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Archive for the ‘The South’ Category

How ironic that the Weekly Photo Challenge for H2O came about as Hurricane Matthew was barreling up the Southeast Coast of the United States.

Please join me in offering up thoughts and prayers for our friends affected by this powerful storm.

Better yet, choose a way to Help those who did not ask for this much H2O!

Our bloggy buddy Mr. 3D , very close to Matthew’s ground zero, was keeping us abreast of the events until they presumably lost power…but I bet he will have some great photos of the H2O in his neck of the woods soon.

I really wish I could have photographed Matthew; I have enjoyed capturing storms in the past and was actually slated to have been there until Matthew, Southwest Airlines and God (not necessarily in that order) grounded me in no uncertain terms.

Phoo.

Instead, I offer some of my shots of Hurricanes Katrina and Ivan’s handiwork, two disasters I’ll never forget but which I am glad I rode out, mainly for the sake of being able to be present to offer aid and assistance to its victims in the aftermath:

Please, God, grant the people in the path of today’s storm mercy and faith; help ensure their every need is met and may they be blessed with resilience and peace.

God, I am humbled in Your having stopped the path of other storms as a result of this storm.

Father, Your impeccable timing has not escaped us and we thank You for Your perfect will and for guiding our hearts and lives.

As i compose this post in the sympathetic winds and Sandy Breezes of Hurricane Matthew from the next coast over, we thank You for delivery, forgiveness and purity as You purge clean and wash all things anew in the wake of destruction and darkness.

Thank You, God, for making good out of bad, wisdom out of tears, clean out of dirty and safety out of peril.

Please bless our friends in Matthew’s path and may they rise stronger out of this H2O.

 

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Nostalgia for me brings up images of oddball things in my memory clanking around…the Lone Ranger plate they used to serve burgers on that I saved when the A&W closed and liquidated…my grandmother’s china she painted by hand…photos of me exploring the ruins of heyday motels flanking the Salton Sea (anybody? Remember those??!).

But for this challenge, I had to settle on the old family Bible. Someone, somewhere along the line, recorded everyone’s births and deaths dating from the 1700s. They had beautiful handwriting, too.

I couldn’t help but notice in the opening pages of the Bible, sketches of Bible stories/characters and one of David and Jonathan, the same names as two of my children, chosen the last decade without having consulted this stowaway Bible.

There was also a record of handwritten births, along with some old family photos including one of my dear Cousin when she was a child in Beirut, Lebanon, where my uncle was an international marketing executive.

But best of all, my mother had stuffed a picture in there of her sister and herself on their last visit together before her little sister (left), my aunt, died shortly thereafter…sisters cutting up, my family being family, through the centuries and decades and days, until today when this photo challenge prompted me to discover a bit of nostalgia in my own living room.

Thank you, WordPress!

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Hey, God…thank You for a beautiful Christmas season. May all the WP readers have joyous holidays…and blessings in 2016. 

Merry Christmas, my friends!!

~~ssm

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The quest for simplicity and minimalism pleasantly escape me when presented with this week’s Photo Challenge, Ornate:

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Near my beach we have special ambassadors to our area, young ladies who welcome all and brighten everything with their gracious presence, extending Southern hospitality to the rest of the world.

They are the Azalea Trail Maids and the Dogwood Trail Maids. I spied the two lovely ladies above at a local Suicide Prevention/Awareness event recently.

You may have seen them in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, at the White House for President Obama’s inauguration or just about anywhere.

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They are chosen for their character, grades, accomplishments and their poise. Their costumes weigh 40-50 lbs, there is only one allowed to wear pink (the Queen Maid) and they can stash their cell phones in the handy pantaloons they wear under the hoop skirt (shhhh!).

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The graceful Maids go through a rigorous process of selection that would make Miss America run for the hills, right down to a painful tradition of having to sit on an uncomfortable triangle-seated chair for the duration of the judges’ interviews. Little girls have aspirations of one day becoming a Trail Maid, yet another one of the South’s fine traditions…

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Our Trail Maids are the epitome of Southern culture – always pleasant, gracious and refined. Especially the Queen Maid.

(well, usually….)

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Thanks, God, for giving us the ornate in simplicity, for the greatest of gifts in the smallest of packages, like eternal life from a mustard seed of faith.

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