Archive for August 2014

Fire Storm   Leave a comment

DSC_1920-Edit-Edit-2-sepia-uploadSo here we are, walking along the road of life under a bright blue sky where puffy white clouds dance and play in the breeze. Life is good, the path is smooth and level, and all around is beauty and peace. What could be better than this, we think. And then…

I love that phrase, “and then”. It means something is going to happen, something is going to change. Good or bad is unknown but change is sure. And then…

We round a bend in our path, the sky starts to change, the puffy white clouds start to become ominous, filling the sky, blotting out the sun. The scene around us changes, no longer bright and serene. The clouds, the path, it is as though our world is filled with fire, the smell of smoke, the feeling of doom. But….

There is another phrase I love, “but”. Again, the potential for change is coming. This time we have a choice. We can control what comes next. We can ignore, do nothing or we can do something positive. But…

We can stop, we can run or we can keep on going. Yes, the world looks like it’s on fire but we can choose to face it, fire hose in hand and conquer the dread we feel. We can face our fear, knowing that “joy commeth in the morning”.

Do we often need help when confronted with the fire storms of life? Yes we do. Is it easy to conquer the fear we face when those fire storms overtake us? No it’s not. But…we can persevere with help, with support, with faith.

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

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Posted August 21, 2014 by hwilliam in Photography

God Bless America   1 comment

DSC_3858-bw-1st-upload“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:
“God Bless America” – Irving Berlin

America – What can I say about this country that has not been said before? There are those who hate her and what she stands for but there are far more that love her in spite of the warts, the scars, the tragedies, the failures, the flaws. They see her as a monument to a freedom that no country in history has ever produced. And though she may not be perfect, and many are quick to point that out, she still draws those who dream of a better life to her shores.

She is my country. She is my home. The waving flag still brings tears to my eyes, the singing of our national anthem a lump to my throat. I still thrill at the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, as I stand with my hand over my heart, and proudly repeat them.

No, she may not be perfect, but, to me, she is the best nation ever produced by man. God Bless America!

Posted August 16, 2014 by hwilliam in Photography

Thoughts On Turning 76   2 comments

DSC_2342-Edit-Edit-1stt-uploadNot so very long ago my youngest daughter and I celebrated birthdays, hers in Florida and mine in Michigan. She became an age that I’m not allowed to mention and I became 76. Then a week later was the eighth month anniversary of my wife, Shirlee’s, passing. And so it was a time of pondering, celebration and to some degree, sadness.

Over three-quarters of a century now. Old enough to remember WWII with clarity, rationing, blackout curtains, air raid drills and army soldiers standing guard while German prisoners built new grain storage towers at the grain elevator. Old enough to remember radio and newspapers as our only source of news and entertainment. The magic of radio where we would sit around and watch it, much like we learned to do with television. Larger than life heroes and villains, comedy and drama, singers and bands. A time when imagination ruled, Superman could really fly, The Lone Ranger could really shoot and Suspense was just the next station up the dial. And a time when you played with your friends outdoors using whatever you could find as props. You could play all those now politically incorrect games, ride your bike without a helmet, play outdoors till dark and dash out after breakfast to do it all over again. Was it better? I really don’t know. It was different. It was then, this is now. But as I grow older, I ponder.

Three beautiful, wonderful, talented daughters, definitely a reason to celebrate. They are each different, unique and special but they are their mother’s and my girls. They carry some of our good points and some of our not so good aspects. One of them told me recently, “I hate it when I do something and realize I’m my mother! (or father).” I love each one of them for who they are. Do I agree with everything they do? No, but that makes no difference, they are still loved. Each ones birthday reminds me of something special. Stacy, my oldest, I almost missed being there as I was out out of town and when I got home there was a note saying Barbara was at the hospital. Koreen, our second was almost a home birth. Barbara called the doctor when she started having pains and he told her when they got to be five minutes apart to call him and head for the hospital. She/we went back to sleep and when we woke up the pains were about three minutes apart and we almost didn’t make it to the hospital on time. Kitten, my youngest, was born on my birthday in the middle of my 10th year high school reunion. All three of them give me a reason to celebrate not only their lives, but the fact that I’m their father.

And then there is the intermingling of sadness and joy when I think of Shirlee. Sadness because I miss our Bible reading and prayer together, morning chats, watching TV together, discussing the books we were reading, editing my blog posts, singing in the church choir and just being there to turn to and say, “I love you!”. But on the other hand there is the joy I feel knowing she is waiting for me in Heaven, free from cancer, COPD, pain and suffering. She can breathe, run, walk, talk and if they have a violin, make wonderful music. She is with her son, sister, parents, family and friends but most of all with her Jesus.

So, I’m 76 now. More of my life is behind me than is ahead of me and that’s okay. I feel I still have some time to make a difference in my world. I can still take photographs, sing, write, read, keep the church website up to date and help out at church were needed. I can still enj4oy my kitty kats and doggies. I can still be me. And I can still smile and laugh. As I tell Shirlee, “I’m still ok.”

Posted August 1, 2014 by hwilliam in Photography