2017: Page 239

Page 239 was a great day spent with my family as we finished up an overnight getaway as a reminder that another birthday doesn’t mean I’m old. 🙂  The day was long enough, though, that I’m doing the written part of it the next morning.  Throughout the day we walked a little over 7 miles and I feel okay the next morning, so I must have not gotten older . . . right?

The day began with a walk down to the lakeshore to shoot some sunrise photos.  As I was out, I noticed a momma deer and her baby wandering the lodge property.  They were doing some trimming of the lawn, but the primary task seemed to be removing the ripening apples from the trees before they fell to the ground and made a mess for the guests.  My plan had been to shoot some sunrise photos then head back to the room, so the only camera I had with me was with a wide-angle lens.  My solution was to talk to the deer and thank them for their nice work as part of the grounds crew.  As I talked to them, I kept moving closer so I could get the photos I wanted with the lens I had on the camera.  They were very cooperative and I managed to get some close-up photos I was pleased with.

After the sunrise and early morning deer adventure, we took a 2+ mile walk on a boardwalk trail in the park.  We did not manage to find any owls, which we had been hoping to photograph, but we did have a very peaceful and beautiful walk.  Part of the worship team leading the music for the morning was the little guy in today’s photo.  His song caught my ear long before his movement caught my eye.  I eventually found him at the top of a small maple tree where he had a clear view of the morning sun as he sang his songs of praise.  It is a good lesson for us in that we too need to rise above the distractions of life and gaze with a clear view on the Son in order to amplify our songs of praise.

After our walk we packed up and checked out of the lodge, then made our way to Catawba, Ohio to catch a ferry to the village of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island.  There were two lighthouses we wanted to photograph, but they were on opposite ends of the island so we did about 5 miles of walking from one end of the island to the other . . . and then back again.  That much walking requires fuel, so we had an incredible lunch of perch, walleye, and shrimp.  They said the perch and walleye were fresh, local caught fish . . . the shrimp, I suspect not so much. 🙂  There was a vintage car race scheduled on the island and while we were there we were able to enjoy a parade with a mix of great vintage cars and newer models that someone paid a lot of money for and needed to show off. 🙂  After our time on the island we caught the ferry back to Catawba, then made our way down the shoreline to another lighthouse.  After some more lighthouse photographs, it was time for us to begin to wind down this birthday getaway and start our journey home.

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

  • As the years go by, I find myself more mindful of the need to spend time with my family — both in the day to day journey of life and also in special times away from the day to day distractions.
  • Sometimes you will find that you don’t have what you wished you had.  You can either dwell on what you don’t have, find a way to get what you don’t have, or make the most of what you do have.
  • The manner in which we approach and talk to wildlife will greatly impact their reaction to us.  The same is true with people.
  • It is okay to look for something specific in life but don’t miss out on what God provides simply because it wasn’t what you were looking for.
  • When our eyes are fixed on Jesus, our praise will always be purer and sweeter.
  • Sometimes there is a fine line between wanting people to share in your joy and simply wanting people to see what you have.  One of those motivations is good, one not so much.
  • Have I already mentioned how important it is to find ways to make time for family?  It doesn’t require huge amounts of time or money to create special moments.  While those things can help, they can also hinder when we put our focus on those instead of on our family.

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