Arriving in Style

The Thanksgiving Feast is leftovers. Prepare for sandwiches (hot or cold) plus casseroles and new combinations as the side dishes shrink in their plastic containers.

For many — today is a shopping day. Retailers want our attention to turn from “Thankful for all that we have” to “I want to buy more” in the blink of an eye.

Today is also the day of an anticipated arrival at our local shopping mall.  So if you happen to be in the neighborhood — stop in at noon.

Santa upgraded to a chartered helicopter.


Holiday Blooms

In a few short days, citizens of the United States will pause and celebrate Thanksgiving.

How will you mark the day? Family? Feasting? Worship? Football? Walk in the park? Shopping?

During the seasons of my life, I’ve done most of the above. My parents often hosted friends and/or family for a feast after a worship service. Other years we were guests in another home. (Bring a side dish — hostess prepared the main course.) I’ve watched football games either before or after the feast. The walk in the park (or through the neighborhood) works off a few calories to make room for a second round of dessert.)

This year? Well, in recent years I’ve obtained videos and binge-watched mini-series or television shows. This does not mean I omit the feast. And working on a shopping list for early the next week is a necessary task. And give thanks for the many blessings — my home, the food in the cupboard, transportation in the parking spot, family scattered across the country, and a spot of color from a holiday plant.

My “Holiday Cactus” blooms on its own schedule.



Priceless Work

Times were difficult and jobs were scarce.  Owners of farms and homes became renters when bank payments fell behind.  The country, the entire world, was in the middle of a difficult transition.

Young men moved to the city — seeking work. Some ended up in bread lines, sleeping in hobo jungles, or drifting from one place to another.

The lucky ones found a government job — especially the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The work was difficult – pick and shovel, bucket and wheelbarrow — as they cleared roads and build bridges and shelters and retaining walls on public land. They built to last. They learned discipline and teamwork along with new skills. A few years later, many of these young men would use these skills as they fought to preserve our freedom.

Honoring the CCC worker at Babler State Park near St. Louis, MO

You will see their work in many state and national parks in the bridges, roads, trails, and stone buildings.



They never miss a day. Every visitor who enters the St. Louis Zoo via the south entrance catches at least a glimpse of them. Many stop to admire, snap a photo, or designate as a meeting place.

Welcome. See how sleek we are. Want to see our living, breathing, swimming, playful relatives? We’re on the map. We love to put on a seasonal show. Prepare to be splashed.

Live or sculpture — in or out of water — seal or sea lion — these greeters take their job as good-will ambassadors seriously.


Colorful View

Vibrant colors in motion.

What does the above phrase bring to mind?

Flowers swaying in the breeze? Clothes drying on the line? Sports teams moving on the field?

Today I ask you to think slower motion — and a wetter environment.

This charming, relaxing view is brought to you via the Georgia Aquarium.

A window to a “change of pace” world. This was one of the exhibits I enjoyed early in the day. It’s easy to lose track of time. Pick a fish — follow them as they dip and dive among their tank mates. Marvel at the variety. And let your stress level drift toward the bottom of the container.


By the Sea

Sometimes all it takes is a clever paint job to make an ordinary object extraordinary.

Fire hydrants in the hands of an artist look like dogs, cartoon characters, or patriotic figures.

Electrical transformers and switch boxes can sport scenes as humorous as a giant light switch or as inspirational as wide mountain vistas.

My most recent vacation took me near the sea. And I thought this character — and his four friends along the boardwalk — were charming.

Oscar? Or Octavia?


Touch of History

Regular readers of this blog are aware I enjoy visiting historical sites and reading about historical events.

While roaming around in my private photo gallery — I came across this hint of history.

A door with glass panels. It looks rather special. Does it have a story?

Once upon a time, when steamboats traveled the Mississippi River carrying freight and people, the river was not the same. Today barges carry goods. A few private boats take people. And aside from seasonal levels, the river pretty much travels the same route year after year.

This was not the case in the 19th Century. Between the shifting sandbars, snags, and proud (foolish) captains talked into having a race — the river was a dangerous place. And the life expectancy of your steamboat was short.

This door is from one of those unlucky steamships. After it was grounded — a daring person salvaged the door. Today it graces a historic site’s office in Ste. Genevieve, MO.


Hidden Exercise

Keep your body healthy! Exercise! Every day!

Touch your toes. Jumping jacks. Sit-ups.

As one of the students who disliked physical education class — those are frightful words.

The real world — outside of P.E. class — is kinder.

Walk from here to there. Grab a ball and play a game. Put on some music and DANCE!

Note the trim figures on this dancing couple.

So hide your exercise with music, laughter, companionship, or necessity. Don’t let the memory of calisthenics in school keep you sidelined.


Right Idea: Right Time

Two centuries ago, in 1819, the man featured today would have been 32 years old. His career was getting started.

Good business sense. A father in the timber business. A time of rapid change in his area of expertise.

Samuel Cunard

The statue of Samuel Cunard stands proud at the waterfront in his birthplace of Halifax, NS.

His fame is from his steamship line. He started using steam rather than sail in 1830. By 1837 he was bold enough to request, and gain, the important contract to carry mail. Establishing regular, scheduled service  between Liverpool, Halifax, and Boston brought the two sides of the Atlantic a little closer.

Business never is a straight line. The firm which buys others eventually is purchased by another. But the reputation for excellence continues.

Queen Mary 2 proudly docked in Quebec