July 28 2017

Inspire (Five Minute Friday)

What does it take to inspire me? That is a tough one, or maybe it is really an easy one. The tough answer is I never know what will inspire me. The easy answer is anything and everything might inspire me.

Sometimes, it is seeing a picture. Other times, it is people watching in a park, or seeing some piece of junk on the side of the road, or maybe a billboard with some profound message on it.

I find inspiration in some unlikely places. I see textures in the blue and white speckled paint on a camping pot at a sporting goods store. I especially find inspiration in tile, specifically the tile on bathroom walls. Sometimes it is in the coolest patterns, and very colorful. Half the fun of writing these Five Minute Friday posts is the idea of making a new graphic to post with my musings using one of the colorful textures I have captured as I go about my business and live my life. Sometimes it isn’t what we see when we look at something that inspires us, it is what we see when we look a little closer and get a new perspective.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Inspire
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

July 27 2017

My Secrets to a Long Happy Marriage

Yesterday was mine and Hubby’s wedding anniversary. We celebrate being married for 31 years by going out to eat. Now some of you may wonder what it takes to stay married to the same person for so many years. I’m not sure IU am an expert or anything, but I will share some of my thoughts on what makes our marriage work or what makes it different from the relationships of many of the younger set I have met.

When we got married in 1986, we had known each other for almost four years and dated each other exclusively for the entire time. It might be of note that when we met, I was sixteen and hubby was nineteen. No, we weren’t high school sweethearts. I was still in high school, but hubby was in college. Back in those days, education was the top priority for both of us, so much of the time we spent together was spent doing our homework. Some of the time was spent in my family’s home and some was spent in hubby’s family’s home. On the days we didn’t see each other, we often talked on the phone. Now mind you, this was well before the cell phone and pager days, heck it was even before the cordless phone days. If you wanted privacy while you were on the phone, you better hope you were home alone.

Hubby used to be a bug man when I first met him. While I was at marching band practice during the summer or after school, he would often stop by and sit on the sidelines and watch us practice. Since he was supposed to be working and was really just on his way from one place to another, it was understood that he couldn’t stay long, but it meant a lot that he went out of his way to stop by and watch for a few minutes once in a while. He would also come to all of my performances and often pitched in to help move band equipment and his help was greatly appreciated by the other band supporters.

Because he was three years older than me, both our mothers were concerned about him being a bad influence on me. I was afraid one set of parents or the other would object and tell us we couldn’t see each other anymore, so I made sure that my grades were as high as possible. All the homework time paid off because My semester grades for the last two years of high school were straight A’s. Nobody was going to use my grades as a reason for us to stop dating. Apparently, hubby had not been one to do much homework before he met me, so the fact that we spent so much time doing homework must have improved his grades some too. Hubby and his parents came to my high school graduation. Because of hubby’s influence, I graduated 8th in my class from high school. Continue reading

July 21 2017

Collect (Five Minute Friday)

What do you collect? As a child, I collected stamps. Used postage stamps from the United States. I remember combing through all the places Mom had stored old mail, looking for interesting postage stamps. Mom wouldn’t mind if I gently tore the stamp and the paper around it off the old envelopes. If she did, she never said anything. I tried to tidy the area I was digging through and make sure I left the papers and mail neater than they had been when I found them. Maybe this is the reason she never complained.

After collecting a decent number of stamps, all still on their little snips of paper, I would get a foil pan and put a layer of stamps in it and fill with tap water to soak the stamps off the paper. Eventually, some of the stamps would slide right off the paper. Others would need a little longer to soak. It was an enjoyable step in the process.

I had little glassine gummed hinges to attach the treasure trove of soaked off and dried stamps into the proper places in my album. My album was perfect bound and thus not expandable. It was nothing fancy, kind of like a workbook. It showed all the stamps in gray and black ink. My job as a collector was to cover each gray picture of the stamps with the real stamp to add color to the album.

I loved seeing how detailed some of those older stamps were. Any most cases, they had only a single color of ink, but the details were amazing! A magnifying glass showed all the tiny lines the artist had made to give the inch-square piece of art its details.

I still have my stamp collection though I probably stopped adding to it in the late seventies. Thinking back, the fact that the newer stamps weren’t included in my album may have had a bit to do with why I stopped adding to it. I still save the interesting and not overly heavily postmarked stamps from my incoming mail. I’ve noticed more and more things come with meter marks instead of postage stamps or if they do have postage stamps, they are bulk mail stamps. The designs are more colorful now and there are tons more stamps to collect, but the old ones with the single ink color are still my favorites, because of the details.

Life is in the details, it is up to you to notice them. What do YOU collect?

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Collect
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

July 20 2017

Why did the Peacock Cross the Road?

Last weekend, while driving around southern Indiana back roads, my hubby spotted a peacock crossing the road. I didn’t believe him. I mean really, a peacock? He assured me he was serious, so he turned around to prove it to me and I took the photos you see here because nobody would have believed me either.

So, my immediate reaction to seeing a peacock crossing the road was to ask hubby, “Why did the peacock cross the road?”. He laughs and I tell him, “To get to the other side of course!” That is so cliche, but apparently, even peacocks need to cross the road sometimes.

The peacock looked much less majestic than I had expected. He was dragging his tail behind him. Maybe he was having a bad day. I’m just glad we didn’t scare him or run over him.

The lesson in all of this is to pay attention and be aware of your surroundings at all times. You never know what The Lord will put in your path. Also be sure to keep your phone charged and always at hand so you never miss a chance to take a photo of one of God’s beautiful creations when it crosses the road in front of you.

During this same day of roaming around the back country roads in areas south of Indianapolis, we also experienced the sounds of someone burning brush bonfire style. I heard it and smelled it while we were stopped for a time. During that stop, I took the time to look up and out the car window and saw how pretty the sun was shining through the trees.

At yet another stop, we clearly heard what was obviously someone doing target practice on the other side of a stand of trees. We wisely decided not to wander around while we were stopped there.

We saw cool bridges, small country churches, and so many trees. The weather was not too hot and not too cold. Perfect for using the air conditioning during the highway driving and yet nice enough to be pleasant sitting on the side of the road with the windows down.

In case you are asking yourself why we were driving around and sitting along the side of the road for extended periods of time, we were working checkpoints for a national SCCA Road Rally, but that is a post for another time assuming I can get hubby to explain the attraction of this sport he enjoys so much. Maybe sometime I will understand it well enough to explain it to others so you can understand. Until that time, just know that it is a thing and it might be of interest to you if you enjoy exploring the world off the beaten path.

If you find yourself with a free day and want to wander around Indiana, I can highly recommend the roads between Greenwood and Brown County State Park. Drive at a leisurely pace so you don’t miss seeing any of the surprises God puts in your path.

July 14 2017

Comfort (Five Minute Friday)

Thinking about things that bring me comfort. A warm blanket on a cold night. Air conditioning in the heat of summertime. Dried beef gravy, and spaghetti noodles all wavy. Chocolate in most any form, pumpkin pie all nice and warm. A hug when you are feeling down, a friend who can turn the frown upside down. Blue skies, and oceans too. Rainbows after the cleansing rain, when the sun begins to shine again. The safety of a partner to help me with the struggles in life, make me want to be a better wife. The knowing that someone will soon be home and the freedom to get in a car and roam. Chasing lighthouses in our car, wish more were near but they are not too far.

Comfort comes in many forms, but most of all, from God alone.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Comfort
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.