Monday, December 21, 2015

Swans And Christmas Gifts

The swans are back!   What a delight to see them once again.  They first appeared earlier this year in February and I wrote about them in this reference link:    Please check it out for the background story.
I hope to capture more swan photos for better clarity and composition as they get used to me creeping up on them for a photo shoot.  For the time being, I use my camera zoom to watch them and snap the shutter without disturbing my feathered friends.  I don't know how long the swans will stay this time.  As mentioned, these water-birds showed up with a flock of geese back in February and left after a months' visitation.  What a Christmas gift to have them return.  I'll enjoy the graceful presence of these swans until they decide to continue their journey elsewhere.

Christmas can be everyday - the gifts of God in His marvelous creations are all around us to enjoy.  They can be from the spectacular to the simple.  All we need to do is to become aware of the beauty in sight and sound around us and take it in, which is called receiving..........

Since we are created beings, we take after our heavenly Father in creativity that is built inside of us.  There is demonstration all around us.  One such sight this Christmas season is a home on Highway 26 in Mt. Vernon that delights residents and travelers alike.  Lights animate in sparkle to express Christmas themes from Angels on high to Santa's reindeer.   Words such as Joy and Merry Christmas, Peace on Earth, send out greetings to all those who pass by.   A beautiful piece of artwork, which began in heart and mind, becomes a physical expression for others to enjoy.

Mt. Vernon home with Christmas light display
Sight!  Sometimes called illumination....  I wrote a post in December, 2014 which spoke about the visible and the invisible and Christmas.  It is a message close to my heart and I pray the doors and windows of our spirit will continue to open for further illumination. The link below:

I wish you all a   MERRY CHRISTMAS!   And even more....  that the Christ within be your constant  illumination.   Wrap yourself within the robe of the Light of His Presence and exchange the Gift of Love.


You are invited to return to The Turn-Up Patch in the brand new year of 2016.  See you on Monday, January 4th....

Monday, December 7, 2015

Friendship and Jack Fisher, RIP

Friendships and memories!  A time to hold on to and a time to let go!....  but the memories will stay on in our hearts.  

Salute!....  to a friend who was and is the epitomy of friendship in the life of my husband, Jim and to us as family.  Part of the definition of epitomy is a "class act".  Our time with Jack in friendship was exactly that... a class act, which came to include our families as a blended experience in the ups and downs of life.  Jack lived his life in quiet courage. He wasn't one to bemoan his health issues but "pulled up his bootstraps" and determined to meet and conquer whatever ailments would try to befall his body.  He had a lung transplant 13 years ago and outlived the predictions of extended life of 5 to 6 years by seven more.  He saw his daughter, Kim and his son, John, marry their sweethearts and became a grandfather to four grandchildren, all within a span of the past four years.  Jack's daughter describes him as her best friend and hero.  That's quite a compliment and attests to the kind of father he was to his children throughout the years.  His love and partner in life is wife, Niki, who became his cheerleader and championed him on to live.  I can't imagine that Jack would have lived as long as he did without the loving care given under the watchful eye of Niki.  We are blessed to have witnessed the spirit of this family in their encouragement and enthusiastic support that would uplift Jack in attitude and strength.

Jack had compassion for animals and always had a pet dog following him around.  However, the photo below shows that cats were not completely excluded.  On one particular visit, our Turnup cat found a place to groom herself, which happened to be on top of Jack's head and included grooming his hair!  Jack, being good-natured, took it all in stride and this became a favorite photo.....

Jack and Jim had a unique friendship - they understood each other and knew where each other stood, if that makes any sense.  Jack told Jim that he was more like a brother to him then a friend. They respected each others' boundaries and enjoyed their 'bull-shit' sessions (guy talk for conversation) that covered a broad spectrum of current affairs, ranching, horses and life in general.  They occasionally would go on a 'walk-about', taking a break from routine and attend an event tailored for their interests, such as a farm auction or firearm show.  Before Jack had his own grandkids, he became a surrogate grandad to our own grandchild and spent some pleasant times helping and encouraging.  The photo below illustrates such a time when both men were showing off their skills in the instruction of the fine art of fishing....

There is a poem written by  Dale Wimbrow Sr. that befits these two men as it is the creed that Jack aspired to and Jim continues to do so.  Perhaps this is why they understood each other so well....
The Man in the Glass
When you get what you want in your struggle for gain
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what the man has to say.
It isn't your mother or father or wife
Whose judgement upon you must pass
The one whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back in the glass.
You may be one who got a good break
Then think you're a wonderful guy
But the man in the glass says you're only a fake
If you can't look him straight in the eye.
He's the one you must satisfy above all the rest
For he's with you right up til the end
And you know you have passed your most difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down your pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.

Jack Fisher -  Jan. 19, 1940 to Nov. 29, 2015
Jack, you didn't cheat the man in the glass.  We will miss you but the memories go on in our hearts for family and friends alike.   We are richer for knowing you and comforted that we will meet again on the other side of this veil into the realm of Light.

See you next time at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, December 21.....