A Tree Ballet

I took these photos with my iPhone camera this past Friday late morning in my neighborhood park.  I was supposed to be exercising, but I stopped for a closer look.

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As I look back at these pictures, the trees in their early winter state remind me of ballerinas arching, lifting, twirling, pointing, stretching. The dance is formal and majestic. The dancers’ movements, torsos and limbs, are powerful, controlled, yet graceful. You can’t see all that when they’re wearing their leaves.

Look, there are a couple of large birds mixed in with the mistletoe in that treetop.  I wasn’t sure . . . are those crows? I wish I could see the performance from up there.


My Thankfulness


We spent the Thanksgiving break with my side of the family this year.  This is a view from the ranch-house deck.  I shot most of the photos included in my SLIDE SHOW early in the week at my parents’ ranch in West Texas and the rest I took on Thanksgiving day at their in-town home.  If you have 4 minutes, please take a look.  Music Credit: “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” Sufjan Stevens.

We’ll be spending Christmas with my hubby’s family.

— Twyla

Fog in the Park

One day, last week, we awoke to fog.  After Steve left for work, the kids and I went about our morning routine and finally ended up strapped into my SUV on the way to the elementary school drop-off.  As is my habit when there’s somewhere to be and a certain time to be there, I drove hurriedly by the park at the end of our alley without observing its beauty.  But my peripheral vision caught the difference brought on by the fog that morning, and I took notice.

Although it meant the children might be tardy, I pressed the brake, reversed, and pulled to the curb.  “Look at the park, guys,” I said, and picked up my cell phone/camera.  The three of us got out of the car and stood gazing into the park from its edge in wonder.

The trees were draped in fog and glistening in diffused sunlight.  There looked to be some heavenly beings gliding around inside the cloud that had descended to earth and settled in our neighborhood park.  Angels?

We bunched together, leaned in, and squinted.  Were they moving slowly toward us?  Surely they would come out of the cloud to greet us, smile kindly on those of us created a little lower than they.  Would they bring us some news from paradise, a message from God?  Would they offer us a hint of what to expect?  Perhaps they would produce for us a vision of our family, ourselves in 10 years . . . 20 . . . 50.

We peered and waited in silence.

After a little while, the kids and I got back in the car, returned to our thoughts of the day at-hand, and continued our journey . . . to school.

Thank you for listening. — Twyla

Is This my Sweet Angelic Little Flower?

Hubby and I were just thrilled and oh so proud when our daughter ran over to us, from the face painter’s table at our neighborhood fall festival, as Darth Maul. (According to Wikipedia, he’s a Dathomirian Zabrak Sith Lord, master of double-bladed lightsaber combat, warrior of the Nightbrother clan on the planet Dathomir during the last days of the Galactic Republic . . . from Star Wars, in case you didn’t know.)

I try pink bows, ballet slippers, and frilly dresses, but this one is a slugger on the diamond, a menace in cleats and shin-guards, and bold enough to show up on pirate and princess day, the only female pirate in pre-kindergarten.  Aarrrrgh!

And she is beautiful beyond any words.

Thank you for listening. — Twyla

While At The State Fair

While at the State Fair of Texas with my husband, kids, and brother-in-law, I thought about joy.

Children really know how to experience joy.

We grownups can enjoy ourselves, of course, but it’s so hard for us.  We have distractions, inhibitions, worries, images to maintain, work-outs to avoid, boiling pots to watch, bread to win, bacon to bring home, nests to feather, and Joneses to keep up with.

Sometimes, I think I’ve forgotten how to experience the joy I came by so naturally in childhood.  That’s when I look to my kids to help and teach me.

Here I am on a fast ride with my kids.

In this picture, her face says she’s having the time of her life.  His expression is that of sheer terror, mixed with a little motion sickness.  But unlike most grownups, he’s facing fear and doing it anyway!  When I first saw this picture, I zeroed in on myself.  I was distracted by the way I looked here.  I didn’t like it in the least.  Here’s an exhausted, yet exhilarated, middle-aged mom, a size or two larger than she wants to be around the middle, with smile lines, and finger nails in desperate need of attention.  (My kids are six years old, so it’s been exactly that long since my manicure routine ended.)

But then I looked a little closer . . .

I saw my un-manicured fingers wrapped around her soft, precious, skinny arm.

I saw his sweet, grubby, little hand gripping mine for all life’s worth.


Thank you for listening. — Twyla

SLIDE SHOW!  Please click here to view my 3-minute slide show of our trip to the State Fair of Texas:  Music Credit:”All This Beauty,” The Weepies