I am amazed at the sights and experiences I’ve enjoyed in the past year of 2018.  I’ve chosen one photo from each month to help me remember all the adventures I’ve had and all the beauty and marvels I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy.

Here’s wishing you a new year of joy and loveliness, adventures to take you down paths you haven’t been before, and an appreciation for the world around us and the people accompanying us on our journey.

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12-photos-of-2016_staatsA new year – a clean slate.  And yet I find myself marveling at the past year.  To encapsulate the year with one photo for each month is a challenge.  2016 was filled with new adventures, new sights, and an appreciation for the people that surround me as well as the beauty that’s available to us each and every day.  I wish you all a new year of wonder and joy, amazement and appreciation, happiness and love.

Cranberries in the rain_Staats-11922Like many people I’ve been caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  So many things to squeeze into the next couple of weeks; we dash from one place to the next, eager to check off all those items that make up our long list.  I headed out the door this morning on one of those errands.  I did notice that the temperature was in the upper 30’s and it had been raining off and on –  roads were wet, no worry of snow or ice.  I mentally checked off all the tasks for the morning, and headed down the alley.  But something caught my eye and interrupted my trip.  A cranberry tree was dripping with the rain.  Drops were suspended from the berries, each catching the gray light of the clouds around.  There wasn’t any wind to speak of, so the droplets seemed intent to stay in their suspended state.  I marveled at the beauty and reminded myself to be more focused on the world around me and be more intentional in appreciating the beauty that surrounds us all, no matter the time of year.

Fall is quickly vanishing across our landscape.  The colors that blazed so brilliantly are now gone.  The leaves that valiantly clung to the tree branches have let go and fallen to the ground.  We’ve been working in our yard and gardens, preparing them for winter.  As I was pulling out plants that were way past their prime I found a stand of bee balm, their flowers having dropped many weeks ago.  I paused for a moment and realized how beautiful this seedhead was — a globe of intricate pieces that wasn’t noticeable during its summer bloom.  Sometimes I feel the need to appreciate those things that are stripped of their original beauty and taken out of the context we’re accustomed to.  Here too was beauty and form, even out of season.