A Photo a Week Challenge: #GiveThanks

In the United States, today is Thanksgiving. Even though there is a lot of controversy about our history and what and who we should celebrate, I’m still grateful to live in a country that values freedom. While we may not be perfect at honoring that value, I do believe most of us try. Last Friday, the leader of my church asked everyone, worldwide, to flood social media with posts about gratitude using the hashtag #GiveThanks. It has been amazing to see the tone and feeling of my Facebook newsfeed shift from anger, fear, and division to hope, gratitude, and love for others. I hope that this continues not just through the holiday season, but becomes a permanent part of our lives and thoughts as we give thanks for what we have and who we have in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, American or not. I hope that your days are filled with love, joy, and happiness.

(P.S. The second photo is to show off a little. I’m loving the flakiness of my pie crust turkey but please ignore the slightly too-dark edge. 🙂 )


Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.


Thankful November 3rd: Wonderful Parents

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.

Sunday Stills: Things We Take For Granted

SleepingThis is something I took for granted more when I was a kid than I do now. Now, I wish I could sleep as much as parents used to try to make me sleep when I was little.