Posted in Countdown to Christmas

Countdown to Christmas: “Images of Peace” 12/23/22

For this blog category, “Countdown to Christmas: Images of Peace,” each day between December 1 and 25, I share some of our photography that invites rest, peace, tranquility and love.

Parasols of Peace

I have always found umbrellas to be special handheld “harbingers of peace.” I believe it all started when I was just a wee little thing and would travel from my middle Georgia hometown of Macon up to the tiny north Georgia hamlet of Ball Ground, where my grandparents lived.

For my pre-teen summers I would spend a couple of weeks each July with my Granny Nix and her second husband Veto.

Just me. No parents. None of my four brothers. It was glorious.

Each weekday morning, I would go to work with Granny at the family-owned Frosty Bar (similar to today’s Dairy Queen). Granny let me stay behind the counter with her, while she made cheeseburgers and milkshakes. I would tiptoe up to the bar to hand the folks their food and then stay low to savor the leftover milkshake which Granny would pour into a little paper cup just for me.

But Sunday was the most special day! Granny and I would dress up and walk to the little country Baptist church nearby. As we left the house, she would position her purse strap on her right shoulder and then with her right hand, snap open her big flowered umbrella.

Her left hand reached for me, and we strolled leisurely and somewhat proudly down the dirt road, protected from the unforgiving Georgia July sun, underneath Granny’s lovingly protective parasol.

So when I snap open my own umbrella today, or just see an umbrella, I am thankful for the love and protection underneath.

HR and me protected from the rain.

Grandson Daniel in a production of Tuck Everlasting over on Hilton Head Island, SC.

With my 96-year-old dad

And like Granny, I also love colorful bumbershoots.

Posted in Family


When I was growing up, this short poem was painted on a fancy plate that hung in the entryway to our house.

As a kid I thought it was a little too simplistic, a bit silly.

I have lost both the plate and my mother but not the enduring truth of the “silly” poem’s sentiment.

Posted in Delicious Joy

Pot Pie Smiles

One of my earliest joyful memories as a kid finds me meandering off, on warm summer mornings, to the community playground near my house in Cochran Field, near Macon, Georgia.  My best friend Billy and I would play until our mothers brought us chicken pot pies and sweet tea.  Sitting at the weathered, wooden picnic tables, we would  gobble down our pot pies in their little aluminum containers (which we repurposed as treasure collectors).

I have always loved the creamy texture, the flaky crusts, the green peas and carrots, and the homey, Mama-ish warmth of chicken pot pies (or turkey pot pies but NOT cheesy or veggie pot pies).  Of course, they were FROZEN SOLID forty-five minutes before I had all those lovey feelings as a child.  And back then, I didn’t realize that our mothers were watching The Price Is Right or Queen for a Day instead of preparing fresh, homemade lunches for us boys.

So after buying organic vegetables from the local farm-to-table community market (doesn’t that make me sound health-oriented and grounded yet hip and on-target?), I decided to make a homemade chicken pot pie.  HOMEMADE

First of all, do you have ANY clue how long it takes to chop carrots, celery, peppers and potatoes? Boil the corn and then scrape it off the cob? Finely cut the rosemary? Roll out the dough? (Okay, okay, all I did was roll it out of the carton, but still.)

But, oh my goodness, what fun! I may become a famous TV chef or something!




Swanson’s may do it faster, but not better!