Derek Johnson Muses

Special Pictures with Special Thoughts

Lazy Dust


 A car kicks up dust. The dust settles down, wonders why it had to be bothered in such a dramatic fashion, and returns to its long day of lying around.




A moment never seems as happy until it has past. When it passes, you remember it ten times as fondly as it ever was when it happened, even you can remember thinking to yourself at the time you were sad or angry or unhappy. 

Cow Spot

It's Staring Right at You

It’s Staring Right at You

Recently, I scrolled back through the old notes I’d written on my iPhone (and, a device ago, my iPod touch) over the last three years. Or more precisely, back before I accepted a lot of who I am. 

Looking back on it, the funny was, I tried to fight a lot of battles I couldn’t win. Now, I don’t even try, and I’m a lot happier because of I just focus on the positives and what I’m good at.  

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. 


Walk Out

Turn a tight corner.



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



I go the other way.



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.



Sky getting low all around me.



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

Road Home

Road Home

So I’ll just skip to the end. 

Mirror of Years


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


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. 


Is it really that grim?

Twisted Streets



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


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



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.

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.




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



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.

Limning the Psyche

The web site of Mark Yarhouse

GMO Free Girl

Changing The Way You Eat One Bite At A Time


Dragon Slaying: from the Lutheran Perspective

The First Premise

Looking at all things through suffering and the Cross

Final Mystery

"The final mystery is oneself" - Oscar Wilde

Biking with Coleman

Traversing North America by Bicycle

Christian in America

The blog of Matthew Tuininga

Cassie Moore

Adventures in the Mundane

For the Love of Food

...because a girl's gotta eat

An Illustrated Parsonage Life

A new pastor's wife writes about church, home, children, and life's general absurdities and mishaps.

Musings of a Country Parson

Just another small town preacher

Oratio + Meditatio + Tentatio

A theologian's pressure cooker.

Brent Kuhlman's Blog

A great site

Peruse and Muse

The musings of a student teacher


Ensuring young baby boomers thrive in today's workforce

St. Matthew Lutheran Church

Bonne Terre, Missouri

Priestly Rant

Just another site


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