On the Move

_C1_5481Ozark highways during summer holiday weekends are always full of trucks carrying boats and jet skis and family dogs. Grandparents holding ice cream cones and kids too excited to stay in their cars at gas stations are all on their way to Table Rock Lake or Beaver Lake or Lake of the Ozarks or any of the other lakes around here shaped like great seadragons, with their tails and tendrils and branches. The shape forms when hilly areas are dammed and flooded, and I’ll always associate it with this place.

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_C1_5526One of those Ozark highways is U.S. 412, running from one northern corner of Arkansas to the other. I went up and down a segment of this road for my Memorial Day, hoping to capture just a little bit of the tiny-town life it strings together.

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_C1_5610Speaking of Memorial Day, I’m reminded of something a veteran friend of mine pointed out. When we thank veterans for their service, maybe we’re really thanking them for going to war instead of us, for taking our place so no draft is needed and we can enjoy road trips and holiday weekends and careers that give holidays. We go, and you don’t have to, he said.

I think this perspective makes the thank-yous “for your service” and “for defending our freedom” more real and tangible. Any perspective that does that is a valuable one, I think.

I hope it was a good weekend for you. Here’s a few more images from around my apartment this weekend.

Thanks for looking,

Dan

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Gratitude

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, we move to the season of wishes and desires (and hey, I’m not knocking it, knowing your desires and goals is good, too). Yesterday was a whole day devoted to our gratitude, but I like to think that there’s something in every moment that we can give a little thought of thanks for, even if it’s small.

I write this aware that some people live lives of struggle and fear and horror that I can scarcely glimpse — they might know this better than I, really. There is always something. But did you see it?

Did you see the clouds?

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Did you see the rain?

IMG_7546 (2)Did you see the moon?

freshman summer ending 041Did you see the sunsets?

lakeDid you see the trees?

New Orleans 156Did you see the little gestures?

IMG_9693Did you see the small smiles?

_C1_9789Did you see the old friends?

_32I6671 (2)Because they’re there. When I see them, I say a little thanks.

Most of these are pictures from the past few years; I should have some more shiny new ones soon, maybe this weekend.

Thanks for looking!

Dan