Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.  To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” ~Helen Keller

~Blackbird near the top of the tree….Free Spirit soaring through the sky~

The blackbird is a Free Spirit, near the top of the tree, soaring in the warm yellow-orange rays of the setting sun.  Summit Inn, Uniontown, Pennsylvania, USA.

Judy

All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

“Berry” Wet

Hello everyone!

 I’m sure you’ve noticed I like taking photos of the ornamental tree fruit in our yard!  I call the fruit “berries”, because I’m not sure if they are Ornamental Crab or Cherry trees.

No matter what their official name is, the bright red color is a nice contrast to the browns and grays, as well as the backdrop of snow at this time of year.

By this time of year, our berry crop is becoming depleted as the deer find them very  tasty.

The photo I have today was taken after a recent snowfall, when temperatures had started to rise again.

Good night, all…

Judy

All images are copyright © 2005-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Silence and thought~

As I sit alone in the darkness beside the tree with the sparkling lights, and gaze upon the beautiful, gaily wrapped presents, I think of all the thought my children have put into the presents they purchased.  Tomorrow morning we will laugh and be surprised, hug and say thank you.  We will enjoy a breakfast together and then they will be off to their other families.  I am so thankful we have this time together; we are so fortunate to be able to celebrate this way.

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But I also think about those who cannot afford gifts… those who have nothing to celebrate.. those who are separated from family members….those who live with daily fear…..those who have no home…those for whom a bowl of rice is their holiday~or even worse, no food on this day of days.   And my heart aches.

I am one person, and I give what I can, but it is not enough.  It will never be enough.

I have a favorite quote, attributed to Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”   To me, it is such a powerful quote, and one I truly believe in.

This year I started a new tradition at home.  I have a very small, undecorated tree.  There are no presents under this tree.  It’s our Thankful, Grateful tree.   I have blank tags and pens available.  When one of the family is inspired, they write something they are thankful or grateful for on the tag and hang it on the tree.   I was gone for a while today and when I came home…..the tree was “lit” with tags.  Blessings!

It’s good to remember what gives our lives true meaning, and have that same wish for others.

My wish for you, my friends, is that you enjoy your holiday, however you celebrate it, and that you are able to feel thankful, grateful and blessed too….
Judy