This really IS the view from my front porch. Sweet, huh?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Somewhere In Time

Many couples left childless on a Friday night will search for excitement on such a rare occasion.  My dear, sweet husband and I chose the extreme opposite as we retreated in search of a photo opportunity.  I was curious to try an artistic form of photography called “star trails”.  Knowing that conditions were not ideal for perfect images I still was eager to see what I could do and I knew just the place to go.

Sometimes it’s nice to be able to step back in time.  While we all know this is not actually possible we can visit places that seem to have been caught in a time of yesterday.  These visits allow us to drift into a trance of semi-unconsciousness were all the hustle and bustle of our daily lives are left behind. 

Hidden in the woods of the Ozark National Forest such a place exists.
 On a piece of property maintained by a family who understands that our past is an important part of who we are today, you can find the Union School.

  A building that sat vacant and unloved since the 1970s has been revived and given new life due to the interest of a young man generations removed from the daily activities of years past (Thanks Dustin).  A visit will cause your mind to explore what life would have been like had you attended school, church or any of the other community events held here.
We arrived at our destination claiming squatter’s rights to the far corner of the Union Schoolhouse yard and set up our mini-camp.  While waiting for darkness to arrive we ventured inside to experience a moment of yesterday.

The setting of the sun cast a warm glow through large widows onto wooden planks of the floor and walls. 

The feeling of awe was such that even the layer of dust covering everything could not dispel. 

Once the sun had set it didn’t take long for darkness to take over.  With the needed adjustments made to my camera all that was left to do was sit back and take in the greatness of the clear, starry night.

One by one, stars seemed to appear until the midnight blue sky was sparkling like a sea of brilliant diamonds. A new and different piece of history was being captured one frame at a time.  Some 100 plus frames later phase one of my first attempt of star trails was complete.  

The next day, with the help of notes from a dear friend I was able to create this image.

I’m sure years from now I will look at this picture and remember how green I was to the whole concept of star trail photography but just like the walls of the Union School, this picture has history and memories to be passed on to the next generation.  I can look at it with my children and grand-children and tell them about the excitement of learning something new and the night their Daddy/Grandpa and I spent at a place almost forgotten... enjoying yet another of the wonders of God’s amazing creation.

LIFE LESSON:  Many of the best things we can learn today come from knowing the things others learned yesterday.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Where's My Mortarboard?

It's the third one from the right.

                        We attended the first of several graduations for our family this year.   My niece, Katie, was one of the group of seniors wearing purple and gold at the graduation at Lavaca High School.

As Pomp and Circumstance played in the background my thoughts drifted to their younger days.

It seems as if it were just yesterday they were babes in diapers, playing in Grandma’s back yard.  Or performing for us in costumes made by combining the findings from the bottom of a toy chest with their pile of dirty clothes from the bathroom floor.  Their laughter streamed through the house like a favorite song from the radio. And as long as we could hear them we didn’t worry too much about what they were up to.

Fast forward to the next weekend where Katie is in the audience and Alison is the one moving the tassel from one side to the other. 

And at the same time Zane is attending his own graduation in the next town.  My memories this night were of the many miles they covered one 1/2 mile at a time while traveling from one house to the other – first on foot, then bike, four-wheeler and eventually by car. 

Here they are in their caps and gowns, drawing close this chapter of their life known as high school.   Pride spills from within as I look at them and their siblings and think to myself “We made it and didn’t we do good!” 


LIFE LESSON:  ” Time waits for no man.”  And when one door closes another one is opening.  I can hardly wait to see what the future brings for these three.