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50 Pines Quilts

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Forget the lofty resolutions, the 365 day project, the radical changes for 2014

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Fellow Instagram enthusiasts (I know, not at all professional in terms of photography but interesting all the same), may be familiar with Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim and her monthly photo a day challenge.  I’ve done a couple of months here and there and while I did spend a little more time on it than I probably should have, it was refreshing to have a prompt every day to inspire a photo…even if it was only for Instagram.  (By the way, you can check out Fat Mum Slim’s Instagram by searching @fatmumslim.)

She’s also got a great blog and her most recent post resonated with me.  It would seem that we have a few things in common–two kids, we’re a similar age and we both may not have been getting our recommended daily allowance of fun.  Instead of writing a list of resolutions to accomplish, she has chosen the word “fun” as something to focus on in 2014 and I think it’s a marvelous idea!  She also has a list of 14 ordinary things to do in 2014.  See, we must have some things in common, because I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can make 2014 more meaningful, more fulfilling and definitely more fun.

Take a look at her list–here are a few I especially love

#1:  Meet your neighbor.  Living out in the country, we don’t have all the opportunities to interact with other people the way city-dwellers do.  That makes knowing and appreciating our few neighbors all the more important.

#6:  Plan a self date.  Other moms know what that’s about!  I take self to me solo, as in no kids allowed.

#14:  Get in the photos.  This one comes with the caveat that selfie’s don’t count, which I wholeheartedly second!

The rest of the list is worth a read, too.  Maybe I’ll start working on my own one of these days…

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Decay Project, Second Installment

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Decay project {Grange Hall} No. 029

So, are you curious to know more about the structure featured in my post from yesterday, Decay Project, First Installment?  This crumbling building is an old Grange Hall, located at the intersection of a gravel road and a lightly traveled, paved county road.  Immediately adjacent is a half-circle of galvanized grain bins but there are no occupied structures nearby.  Today it sits lonely and mostly forgotten but it was once a hub of activity for the farm familiesDecay project {Grange Hall} No. 096 in the area.

I actually recall attending a Halloween party in this building as a very young child, with a great uncle and aunt who belonged to the Grange.  To the best of my recollection, the building was quite old then and the membership was small and likely dwindling.  It is a long rectangle, with a large kitchen at one end and a large meeting room at the other.  Unfortunately, vandals have done significant damage over the years, as most of the windows are broken out and spray painted graffiti can be seen on the walls and chalkboards inside.  The weeds are high outside and very little of building’s original country neatness remains.  Pigeons have made themselves at home and I’ve observed a black, long-haired feral cat diving into the basement.

Decay project {Grange Hall} No. 091

When I stop to think about the work that enterprising men and women once invested in this building, it makes me a little sad.  There must have been parties, dances, meetings, harvest suppers, children’s parties, possibly even wedding receptions and funeral luncheons, gatherings both joyful and somber.  To me, as someone who grew up miles from the nearest little town, this building represents the much-needed fellowship between the men and women who came before me in this rural paradise.  They gave of themselves to keep this building as a place to gather and socialize, to connect with and    help one another.  I’m a little envious, truthfully, to have missed the Grange Hall in its heyday and all of the good times that must have taken place under it’s roof.

The once neat siding will continue to shed its paint and warp; the rusted nails will slowly come loose; the remaining glass will shatter.  I will continue to find the beauty in this slowly decaying neighbor, with a mix of curiosity and regret.  Decay project {Grange Hall} No. 099

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