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Cleaning Up the Mess

Here's 2019, a fresh new year, barely 12 hours old as I write this. What shall I do with it? Do some assessment of the old year, naturally, and make some resolutions for the new one. (I'm such a traditionalist!)

The midnight moment was marked in my neighborhood by the shooting of bottle rockets by the local teens. Leftovers from Fourth of July, no doubt, but no less bright and sparkly for that. I didn't have camera in hand, and the moment was so brief I didn't run to get it, either. Some things should simply be enjoyed, and I did. But just in case you want to see fireworks, I offer you a leftover of my own.

In reviewing the past year, I noticed that among my stock photos, one particular shoot has had more sales than any other. I have sunsets and flowers and beaches galore, but what really out-performs all of that? The pictures I took of the sanitation worker cleaning out my septic tank! No kidding!

(No, I'm not going to post them here. They're already buried in the archives.)

There's nothing particularly wonderful about those images. They are technically fine, of course; good lighting, sharp focus, balanced composition, etc. But what's really special about them is the fact that they exist at all. The stock agencies have pages and pages--hundreds of pages--of images of flowers and sunsets and puppies and all the other lovely things of this world. But a search for pictures of septic tanks turns up barely a page and a half. So my pictures of that nasty chore are chosen at least partly because there is a gap that they fill. Their sale helps fill a gap in my wallet, and the coin they bring shines just as bright as any other.

Moral of story: find a gap that needs filling, and fill it. Don't shy away from something just because it is unlovely. Tackle the unpleasant tasks. You'll be rewarded.

To all my family, friends, and followers: may you prosper and grow in wisdom, strength, and grace before God and man. Happy New Year!


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