Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Children

Tripping out at the Zoo | Photos

Yesterday we joined at least a zillion happy children and their caretakers at the Philly Zoo. The weather was great, so the Zoo was the place to be! If it were polite to take pictures of children’s faces, this post wouldn’t have a single zoo animal in it. Nonetheless, as we were leaving the grounds, we passed a group of children sitting on the edge of the fountain just inside the entrance. All dressed up for a day at the Philly Zoo!

As you know, D takes the photos, and I get to pick my favorites to share with you. So today it’s almost all about Zoo animal faces. I often wonder what’s going on inside animals’ heads. As in, “Who orchestrated this bizarre parade of human beings for us today?”

Here are some of their faces, beginning with a squirrel monkey watching everyone coming through the front gate. Plus a few photos of his/her small furry relatives.

Here’s an unlikely assortment of water-lovers, beginning with an otter. Note its sharp little fangs! Followed by penguins luxuriating in their brand new digs–which includes cool, clear water. Chilling out. Followed by a behemoth hippo that’s also a graceful floater. And, of course, a lovely trumpeter swan.

The Zoo recently welcomed a new baby giraffe. Here he is, checking out Zoo visitors, followed by a few more large animals that thrive in summer heat–as long as there’s a watering hole nearby.

Finally, four photos I like just because of color, faces, feathers, fur and/or general quirkiness.

Here’s to a cool weekend for all creatures great and small! Including you, unless you’re pining for more heat.


©Elouise Renich Fraser, 24 August 2018
Photos taken by DAFraser, 23 August 2018, at the Philly Zoo

The air of early August

Sights and sounds of life
Fill this morning’s dense humid air
Gray and white clouds sail across blue sky

Gentle breezes persist
Carrying the voices of children
On a mission in the park
Earnestly they discuss strategies
For climbing the maple tree
Towering above them

A woman heavy with child
Drops off a friend heavy with back pack
And her young toddler eager
To climb steps on the playground gym
Preparing for those Mt. Everest trees
Waiting on the perimeter

All of us serenaded
By a chorus of birds and cicadas
Rising and falling in concert
On the air of early August

Just a few observations from my morning walk. Plus a downloaded photo of a butterfly bush plus butterfly. I walk by butterfly bushes nearly every day. Lots of lovely blossoms, but not many butterflies yet.

Being a sometimes teary sort, I’ll admit to getting the sniffles when I saw children playing in the park. A reminder of how quickly life comes and goes, taking us with it.

I don’t know if there’s a secret to living with joy and gratitude. I am, however, certain butterflies and children can show me the way when I’m willing to have a childlike heart. Which is all I’m asked to have in the presence of the One who knows me best.


©Elouise Renich Fraser, 3 August 2018
Photo found at



eyes smile
reach out


She was about 10 or 11 years old,
quiet and a bit hesitant.
Though we’d never met, we shared a past.
Not together, but separately.

I’d just told the story about my childhood
to a group of adults and children.
She cried during part of it,
leaned  over and said something to her mother. Read the rest of this entry »

Faculty Wife | Part 19 of 19


Today’s photos bid a fond farewell to my Faculty Wife series (fall 1969 through July 1973). Here’s our son in 1970, sound asleep shortly after we brought our daughter home from the hospital. D’s Mom gave him Big Bear, just after his sister was born. He was an instant hit. He and FuFu, hiding beneath Big Bear’s head, always understood and agree with our son, not with us.

Every now and then our daughter got to play with FuFu. Here she is in 1971, intent on getting into a doll bed with FuFu who has just fallen out. You can see FuFu is already wearing out from all the love. Note: I didn’t make or buy the ruffled dress. It was a gift.

1972 Mar Sherry with Foofoo trying out a bed too small 2

In 1972 we traveled to Ft. Smith, Arkansas for a small family reunion with D’s Mom. It was held at her Dad’s home. Here’s a photo of the women and children who came: D’s great-aunt, his Mom, me, his sister, one of his aunts, our son and daughter. Four generations dressed in multiple fashions and hair styles. The three oldest women are now gone. D’s aunt is holding her camera.

1971 Sep Aunt Edith Edith Cathy Elouise Dorothy with Scott and Sherry in Arkansas

That day we went to a park, and our son got to take a train ride with Grammy! Great fun for both, as you can see.

1971 Sep Grammy Edith and Scott on a train

Now we’re back in South Carolina, in our back yard. It’s summer 1972 and unbearably hot. This calls for lots of picnics in the back yard in the late afternoon. Here’s our son taking a supper-snack break from playing outside.

1972 Scott and the Got Milk ad origin

Note the beautiful blue-flowered casual dining plate. Also the price of bread–4 loaves for $1.00! And don’t miss our teak-handled salad servers. A wedding gift. We still have them and I still use them. One more thing. I see our son has dirt in his elbow creases and generally all over himself. Possibly from the sand box in the back corner of the yard–which you can’t see. I don’t know what those pipes are on the ground; I think D was putting something together–perhaps the swing set.

It’s early summer 1973, our last summer in South Carolina. We’re down in Savannah for a last visit with my Mom and Dad. Of course we had to bid farewell to Tybee Beach. Always a hit! And always A-OK!

1973 Jul Beach Joy2
1973 Jul Different depths for different ages at the beach

In July 1973  my parents, plus Diane and Clay with their first son arrive for a last visit before we move. Here we are, standing around in the front yard.

1973 Jul Diane Clay and Chris Eileen Sherry and Elouise at Columbia SC house

Short skirts are in! So are shift-like dresses. I made mine, as well as our daughter’s outfit. I’m certain Diane made hers. It’s shocking to realize that only 9 years earlier the Bible College wouldn’t allow women’s knees to show. Nor did they allow women to wear shorts or blue jeans.

Finally, for the record, someone (Diane? My Dad? D’s camera on a tripod?) took an informal family picture of us in the back yard. Was this a way of marking the welcome end of our cultural isolation from the rest of the world? Actually, D says we were already one hip family! I totally agree. California, here we come!

1973 Jul Family portrait getting hip

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 16 November 2015
Photo credit: DAFraser, and whoever took the last photo

Photos melt my heart | Photos #4

1972 Jan Bryce Canyon Scott

It’s summer 1972. We’re still on our road trip from South Carolina to the West Coast and back, one year before we leave the Bible College.

The photo above shows Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. Our son seems to think Read the rest of this entry »

Faculty Wife | Part 16

1972 Oct Columbia Bible College Sherry and Scott not to be fed

What’s a Mom to do? I empathize with park authorities who post signs like this!

Spring 1973. Things are heating up. Most days I’m not on the Bible college campus. I come when I need to. Usually for social events or occasional appointments. Now that our son and daughter are older, Read the rest of this entry »

Faculty Wife | Part 15

1972 Oct Cowboys Blocks and Trucks

…Keeping the home fires burning. That’s my hat, not yours! October 1972

By summer 1972 D knew things might not work out for him at the Bible College. I wasn’t sure they would work for me, either. Read the rest of this entry »



inauspicious death
haunts her widow soul
her mother heart

children don’t die
before their mothers Read the rest of this entry »

Photos melt my heart | Photos #2

1972 Aug Travell'n in style Scott and Sherry

Our two chipmunks at a rest stop somewhere in Texas, waiting to be fed! 1972

As noted in my last Faculty Wife post, our Bible College days were numbered. In 1972 we took a road trip across the States. Among our planned destinations was a seminary in California. D was considering his options, in case we decided to leave the Bible College.

But how would we travel safely with our young children? In the early 1970s most car seats for children were worthless in an accident (according to Consumer Reports and photos).

Of two acceptable options, one was the Sears Safety Harness. It was a bargain at less than $15 per harness. Among other things, it allowed children to move around and lie down to sleep during long trips. You can see the harness here, on our daughter (scroll to last photo).

It took a while to install the two anchor straps around the back seat. But when we attached the harnesses to the anchor strap, the harnesses moved easily up and down the strap. We put our baby crib mattress across the back seat of the car, put the harnesses on our children and hooked the harnesses to each anchor strap.

Voila! Not only could they move around and lie down to sleep, they could see out the windows–just like the grownups! They could NOT stand up and they would NOT be thrown forward or sideways far enough to hit their heads.

Take a look:

1972 Oct Scott asleep in the back seat with safety harness on 2


1972 Oct Scott with safety harness on


1972 Oct the backseat traveln bed set up Scott and Sherry

Do these photos make my heart melt? Absolutely! I loved having our children free to play games, sleep, look at books, watch the scenery or whatever else their hearts desired.

This road trip and others like it are among my favorite memories. Even though we had occasional melt-downs, these were great adventures.

Here we are in Bryce Canyon. I think this was our daughter’s first introduction to Bartlett pears that I hadn’t already cut up and put in a small bowl. She’s likely thinking something like this: ‘Do I have to get my hands and face messy?’

1972 Jan Bryce Canyon Elouise and Sherry to pear or not to pear
Our son’s eyes (see below) crack me up! Learning by example? This may be one of the most enjoyable lessons he ever had, or that I ever offered. As always, he’s ready to chow down, mess and all! Fashion note: I’m wearing one of D’s shirts under my tank top. It’s a bit cool outside. Also, just above, don’t miss the hip blue jean decoration I sewed onto my jeans and D’s (see last photo).

1972 Jan Bryce Canyon Scott and Elouise chowing down on pears

Finally, my beautiful hairy beast husband (It’s summer and we’re not at the Bible College!) with our sweet children at Bryce Canyon’s Inspiration Point. A fine setting for the three people who inspire me more than any others in the whole wide world.

1972 Jan Bryce Canyon David Sherry and Scott

That’s all for now, folks!

To be continued….

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 15 October 2015
Photo credit: Elouise (Inspiration Point photo); DAFraser (all others)

Photos melt my heart | Photos #1

1969 Jun Scott Trip to Beach

Photos melt my heart. Especially when they capture someone I love in a moment of truth. Read the rest of this entry »

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