I want to tell you a story

My wife and I watched the movie God is not dead last night.

It was a very good movie in my opinion and I personally related to bits of the movie.

The story I want to tell you will be later on in this blog, so hang on.

Kevin Sorbo in the movie was mad at god because he prayed to god to save his mother and she died anyway when he was 12….my mother died when I was 12.

I was not mad at god, I was sad that I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye.

Fast forward to 2008; my father had a massive stroke and died while in the hospital.

He could not speak but we got to say goodbye by way of looking each other in the eyes, I told him I loved him and that he will be able to be with mom soon and he gave me a meaningful heartfelt handshake.

That was the last day me and my family shared time with dad before he passed away.

A few months later I was on shift at the fire department and between late night calls I managed to get some sleep.

I had a dream that I visited with my dad and brought him up to date on what had been going on since he passed away.

I woke up later and thought, man that was a good dream I had with my dad….too bad it was just a dream….

I have a necklace I wear every day – it is a copper medallion I had struck with a thistle on one side – stands for healer (I am a paramedic) and the other side has 4 intertwined snakes – stands for defenders of the 4 corners of the earth (I serve in the Army) with a tightly wound string coated with wax; like they did back in the medieval days.

As I stood up and walked a few steps I felt my necklace come apart

I thought dang! the string broke……I pulled on the string and it was not broke! it was intact still around my neck in one piece!

Then I thought well the medallion must have broke…..I pulled up my shirt, got the medallion and took a hard look at it to see where it broke.

It was not broke! it was in one solid piece! Nothing wrong with it!

I thought what the heck? So, I go to one of the guys and give them the items and see if you can see if they were broke in any way.

They did not find anything wrong with them…..

I had to untie the string to put everything back together.

Miracles happen every day.

This was a little reminder to let me know what I dreamed was real.

I know there are things in this world that we will never understand until it is time for us to understand it….

But I do believe there is life after this one; my father showed me by his actions with my necklace that day.

It is still in one piece to this day and I wear it proudly every day. It keeps me close to those I love, have lost and believe in.

In my personal belief, god is not dead; he lives within us all.

How we decide to interact with him is of our own choosing…….


Your word is like a handshake

In the days of old before contracts and paperwork, individuals shook hands to solidify a deal on work to be done or on an agreed deal.

They also used to stand by their word.

If someone did not stand by it, they broke the deal which may have serious consequences for the other person.

I bring this up today as my wife and I experienced someone not standing by their word or deed, which caused much heartache for us.

We always stand by our word and deed…If we shake or agree on something it will happen.

I guess it all comes down to one’s values and standards you grow up on and learn through life.

I try to treat individuals how I expect to be treated; with respect and dignity; at all times – regardless of circumstances.

Just a bump in the road of life and we just have to move forward from here……as long as it is not off a cliff we are all good, because we don’t have any parachutes.

If we did it might be fun to jump!



Cali 20140716-11-Edit-Edit



What type of legacy will you leave behind?

The general population is not famous and will only be remembered by those few they interact with in the last few years of their lives; primarily their immediate family and friends.

What will they say about you? Will they have mementos to remember you by? Will they name a cause after you?

Or will you just be forgotten……..

The reason I bring this up is that my wife and I have been going to some local estate sales and I began to investigate by what the belongings were as to who the person was.

One estate sale we found nursing manuals, flight medicine books, cancer books, chemotherapy books and art from all over eastern Asia.

Come to find out, the lady was a Vietnam Vet Nurse who later became a nurse in Texas as well as a flight nurse…..who it appears in her last days died of cancer.

Another estate sale we figured that the elderly man that lived there was a General Surgeon for over 40 years!

We found his original license…..

Their legacy now lives through me and my wife, as we now know what they did during their lives……

We purchased some items that fit our style and décor for our home and when someone asks where we got the stuff from, we can tell them their story as we learned it.

Their legacy will live through us as long as we have their stuff and can remember the story behind it……



Since really having time to consider how I want the future to look, I have been reading, searching and just reviewing all kinds of websites that have to do with photography.

Some of the observations I notice are:

  • consistency – websites that I visit that keep my attention are those that have current information on their business
  • engaging – the blogs that keep my interest are current and/ or relevant to what they do
  • informative – they have information on their website that I can use in my photography or daily activities
  • specialize – they specialize in one or two areas; not everything
  • ease of use – their website is really easy to use and is visual of their work – which keeps me on their website to view their work and appreciate it.

These are just a few of the things I notice off the top of my head.

Which I will see about applying and updating myself…..the hardest thing sometimes is being critical of one’s own work…..but necessary if you want to grow.

What do you want to experience when you visit a website?

Especially if you are looking for someone to do work for you?RAW Event-8


Figuring it out

Today has been an insightful day.

I guess you  could say I had a calming day and my wife gave me a hug this morning when we were in the kitchen and a thought popped in my head:

This is what it is all about…..being loved and being with someone you truly love, respect and appreciate.

Nothing else matters.

I have been having a hard time the last month or so mentally, trying to figure out all that was going on and make sense of it all….and most importantly, what does it all mean?

Refer to above….it doesn’t matter.

Things will work themselves out, you just have to have the confidence and belief in yourself that it will.

I have always been a glass is 3/4 full type of guy….we all have our moments in time when we doubt ourselves; it just takes time.

The good thing is that I have time to think primarily about my photography now and where I would like it to go and be for the future.

I have many ideas and looks like they will all work into a singular vision, but I will not be able to put everything into play until 2015…..got a lot of moving parts going on until then.

But the good thing is that I am developing a strategic plan that I can move forward with; hopefully. Time will tell.

Closing one chapter of your life and opening another is not as easy as I thought…as a matter of fact it is quite daunting.

With the help and support of my lovely wife, she keeps encouraging everything will be all right and will work out fine.

Thanks honey.

When all else fails, look into yourself and you will find a solution; it just takes time.

When I returned from Iraq years ago, our flight stopped in Ireland where we had a couple hour layover until the final leg to the USA and I found a wall plaque with a saying I read almost every day:

Who looks outside dreams; Who looks inside awakens

RAW Event-41

What does the future hold……

I want to share a video that was given to me when I out-processed for retirement with the Army.

It is interesting to watch the video and think back retrospectively on where I was 33+ years ago to now; all that I have done and experienced throughout that time.

Take a moment and think about how far you have come from where you used to be.

How much you have accomplished and where you want to go for the future.


That is where I am today, remembering the past to determine the future.

Time to take the tools and skills I have learned and gained and utilize them to get me to where I want to be from this day forward.

It is never too late to change, you just have to be willing to…..

A new and exciting life awaits you…..

plan, plan some more and have a back up to the back up plan

Regardless of how much planning you do for something, there is always something that happens or fails to happen that gets in the way of your plan.


As experience has taught me, things never go according to the plan.

Through that experience, it has taught me to learn to be flexible in all that I plan or am doing.

Of course there are many a day that I have gone bonkers trying to figure out what the heck happened to mess up the plan….

When that occurs, I take a step back….stop what I was doing…take a deep breath…count to 10, 50 or 1000….this helps to distract my mind for a moment in the hopes it will figure everything out.

Sometimes, if it isn’t a life or death (life, limb or eyesight) or time sensitive task; I will walk away from it so it doesn’t consume my being and I go “poof” in a cloud of smoke….

Normally if I can take a momentary break from whatever it was, I can figure out a new plan and move forward from there.


It may not be the original plan I had, but it will work to get the task/ job done.

That is what makes us human….the ability to utilize our mind to figure things out to get to where we are going and ultimately want to be.

We all have the ability to get ourselves out of what ever plan (situation) we are currently working; if it isn’t working.

We just have to take a step back and take a global perspective on what is going on around us and change our plan to go around any obstacles that are in our way to get to where we want to be.

You might have to just scrap the plan all together and come up with a new one all together…..try and have at least 2 but preferably 3 ways to work you plan toward your goal.

Take your time…plan it out….work the plan….make adjustments to the plan….work the revised plan….when you complete the plan, review it and put it in your toolbox for future use….just in case.