Through a new lens

I spent the morning of my 51st birthday wearing camouflage and hunkered down on the edge of a cornfield.

Holding my heavy camera still, eyes trained on the distant stalks, I tried very hard not to laugh at the shrill screech of my husband’s turkey call.

From the top of my messy hair, stuffed carelessly into a random baseball hat, to the tips of my brother’s old tennis shoes, it was a far cry from a year ago. For that milestone birthday, I tooled around Chicago in a new black dress and fancy hairdo, toasting merrily with family while frantically bemoaning the swift passage of time.

I’m looking at life from a different lens for my second half century.

It’s a little more relaxing on this side of the hill.

For my next half-century I intend to be less frenzied, and more engaged.

I’ll be kinder when I look in the mirror, and less leery of shopping and scales.

I hope to lose less sleep to worry, and more to making plans.

I’ll still fill my plate with colorful food, start my day with a good cleansing sweat, and stand straight and tall, when I remember.

But, I’ll also eat apple bread pudding and chocolate cake, stretch out on the couch with a good book, and find time for a front porch sit.

With this next 50 years I will:

  • Make time for my old friends and be open to new ones
  • Seek advice from my children and listen to their wise counsel
  • Laugh
  • Avoid complaining and the people who do
  • Dance with my husband, even though neither one of us can remember the steps to a Foxtrot
  • Dive into the water without dipping my toe
  • Do crossword puzzles in pen
  • Moisturize
  • Support local musicians
  • Hand write thank you notes and remember to mail them
  • Wear the yellow sundress my sweet daughter sent me
  • Watch the whole sunrise

For my 51st birthday, I bought a new camera lens. And, I intend to spend the next 49 years looking carefully through it.

This is me on the morning of my 51st birthday, taking my new lens out for a walk.
Two Turkeys
We stumbled on a couple of turkeys in a cornfield, but, here’s the thing…
Four turkeys
As we looked closer, we saw four turkeys and then…


Nine turkeys
…there were nine, and that’s the thing about life on this side of the hill. You have to be patient and look carefully, because not every cornfield is what it seems. Those turkeys were there the whole time, it just took some patience and a long lens to see them.
Tom Turkey
Here’s a tom turkey, running away. I still haven’t mastered my new lens. but it will be a fun project as I figure it out.
This goose was a much easier target. It even posed for me, the little ham.
This gull and I shared a moment as well.
…and the pelicans came back to Wisconsin. Yay Spring! This picture will be much cooler, when I master my new lens.
Pelican swimming
For now, this is what you get.
A view from our cabin porch.
A field of violets.
My birthday lunch, courtesy of Molly, with grilling by Vince and then we had…
…a homemade chocolate cake with banana frosting, courtesy of Molly. I had it for dinner as well. 51 is turning out to be a very sweet year!


3 thoughts on “Through a new lens

  1. Hi,

    I left a comment here earlier. I’m writing an article about Ron Kostelnik for a book myself and others are writing about the 1966 Green Bay Packer team. Your blog has been by far the best source I have found to fill in details about Ron’s life before and after the Packers.

    I have used a couple of quotes from articles you have written in my article. I would like to credit you properly in the notes. I would most appreciate it if you could get in touch with me at, so I can give you proper credit.

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