Tag Archives: The Daily Post Photo Challenge

It’s All A Blur

I think I may have mentioned I am helping to lead our church retreat, and our theme is “Mindfulness”.  Our focus is learning to live in the moment – appreciating right where we are, regardless of circumstances.  For the record, I really suck at this.  But Moses sucked at talking in public, and look how that turned out, so maybe there is hope for me here.

The other night I was walking the dogs and trying to practice being present.  For every step, I repeated “You won’t ever get that step back.  Each step is now.  Now.  Now.  Now.”  Besides freaking myself out a little, the exercise helped me to be mindful of each moment of my walk.  To not whine in my head about the cold or that it was dark or that I wished I was home all cozy on the couch.  To not think ahead or think behind.  Just be in the “now”.  It was hard.

Later, I was going thru photos looking for an appropriate entry for The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge (Blur), and I found the one below.  I took it while out walking in the woods with the dogs, and playing with my camera.  When I got home and downloaded it to my computer, I remember thinking “Well, that one’s a bust” but now I saw it with new eyes.

The barbed wire -the only part of the photo in focus –  is my present.  The barbs are the obstacles – note that only two are in focus – the one behind me that I must remember to learn from and the one in front of me that I must overcome. The blurred forest is the past and the future. I might be bothered by the past and worried about the future, but in truth I can only focus on the present or risk falling from the wire.

Great analogy, right?

Now comes the tricky part.  The part where I let the past stay in the past and let God take care of the future.  Where I trust that beneath me is a net of Faith, Hope, Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, and Redemption.  Some days, I spend a good amount of my valuable time frozen on my wire, arms outstretched, knees trembling, heart pounding.  I wonder if God just shakes his head at me then.  If He’s tempted to knock on my head with his supernatural fist, saying “Hello!  McFly!” in His still, small voice.

I’ll keep this picture with me – a reminder to be mindful.  To be present.  To live. And mostly, to trust the One who walks with me.

Philosophically yours,


Red Banks Alvar, Brown County, WI

Red Banks Alvar, Brown County, WI

For we live by faith, not by sight…

2 Corinthians 5-7


Walking With Grandpas

So last week, I told you about my family tree project.  This week, I’m going to tell you a little story about my Great-Grandpa Julian Conard.

For those of you who could give a rat’s patootie about that, scroll down for some photos celebrating the color “orange” in response to this weeks WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge.  But they won’t be as fun if you don’t read the story, so….

I was telling my dad about the family tree project and making sure I was following the right family, seeing as basically half of Belgium immigrated to Wisconsin in the mid 1800’s.

I asked specifically if “Julian” was my dad’s grandpa, which he confirmed.  He went on to tell me that Great Grandpa Julian absolutely hated being out doing chores in the winter – especially chopping wood – and he froze his feet so many times that he vowed he was going to move into town as soon as he was old enough.  Which is exactly what he did, and started a clothing store business, but that’s not really part of this story.

Great Grandpa Julian’s farm was located not just too far from where I live now, and my dad told me they used to have to come to town every Saturday, with the wagon and horses, to get supplies.  The trail ran along the escarpment that later became the main paved highway to Door County (part of which is now abandoned due to the new highway that went in several years ago) and what is now Bay Settlement Road.

But in the 1870’s and 80’s, it was just a dirt trail, with a tree canopy so thick the sun never made it to the forest floor.  On the way into town, they always had to go with two guys – one to drive the team and one to hold the shotgun, in case of horse thieves.

Unfortunately, many times the horse thieves were local Indians and my dad did tell me that my Great Grandpa had to use his gun a time or two.  Hopefully, just AT them to scare them off, and not IN them. But, they couldn’t risk losing their horses.

Horses were more important then than cars are to us now. Not just a mode of transportation – their lives depended on them for plowing, transportation, hauling, etc. Without their horses, their family stood a good chance of starving.  So to them, it was about survival – you didn’t give up your horses.

Last weekend, I hiked thru the woods along part of the now abandoned old highway.  It’s much more open now. and part of it is used as a snowmobile trail, but it was still kind of fun to let my mind wander back in time, and think that perhaps I was walking where my Great Grandpa walked.

Below are some photos taken during that walk, appropriate for this weeks “orange” theme for the Daily Post Photo Challenge

Snowmobile marker, with a fuzzy yorkie trail companion in the background.

Snowmobile marker, with a fuzzy yorkie trail companion in the background.

Red Banks Alvar

A treasure of pine needles and leaves under the melting snow.

Red Banks Alvar

Blarney! It’s an orange shamrock!

Red Banks Alvar

Don’t worry, I stayed on my side of the fence! I was hiking in a DNR natural area. Loved the shape of the bark on this tree, and the orange sign.

Until next time

Yorkie butts blazing the trail.

Yorkie butts blazing the trail.

– me and my hiking companions bid you farewell!



Life Is Messy: A Twinkly Oddball

This photo is my entry for both The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Twinkle and for Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge Week 41.

I love this photo – something about the barely controlled chaos.  It aptly describes not only a typical work day, but a lot of what Christmas has become.

Can someone help me find my desk?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Can someone help me find my desk? Anyone? Bueller?

Happy Almost Monday!