Thursday, September 30, 2010

Falling Into Place

I do apologize for not posting much of anything lately. As I glance back over this past summer, it's rather a blur. A good blur for the most part, but a blur all the same. In three months time our family survived 2 weddings, a couple of funerals, a plethora of reunions, girls camp, and the discovery that I have a food allergy (MSG). Never a dull moment, and I suspect that is how life is meant to be.

To atone for my absence the past couple of weeks, I will post a series of pictures I shot on a recent camping adventure in the hills behind our home in Bennington. I love this time of year and savor the fall colors. I trust most of you feel the same way. As such, enjoy the beauty of our world.

This shot managed to capture most of the vivid colors Mother Nature has provided this fall.

Though some of the trees are already losing their leaves, the colors are still inspiring.

Here Kennon is posing beside one of my favorite fall colors.

He talked me into posing beside one of his favorite colors.

We rode the trusty 4-wheeler up on top of one mountain. Here is the view below.

And this was the view from another side of that same mountain top: the famed Bear Lake as seen from on high. The sun was about to set, so the colors were impressive that night.

And here was our mode of transportation that night: Behold the mighty 4-wheeler!

Another view from the top of the mountain.

It was a gorgeous sunset.

I love sunsets! This one was extremely colorful.

That's it for now. Tune in soon for shots I snapped on the way up to Periodic Springs above Afton, Wyoming.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Media Frenzy

We truly live in a remarkable era. People can communicate in a variety of ways via such things as cell phones, texting, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, blogging, and so forth. Computers that once filled entire rooms, can now be held in the palm of one's hand. It will be interesting to see what will be invented next.

I remember typing my first novel on an electric typewriter---top of the line for its day. The down side of using this device was that whenever something needed to be corrected, it usually meant retyping an entire chapter.

How excited I was when we purchased our first desktop computer. It was a 286 IBM compatible complete with a word processor, and other software programs designed to make several tasks easier. To understand it all, I took a computer class that was being offered locally. There are still items I can do compliments of this training, despite the fact that my newest computer is now a Toshiba laptop with a 287 gigabyte hard-drive. Windows 7 is its operating system, and this laptop possesses the technology to create and play DVD's. I'm still amazed by how fast it runs in comparison to my first laptop.

This new technology has made it easier to compose manuscripts. My cell phone makes it possible for my family and friends to contact me, regardless of where I might be. It even possesses a tiny camera, if I should feel the need to snap a photo to share. And while I am grateful for these and other improvements in our world, I am also a little concerned. As with everything else, there needs to be a balance.

I've heard it said that one day books will be obsolete. That thought saddens me, and I, for one, doubt that will ever be true. I suspect there are several of us who prefer holding a book and savoring the pages, as opposed to reading text online, or via something like Kindle.

My other concern is that we aren't spending near as much time enjoying "face to face" communication. It doesn't seem that long ago when several of my neighbors and I would gather most mornings for a refreshing walk about town. Not only was this a great way to exercise, but it gave us a chance to touch base with each other. Everyone's schedules are so crazy now, we're lucky if we get a chance to wave at each other in passing. I see more of some friends online, than in person.

While I will be forever grateful for the technology that has made keeping in touch easier (I loved being able to receive e-mail from my missionary sons each week, as opposed to waiting for handwritten letters to arrive) it saddens me that so many of us are leaning toward online communication that may or may not be a healthy alternative. People can be deceiving online, taking on a persona totally different from who they really are. I believe it's much easier to discern who someone is when you can actually see their face.

I also think it's important to disconnect from all of the gadgetry periodically and to embrace life around us. We all need to spend more time outside, appreciating the beauty God created for us to enjoy. I think it's sad that so many people are caught up in make believe worlds online and in video games. I enjoy playing games . . . mostly old-fashioned board games or card games that have been family favorites for years. ;) I believe that games of this nature are a healthier alternative and a great way to bring families closer together.

So while I will always be grateful for the technology that has preserved my life (I've been an insulin pump patient for years. Just call me the bionic woman.) I think it's important to balance this progressive technology trend with old-fashioned values that in my opinion are never outdated.