As we rolled out of the clinic parking lot after my September scans, I told DeLayne, "I'm just tired of this." For three years now, I have been getting poked, examined, and run through every type of machine they have. The last two years have been pretty much non-stop. We had not taken a vacation in two years. I was in desperate need of a break.
We decided that since my October exam would just be lab and blood work, we would take all of the week off and go do some sightseeing. We hoped that the leaves would be changing, but this year, October was still too early for that. The plan was to not have a plan. We would just go where we wanted, when we wanted, and just try to relax. I took most of my camera gear and hoped that I would have ample time to just play with my camera and bone up on some techniques.
For me, most of the fun in playing with a camera is seeing the results. Digital cameras have made that so much easier and cheaper. In reviewing my photos, I noticed a few things and had some thoughts about what I had photographed. Here are some of my favorites and thoughts to go with them.
To try and get away from cancer-related places, I decided to make hotel reservations at a different hotel than where we usually stay in Fayetteville. The hotel we stayed in is a converted mill. The original mill was built before the Civil War, destroyed during the Civil War, rebuilt after the war, and then destroyed by fire. It was once again rebuilt and then finally restored and transformed into the lobby for the hotel. Here is a picture of it at night.
While taking the photo, I failed to notice the reflection of the water wheel in the pond. I only noticed the reflection when I was looking back through my photos. This is a lot like life. While we are going through our trials, we seldom notice all of the details. We only notice them once we take the time to review our travels.
One place we decided to go is the Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. This is a 10,000 acre privately-owned park. They have a paved trail that can be hiked or biked. We decided to walk the path, which is 6.5 miles round trip. This would give us lots of time to take pictures and just enjoy the scenery. I'll admit, there were several times I thought that I had bit off more than I could chew on the hike, but the scenery made it worth it. Here is a photo of the stream by which I took my chemo for the day. Just pretend the leaves are orange, yellow and red.
Now, I'll be honest and say that I had to Photoshop this picture to sharpen it up. The original was a little blurry because I forgot to do something that I know how to do. Back when I used to do a lot of photography, it was all pretty much instinct to set up the camera the way I wanted and pretty much get the results I wanted. Now that it has been awhile, I am out of the habit and did not get the results I wanted. That is like reading the Bible and praying. When you skip a day or two, you get out of the habit, and before long, you aren't getting the results you expected.
Once we got home, I noticed that the flowers around the house were enjoying the fall weather and had started blooming again. I have never done much macro work and decided to go play some more.
See the little honey bee? He is going in head first to perform the purpose he was designed to do--collect pollen. Sometimes to perform the purpose God designed you for, you have to be willing to go all in, head first.
This picture is for free. I don't know why, but I like it.
Finally, these little blue flowers are in our front flower bed.
All but the center of the flower is out of focus. This is like life to me. I have to remember Who is at the center of my life and keep Him there. When I do not keep Him in the center, everything else goes out of focus.