Derek Johnson Muses

Special Pictures with Special Thoughts

Seward Nooks: Trailing Up

These photos were taken last fall. I meant to write a detailed description and post them back then, but of course, I got caught up in football writing. Better late than never I suppose. 

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Walk Out

Turn a tight corner.

Downhill...

Downhill…

I’ve shown you the stroll down the hill. This time…

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Turn

I go the other way.

North

North

It isn’t out there, even if it kind of feels that way.

Fields of Tall Grass and Barley

Fields of Tall Grass and Barley

Shuffle through.

Cross Straight Ahead

Cross Straight Ahead

More and More.

Stark Path

Stark Path

Those powerlines have a way of messing up my photographs.

Modern Street

Modern Street

The new part.

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Stream

Sky getting low all around me.

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Flounders

At this point in my walk, I’m dragging.

Road Home

Road Home

So I’ll just skip to the end. 

Mirror of Years

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Memory Lane…

The other day, it occurred to me that I should look back through my past profile pictures on Facebook, to see if there was one I’d like to use as my profile picture again. To my surprise, there were several worthy candidates, that, after all this time, still reflected my personality and who I am.

As I scrolled down through those past portraits, I realized that so much of life simply passes without our knowing. Even though I may have the same, distracted face in a lot of my photos, I’ve done a lot of different things. As camera technology has improve, I’ve changed glasses, traveled, even bought a house and moved. I’ve written more than I ever could have expected. I fear that soon, I’m going to wake up and feel ten years older.

But I know that God has a plan for me, and that no matter, what, he’s guiding my footsteps.

Cheap Motels

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Inn For the Night

I’ve stayed in my share of crappy motels. Sometimes, I did so out of necessity, as I did when I visited Omro, Wisconsin to harvest corn samples in the summer of 2012 and the home-run motel was my only choice. Other places, like Morton, Illinois, I just stay at the Travel Lodge because I’ve always stayed there. Like a lot of my elders who lived through the Great Depression, I can pride myself in being cheap, or telling myself something is too nice for me. Our family stayed at Super 8 AKA one-step-above-Motel 6 all the time when I was growing up, so why should I care about staying at crappy places? It’s not like I’m traveling with a woman I’m trying to impress.

Then comes the one night where I’m just so tired, my back is hurting and I just have to get a good night’s rest and crash at the Quality Inn. Those nights, I  feel like the fool, even if I’m too tired to care. 

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Is it really that grim?

Twisted Streets

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Trucked

Large bodies of water always mess up a large city’s traffic, and make their streets run in odd directions. Above is one of the few streets that come out from Wisconsin‘s state capital and runs between the lakes smack-dab in the middle of Madison, Wisconsin.

Below is the forced end of both a street and city, San Francisco to be exact. Behind the sign is a beach full of birds, drifters, seals, and other sun-soaked things.

The Very End of the Street

The Very End of the Street

 

Ideas Left Behind

Pen

It Changes

Possibilities and ideas pass through my head all day, whether I’m doing the dishes, walking on the trail, or just driving someplace. I file them away. Some of them turn into ideas that I post here. I’ve had whole visions of running off to California, or working in national parks. But some, like writing for a real website or selling my photographs, have come to fruition.

The enthusiasm of a new idea always fades, but when it does, it the truth becomes clear. Humans are always destined to see more paths than they are able to walk. We don’t need to take it so personally, it just means we have great imaginations.

Podcast Life 

Face the Future.

Face the Future.

 

I played the voices and speeches in my ear, and left them on for hours. When I turned them off, my thoughts had a lot to say to me. 

Podcasts are just personal time radio, or a theater of one’s own making.  Radio feels like appointment time, podcasts like library of daily discourse. 

What’s Left

Find

Find

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this blog, or more accurately, a lot of time forgetting this blog while I write for Huskermax and script videos for USA Today. I can’t even write a decent post about being stumped for something to write about. http://derekjohnsonmuses.com/2012/09/27/stumped/

But I figured I can still share my photograph, buried deep on my computer and my phone. After all, it’s a shame for all that pretty stuff to go to waste, isn’t it? The photo above is from northeast Iowa, somewhere west of Dubuque off US Highway 20. http://derekjohnsonmuses.com/2012/05/04/the-roads-of-dubuque/

Sprung

Faker

Faker

So I got my wish: winter ended. The snow melted, and the dead grass started to show itself. Now comes the laundry list of choirs: pulling grass out of the rocks, acquiring seeds, mowing. And oh yes, I still have cook, clean, and do everything else.

Monday, I bought seeds for my garden. I have thirteen packs of seeds, and ground that still needs to be tilled up. I have a rain barrel to set up and other boring tasks to do. It got up to 80 degrees in Seward and it’s still March.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Epic and Ordinary

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Epic!

Epic is a very overused word. That epic game last night. An epic speech on YouTube. Epic plays. I wish the word epic only applied to stuff that was at least 75 years old, like epic books or epic wars.

Our phones give us some much self importance that we don’t need. Instead of worrying about epic, let’s just worry on the ordinary and normal. Let’s not tell everyone they are special for getting the mail, or reading a 1000-page book. If I can’t remember something in ten years, it shouldn’t count as epic.

The Last Days of Winter. Ever.

Not This Again

Not This Again

I hated it when it snowed last Saturday, even though it saved me the trouble of going to Lincoln and fighting the Saturday rush at Menards for a drainage implement I ordered off of Amazon anyway. I can’t help it: I want to wear my shorts the second 55 degrees hits.

I’m just waiting until I can till up new ground. Waiting until I can stop running the heat. Waiting until I can drink a beer on my front deck.

Waiting.

Kartephose

Sideways

Sideways

I had been thinking for a long time about what to write about with the picture above. At first I thought back to when high school, through two-and-a-half years of youth group, the time spent maturing on our little acreage west of Seward. No story came to mind.

Then I tried to think of a quality, like sadness or control. No idea presented itself. Trends around Seward? Nothing. Stuff at church? I’d use a different photo for that, if I had anything.

Back when I started this blog, someone asked me what the theme of it was. Defiantly, I told her I didn’t need a theme. Now, I realize if I had come up with an answer to that question, I might not be as stuck as I am now.

In case you are curious, the photo above was taken in Clearwater, Nebraska, west of North Platte a ways. The reason it is crooked is, at the time, I didn’t feel like slowing down or stop, and decided to wing a photo. Thus a distorted perspective.

Pretty Grain Tower in Northwest Iowa

Full

Full

The grain tower above is somewhere in northwest Iowa, on the diagonal highway that runs from Storm Lake to the I-29-US Highway 30 interchange. It’s backlight because I drove past that area in the early evening sometime last August, heading for a nice dinner in Omaha, hoping to get back to Seward before 9 PM.

Last summer had too many nights were I drove until it was almost dark. Over the last two years, I felt like I told the story of my life on the road for Blue River, and there wasn’t anything new I could find about that those little family restaurants in central Illinois. It’s also why I’m going to take a short vacation this spring before I really get busy. I need perspective.

But hey, there were some good photos right?

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