Monday, December 27, 2004

Eli's expression after opening his Christmas present

Runny nose and all, Eli was so happy when he opened his presents.  He felt so bad all night, coughing, but when he opened his presents, he snuck a few smiles in here and there, but I knew he wasn't feel like his regualar happy self.


Autumn sure is turning into a little young lady.  She was so sweet this Christmas!

Sunday, December 26, 2004


Ethan wasn't feeling the best this Christmas, he had a bad cough, and a runny nose, but he was all eyes looking around and taking it all in.  This was his first Christmas and oh what a blessing it was to spend it with him.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas 2004

My brother and sisters, noone else in the world like them.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Eli, Autumn, Ethan

Well Thanksgiving is over and this was one of my major reasons to get home.  Sometimes I think happiness can be found through the eyes of children.  I had a blessed Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Lil Me

I look at this smiling little face, it's really me.  So young, so innocent.  Hard to believe it was me.  I've always liked this picture of me when I was little.  I think we were on vacation with my Papa and Mema.  Somewhere in Florida, I remember jumping waves with my Papa, everytime a wave would come he would turn a flip over it.  Maybe that's why I still love the waves today.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Old family picture

This picture will always be one of my favorites, one thing I see is how much the three of us loved Lance.  He was always the one we all three wanted to spoil.  He was so special to all of us, and still is today.  The picture was just us, I remember them telling us all to smile for a picture, and all at once Lance ended up in our arms.  I sure love my family.  Maybe I'm missing them some.

Saturday, October 9, 2004

The Lady

This is one of my favorite pictures I'd taken on a magical trip to New York years ago.  This city was almost one of make believe.  I've never seen anything so big. 

THE NEW COLOSSUS Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless,tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"   Emma Lazarus

Friday, October 1, 2004

Welcome kiss from Big Brother

I just love this picture, it's one of my favorites now, I put this in my other journal.  Eli is such a loving big brother, I wonder if I was this way when Sherry was born, I actually still remember my mom bringing her home from the hospital and was very happy to see her.  Eli was a part of the whole birth process from start to finish.  What a blessed child to be welcomed into such a loving family.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

His Face

Look at the lines the artist used to draw this picture of Christ. It is of scenes from Christ's life. My friend Ms. Bette sent me this I love it.

Monday, September 20, 2004


Do you remember those bubble bath's as a child, what is it that made us so happy when we took these magical bubblebaths.  Maybe we should keep taking them as adults.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Auti in my red hat

When I look at this picture I can't help but laugh, she is such a little character.  Funny and always very dramatic.  She sure is growing up.  She will always have a big place in my heart.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

First time Ethan looked at me

This is the first shot I got of him actually looking at me, I can see he actually sees me.   When I hold him as he sleeps I see so many faces, my grandpa, grandma, his little faces and smiles.  But when he opened those eyes all of them seemed to say hello once again.  I am almost brought to tears just looking at this beautiful face.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Ethan Zane

Ethan means strenth, and Zane means "Gods gracious gift", what a powerful name my beautiful nephew has.  The start of a wonderful journey.  He came into this world welcomed by his mother and father and brother and family.  What a gracious gift indeed.  Just looking into this face I feel a overwhelming love, can't wait to get home to see you this weekend.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Picture I drew of Dena and Sherry

While home I saw this picture I drew of my two beautiful sisters.  The two most beautiful flowers God put on the planet to me.  My heart is full when I think of the two of them.  My sisters have always been there for me and no matter what they always care.  Through thick and thin and everything in between.  They have protected me from darkness.  Sisters of light thats what they are.  They make my world full of happiness.  If I'm sad they are there with a hug to lend.  They are there to laugh with.  They are my strenth when I'm weak.  They are my voice when I can't speak.  They are always there when I need an ear just to listen and be a friend.  They have shared a love with me that nothing can compare to.  They are my link to LIFE.  I've heard this before though the hurt and the pain, through the tears and the rain, because of sisters, I will never be the same.  Not sure if I quoted that right or not.   Anyway I love you Sherry and Dena.


Thursday, August 12, 2004

The Bridge of Lions

The Bridge of Lions is one of the most recognizable and beloved sites in St. Augustine. It's one of my favorite places.  In recent years, it's also been one of the most controversial.

After a 1999 Department of Transportation report declared the bridge "structurally deficient and functionally obsolete," city residents began a heated debate over the appropriate steps to take in repairing the bridge. Those concerned with preserving the structure's historical integrity sought a renovation plan that would allow the bridge to maintain its distinctive form; residents concerned about the increasing problem of traffic downtown looked at the renovation as a chance to build a new bridge that would stand up to modern congestion.

The DOT's $30.85 million plan for the bridge has been approved and leans toward the restoration camp: It slightly widens the road beds and sidewalks and erects a safety barrier between cars and sidewalks, but it leaves two lanes of traffic and keeps the bridge's original towers.

Even though the plan is approved and wheels are in motion to start work on the bridge renovation, opponents of the plan continue to voice their displeasure.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Thinking of Mema

I was thinking of Mema on Sunday.  It was her birthday.  There's still not many days that go by that I don't think of her, you can't say the word spaghetti without me thinking of her.  I still miss her very much.  Here's a little something I wrote about her in one of my journals.

I can't believe she's been gone now for almost three years.  I never realized until she was gone what a big part of my life she was. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Big Brother Eli

I've been thinking about Eli tonight, he's going to be a big brother very soon, and a wonderful big brother he will be I'm sure.  Dena has been telling him all about his little brother Ethan Zane growing inside her belly.  He kisses her belly every night and talks to him.  I'm very excited for him, and Dena and Andy.  Our lives are about to be touched again in such a wonderful way.  We are blessed.

Monday, August 2, 2004

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Jacksonville Skyline

I didn't take this picture but it is one of my favorites.  This is one Seth took at   It's such a beautiful shot of Jacksonville at night.  I do love our city of JACKSONVILLE.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Blowing in the wind

This little girl is happy.  She's all smiles, and she makes me all happy inside too!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Sky at Sunset today

As I drove home today from spending the day with my family, I was swept away with this wondeful feeling, I was driving home on A1A, right on the Ocean, about an 40 minute drive from my place to where they were staying.  I look out and see the sun as it's setting behind the clouds.  I picked up my faithful camera and as I drove I said, God show me a little bit of Heaven.  When I got home and put it on my computer I felt a lit bit of Heaven.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Autumn in the old tree

Well tomorrow I get to see Autumn again, Lance, Sherry, Autumn, and Mark rented a little place on the beach about 30 mintues away, so I took the day off tommorrow so I can go see them.  Here's a picture I took of Autumn in the old tree at Mema and Papa's,   Sherry, Dena, Lance, and I played in this tree many times when were were kids, can't believe how old this tree looks now.  It's still beautiful to me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Love that Monkey

Here I am eating while I take a bath.  Man I really need a shave.  Don't you just love the monkey's.  I always stay a little longer watching the monkey's.  I always have.  They are so fun, and they almost seem like they are talking to me just by looking me in the eye.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


When I was a boy I kept this picture in my room of a beautiful angel watching out for two little children crossing a bridge.  My mother told me it was their guardian angel.  I often wondered about my angel and how they watched over me.  I believe we have spirits that watch over us, and are with us.  I took this picture in the park, the birds love this angel as much as I do. 

Guardian Angel from heaven so bright,
Watching beside me to lead me aright,
Fold thy wings round me, and guard me with love,
Softly sing songs to me of heaven above. Amen.

Monday, July 12, 2004


She is so graceful as she drinks from the flower, a little lady having tea.  I love Butterflies.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Peaceful River

I sit here today thinking of yesterday and my visit down the river, river's like this have to stay preserved and protected.  Looking at this picture I can hear all the sounds, smell the freshness of it all, and feel the coolness of the water soothing my spirit.

Saturday, July 10, 2004


Today I took this going down the river, the water was so crystal clear.  Cool crystal clear spring wter, eel grass, little and not so little fish swim beneath you as you see them clearly.  Tiny minnows gently nipping you as you let your feet dangle into the water.  A family of red-eared sliders (turtles) sunning themself on a moss draped cypress log.  Distant sound of nature, peaceful as it was in the beginning.  My thoughts fade back to my teenage years going down this same river and what it meant for me then, and what it means for me today.  The river is still as beautiful as it was then.  I remember imagining going under water and swimming through a cave and coming up on another side with a whole new world on the other side.  On the othe side people lived as peaceful as the foilage. Ferns amond lillies, trees among bushes.   I dove in a couple of caves today looking for the cave that would bring me to the peaceful other side. 

Thursday, July 8, 2004

Three Beauties

When I see this picture it just makes me smile.  These are three of the most beautiful women I know.  My mom and my two sisters.  How lucky I am to have so much beauty in my family, their beauty radiates from the inside out.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

I want to go back to the Mountain

What do you feel when you see this picture.  I feel the fresh air, i feel the cold wind blowing across my face making me feel alive.  This place was truly one of the most spectacular sites I saw in Washington State, it's summertime and there's still snow up there.  I'd love to go back back.  I feel color in my face, I feel alive.  I think I lived here years ago hunting the earth, loving the land almost as much as I did the day I went here.

Monday, July 5, 2004

Eli and Me

This is one of my favorite pictures of Eli and me.  I didn't take the picture but it was my camera.  I love looking at it because I can see the pure joy I was having when my sister Dena and her husband Andy had come down to visit me.  It is a happy memory.  I can't wait to go see him soon, and see how much he has grown.  My sister said she told him last week that Nana, Rere, and Autumn had gone to see Uncle Derek, she said he started crying because he wanted to go too. 

Alone at the Ocean With My Thoughts and Memories

Here I visit my favorite spot, in search of peace of mind.  This vast Ocean understands me and doesn't dismiss me with impatience or refuse to listen.  This is the spot when I was 5 or 6 that my first thought of happiness began, with Papa, he took us here, and would get out in the Ocean and turn flips in the passing waves.  At that time there was a big pier here.  This place has been my thinking place since I've been in Jacksonville.  Papa said "All your answers Lie here" as he said with outstretched arms.  So many days I walked here trying to figure out what he meant.  I came here years ago after the end of a relationship and said I give up, I won't ever know what he meant.  I told myself I'd never come again.  Then I made a friend that lived right by the spot where the pier was.  This was almost two years ago.  When he moved there we took a walk on the beach and the next thing I knew I was by the pier again, feeling very much at home.  Thinking once again maybe I would find out.  They tore the pier down a month later, but I still go to this spot.  It wasn't the pier Papa was talking about it was something much bigger.  I remember touching what was left of the pier before they tore it down.  I touched it as if it were my only friend and possessed the answers to all my problems.  I stayed there  for a long while waiting for answers.  The pier is gone now, just these little markers left.  I still go here for answers, how ironic that I live right here in the place where Papa said all the answers would be found here.


Sunday, July 4, 2004

The first picture I took of Autumn

My niece who is four now came and stayed with me last weekend.  I was going through some of my older pictures and found the first picture I ever took of her.  When I first saw her I had this surge of thanksgiving for life.  As I gazed into her face of pure innocence, I realized what a creation of God's love she really is.  There's no one else like our little Autumn Skye

Saturday, July 3, 2004

Red Heart

I had to jump a fence to get this picture.  I'm looking in people's yard now all the time to see what they are growing, when I saw this one my heart jumped, I can't think what it's called but I know it has the word heart in it.  I'm not sure if it is fading or in full bloom, but something about it talked to me.  I felt my own heart beating.

Friday, July 2, 2004


A friend of mine took this picture I got from his website.   Looking at this picture, my childhood flased before me.  I loved insects when I was growing up.  Entomology was my passion.  I was always following these guys around with a butterfly net.  Funny how something I was so passionate about has changed to an appreciation.  I sitll love watching butterflies about as much as I did when I was a boy.  They are so beautiful and so delicate.

Thursday, July 1, 2004


      Come with me into the field of sunflowers. Their faces are burnished disks, their dry spines creak like ship masts, their green leaves, so heavy and many, fill all day with the sticky sugars of the sun. Come with me to visit the sunflowers, they are shy but want to be friends; they have wonderful stories of when they were young - the important weather, the wandering crows. Don't be afraid to ask them questions! Their bright faces, which follow the sun, will listen, and all those rows of seeds - each one a new life! Hope for a deeper acquaintance; each of them, though it stands in a crowd of many, like a separate universe, is lonely, the long work of turning their lives into a celebration is not easy. Come and let us talk with those modest faces, the simple garments of leaves, the coarse roots in the earth so uprightly burning.

                    Mary Oliver

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Still Visiting Beautiful Places

Seems lately I'm drawn to beauty, tonight I was looking at old pictures of places I felt much beauty.  This meadow ws so beautiful.  Just looking at these pictures bring a smile to my face.  It was happy time for me.  I'm not really sure this picture captures it all.  The helicopter flight the next day was also pretty spectacular.  I've gone here once since my first visit.  I want to go again in the winter.  I've gone in October and I've gone in May.  I want a meadow I can run through and be free.  Our forefathers must have been in awe exploring this country.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Willow Tree

There's a little park I found, it's really just a lake with some beautiful trees.  This one's my favorite.  This tree isn't here, or even in this state.  I found it a year ago.  I took many pictures of this tree that day.  The day I found it was special.  I'd love to just stay in that day sometimes.  I still visit that tree in my head.  I picture myself under it's branches and shade.  Had to go there after my family left today.  There was a certain sadness when they left.  My mom picked up on it more than usual.  She said when she left.  I feel sad about leaving you.  I'm really fine.  I'm enjoying my company much more than I have in the past.  Sitting under the willow tree.  I say a little prayer.  Thank you for the many blessings, and thank you for my family.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Autumn in Summer

Yep my niece is visiting, we're eating lunch, back from the beach, and heading back.  The clouds are beautiful.  I'll write more later.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Peaceful Visitor (Blue Heron)

I once heard it's good luck when one of these fellows come for a visit, today I was feeling a little blue, I went to my special place, and in the lonliness of it all, here the blue heron comes to say everythings going to be ok. 

Heron: is associated with morning, and is the first bird to salute the dawn. A heron also tied in with regeneration of life. A heron provides for its young like a stork. It is associated with longevity, silent memory, overcoming danger, indiscretion, dual nature: because of it amphibious nature, and melancholy. The heron is sacred to the Muses and is related to priesthood. Herons are seen as a favorable of men. When heron's leave the marsh and fly above the clouds they announce the coming of a storm.

...signifying the world of life and light, as opposed to that of death and darkness. For the same reason the snow-white heron was much esteemed,... and the blue heron for luck in life.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Summer Songs

Summertime from "Porgy and Bess" : Doc Watson

Nothing captures the feelings of summer better than the much-loved song from "Porgy and Bess," "Summertime." Its majestic imagery and deep spirituality touch listeners today as they have for generations. Doc Watson's version is the ultimate version.  This picture says summer, my friend Amy brought her son over to my house right around sunrise, we took Kendall out on the Ocean to check things out.  He loved it.

."..there's a nothin'
can harm you
With Daddy and Mama
standin' by."

A good ending of the summer, and another one of my favorite summer song is John Denver's "Sunshine on my Shoulders"

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Autumn and Eli

This is my heart.  Autumn and Eli are my neice and nephew.  I took this picture of them taking a breather from pulling them in the wagon.  I feel such deep connections with both of them.  Like when I saw both of them for the first time, all questions about life were answered instantly.  All this just from being an UNCLE.

Winged Victory

This is one of my favorite statues I go too on my lunch breaks.  It's called Winged Victory, and was put in Memorial Park back at the ending of World War II.  I find much peace sitting out on the St. Johns River just pondering life and all the wonderful things in it.  The renowned sculptor of Winged Victory was C. Adrian Pillars who lived in St. Augustine from 1919-1932 and represents the best known work of his.  The birds sure were enjoying it this day.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Boy and Dolphin

I just got off work and walked down too the beach.  I live in Jacksonville Beach.  This is a little piece of art I walk by every day when I take one of my thought walks on the beach.  I love it.  I think of my childhood, my imagination, and my love for water.  The artist that molded this could have done it just for me!  The piece is called "Sea Express"

Monday, June 21, 2004


When I was little my favorite place was the zoo.  I especially liked the monkey's.  I think it was because of the family.  My mom and dad joked, "There's little Derek monkey, and Daddy monkey, and mama monkey.  I still love the zoo today.  I sat for hours watching these guys.  Mama was so good with little baby monkey.  So caring and gentle.  Aint life grand?

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Father Above

This is my Father's Day Picture and the first picture of this journal.  The reason I chose it was because of what it means to me.  I took this picture of my niece Autumn with her dad, my brother Lance.  When I took it she was looking up into his eyes so lovingly.  When I first saw the picture.  I also thought of it as a little girl looking up to our Heavenly father with the same love.  So I named it "Father Above".    Bless all the Father's out there!