Moments – Kalebra Kelby
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Black and White, Featured, Moments, Things I hope my children will read one day

I want to be just like the woman at the donut shop when I grow up. 

May 8, 2016

When I was around 20 years old (and playing in a band full time) I would stop by the coffee and donut shop, near my apartment, after the gig.
You’d always find me and several other regulars there, night after night, winding down from our “shifts” with coffee and a donut.  

Or was that the reason we were there?

I knew that, for me, it was more about visiting with the woman behind the counter than it was for any coffee or donut—but oh the donut! The reason it was so good was because she knew I liked the maple glazed kind so, when she saw me coming in, she would grab one and put extra maple on it just for me. She’d greet me with a smile and a hug and tell me how happy she was to see me and then she’d always ask how the gig went. 

But here’s the best part.

She listened (really listened) to what I had to tell her. She’d laugh and smile her beautiful smile—I mean, who wouldn’t want that coffee and donut?! She made sure I knew I was special and she knew how special she was to me. Then one night, many nights into this coffee shop routine, I looked around the room and saw on the faces of others what I felt inside—welcomed and cared for—I mattered.
If to no one else, I mattered to her and so did they. 

I listened to her conversations with them, as much as I listened to my own with her. This woman. This wise and beautiful woman was in her own way…well, healing people and from the inside out. Over the years I watched from across the room as laughter erupted, tears fell and anger subsided. I don’t know what all the stories were about but I do know they were made better by her. 

One person. One beautiful, wise, kind and caring woman, really listening to people and making a difference in their lives.  What a gift! Making people feel…no, scratch that, making people understand that they matter and sometimes (by my observations) for the first time.
I felt privileged to watch it happen. 

I was reminded about those times, just the other day, as I watched my mother from across the room (just as beautiful as she was all those years ago in the donut shop) listening to my Yittle. Listening in that special way that she has always listened, and as I saw the look on my little girl’s face (a look I had seen on so many faces before) I felt privileged all over again. Privileged and grateful that my beautiful children have this beautiful woman in their lives to listen and listen well. 

Mom, in case I haven’t told you lately, you pour the best cup of coffee—ever. And, when I grow up, I want to be just…like…you.

Happy Mother’s Day—I love you. 


Kids, Moments, Nature, Things I hope my children will read one day

This is my favorite tree in the whole wide world!

March 16, 2016

I’m so lucky that it stands next to my house. I have watched this tree grow for the last six years and it is now over 20 feet tall. As winter fades, I wait for these beautiful blooms to overtake this tree and when I catch the first glimpse of flowers I am filled with joy! I become ecstatic to the point of silly. I know it’s to the point of silly because both of my children have giggled at me while I stand, under the branches of this tree, to let these happy blooms fall on the wind and all over me.

You see, one of the most glorious things about this tree is that, when the wind blows, the flowers fall all over the ground and create the most beautiful floral rug beneath it. Just looking at it makes me happy and just when I thought it couldn’t make me any happier…

My Yittle asked to go outside and play the other day and when I went to check on her I wound up finding her…on a small blanket with a book, paper and crayons and they were all sitting on top of that most beautiful floral rug. She was just sitting there, drawing, smiling and giggling as the flowers fell on and all around her. I have seen and felt real joy many times but this time has left an impression on me that I will never forget.

It is important to me that you see the tree behind these flowers for it is where happiness blooms.

Have a beautiful day everyone.

Black and White, Featured, Moments, Things I hope my children will read one day

Ready Dad?…

March 3, 2016

This single, simple, photo of my dad has caused one of the most enlightening moments of my life because as I have shown this photo to a few people with only the title, “Ready Dad?…” their reactions and comments have ranged from interesting to frightening to (in some cases) beautiful but regardless of the comments this accidental experiment has helped me have a deeper understanding of something.

Let me explain.

Recently, I have watched, read and listened to all kinds of people making all kinds of assumptions about a number of people and topics—all of which left me scratching my head as to how so many could leap so quickly with their assumptions, judgements or points of view but then (in a total coincidence) I started to show this photo around and it provided me with my answer (and also with the world’s loudest forehead smack)!

First, some reactions to the photo:

“Oh no, I remember when I had to ask my dad that question…did he know you? Did he understand what was happening?”

“Don’t do it! Don’t take him there! It’s an awful place and will not only kill his spirit but, eventually, it will kill him! You’ll regret it and he’ll hate you for it!”

“What hospital was he in?”

“Why was he in the hospital? Is he okay now?”

“I’m sure he knows you love him and you’re only doing what’s best.”

“My dad likes to play games on his phone too. That’s sweet.”

“Such a small suitcase. Why didn’t he take more?”

“Why wasn’t he ready? Playing on his phone?!”

“My dad and I don’t speak to one another. Was he ignoring you?”

I was blown away. With only this simple photo and two words as explanation, each of these people had completely written a story and that’s when it hit me (certainly not for the first time in my life but definitely a defining moment) that their reactions, assumptions and comments had absolutely nothing to do with me, my dad or this photo but everything to do with their own personal experiences. These were smart, loving, well intentioned people who were simply reacting to a reminder of something in their own lives. Wow. I thought I knew this but I didn’t really know this until now and I’m so grateful for having such a powerful reminder. I needed to know it (really) before I started to make my own assumptions about people and their assumptions. My head hurts a little, thinking about all of that, but I also feel lucky to have been given an opportunity to understand this more deeply and that’s why I’m sharing it with you today. I hope you also find it useful or helpful — I really mean that and nothing more.

Now, would you like to know the real story behind the photo?

The real story is that my awesome dad volunteered to make a road trip with me to get my son’s vehicle to him at college. It was a 10 hour (overnight) trip that I was looking at making alone and when my dad heard that he immediately volunteered to go with me.

We told stories, ate meals together (and with my son), laughed (a lot) and shared a hotel room—the one pictured here. My question of, “Ready Dad?” was me asking him if he were ready for me to give him the address he needed to put into google maps.

Oh, and one other thing I learned is that grandfathers will cover for their grandsons — especially when it comes to the cleanliness of a dorm room. 😉

Have a peaceful day everyone.

Make a difference, Moments

Why the caged bird sings…

February 26, 2016

Caged Bird


A free bird leaps

on the back of the wind

and floats downstream

till the current ends

and dips his wing

in the orange sun rays

and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks

down his narrow cage

can seldom see through

his bars of rage

his wings are clipped and

his feet are tied

so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings

with a fearful trill

of things unknown

but longed for still

and his tune is heard

on the distant hill

for the caged bird

sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze

and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees

and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn

and he names the sky his own

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams

his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

his wings are clipped and his feet are tied

so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings

with a fearful trill

of things unknown

but longed for still

and his tune is heard

on the distant hill

for the caged bird

sings of freedom.

Celebrating #blackhistorymonth and strong, beautiful, forces to be reckoned with, women.

Pairs well with “The Lark Ascending” by Vaughn Williams

Moments, Travel

Rain enough for two

January 21, 2016

I love the rain.💛 Especially on a date night stroll…somewhere, anywhere, in France. Hahaha!
Well, who wouldn’t love that?! 😉 Oo la la! 😉

Nice, France

Black and White, Featured, Moments, Things I hope my children will read one day, Travel

The edits I make are how I get you to sense me in my images.

January 8, 2016

 For me, editing an image is personal, no matter how much (or how little) is involved I hope to do it in a way that makes you understand how I felt in that moment. More than anything else, I want you to feel it.

“We ate well and cheaply and we drank well and cheaply and we slept well and warm together and loved each other.”
– Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Nice, France.

Featured, Moments

Wishing you all the Happiest of Holidays and a Joyous New Year!

December 23, 2015

🎄 Merry Christmas! 🎄

As sung by the Carpenters

🎼 Greeting cards have all been sent

The Christmas rush is through

But I still have one wish to make

A special one for you

Merry Christmas, darling

We’re apart, that’s true

But I can dream

And in my dreams

I’m Christmasing with you

Holidays are joyful

There’s always something new

But every day’s a holiday

When I’m near to you

The lights on my tree

I wish you could see

I wish it every day

The logs on the fire

Fill me with desire

To see you and to say

That I wish you Merry Christmas

Happy New Year too

I’ve just one wish

On this Christmas Eve

I wish I were with you

I wish I were with you

Merry Christmas, darlings 😉