Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankfulness Is a Lifestyle

Today is a beautiful day with temperatures that I thought sure would not be around again until next year.  The snow has mostly melted and it’s Thanksgiving, I’m very grateful to God for another day to live and love.  I don’t think I’ll have the pictures of our bountiful feast until after Thanksgiving but let me tell you it smells like heaven about now!  Aside from the trees being barren it looks like an earlier day in fall today.  I love going out and just letting things capture my eye as I hold my camera.  I like organic photography quite a bit.  Gratitude for the moment we’ve been given brings out the best pictures if you ask me.  Sometimes I go out and find things still growing that surprises me.  I was actually going behind our backyard fence to take pictures of some of the leaves therewhen this mushroom caught my eye.  You just never know what you might find if you look for it.  Here the weather can be deceptive because it can be warm…much like today and then very suddenly be brutally cold.  Some of the leaves were yet again shocked this year…not knowing whether to simply die or change colors.  We had some trees that changed in only a couple of days leaving us with some brilliant yellows to enjoy.  All of this leads me inevitably to the cat tails in the pond not far from our back yard.  I think they age beautifully don’t you…at least they age with some personality!  All of this gets me into the mood for the season we are in.  Winter really isn’t my favorite season but without it I doubt spring, summer and fall would be there so I’m thankful for it none the less.  I’ve lived in countries that don’t have the changing of the season..except adding rain to the heat and it’s a whole different thing.  I am now in a land of profound seasonal shifts so I’ll take the cue from the plants and animals and move along with it.  Living next to the prairie makes me learn to love the colors even if they are hues of brown and gold…after this makes the blue sky and clouds all the more beautiful.  My grandmother on my Mom’s side used to dry and press flowers but here in the field nature does it naturally.  I’m thankful because I am able to go out and see this.  I’m thankful to have a beautiful family that I love dearly…they stick out in a dreary world much like this colorful late blossom.  I’m grateful for those that God has placed in my life that make my perspective far more amazing then if I did not know them.  I’m thankful for all that makes this life so colorful and amazing.  Above all I’m grateful to God for His kindness and amazing love for us.  I don’t have to understand or know what I’m looking at to be appreciate its beauty.  This is the gift of faith that God has given.  I may not know everything or even close to it but I know the One who does.  May this gratitude fill you all, not just for today but every day.  May it be our lifestyle.  Happy Thanksgiving all!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fallen Again

I finally am through my archives from the trips we had this summer and am now entering the fall photos.  I am not much of a people photographer but I have a few here of the time that my dear brother was here from Africa.  We have a very lively church and often have demonstrations that give a visual image of the things we’re talking about.  My brother has been all over the world and intends to break some new ground and so we had some demonstrations that illustrated this…blurry yes but I still like the image here. I can safely say we all miss him dearly.  Visiting him with my family in Ghana was a dream I’ve had for many years and having him come here after that was the icing on the cake.  Now we hold fast to the memories we have and cherish the images in our mind…he is every inch a man of God and truly one of my heroes of faith.  Now we are alone again much like this leafbut thankfully this is just one more season and there’s no distance in the spirit…we are always together inside where it counts.  Fall is a season of stark changes…it is usually pretty short here so I had to capture the incredible blue skies and changing leaves quickly when the opportunity arose.  Sometimes the cold can come on so abruptly that the changing leaves get frost bittenand I feel this is a warning to the unwary.  The times we live in require that we be prepared…not just physically but spiritually.  It doesn’t take much to be upset seeing the things happening during these days but someone that refuses to give up hope not just on a personal level but for the United States and the world at large sticks out of the crowd.  The Bible says watch and pray…I intend to just that so as not to be caught unaware.  Some years the changes are stark and beautiful however that wasn’t so much the case here…lot’s of browns in the mix this time.  I’m so surprised to see things going to the next season so quickly yet a final blossom hung on even this late…if things are getting darker…and I believe they are…I intend to hang on as long as I can by God’s grace and be a symbol of hope.  You can have the strongest support system in the world but if you find yourself separated from it you are cut off indeed.  Faith and relationship with Christ has always been the most important thing in the world to me but now more than ever I realize, it’s not extra credit…it’s the only way to survive.  For now the leaves have fallen again…but soon it will be a whole new season again and there’s always hope in that.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Chipmunk Gang

I suppose I’m not alone in loving the Apple Dumpling Gang back in the day…remember that Disney gang?  I used to love Tim Conway in that role with Don Knotts.  We had a gang of our own when we were at the cabin and they were a comedy routine let me tell you!  We didn’t see much for big game except for one moose but for what the chipmunks lacked in size the made up for in personality.  These were a very small variety…so small in fact that they liked to get up in the tall grass while they chewed on the seeds and nuts they could find or that we gave them.  I loved looking down from the deck to watch these amusing little fellows move about their day.  Usually I find the smaller variety of chipmunk to be more skittish but these let me get quite close to photograph them.  Good things really do come in small packages!  Notice those little paws!  They could open any seed with those and their tiny little teeth.  Today I spent much of the day at the garage with the car yet again.  I think we may have found the issue.  My dad can get the part via Napa where he works…he loves working part time and getting parts at a huge discount.  This is a small package to solve what I thought was a big problem…so once again the Chipmunk Gang’s motto:  good things comes in small packages is shown to be true

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Present Meets Past

I have lately found that I have a deep love of history.  I love American history, history from other nations and above all I love Biblical history.  I think so many times if we could learn from the past we’d avoid the mistakes we would otherwise make in the future.  I don’t want to get too wild here but I’m going to say right now I’m not for things that tear down all that’s good and right in this country.  Chaos isn’t an answer…violence is not an answer…it never will be.  I will continue to stand for the principles that made this country great and in God I will continue to trust.  I have some pictures now of what I guess you could call a sort of living ghost town.  Virginia City…not the one in Nevada but right here in Montana…speaks of another age but still has some modern relics like this recently enjoyed Root Beer bottle.  Yes, it’s just an old hand rail ball but I like the angle…so there!  This old chain link could actually rust…not like the stuff today.  Iron is wonderful stuff to photograph in my opinion…well anything that rusts…I love it.  I recently had to get a hole fixed in our tire…slow leak really but can you imagine fixing the wagon wheels of the past?  This is a far cry from the bling you see on some hubs of modern vehicles but I like it none the less.  Some of these things are really rusting in peace.  I love the facades on these old stores!  Imagine hopping into this old buggy and heading over to Walmart!  Looking at this picture might make you a peeping Tom!  Care to kick back and relax for a moment?  Here was the Walmart of the day.  I think I could easily make a whole album entitled “Decay” and have everything from rusted items to peeling paint.  I love how the old stores had the original items in them and on the shelves.  Just look at these old items!  Things from a different age.  Signs before the digital age.  I know this is sort of stereotypical Montana but I still like it.  I actually really like the old signs better!  These old shacks are just filled with textures.  Rust and wood…a winning photographic combination if you ask me!  Even a knock knock joke might destroy this old door.  The craftsmanship on this wall really is amazing.  This one store had a lot of totems and such…this one was pretty cool in my opinion.  It was starting to look a bit like a building from “Deliverance” or “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”so we decided to move on.  I noticed that the train moved through this part of town too.  There was a little waiting area with this lamp post that I thought was nice.  We headed back to the cabin as the weather started to become rainy.  It had been a very good day but we were ready to return to our cabin.  Besides there was a wonderful rainbow shaping upand it was so visible from the porchin fact was in stereo.  There’s always hope in a rainbow and there’s not a time when I see them when I don’t remember the good things God has done and will continue to do!