Category: Personal • jf

(video) Distant Shores Visits Beautiful, Pre-ISIS Syria! – ‘The best kept secret!’ — “The Syrian people have been fabulous. Everyone has been so friendly, just one-to-one in the streets. They try to help you in any way they can. It really is the best kept secret. So if you get a chance, I think you should try to get out to Syria. It is really one of the most beautiful countries we’ve visited, and I think you will find the same thing” – Sheryl Shard

This is so sad now. If Americans only knew….

I’ve watched about 50 Distant Shores’ episodes: Distant Shores The Sailing Adventure TV Series. The two on Syria were among the most impactful, because they opened my eyes as to how wonderful this country was, before the CIA/Mossad decided to regime-change Assad through ISIS — and would have, but Russia stepped in. Much of the country is now destroyed, including some historical artifacts.

Distant Shores’ other episode on Syria showed city life more than this one, and how modern much of Syria was. With a secular government, all of the people have freedom of religion. Many are ‘Christian.’

This is where the apostle Paul prayed and studied for three years after becoming a Christian. The most accurate New Testament manuscripts are Syrian. It’s rich in history, and we have no business being there.

I transcribed the following:

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@9:45 Paul Shard: “The people are so friendly.”

@18:50 German engineer: [Sheryl Shard: “Do you like it here in Syria?”] “Oh, I like it so much. If you spend 10 years of your life in the country it’s like your home country. [“What is it that you like here? What made you stay here?”] “Especially the loving of the people. The people are so kind here.” [‘We’re finding that too.”]

@22:30 Sheryl Shard: “The Syrian people have been fabulous. Everyone has been so friendly, just one-to-one in the streets. They try to help you in any way they can. It really is the best kept secret. So if you get a chance, I think you should try to get out to Syria. It is really one of the most beautiful countries we’ve visited, and I think you will find the same thing.”

Damascus, Syria – Distant Shores, Travel Channel

Kelly Finds a Porcupine!!

(3 photos below)

In 2013, while I was photographing a bridge and stream, Kelly came back looking like this.

He let me pull them out with a pliers. A few quills were even attached to the inside of his mouth. I thought those would be the worst, but the one in his nail bed… (see photo below)

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One of these must have been in his nail bed, because he snapped at my hand when that one came out. He didn’t hurt me, but I got the message! I’m glad there wasn’t another like that one. Continue reading “Kelly Finds a Porcupine!!”

Mom, Dad & Harvey at Whittier, Alaska

Mom and Dad visiting Alaska with my dog Harvey at the port of Whittier, Alaska — early ’80s.

As can be seen in this picture, Dad loved Alaska, and they would have moved here had he not gotten sick. He died in 1989. Mom moved to Alaska 2.5 years later.

I raised Harvey, my Irish Setter, from a pup, and had to leave him with Mom and Dad when moving to Montana and Alaska in 1980, because of apartment living and working long hours in summer. I still remember crying on the stairs in our house in Bloomington, Minnesota, the night before leaving him to live out west.

Though we didn’t see eye to eye on everything, Dad was probably close to being the perfect father. He taught me a lot, and introduced me to nature. As a family, we visited all of the contiguous states west of the Mississippi, camping. Glacier National Park probably made the biggest impression. Dad encouraged me to try things, and  gave me space to adventure on my own. Amazing!

Being a people person with a keen eye for detail, he and his brother owned a very successful barbershop in Minneapolis. His handyman skills were also impressive, even building his sister and brother-in-law’s house at age-18. He could fix almost anything.

He left us so early. Doctors couldn’t figure out why, and everything they tried made his condition worse. He was miraculously healed in ~’74, after which he was fine until I encouraged him to attend a church that had a pastor who hid his true emotions…. Ugh! I wish I never would have done that. Churches can be toxic, and I didn’t know at the time how much. Many pastors were never even called to be church leaders, but are confidence men. I write about James-3 cursing in my spiritual blog, having learned a lot the hard way.

Digital camera scan of a glossy print

Photo Buddy!

William Wallace by my side, while Kelly sought small game — 4 years ago.

As William got older, he didn’t run as much, while Kelly would never stop investigating in his later years.

The intimate landscape I was trying to capture with the Canon is of two, red Columbine flowers and this little falls. The gentle wind was moving the Columbine just enough to thwart our effort. The telephoto lens magnifies any movement.

Grateful, I cherish this moment, together!!! How can a price tag be put on such a faithful companion?

I miss my boy.

7/16/13

Sony RX-100 Handheld

Kellyman = Superman?!!

A few months after we rescued him — age-3. Agile speedboy!

I would often call Kelly ‘Kellyman’ (pronounced kellee-mun – Jamaican style), so he wouldn’t sound like a girl.

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“It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Kellyman — Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!!”

9/12/09

Canon G11

Related: Kelly – the boy nobody wanted