Great Smoky Mountain Splendor


Earth’s crammed with Heaven, and every common bush afire with God, but only he who see takes off his shoes.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Today, in the Fall splendor of Great Smoky Mountains, I gazed amazed in barefoot wonder.

“This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
His hand the wonders wrought.”

Malbie D. Babcock

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

Smoky the Bear


Been kinda’ dry here lately in the Great Smoky Mountains. Today Smoky came by our cabin to wade in the creek out front and remind us . . . Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires!

Always an adventure sharing the forest with our feral friends up here on the mountain > down in the ‘holler’ > by the ‘crick’ 😊

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

Hiking and Potato Chips


Fallen aspen leaves kinda’ resemble potato chips, and fall hiking in the Last Frontier is sorta’ like eating potato chips . . . it’s hard to stop at just one more!😊

Here’s a few ‘potato chip’ pics from today’s wilderness wander, sadly my last before snow-birding south in a couple of days  . . . well maybe  . . . there’s still lotsa’ golden potato chips out there😊

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

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

Lotsa’ Potato Chips’

Berries with ‘Potato Chips’

Chugach Range Fall

‘Potato Chip’ Frame

Nature’s Still Art

Final Greatland Wander


Looks like we’ll be on a jet headed south for the winter next week. Rather than spend the day going through another box of Kleenex today, I hiked up Castle Mountain to dry my tears 😊. I built a rock cairn on top with a Good Book pocket edition for other solitude seekers.

Here’s a few pics snapped along the trail, and one of my foraging feral friends who showed up to bid me adieu. Like Arnold, I assured him, “I’ll be back!” 😊

Big Calf
Fall’s Farewell

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

Chugach Range Vista
Survivor
Last Blueberries

Rocky Portal

Good Book Cairn

Nature’s Beauty Pageant


Seasons transitions are Nature’s Beauty Pageants.  Forest floors carpeted in gold . . . mountains engraved with a 3,000 ft. white line . . . the Last Frontier’s spectacular Fall surrendering to Winter transition.

Here’s a few displays that set my soul singing How Great Thou Art this afternoon . . . gazing in awesome wonder. I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

Oh Lord, my God
When I, in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee
How great Thou art!

Winter’s First Snows
24 Carat Carpet
Matanuska Peak – Palmer, Alaska

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

New Bird Feeder Guests


I ‘fowled’ up and shoulda’ remembered everything’s bigger in Alaska . . . gotta’ go build bigger bird feeders 😊 Smile, and . . .

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

Look out the window !!!

Good Morning

Queue @ the Feeder
We C U Watching Us!
What’s 4 Breakfast

Drizzly Day Wanderings


Cranberry ‘Tears’

Wild berries captured my attention on today’s woods-wander.

Perhaps it was the dampening drizzle, or the fading yellow Devil’s Club with its red fruits, that cast an uncharacteristic, slightly glum mood to my ever wandering musings. 

It was a pair of raindrops that fixed my gaze. Precariously clinging to high-bush cranberries . . . they mystically transformed into ‘teardrops’. . . Fall’s final fruits perishing to Winter’s impending, frozen death . . . Snap Out Of It Freddy!!!

Back home, tossing another log on the fire, my ‘drizzly’ attitude began to dry out . . . temporarily.

Opening my email, I read Ray’s Daily blog post for today. Ray’s creative, humorous, pensive blog has been a favorite read of mine. I surmise from his gifted writing style he’s an elderly Jewish man, who may actually be older than me 😊

Erma Bombeck was a popular American author, humorist and newspaper columnist. Today Ray posted her poignant, introspective reflections penned shortly before her death in 1996 . . . . food for thought as today each of us find ourselves another day closer to our own Winter . . . the Good News . . . the eternal Spring of Eternity awaits for those who choose to claim Christ as their own . . . now I feel much better😊

Be Blessed!

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER

Erma Bombeck

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life anyone ever gets to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s.” More “I’m sorry’s.”

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute…look at it and really see it … live it and never give it back. Stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what. Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us. Let’s think about what God HAS blessed us with. And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well.

We have one shot at this and then it’s gone.

I hope you all have a blessed day.

Devil’s Club

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

Creation’s Whispers


Of all the places I’ve been blessed to meander throughout this untamed, rugged, awesome Last Frontier corner of creation, Hatcher Pass remains among my most special.

You can’t see the forest for the trees.” . . . in today’s chaotic word, life’s ‘forest’ beauty is woefully shrouded by it’s tumultuous ‘trees’ of power, greed, bigotry, hatred, and lust.

Paradoxically, whenever my wanders find me above treeline, the calamity of life’s forests below fade, and I catch a glimpse of heaven’s serenity that awaits. Gratefully gazing in mystical wonder, such were where my thoughts drifted yesterday.

As high clouds accentuated the silence of creation’s calming whispers, here’s the ethereal Hatcher Pass scene I wish your eyes could have beheld it with me.

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2!

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours.

1 Chronicles 29:11

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

Hatcher Pass, Alaska

Retired Routine


Time . . . free and unscheduled from family and career demands . . . is one of retirement’s supreme joys. However, it still requires a modicum of Demanding Responsible Routine (DRR).

My ‘challenging’ morning DRR involves a 5-step procedure I’ve thankfully, somehow, managed to quickly master:

1.     Awake to daybreak’s soothing ‘alarms’ of birdsong and wind outside my window . . . at my advanced state of ‘maturity’ awakening has become an event of grateful celebration   rather than a probable given.

2.     Toss off the covers and get outta’ bed . . .  when I’ve mustered sufficient will-power and energy.

3.    Plug in the percolator to brew a pot of aromatic java, recently ground by my loving, spouse-tolerant wife who remains ‘undercover’ counting sheep.

4.    Contemplate whether a bowl of cereal with freshly picked raspberries, or a slice of micro-warmed apple pie, is healthier for consumption.

5.    Stretch out in the recliner and talk with Dad about how to best not to screw-up this new day He has given me 😊😊😊

This morning, in the midst of step #5, I glanced out the window at a storm lifting over the mountains. Looking back down at my Bible this poignant verse lifted from the page . . . I realized anew how truly blessed this ole retired prodigal’s and his DRR is . . .

“… What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes …

James 4:14

Be you blissfully retired, or still engaged in the daily DRR of family and career . . . whatever storms may cloud your horizon today . . . take heart knowing life’s ‘mists’ will soon fade, and the forever Sonshine of eternity awaits.

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

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

Storm Mists Lifting

Fall Greets Winter

Drizzly Day Wander


Drizzly days disperse sunny day shadows casting the landscape with a muted, impressionist, Monet haze.  

Such was mine on a wilderness wander up Castle Mountain today. Other than an unexpected spill crossing  a swamp  . . . resulting in an ‘invigorating’ mud bath . . . it was an tranquil, color splashed antithesis to ‘fun in the sun’.

A hot shower and scrumptious dinner prepared by my patient, understanding wife was a welcome finale. I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

“He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous.” 

Matthew 5:45

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

Fall Forest Trail
Talkeetna Range Fall Hues

Misty Majesty

Winter Beckons
Drizzly Ole Duffer