Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Hands

I’m not sure I can explain what happened.

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Cassidy and Stan

My little monkeys, Stan and Cassidy, frequently travel with us. Tina and the girls tease me by hiding my monkeys or putting them in unusual places. Earlier today I got in the car, after pumping gas, and found Cassidy hanging by her feet from the sunroof!

So it did not surprise me when Sonya tossed Stan and Cassidy out the sunroof (fortunately we were parked!)

I jumped out of the car to rescue both of my monkey friends (and take a picture for evidence!) When a hand reached from the other side of the car…I laughed and said, “This will be perfect for Cee’s challenge!

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The Hand

 

52 Weeks Photo Challenge: Week 1 – Black & White

The Girl That Dreams Awake has created a new weekly photo challenge. I am excited that I learned about it through Photos by Emilio (who happens to be one of my favorite photographers – but don’t tell him…I think it would go to his head!!)

As you can see, by the title, this is week one…so why don’t you all come along and join the fun?

I didn’t have much time to take new photos for this week…so I looked through my photos from Provincetown MA and found a few buildings that I thought might be nice for this challenge.

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Public Library – Provincetown MA

You Are Not My Enemy…

Do you hate Donald Trump?
Do you hate Hillary Clinton?

Do you hate me for supporting Hillary Clinton?

I don’t hate you for supporting Donald Trump.

I may not understand your choice. Because my brain simply cannot wrap itself around the idea of a man like Mr. Trump being the President of our country. But let’s be fair. I’ve tried for years to understand why some people see the world through a liberal lens and others through a conservative one. I guess that is one of the many things that makes this country a beautiful place.

When I think about people with polar opposite political views I don’t have to look far for an example. My brother and I are 2 years, 7 months apart in age. He is older. We lived in the same house with the same parents until I was 16 years old. We grew up during the 60’s and 70’s. Our family was relatively normal for that era. Mom stayed home and Dad was a hard working blue collar wage earner. We were surrounded by extended family. Most of our family lived on farms we lived in a nearby suburb. We did not grow up with much diversity in our lives. We did not grow up with black friends, hispanic friends and to my knowledge we did not know any Jews or Muslims. The church we attended was the same Methodist church much of our family attended. As I look back I believe we had a relatively uneventful childhood…yet some how my brother and I turned out to be totally different in our views of the world.
He is conservative and proudly supports Donald Trump.
I am Liberal and proudly support Hillary Clinton.
My brother and I tease each other about our political views but I think we both know there is no sense actually discussing or debating our views because we are both entrenched in our political camps.

Those of you that have followed my page for any length of time are aware that I rarely mention politics and typically if I do it is because I have witnessed an injustice. So why now?

The reason is selfish and the reason is personal. There are a few people on my friends list that support Donald Trump and dislike Hillary Clinton…that’s ok. What isn’t ok is the hateful words directed at Clinton supporters. I am regularly seeing comments about the stupidity of liberals, the ignorance of Hillary supporters, and the lack of honest democrats…
Do they mean for these comments to be hurtful? Because they are.
Do they think their comments are funny? They aren’t.
Do they think name calling will transform a liberal to a conservative? It won’t.

So why? I wonder if any of them would call me stupid to my face? A few of the people I refer to are family (not my brother, he isn’t on Facebook) and claim they love me and respect my opinion…yet I identify as a liberal and they are indirectly lumping me into a group of people apparently they do not respect, like or trust.

My point in this long rambling post…is, let’s be kind to each other. If you want to trash Trump or Hillary…go right ahead. But why trash their supporters? Why trash people that may spend the next holiday with you? Why trash people you claim to love, just because they plan to vote for a different politician than you?

I remember when the “hanging chad” was the big headline during the Bush vs Gore election. One of the things I think many of us came away with after that election was how wonderful it was that we could disagree politically yet settle our differences without fighting in the streets. Sadly, I fear that may not be the case anymore. The hatred and name calling is unravelling the fabric of our country….to avoid this I ask each of you to look at your fellow American as your brothers and sisters, not as a democrat or republican and certainly not as your enemy.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Smiles

I love smiles!

This week Cee has asked us to share photos of smiles….I get excited when I have a challenge in my mind as I’m driving down the road and the perfect subject matter jumps to my attention.

Yesterday this exact thing happened. I was leaving a client’s apartment when I spotted this big smiling sun balloon. My immediate thought? Cee’s Challenge!!

I did a U-turn, jumped out of my car and started taking pictures. I’m sure the construction guys right in front of the balloon (and the liquor store it was advertising) thought I was nuts!IMG_4294

I took this photo of Hershey the Schnauzer Sunday because we had a new happy pillow and she was sitting beside it smiling! (can you imagine a better reason to take a photo?)IMG_4250

And the final photo is my sister-in-law and her son at Easter…this photo makes me smile!DSC_0861

So there you have it….an object smiling, a dog smiling, people smiling and all 3 make me smile!

 

 

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Large Subjects

Everything is bigger in Texas!

That is what they say and I must admit…frequently it is true.

One of the things that amazed me when I first moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex was the size of the freeways. They are wide and they are tall…especially the                   “mix-masters”

Recently, while serving the homeless, I had the opportunity to walk under one of Fort Worth’s mix masters. I couldn’t resist getting a few shots.

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You might notice in the above photo my fellow volunteers walking under the freeway. They look quite small compared to the pillars. Yet they are under the lowest level of freeway.

As always, thank you Cee for an opportunity to use photos that would be unlikely to find another home.

If anyone is interested in viewing more black and white photos, Cee’s page is the place to be!

Was it Failure?

At 7:30 this morning I had every intention of completing a 70 mile bike ride. By 1:00PM I arrived at the 55 mile rest stop with absolutely no energy and a horrible feeling of failure. I sat on a cooler, against a truck in a sliver of shade. The oppressive heat that radiated from the black pavement and the lack of shade, for miles at a time, had taken its toll.
Did I mention the hills? This particular ride is known for its hills. Yes, hills in Texas. The ride description said “The Goatneck Bike ride is a rolling hill course which averages around 35 feet per mile of climbing.” I’ve been doing hill work. I’ve been trying to ride in the heat….it just wasn’t enough.

As I sat in that sliver of shade, pouring ice water over my head, my riding buddy (Rachael) and a nice gentleman (Pat) that I rode with off and on throughout the day, helped me realize the importance of knowing when enough is enough. Pat said to me several times how difficult it is to come back from a heat related illness. Rachael simply helped me understand taking the SAG ride to the finish line was not quitting, it was the smart choice.

As I rode in the SAG truck, I still wasn’t convinced I had made the right choice. Then we rounded a bend in the road and I saw yet another long (very long) hill. I looked at the SAG driver and said, “If I were still on my bike I think the sight of that hill would have caused me to just sit down in the middle of the road.” I had made the right choice, my legs were shot for the day.

It was a humbling experience. I hate giving up, especially when it comes to an athletic activity. One of the mantras I use is, “just keep moving forward.” Today I could not.
The first half-marathon I ran, I didn’t think I would finish. I struggled the last 3 miles and crossed the finish line with calf cramps and knee pain. Instead of deciding this wasn’t for me, I started planning how to train smarter so I would be better prepared for the next one. The same thoughts crossed my mind today. Instead of giving into my frustration and anger I started planning for next year. I started thinking about where I could do more hill work, how to strengthen my back and my core and how to return next year better and stronger.

Rick and Darlene…

Yesterday before we started our bike ride Rachael pointed out a car across the lot. Its doors were open and we could see at least one person in the driver’s seat. She told me the same car was in the same place a few days ago.
When we returned from the ride the car was still there.

As I pulled away I decided to stop at the car and offer the few dollars I had available.
I introduced myself and handed the couple dollars to the man in the driver’s seat. He introduced himself as Rick and the lady in the passenger seat told me her name was Darlene. As I stepped toward the car I noticed a small chihuahua in the backseat. Her name was Babee.

We talked for a few minutes. I told them my friend noticed they had been parked in the same place for several days. They acknowledged they were having a rough time and currently were living in their car.

I explained that myself and a group of friends would be out serving the homeless on Sunday and asked if we could stop by and visit, deliver food and drinks. I also mentioned that we carry dog food with us and would make sure Babee was cared for.

This afternoon as we pulled up in three different vehicles it was obvious Darlene was overwhelmed. She immediately gave me a big hug and told me how happy they were that I came back. She looked around, with tears in her eyes, as 9 of us surrounded them. She thanked each one of us. Rick, not as emotional, but respectful and soft spoken introduced himself and talked about Babee. Both Darlene and Rick were extremely proud of their Babee and told us stories of her many abilities.

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Robyn gave Darlene a Women’s Study Bible

We shared food with the couple, Kim, Janie and Melissa checked out Babee’s health and Melissa trimmed Babee’s nails. We gave them water, a Bible and a pillow for each of them. Darlene cried tears of joy throughout our visit and both of them thanked us multiple times.

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Robyn enjoyed holding Babee

The couple had an impact on each of us. We left them to serve others, but I think we will remember them for a long time to come.

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Rick and Darlene agreed to pose for a picture with the group