It’s been unseasonably warm for January in Pennsylvania, so I took the opportunity to go outside and take some pictures.
I’ve been feeling very nostalgic recently. I’m not sure if it’s because of the holidays or my approaching birthday, but I’ve been going through old pictures and reminiscing.
When I was born, I was the first grandchild on my Father’s side. My Grandmother had two boys and was over-joyed for a granddaughter. When my Parents were deciding on my name, my Grandmother said “I always wanted a Little Renee.” So…”Renee” it was.
After my Grandparent’s passed away, I inherited several photo albums and cardboard boxes filled with photos. Some of the photos date back to the early 1900’s and most of the pictures are meticulously labeled with family member’s names, dates, and locations.
I’ve framed many of the photos and I look at them often. In addition to photos of family members, my Grandparents took many beautiful landscape shots. They loved the colors of the changing leaves in their hometown of Johnstown, Pa. I have many vintage photos of the fall foliage of Western Pennsylvania.
Since I discovered photography later in life, I didn’t get to share my hobby with my Grandparents. I think they would have enjoyed looking at my photos and sharing this passion with me. Not just because I was “Little Renee,” but because they were also photographers at heart.
On this day, a post about the hope to come as we approach the start of a new year seems appropriate. But I’ve chosen instead to write about a hope that was felt over 70 years ago.
One of my treasured possessions is a letter that my Grandfather wrote to my Grandmother in early December 1945. The war had ended just a few months prior and he was hopeful of his return home to his new bride. The letter is filled with love, longing, and anticipation of their future together. He missed her terribly.
I can only imagine that hope carried him through the war. The hope of his return. The hope of a new world after war. The hope that love conquers hate.
My Grandfather came home from the war and my Grandparents went on to live a happy life. They had two sons and eventually five grandchildren. I am their oldest grandchild.
I miss them terribly and I am hopeful that one day we will be reunited!
An excerpt from John Murdock’s book of poems, songs, and lyrics ‘Joy Hours’
Spreading around like a garment white,
Like a sweet scene in the moonbeams’ light,
Or as the wand of a fairy-sprite
Might sudden present to our wondering sight –
Snow, snow, mystical snow!
Falling so gently here below!
On February 20th, 1983 at the age of 9, I was given my very first Bible. I was so excited and I felt so ‘grown-up.’ I had reached a scared right-of-passage in my family and Christian faith.
I proceeded to fill-in, in the not-so-perfect hand writing of a 9 year-old, the first page with my family record, carefully writing my family’s names with pride (and in pencil in case I made a mistake).
In the years that followed I carried it to Sunday school and tried to read the words and memorize verses. It was a comfort in times of joy and hardship.
The Bible is now almost 34 years old and it’s showing its age. I’ve since owned many Bibles and this one sits on a shelf collecting dust, but definitely not forgotten. It’s a sacred keepsake and proud testament to my faith.
Nothing says ‘relax’ to me more than a good book and a cup of coffee.
I hope everyone gets to relax a little during this Holiday season. Don’t let the hustle and bustle keep you from making time for yourself…in whatever way you like to relax.
A transformation from sand to sand castle and a haiku for your enjoyment.
Sand can’t stand alone
Fine crystals and grains will fall
Castles brave the waves
One tiny drop…
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
You are my sunshine
my only sunshine
You make me happy
when skies are grey
You never know,
how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away.