Since it was seven years ago today that I took these pictures and compiled this video, I thought I would share the video again. That day was so full of hope and promise. Did it turn out exactly as I had envisioned? No. But so much good was accomplished and we have made such strides forward from where we were. I still have hope for the future.
In honor of Bindi Irwin winning the 2015 Dancing with the Stars with a dance dedicated to her father, I thought it was only appropriate to post this poem that was written about her father (author unknown).
An Interesting Day at Rainbow Bridge
Rainbow Bridge is a place of both peace and anticipation as departed
pets await their beloved owners. There are plenty of things to keep them
contented while they wait: trees you can't get stuck in, endless
meadows, splashing streams, thickets perfect to hide in for
But one day the residents noticed some rather... unusual newcomers
The koalas and the kangaroos slipped in rather quietly, but then came
the bearded dragons, the skinks and the goannas. The influx of snakes
startled an entire family of cats up a tree. Pythons, cobras, tiger
snakes, brown snakes and even fierce snakes. There were so many at one
point, it seemed the ground itself was alive with writhing. A burly
wombat shouldered his way through the crowd and plopped down in a shady
spot, barely missing a Jack Russell terrier who yapped indignantly as he
abandoned his position.
And then the crocodiles showed up.
Finally, a Great Dane managed to get up enough nerve to approach one of
the reptilian giants.
"Um....excuse me," he said hesitantly. "But why are you all here?"
The croc dropped her jaw and laughed. "Same as you, mate," she said.
"Waitin' for someone who loved us."
The dogs, cats, gerbils and other "typical pets" looked at each other in
confusion, then at the plethora of weird, ugly and downright deadly
creatures assembled. Who on Earth could possibly love some of those
"I see him!" shouted a green mamba from his vantage point in one of the
trees. A cacophony of squeaks, hisses, bellows and roars erupted as the
mob surged forward toward a lone human walking across the field toward
the bridge. The other animals managed to catch a glimpse of him before he was
overwhelmed by the crowd.
"CRIKEY!" he shouted joyously right before he was bowled over by the
"Well I'll be," said a Persian as she tidied up her fur. "It's that
Aussie my human liked to watch on TV. Had to be the craziest human on
the whole planet."
Sorrow as a result of death(s) are affecting a number of my friends today. I happened to find this poem tucked away in an obscure file. Hopefully it will help.
A POEM FOR THE GRIEVING...
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die...
(I can't believe Káva was ever that small)
I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I couldn't fail,
The same four walls of busy work were really more like a jail
I longed so much to do the things I'd never done before,
But I stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor
I said it didn't matter that I wasn't doing much
I said I didn't care for things like a new car, house, clothes, and such
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside my zone,
But deep inside, I longed for something special of my own
I couldn't let my life go by just watching others win,
I held my breath and stepped outside to let the change begin
I took a step and with new strength I'd never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door
If you are in a comfort zone afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true
Greet your future with a smile, success is there of you!
~ Author Unknown
On this November 19th in the year of our Lord, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln spoke in Gettysburg for just over two minutes and giving one of the greatest speeches in our history.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here.
It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
( The Hay Copy -- believed to be the second draft)
This is something I found in the bottom of a box of old papers:
UNDERSTANDING THE AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE STRUCTURE
Leaps tall buildings in a single bound
Is more powerful than a locomotive
Is faster than a speeding bullet
Walks on water
Gives policy to God
POLITICAL COUNSELOR/ECONOMIC COUNSELOR/FSO-2
Leaps short buildings in a single bound
Is more powerful than a switch engine
Is just as fast as a speeding bullet
Walks on water if the sea is calm
Talks with God
Leaps short buildings with a running start and favorable winds
Is almost as powerful as a switch engine
Is faster than a speeding BB
Walks on water in an indoor swimming pool
Talks with God if special request is approved
Barely clears a quonset hut
Loses tug-of-war with a locomotive
Can fire a speeding bullet
Is occasionally addressed by God
Makes high marks on the wall when trying to leap buildings
Is run over by locomotive
Can sometimes handle a gun without inflicting self-injury
Talks to animals
Runs into buildings
Recognizes locomotive two out of three times
Is not issued ammunition
Can stay afloat with a life preserver
Falls over doorsteps when trying to enter building
Says, “look at the choo-choo”
Wets himself with a water pistol
Plays in mud puddles
Mumbles to himself
FOREIGN SERVICE SECRETARY
Lifts buildings and walks under them
Kicks locomotives off the tracks
Catches speeding bullets in her teeth and eats them
Freezes water with a single glance
SHE IS GOD
Clouds fascinate me. I couldn't help but grab a few images with my iphone on the way home.
It's hard to believe that a year ago, I was in Alaska. What a wonderful adventure that was especially since I was recovering with 2 broken arms, which, by the way, is the not recommended way to visit Alaska. These are just some of the images I took.
WHEN TOMORROW STARTS WITHOUT ME
When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see;
The sun will rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me.
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
Remembering how I'd lay my head
In your lap that special way.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me.
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name
And petted me with her hand.
She said my place was ready,
In Heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But, as I turned to heel away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life I never thought
That I would have to die.
I had so much to live for,
So many sits and downs to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought about our lives together,
I know you must be sad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.
Remember how I'd nudge your hand,
And poke you with my nose?
The frisbee I would gladly chase,
The bad guy, I'd "bark and hold".
If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for awhile,
I'd wag my tail and kiss you,
Just so I could see you smile.
But, then I fully realized,
That this could never be;
For emptiness and memories
Will take the place of me.
And when I thought of treats and toys,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you and when I did,
My dog-heart filled with sorrow.
But then I walked through Heaven's gate,
And felt so much at home;
As God looked down and smiled at me,
From His beautiful golden throne.
He said, "This is eternity,
And now we welcome you,
Today your life on earth is past,
But here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last;
For you see, each days's the same day,
There's no longing for the past.
Now you have been so faithful,
So trusting, loyal and true;
Though there were times you did things,
You knew you shouldn't do.
But good dogs are forgiven,
And now at last you're free;
So won't you sit here by my side,
And wait right here with me?"
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart.
For every time you think of me,
I'm right there, in your heart.
I can't believe that Michael is six. What has happened to time? How has my little nephew grown so fast?
Ride For The Feast is an annual 2 Day, 140 mile bicycle ride from Ocean City to Baltimore, Maryland. "The purpose of the Ride is to raise money for Moveable Feast, a longstanding Baltimore nonprofit organization that provides lifesaving, nutritious foods for low-income Marylanders living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions at no cost."
If you are interested in purchasing any of the images, proceeds will be donated to Moveable Feast. You can purchase the images through my Smugmug account: http://lidaverner.smugmug.com/Events/2014-Ride-for-the-Feast/
Blessing of the Animals at the Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church
Easter at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church