Friday Photos–Fall’s Not Over Yet!

Most of our brilliant foliage is gone for this year, but come with me and enjoy these scenes from past years.

Fall Along the Trail
The creek flowing through a tunnel of trees
Yellow Leaves All Around
A “Quilt” of Trees

All photos author’s collection.

P. Booher

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What I’ve Been Enjoying Lately

Up Among the Trees

In this past week of November, I’ve been enjoying:

  1. The view from the back windows–the yellow maples have been in their glory, and the yellow leaves against the black or grey trunks make a stunning display.
  2. Being able to rake leaves! After spending a good part of a beautiful Saturday inside, I went out in the back yard late in the afternoon to rake leaves. I got to spend an hour or so getting much-needed exercise and enjoying the beauty of those same maple trees mentioned above. I was treated to some musical accompaniment by the birds. I heard a faint “cheep-cheep” (perhaps a chipping sparrow?), followed by the slightly louder cries of a cardinal and a nuthatch.
  3. Taking out the garbage! Ok, I know that sounds plain weird. Hear me out: we have lived in this house over 40 years. We’ve accumulated a lot through the years, some of which we don’t or can’t use. We are either gathering items to donate, or throwing things out. I took out garbage and got rid of things that hung around far too long. Taking out the garbage is progress! 🙂

©P. Booher

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Moments of Quiet Satisfaction

I took time out one evening to “scratch an itch” and practice drawing. Two or three weeks before I picked a plant, an ordinary “weed”, from the driveway and put it in a vase of water, intending to try my hand at sketching it “soon”. By the time “soon” came, the leaves were slowly turning brown but the largest ones were green and the tiny flowers on top pinkish-purple, so the plant still served nicely as a model. I dug out my sketch pad and after some false starts, managed to make a decent (to me) representation of the plant.

Wanting to practice more, I burrowed around my tote box of art supplies and found the workbook for beginning artists. Using the sketches in the workbook for ideas, I drew some more. I practiced for maybe a half-hour to an hour. When it was time to put away the supplies, I was surprised at the sense of quiet satisfaction I experienced inside. It seemed to blanket my nerves in relaxation.

One Saturday not long after that, my mother and I had what I call a “packing party”. We gathered items we wanted to donate, and then packed them in boxes I’d collected previously. This was a little project we’d talked about doing for awhile, but never got around to it until that Saturday. As I sat there surveying the boxes packed and ready to go, I noticed that quiet sense of satisfaction flooding my soul once again.

I notice these moments came during times of outward focus–periods of creativity and working to benefit others.

In this year of so much upheaval, have you noticed any times of quiet satisfaction–times of relaxation for your nerves–and if so, when did they come?

P. Booher

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

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Friday Photos–Nature’s Shapes and Sculptures

All photos author’s collection.

P. Booher

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Correction to Diving Into A Sea of Books–Rambler–A family pushes through the fog of mental illness

In my original book review of Rambler, I believe I referred to NAMI as the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. I also indicated the group is a support group for patients and their loved ones.

Please note NAMI actually stands for: National Alliance on Mental Illness. While the group is a support group, it also involves health-care providers, and researchers. Local chapters of NAMI offer educational classes and support of various kinds. I made these corrections in the original post as well.

I thought I checked the facts before posting the book review, but obviously not well enough! My apologies to NAMI and to the author of Rambler, Linda Schmitmeyer.

For more info.: You can contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness at www.nami.org. Linda’s website is: www.lindaschmitmeyer.com.

P. Booher

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Friday Photos–A Celebration of Nature’s Colors, II

Cruisin’ On The River
Yellow and green
While walking on a nearby nature trail, I saw this striking yellow maple, and couldn’t resist taking its picture.
Yellow leaves, a big boulder, layers of rock combine to make what I thought was a dramatic picture.

All photos are from author’s collection.

P. Booher

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Keeper of My Heart

I needed to read this, and thought I’d pass it along.

GraceSpeak

Sometimes darkness creeps up on my soul, entering the crevasses of my heart and troubling my mind.

I notice the spinning thoughts, the obsession with problems, and the oppressive spirit that weighs me down, and I know it is time –

  • Time to walk outside into the whirling, drifting colors of fall;
  • Time to allow my mind to wander through drifting clouds and dive into the endless blue sky;
  • Time to listen to a rippling steam or the brush of sea on sand;
  • Time to be still in the wonder of God’s creation and remember –

My Creator planned and pieced this mighty creation.

My Father has not forgotten His creation, nor has He lost me in its vastness.

My Sovereign Lord is still on the throne, and He is attentive to His children.

My Omnipotent God will honor His promises and keep His covenants, and my life is inextricably…

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Friday Photos–A Celebration of Nature’s Colors, I

All photos are from author’s collection.

P. Booher

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There Is Life After High School

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I don’t have fond memories of my school years. I was picked on from about second grade through eleventh grade. I never knew what would bring the teasing on–perhaps being the only person in second grade to have to wear glasses? (This was long before contact lenses.) Or maybe it was my shyness–often I couldn’t think of anything to say in peer-to-peer conversation, so I was quiet. (When you are in school, any little difference from what is considered “normal” makes a person ripe for picking on.) Maybe the teasing of the moment revolved around my non-existent athletic ability (if a team had to pick me, the kids groaned and I wished for the ground to swallow me).

For today’s kids, cyber-bullying is an ever-present possibility. At least when I went to school BBC (Back Before Computers), I had a break after school hours, weekends, and summertime. No smartphones, no texting, no tablets, no internet, no cyber-bullying.

When I was sixteen or seventeen my dad told me, “This is the best time of your life!” I was horrified. I remember thinking, If this is the best time of my life, you mean the rest of my life will be worse than this?

Many years later, my answer to my question is NO, my life now is better.

My life taught me this: after you graduate, you realize your world is so much bigger than what some kids put on Facebook or any of the other social media out there. The world celebrates youthfulness, but getting older allows you to realize the things people say about you don’t have to cut to the quick anymore. You put boundaries in place, shrug it off, and live your life. You gain maturity and a saving grace–perspective. You can gain faith in the God Who loves you deeply and want to give you new opportunities and confidence.

To any young person reading this who lives in dread of bullying and wonders if things will ever get better, my answer is YES, things will get better. Hold on, don’t give up. When I was sixteen or seventeen life didn’t look good, and I went through some dark periods, but I can tell you: There is life after high school.

Author’s Note: To anyone reading this who thinks, I want to check out of this life; it’s not worth it., please talk to a friend, a pastor, someone you trust, or a counselor. Call a suicide-prevention hotline. Your life matters.

In the USA, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting Talk 741741. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website is: www.afsp.org. It has many resources available, for those considering suicide, for family and friends who want to help someone, or for people who want to get involved with suicide prevention. The AFSP has local chapters, and sponsors the Out of the Darkness Walk. Due to COVID-19, some walks have been canceled, but some local walks in memory of loved ones are held.

Post modified from original.

P. Booher

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Mental Reinforcement

These are days I need to keep mental “ammunition” close at hand. Here is some of the “ammunition” I use:

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”        (Philippians 4:8, KJV)

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (I Peter 5:7, KJV)

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”     (Psalm 27:14, KJV)

“For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” (Isaiah 41:13, KJV)

“But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” (Proverbs 1:33, KJV)

“Lo, I am with you alway, even until the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20)

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2nd Timothy 1:7, KJV)

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, KJV)

P. Booher

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