Friday, May 24, 2013

Those Magical Camping Days

Many, many years ago, while visiting my parents at their summer trailer with a friend, I did something on impulse which at first had my husband thinking I'd lost my mind. In retrospect we know it was one of the best silly things I've ever done.

Okay, so there may have been some drinks involved, but my judgement was far from impaired. It was a gorgeous summer day in lake country and when my parents mentioned they had decided to up-size their trailer,  the only logical next step seemed to be for me to take the old one off their hands.  It helped too to learn that a site just down the road and beside my brother's trailer was available for us to move in.

What followed were years of amazing summers with our kids. Our trailer was tiny and simple, with no hot water and barely enough space to sleep the six of us. But it was perfect.

Our brood ran barefoot with their friends, and as there was such a communal feel to the campground,  relatively unsupervised. Lazy mornings were followed by afternoons at the beach and evening walks for ice-cream.  It was an idyllic time in our lives.

All good things do come to an end, of course. When I finally returned to work full-time it  dawned on me that rather than being restful, weekends in our simple trailer meant I did all of the things I wasn't getting done at home. And it was more difficult.

So we sold.  Now camping means spending a couple of hours at my daughter and son-in-law's tent before returning to my well-appointed rental cottage.  But, I've never forgotten those magical summers.

So here's to the fun of weekends away in tent or trailer reflected in these great clipart collections:

iCLIPART.com Camping Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Camping Illustrations

Acclaim Images Camping Illustrations

ClipartGuide Camping Illustrations

TOONClipart Camping Cartoons

ClickArt Online Camping Illustrations

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What Comforts You?

This world is full of wonder. Day to day our five senses are engaged in all of it, from the feel of  a baby's skin, to the fragrance of a lilac, to the music of a lark, to the taste of the season's first sweet strawberry, to the awesome spectacle of a thunderstorm. 

Sadly too, though, we must take the bad with the good and in the shadow of a rainbow we often find despair and trouble.  Yet, even when things are difficult there are signs of hope around us. Sometimes we don't even have to look too hard to find them.

Several years ago, a dear friend of mine lost a child. One evening, in the deepest part of her grief, in the still quiet of her bedroom, she spoke to her daughter, asking her why she didn't let her know she was okay.  Seconds later a brilliant shooting star streaked across the sky and for  a brief moment my friend could smile again.

I had my moment last night. For weeks now I've been travelling to the hospital to visit my ailing, aged mother.  As anyone who's ever been in the same position knows, seeing a loved one suffer and not knowing the outcome is emotionally draining.   Then, returning home exhausted in the twilight hours of yesterday, to make matters worse, I drove into a rainstorm. The sky was darkly turbulent, clouds roiled and fat raindrops fell. 

Until I glanced to my right and noticed one small opening that revealed only the crimson orange of the setting sun.  And, for the first time in a long time I felt some comfort.

While rainbows are often the sign of hope for many, my inspiration has always come from beautiful sunsets. With these wonderful photos we can see them any time of day:

iCLIPART.com Sunset on Water Photos

iCLIPART.com Photos of People at Sunset

iPHOTOS.com Sunset Photography

Acclaim Images Photos of Sunsets

National Geographic Photography Sunsets and Sunrises

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

In Recognition of The Fallen

May 27 is Memorial Day in the United States. Unlike Veterans' Day which honours military veterans, both living and dead, Memorial Day is a time to remember the brave people who died serving their county as members of the American Armed Forces. 

Formerly known as Decoration Day, this federal holiday held annually on the final Monday of May,  originated after the Civil War.  In rural areas of southern America there are still Decoration Days held at some cemeteries in late spring or early summer. 

But across the country this coming Monday,  people will visit memorials to fallen soldiers, and volunteers will place flags on each soldier's grave in national cemeteries.

Tradition has the United States flag being swiftly raised to the top of the staff then lowered to half mast until noon. This is a tribute to the more than one million men and woman who have given their lives for liberty.  At 12 p.m. the flag is raised again as an uplifting symbol of the continued fight for freedom.

Other traditions surrounding Memorial Day include parades, as well as the Indianapolis 500, held on the Sunday before.  Considered the start of the summer season, there are also many barbecues, cookouts and picnics held in conjunction with this significant event.  These collections of images pay tribute not just to the patriotic pride best associated with it, but to the social traditions too:

iCLIPART.com American Memorial Day Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Memorial Day Photos

Acclaim Images Memorial Day Collection

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Healthy Food Photos for Family Wellness Month

I think the fact that May is Family Wellness Month must have slipped my mind this past weekend. With three days off, thanks to our Victoria Day holiday in Canada, coupled with some good weather to boot, the regular routine was out the window.  And with it, all my good habits and intentions.

Socializing and visiting were high on the priority list,  so food and drink were ever present, most of it not included in Canada's Food Guide.  Sadly,  I've never been able to turn my back on potato chips. I really do love my munchies! As a result,  I spent a little too much time this weekend enjoying some rather unwise food choices.

So to turn me around again, I thought it might be a good idea to bring my attention back to healthy eats. And there is plenty of simple, nutritious fare featured in these photo collections to do just that. They are perfect to promote the  kind of dietary choices that keep families on the right track before this Family Wellness Month draws to a close.

iCLIPART.com Healthy Food Photos

iPHOTOS.com Healthy Nutritious Food

Acclaim Images Healthy Food Photos