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A Parade is such fun!  Here are a few scenes from Anderson’s Christmas Parade, held December 6, 2009…

Hope Defined

Anderson County Library

Marching Bands

Angels

TaTa Queens

Westside Rams for AIM

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11-11-09

 

Dear Lord,
Today we honor our veterans,
worthy men and women
who gave their best
when they were called upon
to serve and protect their country.
We pray that you will bless them, Lord,
for their unselfish service
in the continual struggle
to preserve our freedoms, our safety,
and our country’s heritage, for all of us.
Bless them abundantly
for the hardships they faced,
for the sacrifices they made
for their many different contributions
to America’s victories
over tyranny and oppression.
We respect them, we thank them,
we honor them, we are proud of them,
and we pray that you will watch over
these special people
and bless them with peace and happiness.
In Jesus’ name we pray; Amen.

By Joanna Fuchs 

 

 Source:  http://www.poemsource.com/patriotic-poems.html

Lovely hot air balloons invaded our lovely city this weekend for Balloons Over Anderson.   I LOVE seeing our skys dotted with the fun and colorful balloons.   Please join me in thanking the organizers and the sponsors for bringing this festival to Anderson!

Here’s a sampling of what we saw this weekend when we looked skyward…

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Today’s photo and commentary are only marginally related.  I’ve posted this photo before, back in February.  I wanted to post it again today because it matches my mood.  I’m feeling blue because the economy is bleak and people are hurting.  The unemployment rate is way up, job availability way down, and even families who have lived comfortably in the past are feeling the bite of this recession.  In Anderson, we’ve had at least four local restaurants close in the last month.  It’s disheartening to see this happen…to watch the demise of peoples life savings and their dreams.  And it saddens me to see even more people become unemployed.

If you follow this blog, you know that I work for a local non-profit agency called Anderson Interfaith Ministries (AIM).  Non-profits feel the bite of a tough economy too.  Although donations can go either up OR down in lean times, almost always peoples needs and requests for services rise.  And indeed they have risen!  At AIM, they are up 40% from last year, which was already up from the year before.

I work predominantly in the Hunger Ministries of AIM.  During the last two months we estimate that we’ve distributed food valued at $100,000.  We’ve seen nearly 1500 families through our food pantry and another 400 or more thorough Manna Distributions.  AIM’s Emergency Assistance program has spent $110,000 during this same two month period, helping people with needs such as rent, mortgage and utilities.  The Women And Children Suceeding program (WACS) has provided assistance in excess of $50,000.  This all totals up to a tremendous amount of money, and we find ourselves left with little to continue meeting the needs of those who need our services.

I’ve not lost faith though, and neither has Kristi King-Brock, AIM’s Executive Director who says, “God has sustained and BLESSED this ministry for over 19 years and I have the faith that God will continue to bless AIM.  However, we need your help.  Please pray for AIM, please give and ask others to give.”

Visit our website to learn about how you can help.  Call 864-226-CARE (2273) to speak with someone about how you can make a difference in the lives of hurting families.   afs

Oh BTW, today’s photo is of a portion of the stadium at Clemson University.  I originally named the photo “Moon Over Death Valley”.  Although it obviously does not feature a human face, it nicely portrays the face of this well-known and well-loved stadium.  I hope it counts, because I’ve entered it today in a photo challenge over at I ♥ Faces.  Take a moment to go check out my entry (#551) and all of the other “blue” themed entries.   And please, wish me luck!   😉

Lots of folks with the express intent of helping others were spotted out and about on a recent Saturday in Anderson.  Some folks passed out food packages at a Manna Food Distribution event.  More than 50 volunteers representing the sponsor, Andersonville Baptist church, as well as volunteers from the Girl Scouts and Americorp, came out to package and distribute food itms like potatoes, juice, lettuce, pickles, snack items, and more to families experiencing food insecurity.  Anderson Interfaith Ministries (AIM) facilitates a distribution each month on the second Saturday through local church sponsorships. 

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On the same Saturday, New Beginnings Ministries held a Community Day.  They invited local service agencies like AIM, the Anderson Free Clinic, Impact and others to set up informational tables for the benefit of the participants.  We all had an opportunity to meet people and to tell them about our agencies and programs.  The organizers made the day a fun experience for all.  They had music, fun games for the kids, free clothing and they even prepared lunch for everyone.  It was a great time for all and a wonderful way of serving the community.  New Beginnings Ministries is scheduled to host a Manna food Distribution through AIM in November.  I’m looking forward to it.

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Lastly, the girls below asked to have their photo made, and Mom said it was fine.  They’re sisters who are both obviously quite photogenic.  The younger of the two, sporting the oh so fashionable pink boa, was SO excited.  She led me over to another sister so that I could show her the photo in my camera.  I’ve posted it here because…well, because it’s just too cute not to share!   afs

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A homeless man recently died here in Anderson.  A friend of a friend.  It hurt to hear that this had happened.  It hurt even more to learn that he likely would be alive had he only been “rescued” hours earlier instead of “discovered” too late.  Unfortunately, homelessness lives in our own back yards.  Whether you see it or not in the course of your daily routes around town, it exists.  You might not recognize it if it doesn’t look like a tattered and tired “street” person sitting in a cardboard box under the viaduct.  Sometimes it takes another form.  Maybe it looks like a young Mother and her child who travels from family member to family member because she has no place to call her own.  Perhaps it’s the guy who sneaks back into work after everyone else leaves, so he will have a place to sleep.  Perhaps it’s someone you’ve passed on the street.  And you never knew.

Anderson University’s Baptist Campus Ministries teamed up with Family Promise to coordinate Homeless For The Homeless, an event to raise awareness and funds for homelessness in Anderson.  Family Promise is an organization committed to reducing homelessness for children and families in Anderson County by uniting local congregations through an Interfaith Hospitality Network to provide shelter, food, and the necessary tools needed for the families to regain their independence. 

The Homeless For The Homeless event began on Friday evening and ended on Saturday morning when Disaster relief of Spartanburg serves breakfast.  Overnight, participants lived the homeless experience…no electronics, no phones, no food.  Some slept indoors because of the rain, but some stayed outdoors as planned.  After all, homeless folks don’t have a choice when it rains.  While there, they took part in informational games on homelessness, fellowshipped with each other and worshipped together.  When “lights out” time came at midnight, it should have become even more real for them.  And quiet.  In their cardboard boxes.  Quiet enough to really think about what it’s like to be homeless and how they can help.  I pray they all had a rewarding experience and that they left in the morning even more fired up to fight homelessness!   afs

**also be sure to visit the Upstate Homeless Coalition’s site for more information on the state of homelessness in the upstate area of SC

09-18-09

participants as they begin to prepare their boxes for the night

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some of the many cardboard box homes for a night

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organizer Russ Bennett and others as they film participants

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participants as they were being filmed forming the word "HOPE"

09-06-09

Obviously my nephew Landon LOVES his ice cream.  And what lactose tolerate person wouldn’t!  After all, it’s cool, creamy, and filled with layer upon layer of delicious goodness.  Also obviously in the photo above, is the love that his mother Tasha (my sister) has for him!  

I learned this week that two downtown Anderson restaurants are closing because of the economy.  Sad!  But also a vivid reminder that we all need to support our local businesses at every opporunity.  Landon’s cotton candy ice cream is one of many flavors available in downtown Anderson at Koo Koo Ice Cream Depot, a great spot to visit with the family.  Read more about them in this previous post.   afs

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Meet Lucky, the newest member of our family.  We’ve all spent a lot of time this past week getting to know each other better.  Our other dog Spicey is having to make the most adjustment of us all.  She’s used to being not only the top dog, but the only dog.  She doesn’t seem to understand the concept of us multiplying our love, as she’d rather try her best to make us divide it between them.  She comes whether we call her or the puppy, seeking her share of whatever love there is to go around.  She’s a real love hog.

Lucky is too.  He’s also full of energy as are most healthy puppies and he like to play! play! play!  He’s forever underfoot, and it’s a wonder that he’s not been stepped on a time or two already.  He’s so small and mischevious and can slip into the smallest little hiding place.  He’s a Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie), a herding breed, who came into this world nipping at everyone’s heels.  If you visit, please don’t expect that your shoes will stay tied for very long!

Kellen really loves his little puppy and they’ve already become fast friends!  They look cute together in today’s photo.  We all have plans to attend some training classes together soon so we will know best how to train him.  We’re a little challenged right now with the training of this little furball.  We’ve never had a puppy before, so it’s not something we’ve ever done before.  Which I guess puts us all on pretty even ground, since Lucky has never before been trained.   afs

09-04-09

** Note:  it appears that Metropolis has closed.  I’m terribly sorry to learn this, especially after trying them once and falling in love with their pizza.  Yet another reminder for us to take every opportunity to lend our patronage and support to our local businesses while they’re still around

09-02-09

We found ourselves this past Saturday in downtown Anderson with my dad, my sister, and her two sons who visiting from PA.  We went downtown specifically to try out one of our newer restaurants, Metropolis Pizzeria.  Not even half a second after taking my first bite of their ‘white pizza’, I had a “what took us so long” moment.  It was SuPeR YuMmY DeLiCiOuS!  Kellen and his cousin Larry each ordered and enjoyed a personal pizza, prepared their favorite way, and soon after the first, the second selection for the adults, called “All In” was delivered to the table.   Just as yummy! 

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The owner, Devin Rubinstein, was the only employee on hand while we were there, but she handled everything in short order.  She took our orders, served our drinks, made our pizzas (she can toss that dough pretty high) and even brought some toys over to entertain my youngest nephew, Landon. 

If you haven’t already had the pleasure, I would highly recommend you take the time to visit Metropolis Pizzeria on the court square in downtown Anderson.  The ingredients are super fresh!  We know this becase we watched as Devin walked outside by the front door and snapped off some fresh basil to top off another couples pizza.  That couple, shown in the photo below with Devin, is Shayna Hollander of Shayna Bella Soaps and Fred Westerwelle of Fred’s Bread.  It was nice to meet them and to learn of their businesses that were both new to me.  I couldn’t find a link to more info on Fred’s Bread, so perhaps Fred will be in touch with a little more information after I email him.  I’ll let you know.   afs

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Everyday Eclecticism turns one today!  Blogging has been a wonderful experience.  I’ve met new friends, gained much knowledge, and had a great time.  I started out with a goal of posting a photo a day.  Although the rigors of everyday life have occasionally prevented me from adhering perfectly to this goal, I have been able to share more than 450 photos in 317 posts since the 23rd of August, 2008.  Doesn’t that ‘technically’ mean that I surpassed my goal?  I’d like to think so!  🙂

To celebrate this FIRST BLOGIVERSARY, I’m sharing the first photo I posted on August 23, 2008, and several other of my favorites from the past year. You can see all my photos by visiting the archives to the left.   afs

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Thanks for visiting! Enjoy today’s photo and if you have time, scroll down to see previous photos dating back to August of 2008. Nothing fancy, just everyday bits of my life and the lives of those around me. Please say hello or leave your comments by clicking “comments” above any photo. I post a new photo every day, so bookmark me and visit often!

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