Thankful November 11th: Veterans Day

Today, the United States of America honors its veterans. Many other countries are celebrating Armistice Day and Remembrance Day today. One of my grandfathers served in World War I (yes, I’m old), several of my uncles served during the Korean Conflict, and many more nephews and nieces have served or are currently serving in the armed forces. As a nation, we can never thank them enough. The gratitude of the nation should never be in doubt.

So, thank you to everyone serving to keep our country and our world a better, safer place.

(The images are from the Punch Bowl Cemetery in Honolulu, Hawaii.)

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: Unexpected Windows

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Have you ever walked pass an opening in a wall or barrier and suddenly an amazing view opened up? I love unexpected windows. It’s like viewing a whole different world, even if it’s your own backyard through your backdoor.

This photo was taken from the William I Monument in Koblenz, Germany looking north up the Rhine River.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR THREE…) USING AN UNUSUAL WINDOW.

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″ and “Photo a Week” tags.
  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: Thanks, Dad

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We hear a lot about the love mothers have for their children, but not much about fathers. In entertainment, fathers are usually portrayed as bumbling, abusive, or absent.

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But I’ve had the honor of knowing many amazing fathers throughout my life, from my own father to my husband to nephews as they begin their own families.

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In America, we are starting a month of thankfulness leading up to Thanksgiving, so this week’s challenge is dedicated to the wonderful men who work hard and love deeply. Who put their families first.

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My father passed away three years ago, and I miss him everyday. So thanks, Dad. You are one of the main reasons I’m the person I am today. I love you, Papa.

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IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR THREE OR…) HONORING THE MEN IN YOUR LIFE.

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″ and “Photo a Week” tags.
  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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Evanescent

Flowers from Dad's casket

For this week’s challenge, I’m reusing a photo from my father’s funeral. Not only are the flowers fleeting, but it also reminds me to make the most of every day with those I love. Our time here is measured, and we know not the hour of our passing.

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Against the Odds

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About four months into her pregnancy, our niece found out that her baby had Trisomy 13, a devastating chromosomal defect. They decided to continue the pregnancy with the hope that Baby T would be born alive and that they would have the opportunity to spend a little time with him before he was called home to his Heavenly Father. Baby T was born at home at 7-1/2 months and lived an amazing hour, surrounded by his loving parents and six big brothers.

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