Linking up with WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge today and the theme ‘Containers.’
Linking up with WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge today and the theme ‘Containers.’
You know the old saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” Well, I imagine the same could be true about what constitutes a relic. This week’s photo challenge theme on Word Press has been relic.
One of the definitions of the word says a relic is “an object surviving from an earlier time, especially one of historical or sentimental interest.” For some, a relic may be just an uninteresting piece of old junk, for another it is fascinating.
On our recent trip south, we visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. Now that place is full of relics – items of historical interest that truly are captivating like furniture, vintage clothing, period décor accessories, old photographs, and original artwork by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and John Singer Sargent.
But I suppose if you weren’t interested in history or the culture of that bygone era, you could find it boring. Not us. My history loving husband found it intriguing and my imaginative self found it equally enchanting.
The impressive ‘big house’ is a 250 room chateau-style mansion which was built and completed in 1895 for George Vanderbilt as a retreat for his family and friends. It sits on 8000 acres, much of it wooded and all of it beautiful, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
As we toured only the rooms open to the general public, I could imagine folks a century ago coming and going. Arriving in the foyer with trunks in tow for an extended stay. Enjoying the elaborate indoor winter garden on a blustery cold day. Lounging on a chaise reading in the library with floor to ceiling shelves holding 10,000 books.
Genteel ladies escorted by well-mannered gentlemen on a carriage ride through the estate. Elegantly attired folks feasting in the banquet hall where 64 guests could dine around a 40-foot long table. Getting some recreation in the indoor swimming pool, bowling alley, or gymnasium. Enjoying a summer breeze and gorgeous view on the loggia. Strolling arm and arm through the magnificent gardens. It is the stuff that historical romantic novels are made of.
Taking a day to ‘go back in time’ proved fascinating for the two of us. Hubby’s love of historical trivia was sated. He posed a question to a Biltmore staff member about an aspect he noticed in the banquet hall, and she answered with surprise that he was correct. She added that in the 11 years that she had worked there, no one had ever gotten that connection on his own. That’s my husband!
And my fascination with vintage things and love for photography was equally satisfied, although I had to be content with only taking pictures outside as no indoor photography is allowed since it is still a privately owned home. Still there were many photo ops to capture my eye.
All of those relics at the Biltmore have been carefully preserved because someone believed they were worthy of being safeguarded. And that makes me think about my own relics. I have a few – they’re not priceless by any means when it comes to monetary value. They’re only priceless to me because they belonged to a family member now long gone.
As I glance around my home at my furnishings, artwork, and personal belongings, I wonder if there’s any item here that someday might be considered a relic and if anyone will consider it precious enough to keep. Time will tell.
“Any relic of the dead is precious, if they were valued living.” ~ Emily Bronte in Wuthering Heights
Linking up with WordPress Photo Challenge
“America, America, God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.”
Happy Birthday, America!
May we seriously reflect on the great courage and sacrifice our forefathers endured just to provide us, the future generations, with liberty on this Independence Day. And may we thank God for our freedom and do everything we possibly can to preserve it. Will you join me today in praying for restoration of our great nation?
Linking up to Weekly Photo Challenge today.
No, I’m not hopping mad. Or hopping down the bunny trail (you have to be old enough to know Here Comes Peter Cottontail for that one). Nor am I island hopping although the idea of that does sound grand… maybe I just need a vacation.
And I’m not hopping in my socks at the dance (sock hop) either, even though that sounds like fun. Instead, today I’m blog hopping. I was invited to participate in a blog hop (who knew there was such a thing?) for today. My good friend and blogging buddy, Dianna, over at These Days of Mine asked me to join in.
The only requirement to join the blog hop is to answer four questions in a blog post and name, with their permission of course, three fellow bloggers to also answer the questions and post the following Monday. I had no trouble answering the questions, but unfortunately, only one blogging friend was available to join the blog hop. So head on over to D’s place at My Five F’s for her answers next week. (And thank you, D, for hopping with me!)
Here are the questions in bold, my answers in italics:
So now you know a little bit more about me. But let me thank you, my readers. Because every time you hop on over here to my empty nest place, you make me happy enough to hop up and down excitedly.
“The writer catches the changes of his mind on the hop. Growth is exciting; growth is dynamic and alarming. Growth of the soul, growth of the mind.” ~ British novelist Vita Sackville-West
We awaken each morning and we must choose. What will be my attitude for today? Will I allow my circumstances to control me or will I adjust my outlook and not base it on the circumstances? Stressed or not? Productive or not? For me, it’s a matter of where I place my focus.
Monday morning, my focus was off. Literally off. Way off. When I awakened, I rolled over just like I do every morning to check the time on the alarm clock. And suddenly, the room was spinning faster than the ceiling fan whirling over my head. Dizziness overwhelmed me and immediately twisted my stomach in its grip.
I attempted to sit up slowly in bed while the whirling scene slowed and when I stood erect, my world finally arrived at a standstill. But my stomach still lurched from the effects of the upheaval. I tried to lie down again and whoa, I was back on that out of control merry-go-round. Standing seemed the only way to curtail the spinning.
For most of the morning, I felt ‘not right,’ not really dizzy but not quite balanced either. Between. That’s where I landed. Between wellness and feeling ill. Between accomplishing plans for the day – strawberry jam to be made – and just sitting idle.
I found it uncanny that this week’s photo challenge on Word Press just happened to be ‘between.’ That feeling of being caught between two perspectives can make one feel unnerved, and I’ve been ensnared in that position plenty of enough times to realize that. Being between feuding friends or family can unseat the most stable person.
When our children were young, we were on a family trip: Papa driving, Mama riding shot gun, and our three youngsters crammed in the back seat. Middle daughter was stuck in the middle seat when son, the youngest, and oldest daughter started arguing. Back and forth, the squabbling continued. No doubt the disagreement was over something ridiculous, but that didn’t matter, the dispute escalated.
They continued verbally sparring and butting heads, even though Papa threw out that age old threat, “Do I have to stop this car?” Middle daughter had patiently kept quiet as her siblings warred over her. And then finally, she threw up her hands in desperation and cried in her 9-year-old wisdom, “Can’t we all just learn to get along??”
She found herself between these two often when they were still youngsters. Our daughter could have focused on how she was caught in the sometimes miserable middle. But instead she focused on keeping her patience and learned at a young age to be a pretty decent peacemaker.
I’ve also found myself between a rock and a hard place, which causes anxiety and even a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. It’s difficult to determine where to turn because each avenue you attempt seems blocked and inescapable. That’s when I’ve found that my focus needs to be diverted off the problem and off myself. Instead, I need to focus on others and turn my attention to the faith in my Savior which always bolsters me through any situation.
Sometimes reading between the lines gives you great perspective. But at other times, it may lead you to false conclusions. Again, it’s a matter of focus. It’s wise to consider all angles and zero in on the truth before making a final decision.
So I have to ask myself: is my focus stuck between one thing and another? Or can I aim my sight beyond those two things I’m between?
My unfocused world on Monday eventually righted itself naturally and I’m back on the straight and narrow. Something somewhere in my body (I suspect my inner ear) just needed to make an adjustment. And I find that’s so true about my focus when I’m caught in between.
Usually, I just need an attitude adjustment.
“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” ~ William James