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feetagMany thanks to everyone who has spent time here in my little corner of the Internet this year. This daily-photo project has provided me with some much-needed structure and accountability but, more importantly, it has enriched my life. I truly appreciate all of the kind words and encouragement I’ve received along the way.

I’ll be taking some time away from the blogosphere but will return to a regular, if less demanding, posting schedule soon.

Wishing you all much opportunity, growth and fulfillment in 2013.

Happy New Year!

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treesnowFirst off, if you’re new to this blog, welcome. For the second time this month, Instamatic Gratification has been featured in a WordPress blog roundup and to say that I’ve been happy about the dramatic increase in followers and blog traffic would be an understatement. This photo journal is important to me and it has been exciting to receive this recognition.

I had hoped to end the year on a creative high note, however, someone extremely close to my family died yesterday in an accident. The truth is that it’s now all I can do just to get the last three photos of the year posted. This image and the two that will follow aren’t my strongest but they are edited and ready to go. I do hope you’ll stick around until I’m once again able to give this blog my full attention.

Until then, please be safe out there.

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wireroThe holiday season may be the highlight of the year for many people but it’s the aftermath, the quiet and expectant lull between Christmas and the new year, that I look forward to. Even the cleaning and organizing that might otherwise feel like a chore are a welcome respite after the pressures of the past few weeks. And, cold though it may be, I’ve even managed to straighten up a bit in the yard, stopping for a moment to admire the sun glinting off of this rolled-up fencing material.

As for you, whether you plan to party or putter this weekend, I hope you have a good one!

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cageia2The warm glow pictured here might, at first glance, resemble a fireplace but it’s actually an extremely large, illuminated Christmas ornament in a birdcage of all things. Either way, it’s just the thing for what has turned out to be an extremely cold, dark, and quiet afternoon here in the mountains. For another perspective, in monochrome, check out yesterday’s post here.

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redvert5I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year. And thus I drift along into the holidays–let them overtake me unexpectedly–waking up some fine morning and suddenly saying to myself: ‘Why this is Christmas Day!

~ Ray Stannard Baker, pseud. David Grayson (1870-1946) American author, journalist

And so it is. To all who are celebrating today, wishing you a very Merry Christmas!