Disregarded Gifts

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Here we are right on the threshold of yet another Christmas holiday. That is the holiday my family celebrates. I am not nor ever have been ashamed to declare “Merry Christmas” to friends and strangers alike. I cringe when I see the “Christ” part of the word replaced by “X”. That is offensive to me to be honest. And yes, I have read and heard many of the arguments pro and con concerning the use of “X” and pine trees and decorations….and all the other many “pagan” things that have come together to make up our holiday as we know it today in the year 2015.

Also with the holidays comes the influx of charities and usually the “spirit of giving” to go along with that theme. Unless of course your name happens to be Ebeneezer Scrooge. I know a lot of people with his “spirit”. They have a total disregard for anything charitable. I pity those folks really. They don’t know the reality of joy that comes with giving.

For nearly as long as I can remember I have handmade nearly all gifts I’ve given to friends and family for Christmas. Each gift is lovingly thought out and planned for the specific recipient. I receive great joy when those gifts are cherished. Perhaps you have seen on social media the petition to buy local, buy handmade, that handmade isn’t cheap. I support all that as I have an Etsy shop that doesn’t have much traffic. I tend to gift more than I sell. You can find my shop here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/peabuttonsmom

But what about the gifts that we purchase and gift to others? Are we simply giving a gift of disregard? Are those gifts lovingly thought out and pursued? Did we fight with somebody on Black Friday to save a buck just to give that kind of gift? One that will ultimately be “disregarded”?

Today I rather had a heart break concerning a lesser gift. Given a couple or so years ago. Gifted with love to a family member.  I did not fight for this gift or necessarily save money on this gift. But today there it was, in all its glory, laying in their trash can. I simply was throwing away an orange rind and there the gift was, partially hidden, but still crying out from the recesses of despair. Being the dumpster diver that I am of course I fished it out of their trash. My heart was broken. It sank. I realized that that particular gift was disregarded as trash. Not as the collectible which is what I had bought. Not being regifted nor even being recycled. Trashed. Oh the horror!

Now I would like to interject here that I also had another family member years ago who was notorious for ridding herself of last years gifts. Gifts we gave her often showed up in the yard sale next spring. We finally just started gifting her with gift cards. What else could we do? She made it evident that she would rather have the money.

But how does one deal with the gift that lands in the trash?? Honestly, I do not know yet. I am not finishing the handmade gifts I had previously been fussing over for this person. I just don’t feel like it is necessary any more.  It is necessary that I pray harder about this and forgive this person in my own heart. They obviously don’t see any wrong committed here.

This holiday season I would like to encourage all who read this post to re-evaluate your reason for giving the gift, as well as the gifts you receive. Some of us have spent precious time and expenses choosing those gifts just for you. Or making them. Or even having them specially made.

It makes me wonder how Santa can keep on giving and gifting when he knows he’s only giving gifts of disregard.

There is a sermon in here somewhere.

Bah. Humbug.

 

 

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DayTrippers

Greetings friends! Have you missed me? I’ve been out and about with family recently.

I grew up enjoying weekly “Day Trips”.  As a child my family usually took us to see extended family. Sometimes we would spend an entire day picnicking and hiking at any number of state parks within a two hour drive. A few times dad would drive even farther to an amusement park or a special zoo attraction. After I became an adult I continued this tradition with my girls. And now that my girls are grown, they are continuing our family tradition with their friends and family.

Recently I was treated to one such outing by my oldest and her fella. Travelling a bit closer to home, we visited Merom, Indiana, and the park known by locals as “Merom Bluffs”.

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There are numerous historical signs like this all around the area. Merom sits on the banks of the Wabash River. It is rich in American Indian history, Christian history, and, as you can see, cultural and even political history! The 10 day Chautauqua festival has since been whittled down to a weekend event. We showed up prior to the event.

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As mentioned before, we went to the main attraction here:  Merom Bluffs. The actual bluff is what we went to enjoy. I have no idea how old the wall around the bluff is…you can see some places where the wall has been mended and other places where it’s rather broken down. Not really a safe place for children, the elderly, or drunks 😉

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We considered this entry point to the bluff. It was quite broken down so we decided to take another route.

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The tree in the right of the last photo is the same one seen at the top and left of this one. That’s the Wabash River in the distance and Illinois just beyond that. This photo is looking slightly north-north west.

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This is about the center of the wall. I tried really hard to get a good picture of the horizon. I could barely see the stacks at the refinery in my town. Not as the crow flies (because I’m no crow) the distance is well over thirty miles to the horizon. Probably a bit more like forty.  As you can see, the sun is shining but it’s also cloudy/hazy. You will notice in the next few pix there is a storm rolling in…If you look really hard you will notice a building just to the center left in this photo above. I will show you the same building in a bit.

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Here’s a view back to the south along the wall. I had forgotten but this was a military wall during the civil war!!!

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One of the original cannons! It’s actually a pretty good walk to see this too. I had to use zoom just to see it this well.

And FINALLY, we find a relatively new bridge and trail! This had never been here in times past for my visits.

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And so here begins a hike downwards to the river. I will share several pix to show how steep this hike was for me. Image

Doesn’t look so bad yet? Alrighty then…I DARE you!

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Well, well…hmmm….and this isn’t even the steepest part!

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Yes, this is carved right out of the stone in the bluff. STEEP! My rump got real familiar with this set of steps 🙂

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Here is evidence that some form of this trail dates back an incredibly long time! Rock carvings! Yeah, some is “new” but you could also see evidence of some very well worn carvings too. I’m going to guess that this is at the halfway point.

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Looking back up into the dizzy view. Still on the trail. the stairs rather disappear into the upper right of this photo.

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HAHAHA!!! The stairs on the left here only go to a shelter house with a picnic table! Where we came out was in the far distance!

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This shelter sat a bit closer to the actual ground!

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Remember the building I said to notice before? Here it is again, just across the river, at the bottom of the bluff.   🙂

Once we DID get to the bottom, I realized there’s a ROAD that you can take to get to the bottom! Sheesh! My legs felt like jelly rubber bands so I made the kids hike back UP the bluff, get the truck, and come back for me.    🙂 

After regaining ourselves a bit we drove back around town to the only other attraction.

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I thought this history sign was placed rather close to the street sign. Made for an interesting photo, wouldn’t you say?

And when I turned around while standing pretty much in the same spot I photographed the BIG sign.

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I dare say there weren’t many Christian colleges in 1859! AND now, just to the right of this sign is the triumphant LONG lane that frames the main college building.

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Those are glassed in doors at the bottom front. Until recently the building had been vacant and vandalized. There was a news story about this building and it’s bell tower on one of our local (CBS) news stations prior to these doors being built. Fascinating interior. Alas, there’s no evidence of tours.

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One last view. Very picturesque. This older gentleman was taking some finer photographs than I have capability. There’s that building across the river again. And the storm looming in the sky just to the right of the photo hits us as we leave for home.

I do so hope you have enjoyed day tripping by photo and blog with me. If you are ever in the area just shout across the river. I might hear you 🙂

Until next time (and I hope to be sooner than later)

~ Bonnie