Yesterday's lighthearted post was about choosing berries over thorns.
Today's post digs a bit deeper - counting our blessings instead of our sorrows.

Below are lyrics to a beautiful song entitled "I Have Been Blessed".

I Have Been Blessed 
Written by: Mike Compton

When He moves among us, all that He does 
all of His mercy and all of His love 
and the pen of the writer could write everyday 
even this world could never contain 
how I've been blessed 

The warmth in winter, the flowers in spring 
the laughter in summer and the changing of leaves 
the food on my table, a good place to sleep 
clothes on my back and shoes on my feet 
I have been blessed 

I have been blessed, God's so good to me 
precious are His thoughts of you and me 
no way I could count them, there's not enough time 
so I'll just thank Him for being so kind 
God has been good so good 
I have been blessed 

Arms that will raise, a voice that can talk 
hands that can touch and legs that can walk 
ears that can listen, eyes that can see 
oh I've got to praise Him as long as I breathe 
I have been blessed 

A father and mother who nurtured and raised 
a brother and sister memories made 
our pastor to lead us the altar to pray 
stripes that can heal, the blood that can save 
I have been blessed 

We live in a country, the greatest on earth 
our flag stands for freedom and what it is worth 
she stands in the harbor, Miss Liberty calls 
all have gave some but some have gave all 
for me to be blessed 

He's my shoulder to lean on when I am down 
the rock where He leads me when I'm overwhelmed 
the place where He hides me under His wings 
He's not just a song, He's the reason I sing 
I have been blessed 

I have been blessed, God's so good to me 
precious are His thoughts of you and me 
no way I could count them, there's not enough time 
so I'll just thank Him for being so kind 
God has been good so good 
I have been blessed 

You're on a mission: Pick up a few things at the grocery store quickly.  
Get in, get what you need, and get out.   Key word:  quickly.

Since your mission was to run in and pick up just a few things, you opted  to forego the use of a shopping cart and carry the items instead. However, as you jetted down the aisles on your mission, you noticed a few more things you need.

Now you're standing in line at the checkout holding the items.  OK, the items are up to your elbows but you have them strategically placed in such a way as not to drop them.  Plus, there are only two customers ahead of you so the line should move quickly.  

Suddenly you hear that dreaded sound.  

That dreaded sound of the coupon scanner not recognizing the customer's coupon.  
Beep, beep, beep.  Oh, oh, the verification process is about to begin. Say it isn't so!

Cashier:  Did you buy the 8 ounce can of sauce or the 10 ounce can of Bella Monte sauce?
Customer:  [Searching through the already-packed bags.]  The 8 ounce can.
Cashier:  Hmmm…the coupon should work.  Let me try again. 
Coupon Scanner:  Beep, beep, beep. 

After several attempts to scan the coupon, the Cashier calls over the Store Manager.  
She proceeds to scan her "magical badge", hanging from around he neck, and the coupon suddenly works! 
Whew, that was a close one. The customer continues merrily on her way after a successful coupon scan.

You're in the home stretch!  Just one more customer in front of you and you will you will be on your way!

As you wait, your elbow starts to cramp from the awkward position  and muscles start to twitch.
Then you notice the "Magical Badge" lady strolling back to the Cashier.
She informs the cashier that it's break time and proceeds to pull out the cash drawer and count the cashola. 

The customer in front of you starts to huff and puff and does a few eye rolls and looks at you for affirmation. 
What do you do?  Come on now…the customer is waiting - he wants you to roll your eyes too!

We've all been in this position but it's interesting to see how we react or respond in situations such as these.  
Do we engage with the Customer and perform a few eye rolls?  
Do we accept the fact that we were delayed and take it in stride?

It's our choice. Pick the berries or pick the thorns.


Keep It



In Summer of 2009, I captured this photo of an old classic car in a barn. 
I must admit, it's up there on my list of favorites.  

Let me set the mood the day the photo was taken.

A beautiful summer's day.

Warm and sunny.
Picture perfect blue skies with white puffy clouds.
Green grass.
Fresh air.

Driving down a winding road in a country setting of Pennsylvania.

The barn.
Red tin roof with a wooden frame.
Both weathered and worn yet wonderfully beautiful.
The bonus … an old classic car parked in the barn.

Fast Forward to Summer of 2015...

Last weekend came pretty close to that day in Summer of 2009!
Completely unplanned, my husband and I found ourselves driving down that same road of Pennsylvania.

The weather.  A copycat of that Summer's day in 2009.

Warm and sunny.
Picture perfect blue skies with white puffy clouds.
Green grass.

Fresh air.

Then there there it was!  The SAME barn!
Red tin roof with a wooden frame.
A little more weathered and worn yet EVEN MORE wonderfully beautiful.
A DIFFERENT classic parked in the barn - the ADDED bonus!

I can't wait to see the next classic this barn holds!

Adversity causes some men to break
others to break  records         William Arthur Ward
One Step at a Time
Westbury Gardens, NY  2012
Overlooking the Long Island Sound, the Sands Point Preserve , once part of a Gold Coast estate, occupies the tip of the 
Port Washington Peninsula. The grounds include trails, manicured gardens, and beach with shore cliffs. 
There are also three castle-like mansions. 
The Rose Garden
Sands Point Preserve, Sands Point, NY
June 2015

Here's some more shots:
My last post spoke of "Empathy".    After that post, I learned of the following two news stories that will warm your heart.  These stories are great examples of what the human spirit is capable of when we choose to step out of the box and share the feelings of another. 

Elementary school chorus sings to teacher with cancer:

Staten Island, N.Y., PS22 Chorus sings to their teacher Adriana Lopez, who is battling breast cancer.
As the last song of the year at their last practice, chorus director Gregg Breinberg, speaking to Lopez, says the group was "so inspired by your fighting spirit" that they decided to sing her the song. The touching performance has garnered more than a million views on YouTube:

Dad opens car wash and only employs autistics:

Like many people with autism, Andrew D'Eri had a hard time finding a job.
Then, his father, a veteran entrepreneur, and older brother, who had recently finished business school, had an idea: What if they opened business employed mostly by people with autism?

They opened the Rising Tide Car Wash in Parkland, Florida.  Today, they employ 35 autistic men and women.

And when this road gets too long
I'll be the rock you lean on
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.






      the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

The other day I wept.  I wept because I saw someone experiencing the same type of pain that I had experienced.
I felt her pain.  I walked in her shoes.  As a result, I had empathy for what she was feeling at that moment and it overwhelmed me with tears.  I understood and shared the feelings of another.  I wished I could take the pain away.

Empathy is a good ability to have.  
Empathy is built by experience. It builds character and makes you a better person for it.  
It makes you selfless instead of selfish.

Empathetic individuals see the weight on one's shoulders and look to lighten the load.
Individuals that lack empathy see the weight that one is carrying and instead say, look at my weight.  Carry your own.

Step out of the box and try to understand and share the feelings of another. You'll be a better person for it.

Who doesn't love a beautiful Summer's day!