Watch the Leaves Turn

It’s that time of year in my part of the world.  Summer vacations are finished except for the good memories that linger and maybe a bit of sunburned skin.   Big yellow school buses are on the roads again.  School has started.

Leaves Turn

Growing up, I looked forward to the beginning of a another school year.  Never used pencils.  Pristine, unmarked notebooks . . . I really enjoyed getting new school supplies!
It was a time for embarking on an adventure, a bit nervous and excited all at the same time.  The months ahead promised new experiences and new things to learn.

The world now is much busier than the one I grew up in as a child.  So many more options, so many more distractions.  Although I no longer have homework assignments, my “to do” list keeps me busy.  That is okay to a certain point.  As a busy adult, I miss the wonder of running through colored leaves as a child.  At this stage of life, I need to remember that even if everything doesn’t get done . . . I still need to take TIME to be STILL and watch the leaves TURN.

How busy are you?

Thanks for taking “A Second Look”.  More autumn images are available at http://www.stephaniehalstead.com.

It’s Time to Try Something New

On my “bucket list” (things to do at least once in my life) is to go somewhere where I have more than one tree to depend on for colored leaves!

Ok, so I have to be creative to find colored leaves in the subtropics, especially in Autumn.   Our leaves change color in January or February.  Very confusing to celebrate Christmas and then have autumn leaves!  A girl has to work with what she has!

Autumn-TexturesThis  October, I found one tree on my morning neighborhood walks whose leaves actually change color.  Half way on my circular route, it is my reward.  It gets me out of the house onto the pavement those mornings I don’t initially feel like walking, but know I will be glad I did afterwards.

This is one of the best ones I discovered last week.  Not too exciting just by itself, but put on a piece of old wood and zoom in with a macro lens.  Textures!  Textures!  Love it!  Not my usual subject matter to photograph and now you know why.

Thanks for taking “A Second Look”.  http://www.stephaniehalstead.com

 

 

 

Pumpkin Twist

Twist-of-a-Pumpkin-

After a long hot summer, pumpkins signal that Fall has arrived. Every year I eagerly anticipate scouting out the possibilities at the local Pumpkin Patch.  Seems I can’t resist bringing home several.

Our tradition is to let our two grandsons each pick out a small one. These are just the right size for small hands to hold and to claim as “my pumpkin.”  This year, the bugs and lizards were an equal cause of excitement.   These two are “ALL” boy!

Shot this image several years ago.  Still is my favorite so far.

 

Signs of a New Beginning

The rain had beat against the ground for hours the night before.  The Florida sandy soil could absorb no more.  Some had experienced flooding.  Thankfully we had not.  Guess God knew we had enough on our hands to deal with in those days.

-Spring-Delight

Spring Delight

Cocooned in our own little world, Mother was in her final two months of hospice care.  My sister and I lost the sense of tracking time as the rest of the world did.  Our sleeping and eating schedule as caregivers constantly changed.  Our “world” was intense, focused and unpredictable.

Dogwood-Tree

Dogwood Tree

Into that world, God gave gifts to encourage my sister and me as we walked this final journey with our mother.  One morning it was branches of a dogwood tree loaded with blooms.  The tree had suffered extensive damage during the previous night’s storm.  Like a discarded party dress, it now lay cast off, no longer wanted.

Center-of-Dogwood

Center of Dogwood

Gathering as much as my arms would hold, I walked back to the house. Branches. Blossoms. Wet leaves.  I felt so incredibly rich! Dogwoods are trees from my up growing days.  They always heralded that Spring had arrived.  Winter was over.

After that morning, I started walking in the cooler hours of the day as often as I could.  Exercise obviously helped with the stress, but each time I eagerly looked for the next sign of Spring.  Every day brought new delights.  Having lived in the subtropics for over 20 years, I do so miss seeing spring flowers!  The Dogwood blossoms were one of my favorites.

Thanks for taking “a second look.”       http://www.stephaniehalstead.com

Three-Dogwoods

Three Dogwods

 

 

TWO A.M. FRIEND

Two a.m. friends, friends in crises, photo of pocket watch When life is in crises mode, this is the friend that will answer the phone or respond to your text message, no matter what time of day or night.  “Two A.M. friends” are priceless!

The pocket watch belonged to my husband’s great grandfather.  The background is actually a piece of scrapbook paper.  Flowers came from my back yard.  Just having fun making an image for one of my two a.m. friends.  Just having fun making an image that invites you to take a second look.

http://www.stephaniehalstead.com

God’s Valentine

God's Valentine Single?  Married?  Doesn’t matter.

Young?  Old?  Doesn’t matter.  Rich?  Poor?  Doesn’t matter.

College degree?  Didn’t go past the 6th grade?  Doesn’t matter.

God’s valentine is for everyone.

Have a sweetheart or not, you don’t ever have to be alone.  God loved the world (that includes you and me) so much that He gave his one and only Son for anyone who believes in Him.

Astonishing love!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

http://www.stephaniehalstead.com

One My Soul Loves

"One my Soul Loves".  Silver cup with red roses.  Red roses on black background.  My husband and I are celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary this week.  Thirty-five years.  They have gone quickly! 

I have always enjoyed fresh cut flowers.  He gave me roses on our first date.  If I had not already been smitten with him, that would have made me take a second look!  Reality was that I was attracted to him the moment I saw him.

Many dozens of roses later, he is still the one whom my soul loves.  Tonight he gave me, yes, you guessed correctly . . . he gave me roses.