‘Adieu, Meander! Bonjour, Close-Up!’

Close-Up #1 Saturday 5 August 2017   Goodbye Meander. Hello Close-up. There’s nothing earthshakingly important about the change of name for my blog series.  It’s just that 12 posts seemed long enough for the former. The overall title remains the same: “It’s About Now. Past, Present, Future, Live It Now.”

In the Close-Up series, I’ll keep focus on people, share excerpts from reading, land a few quips, offer brief reflections, post pictures–all to find value from the past and hope for the future to live out in the present.

Featured photo: The historic Nasby Dam, hidden away off the beaten path in LaGrange County.

A loved one passes

We were saddened today to learn that our friend Shirley Troyer died in her sleep last night in Corydon, Indiana. (See Meander #11, 22 July, for an account of our visit with Shirley three weeks ago). Shirley reached the ripe age of 100 last February. With her immediate and extended family we mourn her passing and express our gratitude for her journey and now eternal glory in God’s reign.

A ‘sluice’ of history from LaGrange County, Indiana

The first set of photos are from our visit yesterday to the Pigeon River Fish and Wildlife Area in LaGrange County, Indiana. The Nasby Dam, is said to be the only “v” dam in the country. it was one of several dams once used to generate electricity. The river is named for a Potawatomi leader, Chief Wahbememe, known as Chief White Pigeon. who died in 1830 shortly after running 150 miles from a chiefs’ gathering in Detroit to warn the settlers of a planned raid. This southwestern Michigan village of White Pigeon is named for the chief. As we left, sand-hill cranes took flight.

Though an overcast day, this sunflower at Nasby Dam stood among the few that did look up.
This field of sunflowers did what sunflowers do, wait for sunshine to help them raise their heavy heads.
The Nasby “v” Dam Reservoir on the Pigeon River once was used to generate electricity.

Other close-ups from the week

Blueberries anyone?

Blueberries from our go-to-already-picked farm near South Haven, Michigan.

A carload of us tooled to South Haven, Michigan for a look-about, lunch, and blueberries and peaches. And, oh yes, Sherman’s ice cream. Mmm, Mmm!

Coffee anyone?

For the first time we tried the East Timor Tatamailau single origin roast from Starbucks. The beans are grown in the forested backyards of farmers near East Timor’s tallest peak, Tatamailau (4,125 feet). The dark roast  proved satisfyingly true to taste.

A story in the bag notes: “Legend has it a crocodile transformed himself into an Island to forever nurture the people of Timor. His ridged back became the sacred mountain Tatamailau–this coffee thrives nearby.”

I appreciate that Starbucks helps support the farmers and their families in East Timor by buying much of the Island’s annual coffee production and Investing in health clinics for local communities.

An untitled prayer

I recently came across and conclude with a prayer I wrote about 20 years ago for an Anabaptist communicators annual meeting in Indianapolis.




of all time,

Show us daily

The way to walk as

Beings and bearers of

Your truth, peace, and love.

Our time is so short on reflection,

so long on lurching forward.

Our time is so short on really living,

so long on just being alive.

God who graces every moment

Rekindle the fire within

That renews us for the

Life-long journey

Of your reign.

Glory to


–John Bender

Even a thistle sports a showy head




One thought on “‘Adieu, Meander! Bonjour, Close-Up!’

  1. Hello John,

    Hello, “Close-Up”! We are sorry to hear about Shirley Troyer…I remember your post in July where you told about your visit with her in Corydon.

    I grew up in LaGrange County but never saw the Nasty Dam. Interesting story about Chief White Pigeon!

    Monty & Ginger

    PS: The thistle at the end of your post reminds me that even prickly things have a beauty all their own.



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