It Was The Best of Times… It Was The Worst of Times… It’s Life.

As 2017 comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect back to the last few years of my life and how far I have come from the worst of times to the best of times. Those of you who have been following my blog for some time, have witnessed my struggles and celebrations. Thank you for your support and kindness.

The Best of Times…

Four years ago, just when I thought life would give me a break, I fractured my left ankle during the first day of my 7 day Hawaiian vacation. It wasn’t exactly the break I was looking for. At the time, all I could see were regrets and pain. If only, I wasn’t so eager to chase after that turtle! If only I wasn’t so clumsy… if only I didn’t take that step… If only… Oh the regrets that occupied my mind…

_DSC2943

That step took me down a hole so deep that I thought I would never be able to climb out. But somehow, I did. As terrible as that step was for me, I realized; I would not be where I am today had I not taken that slippery step. The broken and painful step took me on the path of living a purposeful life — where I can use my life experience to help other people who are still stuck in their own deep holes to see a way out. The job affords me the opportunity to live the independent life I had lost so many year ago.

For my 52nd birthday last month, I went back to Hawaii to celebrate my independence.

IMG_3426_resizedI finally fulfilled my dream to swim with the turtle after three years of waiting.

DSC_8226I rediscovered love with me, myself and I.  And found myself at the end of the rainbow.

IMG_1508Life Lessons learned: Things happen for a reason, good or bad. No regrets. Learn from it and move on. Have faith. The right opportunity will show up when you are ready to receive it. You never know where that next step will take you.

The Worst of Times…

After I got back from Hawaii, a very difficult decision was waiting for me to make. My beloved Max was having hard time walking. I took him to the vet and was given the bad news that cancerous tumors have invaded his entire body. I could prolong his life for a few months with surgery and chemo. Given the fact, Max was 12 years old; I decided to help him live the rest of his life as comfortably as possible. And hoping, maybe… by some miracle that he would get better on his own. Unfortunately, after a couple of weeks; I knew I was only being selfish keeping him. I did the inevitable and took him to the vet for his final check-up.

Now that he’s gone, I realized I took him for granted. Maximus Minumus, a true friend and companion who never complained, never hurt me or anyone, was always ready to play and most of all give unconditional love.

_DSC6175

DSC_8238This photo was taken two hours before I took him to the vet. Even to the end, he was ready to play; even if all he could do was to sit there and enjoy the the moment.

Life lessons I learned from Max:  Live life in the moment. Accept the good and the bad. Enjoy what you have. Give love and kindness even if the person doesn’t deserve it. Smile even when you hurt. Don’t complain. It’s Life.

May All Beings Be Happy and Peaceful… Happy New Year.

 

Advertisements

Love Is Like A Game

Love is like a game
Only the best can win
I am who I am
For I have no name
Let the game begin…

_DSC9612

What you see is what you get
If you don’t like what I have to offer
Then don’t make me suffer
For I need to be
Don’t try to control me

_DSC9608

Love me for who I am
And not for what you think I can
For this is me
Just let me be

My soul is like a free spirit bird
Wanting to be heard
For I need to sing
So I can be spread my wings
And become an amazing being

_DSC9603

You can put me in a cage
And clip my wings
Give me all the pretty things
Whisper sweet nothings
But it would not mean a thing
For my soul can’t sing
I would only be empty…

_DSC9511

Blurry Vision

Blurry vision becomes clear after the storm…

_DSC3259
_DSC3283

_DSC3287

_DSC3289
_DSC3263

The Dam Eagle Road Trip

Finally… after over two months of being a couch potato to heal my broken ankle; I escaped on a road trip yesterday. The weather was the typical Pacific Northwest winter — rainy and gray, not exactly the best weather for landscape photography. But I didn’t care… I was in desperate need to get away before the insanity of boredom takes over permanently. I knew I was getting to the point of no return when I actually watched the season premier of The Bachelor. If I was looking to regain my self-respect and intelligence, I definitely lost more than a few IQ points for watching the entire episode. So… to redeem myself, I decided I need to put some creativity back in my brain. At first, I thought about escaping to the Oregon coast but given the fact my leg is still in the healing process, I decided to stay close to home — and shoot the bald eagle migration that happens around this time of the year, along State Route 20.

_DSC3069

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a single eagle in sight when I got to the area where they usually hang out. But… no matter, nothing could dampen my excitement and the exhilarating feeling to finally get out of the house and be in nature with my Nikon. I decided to do the dam road trip instead. There are several dams along Route 20. The route is also one of the most beautiful roads I’ve ever traveled. Because of the rainy, gray, sunless weather, it was a challenge with lighting and exposure; everything was mostly flat and lifeless in color. I knew most of the images would be converted to monochrome. With that in mind, I try to shoot with the exposure that would allow me to manipulate in Adobe Lightroom for the mood I wanted to create.


_DSC3075
_DSC3096

The Diablo Dam is the second of the three dams along the upper Skagit River. The Diablo Lake is probably one of the most beautiful places on earth. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture its beauty and grandeur. It’s one of those places that you really need to see it in person, especially on a sunny day, to experience its breathtaking vista.
_DSC3195
_DSC3197
_DSC3138
_DSC3136
_DSC3154
_DSC3170
_DSC3168
_DSC3203

As I continued on to the third dam, Ross Dam; I came upon this sign. At the same time, I was starting to feel pain in my leg. So I took it as a sign to turn around and go back home… and lucky me — the perfect ending to a perfect day — I got to see a few eagles along the way. Since I still use crutches to get around, I wasn’t able to get close to the eagles without scaring them away. It was really difficult trying to hike close to the eagles with my crutches. After a few frustrating attempts of tripping and falling to the ground, I was able to shoot one from the comfort of my car. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend. Happy shooting. 🙂

_DSC3215
_DSC3214

_DSC3221

WP Weekly Challenge: Shadowed

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

May All Beings Be Happy & Peaceful

May All Beings Be Happy & Peaceful…

A Bump In The Road

Emily's Photography Blog

Looks like I hit another bump
In this long and winding road
The view is still ugly
And not very friendly

I am so tired
I’ve lost all desire
Wishing for my destination
So I can see salvation

Guess this is a sign
I need to pull aside
And take a good look
At the mistakes I took

I have fought for my share
It’s only fair I ignore the stare
And follow my heart
To continue where I start

Not sure how to proceed
Though I do believe
With certainty
My heart will lead the way
To better days

View original post

Happy Thanksgiving… it’s okay if you can’t feel thankful at the moment…

Once again, another Thanksgiving is here. For those of us who celebrate this occasion, we are reminded to be thankful, to be grateful —  while given the excuse to overindulged on a traditional feast with family and friends. But what if you are all alone and without the family and friends, and your cupboard is as empty as Mother Hubbard’s? You are told you should still be grateful because things could be worse… so on this Thankful Day, as I struggle to find things to be grateful; this photo I took last month reminds me that while I know I have a lot to be thankful for but it’s okay if I can’t feel thankful at the moment… I know the dark days will work its way through and I won’t always be singing the blues — because there’s always a chance for beautiful rainbow on rainy days.

Some Where Over the Rainbow