Archive for July, 2011

dreams lost

Up to date on current events, I am not. So the last flight of the space shuttle took me by surprise. Old news in this fast paced world.
As I watched the space shuttle lift off for its final flight I was struck by the reality of how many dreams were lost as the nose of space shuttle Atlantis rose into the open sky. I had a clear picture of those dreams because a high school friend of mine aspired to be an astronaut. A goal that might be though of as “out of this world,” but for her it was real. She graduated from college with a degree in Aerospace Engineering, and went on to work for Boeing as a Project Engineering Manager.
All I could do was think of her as the shuttle left earth for the last time. Then my thoughts went to others who had those same dreams. Children who hoped to explore that vast world. Think of it this way. A child dreams of one day becoming president, and the year they turn eighteen, that position no longer exists. America is now run by a committee, no president needed.
Strange to think that a dream can be lost so quickly.

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July 18, 2011 at 3:22 am Leave a comment

place the blame on the right name

Have you ever noticed that people place blame where it doesn’t belong? If the food at a restaurant comes out of the kitchen over cooked, under cooked, or not even resembling what was ordered, the customer has often been known to rage at the waitress. Is it her fault? The price went up at the gas pump, and anger is taken out on the cashier. Is it his fault? The line at the grocery store goes all the way down to isle six, and those who wait to get through scowl at the cashier as she swipes their items across the scanner. Was it her fault?
I see it everywhere. The human race wants to blame someone else for everything. Every problem they encounter. And what about those souls who are stuck in the middle? It has always astonished me that we (I can include myself) are so quick to find another at fault, when, if we would just think before acting, we might find that the problem had nothing to do with that particular person. I wish we would all think before acting. The world would be a much more pleasant place.

July 16, 2011 at 3:15 am Leave a comment

Potter Wasp – the Nomad’s Neighbour (via Nature's Place)

The experiences this man has with nature are astounding. To come that close to creatures that are constantly on the move is a chance very few will ever have. Amazing photography!

Potter Wasp – the Nomad’s Neighbour In the field of bees there are a few wasps that sleep at nights. Called Potters, because they make wonderful nest structures from mud. They usually roost in solitude in the long grass but occasionally can be found in twos or threes, and rarely next to a Nomad. Like most creatures they are easily intruded upon but I have also found them to be gentle by nature, disinclined to aggression. Content to climb on a warm finger on a cold and wet morning. … Read More

via Nature's Place

July 12, 2011 at 4:17 am Leave a comment

holy haboob

I lived in Phoenix for five years. Five extremely hot and miserable five years. Not only is it like living somewhere near hell, you also have to deal with Haboob’s (giant dust storms).
One morning I walked out of my apartment on my college campus to find that it was foggy on a very warm, dry desert day. My roommate, who had grown up in the city didn’t seem to think anything of this phenomenon. Finally I had to say something. It came out as less than educated. “Why is there fog on a humidless spring day?”
She laughed at me, “That’s not fog. It’s dust.”
I ran for the cover of my car and slammed the door, hoping that it wouldn’t seep in. Then I wondered how people could enjoy living there.

photo taken by Ed Goldney

At other times I had the opportunity to see the enormous dust clouds rolling into the city (as you’ve most likely seen in the news recently, and in the picture on the left).  A wall of dirt. Usually it wasn’t a billowing cloud like the one which overcame the Phoenix area on Tuesday.
I would tell those fortunate souls living in other states of Arizona’s odd weather patterns, and they would look at me with disbelief (not the “I’m in awe kind,” but the “I simply don’t believe you” kind). This usually happened when I described the great Haboob’s. By the way, could they not find better terminology to explain these dust bowls?
Now I have proof that I wasn’t crazy, and that it really is horrible when these mammoths invade the town.

Since I have ranted about how much I hate Phoenix, I will highlight some of it’s attributes, because they do exist.
The city is kept in pristine condition, streets and sidewalks are kept free of trash, plantings grace side streets, art work is displayed along the freeway overpasses. Now that I live in a smaller town, I miss the variety of shops and restaurants the upper scale areas of Phoenix and Scottsdale have to offer.  In the middle of winter the trees are still covered in leaves, and the grass is still boasting emerald hues.
One early March, my friend who had grown up in Phoenix came to visit me in Colorado. She commented on the scenery, “It’s dead and ugly.” The winter hadn’t waned yet, dormant grass and trees were everywhere. I was surprised. All the states I had grown up in (and there were a few) had four seasons. For the most part each one had something we could enjoy, so when all she saw was dead foliage, I began to look at it from her perspective. Phoenix was green year around. It was pretty, and it smelled wonderful. That is Phoenix.
See, Phoenix does have some positive qualities, just not for this heat sensitive, cold loving, dirt hating girl. Colorado fits me perfectly.

July 8, 2011 at 3:27 am Leave a comment

you don’t understand the story

In a past issue of Writer’s Digest, I came across an interview with Pat Conroy. In it, he talks about going to Hollywood years ago to work on the screenplay for The Prince of Tides. The director fired him, saying that Pat didn’t understand the story.
I laughed out loud when I read what Pat said in his interview. That a director would have the audacity to tell the author of the book (especially such a well known one) that he didn’t understand it. If I were Pat, I would have threw some new ones his way, and taken the screenplay with me.
It was his story wasn’t it? How could he not understand it? Understanding or not, we all look at movies, books, life, in different ways, through different eyes. I have different experiences than my neighbor, my closest friend, and even my parents.
How do we begin to understand others? It begins when we start to understand ourselves.
I am in the midst of writing a novel, and I am stuck. Somewhere between the beginning and the middle. The main character isn’t what I want her to be. I know how I would like to continue the plot, but I just couldn’t move forward. I finally realized that there is an experience that she was meant to have in the beginning that doesn’t exist, at least not yet. As I am formulating this new experience and trying to rework the novel in my head, I see that it can now move forward with a flow that was missing before. A reason, shall we say.
I could say that I wasn’t “understanding” the story. And it was my own. How strange is that?
This goes beyond the stories that are typed out and turned in as manuscripts. It flows into life. Understanding ourselves.

Image source: http://www.nationalgeographic.com

July 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm Leave a comment

choosing to SEE

I finished Choosing to SEE a few weeks ago, and never did sit down and write about it like I intended to. This summer has brought on busyness. I have been busier before, but I hadn’t started a blog at that time. More about summer later…
Choosing to SEE is written by Mary Beth Chapman, a woman who lost her adopted daughter in a horrific accident in 2008. It’s a story that takes you through her ups and downs with depression, and the everyday life of being married to a well known musician. And of course it gives us a glimpse into the tragedy that befell their family a few years ago. Like I mentioned in another post, it helped me appreciate my children more. The way God orchestrated special moments into the time after their daughter’s passing gives us a clear picture of how much He cares for us. I was touched by her deep honesty, and I highly recommend her book.

Image source: http://www.amazon.com

July 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm Leave a comment


Tracy Dee Whitt - Author

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