There is no better season than Fall, it’s my favorite time of the year. I guess it comes from growing up in Florida where we really didn’t have a traditional Fall nor did we experience the leaves changing. It wasn’t until we moved “up North” I experienced this, and while I know the leaves turning is really just them dying. . . It’s a beautiful death.
Since I do a lot of digital artwork I thought I would share some of my favorites Ive done of Fall. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed doing them.
* All images are copyrighted. All rights reserved. Images may not be re-produced or displayed without express written consent of the myself. *
A few times a year the husband and I like to go on road trips. Some keep us in our state, and others take us through several states. These are usually the ones that are the most memorable, and by “memorable,” I mean something unexpected or just downright bizarre happens – usually to me.
Case in point: Sunday morning, Southern Tennessee and The Waffle House.
As we sat down we noticed a group of folks occupying the booths in front of the entrance to the back of the restaurant and the restrooms. They looked like they had just come from church services. The ladies were in their finest dresses and hats and the men in their suits.
As a kid I can remember my mother making sure that she and I were dressed in our finest as we headed out for church. This was back when people still dressed for church. I didn’t think anyone really did that anymore, and I remember thinking at the time it was good to see this.
We had our meals and while we were wrapping up the breakfast I thought I’d better visit the ladies room before getting back on the road. . . If there is one thing you learn quickly when traveling with my husband is – he doesn’t stop for potty breaks. He’s all about putting miles behind him so you need to go while the goings good.
In order to get to the ladies room, I had to walk through the church folks who were having quite animated conversations across the aisles and between the 4 or 5 booths they were occupying. I felt kind of bad for interrupting them, but when you gotta go …
As I made my way through the aisle saying my “excuse me’s” the church folks stood up and started testifying, praising and raising hands. It wasn’t unusual for me to see this, as I was raised in the south and had been to church a time or two, but the unexpected timing of it all nearly made it unnecessary to continue to the ladies room. . . if you know what I mean.
As we left they were still holding services and it reminded me of something my dad used to say to my mom when she would get on him about not going to church with us on Sundays. He would say, ” you don’t need a special building to talk to the man upstairs, you can do that anywhere and anytime.”
Never was that proven more than that day.
I’m still not sure but I think I may have actually been baptized on that day – right there in The Waffle House.
I have decided it is time to end our love affair. I want you to know its nothing you did. This one is all on me.
Life for me has changed, and the thrill of what you once brought me is gone. I never thought it would happen, especially to me, but happen, it did. I remain surprised as anyone about this. I tried to deny the way I felt, but in the end I could not.
There was a time I couldn’t wait for you to gently slide into my week. I would wait all week for the feeling you gave me always without fail.
Sure, I may have flirted with the other days, except maybe Sunday, but you knew they mean nothing to me. I merely used them to distract me until the day you came back.
I will always cherish the memories of my love for you, and the many happy days, and nights, we shared, but my continuing to fake it isn’t fair to either of us.
You deserve someone who can love and appreciate you for what you bring them, as I no longer can. I will always love you for the day you are, but there are those out there that can love you for what you can give them . . . the weekend.
I will remain forever yours in my memories and that is where you will live.
“A wise woman once said, “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself… And of course the bogeyman.”
And if you listen to the political pundits, online personalities and “alternative news” there is nothing scarier than the current political climate.
According to them we are on the verge of an apocalypse like the world has never seen.
We are all going to be groveling in the streets fighting squirrels for nuts.
There will be no jobs, healthcare, industry, nothing but a complete collapse of life as we know it.
We are all doomed, and the end is indeed nigh . . . IF we listen to them.
My question is – WHY are we listening to them? Their trade is fear and the pushing of it. The more afraid we are, the more they profit.
News is a money making industry and if it bleeds, it leads. Right now they’re doing their best to make sure it’s hemorrhaging.
To the point – Bob Woodward is currently writing a book titled: Fear Trump in the White House, which is being released on September 11th. – a day that all of us of a certain age lived out in fear and horror.
This my friend is no coincidence. Its strategically playing on all of our fears .. and for a profit.. the profit going to the author.
They use buzzwords like “Nazi, white supremacist, alt left, socialist, alt right” just to name a few.
And to what end? To drive that fear right into our homes and minds.
Ive seen people Ive known for years and people whom I love being driven half crazy by it. They eat, drink and live politics and hate, and no attempts to divert them to another subject is successful. Ive seen it bust up friendships and even tear families apart.
Is the current political landscape bad? Yes, but is it truly as bad as they would lead us to believe?
This country has survived truly hard times before… the Great Depression, The Gas Wars, Assassination of President Kennedy, 911.. just to name a few.. so why is it that we believe we cant or won’t survive now?
It’s because we are being told we wont – and like good little sheeple – we are stupidly believing it.
I too have found myself glued to the television or internet reading all the doom and gloom. Then I made a decision to take back my right to make up my own mind about it all, and STOP allowing others who have their own personal agenda to make it up for me.
This brings me to all of you, dear readers –
I have a challenge to everyone reading this and to everyone I know. . . STOP!
Stop reading everything political. Just for 1 week. Go out into the world and refuse to hear it or talk about it.
Talk about and read positive things.. they are still out there. When the week is over, ask yourself – do I feel better about the current situations? The world as a whole? You don’t have to tell me, or anyone for that matter what you found or how you feel after this week, but I have a feeling it will be a lot better . . . about everything.
I’m not trying to pretend we don’t have problems, but we exacerbate them and the way we approach or live through them by dwelling in the negative.
Let’s stop dwelling in the negative and remember the times we came together as a proud nation and refused to allow our fears to take us over and keep us down.
Why are we afraid?
We are so much better than what we are being fed by the talking heads.
We must remember this, and stop allowing them into brainwashing us in to thinking otherwise.
You know how sometimes when trying to go to sleep your brain decides you’re going to play “let’s reminisce” and it takes you to some event in your life you hadn’t really though of in years? Recently mine took me all the way back to elementary school and a pair of red go-go boots.
Long before the devil went down to Georgia, he attended elementary school with me and went by the name of, Harold Farquar.
Harold was wiry, pasty white boy with sharp features, devil eyes and a pointy nose. His blonde hair was thick especially on top, I suspect to hide the nubs of his horns and the numbers “666” imprinted on his skull. His look was never complete without the cockroach killer cowboy boots he wore – you know the type – so pointy they could be used to kill cockroaches in corners, and they had taps on them so whenever he walked you could hear “click-clack” “click- clack” “click-clack.” Personally I think he wore them because he got some perverse kick out of knowing his victims could hear him coming.
Harold wasn’t selective in the victims he chose, and you didnt need to give him a reason. If he chose you as his intended … you were it.
I found this out one bright sunny day while at recess. My little girlfriends and I were swinging away on the swings when I saw Harold. He locked eyes with me and I knew I had been chosen. He slowly walked up to the swings, walked behind me and proceeded to put his foot in the air, turning it so that when I swung back the points of those boots would land square in the center of my back.
It all happened so fast and the pain was tremendous, but I didn’t cry, I didn’t even acknowledge it had happened. Nope. I refused to give him the satisfaction.
I proceeded to go inside and on the way in I decided Harold had to go down. He had to go down… HARD.
That night at home, I firmed up my plans, and they included a pair of hard toed red go-go boots.
The next day when the recess bell rang, I knew it was time. Time to exact not only my revenge but the revenge for every child Harold had tormented the whole school year. I gathered myself up, went out on the playground and like a lioness, I hunted for my prey. Okay it was more like a little girl with a backache.. but still …
Then I spotted him. Standing with a group of his minions laughing like he didn’t have a care in the world. I marched right up to him, he snarled, I smiled and gave him the hardest, swiftest, sharpest kick I could . . . right in his crotch . . . right up between the legs! I knew in my elementary school mind this hurt boys and men, I had seen it on television, I just didn’t know how bad it hurt them.
He fell to the ground and as he did so he let out a wail the likes I had never heard before and have never heard since. There he laid crying, wailing and holding himself. His minions and all the kids within eye shot range were laughing and pointing.
As I walked away from him I couldn’t help but think that victory was mine!
Victory was short-lived.
Soon my mother was called to the school and she in turn took me home and when my dad got home, she sat me in front of him and told him all about my exploits at school that day. As she told him, my dad turned colors. He suddenly got a sickish pale look to his face, then he turned completely white, and as I witnessed a sweat bead roll down his face I swear I saw him tremble ever so subtlety.
For the next few weeks as served out my sentence of being grounded and refusing to apologize I often thought about what I had done. I pictured Harold on that day as he lay on the ground in the fetal position. A crumpled sweaty, slobbering shell of his former self . . . and I smiled.
I didn’t see much of Harold around during recess after that, and he didn’t come back to our school the next school year.
I don’t know whatever happened to Harold, but I’d like to think he became a kinder, gentler Harold, and I’d like to think I played a small part in that.
So, Harold if you’re out there and by some chance you’re reading this right now, there is something I want you to know. . .
If by some horrible chance someone acts on the suggestion of the person that tweeted this, it is my opinion that they as well as the whole of Twitter be somehow held legally responsible. By not removing this tweet and the user they are, in my opinion endorsing the sentiment.
It doesn’t matter if you are a Trump supporter or not, this kind of behavior especially in our current political climate should be condemned by all, and yes I would say the same thing if it had been said about any of the other candidates/players.
The above tweet has been removed by the author, Dean Anthony Gratton, whose Twitter account is still active. It does not however seem to have come at Twitter’s instructions as I didn’t receive notice from Twitter (per my reporting the tweet) that it was found in violation.
Therefore the question remains – Why is Jack Dorsey and Twitter endorsing the assassination of our president and allowing thehashtag, #AssassinateTrump to remain up and active on his platform?
TodaySanta Fe High School in Houston, Texas became a member of a club no one wants to belong to, but too many already do when a student opened fire killing 10 and leaving 10 others harmed.
Immediately the usual debates and blame began in the media and all over social media. I’m not here to address policies, gun control, the existence of the NRA or anything like that. Not now, not here.
Also the usual “Thoughts & Prayers,” “Pray For Santa Fe” sentiments started to appear. Many took, and take offense to this and will counter these sentiments with calls to “do something.”
While I understand and share much of the anger and urgency to “do something,” at that very moment in time, while we are watching students on t.v. crying, reliving the nightmare. While we watch the anguish of the parents who have lost a child, right at that very moment, what can we do?
We cant change policy at that very moment, and while the anger is righteous, we cant forget the people who are living through this nightmare.
This is where, for me, the thoughts and prayers come in.
Should we not pray for the families, students, faculty and the entire community? Should we not pray for their peace, their strength and faith to hold them in this most trying time? Should we not uplift them with our thoughts and prayers and let them know that we are all with them and thinking of and yes, praying for and with them?
People need to do something when tragedy strikes, they need to feel like they are in someway helping, and in the moments, days and weeks that follow these tragedies, praying is the most immediate thing that can be done.
As for me, I will continue to think about and pray for these people. If that offends you, I’ll pray for you too.
Ever since we moved to Ohio, Ive always wanted to go on a ghost tour of The Ohio State Reformatory. I knew The Shawshank Redemption had been filmed there, but for me, the history, and the possible sighting of a ghost was more the draw for me.
On May 4 of this year, the husband and I took the tour. The tour is around 2 hours, and if you ever decide to take it at night, I suggest you take a flashlight because it is dark, wear comfy shoes because there is A LOT of walking. The groups go in about 20 people along with the guide and the few volunteers that accompany the group, they make sure no one gets lost, wanders off and the likes.
The guide we had was wonderful and knew so much of the places history, she also happened to be the archivist of the place. She pointed out the rooms in which Shawshank was filmed, and gave some antidotes about some of the actors.
I took some pictures but most of them turned out blurry or hard to see. There was however one particular picture that I took in the chapel area. I wanted to get a good shot of it without other people from the group being in it. As they were all making their ways out to go onto the other part of the tour, I turned to take a picture of the room, I snapped the picture and went on. It wasn’t until the next day at home I saw the dark figure standing in the back of the room. Now mind you anyone still left in the room was behind or beside me. There was no one in that part of the room and I did not see this figure in the camera as I took it. I circled the figure for the purpose of posting. Other than that, this picture has not been manipulated in any way.
As I worked the camera, the husband was taking video, and got what is perhaps the most compelling catch of the night. We were in the area of the prisoners were held in their cells. These cells are stacked 6 high and are really not bigger than your average closet. As we approached the cell where an inmate named, James Lockhart, in cell #13 on the fourth level, took his own life by douching himself with turpentine and lighting himself on fire after having been denied parole, we stopped long enough to get a video of his cell and the sign that hangs on it.
The husband and I were at the end of the line, and the guide told everyone going in to be quiet because sometimes you can hear shuffling and whispers, so we were all going slowly but quietly.
We didn’t hear any of this as we made our way through cell area, but realized once we viewed the video, even though we didn’t hear something, doesn’t mean someone didn’t have something to say. I think it says, “they are gone.” What do you think?