What Does Christmas Mean To You

This is the first thing that comes to mind.

This is just my first sketch.

Christmas is coming. As Christians we of course celebrate the birth of Christ and that should be our focus but right now I challenge all you artists, photographers and crafters to display what Christmas means to you.

I don’t want to leave anyone out. Whatever your religion or customs are show us how you celebrate. It can be events, decorations or other traditions.

As for me, I typically do not decorate very much and don’t do a tree. This year will be very different since my Mother passed. She died three days after Christmas and loved the holiday. When she was able I took her to a candle light service at church on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day she and my sisters and I would get together with our families, have lunch and open gifts and just spend quality time together.

Although this year will be different, my sisters and I will still get together and celebrate and honor her memory of Christmas. We will not let Covid or the government dictate how we celebrate.

Regardless of your beliefs or traditions, take the time to love and just be kind to others. You don’t have to like everyone you meet but just be kind and treat people the way you want to be treated.

I look forward to your Christmas blogs.

Be safe and God bless you all.

And The Water Came….

After the recent flooding at Hiddenite Campground that claimed five lives, I was moved. As an avid camper myself I love to camp out beside the river and mountain streams. It is always very peaceful. Campers were not advised of the potential flooding and a peaceful situation quickly turned tragic.

In my hometown we currently have flooding and it will give you some idea of what it might have looked like at Hiddenite.

See the Chicken at the right of the frame… that is at the edge of the playground.
This is the playground.
To the left of the screen is a campground under water.
See the red signs in the middle, they are stop signs for the road that is flooded.
Trees that stand in awe of the water around them.
This is at the wildlife access. The sign on the right stands before you would normally access the river. The water in front of it is the parking lot.

Don’t take anything for granted when you are around rising water. The campground at Hiddenite should have closed prior to the flooding but it didn’t. The lost lives included a one year old child.

Be safe!

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.