Tree of Life, Draper City Park
I have a wonderful life. I love my husband. We have great kids. Most of our family lives close by, and we have good opprotunitues to visit those who don’t. We travel frequently to really cool places. We have our own business and live in the freest country in the world. Life is good.
I’m glad that I’ve had the chance to reflect on what I’m grateful for this November. Hopefully our gratitude isn’t limited to just one month each year.
May this holiday season fill your homes and hearts with love, thankfulness, and peace.
We live in a little bungalow-type house that was built in 1961. It’s small, but comfortable. We are empty-nesters, so we don’t really need a lot of space. My husband bought this house a year before we met. We’ve done some major renovations on the inside, and we love the huge garage that the previous owners added. But in all honesty, as much as I love our little house, to me home is anywhere Russell is.
There are many things that we can live without: extra money, going to movies, a house as big as the Jones. There are some things we can’t live without: food, water, air, and love. Studies have shown that without love, newborn babies stop thriving. There are so many different ways to show love: spouses and partners, friends, family, even complete strangers. The Beatles said all we need is love, and to some extent, they were right.
We have a dog. His name is Murphy. He is a mutt, with some shar pei in there (his forehead wrinkles when he is nervous or interested and his tongue is black). My husband adopted him from the local shelter when he was a puppy. He was one when we started dating and two when we got married. He is now nearing thirteen, and while he still sometimes thinks he is still a puppy, his energy lasts only about ten minutes. He is loving, loyal, and very forgiving. He gets excited whenever we come home, even after two-week-long trips. I love you, Murph. Thanks for letting me into the family.
I know that I’ve already mentioned my parents and my siblings in individual posts, but I have a lot more family. My husband’s family is very large (he is the youngest of eight kids). I have a wonderful group of aunts, uncles, and cousins. I inherited four wonderful children when I married my husband. And then there are people who aren’t blood relation, but are still family. Family is very important to me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I have three sisters: two older, one younger. Growing up, we were the bane of our brother’s life. He even told my mom once that he didn’t care if it took twelve sisters, he wanted a brother. He didn’t get one until my oldest sister got married and he finally got a brother-in-law.
I have a lot of friends with only sons, and you frequently hear (or read in a meme) the saying that boys are harder to keep alive, but have less drama. I’m sure my parents went through a lot of drama with us. Even with all of the drama, I love my sisters. We are now all really good friends. We live close (all within 10 miles), and we love getting together for family parties or a girls’ lunch with mom.
Thanks, guys (well, I guess gals), for helping me have a wonderful childhood and built in friends.
When I found my husband, I really hit the jackpot. I was in my early 40s. I had never been married and had reached the point where I was fine with that. Funny how life has other plans for us sometimes. We met doing a play at a local community theater. I was the music director, he was a bass in the chorus with a small speaking part, and when the show was over, I took him home and kept him. That was almost 12 years ago, and I now can’t imagine my life without him. And while he is the first one to admit that he isn’t perfect, he is perfect for me.
My parents are wonderful. My childhood was somewhat amazing. We didn’t have much money (my dad was an elementary school teacher when I was younger and finally retired from the United States Department of Agriculture; my mom was an office manager), but we always had enough. My mom and grandmother made a lot of our clothes, and friends would ask me where I got many of those clothes. My father was a hard worker. When he quit teaching, he took whatever he could find to support his family before getting a job with the USDA Arial Photography Field Office. I had more than one friend tell me that they wished they had grown up in my family.
But more than just providing for our physical needs, my parents instilled in each of their five children a love for family. When we could afford to travel, we drove across America seeing amazing things, learning crazy travel songs, and playing every travel game you can think of (license plates, alphabet match, I see). My parents also loved each other fiercely. They loved holding hands, sitting next to each other, and sharing a quick kiss no matter who was watching.
When my father was at the end of his life, my mother did everything she could so that he could stay at home and not have to go to assisted living. When it got to be too much for just her, hospice came in the mornings to help, and we took turns helping her at night. Dad didn’t always remember which of his kids was there helping, but he always knew when my mom was near him.
Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a wonderful example of selfless love and devotion.
Sorry for the very late posting for this challenge, but it’s been one of those weeks. In fact, I’m cheating just a little. This week’s challenge is for you to pick any photo you choose, just please tell us why you chose that photo. This photo is one I took this last summer up at our family cabin. One of our daughters loves For-Get-Me-Nots. I knew that they grew near the cabin, so I went in search and found these lovely blooms. Very small and delicate, but worth the hunt.
IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO (OR TWO OR THREE) OF YOUR CHOOSING.
Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.
Here’s how it works:
- Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
- To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
- Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
- Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.