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,

Ron

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

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.   http://www.holidayscalendar.com/event/memorial-day/

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:/cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/staugustine

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.  https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/national_cemeteries/florida/st_augustine_national_cemetery.html

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

#memorialday2018

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.

Mother

 

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.”  https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/927758/Mothers-Day-2018-when-is-what-date-UK-why-does-date-change.

“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.” (Google.com)

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

 

National Teacher Day and Week

Apple graphic from Photoshop stock-3

Okay, I’m curious.  How do we support the National Teacher Day and Week?  Is it emphasized in the U.S.A. alone or does our international community have the emphasis as well?

Homeschool workAlso, what about those who choose to homeschool their children?  Aren’t they also “real” teachers too?

Shouldn’t we recognize all teachers on National Teacher Appreciation Day and Week?  I think it should be an international effort too.

Students on stage for recognition

According to the the National Day Calendar at https://nationaldaycalendar.com/2018/05/07/may-8-2018-national-teacher-appreciation educational leaders began discussions for a day to honor teachers in 1944.

In 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded the U.S. 81st Congress to proclaim National Teachers’ Day. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day. The National Education Association (NEA) continued to observe Teacher Day on the first Tuesday in March until 1985 when the National PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May.  The NEA Representative Assembly then voted to make the Tuesday of that week National Teacher Day.

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Apparently this is just an emphasis in the U.S.A. this week.  Do other countries have similar appreciation events? 

Also, if you’ll notice on the  National Day Calendar website there are other emphases this week as well, such as: National Have A Coke Day, National Coconut Cream Pie Day and National Student Nurse Day.  Maybe we can thank a teacher by giving him or her a coconut cream pie slice along with a coke.  We can also consult a student nurse whether this is a good combination.

I’ll choose to express appreciation to all the teachers around the world, as we conclude the National Teacher Appreciation Week, for their call-to-duty to teach and instruct our youth AND adults.  I think back over the years of the teachers who helped guide me and I am thankful.  Most provided due diligence and showed how they care.  I just wish I had been more attentive though.

Homeschool work-2I also want to recognize our homeschool teachers.  They don’t receive sufficient credit for the excellent, dedicated work they do.  No doubt it is a tough assignment trying to keep our youth on track with the various distractions around – and trying to balance getting all the things needing to get done at home while trying to teach and instruct at the same time.  Plus, what kind of salary do they receive, or assistance to buy materials? 

Reading imageHow did I miss the Home School Appreciation Day on April 27 or week (24-27)?  Maybe there wasn’t enough promotion on the news, even though the homeschoolers are in the minority.  But! They are important too.  http://homeschoolteacherappreciationday.com/

Here are two links for homeschool Moms that express some of the activities and concerns of these mothers/teachers.

https://homeschoolingthesweets.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/teacher-appreciation-week/

https://mywordsoup.wordpress.com/2018/05/09/tribute-to-the-homeschooling-mother/

Cam with booksWe should not stop recognizing teachers when the week’s emphasis is over on May 11.  Let’s make this an occurrence throughout the year.

I applaud each teacher who has dedicated his or her life to serve others – whether in the public, private or home sector.  I just wish governments and communities would recognize your value and provide the pay commensurate with your responsibilities.  To me – I think your responsibilities are in the top category of professions and you should be paid accordingly.   Let’s ensure quality teachers receive quality salaries and appreciation.  The direction of our society depends on it.  

#TeacherAppreciationDay or #NationalTeachersDay

What’s unique about a sunrise?

First, I want to say THANK YOU for being a friend and partner as I finally reached 100 followers. It seems like a long time getting there.  I think to receive friendship one must be a friend and I appreciate each of you around the world. It shows we can be friends no matter where we call home, and even with different views of life.

I have been trying to post a blog for the past few days about some recent short trips but haven’t taken sufficient quiet time to gather my thoughts and photos.

So, I’ll post some sunrise photos in the interim and pose this question. What is unique about each sunrise – or – are they all the same?

How do clouds affect the sunrise and sunset? Have you noticed how the glow casts beautiful colors to clouds that have formed. True light brings beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does it matter how high you fly or is the sunrise just a glorious? (Photo: Melissa Sweet)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the beauty from our own perception? This photo was taken while flying into Atlanta, Georgia. Just imagine the beautiful sunrises and sets we miss daily by not taking the time to absorb them wherever we are. (Photo: Melissa Sweet)
Sunset at Daytona Beach Shores. Compare the difference between the sunrise and the sunset. 

(Unless otherwise noted photos by Ronlin Photography)

Ocean divide – sunset or rise

As we gaze across the sea at each other’s world, what do you see? Thousands of miles of natural barrier without the vessels to merge our physicality.

There are no barriers even across oceans so wide – that our thoughts can’t merge – for the benefit of humankind.

Way across the Atlantic from west to east I see, and yet wonder if you’re looking back at me.

 

From my very breezy abode at Florida’s Daytona Beach Shores, anticipation builds as the sun casts its glow; and yet I wonder what you see from abroad.

Although there are clouds that darken the sky, hiding the rays; I know the sun is there ready to break through another day.

 

 

 

 

 

I see the rays over the clouds and no darkness hides the light. Even in the darkest of night the sun still shines as bright.


 

 

 

 

While the wind howls and the sand blinds our eyes, the sun arises, not to my surprise.


And still I wonder what you see, across the barrier so far?

Is the glow diminishing and easing out of sight? While others see it rising – to stir surrounding life.

With anticipation we see the glow peek, and say hello to the morning break.


While you may be far, we are still here. Although the waves crash around – there is peace above, as –

The sun shines bright to light our day – and chases the dark so far away.

So remember each day there is sunset and rise. We can still see the world as one and choose to shine.

With Heavenly Love, Ron