Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #878 – Slowly getting my #$&* together, very slowly

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While it is using some old images, I’ve been playing with the magic powers of Photoshop CS6. Working on finding a new route eventual into collage and multi-medium creations. Taking an online course with Kelly Rae Roberts,(http://www.kellyraeroberts.com/) who just does some blow me away work and trying to find new avenues to travel.

“I get symptoms . . . I’ll start to get in trouble . . . When you don’t do your work, vices start to creep into your life—and they get worse and worse and worse. They start out with potato chips and wind up with crack smoking or something like that.”  Steven Pressfield. (http://www.stevenpressfield.com)

Find you path!    monos en theos

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #872- Burning at both ends

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So sorry for the lapse in posting. I have been burning at both ends, well trying to. But really burning at one end and letting the other smolder.

“We cannot hold a torch to light another person’s path without brightening our own.”

Ben Sweetland

Monos en theos…†…jim

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #857…A Portrait of Pride

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One of the more pleasurable benefits of moving to a new part of the state is the getting to know new people. The added enjoyment comes from getting to know different cultures.

It Southwest Texas we were very blessed to become entrenched with the Mexican culture. We were very privileged to become close to many families and the learning was constant.

Now moving to North Central Tx we are also have the extreme pleasure of getting to know our Black neighbors.

This young man worked a full day of really hard labor cutting Bamboo and using the cane to built a fence for us. He was extremely proud of his work. When I pulled out my camera he wanted a photo of his fence. While impressed with his fence, I was much more enthralled with his confident heart that beamed through his face.

Come to know your neighbors and you will find and receive love…†…monos en theos…jim

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #854…Making a stand

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At first glance my thought was gez Louise, can’t we cut Jane some slack and just get over it. There seems to be such contradiction in all the messages, and are we listening to our Boss?

Add to that the truck was parked outside a local church food pantry, so the driver was either in line or serving the line.

At least he has an opinion and perhaps is working on change. As we all should be…monos en theos…jim

 

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #848…Not taking no for an answer

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We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure. It is a powerful obstacle to growth. It assures the progressive narrowing of the personality and prevents exploration and experimentation. There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure – all your life.“

– John W. Gardner

I met Floyd while on my  walk a couple of early morns ago. He pulled his faded small sedan along side and proudly proclaimed his 40 years of work experience. He was looking for some landscape work.

I paused, aggravated from the exhaust from his overloaded vehicle. Two younger men uncomfortable weighed down the backseat. I told him I had nothing for him and he politely moved on to any other existing opportunity.

When we arrived home, Floyd was in our backyard. Assessing our overgrown and every prolific crop of bamboo. With loads of exuberance, he complemented my attempts to trim my forest. I was using the dead canes to cover an old chain link fence. Floyd gave me encouragement on my thus far slow progress. He pulled out a small legal yellow pad and scribbled a dollar figure, “that’s what I’ll do it for.”

I thought of the soreness of my back and hands from my last clearing of the cane. While I was pondering the offer, his men had somehow squeezed themselves out of the weathered Nissan. Saws, trimmers, tools and cords had also escaped the trunk with the men asking for an electrical outlet. It was an offer too good to refuse.

Floyd signed the scribbled pad and asked me to do the same. He then laid out specific detailed instructions to his “crew” and left for another job. I shook my head feeling that I had probably just thrown my money away.

The two men set to not only taking out all the dead cane, but also installing it on my chain link fence. In talking to the two men, whose age I could not guess. I figured them younger than their weathered look by the speed of work. Talking to them I found out the younger looking of the two was the other man’s father in law. Oh yes, we all do have a story.

The men worked through the day, filling a trailer with dead bamboo promising to come back the next day. Floyd asked for a whole $20 advance for gas to get home.

Back at work the next day, I had a chance to visit with Floyd. He had a story, a wife dying of cancer, “a tumor the size of a cantaloup, they can’t take it out”. Bills just like the rest of us. Broken tools, a too old vehicle and an even older body, but a firm faith in the Lord (he had on a “I love Jesus” t-shirt). As I lay in bed that night contented with all their work and not a sore bone one, I thought of Floyd. How he was so ahead of me in the game. I don’t think I would have the nerve to just approach strangers asking for work. Touting my ability. I thought of how representative Floyd was in not only resisting failure, but his relying on faith and doing nothing more than asking for his daily bread.

A better man than me!…†…en theos….jim

 

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #828 – OLD CHAIRS

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We pass by the yard with these lawn chairs neatly lined in a row. They have always drawn us as a friendly place to sit. As we walked by, their owner was lazily sweeping her small stoop. “We love your chairs” we expressed to her. She idled briefly propping her well-rounded broom against the wall. She gently wrapped her weathered hands around a post that rivaled her hands in age and exposure. Comfortable and secure holding the post, she used one eye to size us with suspicion while the other bore the hint of invitation.

She broke into a small smile towards our harmlessness and proudly declared “all lined up, ready for a prayer meeting.”

I have no doubt that they had served that purpose in the past. Gone by blessings and pleas pealed off the oaks. We were lifted and warmed, bid our good days and went on our way.

Small pleasures warm the heart…†…monos en theos…jim