31 Days of Looking for the Little: Moments that Make Me Smile

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It only took a minute. Just a minute. My grandson told me to turn my head and watch his cat, Dexter. So, I did.

And what I saw made me want to laugh out loud! Only, I didn’t because I didn’t want to frighten Dexter — I wanted him to stand there forever, just looking with longing at the yard.

He soon moved onto something new, of course, but that moment salvaged an afternoon that had been tiring and occasionally upsetting. He’s just a small cat, and it was just a small moment.

But it made me smile.

And there is nothing small about that.

What are the little things that can bring a smile to your lips, even when you’re moving through a bad day?

Just Wondering

What’s In a Name?

It’s been quiet around here of late. I’ve written around the blogosphere at several different places in the last few weeks, but not terribly often here, in my space, just writing for me, and whoever might stop by to see whatever words I’ve gathered.

We had a quiet weekend, celebrating Dick’s birthday in several small gatherings. On his actual day, just he and I went out for lunch and to a matinee. On Saturday, our son and his family surprised us with a drop-in, take-out dinner from our favorite local Mexican hang-out. And on Sunday, after church, we met our eldest daughter and her husband and youngest son at BJ’s in Ventura. We love s t r e t c h i n g birthdays out as long as we can — and three days was just about right.

My guy was hungry for ribs, and BJs never disappoints. And to finish things off very well indeed, he was served his own individual Pazookie, complete with candle! Do you know what a Pazookie is? Just one of the divinest desserts ever invented, that’s what. A freshly baked cookie (several choices – he picked peanut butter), fresh from the oven, topped with a scoop of Haagen Daaz vanilla. Heaven in a small aluminum pan, that’s what.

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The drive south took us past this lovely spot, looking down on Summerland Beach. The day was breezy and the water a little bit wild — always fun to see. And somehow, the celebratory mood of day and meal and family seemed fitting and right after a profoundly moving worship experience earlier in the day.

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This was our fabulous worship band-of-the-week jamming after the service was over. Our Director of Worship Arts, Bob Gross, planned a perfect combination of songs for the theme of the day, including a masterful arrangement (his own) of,  “Lord, I’m Amazed by You” with The Doxology. The entire opening sequence brought me to tears more than once — filled as it was with what we do best: contemporary and traditional music, both poured through the inventive mind of Mr. Gross. We sang that old favorite, “Holy, Holy, Holy” this way – verse 1, totally a cappella (and we can SING the harmony in our community!), verse 2, full band with quiet percussion, verse 3, up a key, adding the most moving slow roar of the drums I’ve ever experienced, and verse 4, straight ahead and gorgeous. Oh, my.

DSC01241As always, the music, the prayer, the readings from Old Testament and New coordinated well with the preaching text of the morning, which this week was taken from the last eleven verses of John 16.

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God spoke powerfully through Pastor Jon about what it means when we pray in the name of Jesus. Here are a few highlights from that passage:

“My Father will give you whatever you ask in my name . . . I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God . . .  A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me . . . I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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These few verses contain some mighty huge ideas, ones that linger and permeate. Ideas like these:

The name of Jesus is strong, redemptive, life-changing. It is not magical.

There will be suffering in this life — which should come as a surprise to precisely no one. But because of Jesus, because we are given the inestimable gift of praying in his name, we are never alone, no matter what. 

Praying is not about words alone. In fact it is more often about silence . . . or it is experienced in action. We pray in Jesus’ name whenever we offer comfort/aid/solace/provision for another.

We pray with our bodies, not just in them. WE are the continuation of the Incarnation as we allow the Spirit of our Lord to work through us, as we live out what it means to be the Body of Christ. 

Praying in the name of Jesus touches on one of the foundational truths of the Christian faith — we serve a Triune God, Father, Son, Spirit — One in Three, Three in One. 

We do not ask Jesus to pray for us, so as to somehow buffer the space between us and God the Father. Too much of the church has painted a picture of a scary God, one that Jesus saves us from, a God that cannot be approached by the likes of us. But Jesus says clearly and beautifully, “. . . I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you  . . . “

“Take heart,” Jesus says. Immediately after predicting that all his friends will desert him in his hour of need, that they themselves will have their share of trouble. “Take heart,”  he says. TAKE HEART?  Yes. And not only that, but because of that name, that powerful name, they — and we — will have peace, the kind of peace that makes room for this truth: the One in whose name we pray has overcome the world.

I carried these pieces of grace with me as we drove down the coast, as we laughed and ate a good lunch with our daughter’s family, as we came back home and prepared for the week ahead. Turns out there’s a lot, a LOT, in a Name. I am grateful

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A Letter to December

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Ah, Dear Friend,

We know each other well, do we not? So many years of immersion in all the folderol and all the richness of your seasonal gifts. Shall I list the ways?

  • the wedding plans, midway through my senior year of college
  • and all the subsequent anniversaries that got lost in the shuffle, some years more seriously than others — and there have been a lot of years, haven’t there? 48 on the 18th
  • a beautiful baby girl, 2nd of 2, born on the 2nd, with big brown eyes and a deliciously feisty spirit
  • choral concerts up the wazoo, every Christmas for most of my years until . . .
  • we moved to Santa Barbara for me to take a pastoral position in a church without a choir. Go figure.
  • writing Advent invitations for worship for about 20 years
  • preaching one Sunday in Advent for about 20 years, too
  • decorating the house with W-A-A-A-Y too many Christmas decorations, collected over the decades, starting with homemade delights from each of the kids and this year, adding some special ornaments from our moms’ collections
  • sweating (and swearing) our way to a steady, straight fresh tree in front of the windows; it gets harder every dang year
  • enjoying nativity sets collected from round the globe
  • singing the songs
  • reading the scriptures
  • pondering the mystery
  • regretting the over-spending
  • enjoying the gift-giving
  • collapsing on the 26th, exhausted but generally, more than content

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with you, I must admit. The candlelit service on Christmas Eve gets me every time. But the lugging of bins, the setting up the stuff, the overkill with gifts — yeah, that has gone above and beyond what is needful and what is healthy at points. 

So, December, what’s it gonna be? Will we find our way to a happy medium this year? Just enough of the good stuff and a little less of the not-so-good?

I pledge to do my part. Can you say the same?

Fondly,

Diana

This post is written in response to a prompt from Elora Nicole at her fabulous Story Sessions site. If you would like a series of thoughtful, evocative writing invitations, if you would enjoy being connected with a smaller (but ever-growing) group of other writers, may I suggest you check this site out? Just click here to read all about it.

The Sliding of the Seasons

Today is the day after, the sliding day, the one that marks the shift from one special day on the calendar to an entire season of special. We chose to be quiet this day, to stay at home, eat leftovers, enjoy the freshness of the sky after rain.

So I sit in my usual spot, computer on my lap, and I drink in the richness of the gifts with which we have been lavished.
IMG_3713Sixteen of us gathered at our son’s home, to feast and laugh and say ‘thank you.’ The chiminea was lit, the appetizers spread, and we carefully helped my mother maneuver the short distance from car to house.

IMG_3695Our gifted daughter-in-law had a spread worth gaping at, with contributions from her mother and my older daughter, and a magnificent bird, smoked after brining.

IMG_3693The table was laid, complete with candy turkeys and bright colored decor, handmade by the 3-year-old at nursery school.
IMG_3705Laughter floated on the breeze, children implored Poppy to play games, food was warmed and presented and appreciated.
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IMG_3696We have about four vegetarians and one vegan in our number, and Rachel and Lisa had prepared several scrumptious dishes that they could pile on their plates. We all had a Feast.
IMG_3699And dessert? Fuggedaboutit. An amazing collection of things divine and delish. Joel contributed hand made Bordeaux candies, Lisa baked pumpkin cookies and hand-sized apple pies, Rachel a decadent bourbon/maple pumpkin pie. I added some lemon pie squares and mom contributed a box of See’s Nuts ‘n’ Chews. Yeah, we had enough to eat.
IMG_3692Luke played a little piano, the kids and young adults played a little dominoes, and to cap off the evening, those not interested in watching football had a lively conversation about lasers and accelerators and all things strange and wonderful. My mom didn’t understand a lot of it, but she loved it. I think it helped her to remember who she is – a vibrant, interesting, interested woman who is always searching to learn more. The words will be lost, but the emotions will stay around a while.
IMG_3709And as we carefully got mom back in the car for the drive across town, I took a last look at that candle in the middle of the table. It seemed the perfect closing image for the day – one small light in the midst of it all, a beacon, a reminder of this next season of holy waiting, this time of Advent.
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On Sunday, I will begin a daily small series, an Advent journey. A photo, some scripture, a few words of reflection, a prayer. Nothing grand, nothing splendiferous, just a small offering of thanks and worship as we slide into the next season.

31 Days of Giving Permission . . . TO TAKE A DAY OFF

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So, have you ever found a day?
Like a pearl in an oyster,
or a late rose in full bloom?
A day, appearing like a gift before you?

I had such a day yesterday.
A last minute cancellation,
and suddenly —
there it was.
An open day.

Well, I thought.
I could write ahead on my blog posts this day.
OR,
I could get some errand-running done.
OR,
I could start reading blogposts
until I go bleary-eyed.

But I didn’t do any of those things.
I chose to take the day OFF of the things I usually do.

It ended up being quiet, uneventful.
I had laundry to do,
so I did it.
And I actually enjoyed it.
(Sometimes, I’m weird like that.)

And I found a recipe for Crock-Pot Apple Crisp.
My husband thought that sounded swell,
and he set to work carving up our Granny Smiths
while I assembled the rest of the ingredients.
And the house smelled heavenly all afternoon.

I got a little bit caught up on some Tivo’d programs
while I folded laundry.
Felt absolutely decadent, too.

And then I ordered dinner from a restaurant!

Oh, the sweetness.

I had myself a day off.
Off from the usual,
off from driving around,
off from meeting with people,
OFF.

Don’t get me wrong.
I love what I do.

But you know what?

EVERYBODY needs a day off once in a while.

How about you? 

31 Days of Giving Permission . . . TO DANCE

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Sadly, my husband grew up in a tradition that not think highly of dancing. So we have never danced together.
However, our family has found a wide assortment of ways to engage the world with acts of joy.
Herewith, a sampling, ranging from water play, to miniature golf, to stalking the beach with a camera, to giggling with daddy. Just in case you need something further to give yourself permission to move your body with exuberance, I’ve included some great quotes on the gift that is THE DANCE. 

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”
― Martha Graham

“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
Great dancers are great because of their passion.” 

― Martha Graham

“Common sense and a sense of humor are the same things,
just moving at different speeds.
A sense of humor is just good sense,
dancing.”
~William James 

“All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes
that fill the history books,
all the political blunders, 
all the failures of the great leaders,
have arisen merely at a lack of skill
at dancing.”
~Moliere

“So the darkness shall be light,
and the stillness, the dancing,”
~T.S. Eliot 

“The dance can reveal everything everything mysterious
that is hidden in music,
and it has the additional merit of being  human and palpable.
Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.”
~Charles Beaudelaire

“I would believe only in a God who knows how to dance.”
~ Friederich Neitzsche

“Dancing faces you towards Heaven, whichever direction you face.” 
~ Terri Guillamets

“There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.”
– Edwin Denby

31 Days of Giving Permission to . . . CREATE

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In January of this year, our family gathered to celebrate birthdays. Fully 25% of our current family group was born in that month, and we decided to do something a little bit different to mark this year’s rite of passage.

Did I mention that I have a lot of creative relatives? Well, I do. And the fact that they’re so talented doesn’t intimidate me (most of the time!) — in fact, it encourages and emboldens me. It gives me permission to try a little bit of creativity myself. My daughter, her husband and all three of her sons love to dabble in painting – and their breakfast room looks glorious, decorated with their own work.

So for this birthday gathering, we all came to their house. Taking our inspiration from the art work surrounding us (while the men and children played and watched games), the women gathered around the sewing machine.

I had almost forgotten there is such a thing as a sewing machine. When we moved to Santa Barbara, I packed mine away and haven’t threaded a needle in almost 17 years! But my daughter has one, another daughter and I bought fabric. I found some feed corn, my daughter-in-law helped us measure, and we set to work. 

Our project? Making corn bags! Do you know what those are? Soft flannel pockets that contain kernels of feed corn, which you pop in the microwave for two minutes and then apply to any body part that needs a little soothing heat. Perfect for fall and winter days and nights!

We had so much fun! Why? Because it is fun to make something together – something that is pretty to look at, easy to handle and has such a wonderfully restorative and practical function. We made enough for every family unit to take home two or three bags each. 

And mine have gotten a real work-out ever since! 

And when it came time to celebrate those birthdays? We ALL enjoyed the creativity of our daughter’s youngest son. Joel, age 14 at the time, made this scrumptious and beautiful cake from a recipe in a baking book I’d given him for Christmas. And friends, it tasted even better than it looked. 

In the home in which I grew up, my dad was the admired creative genius — he played the piano exquisitely well. My mom was a talented decorator, seamstress and floral arranger. I, however, did not quite fit into that circle of creativity and felt inadequate and unsuccessful at every creative endeavor I tried.

Until I left home.

In college, I tried my hand at some homemade Mother’s Day cards and began to play the piano for my own enjoyment. I gave myself permission to try things and ‘fail.’ But here’s what I learned — if you try it at all, you automatically WIN. I discovered that the joy is in the process even if the finished product doesn’t quite measure up to expectations. I also learned that the more I did it, the better I got. No, I never reached the status of ‘artist.’ I found something even better — the fun of creating.

And I am delighted to observe that my kids and grandkids do this naturally and well, in all kinds of ways. From photography to baking, from piano playing to imaginative play — they all create. For the joy of it, just that. For the joy of it.


31 Days of Giving Permission to . . . DIVE IN DEEP

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When the water is deep,
and we feel tiny,
it’s scary to take the leap, isn’t it?

But, oh! It’s worth it!
To feel the cool water whooshing around us,
to hear our parents and grandparents on the sidelines,
cheering us on,
to know the exhilaration of moving through the fear.

YES!!

There are so many things in this life that are scary,
so many invitations to leap into the deep water,
to take a chance,
to spread our wings,
to dig, dig, dig. . .
and then . . . LET FLY.

 

And maybe one of the most important places for us to dive in deep
is right into the center of ourselves,
to look and listen and learn
about how we’re wired,
what makes us tick,
what slows us down,
what fouls us up.

Jennifer Dukes Lee is one of my favorite people in blogdom.
She writes her heart and she writes it beautifully.
She encourages people all over the place,
and she tells her story well because she knows her story well.

She invited me over to talk a little bit about writing,
to offer a ‘tip’ of some sort to others.
Well, I’m fresh out of tips, but I do have a lot of life experience.
And I’ve taken this particular leap of which I speak —
I’m still taking it.

The work of self-discovery, self-knowledge – well, it’s never done.
We are always on the journey.

Why don’t you hop on over to her place to read a little bit more about
why I think this particular journey is so  important,
why we all need to dive in deep.

You can find her place by clicking right here. 

And our girl on the diving board?
Yeah, she took the leap!
And we all cheered. 

 

31 Days of Giving Permission . . . to LAUGH

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 So . . . I have this really huge laugh.
It’s embarrassing – just ask my kids or my husband.
I love to laugh, I need to laugh,
but sometimes, I’m too inhibited to really let ‘er rip, you know?

When I’ve had too many days like that,
I need to find a child to be with.

Please bear in mind that I am not a ‘kid’ person.
I adore my children and their children.
And anybody’s baby is fair game, in my book.

But small kids?
I tend to smile benignly . . . from a distance.
When they get a little older,
I’m all in, fascinated by the conversations,
interested in what interests them,
delighted to know who they’re becoming.

And yet, I’ll say it again — it is the little ones
that I need to be with when I find I am
getting a little too full of myself,
or am a little too unwilling to play the fool.

Because the truth is this:
I AM a fool — in a very good way, I hope.
I’m not the fool that the book of Proverbs warns against,
the one who refuses to ‘fear the Lord.’

But I AM the fool who loves a good giggle,
who enjoys good jokes, good writing, good company.

Despite that truth, there are times when
I need to give myself permission to
really, truly LAUGH.

A few weeks ago, I went to Grandparent’s Day at our littlest girl’s school.
Dick had a meeting, so it was just Nana for this event,
which is a rare thing in and of itself.
Because my husband, you see, is a child’s dream come true.
He truly gets them,
he loves them, he volunteers to work
with Lilly’s class of 15 one full day each week.

The man is a saint, I tell you, a saint. 

But this day, it was my turn.

And, my stars, did I have fun. 

Because, this girl?

This girl — she knows how to have fun. Yes, she does.

All I had to do was be her shadow for a couple of hours,
and I felt better about myself, about the world, about life. 

 I even got on a swing, for the first time in years!
I didn’t stay on the swing for very long . . .
because, you know, there were all those adults around . . .
but I swung myself up and back a few times and leaned my head back,
and I laughed out loud. 

 I have written, and will write again in this very series,
about the need for lament, for tears, for letting
the fullness of our grief up to the surface and out.

But today, I want to encourage you to LAUGH.

To smile, giggle, chuckle, guffaw — to let the joy of life
seep through you and then leak out into the world
around you, wherever you may be. 

 Because laughter is good medicine,
it brings relief and release and joy.

Try it!! You’ll like it.

The Gift of Travel — Part 8: The Czech Republic — A Photo Essay

Somewhere soon after leaving Bad Spandau, we crossed the border to
The Czech Republic, heading for the small town of Litomerice.
This post will feature that town and our introduction to Prague,
after we left the ship.
We are so grateful that we opted for the 3-day extension,
because if our only impression of that great city had been based
on the one day connected to the cruise . . .
well, I’ll let you be the judge if that was the best impression
to be had from Prague!

You can find all the parts of this series
by clicking on the links below:

Part 1 is here,
part 2 here,
part 3 on this line,
part 4 will be found here,
part 5 clicks over from here,
part 6 from here,
and part 7 . . . well, it’s right here. 

It rained most of that morning, so we stayed in and watched the water sliding
down the window.
We also visited several locks for the first time on this river.
Those are interesting but sometimes tedious,
as you wait for the boat to rise or fall.

It is necessary to vacate your room sometime in the morning to
allow the housekeeping staff to come in and straighten
things, replace your towels as needed,
and leave you humorous small gifts on your bed.

Just as we arrived in Litomerice, the clouds parted,
and we were able to walk all around this interesting Czech town.
First up the hill to the church.

Another passenger told us that she had read that about 65% of the country is atheist.
That was a stunning number to hear!
But as I watched this tour guide, and the one in Prague,
treat the churches we visited with a certain amount of
dismissive disdain, I could believe it.
I wonder what the difference is between this land
and a place like Poland, where nearly 100% of the people coming
out from under the yoke of Communism are pretty devout Catholics.
I’m thinking it must have something to do with the
vibrancy of the church at the time of occupation,
but who knows?

You know, these fancy pulpits are beautiful to look at,
but I cannot imagine preaching from one!
So separated from the congregation, and usually high above them.
That says a lot of things I’m not very comfortable with.

These beautiful peonies graced a side altar.
I loved the way they caught the sunlight.

Next, the town square. When my son looked at these pictures,
he immediately said, “You can tell you’re in the Czech Republic, can’t you, Mom?
See how different the spires are? They have those fine, pointed edges.”

I hadn’t really noticed. But now I see it in all these pictures!

Tours are really helpful in lots of ways.
Except for this one: having to stay connected to a group of
people when you really want to duck down a side street on your own.
Most of the time, we were quite content,
because the guides were excellent and we wanted to
learn from them.
But once in a while, that old rebellious nature of mine shows up.

I appreciated the fact that the Czechs themselves
erected this monument to a poet they loved.
Not a military leader (as all the Communist statues note), but a poet.
I like that.

Paintings and small sculptures above the doors
were the original house addresses in about the 18th century.

The clouds really celebrated our view for us, didn’t they?

I loved this zigzag staircase.

And this silvery tree in the park with the view.

And this goofy granddad on the horsey, too.

Next stop — not  a favorite: beer-tasting.
The Czechs love their home-grown beer,
and this rustic restaurant housed a micro-brewery.

They provided a tray of condiments and snacks,
and samples of 3 kinds of beer.
I believe they’re called pilsners rather than ales.
I took a Coke light, Dick sampled (barely) and I tasted.
I never learned to like anything alcoholic,
though I’ve tasted a few wines that almost made me a believer.
But it was fun to see this cellar and the
equipment that produces the beverages.

Back to the ship to rest and change for our last dinner aboard.

The entire crew was out to meet us as we went down to the dining room.
They did such a superb job of caring for all 107 of us.

The place settings were even more elegant than usual,
and the menu?
FAB.

Our table-mates were from the Coventry area of Britain —
almost half the passengers came from the British Isles.

The pastry chef was a red-headed German young man who was about 22.
And he just outdid himself every single day.
This platter was the post-dessert dessert.
STUFFED.

The next morning, I said farewell to my lovely rose,
which had lasted beautifully all week long,
and we hopscotched our way around the luggage
outside the doors.
All of it was loaded onto the busses and unloaded
into the hotel rooms by others.
This is a very nice feature of tours.
Very nice, indeed.

And we boarded the busses for the 40 minute drive from the Elbe River to the Moldau (in German) and the Hilton Hotel just above it.

Czech completely defeats me!

Good-bye, boat. Good-bye, Elbe.

Hello, Hilton.

Our rooms would not be ready for several hours,
so we had a brief break and climbed back on the busses
for a tour of Prague.

Slight problem.
It was the hottest day of the year so far — mid-80’s —
and everyone in the entire city decided to be out and about
to enjoy the beauty of the day.
Yowza, it was crowded!!

We drove across the river and up the hill to the palace/castle
(pictures of that place to come in the final couple of posts).
They have guards at every gate of the palace area, and they change on the hour,
with a whole big changing of the guard ceremony at noon.

So, imagine you’re in a group of about 40 amidst this throng,
and you’re trying to keep up with your guide,
who is in a very big hurry to keep to a certain timetable,
and you’d like to try and take a few pictures along the way.
Well, it wasn’t easy.

I did manage to get a few exteriors of St. Vitus’s Cathedral — enough to know I wanted to come back to this place — but she literally led us in one door and out the other.
I was lucky to get even one inside shot this day.

The photo series above was taken from the ‘golden side’ of the church.
Perhaps you can see why.
And it was here that we saw the most interesting tour group of the entire trip so far,
these travelers from Bavaria.

Apparently they keep cameras in those lederhosen and dirndls.
Who knew??

Everywhere, PEOPLE.

Trying to see the noon changing of the guard. Not terribly successful.

But I did manage to get this wrought iron and gilt detail.

We found a vantage point and shot a few city views.
But the heat caused quite a significant haze and it was tough to see much.

Next stop, the river.
We walked along the side of it for awhile, and through a lovely park to
get to the most famous bridge of all, the Charles.

Unfortunately, that place was the most crowded yet!
We were set loose to find lunch and then meet at the gate to the bridge.
Unfortunately, we had no Czech money yet,
but were assured that most people would accept euros or dollars or
credit cards, so we chose a delightful garden restaurant,
sat down, ordered and then thought to ask —
no, actually, they did not take anything but Czech crowns.
So we went to McDonald’s and split a burger.
And it was quite good.

The beautiful manhole covers continued across the border.

I thought it was sweet that this real baby wanted to pat the sculpted one,
part of a larger exhibit making a statement about the
dangers of technology.
Not sure I buy that warning —
babies will always be babies.

Thank God.

We saw small numbers of these padlocks on fence rails in other cities,
but this place took the cake!
An engaged couple puts one on to mark their engagement
and secure their eternal connection.
Cities are learning that it is cheaper to replace the entire
section of wrought iron than to manually remove all those locks.

This troll figure picture was shot through the rails of the padlock fence.
Apparently, trolls are big in Czech fairy tales.

This is the Beatles’ wall, where young Czech dissidents would write out lyrics from Beatles’ songs as a means of protest against the Communists.
Just standing near this wall could get you arrested in the good old days.

The garden we almost ate lunch in.

The entrance to the Charles Bridge.

And the street just behind the entrance. The MacDonald’s was at the top of this street.

I lifted my camera above my head to try and get a couple of pictures of the bridge without
hordes of people in the shot.

Next we walked across to the old town where we waited
for a particular clock to chime — supposedly the 12 apostles come out on the hour.

It was a lovely clock, but the apostles?
They were tough to see in the side windows.
Not sure it was worth standing in the heat,
but what the heck?
I preferred this view of the town hall towers across from the clock. 

I have looked at this picture about 10 times since I took it,
and it wasn’t until I posted it here that I noticed that the brickwork
pattern is different in each tower.
Go figure. 

The last part of our walk took us by this street vendor.
People stood at nearby tall tables, wolfing down chunks of this stuff.

The synagogue in the Jewish quarter — still in use, I believe.

And more pictures of Prague and
a final post about leaving Europe and returning home still to come.

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