You Never Know

This photo comes from a rest area near Gallipolis, Ohio and captures the last gasp of the setting sun Wednesday night. The parking lot was stacked with eighteen wheelers and the exit ramp was lined with the big trucks as well. These truckers crisscross the country, keeping goods and raw materials moving and our economy moving. They are symbols of progress and activity in our country.

I had just come from a joint meeting of local school boards where we dined and offered up some beginning of the school year inspiration. We heard from a professor of History and African American studies talk about his ideas for inspiring young people and giving them the tools to build a better tomorrow. Like any good historian, he encouraged teaching the hard truth about our history as understanding where we’ve been will set us on a better path to tomorrow. It’s when we teach the hard stuff and stop politicizing education that we will see real progress.

I appreciated his perspective and left with much food for thought on the drive home. Yet it was hard to concentrate. You see, I was on my way home to visit a sick aunt who won’t live to see this better tomorrow that our speaker described. She has terminal cancer, a disease that has robbed her of all quality of life, of her ability to speak or perform the simplest tasks for herself. There’s no life in her eyes and I can’t help but think her existence is no way to live.

She could be gone by the time you read this. Maybe it will be days from now. It is not ours to know. While I don’t want to lose her, I hope for her sake that her suffering ends soon.

This week has involved far more in-person interactions than normal. People seem more stressed than normal. Some seem depressed or sad. They are quick to tell you that something isn’t their job or that you’re wrong. Others are a little edgy, looking for trouble and ready to hurl an insult.

I try to remember that you don’t know where other people are coming from or where they’re headed to at that moment. Maybe they’re coming from an inspiring event where they learned something or that left them excited for the future. Maybe they’re headed home to say goodbye to someone who matters to them. Maybe they’re simply working hard to keep moving forward in whatever they’re doing. Maybe they need to take a break and rest for a while as these truckers are doing in this picture.

The point is that we need to be a little more patient and more tolerant of the people we encounter each day. It costs zero dollars to be a decent person and you never know when a bit of patience or a kind word will make a difference to someone else. You never know when that person who was rude to you will suddenly become nice simply because you extended a kind word to them.

X Marks The Spot

I wandered outside with my camera and iPhone for a few minutes near sunset last night. This isn’t the best image from this collection but it is kind of cool.

Sometimes cool is better than perfect – especially when there’s a perfect X involved in nature.

Have a good day, friends. Stay warm and well wherever you may be.

Sunset Over Harvest

A long day of fun on the road recently found me trying to beat the sunset to get home. That was less than ideal since sunset is a fabulous time for pictures.

Here’s one more picture with that pretty light.

Jeep At Twilight

It’s like the driver parked it here just for me. How fun would it be to go exploring in a Jeep?

The driver was a man with an enormous camera and monopod who was capturing the golden light of sunset over the mountains from a perch in Shenandoah National Park.

I was grateful for the nice light and the chance encounter with camera in hand but perhaps a little jealous of his Jeep and big camera!