Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, what we thought at first would be a barren, woodsy hike, became a realization that you need to open your heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around us...to touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Reflections…

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“Nature is the art of God.”

Dante Alighieri

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We spent the afternoon walking in the woods reflecting on the magnificent artwork of God.

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Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.

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As we reflect on all the blessings God has given us, Gerri and I would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Fall in Callaway Gardens

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It was a sunny but brisk day and Gerri and I decided it was the perfect day to re-explore Callaway Gardens..especially at the fall peak here.  So off we went.  Since it was a week day, we had a lot of the Gardens to ourselves…just the way we like it.  God has truly painted a beautiful picture in the colors of the leaves.  I will stop talking a just show a few pics to share the beauty with you.

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Of course, we could not go to the Gardens without taking a picture of the chapel that is nestled in the woods by the lake.

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Callaway Gardens also has a Fantasy in Lights drive through the gardens show.  It is rated one of the top ten in the world and is truly worth the visit.  It is not only a visual show but also different Christmas music themes throughout the Gardens.  We took a couple of pics along the way in our drive through.

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Friends are Forever…and a Birthday Celebration

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Our first stop on this journey was to visit Darrell and Judy Patterson in Crossville, Tennessee.  We arrived Tuesday around 12:30 and got all set up at Bean Pot Campground.  After resting a bit we freshened up and headed over to the Patterson's new home.  Judy and Darrell had prepared a wonderful meal for us but first we needed the traditional hugs and tour of the new home.  God has truly blessed them with a lovely home, neighborhood and community.  We talked for awhile and then got down to enjoying the delicious spaghetti and meatballs with Italian sausage and salad. Then we talked some more.  We made plans to meet again on Wednesday for lunch and a guided tour of Crossville.   Around 3:00 we returned to our doggies to give them a bite to eat and a potty break.  We joined Darrell and Judy at their church for Wednesday evening service.  We ended the evening at their house for a bowl of ice cream and a little more fellowship.  All too early we had to say our "so longs" and head to our next leg of the journey.  We gave our hugs and promised to meet again very soon...in fact Darrell has a great idea for a group of us to meet up for a Tennessee Tailgate rally!!  

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Yes, friends are forever!!  Thank you Darrell and Judy for a wonderful two days with you guys!! 

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We packed up and left early to head toward Lebanon, Tennessee and the Cedars of Lebanon State Park. This is the closest park to Murfreesboro, Tennessee where Mike's mom is now living.  Mike's brother Pat and family also live in Murfreesboro.  We arrived and got set up and headed to Stones River Manor to pull a huge surprise on Mimi.  She did not know we were coming to help celebrate her 92nd birthday.  It couldn't have been better...she was in a group meeting and one of the helpers there went in to tell her that her son, Mike was there to see her.  She politely said, "no, you mean my son, Pat?"  She got up and looked down the hall and saw us.  Her look was priceless!!  We visited with her for several hours and then planned a return the next day for a birthday lunch. 

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Mike's brother and his wife joined us for this lunch meal complete with cake and ice cream.  We sat and talked until they were about to run us out of the cafeteria.  Mimi is doing really well in her new home.  She has made lots of friends and this facility is pristine.  They have lots of activities to keep the residents busy and active.  She looks really great for 92!!  Happy Birthday, Mimi!! 

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We left Cedars of Lebanon early Saturday morning so we could make the trip back to James "Sloppy" Floyd State Park.  We stayed at this park on our way to Crossville and it is a beautiful campground, one that we want to return and stay for extended time. 

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We arrived early enough to sit outside and just enjoy this beautiful place.  For a weekend, it was just so quiet and peaceful...we sat outside into the night just listening to the tree frogs, crickets and all the night sounds in a campground.  We got a beautiful sunset picture and a few other evening shots of this place. 

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We will be back to stay for several days...as soon as the temperatures settle into a nice range.

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This has been a great trip!!  Wonderful weather with the temperatures at the beginning of the week in the mountains averaging upper 70s during the day and mid to upper 50s at night.  For those of us in the south these are wonderful numbers for August.  Toward the end of the week it warmed up into the mid to upper 80s.   We wish we could have stayed longer at each place we visited but we had to be home for my INR test on Monday. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

James Floyd State Park

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Tonight we are in Summerville, Georgia which is about 20 miles north of Rome, Georgia.  We are on our way to visit some very special folks...Darrell and Judy Patterson.  We are so excited because it has been way too long since we were together.  In fact, it was back when they were on their ERPU lot at Rainbow Plantation.  Since that time they have purchased a home in the gorgeous Cumberland Plateau area of Crossville, Tennessee. 

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Our first night we stopped a little more than half way at this gorgeous state park.  This is a definite place to return to and spend some time.  The campsites are large, nicely spaced and extremely clean.  The bathhouse is on the older side but just as clean.  We are sitting on our patio listening to the frogs and crickets and it just doesn't get much better.  This is definitely an "it" place but more than that...it has found my "sweet spot." 

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I will stop talking and just let you see some of the sights around James "Sloppy" Floyd State Park.  Enjoy the tour!

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Friday, July 25, 2014

We have a Winner!!!

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WHERE:  We decided to return to Chewacla State Park in Auburn, Alabama.  This is a nice quiet campground and just so happens to be only about a mile from our son and his wife.  We wanted to have a short visit with them before heading to Tennessee next week.  The other reason, not that I'm being a pessimist, is that this campground is only about 45 minutes from our home.  Just in case things headed south and the dogs decided to protest.  I am still chuckling over Merikay's comment on our last post...tell them it's the floor or the door.  Oh, if only it were that simple!!

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We arrived on Wednesday and got all set up on our site...#8.  Plenty of shade which is nice when it is "southern hot and humid" outside.  We have our patio set up with the comfortable recliners and the fan pointed right at us.  Actually, it is quite comfortable.  

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We spend most of our time outside..either hiking/walking with the camera in tow or enjoying our recliners for a nap or good book. .  Daytime went very well.  Even when we went inside to see how things would go they were happy, for the most part, with napping in their baskets or hanging around on the floor.  While walking around, we came across bike trails and even bike ramps for the more skilled bikers. From talking with the ranger, there are a lot of folks that come here on the weekends to go biking on the trails…a good reason for weekday camping!

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Bedtime proved to be a bit challenging!!  Let's just say we went to bed late last night!!  We have come up with a few ideas that might make this a "happy" arrangement for everybody so we decided to extend and stay one more day.  

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HOW DID IT GO:   Our 17 and half year old Shih Tzu did great.  We put her on the bed with us some while we read/do computer work and when it was bed time, we put her in her basket and she went right to sleep.  Nick, on the other hand, reacted a bit different.  When we put him in his basket, he looked at us and whined. Well, with a stern voice, I picked him up since he wandered out of his basket, put him back and told him no!  Lucky for us..it worked and we all slept good the entire night.  I must say, we have slept in the same bed for our 31 and half years of marriage, and this was a very different feeling….??

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