Growing up in Arkansas, I remember having an infinite amount of time. The second oldest of six children, I spent my days reading, writing, drawing, organizing my dollhouse, playing with my brother, exploring the woods, biking around town, arguing over kickball, engaging in endless games of Monopoly and Risk (at which I was very bad), and planning out my future as a famous author, accomplished pianist, and acclaimed artist. While I have yet to achieve the fame I envisioned, I am thankful for the blessings of a like-minded husband and five remarkable children, who enrich my life more than I could have imagined.
At the age of 10, I had my first glimpse of the Blue Ridge Mountains when my family went to a conference at Montreat College. Years later, my husband took a job in western North Carolina, and I now live within a stone’s throw of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Whenever I have a choice between cleaning my house or taking a hike, I always choose the hike.
What’s in a Name?
With apologies to Shakespeare, clarification is required for my less-than-lovely moniker. When I set up my blog — initially for the purpose of following my daughter’s travel blog — I fixed on “sappy as a tree,” a name that I had invented years before when I wanted to comment on my brother’s blog. “Sappy as a tree” incorporated a family joke, and I hoped to needle my brother.
Seven years later, the name “sappy as a tree” is needling me (pun intended; I like puns, so the name is appropriate). Since I have difficulty discarding old things, I added the phrase “celebrating beauty in creation,” which has a double meaning. With photos and words, I draw attention to the wonders in God’s creation, yet “creation” also refers to the creative act of writing, be it poetry or prose. Warning: sometimes, I change my tagline to “seeking beauty in creation.” Some days, I feel that I’m seeking rather than celebrating.
Because my oldest daughter arrived 10 days after her due date, my husband and I were able to attend an information session about homeschooling. (Emily was born the next morning.) Seventeen years after I taught my oldest child to read, I am still on the homeschooling journey. Whether or not homeschooling has been the most effective means of educating my children, it has afforded me an opportunity of learning many things that I failed to learn in 12 years of public school education, four years at a private college, and five years of graduate education at a state university. Homeschooling has also given me an excuse for reading the children’s books that I missed in my own childhood — and a reason to buy bookshelves.
Yes, I Have Another Site . . .
After impulsively choosing “sappy as a tree” for my title and rushing out to the beach with my vacationing family, I began brainstorming for a more refined name as I soaked up the South Carolina sunshine. I searched my memory for a phrase from the poetry that I had studied and came up with What oft was thought, which is a nod to Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Criticism.
Back at the condo, I tried to change my site’s name but succeeded only in creating a second blog. I decided that the readers who might enjoy my scenic photos might not enjoy listening to my abstract ramblings–hence, the continued existence of my second site.
Who’s Taking Your Photos?
Clearly, an amateur. Unless photos are credited to another individual, I took the pictures that appear on this site. Please do not use or reproduce photos or text without my permission. Since starting Photography 101, more photos have appeared here, but not necessarily photos of beautiful places. Just three more assignments, and I’ll be done with Photo 101 — both wiser, thanks to the tips, and sadder, due to my blog’s derailment from my original agenda.