Thursday, June 27, 2013

Looking for Beauty in Little Things

There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.
~Samuel Johnson

May your day be blessed with beauty in the small things.  Stop.  Look closely. It is there.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Consider the Lilies

Have you heard this song by Joel Hemphill?  It was very popular several years ago, and has the kind of lyrics that just stick with you while you forget everything else.  
Consider The Lilies

Verse I
Consider the lilies they don’t toil nor spin
And there’s not a king with more splendor than them
Consider the sparrow they don’t plant or sow
But they’re fed by the Master who watches them grow

We have a Heavenly Father above
With eyes filled with mercy
And a heart filled with love
He really cares when Your head is bowed low
Consider the lilies and then you will know

Verse II
May I introduce you to this friend of mine
Who hangs out the stars
and tells the sun when to shine
And kisses the flowers each morning with dew
But He’s not too busy to care about you. Chorus...

So you have to know that this song was running in loops through my mind as Steph and I wandered through the lily patch at the Huntsville Botanical Garden.


These are just a few of the varieties they have growing and blooming.  Everyone needs to go and see the whole thing; it is just not possible to capture it in pictures.  I could have gotten a few more, but these lilies were planted in full sun, and it was so hot, I was leaking all over and hunting some shade. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Butterfly House/Huntsville Botanical Garden

While we were rambling Saturday, Steph and I visited the Huntsville Botanical Garden. It is huge and alive with color.  All these photos are from the Butterfly House that is just a small part of the gardens.  When you go through the door, it is like stepping into another world with butterflies everywhere! 

Looks like I got an extra in this photo.

We only had about three hours there, not nearly enough.  Sounds like another road trip to me!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lowe Mill

Construction on Huntsville's Lowe Mill began in 1900, and the massive building opened in 1901.  The building, with its 25,000 spindles, turned local cotton into cloth.  A few years later, it was used as a cotton warehouse.

After World War II ended, the building housed the General Shoe Company, providing jobs for approximately 800 people and shoes for soldiers.  Genesco closed in 1978, then the mill became a warehouse for Martin Industries.  In 2001, the building was sold to its current owner, Research Genetics founder, Jim Hudson.

Today, Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment is the largest center for the arts in the Southeast.  Hundreds of artists demonstrate and sell their crafts in booths covering three floors of the old building.  

Last Saturday, Steph and I enjoyed wandering around all the booths and talking to the artists.  We rode the vintage elevator and walked on wooden floors scarred by footsteps long faded. We came away with a tie-dyed t-shirt, aching feet,  and much admiration for the artists there.

It makes me happy that this building is still being used, more than a century after Mr. Lowe's vision to build it.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Scripture: Shaking

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
~Isaiah 54:10

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Music in the Park

I've written here before about Music in the Park, a city program that offers various bands and singing groups every Wednesday in May and June in beautiful Wilson Park in downtown Florence.  There is no admission, and you can buy a fine lunch from Steak n' Stuff for five dollars. In addition to the music and the chance to visit with friends, sometimes we are blessed with some fine dancers.

Beautiful Kathy Mohr, personal trainer and dance exercise instructor, wows the crowd with her dancing, which to me can only be described as liquid grace.

The park is always full of these little ones dancing and dripping happiness.

Popular local buck dancer Paul Parker amazes did you do that?

Never too young, or never too old, to feel the music.
Next week will be the last concert this year for Music in the Park.  July brings those days so hot that outside activities cease while we all stay inside, hiding from the sun and humidity. Then, the W.C. Handy Festival starts, but that's a blog for another day.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ye Ole General Store

Ye Ole General Store is another of my favorite places in Florence.  The items they sell are unique, and not what you would find at a big box store.  They have a great selection of men's hats, and Hub got a new one there on Wednesday.

In addition to the merchandise for sale, they have local art and lots of vintage photos of people involved in the early years of Muscle Shoals music.

These signs on their front door welcome you in.

I've learned a lot just hanging out there.  Check it out next time you are in downtown Florence.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Downtown Florence

I love my hometown of Florence, Alabama.  It is a small city, but it has so much going on.  The downtown area is alive and vibrant with stores, restaurants, and parks.  And this week, something new.

Artists Tim Stevenson, Cullen Stewart, and Ronnie Riner are at work on a fabulous mural on the side of Fred's on North Court Street.  The mural depicts life in a Northwest Alabama river town, and it makes you happy just to look at it.

Cullen Stewart finishes a border. . .

Ronnie Riner

Artist Tim Stevenson puts the finishing touches on a fisherman. . . .

It is on a busy street corner, and it is impossible to photograph the whole thing in late morning traffic.  When it is finished, I will really try to get down there between 6 and 7 A.M. (it is that beautiful!) when the light is better and there is no traffic to get pictures of the whole thing.

This is just another good thing about our town.  More tomorrow.