The Path: Where do you go from here?

A Path in Cades Cove

The Path

Everyone has to choose their own path. Sometimes it seems to go nowhere. On those nowhere paths, we hope for a fork in the road, which will lead to new journeys. When you get to the fork, do you go right or left? Or do you just stand there, immobilized, too unsure of which way to go? Do you yell for help, hoping someone hears and responds? Or will you forge your own, new path?

There is no map. Faith has to be your compass.

Photo-Heart Connection

Talking by the Creek by Kathy M. Winter for Kathy Captures Life

Today, I’m sharing my Photo-Heart Connection for August with Kat Eye Studio. Each month, we share a photo from our files that has a deeper connection to our hearts. Photos don’t have to be technically perfect or follow any photographic rules…they just have to connect to your heart.

This photo was taken on our recent, glorious vacation to the Smoky Mountains on the Tennessee side. The area is a favorite place for my husband and me, but we hadn’t been in years. In fact, we hadn’t traveled outside our state in 8 years…the exact age of our daughter. It was definitely time to go and to share this wonderful place with her.

While I was taking photos at a small creek, I looked up and found my husband and daughter in conversation. Their looks alternated between serious and silly. I couldn’t hear what they were talking about, but they looked happy and relaxed….exactly how you’re supposed to look on vacation!

Our daughter  loved the Smokies! She loved being outside, seeing mountains (as she remarked on the way home, “You could throw a rock and never hit a mountain in Florida!”), eating breakfast every morning on a patio that overlooked Gatlinburg, exploring a real cave and seeing deer, bears and horses in Cades Cove. It’s now a place just as special to her as it is to us. We’ll be back, and it won’t take 8 years to do so!

Roaring Fork (Gatlinburg, TN)

Roaring Fork

Along the Roaring Fork Nature Drive

Recently,  our family went on our first out-of-state vacation to Gatlinburg, TN. A week of waking up to mountain views, scenic drives, nature walks, train rides and relaxation. In some areas of the Smoky Mountains National Park there is no cell service (bonus!). No reason to check e-mail from the office or monitor social media!  Taking time to unplug once in a while is highly recommended.

If you’re not into hiking, there are many scenic drives so you can connect with nature from a safe distance, in the air-conditioned comfort of your car. This photo was taken along Roaring Fork, just outside of Gatlinburg. The drive winds through narrow roads and offers great scenery and even a glimpse of wildlife. A few minutes after this photo was taken, we spotted a young Black Bear (we were in our car by then, thank goodness).

Someday, if we can retire, the Smoky Mountains area of NC and TN will be our home. Until then, we have our photos and memories.



Summer Fun on the Way!


The calendar might still show spring, but the weather definitely feels summer! Now that the kids are out of school, it definitely feels different.

I am going to make more of an effort to let go and have fun. I won’t care (as much) if the house isn’t as presentable as I’d like; I won’t worry (so much) about unplugging from work and loosening all those digital leashes (at least on weekends); and I won’t feel self-conscious about looking a little foolish out there being silly with my family.

So there!

Instagram Friday!

Fun with Instagram

Self portrait on Instagram

This is part of my ongoing effort to step in front of the camera once in a while. This is me on Friday thinking about the weekend. Really, I’m happily thinking about it….

Thank you Instagram for making an Android app!

A New Tradition

Bible and Rosary

Bible and Rosary

My daughter just received First Communion over the weekend.  This is a very big deal in our Roman Catholic household. It was both a happy and sad day for me. Happy, because my daughter was taking another big step in growing up. But, a little sad because my and my husband’s parents are no longer alive to share the big day (yes, I know everyone was with her in spirit…)

This photo means a lot to me. This is my daughter holding her great-grandmother Florrie’s Communion Bible (with an inscription from her mother dated May 11, 1913) and a rosary made by my mother.  The Bible wasn’t in my possession until my teens. Now that it is, I’m hoping Tess will pass on the Bible and rosary to her children, starting a new tradition in the family.

Small treasures connecting us to the past.

What traditions and heirlooms do you hope to pass on to your family?


This is also my submission for the Photo Heart Connection for May because of its strong connection to past, present and future.