Our granddaughter waved the wand through the air just above her cousin so the bubbles would float down toward him. He would stretch out his hand to touch them. Of course, they popped. At first his expression was a little like confusion. He’s 9 months old and everything is new to him. Blueberries exploding in his mouth and biting into a peach with its fuzzy exterior and juicy inside – all new. What is predictable to us is brand new to him.

We watched the bubbles blowing, floating and popping longer than we’d listen to each other. His joy was infectious. These glossy orbs wafting through the air were mesmerizing. Their popping into nothing was a bit magical. Now you see them – now you don’t.

I stood back hoping to capture some of this magic on my camera. I deleted more than I kept. Trying to capture moving things, especially ones as unpredictable as something being moved by the air, is tricky. I wanted to get the baby’s expression, and the luster of the bubbles and his hand reaching out all in one shot. Delete. Delete. Delete.

I looked at each one wondering if editing would salvage it. The one above came up and I could quickly tell it wasn’t a keeper. My nephew is looking away and appears to be grabbing at some orange plastic thing. The granddaughter’s face is cut off and it’s not a good photo. Until I realized the photo isn’t in the foreground. The real photo is the blurry part in back.

Sometimes we miss the real magic.

Change of Scenery

surf meets sand


Our scenery is about to change from an ocean view to one of a lake nestled between the mountains of North Carolina. A variety of flowers burst with color around the lake and in yards of summer rentals.

Change can be unwelcome and challenging but this one is welcome. We’ll get to leave the stifling humidity of our very long summer to breathe in a morning chill.

We’ll stop at our favorite spots: Clyde’s diner for Sunday breakfast and the orchard to order our pies and buy our first dozen of apple cider donuts. And give a smile at the rolling accent of the locals ringing up our order.

Change is always easier when it’s our choosing. Not necessarily better.

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
– Reinhold Niebuhr


around the lake

The Color of Summer

thread spools,

I’m looking out our window at skies that are a traitor to our namesake as the Sunshine State. If there is any blue in them today it is cloudy and murky and the most watery version of blue.

Saturday we boated over waters that were an inky blue that turned to translucent emerald green. The sky overhead was the kind of gray blue that threatened water from above if we headed in our usual direction. We turned south where the sun brought out the lighter shades of blue.

This is life. Shades of one color shifting into another all brilliant hues of creation. We decide the direction. Sometimes we grab the umbrella and march through the storms. Other times we float on jewel-toned waves.

Grab the right gear and breathe in Creation.

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”                                                Ralph Waldo Emerson


When Summer Is the Same


I read on another blog:

If we try and force summer into the way we live the other nine months of the year, we’re going to hate summer. 

Summer is slow.
Summer meanders.
Summer eats hot dogs for dinner and stays up late.
Summer is full of couch forts and dirty rooms.

Summer sits in the driveway every night and eats an ice pop.
– (the Lazy Genius collective)
That use to be my summer. When our kids were kids and we experienced summer break and family vacations criss-crossing the country. 
Some days the kids dressed in their bathing suits because why start with regular clothes when they’d be in the pool by 10 AM. They’d come in for lunch and if I was lucky I could get them to stay indoor long enough for a short breather before another afternoon of splashing.
Then there were summer camps and one or both would be gone for a week that turned into three weeks at a time. The older they got the more challenging taking a family vacation became.
Both of our kids became lifeguards and spent whole summers working at a camp several hours from home.
It’s been years since our summers beat to a different rhythm. They aren’t much different from our spring or fall.
I liked those days of summer when beach towels substituted for clothes in the laundry. I miss the sun kissed cheeks and streaks of blonde hair on our kids. I even miss wet bathing suits on the bathroom floor and colorful towels hanging to dry.
hanging towels
I’d like to hold those moments but time changes things. It changes us. And change leads to possibilities…to becoming. What will we become this summer?
“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”
– Charles Bowden

Summer’s Invitation to Play

Sat morning at Deerfield Beach

Summer is determined more by the school calendar than Farmer’s Almanac. Summer break is coming to a close in the South where our kids head back to school in early August. It’s the last chance for vacations and lingering mornings at the beach.

When our homes are empty of children it’s easy to forget summer is an invitation for all of us to play.

Our grown up version often looks like grabbing burgers from our favorite local spot, sitting at their outdoor tables and enjoying an evening walk at our chosen stretch of beach. The sun has dropped just below the towering condo’s and the breeze has picked up enough for a pleasant walk.

It’s a different vibe on the beach in the shadows of the dropping sun. Some are enjoying a last swim while others are dressed for a night out at the restaurant across the street. It’s not unusual to see high schoolers using the ocean as a back drop for prom night photos. Or couples celebrating special birthdays or moments.

Summer is an invitation to welcome the spirit of play. One is never too old to have fun.

“If you never did you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.”

Dr. Seuss