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celebrations culture daily prompt inspiration life lifestyles Mississippi mother's day

Hospitality: Mother’s Day: A Reflection of Mother Earth

Mother’s Day in Mississippi is a day to celebrate all of the love and nurturing given to us by our mothers. Southern hospitality is being spread in many homes today.  In many cultures the earth is referred to as humanity’s mother. God created and placed us on this planet so that we could live and thrive. The earth is a living planet that has a symbiotic nature with us .

Mother Earth is our resource for the food that we eat. The soil provides nutrients for the plants that are grown. The raw materials in the soil combined with water from the lakes and rivers provide the ecosystem for the forests that have animals to hunt. Without these resources to sustain us the human race would not survive.

Through the years many of the forests have been destroyed due to greed and short-sighted missions. Mother Earth is not able to heal from the continuous wounds. Our existence is threatened by natural sources of food and shelter being damaged and destroyed.

Mother Earth is our energy source. Through the natural resources that live in her we are able to heat and cool our homes. Coal and oil from the ground provide the raw materials for the framework of our society. Because Mother Earth is a living entity God has provided sun, water, and wind to sustain her. These resources also provide energy for us through solar and thermal energy.

In the industrial age steam was used to power boats that carried people and cargo to all parts of the world. The steam engine transformed how people traveled. This technology enabled the people to expand into places previously thought too far to travel.

Solar energy is abundant and renewable. Use of the sun reduces the burden on Mother Earth and allows her to continue to renew other natural resources.

In the modern age oil is used to produce gasoline for our cars and in many other products that we use today. Use of this resource must be carefully managed due to its finite nature. Mother Earth requires an extended period of time to generate oil. Dependence on oil as the sole energy is short-sighted.

Mother Earth is the source of our building materials. Through the land we are provided with wood, clay, and sand. These materials are used to build the homes in which we live. The land renews itself through a continuous cycle of life.

There is a price to be paid for the use of Mother Earth’s natural resources. In return for the resources and nurturing that Mother Earth has given us there is the responsibility to take care of her. God gave us this  environment so that we may survive and thrive. Taking care of Mother Earth is the only chance that we have for survival. There are several ways that we can honor Mother Earth. We can repay her hospitality.

mom rose garden april 1

In growing our food we can rotate fields to let the land rest. Management of the land is important if we are to continue to feed ourselves. Overuse of the land has caused many crops to fail. There have been pestilence such as bugs and dust that overtake the land. Mother Earth is a precious living environment requiring our respect and care.

Poor land management contributed to the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. This was a hard time for the people who lived through it. Many left the land in search of life’s necessities. There were others that died from diseases caused by the dust. It took many years for Mother Earth to recover.

We can look for alternative forms of energy that are in harmony with Mother Earth. The sun and wind are energy sources that are renewable. Proper understanding and use of these natural resources can provide adequate energy for us and the generations to come.

It is important to keep our water supplies clean and free of waste. We can take the time to dispose of our trash in bins instead of on the land or in the water. Fresh clean water is essential for our survival. Water is an essential nutrient for life on Mother Earth. There is a limited amount of clean water to drink. We are called to manage this resource wisely for all living creatures.

fallen limb in reservoir outlook march 31

God has given us the great blessing of living on Mother Earth. He created us to be the caretakers of this planet. If we honor Mother Earth and maintain our part of her existence then the human race will continue to thrive. The choice is ours as we honor our mothers on this day.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/hospitality/”>Hospitality</a&gt;

Daily Prompt: Hospitality

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celebrations culture daily prompt final inspiration life lifestyles Mississippi transition

Final: The Continuing And Joyful Adventures in Life

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/final/”>Final</a&gt;

It was the final day of working at this job. The road to retirement had been a long one and I was excited that this day had finally come. There was a cake and some balloons on the table. A host of friends and family attended the event and there were some tears shed as we celebrated the end of the long road. It was a wonderful day that came and went with joy.

The next morning I got up and began to ponder on what to do next in my life. Final is never the end of things. It is just a transition into the next phase of life. That is a wonderful concept.

I began to look at all the dreams that had seemed impossible in the past due to work and family obligations. Now the journey through life seemed new and exciting. All things seemed possible again just like when I was a young person. Now was the question of what was the dream to pursue.

Volunteering my time to organizations that matched my ideal world seemed like a good place to begin. As the weeks went by I began to spend time at many organizations. For a while this plan worked and I was busy doing odd jobs for these organizations.

After a few months this work did not match the goals that I had for my life. My life was consumed again and there was no time to pursue other passions. Final became another transition as I chose to work at only one organization and decrease the amount of time spent there.

The next passion I decided to pursue was fitness. It seemed like the perfect time to get into shape. Through the years my passion for desserts and other wonderful high fat foods had finally caught up with me. I began walking each day and revised my diet. For a while this was actually fun.

I learned to cook food that was healthy and tasted good. It was an enlightening experience to realize that my food tasted as well as some of the restaurants that I had frequented in the past. My food was healthier with less fat and sugar. The pounds began to melt off and my health improved dramatically. This was a good final in the health realm for me.

As a child riding a bicycle had been a fun activity. I can remember the sense of freedom at having that first set of wheels. The neighborhood had become an adventure and the hills of where I grew up were fun to coast down. Picking up riding a bicycle again was a fun experience. There were a few falls along the way. I never forgot how to ride a bicycle but gaining balance again took a little time.

My home is near a reservoir with a lot of trails for walking and bicycle riding. The trails offer a vast array of beautiful views. Riding these trails crossing the water renewed my soul. There was peace in these valleys and beautiful scenery. This is when photography entered my life.

I bought a small camera and began taking pictures on my rides. It seemed that every place along the trails had a story to tell. Taking photographs seemed like an excellent way to capture the moments. There are birds in the water resting on perches enjoying the sun filled days. The trees along the trails have seen many years of visitors and have been home to many forms of wildlife. The photographs seem to capture some of their stories.

I had never written anything other than business letters through my life. Writing for fun had never been something that I had considered until now. Looking at the photographs from my travels it seemed like there was more of a story to tell. I wondered if writing stories about the life around me might be a passion worth pursuing.

That is how this blog came into being. The new journey through life seems like a story that needs to be told. This phase of life has so many exciting twists and turns. I hope that most of them will be entertaining and positive. So far this journey has been filled with laughter and few tears.

Final is what we call the transitions through life. There is a final day of  high school, a final day of college, a final day of work, and eventually a final day in the physical existence of this world. But for every final there is a new journey to be experienced. Hopefully it will be a fun and fulfilling one.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

via Daily Prompt: Final

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daily prompt graduation inspiration life lifestyles transition

Maze: Decisions to Be Made Upon Graduation

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/maze/”>Maze</a&gt;

Our life is filled with mazes which can be fun or confusing. The puzzles that accompany this time of year are filled with wonder. Many students will be graduating from high school or college this month. Their lives will be a maze of discovery.

The high school graduate has been guided by their parents through the mazes of the school years. Each school grade has a set of content to be mastered by the students in the school year. Everything is regimented and there is a clear map to the end of the maze. This is a wonderful and fun time in life. School dances and sports will be remembered and talked about for a lifetime.

The day comes for graduation and the high school graduate is faced with decisions for the future. Which maze in life to take has filled the mind of the graduate for months and now the time has come for a decision to be made. Does the graduate go to college or a vocational program or perhaps immediately enter the workforce?

If college or the vocational program is the high school graduate’s choice then which school enters into the maze? For some graduates this is an easy choice having had a revelation of what to study early in life. Other graduates will have a difficult decision due to not having a clear idea of what to do in life. The maze will be more of an adventure for these graduates.

For the high school graduate that chooses to immediately enter the work force the maze will  also be an adventure. The process of finding a job can be a confusing task filled with resume writing, filling out job applications, and finally the job interview. Successful navigation of this maze requires guidance and a willingness to learn from other people.

The next group of graduates come from the college or vocational school settings. These students have pursued higher education in specific interests and are now on the threshold of exiting the maze of school into the real world. The time to move into the new maze of life has come.

These graduates face the same learning experiences as the high school graduate who entered the work force years earlier. Their focus will be on a career path based on the specific interests studied in school. Like the high school graduate entering the work force a job will be found and the maze of life in the real world will begin.

In the next phase of life graduates must learn to navigate the maze of living in the real world. The parents of these graduates will offer advice when needed but the main focus is now on independence. This is an exciting time in life.

The path to independence is a fun maze to enter filled with twists and turns. Learning to live on a new income can be a daunting task. There is no longer the safety net of parental income. The graduate will learn to navigate this maze with pride and a sense of accomplishment.

Searching for the first apartment is an exciting adventure. The graduate searches for something within a budget based upon income. There are many different apartments with differing lifestyle options to choose from. This maze may be taken individually or with a group of people looking to share living expenses. Learning to navigate this maze is an exciting adventure.

The next maze encountered by young graduates is the option to get married following graduation or to live independently as a single adult. Both options hold exciting possibilities.

The young graduate opting to marry immediately has a partner to share the journey of the maze. The twists and turns in this maze include learning to live as a couple and possibly childbearing. The adventure turns to searching for independence and stability in the maze.

The young graduate choosing to remain single for a while may experience the maze of adventure. The young graduate may choose a career that allows for travel. This can be an exciting time in a young person’s life. There is the challenge of living in different places for a short amount of time. This maze requires planning to navigate the twists and turns  of life. It can be an amazing experience.

Mazes continue throughout life. Choosing to go into life’s mazes with the sense of wonder and excitement makes the journey more pleasant. Some mazes will be difficult with many twists and turns. All of this is just part of our journey through life.

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

via Daily Prompt: Maze

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culture daily prompt inspiration life lifestyles transition

Temporary: A Lifetime Journey of Transition- How Are We Affected

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/temporary/”>Temporary</a&gt;

Our journey through life is filled with transitions. The world around us is constantly changing and demanding a response from us. From the time that we are born till our final breath we are in transition. Some of the changes are fun and automatic. Others are filled with challenges that change the structure of our lives.

As our lives begin we are completely dependent upon other people. The love and caring that we receive from people has a profound effect on our future. If we are well cared for then the journey of life is positive and the transition to independence is wonderful. Unfortunately the journey of life may be cut short if we are surrounded by neglect and abuse.

The journey continues through our young lives as we become more independent. Transitions such as birthday parties, school days, and award for achievement in a specific interest are celebrated. This is a joyful time in a person’s life.

Soon the years pass and it is time for graduation from high school. This is an important transition in the journey of life. There are decisions to be made that will determine the course of a person’s life. This transition is usually filled with joy as the young person ventures into the world to pursue their life’s work. The challenges ahead are marked with great anticipation and excitement. It is a wonderful time to be alive.

The next stage in the journey of life is affected by the circumstances surrounding a person. An individual in a positive environment will transition into a comfortable life expressing love and positive change in the world. These people will be involved in their community making life better in the environment around them. Often these efforts will extend to other places in the world making the circumstances of other people better.

The opposite is often true of individuals in a negative environment. The circumstances of these people have the potential to transition into violence, poverty, and crime. These issues can be spread outside the community into the outside world. War may break out and the circumstances of these people become worse. The journey to peace and comfort in life may seem out of reach.

Middle age in the majority of people sees transitions that are positive and negative. Some people have progressed through life smoothly and have not experienced serious life challenges. It is often difficult for these people to relate to the anxiety and devastation of these challenges.

Divorce is common in this age group as people come to a crossroads in life. Many feel that the choices made early in life are not fulfilling and they divorce their spouses in search of an elusive goal. This is a devastating transition for everyone involved and the outcome is often not what was imagined.

Some people in middle life have experienced job loss. This is a difficult transition in their lives. The road to new employment may be long and challenging. The new job may come at a lower salary or in a new field in which they are not familiar. Many people will not face this challenge well and the results are devastating to their lives. Some of the new challenges may be loss of self-worth and financial loss. Recovery is possible but a change in the way life is viewed is required.

Other people in middle age choose to transition to a life of service and improve the community around them. These people see community transformation as a way to redeem themselves from the perceived mistakes of the past. Working with a positive attitude leads to a productive life and improvement of well-being.  Generally this will lead to a better life for all people involved.

The next transition in life is becoming a senior citizen. For many people this is an exciting time in life. Now there is the time and resources to search and accomplish interests that were delayed due to work or family obligations. There is great peace and joy in this part of life’s journey.

In a person’s senior years there is a passing on of knowledge to the younger generation. It is a time for reflection on one’s life. The transitions through life are examined and words of wisdom are spoken.

strawberry patch park memorial april 24

The final transition is the passing from this world. It is the hope of most people that this will be peaceful and with dignity. If we are fortunate the transitions of life will be remembered and celebrated. Our journey through life was exciting and wonderful.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

via Daily Prompt: Temporary

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daily prompt inspiration life lifestyles Mississippi nature spiritual squirrel

Bitter: How a Family of Squirrels Won the Bird Feeder War

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/bitter/”>Bitter</a&gt;

There is a family of squirrels at the bird feeder this morning. It is difficult if not impossible to keep the squirrels out of the bird feeder. Each day there is a constant war going on between me and those squirrels. I have become bitter toward this rodent.

Such is the way that events affect us in life. The battle with the squirrels eats away at my soul. It has become an illness in my life weakening me each time I get after them with the broom. To the observers in the house watching me chase the squirrels with the broom it is quite funny and they are entertained each day.

In an effort to make peace with the squirrels and repair the damage to my soul, I have decided to understand the life of this animal. In many ways it is a cute little rodent that is fun to watch.

Squirrels are small rodents that live in the woods. They come in a variety of gray and brown colors. The ones in my yard are light gray with big fluffy tails. The squirrel normally lives in a wooded area where there is protection from predators. The wooded area provides a place to burrow and make a warm pleasant home.

The squirrel likes to eat a variety of nuts, plants, and meat if it is available. A rodent with a well-balanced diet is healthy and playful. Bird seed is an easy food to obtain and apparently extremely tasty to a squirrel.

The war with the squirrels continues as I write this piece. We are at the critical point in the morning where the bird seed is gone from the ground. The time for the acrobatics has begun. Watching a squirrel scale the poles of the feeders is entertaining to watch. Climbing and sliding down the pole several times is the game of the day until the edge of the feeder is reached. The squirrel grabs some seed and shakes the feeder. This small amount of bird seed sustains him until the next round.

The second act is now upon us as the other squirrels attempt to jump on the feeder from the retaining wall. It is a bit of a distance but these persistent little rodents are successful in landing on the side of the feeder. The bird seed scatters to the ground and the squirrels on the bottom of the feeder delight in the prize. It is reminiscent of a pinata being broken and the candy spilling to the ground.

By this time the game is old and I decide to allow the squirrels to have the remainder of the bird feed. It would be nice if a hawk would come and scare these rodents away from the yard. Ah there is the bitterness creeping back into my soul.

My husband suggests that instead of feeling bitter each morning that I find a compromise that ends the war. Since negotiation with the squirrels is not possible due to communication issues I decide to take action that will be acceptable to both parties.

The first action will be to scatter a certain portion of the bird seed on the ground for the squirrels. There will be some seed near the feeder and other seed a little distance away. This will ensure that there is seed for them and the birds.

The second action is to observe what time the squirrels appear in the feeder. By changing the refill times on the bird feeder the seed will last for a longer time. The birds will have a chance to enjoy the feeder.

My last course of action is to watch and enjoy the antics of these rodents. They are entertaining to observe running from each feeder trying to win the prize of bird seed. If left alone to eat the squirrels appear to pose for photographs. We both win on this one since photography is a hobby of mine.

With this course of action the war will end. Bitterness will be replaced with joy and all will be right in the world again. The squirrels will have their food and be happy with the cornucopia put before them each day.

My soul is nourished and renewed as I ponder the possibilities of a day without bitterness for these rodents. It will be nice not to be running outside every ten minutes with a broom. My family will miss their entertainment each morning but there will be peace within my soul.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Bitter

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culture daily prompt inspiration life lifestyles social issues spiritual

Exposed: Random Kindness Shines in a Dark World

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/exposed/”>Exposed</a&gt;

Our world is filled with acts of violence that make the news each day. It appears that the world is filled with evil and that there is no hope. Darkness fills the soul. But then one day a ray of light enters a person’s life. Someone commits an act of random kindness.

Acts of random kindness are committed everyday around us. Our world has become so jaded that it is difficult to notice small nourishing acts done for the human soul. This is an exploration of some random acts of kindness during a typical week.

It is a Monday and we are rushing to get to work or school on time. Everyone is in a foul mood and negative thoughts fill the air. The family is in turmoil until one of the children decides to give up their treat and put it in a siblings lunch box. At lunch time the sibling is surprised and a smile emerges on his face. There is a change in the tone of the day. The sibling decides to share the extra treat with a friend and the chain of random kindness continues. There is a ray of light in the soul.

Tuesday comes and the father feels the weight of the world on his shoulders. The company has announced that everyone will take a salary reduction in an effort to keep the company from having to shut down. The family is struggling to make ends meet and the father’s soul is beaten to the core. Walking around the corner at lunch he sees a homeless man on the street. Without thinking the father hands the man a dollar and his lunch. All of the sudden the father remembers that his family is together and that there is love in the house. Random kindness has renewed the father’s soul.

It is Wednesday and the middle of the week. The mother is doing the family errands. There is food to get at the grocery store. It has been a frantic day at her job and she is in a bad mood.  Someone has not put their shopping cart where it belongs and now there is a scratch on the car. Then the mother sees a young man running trying to collect the shopping carts and put them in the correct place. He looks frazzled and tired. The mother gets out of her car and begins collecting buggies and putting them in the proper place. The young man smiles and thanks her for this kindness. The mother smiles and both lives are brightened by acts of random kindness.

Thursday comes and it is a busy day for all the family. There are school activities in the evening. The youngest child decides to secretly pack a treat for the family to enjoy later in the evening. The tired family returns home to an unexpected treat. Smiles and laughter are now the order of the day. Random kindness has again renewed the soul.

Friday is here and the weekend is near. The family has decided to have a game night with pizza. There is an elderly person that lives near them and does not have visitors. The family invites this elderly person to their home to join them. All involved enjoy the evening of conversation and food. This random act of kindness has nourished the souls of everyone.

Saturday is a work day for the family. There is yard work to be done and the house to be cleaned. The oldest child has noticed that a family down the street has an unkept yard. The mother remembers that there is a sick family member and all resources have been used to care for the family member. The oldest child suggests that their family clean up the yard and take a meal to this family. The random kindness nourishes the souls of both families.

Sunday comes and it is a day of rest and reflection. The family gives thanks to God for all the blessings that have been given to them. The act of random kindness on this day comes in the form of saving a group of small birds from being the meal of a feral cat. The youngest child chases the cat from the fence where the bird house hangs. The youngest child’s efforts ensures the baby birds will survive another day.

Random acts of kindness nourish our souls in a dark world. Seeing all the violence in the world is a frightening thing that can discourage us. When we commit acts of random kindness hope is restored to all that we encounter.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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daily prompt happiness inspiration life lifestyles personal spiritual superheroes

Better: Superheroes in a Modern World : How Average People Can Become One

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/better/”>Better</a&gt;

Superheroes are popular in present day culture. There are movies, games, and comic books depicting the various adventures of modern-day heroes. There are many characteristics that all these characters have in common. I wonder if many of these characteristics would not apply to all of us.

Some superheroes have supernatural strength which enables them to perform incredible feats. One such feat is the ability to lift a heavy object with little effort. Lifting heavy objects can be achieved by many people after a considerable time lifting weights. In times of great stress others are able to lift heavy objects to save their life or the life of a loved one.

There are other types of supernatural strength such as the ability to deal with a crisis. It is easy to see this mental strength in a children’s hospital, a person with a disability, or someone dealing with an extreme circumstance. In these instances a person becomes a superhero. They have the super powers of courage, overcoming tremendous obstacles, and the ability to light up a room with a smile.

The next superhero power is the ability to spontaneously heal from a wound or other crisis. Superheroes are immune to physical infirmities of this realm of reality. Ordinary people have become healed in what seems to be an impossible condition. Some are healed of these conditions through modern medicine. Others are healed through the power of prayer and faith. In our modern world these people are superheroes conquering conditions that would have been fatal in the past.

chapel in strawberry patch park april 24

There are a few special people in the world who have been given the power to heal with a touch or a prayer. They pray boldly to God for the healing of a person or community. These special people walk the earth quietly and go where God sends them. This is a quiet super power.

Another superhero power is the mental superiority. They are more intelligent than the average person. The hero has the ability to resist the manipulation of other people. These superheroes may develop the ability to move things with their minds and telepathy. To have these abilities is amazing and fun to contemplate.

The average person can achieve some of these abilities through modern technology. There are computer programs that allow an extremely handicapped person to communicate and move about the world with only the blink of an eye. Telepathy is an ability that many people have with loved ones. The average person is able to communicate with their loved one without words being spoken. This communication comes with living and getting to know their loved ones.

In society there is a form of telepathy as well. Average people are able to read what a person is thinking by observing and interacting with them. Our body language is a powerful tool for humans. Often thoughts and emotions are conveyed by the way we move our bodies. Anger is expressed by a stiff body and a frown. It not difficult to interpret what these people are thinking. The same is true with a smile and a relaxed body posture. Although not always accurate this super power can be achieved by average people.

Some superheroes are able to maneuver in nature and appear to be able to control all things in the ecosystem. The animals seem to do whatever task they are commanded to do. This is another area that an average person can accomplish. Each person is familiar with the environment in which they live. People living in the forest or other area close to wildlife are able to predict what animals will do in the wild. By understanding these behaviors these people are able to use an animals natural instincts to accomplish certain tasks. The average person has become a superhero.

alligator on golf course 2 may 5

Another superhero power is the ability to control the emotions of people. They are able to manipulate situations by sparking intense emotions in people. Emotions are a powerful human force. This force may be used for good or evil. The average person has the power to influence others around them. A simple smile or a sincere compliment can fill a room with joy and happiness. The opposite effect will happen when a person enters a room complaining or filled with hate. All the people are absorbing the negative energy and soon violence will erupt.

Superhero powers are within all of us. The characters in our literature express a combination of many people. The superhero is fun to watch and live out a fantasy life for a few hours. In reality we can all be superheroes to the world. How cool is that!

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

via Daily Prompt: Better

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daily prompt food inspiration life lifestyles Mississippi picnic

Lifestyle: A Spring Picnic at Mississippi Petrified Forest

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/lifestyle/”>Lifestyle</a&gt;

The warming of the days bring on the urge to connect with nature. Mississippi is filled with exciting and beautiful places to engage the outdoors. On a recent visit to the Mississippi Petrified Forest we discovered a picnic area on the park property. Jess and I packed a picnic basket and journeyed to a park table surrounded by trees and a field. This was a calm and quiet area during the week with only a few people walking the grounds.

We decided to decorate the table and enjoy the simple pleasures of the nature around us. The trees were full of green leaves that moved to the light breeze blowing through them. There were birds chirping and small insects buzzing around the table. We were amazed at the serenity and tranquility of the spot.

With a full picnic basket containing a table-cloth, napkins, plates, candle, and goblets the table began to take on a festive theme. The food is usually simple and easy to pack. Our meal consisted of shrimp sandwiches, fruit, carrots, and baked beans. Shrimp sandwiches have become one of our favorite picnic foods. Grilled to perfection with a mix of jalapeno peppers and garlic the shrimp travels well as the ingredients continue to marry each other as time passes.  Jess and I love this time to connect with nature and reflect upon all of our blessings.

After the meal was finished it was time to take a gentle stroll around the field and trees. We walked and took photographs of the presentations of nature’s beauty.

IMG_4191

I reflected upon how some of the landscape reminded me of my grandmother’s land. As a child visiting my grandmother was an adventure. The land upon which she lived had many types of flowers, trees, and a large yard. This picnic area had pine trees and a large area of grass that blew gently in the wind. This walk and photography session were a pleasant relaxing memory.

Jess and I packed our picnic basket and camera as the day came to a close. It was getting to be late afternoon and we were relaxed and ready to head home. The day was wonderful and some day soon it will be time for another picnic.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

via Daily Prompt: Lifestyle