December 11, 2015

Blog Post #5300

I'm using the Willy Nilly Friday format of posting five random pictures. I'm also sharing with Skywatch Friday and Orange You Glad It's Friday and a new German linkup,  What Happened in Your Surrounding This Week

1. I miss autumn! It was beautiful and the days were still long enough to enjoy. Now it gets dark around 5 PM, and there isn't enough sunshine now to lift my mood.

Typically I feel a sense of sadness this time of year, especially around the 11th of December. Today was the birthday of a sibling who died too young. Even though that was around 30 years ago, it's still a loss that isn't forgotten.

2. My Canon camera has been repaired the second time, still under warranty. They noted that the zoom was "binding" and that sounds like the right diagnosis to me.

I tested the camera yesterday, zooming in and out and in and out. I even took a few selfies, which I don't do very often. Here's the one I like best.

3. Here's a version of the General Lee parked near Sperryville. I wasn't a big fan of the "Dukes" and I'm not a big fan of the Confederate flag that's flying in this picture. I don't mind it in museums or at re-enactments because there it's in historical context (and there you're likely to see a more accurate version of the flag). I realize that the Dukes used it as a symbol of rebellion, as is done by a lot of "good ol' boys" who don't have the maturity to understand the racist meaning of the flag. The Confederate flag was basically retired 150 years ago as the nation worked to heal the wounds of the Civil War.  It wasn't displayed much until the 1940's when a segregationist political party adopted it. It was also used by the notorious Ku Klux Klan and is now associated with the Klan in movies. 

Never mind that this flag was not the official symbol of the Confederacy anyway. It's use by Hollywood and by segregationists made it synonymous with the Confederate cause in the minds of most people. As such, it makes me uncomfortable when people display it. Are they racist? Are they reckless young men who want to distance themselves from authority, like the Dukes of Hazzard? I can't tell but I cringe when I see it!

4. Speaking of General Lee, check out this cute puppet! I left part of my fingers in the picture because, after all,  soldiers are always puppets. Even a highly talented officer like Lee was controlled by the politicians, which he would have admitted. It is the soldier's job to carry out the plans of those above him. 

5. I mentioned my sad mood in the first item and I admit I've been irritable too. You know, instead of asking why someone is depressed, why don't we ask why other people aren't? Our world is in a precarious state, what with glaciers melting and oceans rising and pollution killing people and animals, and wars of all sorts.

Let's suppose for a minute that sadness is a normal state, given the problems around us. What is the magical substance that makes people happy in spite of all the horrible things going on? Is it a delusion to be a pollyanna instead of a realist? Or is it a gift that gives us the strength to do better?


  1. There is a movement that focuses on why people are not depressed or mentally ill called'positive psychology'. It includes theorists like Abraham Maslow. I think the shorter days are a little hard on most of us. I like your finger puppet!

    1. Very interesting. I read something by Maslow way back in high school. We were introduced to his "hierarchy of needs."

  2. We have been surprised at the number of people we've heard of who have lost an adult child or sibling. Now that six months have past since our son died, i'm finding myself more and more positive. Part of it is knowing that it's what he would want. Part of it is believing that if we're positive we can do more to work for good in society. I'll add you to the list of bloggers i think about when i think of Will.

  3. I've lost two siblings, one who drowned when I was a baby, the other some years ago to cancer. It's a loss that doesn't really go away.

    Confederate flags, I think, in all forms, belong in museums or for re-enactors, but in other respects, people should have the basic decency to take the Stars and Bars down.

  4. Your comments about the 'Confederate' flag are spot on!
    We lost a teenage grandson almost 5 years ago to the day... I can understand your feelings [and those expressed by others]; you never forget.
    What Canon model and lens do you have? Hope your problem is solved for good....

    1. Thanks. It's a Powershot G16, a fancy point-and-shoot.

  5. i am so sorry linda, i hope you were able to get through your difficult day with some happy memories...when the dukes of hazard movie came out my boys loved it and i bought a remote control general's been in packed up in a box for a few years and when all the hub-bub over the flag started and the makers of the toy gen lee said they were removing the flag off the top of the car i pulled it out and told the boys, save this! it might be worth something one day! i'm from california so i really can't chime in about the flag but my husband had gg grandfathers that fought on both sides and their children really was brother against brother...thank you for linking linda and i hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

  6. This is a fascinating post, with such a variety of subjects that caught your attention. Though you are understandably sad about the way-too-soon loss of a sibling, the fact you remember so poignantly 30 years later says much about the strength of their personality. As for why we aren't depressed, I sort of addressed that in my way-too-long post this week. All the best to you!

  7. This post is packed full! :) Beautiful shots of the fall leaves and the cloud-filled sky. I really like that selfie of you too. This time of year brings me down sometimes too. The days seem to be so short and so dreary and gray. Another week and the days will start back in the other direction and make progress toward being longer and sunnier again.

  8. This morning I saw a Confederate flag waving freely in the countryside. The owner had moved it from the road to farther back on his property, but it is visible. Does the owner fly it because he think he's independent? He's self-righteous? He owns up to being a racist? He's ignorant? I don't know. It made me wary about being there but it did not stop me from taking photos in the area.


The View from Squirrel Ridge features thousands of views of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding area. I post frequently so please visit often.

Your comments are appreciated. If you are responding to a post older than a few days, your comment will be held until we have a chance to approve it. Thanks for your patience!

Sorry, anonymous comments cannot be accepted because of the large number of spam comments that come in that way.