balance the tree and all of the trees are important to develop the forest (our country). While the original owners and keepers of this land were the Native Americans, all races have added value to this country. It’s time we learn to lean on each other and strengthen this tree! No tree deserves to die!

Tree Of Life

We start out in life as part of a small family unit. We have parents and siblings. As we grow our lives develop much like a tree that has many branches as shown in the image. The right half depicts our family life while the left half depicts our work life.

So many times the left half overshadows the right half and the tree begins to sway. Finding balance is important to a healthy home life. I know in my family as a child I remember seeing my father sometimes only late at night because he was so focused on financial security and being sucessessful. While success and prosperity are important, it is the pursuit of these that can sometimes rock the life boat. It is worth it in the long run to make that extra effort to give of your time and yourself.

On the family side of the tree, as we grow we participate in dating to find that perfect spouse. The pursuit of perfection sometimes leads to bad choices. You don’t have to settle for second best but you should settle for who is best for you. Making a choice should not be about looks but about two people who communicate well, offer attributes that are beneficial to the other, and similar views and values.

Now we are on to the marriage. Marriage should not be entered into casually, but because the love and desire is mutual for a more permanent lifestyle. Marriage can be truly amazing among two people who have the right components or a life in burning hell for those who don’t. I have experienced some of both.

When you are married to the right partner, there is nothing you can’t conquor together. When you are not, each day is a battle that will probably never be won. Just imagine it as stock that has turned out to be a bad investment.

Last but not least comes the children. There is nothing more wonderful than holding your first child in your arms. That being said, it takes all that you have in you not just to give birth but to raise that child into what we hope will be a responsible human being.

Now you see that big word at the top of the tree, LOVE. The Bible tells us:

And so faith, hope, love abide [faith-conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things:hope-joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation;love-true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for in but the greatest of these is love.

If we allow ourselves to LOVE, then all things are possible.