Aww…some Monday’s Music Moves Me

Aww Mondays

Lucy 11-09-2020

Happy Trails to You

This final post of my local trail trilogy involves a trail that is a favorite of ours. It begins a couple of blocks from the town square and ends at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. The paved trail is about a mile long. Once you reach the museum there are a couple of additional miles of trails on the grounds that lead you past large pieces of art. But it’s autumn in the Ozarks and God is putting on a much more colorful display than any of the exhibits.

Crystal Bridges is a beautiful piece of architecture that houses a world class collection of art by American artists. If you are in the area, it is a must visit destination.

My wife and I spent Halloween afternoon on the trail. I didn’t bring my tripod so I didn’t get a photo of us together and now the leaves are gone and winter is just around the corner. The colors were simply spectacular this year.

Monday’s Music Moves Me

This week is a freedom of choice week and 4M, so I am going to take the opportunity to shamelessly plug something coming soon to Driller’s Place.

Eleven years ago I began what I now call my Christmas Music Marathon. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through Christmas I post at least one photo, one video, and a short comment regarding Christmas. The purpose of this annual project is to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, which is the birth of Christ. As a society we have become so busy, so over saturated with the commercial side of the season that we have lost the real reason for the celebration. If you want to get a better idea of how this is going to work you can scroll back to December posts of 2018 or 19. Prior to 2018 I was posting on e-Blogger. I made the transition to WordPress in January of 2018 so there are only two years of marathon posts here.

This year the photos will concentrate a little more on family photos from Christmas past. Lucy and I will take you on a journey through the years around the Christmas tree. The songs will come from secular and inspirational sources, so if you are a fan of Christmas and tired of the same old mall music, stop by here any day between Thanksgiving and Christmas to hear music that celebrates the true meaning of the season.

Needless to say 2020 has been and very different and difficult year for people worldwide. Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on our society as people have sheltered in their homes, sports were canceled, restaurants were closed, even churches quit meeting in worship services. It might leave some to ask, “Where Are You Christmas?”

Another question that we often here is, “What does Christmas mean to you?” Well the next few weeks I hope to answer that question and by Christmas day you will know what Christmas is to me. Have a blessed week.

Aww…some Mondays Music Moves Me

Aww Mondays

Local Trails

During the past few years Northwest Arkansas has become a hiking and biking trail Mecca. You can literally hike or bike from the Fayetteville town square to the Bentonville town square on a paved trail. Bella Vista has nearly 40 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. There are trails of all kinds and all levels of difficulties everywhere. A couple of weeks ago I drove over to a local trailhead to explore the venue and photograph some fall color. This trailhead had a rest area, parking, and multiple options for enjoying the great outdoors. Here are a few images from my visit.

Monday’s Music Moves Me

Well the theme at 4M this week is to pick songs of musicians born in November. Not braggin’ but I think I hit the jackpot. Two of the Eagles were born in November. Co-founder of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, Lyle Lovett, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer all have November birthdays. Bonnie Bramlett and Bonnie Rait are November ladies along with Miley Cyrus. Duane Allman, Johnny Rivers, and Eddie Rabbitt are in the mix. The writer and original recording artist of “The Twist”, Hank Ballard is a November boy. I could have a playlist for days from these artists, so where do I start? How about we start with a popular band member.

Steve Van Zandt was born in November. He is a guitarist with Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street band. Van Zandt also landed a role on the Sopranos. One of my favorite Springsteen songs is about a part of life that all of us experience. When we get into our thirties and forties, most of us look back on our high school and early twenties and recall that those were probably our “Glory Days”.

Randy Becker is another band member of one of my favorite groups, Blood Sweat and Tears. Back in the day, BS&T often went head to head with Chicago for the number one record on the charts. The debut album of BS&T was filled with classic hits and I wore that record (vinyl) out. One of my favorite songs from the album was “When I Die”.

How about we honor two November birthday kids in one song. Bonnie Rait and Delbert McClinton…”Good Man, Good Woman”.

Like I said, I could create a playlist for days, but I’m going to close this out with a song from an artist that shares my Birthday, November 20. Duane Allman and the Allman Brothers Band playing Midnight Rider. Have a blessed week.

Aww…some Monday’s Music Moves Me

Aww Mondays

I’m All Ears!!!

Top of the Rock

Recently my wife and I spent a couple of days at Paradise Point just outside of Branson Missouri. It is adjoins Big Cedar Lodge and sits on the shores of Table Rock Lake. It is an awesome place to stay. Branson is about an hour and a half drive from our home so we make two or three trips per year. At least one of the trips involves the family vacation and one involves my wife and I just getting away from everyday life and spending some quiet time in the Ozark mountains.

One of the attractions at Big Cedar is the Top of the Rock. It is a golf course restaurant, museum, and there is a 2-1/2 mile golf cart ride through an area filled with rock formations and waterfalls. We have never done this attraction before and autumn seemed like the best time to take the tour. You rent the golf cart, and you can spend as much time as you like on the trail. There are places that are made for photo opportunities and places that you make your own opportunities. The colors were changing so it was a great couple of hours. Here are few images from our time on the Lost Canyon Nature Trail at Top of the Rock, Big Cedar Lodge.

Monday’s Music Moves Me

This week at 4M is a “We pick ’em” week so I am going to drift back into inspirational music and introduce a couple of groups that are new to me. The contemporary Christian music genre is in a constant state of flux and it seems that new groups are emerging almost every day.

For many people the word “hope” implies wishful thinking. We hope our team wins. We hope surgery goes well. For the Christian hope is a guaranteed event that just hasn’t happened yet. We place our hope of eternal life in Christ because his death on the cross and resurrection three days later guaranteed our salvation and an eternal home in a place prepared for us called heaven. Our hope is real, it just hasn’t happened yet. When life becomes difficult we find ourselves “Holding On To Hope”

The third chapter of Matthew tells us that Jesus went to John the Baptist to be baptized establishing a widely recognized ordinance of the Church. Baptism is a public demonstration of our private decision to accept Christ as our Savior and to seek and follow His will for our life. The water can be a creek, stream, swimming pool, livestock trough, or a place in the church specifically designed for the purpose of baptism. The water itself has no special power, but in its own way it is Holy Water.

Scripture tells us that heaven is a real place created by God the Father and Christ has prepared a place for every believer to spend eternity. The Bible also tells us that no one is good enough to get there on their own. We are naturally rebellious and sinful, falling far short of the perfection required to enter paradise. Christ stepped out of heaven, lived a perfect life and offered Himself as the only acceptable sacrifice to pay for our redemption. Every believer is a Rescue Story. Have a blessed week.

Aww…some Monday’s Music Moves Me

Aww Mondays

While Lucy is a healthy happy, bundle of energy, she does love a good nap. Crisp autumn days will often find her snuggled up in her bed catching up on her beauty sleep.

Autumn in the Ozarks

Autumn is my favorite season and Northwest Arkansas is one of the most beautiful places in the country during the transition from summer into winter. The colors are glorious and this year is another great season for photographing the foliage. We have had some cool temperatures, high winds and heavy rains which means that the leaves may not stay on the trees as long as we would like. The other day I grabbed my camera and headed out to capture the colors of autumn inside our city limits. Here are some of the images. There will be more in the coming weeks.

Monday’s Music Moves Me

The theme this week at 4M is to pick a country and build a playlist of artists from that location. Okay, that sounds like a fun search, so I will pick Australia for reasons that will be clear a little later. The first group is a mega group of brothers that gave us all Saturday Night Fever. The Bee Gees hail from down under and while the soundtrack from the movie made them all super-rich, it was a song from earlier in their career that stuck with me.

No list of Aussie artists would be complete without Olivia Newton John. She was the heartthrob of many a young man back in the day. This song has a decidedly country flair to it.

Speaking of country, the real reason that I chose Australia is because it is home to Keith Urban, legendary country artist and guitar player.

Aww…some Monday’s Music Moves Me

Aww Mondays

I went for a walk on a local trail in our area to photograph some fall color. I spotted these leaves in the crotch of a tree and when I got close I found this little fellow.

Cataract Surgery D-Day + 1

Last Wednesday I had my first cataract surgery and I can report that my distance vision is greatly improved. My eyesight was getting worse, and I was just starting to see a little yellow tint in everything and my night vision made it uncomfortable to drive in heavy traffic after dark. Street signs were becoming increasingly difficult to read…even highway exit signs were not as clear as they should have been.

My visit to the ophthalmologist revealed that I had a cataract in each eye and it was time to remove them. The process is pretty incredible. I showed up at the eye surgery center at 8:00 a.m. By 8:30 I had been checked in, taken back to my “ready room”, given a couple of rounds of eye drops to cleanse and numb the eye and they give you an IV to calm all of your nerves.

They rolled me into the surgery suite and the fun began. You can’t really see anything. They shine a very bright light in your eye and blocks out all surrounding distractions. What you see is something similar to a kaleidoscopic light show. They make two very small incisions in your eye. Then they use the mini version of the process for removing gall stones or kidney stones by blasting the cataract then vacuuming it out through one of the small incisions. Once the cataract is removed, they insert a new lens which is very soft an pliable. It is folded like a taco, inserted through the incision then unfolded inside the eye. That light show you see is all of these things happening right before your very eye!!! The surgery takes 15 – 20 minutes, so I was done and out the door before 9:30.

Today my distance vision is greatly improved and I am told it will still get a little better over the next couple of days. When both surgeries are complete I probably will not need glasses for distance vision and only cheap reading glasses for close work…like threading that fishing line through the eye of the hook. Based on these early results of my first procedure, I am looking forward to my second surgery and even better vision that I have had in decades. This is coming from someone who refuses to wear contacts because I hate things close to my eyes. If you have been told that you need cataract surgery, go for it. It will change your life.

Monday’s Music Moves Me

This week the theme at 4M is our choice, so in keeping with my vision theme I think I’ll find a few songs about eyes, sight and vision. In recent free choice weeks I have focused on inspirational music and what could be more inspirational than I Saw The Light!

All of us have been told at one time or another that only the strong are able to face and work out their own problems while only the weak go running for help in every situation. I have found that it all depends on where you run to and who you look for. I have learned that in every situation the best thing for me to do is to run to my Heavenly Father and tell Him, “I Look To You.” He is my source of strength, wisdom, courage, love, honor and respect. The very first chapter of the very first book of Scripture tells us that we are made in the image of our Creator. He is our Father and we can rely on His Word in every circumstance, so when life makes you want to run and hide, get on your knees and take your problem to the Savior and tell Him, “I Look To You.”

Scripture is filled with the testimony of God’s love for His children. God loves even those who hate Him and have no use for the things of the All Mighty. Christ did not die on a cross just for Christians. He died for everyone but only those who accept His gift of eternal life will know the joy of spending eternity in a place designed and built especially for each of us who follow Him. We can rest assured that His Eye Is On The Sparrow. Have a blessed week.