Monday, February 28, 2011

A Penchant for Pelicans

I have a penchant for photographing pelicans, perhaps because 
they are so abundant in Florida.
Here a few of my favorite fellows,
along with a ditty my Dad always recited 
whenever he saw a pelican:

"Strange old bird, the pelican:
His beak holds more than his belly can.
Food for a week he can hold in his beak,
But I don't know how the heck-he-can!"

The first photo was taken last month on the canoe trip Jessi and I took.
The one on the roof was taken at Fernandina Beach on Mom's birthday 
a couple of years ago.
And the third was taken at Beverly Beach, near Palm Coast.
They're everywhere!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dirt Man

So, one day this rabbit was out on our front porch,
and it had dug underneath our house.
Can't remember where that rabbit came from, 
but I do remember that when I walked outside and saw 
the forty pounds of dirt, (at least), I was upset!  
I called for Allen, then I went back inside.
When I came back out, he had taken that mess and turned it into 
"Dirt Man!"
Whereas I saw a mess, he saw an opportunity to be creative.
I learned a lesson that day.
And perhaps his sense of humor is the biggest reason 
we're celebrating our
Twenty-Ninth Anniversary Today!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

In Search of Spring

In Search of Spring

Spring is tip-toeing all around us in north Florida, but my heart remembers too many freezes in March and April to be totally
beguiled this early in the year by Spring's allurements.
Still, I will take every 80 degree day that comes my way.
It was easier to do that when I lived in Venice, Florida,
where Spring often appeared in February and then 
just never went away.
A few years back I called Mom one morning and said,
"Let's go look for Spring!"
And, ever up to a challenge, she jumped in the car with me
and we drove around finding evidence of Spring.
The photo above was one of my favorite finds that day.
I think I shall call her in an hour or so, to see if I
can lure her out today in search of Spring
and its enchantments!
(I did call her...and she said, "Yes!")

Friday, February 25, 2011

Your Writings Made Me Happy

Received a phone call from the grandkids this morning.
Three of the four sat on their front porch yesterday at dawn
and wrote their early morning thoughts.
Each one witnessed the same morning evolve,
but their observations and expressions were uniquely their own.
One by one, this morning, they read their creations to me,
in which they had captured the dawn, the rain, the sounds, the smells,
a neighbor's departure and return, the clouds,
the bird songs, the bird nests, the squirrels, and their thoughts of spring.
Thank you, Aly, Megan and Joey
for sharing your world and your talents with me.
I am so proud of each one of you.
Keep Writing!

I love you dearly.
Your Mama

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Heart Storms

Heart Storms
Some days I create my own emotional tsunamis,
and I hurt others in the wake of my storms.
I am so glad the Lord gave us King David,
the beloved, but oh so human, psalmist.
When I am ashamed of my own heart and its capacity
for pettiness, selfishness or anger,
I reach for Psalm 51.
It is a poem so gut-wrenchingly honest 
that it enables me to be so, too, before the Lord.
It's almost like King David takes me by the heart-strings 
and walks me through the process:
Sorrow ~ Confession ~ God's Forgiveness ~ God's Peace
restored to my wayward heart.
A process like that makes it so much easier, then, 
to go the human I've offended,
most often my husband,
and ask for his forgiveness, also.
And one of my husband's best qualities is
that he's never been a grudge-holder.
How blessed I am for that.

This "Storm Building" photo was taken at Anna Maria Island, Florida

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Christchurch, New Zealand

Woke up several times last night and kept finding images of 
Christchurch, New Zealand on my mind, and the earthquake that befell them.  
I don't know much about New Zealand, but hurting people I can understand,
and tragedy knows no national boundaries.  
I pray those still alive, but trapped, will be found and rescued.  
I pray those who are suffering life-altering losses will be comforted.
        An event such as this serves to remind me how 
precarious our journey on this earth can be and makes me 
even more determined to treasure the riches found in an ordinary day.  
It seems egregious and arrogant not to.  
Ingratitude truly scares me, believing, as I do,
that it is a presumptuous and dangerous thing.

Photo Taken at Ravine Gardens - Palatka, Florida

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The First Week of Blogging

 A full week of blogging is completed now, and this it has done:
It has kept me committed to writing something each day.  Nothing profound, perhaps, but things that are precious to me have been captured, considered, and appreciated.
I feel like a miner, whose job it is to excavate treasure
from each passing day.  
Perhaps a photograph, perhaps a poem,
perhaps a moment of gratitude expressed.
Something deserves to be savored from 
these twenty-four hours of life that I have been given.

Photo from a weekend trip Allen and I took to Jekyll Island, Georgia

Monday, February 21, 2011

Simple Gratitude

Last Week's Blessings

Wrote two poems; received a letter,
Could my week get any better?
Carla's knowledge and her ease,
When web-design had made me freeze!
Jessi commenting on my blog,
Starting a thoughtful dialogue!
A phone call from a dear friend's mother;
A verbal parley with my brother.
Lunch with a friend at a special spot,
And the laughter that our meeting brought.
A bird who chose to pose and stay;
Time with Mom on a "get-away."
A full moon glowing through the trees;
Daytime highs of eighty degrees!
Red Lobster and red roses, too;
Such blessings did my week accrue!
Then quiet time with breathing-space
To capture moments touched by grace.

Written by Linda Moser Winebrenner
21 February 2011

If there's a week when something negative happens, I am prone to let that
one negative thing permeate my mind and obscure my blessings.
I can usually put things back into perspective by writing down
the good things that also happened that week.  Simple but lovely things.
(That's my lovely 87-year-old Mom in the photo above.
She sure looks good - hope I have those genes!)

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Sixteen-year-old granddaughter Jessi persuaded me to step out of 
my comfort zone into a canoe last month.  
We went to Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey, Florida,
where we put our rented canoe into the dark, murky waters 
and paddled up and down the South Creek.  
We attempted to man the thing as if we knew what were were doing.
Visions of alligators and/or banana spiders were in the forefront 
of my own imagination, but I'm pretty sure both of us were assuming 
the pretense of bravery as we set off.
However, if success is making memories, taking photos,
and returning safely, then that we accomplished.

Jessi has ever been one of those who will always try to keep me from becoming boring and predictable!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Two Perspectives - One Heart

Our worlds are different, yet much the same,
When God sets both of our hearts aflame;
You climb the mountains, I walk the shore,
But both of us feel our spirits soar.
I hear the sea gull's mournful cry,
You watch an eagle floating by.
You - to the mountains, I - to the sea,
Yet both of us awed by the majesty
And magnitude of God's great power:
I - at the dawn, you - the twilight hour.

19 February 2011
Wtitten by Linda Moser Winebrenner
For a Friend of My Heart

Sea Gull and Beach Photos Taken at Beverly Beach, Florida

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Moment Such As This

I encourage myself to go off on solitary treasure hunts if I don't happen to have
a companion to share the day with me.
My reward is often a moment such as this.
And it is a moment I am still able to share with others.
Society and Solitude ~ Both have their riches.

Photo Taken 19 September 2010 - Sanford, Florida

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Going Back Home

Recently, I went back to the west coast of Florida where I grew up.  Some things, of course, will never be the same, and that can be a good thing or a sad thing, depending on what one reflects upon.  
But there is something about the beach world that never changes.
I did this layout when I returned, and wrote:

"I head for the jetties when I go 'back home.'  
It's as if my heart is driving the car, following the promise 
of something precious, waiting to be found.  
The beach world always keeps its promises, 
be it a windswept bird or eternity heard."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Poet Introduced

For most of my life I have written poems for friends and loved ones, to encourage them, to comfort them, to preserve the moments and the memories, to celebrate the love, to articulate the loss, to help ease the pain.

Ten years ago, with stimulus and motivation from my daughter, I placed an ad in our local newspaper that caught the attention of one of the staff writers at that newspaper.  He interviewed me and wrote an article about the "Middleburg Poet."  Ah!  The joy of someone else calling one a poet, and seeing it in print.

Back then, it was usually at craft shows that people became aware that someone could turn their memories into an heirloom-quality poem.  I would tote my framed poems to the shows and people would start at one end of my display and - again and again - they would shed tears by the time they reached the other end.  My husband worked some of the shows with me, and he would be baffled by this phenomenon (as he passed out tissues to those who needed them!).  People would then fax me their information (I always ask for "too many" details, "too much" information, so I would have a good feel for their heart and for the story they wanted told). Then I would create a Keepsake Poem for them.

Today I am beginning to post some of these poems on my website,, and I  would be honored if some of you would wander over there to read some of the "Stories in Poem" that I have been privileged to write over the years.  I will be adding more over the next few weeks.

The photo above was one I took at the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia ~ one of my favorite towns to visit.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Leap

Daughter and granddaughter are already blogging.  I amble into these things hesitantly, cautiously.  But what fun it will be to share our lives this way.  I'm hoping this blog will erase the miles between us, my family and I, and, at the same time, introduce me to that wonderful world of blog-writers/photographers who bare their hearts with so much confidence, talent, and kindness.  I've been watching you, surreptitiously, for a long time, and I am inspired.  You have shared your own initial trepidations, but jumped in anyhow.  I salute your elan and shall try to emulate your spontaneity!

Granddaughter, Jessi, called just as I finished this first paragraph and she urged me to hit the "Publish Post" button.  I'm teetering, Jess, but I'm not quite there yet.

First, of course, I must insert a photo of a bird or a butterfly.  No blog of mine would be complete without one.  When my daughter, Carla, took my grandchildren and moved away to South Carolina, I sat in Florida looking at my camera, and I asked,  "What shall I do with you now?" and my camera seemed to reply, "Look for the beauty that remains."  So, I threw my camera over my shoulder, and I went out and found that I had an affinity for the beauty of winged-things.   And also for sunrises and sunsets, for foliage and flowers, for horses and emus, and whatever else strikes my fancy.  It is a lovely world, even when my day sometimes isn't...and my photos help me to remember that.