He Is Risen

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Happy Easter!

All is quiet at the Cole house, aside from the rumble of my husband’s snoring in his recliner. He worked most of the night on a water line break, unwilling to resist a chance for overtime now that he’s emerged from his post-shoulder-surgery convalescence. My daughter slept through most of the morning. She had been up late into the night alternating between typing on her Chromebook and reading Ray Bradbury.

Today is a low-key day. We aren’t having a traditional holiday meal, aside from my small ambition to replicate my mom’s baked beans. We will consume “fun” food like hot dogs and chicken strips. I bought a hot dog toaster for the occasion. Have you ever tried this oddball small appliance? You can toast two hot dogs and buns at a time, and they turn out about as well as a freshly roll-cooked carnival hot dog.

Although I attended Catholic school for eight years of my youth due to my mom’s conversion to that faith halfway through my childhood, I seldom attend church. I pray every day and reflect on God, but I don’t feel like I belong when I walk into a church. I just can’t process the intersection between worship and social class. I don’t want to dress up for church (I rarely do so for any occasion). God has seen and loved me when I looked my worst, even when I weighed 260 pounds and grocery shopped in Stewie lounge pants. My faith is strong, but I haven’t encountered a congregation that feels like home.

On Easter, I reflect on God’s infinite mercy. There is no better proof of human imperfection than our failures of mercy. Think of the most odious person you’ve ever encountered in real life or through the media. Christ died for that person’s sins, too. He died for your chance at salvation and Nikolas Cruz’s as well. Forgiveness and redemption are available for everyone you love and anyone you may hate in the past, present, or future.

On Easter, I try to see people through God’s eyes, even though I, like all people, see through a glass darkly in this life.

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Garden, November 5

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Some of the flowers in my garden persist despite a few frosty nights. The weather has been too inhospitable for much deadheading or trimming of these plants. The time has come to let this garden season go, but I will not pull the annuals until every last blossom is spent.

I will cherish this year’s garden for years to come. This was the year their bounty helped sustain me.

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Fall Photo Walk, October 31

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The weather has turned so inhospitable that every flower and leaf I captured today is a survivor its own right. Nighttime temperatures have hovered around freezing, and daytime highs have been in the 40’s. We’ve had lots of rain and cloudy skies as well.

The forecast predicts the last warm encore of the season this weekend, but there’s rain ahead, too. I’m still hoping for a couple more sunny photo walks before fall is over.

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Garden, October 22

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I feel so lucky that I’ve had flowers blooming in my garden for seven months this year. The forecast does not bode well for the garden in the next ten days. There are predictions for several nights dipping into the 30’s, along with the possibility for a little snow next weekend. Some of the tender plants in the garden may not survive the coming week. In light of that possibility, I thought I’d take a few more pictures than I usually do for my garden blog posts.

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October Hibiscus

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Last night the temperature dipped into the low 40’s, yet my hibiscus plant is still making a valiant effort to rebloom. This year’s garden has been a welcome distraction from my ongoing orthopedic problems (and a depression whose volume is directly proportional to how much pain I’m feeling on a given day). I see inspiration in the partial blooms on that hibiscus plant. It keeps going, even when no pleasant outcome is guaranteed. It grows with an unspoken knowledge that it will persist over the years. All of this blooming is just a bonus, a nod to its kind that it too hopes for a little immortality.

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Yesterday’s Garden

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I’m happy I was able to get a few shots of my garden yesterday, for today has proved to be too blustery for good shots. The weather has remained warmer than average, and I don’t see that we have a threat of frost for the next 10 days. It is possible the garden could persist for the entire month of October. Last year it didn’t give up the ghost until the second week of November.

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October Garden, 50 mm

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I don’t feel inspired to take many pictures on cloudy days, but I’ve been noticing lots of great photos taken in low light on Instagram. Early this evening, I did a quick photo walk through my garden with my Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 D lens attached to my Nikon D5200.

I think this is my first reference to my photo equipment in a blog post. My stuff squarely resides in the “prosumer” segment of photography. I have two DSLR’s, the aforementioned Nikon and a Canon Rebel T6. The sole reason I have the Rebel is value. I was able to get the camera and two lenses (one of these was a 300 mm zoom lens, no less) for the regular price of the camera alone. I suppose the smarter choice would have been upgrading my Nikon camera body, but as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, sometimes instant gratification takes too long (as the late, great Carrie Fisher wrote in Postcards from the Edge).

I have six lenses as well. Two of these are the kit lens for each camera. For my Nikon I have the 50 mm and two zoom lenses, a 200 mm Nikkor VR lens (which I love) and a Tamron 300 mm that I haven’t used once since I bought the 200 mm. My Canon also has the 300 mm I mentioned above.

I don’t often think of using the 50 mm, but the quiet light of this evening was well suited to it. The day began with fog and ended with light rain; our small drought is over. The cold has not settled here yet. We haven’t yet had the unique autumn pleasure of surrendering to the chill by wearing a coat or nestling under a blanket.

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