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bridges culture happiness inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi poetry spiritual story telling

Old Bridges

old bridge picture of daddy's

Old bridges

solid as they can be

speaking to the past

in the world surrounding me

 

The generations past

tell stories to one another

hoping not to repeat

the mistakes of the other

 

Solid and moving each way

the generations learn

to work together

as a uniform way to earn

 

Love is the stronghold

that holds us together

we must never forget

lest we untether

 

The days pass as we are young

Excited at how the day unfolds

But like the old bridges

One day our stories will be retold

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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culture daily prompt happiness inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi nature poetry spiritual story telling

The Serenity of Waterfalls

smokey mountain waterfall 2

Waterfalls are beautiful

They carry water away

Water flows into the river

And rushes down the way

 

Waterfalls contain energy

To power things far and wide

People canoe over them

Swaying side to side

 

Life is like a waterfall

Sliding over the cliff

Some people are angry

And get into a tiff

 

Other people are happy

Sliding over the fall

Never giving up hope

Of having it all

 

Waterfalls are calming to the soul

Listening to the rushing clatter

Sitting in meditation

Where nothing in the world seems to matter

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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alaska camping culture daily prompt God happiness inspiration intentional living life lifestyles nature poetry spiritual story telling

Renewal and Peace

snow capped mountain alaska

In the distance a snow capped mountain

Surrounded by a lake of blue

Renewal is coming

The spring is new

The wildlife awoke

From a long winter’s sleep

Peace in the valley

Beginning so unique

God’s promise to us

If we will hear

Working together

Renewal and peace are near

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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camping celebrations culture daily prompt Fourth of July happiness inspiration intentional living life lifestyles memorial day Mississippi story telling summer

Mississippi Summer: A Teenager’s Passport to Adventure

castlewoods pool may 6

School was out for the summer. This was a time of great excitement for me as a young teenager. I was not old enough for a real world job and could still enjoy some of the benefits of childhood.  The responsibilities of adulthood were still distant. The end of the school year was a passport to adventure.

The first adventure would occur on the Memorial Day weekend. On the Saturday before Memorial Day my family would pack our bags and go to the local campground. It was fun to put up the tent and explore the surrounding area. The campground was located near the river where there was an area for swimming. A large rope hung off a tree for those daring enough to swing and jump into the river.

Supper was cooked over a campfire. My mother had several coolers organized according to meals. Drinks were in one and food for the trip in the second. She was determined to enjoy the trip without having to constantly do chores. The meals were simple and delicious. Relaxation was the rule of the day.

river bend may 5

Sunday was spent canoeing down the river. There were a few small rapids on the river that presented a thrill when going down the river. A relaxing way to spend the day. Saturday night was filled with music. My father and brother played the guitar and began to lead the sing a long while s’mores were cooked over the open fire.

The weekend would end on Monday as we packed our bags and returned home. My family would return home in early afternoon. Our neighbors held a small parade each year to honor our veterans. Riding lawnmowers decorated with American flags would ride down the street. It was a pleasant site to observe.

June was a fun month to continue the adventure. Each morning I would ride my bike to the local pool and practice with the swim team. It was fun to compete with my friends each week in the swim meets. Winning was nice but rare for me. It was just fun to be on the team. The lazy days of summer were spent riding bicycles, swimming at the pool, and exploring new hobbies. This time was a wonderful adventure in life.

american flag may 5

July would begin with a huge Independence Day celebration. There would be family and friends gathering at our home. There would be some kind of meat in the smoker to be eaten with the late afternoon meal. My uncle made the best beef brisket with his special marinade. All these years later I can still remember the anticipation of eating that wonderful brisket.

In the afternoon there would be games and conversation. My father would make barbecue sausage on the grill as a snack and homemade ice cream would be made in the churn. The meal would be served on a table decorated with red, white, and blue plates and napkins.

The evening would continue with music until time for the fireworks. We lived close enough to see the firework display of a local festival. It was fun to sit and watch all the wonderful colors crackle in the sky.

In late July it would be time for the family vacation. Each year my family shared a rented house with some relatives on the beach. It was a wonderful week filled with many fun adventures. Usually the first two days were spent playing in the ocean and laying on the beach.

After the sun burn set in on the third day it was time to spend less time in the sun and work on some summer hobbies. I loved to read novels and write. The afternoon was the perfect time to explore new places and solve mysteries through those novels.

The mornings continued to be about beach volleyball. We set up a net and all of the cousins would play. There would also be some teenagers that we had met that would join us. After our afternoon individual pursuits it would be time for one last walk on the beach. Time passed quickly and soon it was time to return home

August came and it was time to prepare for the new school year. Summer vacation was coming to a close and it was time to retire our passports. The final weeks of our summer adventure would include required reading and band camp.

I can still remember those days of freedom and adventure before the responsibilities of adulthood set in. Reading the stories that I wrote of these summer adventures fills me with joy. It returns me to a time when the simple pleasures of life were an adventure.

Copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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culture daily prompt God inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi poetry spiritual story telling

Imagine: Praying for London

ne

mom rose garden april 1

Imagine if you can

A world filled with love

A world filled with kindness

Imagine a world with no evil

A world without hate

Where people love one another

A world where people communicate

God loves us all

Of that there is no doubt

Pray for all who suffer tonight

Because of another person’s hate

**Praying for London tonight

Copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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culture daily prompt God inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi nature poetry spiritual story telling

Imagine If You Can

DocFile (2)

Imagine if you can

Living in a foreign land

Living with God

In total content

Imagine life in a canyon wide

Where you can fly

See from up high

Where only beauty exists

Only peace and calm

Do not resist

Rest in God’s arms

From way up high

From morning to nigh

Copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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culture daily prompt environment humor inspiration intentional living life lifestyles nature preservation spiritual story telling

Brassy Penguins At Home in the Desert

These penguins were bold in their icy home in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their antics for the observers were quite brassy.

penguins in las vegas

Penguins in the desert

Such a strange scene

People walking about

Laughing at the scene

Penguins dancing about

Begging for some fish

God provides for us all

Even in the desert

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

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birds culture daily prompt food inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi story telling

Mississippi Gulf Coast: A coastal bird’s view of the activities of a marina

coastal bird may 9

The morning has passed by slowly as the coastal bird sits on a fence post at the marina. The coastal bird has already had his breakfast and has found a place to rest and observe the activity of the marina for a while. People are interesting to watch and will occasionally share a portion of food.

The people have come through the gates taking things to their boats. The sun is shining and it is a beautiful day to be out in the gulf. Some of the boats are quite large and carry many people to the barrier island in the distance for a day. Others take the small kayak into the small bay for a morning of relaxation. There is a small group of people coming in to take out the sailboats.

In the distance there is a group of fishermen spending the day at the end of the pier. The fishing is good here. The coastal bird remembers the abundance of fish eaten at breakfast. Later in the day there will be more birds joining him for the evening feast.

It is midmorning and time for the lunch crowd to begin ambling in for the noon meal. At first the day is slow for the restaurant with only a few people on the patio. The coastal bird sits on this perch each day waiting for a few patrons of the restaurant to break the no feeding the birds rule. Crackers are a wonderful treat.

The coastal bird observes a group of elderly people being escorted onto the patio. The men and women are dressed in shorts with colorful shirts. They look old with their weathered skin. The coastal bird closely listens to the conversation at this table.

The patrons of this table are discussing their latest retirement ventures. It seems that these people are fond of boating and travel. They discuss how warm it is in this part of the country. It is still cold in the north and they are glad that the decision was made to move here. These people are happy and laughing as the noon meal appears on the table.

The next group of people arrive at the restaurant and are escorted to a table at the end of the patio. It is a younger couple holding hands. The coastal bird listens as the man tells the waitress that they are newly married and on their honeymoon. Perhaps this young couple will break the rules and throw out some crackers. The couple observes the view of the gulf while waiting for their lunch. The sun is still shining brightly.

The restaurant is full now as the lunch crowd has grown larger. The coastal bird has only had one cracker this morning. A man tossed one near the fence on the way out of the restaurant. It was a quick snack but not enough to last the afternoon.

A group of people are in the parking lot looking at the coastal bird. They decide to take some pictures of the coastal bird before going on to the next destination. The bird decides to stand regally on the fence. Pictures are taken and the coastal bird is rewarded with a small cracker from the lunch table. The coastal bird believes that for posing for the pictures the reward should have been greater.

Lunch ends and the restaurant closes until the evening meal. The coastal bird flies to the gulf water and picks up some fish from the water. A great afternoon snack to keep up his strength and remain healthy.

This afternoon there is a kayak race in inlet surrounding the marina. There are people in the race of all ages. There are people surrounding the pier and beach watching the race. Excitement rules the day as people leave little bits of leftover food on the ground as the race progresses. The coastal bird lands near the food and snacks on the small pieces.

Finally the kayak race ends and the people head to the restaurant for the evening meal. The coastal bird returns to his post on the fence and watches the day’s events come to an end. The boats return to the marina with people tired and some with a sunburn. The people tie the boats to the marina slots and leave for the day.

The sun sets on the horizon and the coastal bird reflects upon the day. The gulf waters have been generous with the fish to keep him healthy. There has been generosity from the people visiting the kayak races and restaurant. Life is good thought the coastal bird as he heads into the sunset to rest in his nest. Tomorrow is another day to visit the marina.

Copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

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bridges culture daily prompt inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi preservation story telling

Designing and Building Bridges: A Guide to a Happy Life

ms gulf coast bridge may 9

Mississippi has beautiful bridges. Some are draw bridges that let the big ships come through on the coast. Others cross the rivers and creeks allowing people and cars to safely navigate the roads and highways. There is such beauty in how big and regal bridges stand along the highways.

My father worked as a civil engineer designing bridges all over the state. As a child he would point out every small aspect of a bridge. Every bridge he worked on made up a part of his life. They were a trace of who he was. He often used these bridges to point out life lessons for me.

The first life lesson for me is to respect the life surrounding you. Before a bridge can be designed and built a site must be chosen and surveyed. The ecosystem surrounding the bridge is studied for the effect the bridge will have on the wildlife. Many bridges in Mississippi have been delayed or moved through the years due to the effects on the ecosystem.

A healthy ecosystem is important to all of us. Making a few small changes in lives to protect our environment is easy and as a daily habit hardly noticeable. One small sign of respect for life is not throwing trash on our highway systems. It is an easy habit to develop and makes a positive significant difference in the ecosystems.

The second life lesson for me is to design your life for positive improvement. The design of the bridge is a complement to its surroundings. If the bridge has design flaws then the environment will falter. My father believed that we should be a positive example for the people that we came in contact with. My life should be filled with kindness and compassion toward everyone that I meet.

Sometimes kindness and compassion are difficult to show in the extreme difficulties of life. It is hard to practice these concepts in a world that is cruel and bitter. Sometimes circumstances force us to see the evil that is abundant in this world. But a few kind words and compassion can cause a small light to shine that will spread and overcome some of the evil in the world. A bit of the bitterness and cruel behavior is changed by one small act of kindness.

The third life lesson was that there should be strength in my character. Bridges are built with strong concrete and bearings. They are made to withstand the harsh elements and the many pounds of weight that the bridge is subject to each day. Thus it was to be with my character as shown by strength in my integrity and hard work to sustain the harsh realities of life.

The fourth lesson was to see the larger picture and realize that the issues of life were just passing through. Draw bridges have points where the bridge will split and let the large boats go through. These bridges are fascinating to watch. In a small span of time they will open and let the ship pass. Then the bridge will close and the traffic pattern will return to normal.

In times of crisis we are often in conflict with one another. Working together can be difficult at times. Remembering that the common goal of solving an issue requires comprise and diplomacy. By letting the small issues pass through then we can work on the larger issues that affect all of us. The conflict can be resolved and perhaps the circumstances can be improved for all people.

The fifth lesson was build relationships that will last a lifetime. There are many old bridges in Mississippi that are still standing after new bridges have been built to replace them. The old steel keeps them strong and many are used as piers or alternate routes in times of adversity. Like the old bridges new relationships are entered but there is a place for the old ones to be nurtured and cherished.

old bridge picture of daddy's

The final life lesson is to understand that bridges bring cultures and people together. By working with a diversity of  people we can all benefit. Bridges are wonderful in that they take the road in two directions. One side will bring things into one place and the other side will take things to another place. Both sides of the bridge are equally important and should be respected.

My father has been gone for many years now. I love to travel the highways and roads of Mississippi and see the bridges that he took part in designing. He left a legacy of helping to secure strong bridges to connect people. This is the lesson that carries me through this life.

Copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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culture daily prompt environment happiness humor inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi nature story telling

Birds in the Buff

Coastal birds enjoying the abundant buffet in the buff!

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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