When I started a list of possible subjects for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge I soon had a long list of words with “ch” or “ck” in them. I finally chose childhood as a common theme.
While extracting my childhood rocking chair from the piles of stuff in the basement, I had to move a box of children’s books my mom brought to me rather than throw away. There was also a bag of vinyl records my husband couldn’t bear to see discarded, including a few child friendly recordings.
Three Charlie Brown stories by Charles Schulz!
The last two photos are from my archive. Taken at a special exhibit at Reiman Gardens a couple years ago, they are of larger than life-size childhood games.
Last Friday – the day before the first day of spring – was windy but warmish. With hopes of buds on trees and new plants poking out of the ground, I grabbed my camera and headed to Reiman Gardens on the campus of Iowa State University. The discovery of the day was a special exhibit in the Hughes Conservatory: “Mirror, Mirror on the Phal.”
“Phalaenopsis orchids are like faces: if divided from top to bottom, one side reflects the other. Such symmetry occurs throughout nature. Just look around – mammals, insects, and many leaves exhibit this quality. Where can you spot symmetry?”
“Of course, another place to see a reflection is in a mirror. The Evil Queen in Snow White made famous the phrase, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” We think nature presents us with the greatest beauty, whether symmetrical or not. We see it reflected in the drama of a sunset, the simplicity of a Phalaenopsis, and even within ourselves. At the start of 2021, we invite you to reflect and seek all the beauty you can find. Even just by looking in a mirror.”
The reflections in the hexagonal mirrors were so much fun! I’m planning to go back some afternoon – rather than the morning – just to take pictures when the sun is coming from a different direction.
They have set it up for one-way traffic through the Conservatory and masks are required. But it’s not a large place, so I was thrilled when I was the only one in there. The last photo is looking back through the exit doors.
Hoping you’ll take a few minutes to reflect on all the beauty you see – especially when looking in the mirror!
My favorite of Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenges is the week we get to Pick a Topic from her photo. You can see it here. There are always so many possibilities!
I went on a photo scavenger hunt for Railroad Crossing Arms. My first thought didn’t work: boring gray sky and too much traffic. So I decided to head north on a road running parallel to the railroad tracks. Found a RR Crossing in Elkhart where one of the taller structures in town – a water tower – and some spring trees could be captured in one photo. Even better, the sun finally came out!
The picture of a road to Alleman with its grain elevators dates back a couple of years. I tried to duplicate it yesterday but the clouds in the original photo are ever so much better! Topics: road with yellow and white lines, tall structure, and blue sky with clouds.
The third photo is of the tallest building in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. And it’s one I’ve shared before – for a photo challenge with the theme “city.” Not only does it have a tall building, there is a traffic light too.
I’ve been thinking about a photo challenge with the word “renewal” for a week. Music and prayer, walking and reading are sources of renewal. The buds on trees now growing more noticeable here in central Iowa remind me that spring, a season of renewal, is on the way.
But my heart continues to return to the day my best beloved and I renewed our wedding vows.
John had been receiving Hospice Care at home since March. We both knew his days were numbered and were cherishing our time together.
At some point ten or twelve months earlier we’d looked at a new wedding band for him since his original band had become too big, often sliding off his finger. Being the frugal sort we opted not to buy at that time.
When choosing to stop all cancer treatment in late February, we hoped to vacation along the Oregon coast together one last time. Visiting family on the way there or back was part of the plan. Covid-19 squashed those ideas.
By August, I was doing whatever I could to grant John’s every wish. Having not spent the money on travel, we had no qualms about buying new rings.
The words of my Facebook post that day sum it up:
Somewhat impromptu renewal of vows. Over the last month John has asked me to marry him more times than I can count. We ordered new rings a week ago. Picked up the rings this morning then drove by Urbandale UCC scouting a suitable location to renew vows. Pastor Dave was there and agreed to preside so we just did it.
– Facebook Post, September 3, 2020.
John died in October; I shared his Final Word in my post After All Souls Day; you can read it here.
The renewal of vows was less about the promises made and more about the love we shared every day for more than 25 years: a deep, abiding mutual admiration of each other with a longing and commitment to help each other become the person God called us each to be. While I truly miss the daily companionship of my best beloved, I am grateful beyond words for all John taught me and the way he encouraged me in life’s journey.