All That Is Blooming In Our Lives

A few of my male friends have recently poked good natured fun at me about my interest in growing and photographing flowers. I admit that I have to smile with them.

Five years ago I would have told them they were crazy if they said, “You know someday you are going to really enjoy planting a garden and spending prolonged periods of time assessing the beauty of buds and blooms.” That just wasn’t me. At least that wasn’t the old me.

The new me? I have no problem admitting that I find flowers absolutely captivating. I completely enjoy making them the frequent focus of my photoremedy. The more I zoom in, the more I find myself completely in awe of the fascinating details we so often miss. This revelation is a splendid reminder that the same is true with almost everything in our lives – from people and places to our faith and our future

Flowers bring much more than greatly needed color to our world. And, apparently, I’m not the only one who feels that way (see the quotes below).  As the dog days of summer march on, may we all take a moment to better appreciate all that is blooming in our lives.   – Greg

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls. – Mother Teresa

Earth laughs in flowers. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into. – Henry Ward Beecher

Flowers don’t worry about how the’re going to bloom.  They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.  – Jim Carrey

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Winning In Las Vegas

Want to know the easiest way to win in Las Vegas? It’s simple. Don’t gamble. A safer bet is to enjoy a sampling of the many other entertaining options now featured in this spectacularly unique destination.

Fortunately, that was easy to do when my son and I traveled there this summer for an overnight trip to catch a few NBA Summer League basketball games. We left Phoenix in the morning, caught a few games on the UNLV campus in the afternoon and evening, had dinner and a couple of beers, and then we called it a night in our $37 (summer rate) room in the Luxor tower.

That is an awesome aspect of traveling to Las Vegas these days. If you do not feel like paying for the casino–a dealer once told me, “Look at this beautiful facility, who do you think is winning?”–there is plenty of diverse entertainment, great food, and occasionally more than reasonable rates for quality accommodations.

And, if you are an early riser like I was on this trip, there is plenty of photoremedy to be had. Even though we may often feel like everything in Las Vegas has been photographed by nearly everyone, I enjoyed the opportunity to take a few pictures when the strip was bathed in the softness of morning light. I felt like I was able to capture a few images that were unique – at least unique for me. More importantly, I enjoyed doing it when the temperatures were below 100 degrees and when I knew I would be heading home with a little spare change in my pocket.

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What Does Harry Caray Have To Do With Summer Basketball In Vegas?

It’s well recognized that Arizona is one of America’s favorite travel destinations. The Grand Canyon, the red rocks of Sedona, native American culture, the Sonoran Desert, snow and water sports, spectacular resorts, top level golf courses, unique landscape, night life, and high-end shopping are just a few of the assets that draw people to our destination.

It’s interesting to note that many of the people who come to Arizona for such experiences first fell in love with the state when they came here to watch one of the their favorite Major League Baseball teams participate in spring training. According to the Cactus League, the 15 teams who participate in March’s pre-season games now draw 1,595,614 attendees at 233 games.

Spring Training Photoart by Greg

From harrycarays.com

I sat just below his box when the late Harry Caray stuck his head out and led the crowd in singing ‘Take Me Out To The Ball Game’ during one of his last seasons broadcasting Spring Training.  The late, beloved Chicago Cubs broadcaster proved he was more than just a Budweiser expert when he once explained the appeal of baseball in the spring. Caray said, “It’s the fans that need spring training. You gotta get ’em interested. Wake ’em up and let ’em know that their season is coming, the good times are gonna roll.”

I think it was some of the Spring Training appeal we experienced that led my son, Andrew, and I to recently take a short trip to Las Vegas to catch a few of the National Basketball Association’s Summer League games. We weren’t disappointed.

Golden State rookie Harrison Barnes

We were able to see parts of games featuring eight teams, there was plenty of room to get up and move around (which is essential for me) without disturbing anyone, we were able to watch many of our former Kansas Jayhawk players in action, we were able to get really close to the action, and there was ample opportunity for a little photoremedy. Just click on an image below to view our Summer League shots in slideshow mode.

While the NBA Summer League is a bit different than MLB’s Spring Training in that it primarily features players at the beginning of their professional careers. It is still a great experience for fans like Andrew and me. And, just like Harry said, “It woke us up and reminded us that a new season is coming.” It helped us remember, “The good times are gonna roll!”

– Greg

All photographs on this blog, unless noted otherwise, are photoremedy originals.