Beauty and the Beast

The wonders of Creation never cease to amaze and fascinate me. This morning Mother Nature revealed a Beauty and the Beast display outside our Great Smoky Mountains abode here down in the ‘holler’ by the ‘crick’.

Rhododendron blooms’ perfumed beauty are definitely more appealing than frightening, ugly dobsonflies, but each has their place and purpose in Mother Nature’s journal where all are beautiful.

You are the God of great wonders! – Psalm 77:14

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!


Home in the ‘Holler’

Thanks Dad . . .

Thanks Dad – for adopting me. Back when I was a defiant teenager you rescued me into your family in ‘as-is’ condition . . . without condition. Over the years I regret having so often disappointed you by stubbornly disregarding your patient advice in lieu of doing things my way. I’m ever amazed and grateful that you never once abandoned me . . . I’d have dumped my rebellious self at the nearest police station or orphanage a long time ago.

Thanks Dad – for always disciplining me, not in anger, but with supernatural, patient, tough love . . . I needed it! It allowed me to learn by experiencing the hurtful consequences of my wrong choices. As a father myself now, I realize it hurt you much more than it did me.

Thanks Dad – for my much older, ‘biological’ good brother. Like you, in spite of all the hurt I’ve caused him, he still loves me to death . . . it’s in his DNA . . . I see each time he reaches out to hug and forgive me with nail scared hands.

Thanks Dad – for accepting me into your family . . . always loving me . . . and being there for me 24/7/365 . . . I Love You . . . You’re the best!

Happy Father’s Day!

Your ragamuffin, prodigal son . . . Freddy

PS – I’m headed back towards Home . . . can’t wait to see you and brother.

Rescued – Loved – Adopted

Great Smoky Mountain Morning Majesty

Waterfall’s rhythmic splashing outside our door awakened us in the predawn. Gently roused, we headed up the mountain to Cades Cove.

The Great Smoky Mountain’s flora and fauna were there to welcome us. In silent, reverent wonder we witnessed Creation, with all her magnificent splendor, softly awake Mother Nature to begin the new day.

“God dwells in His creation and is everywhere indivisibly present in all His works. He is transcendent above all His works even while He is immanent within them.”

A.W. Tozer

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Our Falls
Cades Cove Morn’
We See You
Winged Beauty
Unknown Wildflower

Spider Stats

Garden Spider

With over a million different kinds, insects represent the most numerous of all life forms on earth. I grateful the Creator gave them exoskeletons to lug around and considerably limit their size. Had they endoskeletons like us, we’d be impossibly outnumbered, tripping over ants, swatting mosquitoes with baseball bats, and Orkin exterminators would be packing, wearing Kevlar vests.

I’m appreciate all insect predators . . . colorful birds, furry anteaters, slimy frogs, even spooky bats to assist keeping the ever-burgeoning insect population in check . . . but wonder why God saw fit add scary spiders to help keep insects from ‘bugging’ us 😊

This morning, a Garden Spider gained a modicum of my respect. The intricate, geometrically designed web this little 8-legged architect had constructed altered my perspective of these creepy creatures. Patiently waiting to ambush and chow down on some savory insect, I realized this tiny guy (girl?) is actually my ally, possibly sparing me a future mosquito bite 😍

Sooooo . . . with that renewed mindset, here’s a ½ dozen Spider Stats to lend a favorable ‘spin’ for any arachnophobes out there, with one caveat . . . spiders still can bite Ya’ 😫

  1. Webs of Steel – for size, the silk strands of a spider’s web are far stronger than steel!
  2. Custom Designing – Most spiders have 3 spinnerets that extrude silk which dries when exposed to the air as they build their webs. Some have up to 8 spinnerets for different thread sizes. The spider controls the thread’s thickness, texture, and adhesiveness as it’s drawn from the spinnerets depending on the thread’s intended purpose.
  3. Web Recycling – each night the spider eats most of its web, leaving the primary frame to re-weave a new circular web each morning. It’s believed spiders eat their webs to recycle nutrients and consume small food particles . . . Yummy! 🤪
  4. Here’s Looking at You – most spiders have eight eyes. However, some species have six, four, two, or even no eyes. Even within a single species, the number of eyes may vary, but it’s always an even number.
  5. Cautious Courtship – at breeding time the male carefully ventures into the female’s nest, and then plucks the strands of her web to entice her. Before mating, he drops a safety web so that he can escape should he ‘strike a wrong note’, and she decides to cannibalize him 😲
  6. Venomous, but not Dangerous – like most spiders, Garden Spiders have venom to incapacitate their prey. However, their venom is not harmful humans.

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.”

Cecil Frances Alexander

Thank A Nurse!

Today marks my girlfriend’s 50th anniversary from graduating with her in BS in nursing. Ten years ago she courageously came out of retirement by signing an “I DO”, life -time covenant to attend to this ole duffer for the remainder of his, or her days, whichever comes first  . . . I definitely came out ahead on that contract 😊

Looking at these 33 young, smiling faces (now with more wrinkles 😊) in this 1972 graduation photo  got me to ‘a-thinkin’ . . . how many lives have each of them touched, comforted and healed during their careers?

In today’s chaotic and Covid times first responders are truly the unsung heroines and heroes of our times.  Among them are our nurses, who daily and willingly put themselves in harm’s way to care for us. Over 8 decades of accident-prone living I’ve been the benefactor of their loving administered stitches, splints, bandages, and gluteus maximus injections to care for and cure me from my medical maladies.

Sooooo . . . with absolutely no authority to do so whatsoever . . . I hereby declare June 9th National TAN Day . . . Thank A Nurse! Please take a moment today to thank and encourage a nurse who has treated and cared for you when you were in need of their compassionate expertise.

To all our nurses,for all your dedicated unselfish service to us . . . THANK YOU !!!

PS – If perhaps you lack the contact information for a nurse you’d like to thank, you’re welcome to thank my resident nurse for her challenging, perpetual care for me at . . . I suspect I’m now at risk of having my hide ‘TANned’ for sharing her e-mail addy, but hopefully will escape by taking my nurse out to dinner tonight 😊

Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!

Day’s End

Peace cloaked my soul witnessing creation whisper “Good Night” in celestial hues.

Be still and know that I am God.” –  Psalm 46:10

Great Smoky Mountain Sunset

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Time Warp

Last evening 4 senior citizens stepped back in time at a drive-in movie theater . . . a Blast from the Past!

Rated PG 13 and accompanied by 3 responsible adults, this 13-year-old held hostage in an 80-year-old body vicariously became a Top Gun F-14 pilot defending our country from an impending nuclear disaster.

It’s been said, “Growing old is inevitable. Growing up is optional.” . . . just call me Maverick 😊

Love to live. Live to Love.” – Amy Charmicheal

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Roses and Raindrops

Fragrance of roses drifted on the fresh air cleansed by the passing storm. The sweet scent and lingering raindrops clinging to vivid pink petals created one of those ethereal ‘eternal instant’ moments sensing the unspeakable wonder of God’s creation, bathed in comfort of His unconditional love.

I came across this poem ascribed to a 13th century poet that hints at the precious ‘eternal instant’ that was mine to embrace this morning . . . I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

It is only a tiny rosebud

A flower of God’s design

But I cannot unfold the petals

With these clumsy hands of mine

The secret of unfolding flowers

Is not known to such as I

God opens this flower so sweetly

When in my hands they fade and die

If I cannot unfold a rosebud

This flower of God’s design

Then how can I think I have wisdom

To unfold this life of mine?

So, I’ll trust in Him for His leading

Each moment of every day

I will look to Him for His guidance

Each step of the pilgrim way

The pathway that lies before me

Only my Heavenly Father knows

I’ll trust Him to unfold the moments

Just as He unfolds the rose

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!