Friday, December 9, 2011

Weekend Peek In #18

Welcome to Week 18 of my Share the Gift Double Kindle 3G Giveaway. Keep those entries coming. Next week, we'll learn who wins. Will it be YOU?

This week's Weekend Peek In question comes from a faithful entrant who regularly sends daily entries for more chances to win.

Do you have a favorite season?

Assuming we define season as one of four periods of the year--winter, spring, summer, or fall--I am blessed to live in an area that experiences each one. Each season brings its own blessings.

Many people in my area wish to flock southward at the first sign of frost, but experiencing winter without snow and ice would depress me. I love to bundle up on a frigid day, grab my camera, and head outdoors. Once my lens adapts to the cold so it stops fogging up, winter offers spectacular photo opportunities, like this one that I discovered in my holly bush in my own front yard:

Watching the earth come to life in the spring rejuvenates my spirit and offers an explosion of color for photography. I spotted this gorgeous shrub, a flowering quince, on a local street corner during a morning stroll:

Missouri's heat and humidity make summer my least favorite season, unless I am fortunate enough to travel to milder summer climates like the Rocky Mountains or my favorite vacation spot--Door County, Wisconsin. Despite my aversion to sweating, I still force myself outdoors during this time of year, especially after a summer thunderstorm. A soaking shower leaves much beauty behind, like this raindrop on lily grass, which again I found in my own front yard:

By far my favorite season is autumn. Fall foliage, crisp air, bonfires, apple butter, pumpkin bread, the Concord grape harvest, hayrides, and nature hikes--life doesn't get much better, at least in my neck of the woods. Need proof? Take a look at the beauty my husband captured on an autumn hike in Hawn State Park, near Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.

If we expand our definition of season, however, to include a period of the year immediately before and after a special holiday, Christmas trumps autumn for me. Celebrating my Savior's birth ranks at the top of my favorite things. I love to shop, wrap gifts, and decorate for the occasion. This year, our family will celebrate Christmas in our new home (new to us, at least), but here's our former living room after Santa's arrival on a recent Christmas Eve:

As Christmas 2011 approaches, take time to remember the reason for the season. Whether or not you win next week's Kindle giveaway, I encourage you to share your gifts--your material possessions, your talents, your spiritual joy--to enrich the lives of others.

What about YOU? What is your favorite season? I'm excited to see your answer in the comment section below.


  1. Because we live in hot and humid Florida, I prefer autumn when the weather is cooler and I can plant a winter garden. Hurricane season ends on November 30, we breathe a sigh of relief, and work more in the yard. We enjoy walking outside, taking trips to the local library or to the Staples store for small, easy to carry items. In the fall we enjoy the blessings of Thanksgiving and prepare for Christmas.
    Kaye Whitney

  2. I live in Northern Michigan. Near the Mackinac Bridge. We have all four seasons here. But may favorite is Autumn. I love the colors and aromas, sound of the fallen leaves underfoot.. Second would be Spring. I love watching the rebirth, smelling the spring air after a gentle rain.
    Winter can be beautiful with the first snowfall sparkling. Summer is great too but I don't like the heat. But just the same it is beautiful.
    We are truely blessed.
    I love the photos that you posted. Beautiful!

  3. Your Autumn photo of the park is breathtaking! This post definitely made me more homesick than I already am! While I love the sunshine and nice weather of San Diego, it never feels like the seasons change. Right now it is in the 60's and it doesn't feel like Christmas at all. I'm considering coming home for a visit in February just so I can get some winter pictures.

  4. Kaye, a few of my friends and I saw some of the damage Hurricane Irene did to the Bahamas this summer. Yikes! No wonder you breathe a sigh of relief at the end of hurricane season. Planting a winter garden sounds marvelous. Now there's a reason to head south when Midwestern frost arrives. Enjoy your Christmas preparations, and thank you for stopping by today.

    Wendy, I've been to Mackinac Island during summer (actually while Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour were filming Somewhere in Time), and it is gorgeous there. I've heard the Lilac Festival in the spring is spectacular. I'm glad you liked my blog pics, and I'm thrilled you shared your favorite season with us today.

    Heather, my husband is very proud of that shot. I love that trail along Pickle Creek at Hawn State Park. You're my kind of girl--seeking winter weather for great photography. WooHoo!!! I hope you're able to make that trip when the landscape is frosted but the roads are clear, and I look forward to seeing those pics!

  5. I love spring & fall. Spring after a long cold winter & watching the earth come back to life & fall after a long hot summer & seeing all the beautiful colors of the mountains. That's what I love about this part of the country NE TN.,we really can see, and I should add feel, the 4 seasons.
    Wilma Metcalf

  6. I live in South Carolina..both the South and the East!!! We are on the east coast and definitely a southern state!!! SC is a place of widely varying weather...right now it is frigid at night and high 50s to low 60s during the day...we never know what the day will bring. We are in the hurricane zone and also have a tornado season. I love Spring and Fall because that's when the colors shine at their best!!! Flowers everywhere!!! We have hot and humid summer days ranging up to 100 + and winter is totally unpredictable...we are often found in our shirt sleeves on Christmas day:) We have had frost on the ground the past couple of mornings and as I was taking my daugther to work this morning, we saw 7 deer of various sizes step out of the woods behind our house and walk out into the big field in front. When I got back, I photographed two perfect azalea blossoms on the bush by my sidewalk. Totally unexpected...that's life here in SC!!! Margie margie at mijares dot net

  7. Wilma, I've always wanted to visit the Smoky Mountains in the fall. I've been there several times in the summer, and it's beautiful then. I've also heard the mountain laurel is stunning in the spring. You certainly live in a beautiful part of the U.S.

    Margie, I was in South Carolina at the end of this summer. I was amazed to see palm trees there! It was hot then, but on our way to Missouri, temperatures took a nose dive as we drove through remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. How awesome to see seven deer at once near your home and even more awesome to have azaleas blooming in DECEMBER! That's unimaginable to this Midwestern girl. I'm so glad you stopped by to share that with us today!

  8. Diana,
    Your pictures are breathtaking! I,too,am fortunate to live in a four-season climate of the Northeast. Every season has its own beauty-Spring when the earth renews itself, summer when gardens flourish and days are carefree, autumn when the foliage radiates with color and the temperatures get cooler and winter for playing in the snow or nestling in front of the woodstove. I love every season but my absolute favorite is autumn where the days are "golden",cool,crisp. My best memories seem to come from this time of year- my wedding, the birth of both my children, starting a new semester in school with a fresh slate and new dreams, picking apples, carving pumpkins,laughing on hayrides by the light of a full moon and feasting on God's brilliant palette of reds,golds, oranges that adorn the trees. Breathtaking!

  9. Kathleen, reading your lovely description makes me long for autumn already, and winter has yet to officially begin. Oh, to return to those golden days ablaze with fall foliage! The season doesn't last long enough to suit me. You certainly have special memories attached to it--a wedding anniversary and children's births. Wow, you know how to schedule life's important events! Thanks for sharing with us here and for helping me reinforce my own cherished visions of autumn. Blessings to you.

  10. I would have to say the season we are in right now. As far as weather goes I would love some snow. The Christmas season is may favorite season regardless of the weather primarily because it is supposed to focus on Christ's birth and all that He has been to us and done for us.
    I also love the decorations, the preparation for the big day. The baking, shopping, family and friends. I really enjoy the hustle and bustle of it all also. Unfortunately, we have allowed ourselves to get caught up in the nonsense of Christmas and not the celebration of sharing Christ's love. We worry too much about whether someone is going to like the gift we got or the money we have spent.
    But it will be what we make it so we have the power to bring back the old-fashioned Christmas if we want it badly enough!
    Merry Christmas!

  11. Spring was Mom's favorite season and mine, too. I love the new beginnings after a cold winter. Fall is my next favorite season. Flowers in the spring, leaves turning in the fall. Both my favorite seasons. Blessings, BJ Robinson

  12. Pam, I would love some snow, too, and I certainly agree with you about putting the focus of Christmas on Christ. In our materialistic culture, we Christians need to be intentional with our motives if we participate in the hustle and bustle of the season. If we shop for gifts until we drop simply to please or impress recipients, we've missed the boat. If we decorate our homes simply to impress the neighbors, we're off target. But if we do these things to celebrate Christ's birth and sacrifice and to share His love, then we've hit the mark! As a platter I display with my holiday decorations states, "Jesus is the gift." Merry Christmas to you, and thanks for reminding us of the reason for the season.

    Barbara, spring is a perfect example of the awesomeness of God--how He takes brown, dead earth and calls forth life in fresh vegetation, brilliant blossoms, and newborn wildlife. The closer I look at a flower, how its perfect petals unfold from a tiny bud, the more I know God is God. Spring is an amazing season! Thanks so much for stopping by, and blessings to you.