All posts by Shari

Missing My Slider Phone

And so it goes
that with the advancement
of technologies, what I lose
is missed so quickly until
it gets in the way of me
fully enjoying my new bells and whistles…
But only for a little bit.

© 2014 Shari Lynne Smothers

BACKSTORY: Technological advances seem to do away with the things I like the best. In this case it was my full keyboard that didn’t swallow my screen.

Photo: Backyard Snow

Backyard Snow

This is one of my favorite shots from yesterday. And thankfully there are many that I really like, which I’ll make use of. And apparently the cold and snow didn’t kill my cameras, which was amazing. And fortunate for me because a new camera is not in the budget. I took the chance and it paid off in great photos, and I get to shoot more stuff another day.

The Adventure of it All

The snow fell and, on contact with the camera, started to melt. I was constantly wiping it off, and trying to cover it with my hand. When I wasn’t using a camera, I stuck it inside my jacket to protect it. I just couldn’t stop shooting.

I switched between two cameras, my still shot camera , the Fuji FinePix 5200 and the video camera, JVC Everio. It was a lot of fun.

Now, I’ve heard that it may be fun for us (my mom and brother, nephew and niece had fun in it too) because we don’t get a lot of snow. I can’t say. All I know is I had a blast. And the next time it snows, if health and time permit, I’ll be out in it again. Although, I may try to see some other places too instead of staying at home.

Once I figure out how to adjust the size of my photos, I will be able to post more directly from my Flickr account. Sometimes, I’d really like for the photos to take up the full width of my post column. Until I figure that out, I’ll just set the size using my Corel® software.

2009 First Snow 12/4/09

First Snow

Mom watching the Snow
Originally uploaded by ShariLS

This year the snow came early and it fell in abundance. It makes me feel hopeful about EVERYTHING!

As soon as I heard it was snowing, I was ecstatic! It doesn’t snow often here in Missouri City, Texas. And this is really early in the year for it too. I captured some really nice shots that I’ll be uploading to my Flickr account over the next few days.

Where the Inspiration led Me

It made me think of the possibilities of all that I want to accomplish in the coming year. I was inspired to increase my probabilities of success, just because it makes sense today. I want to start out aggressively. That way if I taper off (as I usually do) I should have moved forward quickly enough to be able to coast a bit.

Continue reading 2009 First Snow 12/4/09

Oaks of Dillard University

Oaks of Dillard University

Oaks of Dillard University

Originally uploaded by ShariLS

Photograph taken at the 2008, 50 year reunion-graduation ceremony for my mom and dad. My dad passed away the year before.

Happily Distracted

I’ve been really busy and got pulled away from blogging, poetry and the Flickr work I’d planned. What pulled me away? I’ve been tied up building websites from scratch. I know, that’s crazy right? Not really.

Continue reading Oaks of Dillard University

Catching Up

I thought cameras on cell phones
was really quite a waste
until I traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa.

The youths in the group
soon ran out of film
and my stores I had to limit.
After I shared my max,
they pulled out their cell phones
to continue taking pictures
. . . and I thought better of it.

Then I thought,
Cell phones to talk
is that too much to ask?
What’s the point of music
and texting and internet surfing?

Hurricane Katrina hit and
knocked out all communications
save for one, can you guess?
Voice calls were intermittent at best.
But we could with some reliability
send and receive text messages.

I’ve given up on keeping ahead,
content with being able to
catch up to changes.
I’m stowing my cell phone
innovation skepticism.
Since just recently I sent my first email
from Gmail my web-based service,
I’m fully on board with all the new junk.
I’m getting an 8GB 3G iPhone.

© 2008 by Shari Lynne Smothers

Graces Like Mercies

The Hard Parts

Graceful Birds

I was preparing to leave my dad’s hospital room. He was very sick with cancer and other complications. He had suffered and recovered from setbacks that required surgeries, but he couldn’t seem to shake everything. Blood clots were his problem four years earlier and he still was plagued with them. We saw him through so much, but he was leaving us.

This day was a peculiarly gentle, warm day nearing fall. It had rained and then the sun came beaming out. It hurt every time leaving my dad in the hospital because I knew how much he hated being there. It didn’t matter that he was understanding about my leaving, he complained enough for me to understand that his heart wasn’t in that. And I understood that because I knew his personality. Still, I had to keep things in perspective so that I could just keep going. This particular day, dad was not ready for me to leave, and asked for different things “before you leave.”

Light in the Middle Parts

I stayed a little longer and did a few more things for him and just sat awhile longer. I told him that I’d return tomorrow, or maybe even pass back after I finished my errands. His spirits lifted and I was content that he was satisfied. As I left the hospital, I started to feel a little lighter because with just a little more time, dad was better prepared to be without family for the evening. Driving down the street the day was shimmering and such a feeling came over me. It was a promise I could almost hear. I called my mom, I just couldn’t wait to get to her house. I told her that things were about to change for us all. Mom asked me, “Like what? What do you mean?” “I don’t know really. That’s all I got.” She said okay and that she felt that way too.

In the weeks that passed, dad started to show some improvement. And he did get a little better—enough to get home. I got some good job offers. My youngest brother came to town to see my dad before he got really sick. My family and friends kept my mind occupied and life just felt tolerable with good stuff in the middle. I was laughing and talking and appreciating good things that were coming my way, as I grieved the illness that had invaded my dad’s body.

I was talking to one friend and he asked my how I was doing. I told him I was well, and that made me pause because I didn’t know how I was well. It was amazing to me that in the face of my abject sorrow, I was still able to smile and laugh from my soul—I could still touch my joy.

Dad went back into the hospital a time or two and each time I went with him. When I could, I spent the whole day with him. We would talk about the things that I was working on, like my editing course, or learning HTML. Sometimes he would sleep, and he would apologize for not being a good host. It never mattered to me and I told him so. Sometimes we would both sleep. We just spent time at the hospital then at home. After a time, my daddy died at home.

Always Learning: Lessons are Everywhere

Looking back now over these 7 months since my dad died, and I try to track how we got through it. I wasn’t as “prepared” as I thought I’d be, and yet I survived. I appreciated all the good things that dad and I did for each other, and the time that we spent. It came to me one day when I was considering how it is that I survived:

There’s plenty of excitement in my days. Life has a way of showering down graces like mercies in difficult times. And I am drenched with reasons to be grateful.

It’s easy to be grateful for the good things that come my way, no matter how small. What was a deliberate practice years ago is now a habit of gratitude. The other part that helps me is searching for the meaning in difficult times. In my darkest times, I try not to get maudlin. But I do try to take a straight-on look at things; my goal is to take up some treasure from the muck. Writing them down helps to soothe me. The poem Life Lessons (at the end of the post, I Write for Me First) is from a sifting expedition; one that took me passed the why and straight to appreciation.

Death and why
don’t sit together in me for long.
It makes me feel too inept.
Because without exception,
I come back to accepting that
it happens