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Move Over Ginkoba Artistic Composition is Here!
Promoting the preservation of memories

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Five Little Frags Fritted Franticly For Freedom

Luckily my little frags know just where to find their freedom, yep over at Mrs. 4444's Friday Fragments. If you need a home for your wayward blog fragments stop on by, the more the merrier!

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Thank you Mother Nature!
The weather is nice and I am running away for the weekend! Not sure that I will get a chance to see the Falls this trip but I will be spending some much needed time with family and friends. How about you, will you be traveling to visit friends and family for the upcoming holidays? 

One thing I have to admit about winter, it sure makes for some spectacular skies.
Skywatch Friday Submission

The strangest thing has happened. My grandson's cat is five years old and has been a very anti-social animal ever since they got him as a kitten. He has always been a very good guard kitty, sitting guard at the foot of my grandson's bed or in his doorway at night. But that was about the closest he would get to humans. Until recently. He has become more than social, sitting in laps, wanting to be petted and so on. Now he is down right needy! 

I don't watch a lot of TV, especially reality TV but I do have to say I am addicted to The Voice. This season has me in a quandary though. The final 10 are all so good I really have no clue who I want to win. Although I do have a very soft spot for this artist, especially after this performance of one of my favorite Bread songs. If you are watching this season do you have a favorite?

I have found a new book to add to my list of must haves. It is Photojournalist Scott Strazzante book Common Ground. I read a recent article  about the project in which Strazzante  documented the transformation of a family farm into a suburban track of homes, and how it had come to life. If you haven't heard about it check out the article that shares some of the photos and a little bit about the book.

Week In Review:

On Artistic Composition the week started off with a true story of how one man gave three homeless children The Gift Of Joy. Then on Wednesday I posted a simple wish that included where you can find this awesome planner.

On Nita's Photography the week focus was late Autumn fun in the park with children playing, workers working and of course some pretty flowers and a playful critter.

 Have A Fantastic Weekend!

Please drop a comment or quick hi and I will stop by and return the favor.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Wishing: Simple Wishes

Remember how when we were a kid all posed to blow out our candles on our Birthday cake and mom or dad would say 'make a wish… but don't say it out loud or it won't come true' ? Well guess what they were WRONG! Last week I made some pretty serious wishes and I am happy to say that at least one of them is already well on its way to coming true. Since making those wishes known my focus has improved and I am feeling much more optimistic. So don't hold back go ahead make your wish and you can even share it by clicking on the Wednesday Wishing button.

This week my wishes are much simpler. 

1. I would like to ask Mother Nature to please keep the weather nice enough for my daughters and I to travel this coming Friday to the western part of the state to spend  the weekend with my two sons and their families.

2. Robin at The Ranch Wife Chronicles reminded me how having a great planner can make all the difference in successful organization. So my second wish it to get a planner but not just any planner. I would like to get the Passion Planner. Click on this Video Link to learn what makes this planner so special.

For the longest time I used a good old paper spiral bound planner. It actually became a bit of a joke in my family that if it wasn't on my 'calendar' (the family called my planner a calendar) it was not going to happen. Then a few years ago I went digital and to be honest it just isn't the same. How about you, do you use a planner?  

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Gift of Joy

photographer: Daniel Sinoca
It was the summer of '66 when four children found themselves in the beautifully temperate city of Huntington Beach California.  Home to swaying palm trees and sandy beaches, lined with upscale boutiques and fancy homes. A city exploding with fun; afternoons swimming in the ocean; riding the waves; feeling the warmth of the sun as you relax laid out on the warm glittery sand. A place for joy filled walks along the boardwalk; colorful sidewalk vendors; and roller skaters who glide around you as you stroll along. The go to spot for playing volleyball in the sand while music fills the air. No matter where you turned, Huntington Beach waterfront exuded excitement.

But not for these four, no their motel room was not one of the upscale fancy rooms one might rent close to the beach. Instead they found themselves in one of the rent by the month motels in the more run down seedy part of town.  At least it was a deluxe kitchenette, with two full size beds that took up the entire main part of the room. A thin wall that ran 3/4 the depth of the room separated the bathroom, kitchen and 2 nautical style sleeping berths from the main room.  It was a far cry from glamorous part of Huntington Beach and what felt like a lifetime from the three bedroom ranch home they had shared with their parents.

The children; three boys ages 11, 10 and 8 and the girl age 6 were wards of the state put in the care of their grandmother. The year before, their parents had divorced and their grandmother had convinced the courts that she alone could provide the children a stable home. Somehow she had continued to convince everyone she should have custody, even though they had moved twice before winding up in the motel. Now they found themselves without a real home, living in this hovel with their grandmother, 35 year old aunt, 17 year old uncle and scores of filthy cockroaches. The room was hot and stuffy, with dust and grime so think the roaches left trails through it.  So many roaches that with each footstep they would scatter like the ripples in a pond when a rock is dropped in the water.  All seven people crammed into that one filthy little room.

Each morning the children's aunt and uncle would go off to work and the grandmother would shoo the children out the door. They didn't need any persuading really, none of them wanted to be inside that little room. They knew that it would mean sitting quietly reading their bibles as their grandmother sat at the tiny table cluttered with papers and dirty dishes, studying her bible or writing some story she would never share with anyone. So out they would go in their tattered, dingy and often dirty play clothes and bare feet.

They were only few miles from the glorious beach, and yet it may as well have been a hundred miles.  Instead, all around was run down buildings, vacant lots and busy streets. No playgrounds, just stores, offices and fields.  Most of their day was spent with the boys playing catch in the vacant lot across from the hotel or taking turns on an old rough wooden skateboard in the adjacent shopping center parking lot, while the little girl ran after them begging to take a turn. Had this been the extent of their existence it is likely none would have anything but dreadful memories of their summer without a home. But it wasn't, there was one glorious thing that changed how they viewed their situation.

In that very same shopping center, where they rode their skateboard, sat what became the saving grace for all four children. It was a shop, but not just any shop. On the big glass window that covered the entire front of the shop read a sign 'Ben's Hobby Shop'. The first time the children cupped their hands to shield their eyes from the reflection of the sunlight on the glass and peered within that big window a lasting memory of excitement and joy was burned upon their hearts. Through the window you could see a large oval table, with an elaborate model train set elevated in the center of a fabulous slot car race track.

Little cars zipped around the track at lightening speeds as a small train worked it's way through a picturesque town with glittering lights and tiny people, over a bridge and up into snow capped mountains. On one side of the table stood a young man operating the controls that controlled the train while at the head of the table stood four teenagers, each holding the controls for their car. As the four silent children stared at the scene before them pure delight. Racers and spectators alike filled the small shop with the sound of their excitement. Cheers of triumph and groans of defeat spilled out the door as it opened to let newcomers in.

The clean little shop wasn't fancy, as a matter of fact the table took up the majority of the shop.  Along the wall opposite the table were shelves with all kinds of kits and supplies for building your very own slot car. At the back of the shop there were more shelves full of model trains and prebuilt slot cars as well as all the supplies to build your own tracks and train tables. It was more than the children had ever dreamed. One day the owner invited the children in to watch the slot car races.

Who knows if the shop owner understood the importance of his actions or the lasting impression he gave the children when he invited the children to come back during the shops slow time and race his cars and control the train free for a half hour every day. He was a kind man, who obviously realized the children could not pay to play. A kind man whose generosity gave those four homeless children hope. He made them feel accepted. He gave them something to look forward to every day and he gave them their fondest memory during a difficult time in their young lives.

Homelessness and the plight of the homeless is a subject that touches me deeply. The above true story is an excerpt from my memoir.  I don't talk about it much other than to impress on my children and now on my grandchildren that one should never judge as we have no way of knowing what circumstances may have led to the situation those more unfortunate than we find themselves in, instead we should acknowledge them and help when we can even if all we can do is say hello and share a smile. Being homeless does not mean you are no longer human with needs and dreams like every other human being on this planet.

Homeless people whether young or old don't need our scorn. They need kindness, empathy and where possible our help. They need our acceptance as another human being worthy of love and happiness. So the next time you see homeless person or a ragged child smile and say hi, you never know that little act may be the only kindness they experience that day.