Baseball sign language

A few years ago, our oldest daughter lived way down south in Dixie.  One lovely fall week, Papa and I jumped in our vehicle and traveled southward to visit her.  On our way, we took time to sight-see some landmarks.  

We’ve always been baseball fans and our son played for many years so it seemed only natural that when we stopped in Louisville, Kentucky, we opted for a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum, home of the wooden baseball bat.  

We posed in front of the gargantuan slugger in front of the place and then noticed another sign just down the street at Kentucky Mirror and Plate Glass that grabbed our attention and made us chuckle.  Of course, I just had to take a photo of that.   

Who knew it would come in handy four years later for a weekly photo challengeIf you guessed that this week’s theme is signs, you just hit one out of the ballpark.

And since our own Pittsburgh Pirates are down for the count, I’ll take a moment to cheer on my next favorite baseball team.  We lived in their fair city the last time they became World Series Champs in 1985.  Go Kansas City Royals!  Hope you find your sweet spot! 



Falling into fall

blogIMG_4143Sometimes you just awaken in the morning, see that the fall day promises to be one filled with sunshine and balmy weather, and you just want to rush outdoors and enjoy it while you still can.  Fall days are like that for me.

If you’re a long-time reader of Mama’s Empty Nest, you will know that autumn is my very favorite time of year. Sun-kissed temperate days, cooler crisp nights, a dazzling array of multi-colored leafy wardrobes on trees, happy faced hues of yellow, orange, rust, and crimson mums, an abundance of pumpkins and gourds.  What’s not to love about fall? 

This past Sunday proved to be such a glorious day that Papa and I just couldn’t imagine spending it indoors.  So we played hooky from church and ventured on an excursion to an outdoor festival that I’ve always wanted to attend.

Penn’s Colony,  which has been taking place annually the last two weekends in September for over 30 years, is not just a typical arts and crafts festival.  Instead the festival, which is set up like a colonial village in the midst of a wooded area, provides a little step back in history and that’s right up my hubby’s alley.  Focus is on the French and Indian War era with battle reenactments, artillery skills, and citizen’s drills as well as ‘colonial faire’ entertainment: period music, a bagpipe quartet, and an ‘old-tyme’ circus act including a fire-eater. 

Artisan vendors dressed in colonial garb and booths numbered close to 200.  Art work from fine art to pottery to folk art to glass creations were on display and for sale.  Other booths included woodwork, leatherwork, linens, weavings, jewelry, and period clothing to name just a few.  One craftsman showcased his exquisite handcrafted 18th century furniture reproductions. 

And of course, a myriad of food booths either quenched your thirst or satisfied a growling stomach or gave you jars of goodness to take home.  Penn’s Colony and a magnificent autumn Sunday meshed quite nicely and proved to be a win-win situation for us. My history buff husband enjoyed the glimpse into the past and especially the battle reenactment.  I loved seeing all of the handiwork and snapping photos. 

So since a picture is worth a thousand words and I’m feeling less wordy today, I’ll show you some photos I shot there.

And did I mention it was a flawlessly beautiful autumn day? All in all, it was a perfect falling into fall day.

“I love autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.” ~Lee Maynard

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Two-sided night

Nighttime in New York

Nighttime in New York

Nighttime in the country

Nighttime in the country

Nighttime.  This week’s photo challenge theme.

An old cliché, as different as night and day, used to describe opposites comes to my mind.  But I think night can be as different as…well… night.

In my book, two diverse kind of nights exist.  You may experience nights full of blissful rest when you fall asleep quickly and don’t awaken until morning light.  But then there are those other nights – those that occur when sleep is disturbed or is nonexistent caused by a crying baby or anxious thoughts or too much caffeine or simply insomnia.

Sometimes we eagerly embrace the night and sometimes we wearily dread it.

Nighttime is two-faced not just when it comes to our rest but also where we choose to spend the dark hours of our lives.  Its difference seems most pronounced between city and country.  Nights spent in the city are never completely dark (unless there’s a blackout) as brightly lit signs and traffic lights produce a glow no matter what time of night it may be.  Those kind of nights can prove invigorating and no doubt whoever penned that old disco song with the lyrics, I love the nightlife, was writing about nighttime in the city.  

Country nights provide quite a contrast.  When evening draws nigh and the sun finally sinks beyond view, darkness – real darkness – descends.  On a clear, cloudless evening, you gaze upwards and are greeted by a sky dotted with more shining stars than you can count.  The only gleaming glow around may come just from a silvery moon casting its luminescence on earth or a brightly burning bonfire blazing in the back yard.

Regardless of whether your preference is illuminated by the incandescent city night or enveloped in the darkness of a country nighttime, you can always find something to remember, a nocturnal memory to add to the days of your lifetime.

“What I take from my nights, I add to my days.” ~ Leon de Rotrou


To love and endure

My parents wedding photo

My parents’ wedding photo

I come from a long line of folks who know how to endure. No matter what came their way, they stood the course.  Whether it was a time of war or a time of peace.  Whether it was a time of depression or a time of prosperity.  A time of joy or a time of sadness.

They said vows that they meant, vows of commitment.  Vows that promised to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part.

Honoring those vows and staying committed to the one you have pledged them to is the definition of endurance, which happens to be the weekly photo challenge theme.  My grandparents and my husband’s grandparents knew how to endure.  So did both sets of our parents.

Today would have been my parents’ 73rd wedding anniversary.  They married in their early 20’s right on the brink of World War II.  They had their times of hardship and times of plenty.  They experienced times of sickness and health.  They knew what it meant to work together to keep a marriage strong for better and for worse. 

And in the 57th year of their marriage, they faced the unto death do us part challenge when my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  And through it all, they provided a worthy example of what it means to love and to cherish, to honor and consider someone else more important than yourself.

My parents endured.  They didn’t throw their relationship out when it wasn’t perfect. They honored their commitment and each other.  And they taught me well.  Next week, my husband and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary.  Year 37.  We have a ways to go before we reach the milestones our parents reached or our grandparents, some of whom were married for over 60 years before death claimed one of them.

But we will stay the course.  We will endure until death do us part.  We will continue to have and to hold for better or for worse. I can only hope and pray that our children embrace the same course of endurance in their marriages.   Because love, real love, is enduring.

“Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. Love still stands when all else has fallen.” ~ Unknown


This is humanity

This is humanity…

because between this…


and this…


there is a life worthy of living the best possible way we know how.

 And each life touches another…and another…and another.

Our inner strengths, experiences, and truths cannot be lost, destroyed, or taken away. Every person has an inborn worth and can contribute to the human community. We all can treat one another with dignity and respect, provide opportunities to grow toward our fullest lives and help one another discover and develop our unique gifts. We each deserve this and we all can extend it to others.” ~ Unknown

Linking up with WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge today.