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Fledgling Admiration

Baby and Poppa Bird

Baby and Poppa Bird

This little bird is new to the world and has been sticking near its parents as you will see in this four photo post! I saw the little house sparrow hop over to stand close to its father on top of this pole. They seem to be admiring each other. I never knew the male birds gave much attention to the fledglings but this one has stayed near.

The mother bird has also stayed close and I saw her feeding this baby with food from my feeder! I just wasn’t fast enough to get the picture. The baby seems to be getting its wings but still seems a little discoordinated. In fact, it landed right on its mother before fluttering up and over to the next fence grid.

Baby and Momma Bird

Baby and Momma Bird

Here is a moment of independence for baby…but the family stayed near. I think the baby is an only child!

Baby

Baby

I saved my favorite picture for last. It isn’t as clear because I took it through the blinds and screen of my back door. This was my first sighting of the little bird and its Momma! I think it was just learning to fly…this may have been the first family flight! I was so happy when I saw them on my back porch. This candid family picture warms my heart!

Mutual Admiration

Mutual Admiration

I am in awe of nature and the beauty of all my backyard birds. I am amazed at the loving care this bird family seems to display. Family ties are something I admire!

*posted for the daily post weekly photo challenge:
<a href="http://Admiration“>admiration

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Window Into Time

Momma's Window

Momma’s Window

My mother looked out of this window as a little girl, pressing her nose against the glass and daydreaming about the future. Now, I gaze up at the window as her grown daughter, imagining her past. Looking at this window, I can feel the passage of time. I can feel the weight of time moving slowly backward and then rushing forward.

I discovered that my mother lived in this old house as a child. Other people and families surely moved in and out of the house over the years, making changes. But, her window remained unchanged.

I wonder what things she saw as she looked out into her neighborhood. I wonder what things she thought about. I wonder if she had big dreams for her life. I wonder if she dreamed about getting married and the children she would have one day, imagining her life with me long before I ever existed.

She would never have imagined the hardships and physical challenges she would face in life. I hope she imagined some of the happiness and joys that her life would hold. I like to think that some of her childhood dreams came true. She loved to smile and sing and laugh. I know she loved me and my brother with all of her heart because she showed us and told us so. I believe she knew she was loved by us.

Time flies. So, grab every window of opportunity to experience the world and to spend time with the people you love!

Happy Sunday to you all!

*posted in response to the daily post prompt://Window

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. It is a reminder to slow down and count our blessings. I have so much to be thankful for today.

This is my first Thanksgiving without my mother. I am thankful to have had so many years to spend with her, sharing moments together, great and small, that would become precious memories. She taught me right from wrong. She made me feel special. I knew she loved me with every breath. I miss her smile and voice and tender touch. She is still with me in spirit and I am thankful.

The person that understands this the most is my brother. We share our beliefs and prayers. I trust him with all my heart. He gives great advice and lifts my spirits. We think a lot alike; although, he is a million times smarter than me! He is thoughtful and loyal and kind. He is a true friend.

I am thankful for my friendships, old and new. To be able to share laughs, tears and ideas with kindred spirits is a gift.

You may not all celebrate this holiday. Still, I wish you all a day of peace, laughter and thankfulness. And, pumpkin pie too! Happy Thanksgiving!

Loss

Daughter and Mother

Daughter and Mother

This morning my sweet Momma passed away and words cannot describe how much I miss her and how quiet it is here without her. Of course my brother and I are grieving but we know that she is now in a better place where she can stand and walk and jump and run in the presence of the Lord.

My mother was an incredible woman. She withstood a lot of discomfort along with limited mobility but she never gave up. My first post last year, after introducing this blog, was about her. You can see that post here. I showed her most of my blog posts and she enjoyed looking at all the pictures I took as well as some from other blogs.

When I took the Photo 101 class, my mother and I thought it would be a good idea to photograph our hands together to address one of the challenges. I am so glad we did because I treasure this photographic memory.

It is really hard being without her. We shared constant conversation and I keep wanting to tell her things. I am so lucky and grateful to have such a great brother to help me through these tough times. As believers, envisioning the freedom of movement that my mother must now have has brought us both solace. She has fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith as described in 2 Timothy 4:7. We know we will see her again.

Portrait of My Momma

My Momma

My Momma

Momma is going on 81 years old. She said it was okay to give away her age.

People tell her she has the most beautiful skin and I agree. She hardly has any lines on her face to declare her age.

My mother is beautiful through and through. I love the slight grin she shares as she poses for this picture. She doesn’t need make-up for her natural beauty to shine.

We remind her that she is a miracle woman. About 5 years ago, a doctor told us it would be a miracle for her to make it out of the hospital. Despite the critical illness, my momma did indeed make it back home to us. She lives with me and I thank God for allowing me the ability to help care for her.

Daily life for her is not without hardship, but she never gives up. She carries on despite the physical pains and struggles. She walks with great effort, using a rolling walker with assistance. Still, she walks. Each step is a testament to her drive and determination.

She says she most enjoys time spent with me and my brother. We talk about the days when she was growing up. We talk about the days spent together as a family. We talk about reality TV, current events and God. Through the laughter and tears we all remain a team. We love each other and say it every day.

(For Lucile’s Photo101Rehab information, this photo was taken with the iphone 5s, desaturated to black and white and a backlit scene applied through camera+. This is my 4th post for the Black and White Photo Challenge presented to me by Desleyjane. I am to post a B&W photo for 5 days and invite someone each day. Since I have seen her post great photos for all kinds of challenges, I invite Debbie at Deb’s World to consider joining us. I know it is a busy time of year. So, if the timing isn’t right or you have already been invited, I certainly understand.)

The Arrival-A Second Hand Story

image

Daily prompt: Second-Hand Stories

Her phone rang, she told me, just as the yellow taxi pulled up in front of her house. Grabbing her phone from her pocket, she kept her eyes on the cab as she answered.

“Granddaddy is missing from the home,” she heard her sister say. “Everybody is looking all over for him. I just thought you should know.”

“Well, you can stop looking,” was her response. “Here he is. I’ll call you right back.”

She watched as the old man stepped from the cab, it’s engine still running, and walked toward her door. He carried a small travel bag in one hand. His tan raincoat was draped across his other arm with a tan hat held in his hand. Smiling, he greeted his favorite grand-daughter as he knocked on her screen door.

“Hi Honey,” he said. “If you’ll just pay the driver, he can get on his way.”

“Granddaddy! What are you doing here? Are you okay?” she exclaimed.

“I’m fine. I’m just not staying in that home your sister put me in. I knew you would let me live with you.”

Her grandfather always got his way, she told me. In fact, he had convinced her grandmother to marry him the first time they met. It was love at first sight, according to her grandparents. They met in a diner and, swayed by their immediate attraction, they arranged to meet again at the town courthouse the very next day to get married just before he left for the war.

Giving the old man a hug as she welcomed him in, she said “Grandaddy, you are something else. You know you can stay. We just have to clear it with Sis. Under the circumstances, I think she’ll agree.”

The cabbie honked his horn, a reminder of the still neglected fare.

“I can’t believe you took a cab all the way here,” she told her grandfather. “That’s at least 30 miles. I hope I have enough cash to cover your ride!”

Music To Move Your Soul

Listening to music can evoke so many memories and emotions. Music moves both our bodies and souls!

If you are like me, you have a variety of musical genres on your playlists. What I choose to listen to depends on my mood. I may select music to match my mood, elevate my mood, get me energized or touch my heart.

Today, I am thinking about the things that are most important in life. This is one of my mother’s favorite songs and I like it too. The words bring tears to our eyes.

When you hear a song are you more interested in the tune or the lyrics?

Song with lyrics-jason mraz (you may need to click on the black bar at bottom of the video)

Lost and Found-Part Two

I never did find my camera. We spent the morning of our last day in Freeport making calls and checking van transports to no avail. The camera was gone and it was time to leave for home.

Of course, I was disappointed and feeling a little guilty for losing photographic proof of a great family trip to the Bahamas.

The camera must have fallen out of my non zippered beach bag. I wondered if it was on the floor of the transport van, on the deck of the boat, buried in island sand or at the bottom of the clear blue water? I realized we would never know. I knew we would have to rely on our memories.

We would have to remember gazing at crystal blue water with contented looks on our sun tanned faces. We would have to remember sitting on the tall chairs at the tiki bar, frosty glasses in our hands. We would have to remember walking on the beach and high-stepping it toward the surf because the sand was so hot against our bare feet. We would have to remember laughing at stories told by new friends as we kept our balance on the catamaran.

We decided we had lots of good memories to outweigh the loss of the camera. Maybe our recounting of the trip will provide better memories than pictures, we hoped.

I still wished that I had a picture. Imagine my surprise and joy when I remembered the tiny family photo in a souvenir key chain bought at the resort during our trip. I looked through the eyepiece of the trinket and held it up toward the light.

There we were, suntanned, smiling and making memories!

Photo Found!

Photo Found!

Home Sweet Childhood Home

I live about ten minutes from my childhood home. As a child, I lived with my mother, father and younger brother. I grew up in a brick ranch house. Let me take you on a tour down memory lane.

Purple phlox covered the sloping banks near the steps that led from our driveway to our sidewalk. The concrete sidewalk was long enough for marking hopscotch squares in chalk or practicing standing broad jumps. The walkway took a sharp turn to the left, meeting the front porch steps of our house. No one else had ever lived there. Only us!

Just inside the front door was our living room. Hardwood floors, swept free of dust, were cool under my bare feet. A gold framed mirror hung on the white wall above my couch. If I jumped high enough, I saw my reflection in the glass as I practiced cheer jumps. Facing the couch was our TV, complete with rabbit ears. A yellow rotary phone sat on a shelf of a divider, built by my father, which was placed in the space between the living room and kitchen.

Three bedrooms and a bathroom were down the hallway. My brother and I would run and slide down the long hall in our socks over and over again for fun. In our rooms, we sat on the floor, playing games retrieved from basement storage. We read books. We listened to songs on our transistor radios or on our shared record turntable. The walls contained our laughter!

Called into the kitchen for meals by our mother, we raced to the wooden table and took our usual seats. As we ate, lingering daylight beckoned to us through the large kitchen window, urging us to rush outside to play in the backyard.

The yard was large and flat. There were flowering bushes all along the sides. The hydrangeas were a vibrant blue. The peonies, a bold pink. Honeysuckle grew along the fence line, filling the air with a sweet smell. A redbud tree stood beside our swing set. The yard was perfect for riding our bikes, running races and playing games like kickball, badminton and tag! We rested in the cool grass and looked for four leaf clovers.

At dusk, we propped our bikes against our chain link fence. We ran up the back porch steps and went back inside our home sweet home.

Happy TV Dinner Night!

Beans and franks. Baked apples. Corn muffin.

Simple food. It was the perfect combination. I cut the franks so I could have a hotdog bite with each scoop of the tangy beans. The corn muffin was soft and sweet. I saved the warm cinnamon apples for last. They seemed like a dessert. I thought it tasted great!

What made the meal special was the shiny metal tray with three compartments holding the food. All three items on one tray! None of them touched! And, they all cooked in the oven together! And, everyone could choose something different! This seemed fantastic to me as a child.

It wasn’t fast food; it still took a while in the oven. But, it did save my mom time in the kitchen on some nights.

I remember pulling the tin foil back to reveal the contents, hot steam rising from the tray. We let it cool a bit so we could carry it to the table and eat straight out of the tray. Even though it was a TV dinner, we didn’t sit in front of the TV. Our family sat at the kitchen table like we always did. My brother and I hurried to finish so we could go back outside to play with the other neighborhood kids before it got too dark.

It was a happy time with days and nights filled with family togetherness, joyful play and wonderment of dinner in a tin tray.

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