Friday, July 29, 2016

Game On!

Remember, once upon a time, when we all knew how to play? I’m not talking about children playing, that’s a whole other post! I’m talking about us. The adults in the room. How long has it been since you laughed and played? It hasn’t been too long for me. My grandchildren were here recently and we played games. I love to play Apples to Apples with them. It’s a fun game with not a lot of competition and a lot of laughter.

I’ve always enjoyed playing games. I remember the time when my sister and I kept a game of Monopoly going all summer. We changed the rules a little and borrowed money every time we went broke. This past week, when it was so hot outside, I decided to drag out my games. There was a problem though. I had no one to play the games with.  Mr. H only likes to play Checkers and he beats me every time, so that’s no fun for me!  I’m not a sore loser, I just would like to win every now and then! I spent seven days playing with games. Notice I said WITH games. I’ve been photographing them. To me, that’s play!  Now, a little about that game Mr. H beats me at, Checkers. The board game called “Checkers” in North America and “Draughts” in Europe is one of the oldest games known to man. Evidence of Checker games have been found in Egyptian burial chambers.

The curious side of me wanted to know more about the games I played with, so off to Google I went. I found plenty of information. For instance, did you know that there are at least twelve games that are still popular today, but that were invented over 50 years ago? Here’s the list: Risk, Candyland, Clue, Chutes & Ladders, Scrabble, Sorry, Stratego, Monopoly, Chinese Checkers, Life, Chess, and Checkers. I have nine of these in my game cabinet. I don’t have Risk, Stratego, or a Chess game, but I have played them. They require a little too much thinking for them to be fun to me!

My Chinese Checker game is from my childhood. Chinese Checkers was invented in Germany in 1892. The name Chinese Checkers originated in the United States as a marketing scheme by Bill and Jack Pressman in 1928. It has always been my favorite game. Not only do I love marbles, but I love the sound of them hitting the metal as you jump across the board.

Digging around in my sash of games I found our Clue game. Clue was invented by Anthony E. Pratt in 1944. Pratt came up with the idea during the Second World War. He once said “Between the wars all the bright young things would congregate in each other’s homes for parties at weekends. We’d play a stupid game called Murder, where guests crept up on each other in corridors and the victim would shriek and fall on the floor.” He missed playing parlor games and attending parties during the blackouts and decided to create a board game of his favorite parlor game, Murder.

I’m embarrassed to say that I never wondered who was murdered. I guess I never read the directions, my mom probably taught us how to play. I went to the directions and there was my answer. “Mr.  Boddy – apparently the victim of foul play – is found in one of the rooms of his mansion.” Did you know it was a Mr. Boddy that was murdered? Millions of times the mystery of who, what, and where has been solved, but nobody knows why the unfortunate Mr. Boddy was killed in his mansion.

I think I’ll stop this post now. I’ve shown you three of the seven games I played with.  I’ll be back next week with the rest of them. If I put them all in this post, it would be way too long. In the meantime, take a little time to play and laugh!

"A good laugh is sunshine in a house."
~ Thackeray

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What Does The Word Mean - The End

The book is closed.
The last chapter finished.

The book was opened about a year ago. The reading was slow; only one chapter read a week. The title of the book is Consolations, The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words, written by David Whyte. Little did I know when I joined a group of photographers and writers how challenging this project would be or how much I would come to love it. I didn't know that it would take me out of my normal nature photography into a whole new world. A world where I began to look at common, ordinary words in different ways. Whyte's book is broken down into 52 chapters, each one features an ordinary word. I would read his words (many of which I didn't totally agree with and some I didn't even understand), mull his thoughts over in my mind, do a little research, and then decide how I could represent my feelings about the word in a picture. Finally, I had to actually find and take that picture. We have reached the end of the book and here is the last seven words.

* * * * *

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles."
~ Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl

* * * * *

the warm sunshine on my shoulders
the soft breeze on my face
the wet grass beneath my feet
the rough bark beneath my fingertips
I touch and I am touched by God's creation.

* * * * *

Unconditional means not limited by conditions. Can we love unconditionally? Yes, I think we can. Love is a choice. Unconditional love takes that love even deeper. It means never questioning whether we love someone, even when they are unlovable. As a wife, mother, and grandmother I know what unconditional love is. I know they love me and I love them. It is a constant and it will always be.

"When we make the choice to fill our heart space with unconditional love, our world blossoms into a beauty far greater than we have know."   ~ Rio Godfey

* * * * *

One heart is open, filled with love.
One heart is hidden behind cold, hard doors.

* * * * *

In her book Daring Greatly Brene' Brown defines vulnerability as "uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure." When the artist painted this mural on the side of a building he was putting his art in a very vulnerable location. He didn't know how long the wall would stand or how long it would be before the paint faded. He probably didn't know it would be attacked by nature. When we honestly put our words, our art, or ourselves out there, we become vulnerable. We risk hurt, rejection, or criticism. It takes strength and courage to let ourselves be seen and be heard.

"To be alive is to be vulnerable."
~ Madeleine L'Engle

* * * * *

I confess! I withdraw from noise, people, and the busyness of every day life. I don't withdraw to hide, but for inner peace. I must find time each day to withdraw in order to let my thoughts become still.

* * * * *
I read somewhere that "every single thing you do is your life's work." I've tried to do my work with a positive attitude and with joy. Right now, in this stage of my life, my work is to be a loving wife and make our home comfortable and peaceful, to be an example to my children and grandchildren, to help care of my dad who has Alzheimer's, and to pursue my love of photography. My work in photography is to glorify God the Creator of our world and to share the beauty of nature with others.

We have reached the end of the book. The project is finished and I'm proud to say that I didn't miss a week. I am already missing the project and those with whom I've shared part of myself each week. I want to say thank you to Kim Manley Ort for being such a wonderful leader. I'm looking forward to see what she comes up with next!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's been almost a month since I've written here and that isn't like me at all. Family and other activities have kept me busy through the month of June and into July. Here's a short synopsis of what's been going on around here.

1. A trip to my daughters where all the cousins were together for playing, swimming, a little basket ball practice, treats to keep us cool, and lots of laughter and good times.

2. Two different cars shows in one day with Old Red our 1940 Ford truck. Both had crafts and booths for me to wander through while Mr. H wandered among the vintage cars.

3. The highlight of the month was riding the Arkansas Missouri excursion train with our grandsons. We can be quite the rowdy bunch when we're together. It's hard to keep boys still and quiet, so we were thrilled when we found the lounge of the Silver Feather touring car empty. It was just waiting for us. Instead of regular train bench seats, there were two couches, two tables with chairs and plenty of room for loud, active boys. It was a wonderful ride.

4. An afternoon with Mr. H and my sister traveling through four counties photographing courthouses, ghosts signs, and historical buildings.

5. Attending a history tour with the Arkansas Preservation Program at All Souls Church in Scott, Arkansas. The community was too small when this church was built in 1906 to have a building for each domination. The women of the community decided one church building would work. Preachers of different faiths alternated Sundays. The church is still in use and is now a nondenominational church.

6. A short hike with our grandsons to see a waterfall. It was way too hot to hike any further. They cooled of by playing in the water below the falls.

7. After the hike we picnicked and swam at Lake Catherine State Park. It was a perfect summer day.

8. And lastly we ate at the boys favorite restaurant, All Aboard, where a train runs around the ceiling delivering your food right to your table. There's even a Thomas The Tank Engine train table for playing after the meal. The food was great, but we'd eat there even if it wasn't, just to see the trains running. These boys love trains.

That's about it.
I'm tired, but it's a good tired.

July seems to be slowing down, so I can rest up and stay inside where it's cool. But, I will miss the good times with my five guys!

Hope you're having a great summer!