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Memorial day….a time for remembering our father, brother or sister who fought to preserve our freedoms.  My memories are of an airman who came and went most of my life.  We moved from place to place as we followed his transfers.  He felt very strongly that he was doing his best to protect us.  Putting himself in harms way was to give us the dream.  We lived for when he came home to be with us.  He took us on tours on Armustus day so we could see the plane he was responsible for the mechanical workings.  Little did we know what else he was exposed to. 
Each day his honor and beliefs were tested.  The two wars he served in and twenty years served were his gift to us.  I made this wreath for his grave to show he is still my hero…and I miss you Dad.  Thank you for your service and for teaching me the tough lesson of listening to my heart.  I can always find you there to guide me. 

Prom and being true to yourself.

For the last two years my granddaughter has invited me to come help her choose a prom dress.  While she tries on numerous dresses, we take pictures and she decides if she will make the change on it.  During the previous year it was all about a young man who led her to his idea of what beautiful was and even though she would be beautiful in a paper sack she did not look comfortable in her dress.  She looked only for his approval and he failed to give her the feedback she was seeking.

This year we went about searching for a dress and she had her own ideas of what she wanted.  She finally realized that she only needed to make herself happy.  You see she is not dating the same guy who had no appreciation for life and what is precious.  This year she was going to the prom with her friends and her current boyfriend was smart enough to take her out to dinner  and release this beautiful butterfly to enjoy her friends for one evening.  While he was not afraid to tell her how beautiful she was he also told her how beautiful she is everyday as she is just being herself.  The two of them are not out to impress the world but to enjoy what time they have together doing the things they both enjoy.  She has learned that it is smart to let each other have time apart for their own interests and there is time to spend together.

It makes me sad to see the differences in these two young ladies in the picture. One is so wrapped up in what others think she fails to see how she is being led to believe her self worth is in the eyes of others.  The other young lady in this picture is standing tall, looking forward to what life brings and her self worth comes from within.  She knows she has the strength to stand alone if need be but also the softness to let others love her for who she really is.

The lessons we teach our young will be with them forever.  It is more important to give young people our time, honesty, love and support so they recognize and see self worth is so important in lessons of the heart and in giving of oneself to others. Finding when we rely on our instincts, we prevent ourselves from losing our own visions and dreams by making smart choices.  It is also important to encourage them to seek counsel from those older and wiser to balance the ideas of other young less experienced friends.

Playing sports, picking yourself up and dusting off to face another day provides lessons of self reliance.  Knowing that life lessons are there for us to learn what is important and how to relate teaches our young how to handle their vulnerability.  Reaching out for guidance shows wisdom beyond years.  I am so proud of the woman my granddaughter is becoming.  She is not afraid to stand up for her beliefs, make hard decisions or show her caring for others.

Can you see me now?

Spring brings renewal of life all around us.  We see signs of new life everywhere we look.  From our trees, flowers and even in the tiny bird nests that get built.  I spotted a new arrival on one of my walks that reminded me that every living thing brings new life in the spring.  I saw three little kittens that at first only saw each other and were playing with each other in the warm sunshine.  Once I turned on my camera and it made a sound they all ran behind the rocks and after a few minutes this little century came out to see if the danger had passed.

I was not sure I got the shot of him as I no sooner clicked my camera and he ran again.  It was not until I downloaded my pictures that I realized I did indeed catch a perfect glimpse of that little face peeking out from the rocks.  He is the color of a shadow and unless you look hard you might miss him.  The mother cat was not far away and even though the little ones made no sound she came over and gave me the evil eye for even looking at those cute little balls of fur.

Next time I see a shadow I will again attempt to see if it is a photo opportunity to say, “Can you see me now?”

Amazing Sky

Tonight was an evening of some amazing sights and color in the skies over my house.  It changed so much over the last hour of daylight that I could not help but take some pics.  This was just one of them to the east.  The ones I saw to the west were more orange but to the east had more pink.  I am not sure if the grey background had anything to do with the reflections of the sun as it set but the clouds hung so low you felt you could reach up and touch them.  This one is my favorite but there are plenty of others that caught my eye.  I think having this sky framed by our trees just coming into bloom shows all the beauty that God sends down to us so we know that there is a rebirth.  An awakening that miracles are all around and life is constantly changing just like the sky.

How we choose to appreciate all the colors and shapes are for our eyes and minds to imagine.  We can see peace or we can see turmoil in these clouds. I see beauty that is fighting over the change.  Even though the old saying is pink sky at night sailors delight there seems to be an air of turmoil.  Yet the trees are quiet and still in the foreground.  I see openings for change and peace toward the top but near the ground the change is more complex and busy.

So glad to have been out this evening to enjoy the changes regardless of the cool air that was here.  Spring is here and the change over to warmth will come, and these clouds say it is trying to push it’s way north.  We are just seeing our spring flowers begin to bloom.  Bring on the Spring warmth for all to see the hope in the sky and all around.