five photos and five thousand blessings…

Good Wednesday morning, everyone. The skies have cleared, the dust is settling from yesterday’s midterm elections, and it is – in the soulful stylings of Johnny Nash – A bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day.

So in that vein, splashed in sunshinyness, here is the “this week so far” update from beautiful Wake Forest.

You’d better believe we voted!

1-IMG_1558-001You can read yesterday’s post for more on how I feel about the current political climate. For today I simply want to reiterate how critically important it is that we:

  • participate,
  • vote intelligently rather than reactively,
  • respect one another,
  • raise the level of the conversation,
  • listen,
  • and stand firm against behavior from our leaders that works to undermine the moral integrity of our political process, trust in our institutions, and the important work of a free press.

Fall Finally Lands:

As the view from the church portico (above) indicates, a few of our trees have finally agreed to move on from the late summer. I’m looking forward to capturing some classic fall photos over the next couple of weeks, but we did already lose a lot of leaves to the recent tropical storms.

Regardless, this is a spectacularly beautiful time of the year here in North Carolina. Fall serves as a daily invitation to leave my desk, open all the doors and windows, and enjoy the outdoors. I do believe that I will.

1-IMG_1557I’m glad that we live in the woods, and I have become content to let the garden find its own way via my commitment to a program of limited maintenance and support of the term “Natural Area”. This may sound like a rationalization to avoid excessive gardening, but I like to call it “working with nature rather than against it.”

Besides, I love the trees, I appreciate all the shade on the house, we never have to purchase mulch, and all I need to do is to mow occasionally and keep the walkways clear.

It’s win-win.

90-plus and going strong:


If you remember reading about my dad’s 90th birthday party, back in July, you will be encouraged to hear that he is enjoying the outdoors when he can and he is often able to leave his walker at home.

It is a unique blessing to be sixty-two years old and still be in daily contact with both my parents. I am continually grateful that they moved in next door, and that my work allows me the flexibility to help in the limited ways that I can.

So there we have it, the midweek update. Five photographs representing just a fraction of the five-thousand blessings I could list if I had the time.

Peace, and more peace – DEREK



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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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