Film of Redemption and Hope

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He conquers who endures.” – Persius

I remember the day in August, 2010 when I was glued to the television as I watched a compelling news story unfold. A group of  33 workers in Chile were trapped due to a mine blast. These miners put their lives in danger every single day all for the sake of bringing gold and copper out from underground into the marketplace. I watched with rapt attention as experts in the field worked around the clock to save their lives.

The 33There is now a movie based on this story called The 33. It was released in theatres on November 13. Many of the details that could not be covered in short news clips I am sure are in the cinema release. What I had forgotten until I read the review of this movie is that the men were trapped underground for 69 days. Imagine that!

The moral of this survival-against-all-odds story is to never give up. This is a good movie for families, however, I would warn against young children watching this movie. It may be too unsettling and disturbing.

To watch a movie trailer or to read reviews and more about this movie, please visit this website.

 

Have a good weekend everyone! See you on All Things Fulfilling on Monday.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, the author of the EVVY award-winning book, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

Architecture in “Breck”

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Color in certain places has the great value of  making the outlines and structural planes seem more energetic.” ~ Antoni Gaudi

That having been said, I’d like to extend the tour today of BreckCreate, a mountain community in Colorado where the arts is alive. Such is life in many towns in this State where creativity is much appreciated.

In the center of historic downtown, the Blue River Restoration Project is very visible. It is right outside the door of the Breckenridge Welcome Center. This article describes the project. Here are a few pictures.

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At the River Walk Project – right outside the Breckenridge Visitors Center.

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You can get the picture from a few of the historical homes that are now retail establishments or restaurants what “Breck” is like. Fun to stroll the streets and take in the structures. Coming from a family of builders, that is what fulfills me when I visit a new place.

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architect4While I was on my day trip to Breckenridge I came across some surprise things that related to books and publishing. Come back tomorrow and I will tell you all about it.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, Sue Batton Leonard.

Time Marches Forward

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In all things of nature, there is something marvelous.” ~ Aristotle

During the final days of February I marched myself down to New Mexico, while my husband went off to Alaska to coach the Colorado Mountain College ski team. I’d gone to spend a little time with the birthday boy, our son!

Over the next few days I will share a few of my travels.

If you are ever in the area of Tent Rocks National Monument located between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, do stop! Ecologically speaking, it is quite unique. Not even to mention the scenery. If you go, be on the lookout for “Apache tears” – rounded, clear pieces of obsidian. Hot lava created the “tent rocks” some 6 to 7 million years ago, and the “apache tears” were caused by obsidian rock abruptly cooling.

Images will much better tell the story of tent rocks! Follow me through the slot canyons deep into the park.

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IMG_20150221_123313_835Oh, the climb was so worth what we saw at the top! Thanks for entertaining me Meghan and Marc. It was great being with you and happy 27th birthday, Marc!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Creative Economy

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“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” ~ Arnold J Toynbee

For the new generation of college graduates, employment and making a living has a very different approach to it. Business is not the same as it was even ten years ago. For many, the traditional 9 to 5 type jobs have deemed to be archaic. Flex-time and working remotely has changed the way many people labor and spend their free hours.

As a growing creative economy takes off, young adults are finding more fulfilling ways of making a living which includes the development of new types of media and communications.

There is a new site called Crux Collective http://www.cruxcollective.com which officially launched last week. It’s “mission is to educate, inspire, and encourage traditional and non-traditional exploration of the outdoors.”

If you are a skier, snowboarder or technie who is interested in the development of equipment used by competitors and to save lives in avalanches, check out this video footage. You’ll be surprised at the new generation of  gear that’s coming to the marketplace for outdoors enthusiasts.http://bit.ly/1xgCJXq

I look forward to following http://www.cruxcollective.com. It brings together a big variety of interesting stories from around the world thanks to the gift of new technologies.

working remotelyThis blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. Award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

Acorns in Rock Hall

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“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.” ― Joe L. Wheeler

It’s crazy! Yesterday morning I was awake at 4am thinking of my travels of the day before. I had visited with my parents a church of historical importance in Rock Hall, Maryland. St Paul’s Kent http://www.stpaulkent.org was established in 1692 and probably the earliest surviving Anglican Church on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The church is set among 19 acres of huge trees which dwarf the edifice itself. There, among the rotted leaves of fall, I came across something that set off a whole plethora of unrelated nostalgic images. I began to think of things I hadn’t thought about for decades.

IMG_20141028_150153_927Thousands and thousands of acorns lay on the ground among crisp, rustling brown oak leaves that had fallen from the trees. The smell of autumn was so earthy and pungent that it was like sensory overload from my past. As children, my sister and my two brothers and I spent hours every fall cavorting and frolicing in piles of leaves in pure unadulterated bliss!

“Look, Mom,” I shouted out, with the delight of a 10 year old little girl. Remember how we used to collect acorns and pretend they were Brownies (aka young Girl Scouts)?

“I sure do!” my mom said. Even at 85 her memory is rather good. Besides she was an assistant trooper leader, so I had little doubt she would have forgotten.

“Remember how sometimes we used acorns for craft projects? We painted girl’s faces on the nut  and the top of the acorn,  looks like a Brownie’s cap.” I said to my mother.

“Yep! You girls sure had fun doing that,” said my mom, bending down to pick up a handful of acorns laying at her feet.

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Now, here comes the big question – How did I get from the image of an acorn looking like a “Brownie” with a round face and cap to the memory of making fried marble jewelry this morning?  That is where my mind  traveled next. Egads – my brain must be all scrambled up! I hope I don’t make fried marble jewelry for breakfast. Funny how our mind goes with no logical reason.

Today I’ll share images of the lovely churchyard at St Paul’s Parish, Kent in Rock Hall, Maryland.

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Note:  Many gravestones date back to the late 1600s. Sea captains and other well-known people including Tallulah Bankhead are buried in this 19 acre churchyard.

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Do return tomorrow I will be sharing images of the structures that were built some 300 years ago with Flemish bond brickwork.

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her EVVY award winning memoir “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected” please visit this link.http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

Hanging onto Childhood Memories

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Nature is the art of God ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Jan, stop!” I yelled out to my twin sister as she pedaled ahead of me on her bike.

“What for?” she yelled back to me loudly.

“I just saw something in the woods, and I want to go back. I’m wondering what it is.”

The other day my sister and I were on the way back to my parent’s house from a bike ride. We had gone to collect some pears that we had spied the day before, from the car, on a tree in a vacant lot next door to the United Methodist Church on Taylors Island, Maryland.

“What was it you saw? An animal? ” Jan asked. The remote island of Taylors Island is well-known for it’s variety of shore birds, white-tailed and sika deer, wild turkeys and bald eagles. Dorchester County Maryland  is also notable for it’s abundance of fish, crabs and oysters.http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/waters/

“I don’t know but it  was a cluster of  something pure white on the ground. That’s why I want to go back.”

“Ok, you lead the way.” Jan said. We turned our bikes around and headed back to the spot where I had seen the curiosity.

“It’s there. Through the woods, “ I said pointing. “ we’ll have to cross the ditch and hike in to it.”

We parked our bikes, which had baskets attached to them, laden with the wild pears. We had picked only fruit that had fallen from the tree because the pears hanging from the branches were too green and too far from ripening.

When I initially saw the objects of interest, I had gone through a list of things in my mind of what  I thought they could be. “Perhaps some trash, the tails of a herd of deer , who knows what. ” I thought. As we neared the white patches I had seen through the trees on the ground in the distance, I saw that they were round and nearly a foot in diameter.

“Look at that! They are  huge mushrooms.” I said, completely surprised by my findings.

“Wow! I sure wish I could show them to Rob!” Jan said. “But I don’t have my camera.” I knew Jan’s husband who has been a chef in our nation’s capital’s finest restaurants would be interested.

“Let’s pick a couple and show him,” I said. After I extracted their roots from underneath the bed of pine needles, I felt a little guilty. “Is it a crime to pick mushrooms or pears from the wild?” I asked my sister.

“Too late to think of that now,” Jan said, beginning to place the mushrooms in the bike basket.”Let’s put my jacket between the pears and the mushrooms in the bike basket in case they are poisonous.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “We shouldn’t let the pears and mushrooms touch.”

When we got back to the house we showed our unexpected treasures to our family members, and my brother-in-law looked up the mushrooms on the internet. “They’re edible!” Rob exclaimed.

“Sorry, I am not eating them.” I said, “I value my life too much. We could be wrong. Eating mushrooms from the wild is not a good idea unless you know for sure they are not poisonous.”

“I’ll stick to the pears,” Jan said. “I am not taking any chances.”

That night as I fell off to sleep I thought about our events of the day and what Tom Stoppard once said ““If you carry your childhood with you, you never grow older.” Riding bikes and exploring nature took me back to the days of my youth when my sister and I used to play in the woods and throw stones in streams and find all kinds of fulfilling things in nature to keep us busy.

Images of a few unexpected finds on our bike ride. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wild pears. They are delicious!

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That’s all for today!

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her award-winning memoir, Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected,  please visit this site. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

Treasuring Art

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 “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”   ~ Chinese proverb 

At a thrift store recently I came across an art print of Thomas Moran – imagine my delight! It seemed like a God thing – the image was just sitting there waiting for someone who’d appreciate it to pick it up . I gave in to my desires and purchased it – a real deal. I am very grateful to have the Moran art print hanging on my wall. He was one of the greatest illustrator and colorists of all times.

Every evening the week before last, I had been watching Ken Burns’ documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.  http://bit.ly/182xh1NMoran’s name was mentioned as one of the top landscape painters of the 19th century who ventured west. I learned he traveled to YellowstoneNational Park from the Hudson RiverSchool in New York, in the summer of 1871, to document on canvas what others described as a place where “hell bubbled up.”

Many artists traveled westward in the early days of the founding of the U.S. National Parks and they continue to be favorite places for artists who are seeking inspiration. Artists still go to paint, photograph and write about the dramatic landscapes in these protected government lands which are far more unique than many other places across the United States. Ralph Waldo Emerson described the National Parks as places where “God is more easily found in nature than in the works of man.” 

Lots of people find personal fulfillment in poking around in thrift shops. You never know what treasures you might find. I scored!

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Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow!