Good Ol’ Days

family portrait

Since I’m still excited about personalized portraits (and waiting for my next victim) I thought I’d play around with a new style this weekend. This one’s an old family photograph that’s been circulating in my “circle.”

The original was scanned, and pretty small, so the task was to figure out how to keep it from getting stretched and pixelated. I decided to do it in black and white, turn it into an old Polaroid, and then add a background to frame it. If you haven’t guessed already (and why would you), I’m the little blonde in shorts sitting up front—on my Aunt’s lap. The tall, dark, and handsome man straight behind me in the very back is my dad (who is sadly, no longer with us), and next to him (on his left) is my mom.

I’m going to take a guess and say that this photo was taken in the late 60’s. Yikes. The good ol’ days indeed.

Good Ol’ Days

A phrase used by old people. When these words are used in combination it is a signal to young people to get the hell out. “Ahh yes the Good Ol’ Days. Did I ever tell you about the time we rode the train from St. Louis to San Diego?” (this is where you leave)

Definition courtesy of Urban Dictionary.

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

By Rudyard Kipling


The instructor of my writing class read this poem aloud, and I just love it. I had never heard it before, so it was extra special to discover it at this point of my life… while I am furthering my education. ūüôā

I pulled up some old images from my archives, to experiment with some new techniques on some old photographs. This one of my grandson came up and it was a perfect fit for the poem!

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Life is good, and God is GREAT!

A Tale of Redemption

faith2

A few things happened today that really moved me, but¬†I’m only going to talk about one for now. Tonight was the meeting that I co-secretary for, and it turned out to be a pretty emotional meeting.

There’s something that I’ve been wanting to talk about, but I was never sure if the time was right, or if bringing it up¬†was even the right thing to do.¬†Tonight I got the answer (and permission).

I’ve mentioned before that I have three grandsons. A photo of my oldest grandson (who is eight)¬†is here in the blog, buried back in an old post. I have far fewer photos of him than I do of the other two, because I don’t see him that often. He lives with his mother and grandparents, and his father (my son) is now married and has the two younger boys.

His mother is a recovering heroin/meth addict.

I was in my four years sober without a program¬†phase when I met her over eight years ago, and she had just gotten clean at the time.¬†I liked her instantly, and saw a lot of myself in her. Then… she relapsed, and nothing but chaos followed.

As God would have it, she and I ended up at the same church, same Monday night recovery class, and Thursday/Saturday night meetings. Actually, we were both baptized on the same day too! August 14th, 2016.

Anyway, it’s been a LONG journey for her. She has exactly 3 months more time than me, so when I received my nine month chip- she took her one year cake. Tonight I asked her to lead the meeting, and she shared her story for the very first time.

Fifteen years of addiction. From age twenty to age thirty five the longest she was ever able to stay clean was six months. She has moved around- between her parents home, rehab, sober living homes, and the streets.

She has overdosed multiple times, been hospitalized, and finally…

…in December 2015 she gave it to God. She let¬†Him know that He could either help her overcome her disease of addiction, or she was jumping off the freeway bridge.

She never took that leap.

THAT is a tale of redemption.

God bless her.

The photo is the first in my series¬†Finding the Divine in the Mundane. The bird and design is actually painted on the back of a trash bin—at a nearby park.

After hearing her heartbreaking story, I thought it went along well.

God does not make junk.

I’m so proud of you T!¬†I love you!

Make a Wish

Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to do that perfectly. St. Frances de Sales

This just happened today while we were walking to the park (my five year old grandson). He’s funny.¬†After looking, he had a funny look on his face, and¬†wanted to know why it was so dark.

I DO have a tendency to¬†darken photos a lot.¬†I love deep contrasts, shadows, and vignettes.¬†After I captured him in this photo-making¬†a wish- he politely suggested that I¬†“keep it light.” Anyway, I thought it was funny that a five year old paid attention to things like that.

Something I’ll have to work on this year I guess. Keeping it light. ūüôā

Back at the Ranch

I took this photograph on the way¬†to Tennessee; at Cadillac Ranch. I found the place on google when I was searching for things to do on the long ride across the country. It’s worth seeing—if you happen to be passing through Texas and haven’t been there before.

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What’s funny is that I really wanted to do a travel blog when we took that trip, but I never did it. I didn’t feel like spending¬†time on the computer after doing all of the driving and having so little time to visit the sights.

Anyway, I had some fun with this one in both color and black and white.