Wordless Wednesday: windshield view

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©2016 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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Howdy, pardner!

blogIMG_1405 (2)Whenever my photography cache gets low, I usually grab my camera and head outside my house or I pack it in its trusty case and venture out into my world – out here in ruralville America.

I live a few miles outside my tiny hometown and although we don’t live in a very secluded area, I’m surrounded by country roads of cement or macadam pavement, gravel, and even dirt, farmers’ fields, and plenty of woods.  A sight to capture with my trusty Canon Rebel T3i always presents itself somehow.

It’s me and my camera searching out interesting shots to take.  You might call us a partnership because I’d be lost without my camera and my camera couldn’t capture anything without me behind the lens.

That’s how I define partners.  Two working in tandem together to accomplish a goal whether it’s in relationship like marriage (my hubby is certainly my partner in life)  or found in business where two people put forth their best effort to create and maintain a lucrative company.

Partners are found in any community project where they plan and organize resources to achieve a successful event.  And the concept should be in our churches where we believers partner with God to bring the message of salvation to those who don’t know Him.

This week’s photo challenge theme is partners. I’ve stewed on the subject ever since I read the announcement last Friday. I’ve gleaned through my photos, contemplated over how to portray the theme in a photo opportunity not yet taken, and I kind of came up empty-handed.

Until I searched through some old photos again.

On one of those lazy summer days a couple of years ago, I happened to be driving down a nearby country road in my neck of the woods, my trusty camera by my side. Doing so, sometimes I find an awesome sight which prompts me to pull my car over to the side of the road, pull the Canon up to my eye, and click away. 

And often, I spy something that just kind of boggles my mind and I just have to capture it because…well, seeing is believing. I shared one of those times here

If you think that one is crazy, sometime I’ll have to post a photo of the life-sized black painted wooden thing resembling a monster that someone decided to erect right on the edge of one of our woodsy country roads. This thing scares the living daylights out of you when you first drive by it at dusk.  We’re talking “Oh, my gosh! Is that Bigfoot????”

Let’s hope Bigfoot doesn’t have any partners.

But back to the source of the photo today. While meandering around in search of subjects for another photo after I captured the “fowl play” I wrote about in my link above, I noticed two young llamas (or are they alpacas?) in a field. I don’t know if they were siblings but they stayed together as they moved about the area eating grass.  And it made a cute photo op and has been sitting in my photos file on my computer ever since.

The llamas appeared to be partners – at least partners in eating. Maybe they are just friends. But friends make great partners in just about any endeavor you attempt. 

Just like the old song says, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”   I have some great friends, both in person and here in the blogging world, and to me, you are all great partners too.

Together we try to make this world a better place, and I couldn’t ask for better partners to do so with. Thanks,”pardners!”

“Friendship is essentially a partnership.” ~Aristotle

©2016 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Fowl play

blogIMG_1407Why did the chicken cross the road?

It didn’t.

When you live in a rural area, you’re always on the alert when you’re driving on back country roads.  All sorts of critters can suddenly appear on the pavement ahead of you and you never know what you might see scurrying off.  Often it’s deer.  Or sometimes, it may even be a bear.

But usually you encounter smaller creatures – groundhogs, raccoons, possums, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, maybe even a wild turkey or pheasant.  On one of the side roads near our house, chickens roam free and I often must apply my brakes to avoid hitting one as it darts across the road.

Early one morning I was on my way home from having some lab tests done at our local hospital.  Since it was my day off work and pleasant cool weather, I decided to take the ‘scenic route’ and travel some back roads home instead of jumping on the four-lane highway.

Sack of potatoes

Sack of potatoes

As I meandered along, I spotted some of the usual wild creatures sprinting across my path.  But in all my years of driving country roads, I’ve never encountered what I’m going to tell you next.

What appeared to be someone’s dinner plans were sprawled out on the pavement.  At first glance, I thought it was just litter but as I neared the scene, I honestly exclaimed, “What the heck?” out loud.

What surprised me so?  It appeared to be a  chicken.  A plucked, cleaned chicken without head or feet laid smack dab in the middle of the road.  And further along rested its dinner companion – a plastic bag of potatoes.

Obviously, I’ve seen a ton of road kill in my lifetime but this one beats all.  I maneuvered my car around that naked for all the world to see fowl laying so unceremoniously there, pulled over and grabbed my camera to shoot a few pictures.  Because this was one for the books.  This was one unbelievable tale.  Who would believe me if I didn’t have photos to back up my claim?

Fowl play?

Fowl play?

Then I realized it wasn’t a chicken, but a small turkey.  Not a wild turkey, but the plump kind you buy at the supermarket.

And it had met with fowl foul play because it was missing a leg!  Yep, a drumstick had been ripped or chewed right off, probably by a wandering dog or maybe even a coyote.

So how did the turkey get there?  I don’t know if someone, on his way home from the grocery store,  got angry and decided to chuck the whole idea of making dinner by throwing fowl and potatoes out the car window…or maybe it fell off the back of a pickup truck although there were no grocery store bags lying around….or ???   I’m out of scenarios.  This one has me stumped.

But all that thinking about fowls did make me a little hungry for a trip to Chik-Fil-A.  Oh wait, I live in the country.  There aren’t any here.  Just store-bought turkeys….lying on the road….with potatoes.  And that’s no joke.  Ah, life in farmland.

And with that thought, I’ll leave you with a chicken joke.  Why did the chicken cross the road?  To prove to the possum it could actually be done.  (You can groan out loud and cry foul now!)

©2013 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Life might be a highway, but I travel down memory lane

blogvacation3If life is a highway, and according to Rascal Flatts it is, then today I took a trip backwards down memory lane.

Someone once said, “A moment lasts all of a second, but the memory lives on forever.”

I would have to agree with that quote as today I visited a place where so many memories entrenched in the recesses of my mind sprang back to life.   After church, hubby and I decided to follow a ribbon of highway and see where it led us.

We traveled to the north country, where it’s even more rural than our area and the woods are thick and cool.  A distinct woodsy smell permeates the air there, a smell I can’t describe in words, but my mind identifies and remembers.

Our travels transported us down a narrow country lane where many of my childhood days transpired.   From the time I was about 10 until just a few years ago,  my parents owned a “camp” on a wooded lot near a national forest that runs through our state.  Our family spent many weekends there and sometimes a week at a time in the summers.  Relatives owned the camp next door and our families celebrated lively and entertaining times together.

When I was a child I reveled in this “home away from home,” but later in my teen-age years, the lure of Friday night high school football games, school dances, and going out with friends overshadowed my enthusiasm for going to camp for the weekend.

Today though as hubby and I drove down that familiar country road, I regaled tales to him about those forever memories, my memories, of camp.

See, right here was where girlhood friends and I would sit on a wooden plank bridge dreaming of our futures and giggling about cute boys while we competed to see who could hurl stones farther  into the creek and make the biggest splash.   The wooden plank bridge is long gone,  but the memory lives on.

And right there in that thick of woods was a lane that invitingly enticed us to follow until we arrived at a wider stretch of the creek, babbling on its merry way.  There were huge rocks that we would climb and sun ourselves on and then when it became too hot in the afternoon sun, we’d shirk our socks and Keds and wade into the cold, rushing water.  The lane is gone, a very faint path remains, but the memory lives on.

And there!  That was the old farm where the owner granted us permission to climb up into his old tree house nestled in a stately oak tree.   As we were ascending up the rickety ladder, a swarm of bees descended on us like a plague and we ran screaming and swatting the air as we flew like lightning out of there.   All four of us were stung and crying like crazy.  The farm looks abandoned now, the treehouse surely destroyed, but the memory lives on.

And right here at this house, where our playmate/local girl  lived all year round, is where we sought comfort from our bee stings.  Her mother soothed those nasty bee bites with Listerine mouthwash.  And back we ventured to explore some more, but never to that treehouse again!  The house remains, but looks quite different now and somehow smaller, but the memory lives on.

Oh, these fields are where my girlfriend and I rode, trotting and cantering, her ponies, Bonnie and Blondie.   We pretended we were cowgirls blazing trails on our trusty steeds and right there stood the barn where we would unsaddle the ponies and give them hay to eat.  No signs of the barn remain, but the memory lives on.

Someone I know now owns our old camp, so I didn’t feel like we were trespassing when we parked our car in the driveway and walked around the yard.  Back in my childhood days, the remnants of coal strip mining were behind the camp.  My friends and I enacted numerous pretend adventures on those mounds of shale.  One day we were desert explorers, desperate to find water.  Another time we were treasure hunters.   The no longer visible mounds are covered over with dense underbrush and trees now, but the memory lives on.

Hubby and I continued weaving around the country roads noticing changes here and there.  We stopped at what once was an old country general store, where I loved to go with my parents and pick penny candy out of a large candy counter.  Today it is an antique gift shop/post office but as soon as I walked inside I noticed the wooden plank floor.   Still the same floor, the lady behind the counter assured me.   Not the same store, but the memory lives on.

We traveled on to a nearby state park and then veered off to a different route back home,  stopping to view some lovely sights along the way including this one below.

Our meandering occupied our entire afternoon and our journey was complete  when we stopped for an ice cream dinner.  Yep, when you live in the empty nest and you don’t have to cook for the family, you can eat banana splits and grasshopper sundaes for dinner!

This day was filled with memories, but on our way back home, another thought became apparent to me.  Today hubby and I constructed more enjoyable memories together.

“Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” ~Anonymous

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com