Saturday, February 21, 2009

Old Pictures

I've spent the better part of two days scanning and organizing old photos. One of the projects on my "Everything To Do" list is to digitize my parents photo albums. I am using the Flickr site and have created a group which is accessible to my siblings, their spouses, and my mother. What I like about putting the pictures out there on the web is that it enables each of us to have access to the pictures we want. I am also hoping that they will all add their own comments to the pictures (hint hint). I am particularly hoping that my mother will identify some of the older photos as some of them are of people and places I am unfamiliar with.

I found this picture of my grandfather particularly compelling. For me, it tells the story of an era . . . and a family. When I look at this picture I can smell the dust, the rubber, the fuel, the "barn smell." I can hear the insects, the tractor motor, the swish of a cows' tail. I can feel the warm sun on my skin and the strength of my grandfather's arms.

Anyone recognize the barn?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dogs and TV

Our Australian Shepherd, Copper, just turned 1 year. (We also have a Westie, Pippin, who is 6). I chose to get an Aussie after the passing of our border collie/sheltie mix passed away because I a) wanted something bigger; and b) wanted a dog I could train to herd goats. Not that I have any goats, but I would like to have goats. Some people (my brother perhaps and my husband for sure) would say "that's putting the cart before the horse." Nevertheless, I got an Aussie before I have any goats. Thus far, Copper has shown himself to be a wonderful animal. Personable, smart, easily trained. He also displays some "cat like" traits. He loves to bat things around the floor and is definitely ultra curious.

Several months ago friends of ours loaned us DVD's of a TV show called Due South ( It's the story of a Royal Canadian Mounted police officer who joins forces with the Chicago PD. I am thoroughly enjoying the series - thank you Mike and Roxi! Anyway, the Mounty (Fraser) has a dog/wolf. I think in the show it's supposed to be a wolf, but anyone can tell it's really a husky - not very wolf-like at all really.

Here is what I find fascinating . . . Copper actually seems to be watching the episodes. When the "wolf" barks, whines or moves on the TV - Copper stands at attention and has even looked behind the TV to see where the other dog went. I've never seen a dog "watch TV." It's really very funny.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Birthday Memories

As I sat down this morning to do my daily "think" (that's what I call it when I take time to just sit and . . . well, think) I picked up my gratitude journal. I bought the journal twelve years ago when Mike and I went on vacation to Stowe, VT. We stayed at the Trapp Family Lodge. It's one of my fondest memories. We were able to go on the trip because of the generosity of Mike's parents - they provided the time share and the babysitting service for our almost one year old son, John. Anyway, I found the journal in a quaint bookstore in downtown Stowe. It was January, we had driven into Stowe late at night during a snow storm that left the area covered in two feet of beautiful powder. Throughout the years I have added entries to the journal and every once in a while I read them and am so grateful that I have these memories preserved. I don't know what year I wrote the following entry, but it had to be at least 10 years ago - John is 13 now. On February 16th I wrote: I am grateful to see my Dad play "This Little Piggie" with John. In 2001 I recounted this story: Feb 12; Dad's 60th birthday. On our way to Mom and Dad's for John's piano lesson I told him today was Grampa Bob's birthday. "How old is he?," John asked. "He is 60." John replied, in a very serious tone - "I guess that makes him old enough to be the man of the house."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Winter Morning

These pictures were taken this morning - They are views from my neighbors farm and they tell a story. At least, they tell a story to me. There is something about fence posts that moves me at a visceral level. I don't quite know what it is, but it's like there's a poem there, Emily Dickenson style. If the posts could talk, it would be in the voice of poetry.

This next picture tells a different story - the story of a family, a farm and a soldier. If you look closely you can see there are red, white and blue ribbons on these trees. A year ago these ribbons were placed on the trees lining this very small country lane in honor of a soldier, Justin Whiting, as he made his final journey past the farm and home of his youth to the tiny country church and the cemetery there.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Living in the Moment

I posted a picture yesterday - didn't have time to really think let alone compose a blog, so I chose a winter picture of my backyard. There's something about the snow buried Adirondack chairs that just says "waiting for summer." Many people I know spend a lot of time during the winter waiting for summer. They complain about the cold, the snow, the lack of snow, the driving conditions etc. I decided long ago to accept the fact that living in the Catskills means I am going to live in winter for five or six months each year. That seems like an awful lot of time to spend waiting for something else. So, although my Adirondack chairs are waiting for summer I am not. I love the winter. Today I drank my morning coffee while watching a kaleidoscope of birds flutter to and from my bird feeder. Yesterday I watched a flock of turkeys make their way around the pond in the backyard - the snow was just hovering on the edges of the hemlock trees as they picked their way through the edge of the forest. When I came home from church I was surprised by a flock of another kind - not wildlife, but a group of teenagers snow shoeing through the woods and taking a short cut through my backyard. They were students from The Family Foundation School and I couldn't help but think how lucky they were to be there with the sun warm enough to start the icicles dripping, and the sky a brilliant blue in such contrast to the blinding whiteness of the snow. I believe that we can be changed by our environment. And to be surrounded by the things of God helps bring Him into our hearts. How much peace and serenity was gifted to these young people because they were in my backyard on this Sunday morning?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

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