Happy Papa Day


Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad, and that’s why I call you dad, because you are so special to me. You taught me the game and you taught me how to play it right. Wade Boggs

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When I was about 26, I found out the dad I grew up with was not my biological father.  Everyone thought I would freak out.  They freaked out.  Every single person in my family seemed to know this already.  Unbeknownst to me, I had so many people trying to solve this 26 year long mystery for me. They spent months trying to get to the bottom of it.

What they did not know is that I WAS shocked.  But not in the way they might have realized.  I was shocked that everyone in my family had kept a secret for 26 years.  My family has never been good at not blathering on about everything, every place and everyone they knew.  I WAS freaking out.. but only because I thought it would be so cool to have more siblings. I always wanted to come from a gigantic family.  Think Partridge Family or Brady Bunch.. I could start a band or..uh.. travel across the states and get into ridiculous escapades..well maybe not.. but I thought it would be cool.

More than anything I was amazed.  Amazed that the dad I grew up with, knew he was not my biological father and wanted to keep that a secret from me in order to avoid hurting me.  I never doubted for a second that he loved each of us deeply and without pause and as his own children.

He used to tell me I was his favorite.  I had his sense of humor, his walk, his work ethics.  I worshipped him.  I still do.  He was a steady beacon of light on the shore of a wild sea of women.  He was dependable, funny, and strong.  He was my dad, my papa, the man to whom all other men would need to aspire to win my heart.  I love you dad!!

Without my dad, I wouldn’t be here. Maria Sharapova

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My Dad is my hero. Harry Connick, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

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Just exquisite


South Africa

Science shows us truth and beauty and fills each day with a fresh wonder of the exquisite order which governs our world. Polykarp Kusch

Exquisite animals –

I blame it on Walt Disney, where animals are given human qualities. People don’t understand that a wild animal is not something that is nice to pat. It can seriously harm you. James Cameron

Even then I could not help myself.

Exquisite views

Exquisite people places and things

Just one more best vacation ever and it will not be soon forgotten.  Happy half century on the planet to me!!!

Other exquisite posts

Dream, My Joy, Night Owl, Tiny FawnsSbdmb, Nature’s Beauty, eddaz, Emotions,  tenderness

Smiles


A new challenge by Sally this month was to choose our own theme.  I chose smiles because that is my favorite thing to do and to see.  In every country that I have been blessed enough to visit I have found favorite smiles.  I sort of collect them.  When I feel down or angry, I can look back on some of my favorite smiles.  If you look past through my posts, you can see all of my favorite smiles so far.  Smiles from family.  Smiles from old friends.  Smiles from new friends.  I have found people who just look angry and annoyed and yet when I smile at them, they almost always smile back.  Sure there are those that do not.  But in my experience, for the most part they usually do.  I hope you enjoy my most recent collection of smiles from Egypt.

Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts. Paramahansa Yogananda

 

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From my last post. One of my favorite most recent smiles. My driver to the airport who got a call during the ride letting him know that his wife just had a baby boy. They had been waiting 5 years for this news.

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. Mother Teresa

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On a visit to the Egyptian Museum, these adorable young kids visiting the museum asked if they could take their picture with me.  I in turn asked if i could take my picture with them.  I LOVE this picture and love that they wanted to take their picture with me.  How fun is this.

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come. Henri Nouwen

A person is just a person.  A job is just a job.  We do not know why someone looks angry (Resting bitch face?  Maybe?) or sad (Really actually sad and alone?).  We will never know why unless we engage.  Maybe you will get a positive response or possibly just an angry grunt.  You will never know unless you engage.  Every single sad or angry looking face I encountered above eventually smiled.  Maybe I just wore them down, I don’t know.  But engagement brought life to the face.  To theirs and mine as well.

A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose. Tom Wilson

The tour we went on introduced me to a bunch of new smiles that still make me happy to look back on and remember.  What a great trip. Still smiling from the fun.

View other entries for this week’s challenge :

challenge-all-ears;  2016/11/28/-for-sally-ds-mobile-photo-challengethe-tea-house-goddessnetdancer.com/2016/11/28challengers-choice-landscapechihulys-basket-series;  challenge-challengers-choice2016/11/30/the-fernery-2challengers-choice-nature-of-flowerszimmerbitch

What is normal – Lagos Part 2


“Normal is an ideal. But it’s not reality. Reality is brutal, it’s beautiful, it’s every shade between black and white, and it’s magical. Yes, magical. Because every now and then, it turns nothing into something.”
― Tara Kelly, Harmonic Feedback

It’s easy to get caught up in how normal or abnormal a different life lived might be.  I would like to think that in general I live a fairly normal life.  I get up, do my stretches, eat breakfast, go to work..work..toil..worry..stress…eat lunch…work some more, come home, eat dinner and go to bed.  It’s my routine and I’m comfortable with it.

In the process of doing what I do, I will sometimes pass by lives, actions, ideals and philosophies that sometimes feel incredibly abnormal.  I might at times feel saddened by the brutality of it all, the abnormality and chaotic nature of it all.  I have to force myself to put the brakes on because what is normal to me now, might have at one point not so long ago, appeared to be very abnormal.  This life I lead right now often presents to me situations that do not feel normal at all.  When I visit some of the places I visit, a part of me screams inside my head that, “THIS IS NOT NORMAL!!”

I have to ask myself what is normal?  What is routine? Who am I to make that call?

So Makoko Stilt Village part 2.

We visited the village in a traditional canoe which allowed us to see more of the area and see how this community really lives.  We visited a maternity ward, a school, passed by local markets and we were able to get an authentic feel for the lives being lived here.  To me interesting and lives uniquely lived.  There is no argument to that statement.  Except maybe to the people who are living that life.  Their routines are no more abnormal to them than mine is to me.

It is brutal, it is beautiful, it is every shade of black and white.

The more I travel and the more I see, the more I realize that in the middle of every single place I visit, exist regular people doing what is normal to them.  They all have a voice and they all have a story.  It’s crazy that I have to remind myself of this so often.

But on the other hand, in the midst of the chaos, you find normal people. You find people who are willing to risk their lives to tell you what they saw, even though they have no dog in the fight.

John Pomfret

Other routines.

Freedom


freedom     ˈfriːdəm/    noun
  1. 1.
    the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants.

“Because to take away a man’s freedom of choice, even his freedom to make the wrong choice, is to manipulate him as though he were a puppet and not a person.”
― Madeleine L’Engle

Kapadokya, Goreme, Turkey. – In the fight to choose their own religion, many escaping Christians chose to carve out shelters, houses and churches in the naturally formed canyon hills and unusual rock formations that were created by strong winds, flood waters and lava flows.

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Throughout the region, these places were carved and shaped and turned into villages and religious sites..  Pretty amazing.

On top of the amazing places to hike and visit, many hotels in town have carved out rooms to sleep in and it’s all quite beautiful.

Other posts about freedom: