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.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Atmospheric

Today is Halloween, so I thought this topic would be very fitting no matter if your holiday is in the fall or spring. This last week, we went on a walking ghost story tour of the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Our guide (who is a good friend) likes to focus on the interesting rather than the spooky or scary. The tour was so much fun, and the lighting around the cemetery was perfect for capturing the beautiful fall foliage and atmosphere of the setting.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO (OR TWO OR THREE) WITH A DISTINCT ATMOSPHERE.

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.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Beauty

Queen's View Scotland

One of the places we wanted to visit while in Scotland is called the Queen’s View. When Queen Victoria visited it in the 1800s, legend has it that she believed it was named for her, but in reality, Robert the Bruce called it that because it was the favorite view of his wife, Queen Margaret. With the recent tragedy in Paris, I wanted this week’s challenge to be one of hope and beauty. Beauty can be found everywhere, even in tragedy. The image below is the ruins Melrose Abbey, where Robert the Bruce’s heart is believed to be buried. The Abbey was built in the 1100s, and after many assaults and wars, fell into disuse and ruin in the late 1500s.

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IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) OF THINGS YOU FIND BEAUTIFUL.

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.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Worship

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With the devastation in Paris, this seems a very fitting topic for Frank Jansen’s Tuesday Photo Challenge today.  The Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral is very iconic for Paris, and the LDS Salt Lake Temple is very iconic for both Salt Lake City, Utah and for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For more from this challenge, visit Tuesday Photo Challenge – Worship.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Sunshine

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We have a popular hymn at our church called There Is Sunshine In My Soul. I love the words to the first verse:

There is sunshine in my soul today,
More glorious and bright
Than glows in any earthly sky,
For Jesus is my light.

This song reminds me to find light even on cloudy days.

This last weekend, we visited our daughter and son-in-law in Chicago. As a surprise, we took our son with us. It was his first trip to Chicago, and our daughter didn’t know we were bringing him. The kids have had a difficult year. Their mom was killed in August, and they’ve struggled to find any sunshine through their grief and pain. This weekend helped me to know that they will make it through and help each other as they navigate these new waters.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) OF SUNSHINE

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.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Raw Emotion

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Last week, we buried a very dear friend. He was far too young and leaves behind a grieving wife, four children, and a large extended family (including close friends) who will miss him terribly. At the graveside, I captured this moment of his mother and sister as they stood beside his casket. His mother said she had spent so many days crying that she felt she would never cry again. Even without tears, you can see the pain and grief in her eyes.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A NEW PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) OF EMOTIONS AT THEIR PUREST LEVEL.

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.

Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Beloved

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Just over a year ago, our nephew and his family lost their precious son only a few hours after he was born. Always loved, never forgotten.

For more from this challenge, visit the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Beloved.