Monday, March 28, 2011

Playful with Nature

Once in a while I like to play around with images. The original image was photographed in a swampy area of Whites Mill Preservation Area in Salford Township, Montgomery County, PA back on the first day of March. The modified image had a plastic wrap filter applied to it. Notice how it highlights the edges already present in the original photo. Take time to view each image separately for full aesthetic effect and appreciation. Take in both the real and the abstract. Its common name is Skunk Cabbage and its botanical name symplocarpus foetidus.

Original Image

Modified Image

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Cornutopia of Delights and Memories

This post highlights a number of delights and memories from the past couple weeks and before - a walk in the present and down memory lane. The first delights are signs of Spring, a bit of Irish Step Dancing, and a couple scenes from a flower show followed by some scenes reflecting on my dad and his life.

 Some beautiful Johnny-Jump-Ups growing in our flowerbed

These were growing wild in a nearby park woodland.

These were in the same park along a creek where the sun shines warmly.

This past Sunday evening our church's youth group held a soup and silent auction fundraiser to go to a Youth Convention later this summer. In this particular picture, people donated enough money to see them dance. It was quite fun!

This is a scene from the Peter Becker Retirement Home Flower Show.
It is a combination of real & artificial flowers and art work.

 Much of this done by the residents of the retirement home
with sponsorship from local businesses.

Here we are singing a favorite hymn of Dad's called When There's Love at Home.
The first verse reads as follows:

There is beauty all around,
When there’s love at home;
There is joy in ev’ry sound,
When there’s love at home.
Peace and plenty here abide,
Smiling sweet on ev’ry side;
Time doth softly, sweetly glide,
When there’s love at home;
Love at home, love at home,
Time doth softly, sweetly glide,
When there’s love at home.
Here's Dad's eighth grade diploma. He only had eight years of schooling
but he kept up with us children who received much more schooling.

Here's part of a display that was set up to commemorate Dad's life.
Click on this photo to see it much enlarged.
This the planned burial site for Dad and Mom. Dad's body was cremated;
but the plan is that when Mom dies, she will be given a traditional burial
and Dad's urn will go in her casket.  The building behind the tombstone
was an old German schoolhouse in the 1800s.

Monday, March 14, 2011

On The Homestead

Today, I spent a few hours on the Rice Homestead taking some of my last photos from there. Mom has now moved to the home of one of my brothers. In time the property will be put up for sale though one of my siblings lives there for the time being. It struck me as I reminisced through the property how that so much had changed already through the years since I've been a child. Below are a few photos from my time there today.


This picture was taken from my childhood church home looking across the cemetery. The cemetery is much larger than it appears here. The house I lived in as a child and into my adulthood for some years is located on the far left. Behind the house is our red barn which for many years housed a couple thousand chickens, loads of straw bales, and farm machinery. There was also a chicken house that held six thousand chickens to the left of the house but not seen in this photo. On the right are some of my brothers' greenhouses. And in the back of the photo is a neighboring dairy farm.

Here's a view of the house with part of the barn in the background. Over the years, we spent a lot of time on the porch of this house. I remember in particular watching thunderstorms from there and helping Mom and Dad prepare fruits and vegetables for canning and freezing.

Here's the dinner bell that was used precisely for that purpose or anytime we were too far away to be called by the voice. As children we roamed a wide stretch of the farm and the bell was the easiest way to call us in.

Here's another view of the barn in the center with a corn crib and machinery shed on the left and the larger chicken house on the right. The barn actually used to be longer than it is in this picture.

This photo is a part of the main barn door taken from inside the barn. I took this photo because I like the wood grain and colors. In a future post, I may display more interior photos from the barn.

Here's a photo of a clock my dad gave to my Mom many years ago. The wood grain shown here is the same as the rest of the kitchen cupboards. Mom and us children spent a lot of time in this kitchen. She made sure we all at least knew the basic rudiments of cooking and baking.

This is some of the decor from the living room. Mom decorated her home with many knickknacks and pictures throughout the home. She knew how to make a house a home.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Remembering Dad

Dad went on to be with His Maker yesterday morning. He will be greatly missed but I am glad that he is freed from his sufferings. Near the end, the pain from his cancer was becoming intense. I am glad that I got the chance to spend last Wednesday evening with him. It was his last night at home before going to the hospital and departing this earth. We played a good game of Upwords that evening. Playing table games with family was one of his favorite activities.

Below are a few pictures from recent months that exemplify some of who Dad was.

This picture was from our Rice-Moyer Christmas gathering in January.
Dad knew at that time that his cancer was not curable but he still made
the most of life up to the end. My Dad is the one in the blue shirt.

My Dad was very dedicated to his wife who has been suffering from
Alzheimers for a number of years. He has been a good example of
what true love is and means. Thank you, Dad.

My Dad enjoyed playing table games with his children and
grandchildren all his life. The game of Upwords is being played
here and Dad is using the Scrabble dictionary which got
intense usage during these games.

Dad enjoyed family celebrations. On this occasion
we were celebrating my Mom's birthday this past October.

For those who might be interested, here is a link to Dad's obituary.