Category Archives: Family

Children at Rose Park

Playground

I headed to Rose Park here in Billings the other day thinking there might be roses to photograph. Although I didn’t any roses, I discovered children of all ages at the park by 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning!

The tennis courts were busy, young adults were playing sand volleyball, preschool age children were on the playground, and there was a Little League game on the baseball field.

Watching Little League Baseball

The flower garden sponsored by Compassionate Friends Billings Chapter was being tended by a woman whose son died by suicide at the age of 41. As she and I talked I was reminded that we will always by children to our parents or to those who raised us.

Forever Loved sculpture by Drew Brown

May you have child-like curiosity, delight, and enthusiasm in your life today.

Posted in response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt – Children.

CMMC – Primary Colors

Blue Brushes

Painting was one of the first tasks when I moved from Iowa to Montana about a month ago.

Red Is Her Favorite Color

Coloring after supper at my parents’ home. Not sure who enjoys it more: my mom or the two-year-old who lives next door!

Yellow Crayon in a Toddler Hand

Posted in response to Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge with Primary Colors as theme of the week.

Wait! What? Cee listed the primary colors of light: red, green and blue. I looked for pictures with the traditional primary colors of blue, red, and yellow. So here is one more photo.

Green Tape

CMMC November Pick a Topic: Tables and Chairs

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge this week was, well, challenging. I don’t have pictures of a vintage kitchen or antique dishes. Nor do I have pictures of cast iron pots and pans or a wood burning stove. And the one place nearby I considered for field trip photo possibilities is closed for the season.

So, how about tables and chairs from two recent volunteer efforts?

The pictures of the box under the table and the tables full of books were taken with my cell phone when volunteering at the Planned Parenthood Book Sale (read about it here). I’d donated books long before Covid-19 paused book donations and the sale; I took the picture because that particular box came from my house! All the table legs captured my imagination when I looked at the photo later.

Having received a Cheer Box last holiday season (the first after my husband’s death), I was eager to help wrap gifts and deliver boxes this year. (Read about Amanda the Panda and the Cheer Box program by clicking here). The bear poking his head over the box just makes me smile!

CMMC – May Alphabet – Letter “G” in the Word

Saguaro Cactus. Desert Arroyo Park, Mesa, Arizona. May 15, 2021.

“Words with the Letter G” is the theme for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge May Alphabet. My photos this week were taken on a recent trip to Arizona to see family. So grateful to be fully vaccinated!

Golden Barrel Cactus. Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona. May 16, 2021.

My sister-in-law and I spent a marvelous morning at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. We couldn’t talk anyone else into going with us!

Bougainvillea. Gila Bend, Arizona. May 18, 2021.

My aunt uses collected glass bottles to create “flowers” and “gardens” in her yard. These pictures of green glass fit Cee’s challenge well.

My last tourist type stop was Painted Rock Petroglyph Site near Gila Bend, Arizona.

Couldn’t resist one final photo: grandmother (right), daughter (left), and granddaughter (center).

Three Generations. Gila Bend, Arizona. May 19, 2021

Bright Square Challenge: Childhood Home

Childhood Home. Baker, Montana. May 21, 2017.

We were back in Baker to help my parents pack fifty-some years of accumulations housed at the corner of 1st and George. Across the street from Lincoln Elementary School, allowing Mom to watch the kids – all the kids across the years – come and go and play at recess. Two blocks from Baker High School, where Dad taught math and computers.

Early evening, sun descending, feeling nostalgic and needing a break from boxes, I took a walk with camera in hand. This is my favorite picture of that day.

So much light and laughter and love emanated from that house. Friends always used the backdoor – knocking was optional. They knew to help themselves to a pop (aka soda) from the fridge. Teenagers soon learned they were welcome to make themselves a peanut butter sandwich or scrounge for leftovers. If supper was on the table, visitors were invited to pull up a chair. I could go on and on!

So many bright memories. So much love.

Picture posted in response to Becky’s Bright Squares challenge. Prose because this photo led me down memory lane!

Remembering: Renewal of Vows

Wedding Bands. 1994.

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.

Wedding Day. 1994.

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.

Renewal of Vows. September 3, 2020.

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.
New Wedding Bands. 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.

May you celebrate love today and every day.

CMMC – February Pick a Topic

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge the third Wednesday of February is to use her picture to pick a topic (or two or more!) for your pictures. Click here to see her picture; it shows yard/gardening tools as well as a portable outhouse on a trailer with trees in the background.

Abandoned Outhouse. Neumann Ranch Dump, Montana. August 2008.

In my search for a picture (just one!) with a garden tool, I discovered photos of an old outhouse that had been hauled to the ranch dump. Tipped on its side, it’s definitely no longer in use!

Besides just general messing around with a camera in hand that day, Dad intended to dig a few potatoes. So here’s a picture of a shovel in use.

Digging Potatoes. Garden at Neuman Ranch, Montana. August 2008.

Same ranch, same characters, same intent and maybe the same shovel four years later. This time with trees in the background.

Dad Digging Taters. Garden at Neuman Ranch, Montana. August 2012.

Switching things up, I remembered an outdoor cleanup day at a church that might show some tools. To my delight, I found a photo that shows a bit of fun while getting the work done with a rake.

Caleen with Rake. Muscatine, Iowa. November 2012.

Finally, for a little winter work, here’s a broom and a snow shovel being put to good use.

John and Don Clearing the Deck. Muscatine, Iowa. December 2007.

Challenge: Stack

Stack of Round Hay Bales. Neumann Ranch, Montana. August 2012.

The scale of a stack of round bales is tough to fathom so I left the front of Weenie Truck – Dad’s name for his small pick-up – in the frame when cropping the first picture to share for Frank’s stack challenge.

Here’s a different angle – two bales high and who knows how many bales long.

One last picture, showing my nephew – then about six feet tall – checking out the stacked bales.

CMMC: November Pick a Topic

Judy, Julie and Snickerdoodle. Photo: TLClark, 11/10/2020.

It’s another photo challenge and I get to pick the topic based on a picture! Click on this link to see the picture and the guidelines of Cee’s challenge.

Walk. I’m visiting my parents and we walk with dear friends every day. The picture above is definitely a candid shot, another possibility for the topic of the day.

Fence. More than one fence keeps folk on the foot bridge and out of the water. I’m intrigued by stripes and the grid in the shadow.

.Foot Bridge, Shiloh Conservation Area, Billings, MT. Photo: TLClark, 11/19/2020.

Orange. The only orange I could find outdoors in central Montana in mid-November is on Snickerdoodle’s scarf. After I looked a the challenge photo again, the topic for this picture could also be fuzzy.

Snickerdoodle. Photo: TLClark, 11/21/2020.

Posted in response to Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge – November Pick a Topic from [her] Photo. Such fun!

RDP Saturday: STEPS

Steps – Not Quite Done. Photo: TLClark, 11/21/2020.I

Though I read the Ragtag Daily Prompt for bloggers daily and sometimes even think about what I could write, the day usually ends before I do anything about it.

Not today.

I’m at my parents’ home. Dad is building new steps to go out the back door. And the prompt is steps.

Dad posing with his new steps. Photo: TLClark, 11/212020.

When I asked if I could take his picture with the steps, Dad straightened right up and said, “cheese.” (Not exactly. But it looks like he said, “cheese.”)

Working on the Steps. Photo: TLClark, 11/212020.

Sometimes a project goes together as planned.

Other times, it takes making just the right face.

Dad Working on Steps. Photo: TLClark, 11/21/2020.

Whether it’s new steps or something else, may you make just the right face to have it go together perfectly.

+ + +

Posted in response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt (RDP) SATURDAY: STEPS. Click here to see the challenge; then scroll down in that post to find links to other responses.