Dance with Joy!

Kylie, Kinley, Shelby (3)
My granddaughters are a blessing and provide so much joy!
Ballet main characters dance
Main characters of the ballet theme.

I think most end-of-year spring dance recitals in the U.S. are finishing up so I wanted to take the liberty to highlight a couple that I’ve had the privilege of attending – particularly since family was involved.

Kylie dance 15 black and white

A couple of definitions of dance on Google are “move  rythmically to music, typically following a set sequence of steps” and “move in a quick and live way”.  One other is “perform (a particular dance or a role in a ballet).”

Kylie dance 13
Oldest granddaughter

To me, ballet is a beautiful form of dance that provides inspiration with a feeling of appreciation and peace to the beholder, and is an outward expression of inward joy.

I didn’t realize this significance until our daughter began dance many moons ago at the age of five through her teens. Below are her photos taken years ago and the rest of the photos highlight wonderful, loving granddaughters.

Melissa dance 6Melissa dance 7

Melissa dance 4Melissa dance 3

Melissa danceMelissa dance 5

Melissa dance 2

I wish we had a good camera years ago to capture our daughter’s various dances.

Regardless, we have the memories and joy in our hearts.










Kinley dance 5
Youngest granddaughter

Now we have the joy of being involved with our grandchildren.  I just sit back and absorb their progress, expression and beauty.

Shelby dance 3
Middle granddaughter (Son’s daughter)

This too brings me joy.

Do you have similar experiences where you can see the grace and beauty being displayed?

How are dance presentations conducted in other countries.  Maybe they are called something other than recitals.

kylie with studentsKinley dance 1Shelby dance 7Shelby dance 1



Kylie dance 13

Kylie dance 9Kylie dance 14Kinley dance 5



Kinley dance 3

Kylie Dance 2

Kylie Dance 3


Shelby dance 6Shelby dance 5Shelby dance 4Kylie dance 6Kinley dance 7Kylie and Kinley Tap 1Shelby dance 2

Kinley dance 2

Kylie and Kinley Tap 2

Kylie dance 16
Relax and prepare during rehearsal – results in an exhaustive day for these dedicated dancers.

Kylie dance 10

Kylie dance 4

May we carry the joy within us and let it flow outward!

Love and Joy,


What does your mirror reflect?

Mosaic under Main Street Bridge-3

Life is full of viewpoints.  We can choose to see clearly through life’s mirror or with a blur, especially when life is swirling around us.

Levy in Southbank Riverwalk mirror

Life can present itself in color reflective of the surroundings as demonstrated through the mosaic wall underneath the Main Street Bridge in downtown Jacksonville, Fla.  What do you see?

Mosaic under Main Street Bridge-2

Is your life void of color, complete with a blur or do you see clearly although the view is sometimes fractured?

Mosaic under Main Street Bridge-4Mosaic under Main Street Bridge with Levy

Daytona Beach beckons

Daytona Beach Welcome Overhead Sign on A1A

What comes to mind when you hear Daytona Beach?  Is it racing, hotels or condos, or beaches?

Daytona Beach Oceanside Main EntranceIf you are a regular guest at Daytona Beach, Fla. then you probably come for a specific purpose.  I make trips there occasionally and it seems the main reason is the beach.  The beautiful white sandy beach is a natural attraction and you can still drive your vehicle on it – compared to many other beaches in Florida.

Daytona Beach Ocean View from Perry'sDaytona Beach is “one of the few places in the world where a family car can be driven on an ocean beach.” (Wikitravel)

And yes, there is racing too.  I’ll talk about racing in another blog later.

Daytona Beach Ocean Entrance TunnelDid you know?  Daytona was founded in 1870 by Matthias Day, from whom it takes its name. It was incorporated as a city in 1876. The separate towns of Daytona, Daytona Beach and Seabreeze merged to form Daytona Beach in 1926. In the 1920s, the city became known as The World’s Most Famous Beach.

Daytona Beach Lifeguard
Lifeguards are positioned along the beach to reinforce safety.
Daytona Beach Oceanside fishing
Ocean fishing is often noticed along the beach – intermingled with surfers and people enjoying the water, although those fishing attempt to avoid conflict when possible.





Daytona Beach Parking Garage Street Art
Street art on parking garages and other buildings adds color and description to the the area.
Daytona Beach A1A Overhead Sign
Overhead safety crosswalks combined with push-button signals at ground-level crosswalks enhance safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.

Breezeway on A1A

The amusement park, shops and restaurants are popular attractions.

Daytona Beach Amusement Park

Daytona Beach Amusement Park Beachside

A1A - Daytona Beach Hog Heaven building
Bar-B-Q is popular in the area and one doesn’t need to go far to visit the Hog Heaven restaurant across the street from the amusement park.



Daytona Beach Joe's Crab Shack
For those who love seafood there is Joe’s Crab Shack right on the beach with a fantastic view.
Daytona Beach Ice Cream Shop
Everyone has room for ice cream.

There are many vacation club rentals available along with hotels and resorts.  One of the cost-effective resorts is a little farther south in Daytona Beach Shores at Perry’s Resort.  They’ve been there for 75 years and are currently expanding and remodeling while providing excellent rates and service.




Daytona Beach Perry's Resort Donuts
One of the favorites at Perry’s is complimentary homemade donuts along with other breakfast items.
Daytona Beach Shores view from bridge
View of the south end of Daytona Beach Shores from the Intracoastal Waterway.

Additional information and highlights are located at

Live a Victorious Life!


Remembering the sacrifice

Memorial Day 2009 (50)
Taps are played by the Florida National Guard at the National Cemetery in St. Augustine to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. (RonLin Photography)

Throughout the world, and history, there have been those who served honorably for the cause of freedom so our nations may have peace from conflict, enabling them to pursue and enjoy the rights bestowed upon each individual.  Let’s not let go of these sacrifices.

Although each nation does not have a perfect union I am thankful for the rights we hold dear today – and the sacrifice of those who helped make it possible to have a free society, allowing us to dream and follow those dreams freely.

Memorial Day is an annual, formal holiday in the United States to honor military service members who died in the line of duty.  The date changes each year but is held on the last Monday in May.  It was originally called Decoration Day, as the holiday was centered on decorating the graves of those who had fallen in the U.S. Civil War.

I want to highlight the U.S. National Cemetery in St. Augustine, Fla. as the 2018 emphasis to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

St. Augustine National Cemetery - VA Admin photo
The U.S. National Cemetery in St. Augustine, Fla. is managed by Veterans Affairs. (VA Photo)    https:/

St. Augustine National Cemetery traces its history back to a Spanish monastery founded during the 18th century.  Today, the cemetery perhaps is best known as the home of the Dade Pyramids, believed to be the oldest memorial in any national cemetery.  The cemetery also features a unique Spanish Colonial-style superintendent’s lodge designed to complement the historic architecture found throughout St. Augustine.

Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, the city of St. Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited European city in the United States.  According to the National Park Service the land upon which the national cemetery sits was originally part of a Franciscan monastery that operated until the English took possession of Florida in 1763, converting the monastery into the St. Francis Barracks.  The Spanish regained possession of the territory in 1783 and held it until 1821, when Florida became a part of the United States; all the while, the site remained a military installation.

A portion of the yard at the St. Francis Barracks was set aside for use as a post cemetery, with the first burials occurring in 1828.  Most of the early burials in the cemetery were casualties of the Indian Wars, a series of conflicts waged between 1817 and 1858 as the United States forcibly removed Native Americans, notably the Seminole tribes, to lands west of the Mississippi.  Later burials include those of Union soldiers. Although Florida seceded in 1861, Union troops captured St. Augustine in March 1862 when the gunboat Wabash entered the harbor.

In 1881, the post cemetery was elevated in status to a national cemetery, as stated by the National Park Service.  “St. Augustine National Cemetery covers a 1.3-acre rectangular site at the edge of what was once the walled Spanish city.  The northern half of the grounds are enclosed by locally quarried Coquina stone walls, while a wrought-iron fence surrounds the southern half.  Four pedestrian gates, two each along the eastern and western walls, allow access to the cemetery.  Walkways connect each gate to its counterpart along the opposite wall, and a central avenue serves as the physical and symbolic link between the flagpole at the north end of the grounds and the Dade Pyramids at the south end.  Also at the north end of the cemetery is the superintendent’s lodge.  Built in 1938 out of Coquina stone, the lodge is in the Spanish Colonial style, like much of St. Augustine.  The nearby rostrum is also composed of Coquina stone.”

The cemetery is a solemn and appropriate location to recognize those who championed freedom through the ages.  The public gathers annually for the Memorial Day ceremony.

Memorial Day 2009 (62)
Representatives from various veteran and military organizations parade their colors to begin the annual ceremony at the National Cemetery in St. Augustine. (RonLin Photography)
Memorial Day 2009 (67)
World War II veterans who remain continue to show their respect for those who served and died.  (RonLin Photography)
Memorial Day 2009 (60)
Honors are presented to remind those present that we will not forget.  Providing the honors is typically done by the Florida National Guard, Florida Department of Military Affairs, local law enforcement and veteran organizations. (RonLin Photography)
Memorial Day 2009 (54)
We salute those who died serving on behalf of a grateful nation to help secure and maintain the freedoms we hold dear today.  (RonLin Photography)

Let us take time around the world to recognize those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nations, including their families.  Where would we be today had it not been for them.

With Love, Ron


St. Augustine National Cemetery is located at 104 Marine St. in St. Augustine, FL.  The cemetery is open for visitation daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm; on Memorial Day the cemetery is open for visitation from 8:00am to 7:00pm.  No cemetery staff is present onsite.  For more information, please contact the cemetery office at 904-766-5222, or see the Department of Veterans Affairs website.  While visiting, please be mindful that our national cemeteries are hallowed ground.  Be respectful to all of our nation’s fallen soldiers and their families.  Additional cemetery policies may be posted on site.

A1A Beach Ride

A1A - Flagler Beach Motel street art 2Traveling Florida’s shoreline, particularly in northeast Florida along the Atlantic Ocean from St. Augustine to Daytona Beach Shores, is a relaxing ride.

A1A signVisit Florida has excellent information on Florida’s scenic highways at  “One of the most historic, relaxing, and beautiful parts of Florida can be found along the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway on the northeast coast of the Sunshine State. This National Scenic Byway is made up of three individual state scenic highways; Scenic and Historic A1A, A1A River and Sea Trail, and A1A Ocean Shore.”

A1A is a parallel highway to Interstate 95 and U.S. 1, for the most part.  Driving this scenic route is a nice opportunity to take in some of the fresh beach air and also not worry about traffic, of course depending on when you go.  You’ll encounter a significant increase in traffic as you get closer to Daytona Beach as that is a very popular place during major race events and summer beach activities.

A1A near Flagler BeachWhile some ocean views are blocked by sand berms and condominiums there remain excellent views at periodic intervals.

Here are some of the sites along the way.

Flagler Beach 2

Flagler Beach 3

A1A at Flagler Beach
Flagler Beach during a cloudy, rainy day in spring is still a nice place to be without crowds.
A1A beach near Flagler Beach
Easy access from A1A onto the beach.
Water was a little rougher than normal due to weather.  
A1A at Flagler Beach - hurricane damage behind Funky Pelican
Although the various beaches have recovered from hurricanes in 2017 some of the buildings like this one still have repairs being done from the storm surge that destroyed some of the structures along A1A.
A1A at Flagler Beach - Funky Pelican
Interesting chalk board for guests to write their comments at the Funky Pelican on Flagler Beach at the pier.
Flager Beach Pier
Flagler Beach pier was open but not many people used it during the week and during wet, windy weather.  
Flagler Beach Restaurant
There are sufficient restaurants at Flagler Beach but during peak times they become crowded.  
Whaam Burger Street Art at Flagler Beach
How about a delicious burger from the colorful Whaam Burger restaurant?
A1A at Flagler Beach - Finns Restaurant Street Art
Finns Flagler Restaurant is another popular location. 

There are interesting pieces of street art on the restaurant walls along this corridor.  A person sure gets the beach and inviting feeling while traveling through the area.

A1A Street Art near Flagler Beach

A1A street art near Flagler Beach - Finns RestaurantA1A motel streat art south of Flagler BeachA1A Street Art at Flagler Beach businessA1A - Flagler Beach Motel street artA1A at Flagler Beach - Motel Street Art

Once you leave Flagler Beach you will still see a few restaurants but mostly nice, peaceful scenery.  I’ll save a few more photos for another post about the Daytona Beach area.

With Love,









Bernice Gray Painting - Pondering Life
“Pondering Life” by Bernice Gray

Mothers deserve being honored every day of the year.  It’s certainly befitting to at least recognize them one day of the year though.

Mothers Day 2018 in the U.S.A. is May 13.  I want to highlight this post with paintings from Bernice Gray, my mother-in-law.  She loved painting and decorating, although she had little formal training.  What you see is from the heart.

I often reflect on the love and guidance of my mother and mother-in-law, as well as my oldest sister. They are now enjoying the fruits of their belief and love in the presence of God.  But they are not gone!  They carry on through the love and life they provided to our family and all who knew them.

Matt's drawing of gone home
“Heaven’s Gates” representation by Matt Tittle – honoring Mother Audrey Tittle and Sister Shirley Vail (who preceded Mom)


I am truly blessed by these precious women who have passed from our physical presence, but yet remain.  Each one has left a lasting legacy of love through there countless children and grandchildren.

I am truly blessed by my wife who taught our children exceeding love and guided them through all walks of life – showing God’s Love.

There were many times I was away on military assignment.  She kept the home fires burning and carried on, without complaint.  Our children now have children of their own and we remain blessed and thankful to see our grandchildren being loved and taught by their mothers.


Bernice Gray - Pathway
“Pathway” by Bernice Gray

You see! Love births love and is passed on. These dear mothers are called “blessed.” 


Guess what?

We all have a mother.  Not had – but have.  I believe once a mother, always a mother.  Some things never change, no matter where one lives; only how we recognize them.

Mothers Day 2018 in the United Kingdom was March 11.  I suppose every country has its own day to recognize mothers.  What I thought interesting for the UK was “Mothering Sunday is a celebration held to honor mothers and other maternal figures.”

“Now, in 2018, it is used for children and adults alike to give presents to their hardworking mums – often cards with chocolates and flowers.  Mother’s Day was originally a day for Christians to visit their ‘mother’ church back home during the holy month of Lent. Workers would be given the day off to return home and worship with their loved ones and have family reunion. It is thought that the return to the ‘mother’ church led to the tradition of young domestic servants and apprentices being given the day off to visit their mother and family.”

Bernice Gray - Peace
“Peace” by Bernice Gray

Mothers Day in Mexico is May 10.  “The first official Mothers’ Day celebration in Mexico was held on May 10, 1922. The celebration soon took on religious undertones, with images of the Madonna and Child being displayed on Mother’s Day. The day has gained widespread popularity over the years. It is also celebrated in other countries worldwide.” (

Bernice Gray Painting - Stream back home
“Stream Back Home” by Bernice Gray
Bernice Gray Painting - Dusk Aglow
“Dusk Aglow” by Bernice Gray
Bernice Gray - Dusk over snowy pines
“Dusk over Snowy Pines” by Bernice Gray

We all celebrate special occasions in various ways but let’s make sure Mother is shown love and appreciation.  I propose every day, not just one day.  Mother is Love!

Bernice Gray Paiinting - Abandoned but not forgotten
“Abandoned” by Bernice Gray

With Love, Ron