Celebrating the Sunrise and Sunset

In the sky I see my smallness and my greatness. The knowledge that the world spins, seasons come and go and each day will have a new beginning and an end comforts me in it routine. Great things will happen and I will celebrate; bad things will happen and I will survive. The mysteries of life are in God’s hands and I’m just to do the best I can.
My father loved and savored the daily events of a sunrise and sunset. I’ve been known to make my family stop so I can take a picture and for a moment think of the permanent change that is our life. Add your favorite sky picture you have taken.

Here are a few of my pictures along with a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

THE HOUSE OF CLOUDS. 1841

I would build a cloudy house
For my thoughts to live in,

Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.
Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.

When for earth too fancy-loose,
And too low for heaven.

Sunset in Texas Hill Country
Sunset in Texas Hill Country

I sleep, and talk my dream aloud,
I build it fair to see—

Boerne Texas Sunset - by Wade Beard
Boerne Texas Sunset – by Wade Beard

I build it on the moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee.

Sunset over New Orleans off the Mississippi River
Sunset over New Orleans off the Mississippi River

Cloud-walls of the morning’s grey,
Faced with amber column,

Sunset over Texas Hill Country on the road to Leakey Texas from Bandrea Texas
Sunset over Texas Hill Country on the road to Leakey Texas from Bandrea Texas

Crowned with crimson cupola
From a sunset solemn—

Sunset on the road to Leakey Texas
Sunset on the road to Leakey Texas

For casements, from the valley fetch
May-mists glimmering,—

Early morning back road in Boerne Texas taken by Brandi Quinn
Early morning back road in Boerne Texas taken by Brandi Quinn

With a sunbeam hid in each,
And a smell of spring.

Sunset from my driveway in Texas Hill Country
Sunset from my driveway in Texas Hill Country

Build the entrance high and proud,
Darkening and eke brightening,

Sun rise in Galveston Texas.
Sun rise in Galveston Texas.

Of a riven thunder-cloud
Veinëd with the lightning.

Sun rise ans storms in Galveston
Sun rise ans storms in Galveston

Use one with an iris-stain
For the door within,
Turning to a sound like rain
As we enter in.

Sunset over Hondo Texas
Sunset over Hondo Texas

For the fair hall reached thereby
Walled with cloudy whiteness, Take the blue place in the sky,
Wind-worked into brightness—

Sunset Port Aransas
Sunset Port Aransas

Whence corridores and long degrees
Of cloud-stairs wind away—

Sunset over Castroville during at a high school football game.
Sunset over Castroville during at a high school football game.

Till children wish upon their knees,
They walkëd where they pray.

Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main
Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main

Be my chamber tapestried
With the showers of summer,

From my driveway as I arrive home - Texas Hill Country
From my driveway as I arrive home – Texas Hill Country

Close and silent, glorified
When the sunbeams come there—

Sudden harpers, harping on
Every drop as such,—

Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main
Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main

Drawing colours like a tune,
Measured to the touch.

Bring a shadow green and still
From the chesnut forest—

On the Mississippi heading into New Orleans
On the Mississippi heading into New Orleans

Bring a purple from the hill
When the heat is sorest,—

Texas Hill Country Sunset from my driveway
Texas Hill Country Sunset from my driveway

Spread them out from wall to wall,
Carpet-wove around;    And thereupon the foot shall fall
In light instead of sound.

Sun rise, from my balcony in Galveston Texas -
Sun rise, from my balcony in Galveston Texas –

Bring a grey cloud from the east
Where the lark was singing—

Clouds and storms trying to block the sun as it climbs into the sky over Galveston, Texas
Clouds and storms trying to block the sun as it climbs into the sky over Galveston, Texas

Something of the song at least
Lost not in the bringing,—

Slow rise over Galveston, Texas
Slow rise over Galveston, Texas

And that shall be a morning chair
For poet-dreams,—when with them
No verse constraint—the floating air
Their only, lovely rhythm.

Te sun rising as I leave for work - leaving the Texas Hill Country and heading to San Antonio
Te sun rising as I leave for work – leaving the Texas Hill Country and heading to San Antonio

Bring the red cloud from the sun—
While he sinketh, catch it,—
Bring it for a couch, with one
Side-long star to watch it—

Fit for a poet’s finest thought,
At curfew time, to lean;

Peaceful morning on my balcony in Galveston Texas
Peaceful morning on my balcony in Galveston Texas

When things invisible are brought
More near him than the seen.     Poet’s thought, not poet’s sigh!—
Alas! they come together!

Cloudy walls divide and fly
As if in April weather.

Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.
Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.

Hall, corridore, and column proud—
My chamber fair to see—
All pass—except that moonlit cloud
To which I looked with thee.

Night on the porch as the moon slips across the sky
Night on the porch as the moon slips across the sky

Let them!– Wipe such visionings
From the fancy’s cartel;
Love secures some frailest things,
Dowered with his immortal.

Suns, moons may darken—heaven be bowed,—
But here unchanged shall be,

Walking into Jackson Square late at night.
Walking into Jackson Square late at night.

Here in my soul—that moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee.

Show us you best sky picture. Always looking up!

The Gift of a Closed Door.

We live by faith, not by sight
2 Corinthians 5:7

I’m fascinated with doors, love them. Walking the French Quarter in New Orleans, I took more pictures of doors than anything else.

Doorways in New Orleans
Doors to Secret Places in New Orleans in the French Quarter
Pirate Ally
On the way to Pirate Ally in the French Quarter’s of New Orleans.

Doors are strong symbolism for opportunities & rejections. How do we handle an opened door? Afraid of the unknown or do you have the faith to walk through with courage?

New Orleans French Quarters
Waiting to entry the unknown in New Orleans.

How do we react when confronted with a closed door?

A shut door can lead to a better path. Even in the French Quarter, New Orleans.
A shut door can lead to a better path. Even in the French Quarter, New Orleans.

There are times we want to bang on the locked door until our fist is bloody and our throat raw, or imagine going Chuck Norris on the thing that keeps us from our perfect life. Denying us what we think we desire the most. The one thing that would make us happy. Oh, but I have learned that closed doors can be the greatest gift, forcing us to find a new path.

You have to be willing to follow a new path. Let go of the Old. Stairway in New Orleans, French Quarter.
You have to be willing to follow a new path. Let go of the Old. Stairway in New Orleans, French Quarter.

Early in our marriage, with two baby girls, we tried to buy our first house. Denied, I was devastated. I ended up moving back home for a couple of months as we made new plans. That ended up being exactly where I needed to be at that time. Without warning, I lost my father in a plane crash, but the months spent with him can’t be replaces. God had answered a prayer I didn’t even know I needed to pray. Seeing the devastation of Katrina in the 9th Ward put many thing in perspective, also the support and faith to rebuild.

Empty house in the 9th Ward. Abandoned after Katrina
Empty house in the 9th Ward. Abandoned after Katrina
New House in the 9th Ward - New Orleans, Make it Right.
New House in the 9th Ward – New Orleans, Make it Right.

Yes, faith is believing in what you can’t see, but I also think it is seeing with faith. If we take the time to look we can see God’s love in the most unlikely places.

Walking into Jackson Square late at night.
Walking into Jackson Square late at night.

How do you dance when you want to cry?

How do you find the will to dance when the rain has turned into a hail storm pounding on your spirit?

Texas Sunset
Texas Sunset

Today in the very act of celebrating human perseverance and endurance a random act of vicious hatred stopped us in our tracks and knocked us off our feet.  We want to know why, but even if we get an  answer we still can’t fathom the choice to murder innocents.

As Americans our differences fade at times like this and we stand stronger as one.

On a personal level, I got a message on facebook today that my uncle had passed away.  Over the weekend, one co-worker had unexpectedly lost his wife leaving him with two small children; another co-worker’s son was in a horrible car wreck and is in the trauma center. A whole family, not far from our home town was killed by a drunk driver, and then I get in the car and hear about the violence in Boston.

Yes, as Christians we are told to praise the storms. They build character; make us stronger. God won’t give us more than we can handle.  We hear these platitudes over and over again.

Oh, but I think we get more than we can handle all the time. The trick is how we deal with the overwhelming aches. Does your faith get you through? 

Before I even received half of the news above, today I was talking with my principal. We were wondering how people get through life without faith. It is through my faith I gain strength when I’m at my weakest.

Yes, we are to celebrate and praise even in the hard times, but we also need a time to weep and mourn.

Matthew 11:28, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

 One thing we can do is pray and send positive thoughts of peace to the world.  Back in January a friend blogged about world peace. Kinley, I think we could use a little more optimistic wishes today, so I’m sharing your post from January.

http://kinleybaker.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/a-ridiculously-optimistic-resolution-for-the-pageant-dream-of-world-peace/

Inheriting Memories

There are so many things we inherit from our parents, grandparents and ancestors we’ve never even met. Names and stories we don’t  know flow through us. They are the scattered pieces that make us whole. Our passions, temperaments and talents that make up  our DNA.

We also inherit kingdoms, priorities, minerals rights, recipes and debt. 

But the most precious inheritances are memories. As a writer, the stories of the past fascinate me and often work their way in to my characters’ narratives.  I have a story I want to write based a WW 2 diary that was passed down from one of my grandfathers, Forrest French. I never got to meet him. Maybe he also gave me  my love of journaling?

What brought this musing to mind? My daughters inherited a Hamilton mint green and chrome drugstore milkshake maker from my grandmother.  

Me-Maw's Drug Store Milkshake Maker
Me-Maw’s Drug Store Milkshake Maker

Me-Maw had this wondrous appliance sitting on her counter for as all long as I can remember. She had worked at her brother’s Main Street Drug Store in Leakey, Texas and somehow got to keep this one. 

Norris Fisher, owner of local drug store in Leakey Tx. Photo by Marc St Gil November 1973
Norris Fisher, owner of local drug store in Leakey Tx. Photo by Marc St Gil November 1973

(I found this photo of  Uncle Norris on Tom Clark’s blog) http://tomclarkblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/marc-st-gil-wading-in-water-leakey-texas.html

Every trip to Me-Maw’s (and we visited a great deal) would get us an orange plastic cup of a chocolate milkshake.  And as time has a way of marching on, I soon found myself as a mother of four.  Me-Maw was serving them the special treat.

My oldest daughter, also the oldest granddaughter and great-granddaughter, got a promise from Me-Maw that she would inherit the appliance. I find it amazing what people will fight over after a death of a loved one. As humans, we get very emotional over the strangest things. I have seen families torn apart over the smallest properties.  Of course at times, a mix of greed, grief and regret can become an ugly cocktail of emotions that boils over to hurt others.

So standing in the spacious country kitchen sorting through the property and family heirlooms can be emotional. My father had passed before his parents so my sisters stood with my uncles. One of my uncles made a point that Me-Maw wanted Katrina and Storm to have her milkshake maker. Despite everyone wanting it, and Katrina being a great-granddaughter, they all agreed.  That in itself brought Katrina to tears.

Now whenever we have guests, Katrina loves making milkshakes for everyone. She might have inherited more than just the mint green appliance from Me-Maw. Like a desire to show her love by serving?

I do know we inherited more than a milkshake maker, because warm memories of family and love are wrapped tightly around the little machine.

 Do you have an item you love because of the memories and places tied to it, or regrets of a lost  family heirloom?

Come on peace, I don’t have all day

Finding the time for yoga with my sister, Tracye Ward and daughter, Katrina Navarro.
Finding the time for yoga with my sister, Tracye Ward and daughter, Katrina Navarro.

Is seems we are always in a rush. Get the kids to school, get to work, get the kids to practice, get the groceries, get dinner because you don’t have time to cook the groceries you bought, find time for your husband, your kids and oh yeah don’t forget to take care of yourself. How can you feed your creativity in this busy crazy life. I’m so blessed and love my full life but this year I have to find some balance. How do you balance all the demands with the inner peace?

Come on peace, I don’t don’t all day.