may 26, 2018

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“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo

 

grandfather tree

 

Today, Mom and I decorated ancestral graves in South Fork Cemetery at Malone. This enormous tree – I’m not sure what it was, perhaps an oak – has overlooked the graves for as long as I can remember. Last year it wasn’t looking very good. This year revealed its end. It’s both sad and beautiful, not unlike life at all. And, not unlike life, I find its beauty far outweighs the sadness of its demise. Such is the cycle of life.

 

arrangement

 

I don’t know when we began to decorate all graves at Memorial Day. Shoot, we don’t even wait for the actual day. We decorate on the Saturday of the holiday weekend, sometimes before if we have to (but never after – people will talk). The holiday was meant for the decoration of fallen soldiers’ graves, but in Eastern Kentucky at least, we decorate everyone’s grave, whether they served in the military or not. In fact, Mamaw always called it Decoration Day, and it’s a big deal for many families. I never gave it much thought one way or the other, but with age, of course, I am rethinking the tradition. Yes, it’s meant for those who served in the military, but civilians serve their families and communities, too. I don’t have a problem recognizing everyone. We all contribute in some way or other, and we should always give thanks to our ancestors. It won’t be long before the tradition falls to me. Mom and dad are both ill, and they won’t be able to do as much as they have in the past. But perhaps that’s what middle age is about. It’s a bit like the changing of the guard. Such is the cycle of life.

 

the ancestors

may 12, 2018

posted in: photography | 1

“No beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart.” ~ Unknown

 

power couple

 

These two folks right here – Robert and Marie Dale – are two of the best people I’ve ever met. I had a hard task today, and there’s no way I could have done it without them, physically and emotionally. We had reinforcements, thank God, else we’d really be hurting. Old friend, Anthony McCarty, and Diane Ferguson more than did their share. When I left, Anthony was headed up to Stacy Fork to the Terry Family gathering. All the McCarty boys are like family to us, so Anthony fits right in. Curt Miller saved the day. This hefty hunk is not only cute, but good as gold. My hard day was made so much better by each of these divine people. I owe them a debt of gratitude that I can never repay, but I’ll do my best to try.

 

funny bunch

 

april 24, 2018

posted in: photography | 3

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” ~ C.S. Lewis

 

parental unit supper

 

Your favorite couple and mine made an appearance today. We shared a lovely meal where our Hero relayed the good news from the doctor. For those who don’t know; among other things, our Hero has been battling lung cancer. First diagnosed in October, he underwent a relatively new radiation treatment in February. It’s designed for people like our Hero who cannot, for a variety of reasons, undergo anesthesia. While the treatment did not eradicate the tumor entirely, it did shrink it significantly enough that no further treatment is required at this time. “Health is better than things,” he said. “That’s thankful wishing.” Hear hear!

april 8, 2018

posted in: photography | 2

“It is in the giving that we receive.” ~ St. Francis of Assisi 

 

the parental unit (snapseed)

 

Here we see The Parental Unit in their natural habitat. Well, they’re in my habitat but this is their natural state while in my habitat. I made a delicious dinner of roast chicken, which I’d meant to snap, but clearly, I didn’t. I really enjoy cooking, so I like having The Parental Unit around on weekends when I have time to make good meals. Good times.

january 30, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself.” ~ Unknown

 

family

 

I love it when the Universe conspires for good. About ten days ago there came a comment on an outhouse post from Lori Sanford (center). She found me through an outhouse image that Google indexed of the Patrick and Rebecca Risner headstone. Lori was researching her genealogy. After finding the tombstone, and reading the post, she assumed we were related. She assumed correctly. The Risner’s had five daughters and one son: Daisy, Chester, Minnie, Hester, Ada, and Hazel. My great-grandmother was Minnie. She married Douglas Adams and they had seven children: Eugene, Orville (my grandfather), Edna (Lori’s great-grandmother), Wick, Opal, Mildred, and Randy. We exchanged a few emails and hit it off right away. Tonight, with her mother Sharon (right), we met for dinner. Sharon’s mom, Imogene (mom’s first cousin), is now 87 and in poor health, so sadly she couldn’t join us. Mom and Sharon hadn’t seen each other since Edna’s funeral in 1985. (As an aside, I called Edna ‘Banana.’ Nobody knows why.) We all learned things about the family we didn’t know before we sat down together. Marriages, deaths, affairs, quirks, similarities, differences: we ran through the list. Perhaps the most interesting thing of all is that Lori is also a drummer. Both she and mom played drums in marching band. Imagine three female drummers in one family. How awesome is that? Plus, mom and Sharon have birthdays just four days apart (Jan 24 and 20 respectively), so tonight we celebrated them both. Mom and I had a fantastic time, and I’m pretty sure Lori and Sharon did, too (poor dad was outnumbered). We vowed to meet again, and it’s a dinner I look forward to. Thank you, Universe, for helping Lori find me, for Sharon, for mom, and for a really colorful family history. 

 

cousins

january 24, 2018

posted in: photography | 2

“Judge me when you are perfect.” ~Unknown

 

birthday girl

 

Our Shero, pictured here with elf, Missy Moore, at Christmas, turned 76 years old today. I sure didn’t think she would see another birthday after last year’s horrible accident, but survive she did, thanks be to God! While she and I will celebrate her trip around the sun next week when she’s here, today’s weather cooperated so that she and dad could get out for a nice meal, a little shopping, and some much needed socialization with friends and neighbors. Happy Birthday, young lady! You’re the strongest person I know.

january 7, 2018

posted in: photography | 2

“The secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure.”
~ Tibetan Proverb

 

53

 

I had the great fortune of dining with some of my family to finish off the birthday weekend. I only get to go to Longhorn Steakhouse when mom and dad are in town, so that’s where we headed. I swear, even though they’re a chain, they make the best steaks I’ve ever eaten – and they’re consistent in that quality. Anyway, Mike Moore has a birthday four days after me (plus he’s four years younger), so I’ve dubbed him my birthday buddy. It’s a lot more fun to celebrate when there’s more than me to celebrate. I can’t think of anybody I’d want as a birthday buddy more than Mike.

 

Birthday Buddies by Missy Moore

 

This dinner with the family meant more to me than dinners in the past. I’m not sure why. I only know that I was deeply honored that they could join me. They’ve each helped me so very, very much in this life, and always when I needed them the most. So, yea, I’m still a few hours away from my actual birth date, but I’ve had the best birthday weekend I could ever want. Who knew turning 53 was gonna be so awesome?

 

this is us

 

 

december 24, 2017

posted in: photography | 4

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” ~ Colin Powell

dynamic duo

 

Another Christmas Eve has come to the Springridge Lodge and these two crazy kids were sporting their matching UK wear that Santa brought them. Then we ate, and cooked, and ate some more. We watched Christmas movies and watched two flakes of snow fall. That last part didn’t last long. Tomorrow, we’ll enjoy more family festivities, but for tonight, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, St Nick will get to the kiddies, and we’ll wish a goodnight to all, and to all a good night. 

october 31, 2017

posted in: photography | 2

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” ~ Alan Cohen

 

always dad

 

Dad helped with Halloween. He was so excited about it, too. He waited patiently by the door until he just couldn’t stand it anymore. He bundled up and sat outside until he couldn’t stand that anymore, and then he went back inside and watched from the warmth of the recliner.

 

one soldier to another

 

He loved those kids all dressed up and running up and down the street. They were mostly neighbor children. When I first moved here 10 years ago there were no children. Now there are nearly 10 in a few houses around me. It’s absolutely delightful, and it tickled all of us to see their sweet little faces all dressed up. 

 

Halloween Cat

 

Even Lilly, perpetual Halloween cat, got in on the action. Aunts Lois and Barb, cousins Missy, Mike and Macie came over to help, too. And a good time was had by all. I’m so grateful to everyone for making this holiday one to remember.

 

adults?
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