About Me

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Retired from the rat race, and now a stay at home dad. Amateur photographer who attempts to write American Haiku in the style of Jack Kerouac to go with some of his photography, as he debates about becoming a professional photographer

Monday, December 30, 2013

Ode to Mom

Fourteen years ago today I received word that my mom, had walked on to the Summerlands. She passed on the Dec 29, 1999, but I was another day and world away, serving my country in Australia.  I spent most of that day listening to Kenny G's  Instrumental version of Titanic .

After 14 years the pain is still there, and I wish she had lived to see that I have found someone who loves me so much, to see the wonderful wife and  step-daughter, who have come into my life.
The following I read at my mom's memorial.

I have been nominated to write something about our Mom, by my brother’s Steve and Joe. The reason they gave me was because of my so called writing ability. I guess it was a mistake to write that article in the Monacan News, thanking my parents for what they have taught me. Now everyone thinks that I am a writer. Well Steve was always more poetic and Joe the individualist.

In that article I related how my parents have always taught me to be proud of my Indian Heritage. And how, they instilled in me the Indian approach to Life; a respect and love for nature; the principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equality, and brotherhood, as a guide for my conduct in everyday affairs.

I do not know how good my writing is, or how well, I will be able to articulate my feelings. However, I do know that if it wasn’t for my mom always reminding me to use correct English, and encouraging me to read and write, I would not be writing this.

Too often, we are remembered by our occupations. We can use the words like Model, Den Mother, Telephone Operator, Hotel Owner, to describe Mom’s occupations, but this isn’t who she was. These were additional duties to her primary job of being a Mother. Mom was a Mother who provided comfort, discipline, kindness, love, protection and understanding. She was a Mother, who gave unconditional love to her three sons, even when we made mistakes.

She encouraged and supported us to take risks, for she knew that the greatest danger in life is to risk nothing. By risking nothing we may think we are safe and are avoiding pain. But, oh, how boring a life we would lead and what a lie our life would be. Only through risk can we feel, learn, grow, live and love. She wanted us to love, to live life on our terms. She wanted us to believe in our self. For, she knew that if we believe in our self, so too would other believe in us. She did not want us to be carbon copies of anyone. Yes, she may have been disappointed when we faltered.  And at times, felt that she failed as a Mother. But she still loved us unconditionally. And Mom, you did not fail us as a Mother.

She taught us that everything that happens can teach us a lesson of Life. Happiness, sadness, advancements, setbacks, the greatest moments of grandeur, and those of sheer stupidity, forges us into the individuals that we have become. For without these test, our Life would be just like a Merry-go-round, Dull and pointless!

She took great interest in our Indian Heritage. Never seeking or expecting recognition, she was glad to make anonymous donations to the Monacan Nation. Just this past October, she gave several boxes full of sewing books, supplies and material to the Tribe. Sewing and quilting was something that she was very good at, until the arthritis in her hands became too painful for her. Yes, it was hard for her to let all of these sewing supplies go, for she never gave up hope of one day being able to sew again. However, I suspect that this past October she realize that her time remaining was growing shorter and these things could be better utilized by the Tribe than by sitting in the sewing room.

There are many things my Mom taught me; I would like to share 26 of them.

Admit your mistakes
Be happy
Continue to learn something new each day
Delight in the small things
Enjoy your family and friends
Follow your own path, while doing no harm
Give thanks for all that you have, all that you experience, the good and the bad
Hug often
It is easier to be helpful than harmful
Jump for joy as often as possible.
Know your limitations, and then expand them
Laugh from the belly, and often
Miracles are real, they happen every day
Never intentionally harm someone
Opportunities to do good are always present
Plant as many trees, and flowers that you can
Quiet time, spent alone is important
Respect tradition, respect the Earth, and take responsibility for your actions
Smiles are free, give them often
Take no one for granted, for tomorrow the may be gone
Use every second and every word wisely, neither can be retrieved
Visit family and friends often
Welcome big problems, for they help us grow and may also disguise big opportunities
Xmas is the time for families and gentle falling snow
Zoos are fun

I loved my Mother, she was my friend
My Mother, my friend has walked on
What more can I say
The poem ends
Softly as it began
I love my Mother, she was my friend
Good Night, God Bless, I Love you

USS Constellation

USS Constellation, constructed in 1854, is a sloop-of-war and the second United States Navy ship to carry the name. According to the US Naval Registry the original frigate was disassembled on 25 June 1853 in Gosport Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia, and the sloop-of-war was constructed in the same yard, possibly with a few recycled materials from the old frigate. Constellation is the last sail-only warship designed and built by the US Navy. Despite being a single-gundeck “sloop”, she is actually larger than her frigate namesake, and more powerfully armed with fewer but much more potent shell-firing guns.

The sloop was launched on 26 August 1854 and commissioned on 28 July 1855 with Captain Charles H. Bell in command.

For more information see

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Thursday, December 26, 2013


Merlin a very lovable black and white cat, sitting and watching.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tiger up close

Tiger, sitting majestically on the top of my truck. Tiger is a feral or stray that lives in out backyard. Two years ago he showed up with a badly infected front paw. It took me over a week to capture him and have the wonderful folks from Alley Cat Rescue come and take him to the vets for medical attention. While recovering he had to stay indoors, locked in a small bathroom to keep my other cats and one dog from bothering him. Since then, Tiger will follow me all over the yard, great me when I come home, and off course he loves to sit or lay upon my truck. He does come inside once in a while but he always goes back to the door and asks to be let out.

Please Share. Will make a great Christmas present for the cat lover. Just click below


All photographs are suitable for house, home, office, studio, restaurant, or health care center wall art decor. All images are available as single photo prints, acrylic prints, metal prints or canvas prints.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Today's Adventures

Today was a most interesting day. First while eating at a local hamburger joint, I had a conversation with a lonely senior, a WWII, Korea and Vietnam vet named Ira. Unlike many of his generation, Ira answer the call of duty in 1940, before Pearl Harbor was attacked. We exchanged military stories, talked a little about our families. Upon leaving I thanked him for his service for our country.

Drove up to Indian Land looking for possible photos  for "The Lancaster News" Indian Land photo contest. Most people when they think of Indian Land they thing of all the upper class communities, or the many new companies that are moving to Lancaster, SC. I was looking for something other than developed land.

Hike a little through Bailes Ridge Nature Trail LCPR,  a 3 acres park, located at Hwy 160 & Old Bailes Rd. Took about 50 to 60 photos along the train. After leaving the nature park I head home.

Before getting home while driving along Van Wyck Rd. I spied two men working in a large field by hand, no tractor to help with the planting. I stopped and asked if it was ok to take of photo of them. One came over to talk, and the other said okay to  be photographed. The man was name Terry and he was the owner of the Ivy Place. They were planting blueberries.

So now I am home and getting ready to process the photos to see if I have anything for the contest.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wet leaves and raindrops

Albeit a rainy day, I still manage to capture a few photographs of the leaves and reflections in my truck. Also wrote a poem to go with it.

fallen leaves
upon truck hood
wet with rain 

Poem and image Copyrighted.
© Andy Lawless. All rights reserved.
5 Dec 2013