“There Ain’t No Sunshine…..

…when she has been gone, and she’s always gone too long
Anytime she goes away” to quote Bill Withers awesome song,  I am here to tell you she needs to get her butt back here soon. In the last few months overcast skies and rainy days out number days of sunshine by a wide margin. We the people are feeling the strain and since taking walkabout to find blooming things is not an option I have to do with what I am presented. This shot is of flower arrangement a friend of My Bride sent her. Till Blue Skies come and visit this will have to do till the next time. Peace~John

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In a Class of Their Own

 

The phone at the Thrift Shop I work at is my constant companion. With over twenty years of customer service experience I have come to appreciate that the phone is the first real window into any business, and I try to make a very good first impression. When the phone rang early this morning I answered it as I always do but what came next I was not prepared for. It was our Volunteer Coordinator and right off I knew there was something wrong. Her voice was uncharacteristically unsettled as she ask to speak to my boss. Informing her that she was at our second location she told me what I did not want to hear just yet, Larry one of our Volunteers had passed away.

The rest of the phone call is important but not to this post per say. What is important is that as a Hospice origination we treat death and dying with great care and compassion. Also as a non-profit, volunteers are as important to the missions as the rest of us are. They are, well a  big deal but some are in a class of their own. Larry is a member of that class. I could go into depth of what Larry meant to our organization, not only as a patient/thrift shop/ and 11th hour Volunteer but also as a Loving , sports crazy, sweet singing voice and a Hot Mess of awesome human being he was. Instead I will just let you peek into my world with Larry.

If Larry did not have a patient to care for he would come in and help us price items to sell at our thrift shop. Larry would cut up with us, break into song with a sweet and experienced voice or he could talk University of Kentucky sports with other UK fanatics with the knowledge of a seasoned veteran but he had just one little quirk: Larry,  bless his heart, could not differentiate  Christmas/ Halloween/Easter themed merchandise from a McCoy piece of pottery!  Since we put merchandise out according to its season this was a point of amusement to us but for Larry everything was fair game when it came to being priced and put out on the sales floor. One thing I can say about how Larry priced, engaged with his fellow volunteers and patients is he was consistent!

Now Julie is one of my fellow co-workers and she has a keen eye for spotting such things and calling it to Larry’s attention.  For example, after finding a Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer what-not or a  Joy of Christmas mug on the sale floor, she would come into the work room and say “Larry what is this?” Larry would more than likely have no clue and would graciously take his “lumps” for his part and carry on. Now I know you might be thinking it is no big deal to put merchandise out season, and it really is not, but it was as running joke among both Volunteers and staff alike and it made working with Larry that much more special.

As I was putting out one last rack today I thought of Larry, as I had been most of the day, and felt a need to find a way to Honor him and express my sense of loss in his passing. So I found a few things out of season and put them out to be sold. Here is to you Larry. You are in a class of your own.

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Peace unto you and may you rest in peace~John

An Artist Trying To Find Balance

Last night was a much longer night that I had planned it to be but I was pretty sure I could have my cake and eat it to. Not so Mon Frere, not so. As my roll as the  photographer for my local theater, The Hardin County Playhouse, I had planned to do just that: Take photos of the play and use one of the casts members video camera to shot video and be home in bed by 10pm.

Alas the universe had other plans than mine…….so when I got home and in bed @ 2am I was still confident I could be up and be able to back-up the praise band at 8:30am. My body rebelled and I had to call in as a no-show. Honestly I am both happy and bummed all at once. Why? I was able to go the extra mile for one set of circumstances but not able to meet my obligation for the other.

This is a real struggle for those of us who are artist no matter the medium: Finding balance between being true to our obligations, ourselves and the Giver of this gift of an Artist Heart.

Here is a couple of pics just because: One is from the shoot last night and the other of a very cool old tobacco barn.

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Feeding the Birds

Normally I would not have a bird feeder on our place. The reason? Our feline known as  Butterfly the Cat is a mighty hunter but as she is now entering her second decade of life,  likes inside life better than outside life. As I watch the birds feed and flutter about she seems to enjoy doing the same.  Here is one from the feeder on our place.

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