Every Picture Has a Story: Composing Beautiful Photographs

A successful photo is one that evokes interest and compels the eye to linger awhile. It tells a story.However, what we see with our eyes and what we capture with our camera are often two separate things. The problem is, while our eyes see the world around us in 3-D, photographs are two-dimensional - just one reason why they often fall short of the image we hoped to capture and share....more
I hear you.  On a recent vacation my little one was digging for dinosaur bones with a group of ...more

Passing Time in a Whataburger

I found myself with a few hours to kill one morning this week with nary a Starbucks in sight. So I stepped into the next best thing - a Whataburger. I knew they'd have coffee, a restroom, air-conditioning, and space for reading and writing the time away. Everything I needed."You doing alright, ma'am?" It was the counter lady. "Can I get you a refill on your coffee?" She carried a tray of ketchup, creamer, and napkins, making the round of tables, even this one with the woman nursing a cup of coffee."No, not right now, but thank you," I told her....more

Hair, or the lack thereof

Not wanting to be seen by anyone I knew, I ducked into a store quite a distance from our house, heading straight for the product I sought. I had been eyeing it for years, but until this moment, couldn't rouse the courage to actually buy it. Tucking the box under my arm so the name wasn't obvious, I grabbed a few more items to further hide it and headed to check-out, trying to act nonchalant about my purchase...Tom was cutting my hair. He would touch a section with scissors and then pull back, comb another section, let it fall.I sensed his frustration. "What is it?"...more
@isthisthemiddle Thanks for the good luck wishes! Good luck in your quest, too. I'm afraid my ...more

Empty Nest - again

It was while standing at the kitchen counter first thing this morning, pouring water into the coffee pot and still mostly asleep, that I glanced up and spotted the open door.And I remembered: She's gone again.After weeks of being mostly here, of holidays and work days and carpools and visits to the library and sharing chores and bumping into each other in the kitchen ... now she's mostly gone....more
Sigh.  I remember this transition too.  I wrote about empty-nest stage ...more

Gray Skies and Peace

A gray day spent dealing with frustrations over computer glitches, rude people, and staff who are so quick to deny responsibility for a problem that they fail to listen or offer productive advice (their job - what my money is paying them to do.)...more

To the Young Mom in Aisle 7

I wanted to tell the mom to hang on, to keep it in perspective and take it a day at a time. Heck, a minute at a time, if necessary. I wanted to tell her to soak up her kids' joy and sense of adventure instead of letting them zap her energy -- it's possible! -- because before she knows it, those two are going to be grown and she's going to be walking the aisles selecting things she thinks they'll like to eat because they're coming home to visit for a weekend. ...more

I truly appreciate all of the comments voiced for my post. I confess I got busy (still, even in ...more

Twelve Years at a Chemical Plant: What Fear Teaches You

Leaning on the metal railing of a platform high above the ground, I lift my hard hat to slick my sweat-soaked hair off my forehead. I yearn for a breeze. The summer sun is pounding me into the grating. In the distance, construction workers scramble around an ethylene unit being built next to our syngas plant. Dust clouds swirl behind bulldozers. The huge furnace structure looks like a medieval castle among the tall columns and round, spiked tanks surrounding it. ...more

You are so sweet, Brenda. Thank you, dear big sister!


Barbara Shallue ...more