I’ll blame my absence on being a tad – shall we say – distracted – just dealing with life and its foibles. But those distractions from my usual routine kept my mind and even emotions occupied and disturbances seemed to just swallow my words up like a vacuum cleaner running amok.
When it came to blog writing, I struggled while attempting to capture some elusive thoughts and coerce them into coherent sentences. The result was that my blog posts were reduced to a bare minimum interspersed with a few photographs here and there.
Truth is a picture really is worth a thousand words at least it appears so for me. Photos do inspire me and I can only hope the pictures I capture and share ignite a little inspiration in others as well or at least bring a smile to someone’s face.
Why do photographs sometimes speak so well for me? I am a visual person. Often times when I’m pondering an idea or a concept I actually get a visual picture in my mind and when I spell a word out loud for someone, I ‘see’ the letters as I speak them.
So, yes, photos evoke reflective musings and emotions in me and most of the time they even prompt words to swell up inside my heart and head and land on the computer screen in front of me.
But writing has been scant lately. It happens to everyone from time to time. You just find you have nothing to say. At least nothing of importance. Or you just don’t have the energy to write because your brain is too taxed with those distractions.
Commotions. Upsets. Disturbances. They all interfere with my ability to write. If my mother were to write an excuse for me like she did when I was absent from school, she might have said I had come down with the 3Ds – disordered diversion deficit. Life seemed disordered which sent me into diversion which ended up causing a writing deficit.
When unsettling circumstances interfere and slam their way into my thoughts with bewilderment, my writing suffers. I tend to retreat and find a quiet place when faced with an unexpected occurrence, so that may also explain why I’ve been so ‘absent’ from the blogging world in recent months.
But I don’t want my readers to think I’ve been sitting around my house all morose and lonely and having myself one big pity party. Good golly Miss Molly, no, I’ve been too occupied with other activities for that – important things like being there for people who really need me and making some lasting memories in between. And, oh. the best thing of all, spending significant time marveling over my beautiful first grandchild, which has been a true blessing.
But suddenly, I realize July is about shot and I’m STILL not writing much in this blog. I’ve retreated for much too long on my writing hiatus and somehow I must carve out time and conjure up some motivation and creativity to situate myself in front of my computer and tap, tap, tap on the keyboard while hoping something worth reading bursts forth from this distracted heart and mind of mine.
Until that happens, I thought I’d play a little catch up and let you glimpse a snippet of the more enjoyable diversions that have kept me occupied. I will also let my photos do some of the ‘talking’ for me.
Of course, since her birth back in February, my adorable first grandchild has captured my heart and every moment I spend with her is sweeter than the most delectable dessert you can imagine.
Then there’s this cat – this crazy rambunctious silvery gray cat named Sasha – who has claimed a temporary home at my house. She keeps me jumping up and down to scold her for her naughty cat antics which include clawing my family room furniture and snagging my curtains.
And then she does stunts like this to make me laugh.
Way back in May, our family convened at son and daughter-in-law’s new home in the state next door for Memorial Day weekend. What a respite it was! Family together time made my heart sing with joy. We enjoyed a day of miniature golfing and introduced grandbaby to farm animals, attended a heritage festival where we enjoyed an outside philharmonic orchestra concert that evening complete with sky divers at the end of the performance. And baby slept through the cannon fire during the finale of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. And did I mention we stuffed ourselves with delicious food – and ice cream, there must always be ice cream! – and generally made fools of ourselves spoiling the baby in our midst?
The month of June found us celebrating both my and Papa’s birthdays – he turned the big 6-0. Some of the family were able to venture home to mark Papa’s big day over that weekend. We celebrated with a visit to the park, a yummy dinner in the city, and….of course…more ice cream.
And that brings me to July when daughter and granddaughter accompanied Papa and me to the city zoo and aquarium on Independence Day, which turned out to be a fun way to spend a lovely summer holiday. There may or may not have been ice cream….okay, there was… just in a different form (dipping dots). And Papa, who absolutely hates snakes, actually petted one and Mama’s got the picture to prove it.
So if you’ve been wondering what in the world I’ve been doing, now you know. Please don’t worry about me; I’m still here. Despite a few bumps in the road, blips on my radar screen, and fireworks veering off course, I’m steady on my path no matter what distractions come my way.
“No matter what distractions surround you, always remember who you are and stay on your path…that’s where your blessings are.” ~ Unknown
My country…it has its beauty. My country…it has its flaws.
Yet it is still my country and I wouldn’t want to claim citizenship in any other country but this one. Because when you strip away all the things that you may not agree with, one thing does still remain.
My country is the land of the free…at least so far.
And as we head into this holiday we celebrate in July – this Independence Day – when we hold picnics and family gatherings and ooo and aah over nighttime fireworks – we must remember one thing. We must strive, we must fight, we must never give up to keep our freedom no matter what. And for me, I will also put my trust in God to help me do just that.
For the rest of this week, I’m publishing a photo essay each day until the fourth of July. And I’m setting my photos to the lyrics of one of my favorite patriotic songs, My Country Tis of Thee.
Join me in commemorating my country, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
“My country tis of thee…”
I’m off. Really off.
It’s been going on for longer than I would like. Months. And the reason why I’m off is because life has totally taken a different turn from the norm.
This season of life somehow has been thrown off track. Plans haven’t developed like they should have. There have been way too many twists and turns in the road sending me veering in several directions.
And that throws me off. Off balance. Off kilter. Off. Off. Off.
That’s how I’ve been feeling. My writing is off. My thoughts are off. Circumstances beyond my control have even threatened to cast off my joy. And if I’m perfectly honest, even my faith has been thrown off like a rodeo rider hitting the dust when he’s tossed off that bucking bronco.
That’s why this week’s photo challenge seemed to just smack me in the face with the theme – Off Season.
I am in an off season. I’m soft and useless and out of shape. I’m wallowing from occurrences and events and it has thrown me completely off. And I’m tired of being off and desperately want to find the on switch.
I recently saw a motivational poster that boasted this message: “The best athlete is made during the off season.”
I’m hopeful that is the truth. I know that during the off season, you can’t just lie around doing nothing. You have to keep at it…whatever it is whether it’s sports or life. You can’t expect to improve your situation, your skills, your life if you don’t practice what you preach.
So you work hard during the off season. You rest for a time, yes, but you don’t slack off completely. You don’t ignore your training.
You see I’ve been doing that. I’m off my training. Off from reading God’s Word and incorporating it into my life because I’ve been consumed with something that seems to have derailed my train.
And I know I need to get back on the training treadmill so to speak. Because only through God’s Word can I be made stronger. Only reading His messages will help me endure. Help me persevere. Help me help others. Help us all finish this race called life on this earth.
My Guidebook for life tells me in the book of James, Chapter 1, verses 2-4 that we will face trials and temptations in this life. We must expect them and realize that those tests will produce perseverance when we allow our faith to grow during that time.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
So I’m suiting up for training. I’m grabbing this off season by the horns and I’m going “… one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life.” (from the movie Rocky IV)
Just call me Rocky.
“That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson