Moving On

 It was time.  In fact, past time.  I was finally forced to clean out my desk this week.

For the last 12 months,  Exchanged Life Ministries Texas has been gearing up for relocation.   After nine years in a strip center, in a declining area with increasing crime, we will be moving next week to The Hope Center, a glorious building designed for organizations such as ours. 

Cleaning out my desk was like going on an archeological dig.  For a time, I shared my office with a friend.  So when I came upon some of her things, it was a sweet discovery, bringing back warm memories of our times together.  Other found objects were a mystery.  Why are there pieces of broken bowl in a small, square Pottery Barn box?  Perhaps I planned to use them as an object lesson, but I simply can't remember.  And there was a clock that used to sit on a table across the room from me.  It was consigned to that deep drawer when I could no longer read the numbers from that distance. 

But then I happened upon a true treasure.

Another person might call it a fossil, as it is at least, several years old.  A hopeless chocoholic, I switched brands a long time ago.

No, I didn't eat it.

Show and Tell

"It is by chance we met . .

By choice we became friends."

Last night I had dinner with Deb.  This woman is a most marvelously talented writer, educator and business woman, generous of heart, stylish and creative to the core.  Most of all, she is my friend. 

Many years ago, we met as young mothers at a Bible Study Fellowship class.  She loves to give me credit for sparking a creative fire that transformed her into a one of the most stylish women I know.  We share a love for color and fashion, and a determination to avoid the "matronly" look, even as the years carry us along. 

Though she moved to another city, I have never lost my friend.  Deb has the gift of pursuit, and she has held fast to me.  Our children have grown up, our bodies have changed, our lives are different.  I love her dearly and was so happy to have dinner with her last night when she dashed into town.

Here she is showing me one of her new accessories.  We do love our show n' tell.

It is a Village

A couple weekends ago, we headed out to Traders Village in Grand Prairie, Texas for a fun afternoon with our friends Jack and Melodie.  It was a chilly day and threatening rain.

There are acres of vendors in the open air, selling anything you could want or imagine.  A few vendors set up shop in what look like storage units, but most sellers brave the blazing summer heat or the winter chill, with a few balmy days thrown in.  It was our first visit.

In addtion to the fun of wheeling and dealing, here is what struck me:  the families.  Everywhere there were generations of families, selling and shopping.  Strollers were piled high, sometimes even with a child riding along. 

Every person was carrying something.

And sometimes the cargo was precious, indeed.

Child Photography in Ten Minutes or Less

Subtitle:  Child Photography in Ten Minutes or Else

This is not a how-to. 

Here is how it all started.  I'd just returned from Walmart (yet again) with a little pumpkin.  The pop of orange pumpkin against the purple dress took my breath away.

You know the feeling you have when you can picture the child, the prop, the mood, in one beautifully affecting image?  It's all right in front of you, so close.  Everything seems possible. 

Then comes reality.  The light is fading fast.  It's cool and we can't  find her shoes.  Go with the flip flops.  Pop them on and out the door we go. 

Note the natural smile.  And the flip flops.

Take a shot. Check the histogram on the back of the camera for proper exposure? Forget it! No time. Subject restless. Hope for the best, and maybe we'll get lucky.

Good spooky Halloween look.

Ooops, lost the top of her head.

Ditch the pumpkin.  Tend to baby.

I'm going inside; how about you?

Time elapsed:  8.5 minutes

Later, the shoes were found in the clothes hamper.

Time Divided

Today I brought home a stack of books from the library.  Ever since I was a child, the public library has been a place of refuge and adventure.  Usually leaning toward fiction, with a particular fondness for mysteries, today's finds were an unusual topical mix. 

Life in Color by Garza and Lupo
The Complete Eldercare Planner by Loverde (for my mother, but I guess I am next in line)
Cool Spaces for Kids by  Sam Scarborough  (for Piper and Eli)
Depression is Contagious by Michael D. Yapko, Ph.D (really curious about this one)
I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye by Noel and Blair (a book on grief)
Digital Photographer's Handbook by Tom Ang
Swimming by Nicola Keegan  (a novel)
Secret Sayings Hidden Meanings by Graham Cooke (not from the library, a gift from Jan for my soul)

I started Swimming and was almost immediately captivated by the story.  It is a first novel and I was curious about the author.  Her bio, on the inside back cover, reads, "....divides her time between Ireland and France with her husband and three sons."  There must be a story here. 

So then I started thinking.  How would my bio read?  "Karla divides her time between Walmart and work...."  Not quite the same.

Then I realized that my stack of books truly did reflect my life.  My loves (God, family, friends) and passions(God, photography, work) intertwine and overlap .  In my case, there are no clear divisions between the people I love, and the things I love to do. 

So here goes.  "Karla is doing her best to divide her time among....."

I'll bet it's this way for you, too.
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