Good Morning!

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The wind left me a “going away gift” this morning! I paused appreciating this leaf tucked securely into the handle of my car door. Fumbling with my purse, phone, gloves and laptop, I snapped a quick picture of my reminder to appreciate all the “gifts” of our natural world….even if it blows in on a sub-zero gale!

Recovery

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What a beautiful day to drive the open roads of Nebraska.  The sun is shining down, warming The Great Plains.  The road is calling to me once again.

It has been a very tumultuous storm season so far in Nebraska.  Many lives have been disrupted by the destructive power of wind, hail and tornadoes.  With all the news covering the tragedy in Northeastern Nebraska, my heart is sadden with the loss of lives.  My heart goes out to all those grieving.  My prayers are for continued healing of everyone recovering, both physically and emotionally.  Property has been broken and scattered.  Just as the tornadoes upturned grain bins, homes, churches, and vehicles, lives have been upturned.  The morning light after the devastation only illuminated the work ahead.

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As I drive, I count all my many blessings.  I am happy to know I am able to help where I am needed.  Helping to pick up the pieces of so many broken lives.

While traveling this summer please remember to have respect for the ever-changing weather conditions.  Be aware of storms forming and moving through your area.  But be sure to get out there, into our big wide world.  Enjoy your travels!

Travel well my friends and pray for the continued healing of storm victims.

Whispering Winds

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The wind whistled through the grasses, across open hills. Gathering momentum, pushing on, over the ridge.  The wind snakes around the trees, amongst the reeds, above the water, gently skimming the smooth top of the pond.  As I walk I feel the push of air, smelling the worked soil in the freshly planted fields.  The wind whispers to me to look up from my feet.  It beckons me to breathe in the smells around me.  The wind talks of history, the places it has been and where it will still travel.  Ever on, into space and time, away from me.  All I see is the grass swaying in the caress of breezes.  Chasing close behind the wind is the dust.  Coaxed from the road, the grasses, field and pastures.  The dust pushing my eyes back to my feet.  I move onward glancing ahead but keeping my eyes down, fixed on the trail at my feet.

Red Flag Warnings have been issued.  The threat of fire looms in the community.  Houses were destroyed.  Lives altered to be rebuilt again.  The smell of smoke hangs heavy in some areas.  If the wind changes direction again the stench will invade the air once more.  The old farm house on the hill is nothing but a charred skeleton.  Ditches are burned black.  ‘Not enough rain’ the farmers say to anyone that will listen.  I’m sure the souls who lost everything will agree with that statement.

Moving with more of a shuffle than a gait, I move forward.  The wind pushes at me, I pull my jacket closed.  I am weary.  Why did I leave the house?  The weight on my shoulders is only there because of my thinking.  Let it go I tell myself again.  I stop, turn to a noise, focus on a small deer.  It raises it’s head, catches my scent on the wind, and is gone.  It was a moment, no longer.  The wind betrayed me yet again…

Big Wide World

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Every corner of this world is waiting.  Waiting for an explorer.  Waiting to change.  Waiting to whisper to me.  Seductively it calls to me to leave what I know and venture beyond the familiar.  Tantalizing words spoken on the wind.  Crashing demands slammed down in torrential rain.  Soft beckoning of the graceful lacy snowflakes.  I desire to adventure, running wildly like a Hobbit, shouting over his shoulder as he embarks.  This big wide world is calling to me, I must go.  I will return to tell of my experiences, but I would rather, you came along.

Travel well my friends.

Thank You Snow People

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Nebraska is notorious for harsh winters.  We experience arctic cold air, piles of snow and wind that cuts across this land unchecked for miles.  The people who live in Nebraska know our weather is extreme (don’t even get me started on the summers around here).  Yet here we all are.

I personally love living in Nebraska, extreme weather and all.  This winter season has been marked by erratic weather patterns of high temperatures of 50º (F) one day and the next day 10° (F) or less.  Right now in Nebraska we are frigid.  Twice area schools have been canceled due to temps dropping to -11º (F).  We haven’t seen the snow piles of the past two winters but the cold is still reminding us of the season.  It has been so cold the polar bears are going to start migrating down here.

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Two days ago we got our first major snowstorm of 2014.  Schools got canceled due to the snow and temperatures once again falling below zero.  So yesterday was a wonderful stay at home day to enjoy the warmth and love of an extra day off together.  I love snuggling down to watch movies in the middle of the day with my teenagers, eating junk food and laughing together.  It feels like the world is standing still just for us.

Today was a normal schedule of out the door, fight the traffic and take my boys to their respective schools.  What I found was snow cleared away from the roads.  Yes of course the snow plows were out working but I mean the lesser used side streets were cleared, the parking lots were almost flake free and the sidewalks looked unscathed by mother nature’s wrath.  The hard work of the people, to remove the snow for others, so they have safe travels made me smile.

Thank you Snow People for all of your hard work.

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Parking Lot Fly Fishing

As I age I feel I am approaching the “Now I’ve seen everything” stage of my life.  Just when I think “Yep I’m here!” something crops up to show me I have a lot to learn.

Driving down a well used residential street you will eventually come to a crossroads with another well used residential street.  The city may have installed a roundabout or a few stop signs to help slow the traffic down, attempting to keep the peace with the neighborhood associations.  As the years go by the streets are widened to accommodate the growing populations, some houses are removed that don’t pass city codes and a traffic light goes up.  City developers move in like circling vultures waiting for the death of their next meal.  We passively call this progress.

On this intersection sits a small community of businesses.  Years after the progress, the developers having moved on, the glory and money of the businesses are struggling.  Gone are the fancy new, well-kept buildings.  Now stands the well-worn shells of yesteryear.  A small business owner keeping her beloved frame shop open with little to, no parking and no foot traffic except from the elementary age children on their way to and from school.  An office building that rents inexpensive square footage to any businesses that are willing to give up location, visibility and modernizations (although they do have eight parking spaces).

Today in passing by I actually saw movement in that tiny parking lot of the office building.  It appeared two men were experimenting with fly fishing.  Casting, and pulling, reeling in just to flick and cast again.  The only thing missing from this pastoral scene was the scenery.  I circled the block, just to take a second look, thinking I had missed something.  Nope.  Still fishing in the invisible stream, catching invisible fish with their hip waders on.

In my mind I can come up with half a dozen logical reasons for these fishermen to be “parking lot fly fishing”.  Yet I kind of like the idea that they were fishing….just fishing.  Maybe in their mind’s eye that pastoral scene was there.  The majestic mountains rising from a green, flower dappled field, cut through by the clear snow melt stream, rocks shimmering by the splashing water.  The sound of rushing water and gentle breezes tickling their ears as they cast and cast again.  Touching the surface of the water with their flies, tantalizing hungry fish to come take a bite.  A vast expanse of our world carved out in their minds just for them.  Enjoying the relaxation of a loved activity.

Sometimes my life is more complicated than I would like and taking time to savor my favorite activities seems as impossible as catching a prize trout from the parking lot.  My hope for these two men is when their fly fishing time is right they will be able to uncomplicate their lives so they can fish beyond that concrete parking lot.  Just as my hope for everyone is to simplify your lives enough to truly enjoy this one life we are blessed with.  Work hard for what you want but play harder for what you need.

Travel well my friends.

Kendra's phone 8-12 to 8-13 (717)

Lonely Structure

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I have driven by this field with a little house, barn, shed or whatever this building used to be, often in my travels.  It is on a well-traveled road, so many people see it everyday on their commutes, errands, drives and such.  I always wonder to myself what this lonely little structure might have been.  It sits in the middle of a field next to a tree that you can see from the road.  I do not believe it was originally constructed as a lonely building, so my mind wanders while it wonders.  Was there a house, large and sturdy?  Was there once a barn, painted red, for the horses to rest in?  Were there children playing, women working and men coming home from the field?  Or maybe, many, many, years ago it was the tiny little house for a new settler to this uninhabited land.  My questions are many and my answers few.

I have seen this building in many different seasons.  The spring grasses green around it, the growing summer field hiding all but the roof, the greys and gold of the fall illuminating it.  Yet when I saw it in the snow storm, standing strong against the weather, that is when I really appreciated how picturesque this lonely structure is.

When you look at someone/something day after day, you start to forget how perfectly beautiful they/it may be.  Sometimes it takes just a small change to really bring out a special quality, that maybe you overlooked.  Keep in your hearts that everything is beautiful.  From the smallest grain of sand to the monstrous man-made towers.  Everything was made perfectly beautiful. 

 

Perspective

Yesterday I mentioned perspective in my blog.  Perspective can relate to many different aspects of ones life.  I loved slowing down a little to really appreciate all the different ways I can view my life, my community, my relationships, and my travels. I experienced small children giggling, wind chimes making their music in the breeze, leaves crunching under my feet, the last of the insects attempting to survive the chilly weather, the pride in a project completed, and the energy of my teenage boys (they come into our home like a whirlwind, eat and are gone just as fast!). I love the perspective of this photo.  I love that the small yellow leaf adhered itself to the tinted window of my truck.  My intention was capturing a fallen leaf no longer blowing in the wind but securely stuck to a window. What I actually captured was a different perspective of a quiet neighborhood.    image