Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Interview with Kathleen Franck

On the campaign trail, you run into many interesting people.  You start to recognize all the news reporters and camera-people, and then there are the familiar faces you see here and there and everywhere, and yet can't seem to place.  
Photos in this post are courtesy of Kathleen Franck.
One of those faces was that of Kathleen Franck.  Eventually she came across some of my photos from events she attended on Facebook and sent me a friend request.  "I know this lady," I thought, "but who is she?!"  It turned out we had both been at the same places to see Jeb BushMarco RubioDonald Trump, and Carlee Fiorina!  We finally met after listening to Ted Cruz in Waterloo.

Kathleen sent me some photos from her travels, and I thought, "Wow, this lady is someone I need to write about!"  When I asked if I could interview her, she responded with warm hospitality and invited me to her home.  All of the beautiful photography showcased in this post is the work of Kathleen Franck.
Hawaii: Outrigger Canoe
Interview
Q: Would you tell us a little about yourself?
A: I grew up on a farm about 20 miles west of Cedar Rapids near the little town of Newhall. From grades 1 to 8 (no kindergarten in those days!) I attended a Lutheran parochial school.  For the first three years, the school was in the country, and was moved to Newhall for grades 4 to 8.  Then I attended high school at Newhall, where I met Gordon.  He was a senior when I was a freshman, but we really didn't get acquainted that year, even though it was a very small school (I had 18 in my graduating class).  The year I was going to be a junior, he called me for a date, and we went out.  After high school I attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids and Cedar Rapids Business College before we were married.
 Gordon taught school for two years, and the first year we were married we lived in Cedar Falls.  He was finishing up at UNI, back then they called it Iowa State Teachers College.  He graduated after we'd been married a year, and then he taught school in Delmar, which is near Maquoketa, Iowa.  We lived there for a year, and I worked for a chiropractor.  Then we moved to Waverly, and he taught at Allison for a year.  And then I started working for a lawyer. I was a legal secretary for 40-some years--just kept working for different lawyers, and the last 16 and a half, I was at the county attorney's office at the courthouse.

Q: When did you first become interested in politics, and what motivates you to meet so many candidates?
A:  I had my picture taken with George W. Bush the first year he announced he was running.
That would be '99?
Yeah, I think so.  In fact, before that one time, Elizabeth Dole was in town, and somebody took our picture with her; so that's my oldest political photo.  Anyway, then I met George W. Bush.  I guess we've always been Republicans and interested in the candidates.  Four years ago when Mitt Romney was running, we went to some of his events, and it has just continued on from there.
Colorado
Q: Have you decided on a favorite candidate?  If so, why, and if not, what factors will guide your decision?
A:  I'm not real sure yet.  I guess I've eliminated a couple, but we have so many good ones running right now.  I hate to really say.  I mean we like Donald Trump and some of his determination to make America great again; I think that sounds good.  We like the Christian values of Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.  You know, they're all great people.  And Bobby Jindal, you couldn't find a nicer guy than Bobby Jindal.  Marco Rubio has a good message.

Q: What do you think is the biggest issue that the nation's facing right now?
A:  There are a lot of them.  I think the ISIS thing is very scary, and the way they're coming into this country, so I think closing the borders [is the biggest issue].  I like that stand of Donald Trump: he's interested in closing the borders.
Colorado
Q: What are some of the things you like most and least about each candidate?
A: That is hard to say.  Well, again about Trump, I think some of the things he said knocking down the other candidates--I don't like that mannerism, although it doesn't seem to have hurt him in his popularity.  And I think he has toned it down a little bit.  And, oh, some maybe aren't as strong on the immigration or the illegal immigrants; that would be one of the negative factors.  And Jeb Bush, I think they have a great family, and I love George W. Bush and his dad.  But Jeb seems to be kind of not as forceful and doesn't seem to have the fire that his brother did.
Hawaii (Clockwise from top): Sunset in Kauai, Napali Coast, Kona Sunset,  Black Sand Beach @ Waianapanapa State Park.
I remember we went to one George Bush meeting, but I was pretty young back then.  Have you seen Jeb?
Yes, I was at Gravy's Diner.  I think you were there too; I saw your picture.  Yeah, in fact it was on Jeb Bush's Facebook page.  Oh, your picture with him?  Yes, I was looking through it and I said, "There's me!" Oh wow!  And then the biggest surprise was when we were at Marco Rubio's when he was at Mudd Advertising.  I went up and had my picture taken with him, and then I spotted a friend from our church there, and we waved at him.  So the next Sunday in church we were talking, and he said, "Well, how did you like Marco Rubio?"  And I said, "Oh, well we thought he really was good."  You know, it seems like everyone we've seen, we like him the best.  And then we see the next one, and we like him the best.  Yeah!  We have the same problem!
Colorado (Clockwise from top left): Rocky Mountain National Park, a lake in the high mountains, Monarch Pass, and Ohio Pass Road.
But anyway, my friend from church said, "I didn't get my picture taken with him, but as I was leaving, a reporter from the Wall Street Journal interviewed me, and he was asking all about my World War 2 experiences.  I've tried to find it in the paper, but I haven't found my interview."  And I thought to myself, I'm going to look online and see if I can find a quote by him.  I first went to Wall Street Journal online, then to politics, then Rubio, and I opened it up, and there's a picture of me with Marco Rubio.  Oh wow!  You're famous now--in a national paper!  In the Wall Street Journal!   I've got it here; I'll show it to you.  I think he was signing a prior picture.
Colorado: Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Taylor Reservoir, Home in Crested Butte, Flowers & Bench in Crested Butte.
Oh, you made a scrapbook?!  Yeah.  I'm working on my first scrapbook like this.  Have you ended up in very many papers, or is this the first surprise?  Oh no, a lot of local.  I've been in the Courier several times, and the Waverly paper.  That is a smart idea to take the pictures for them to sign.  I've been doing that.  I have a whole folder of Newsmax magazines.  If they're on the cover I take that along.  And that's what I took to the Trump event.
Canadian Rockies (Clockwise from top): Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Kathleen & Gordon, Lac Beauvert, Flowers at Banff Cascade Gardens.
Q:  Historically whom would you say is your favorite president?
A:  I don't know.  I can't really decide.  I liked George W. Bush a lot, when he was president, mainly because I had met him, and I was more familiar with him.  I'm not the history buff that you are.

Q:  What advice would you give to a young voter?
A:   Young voters should look at all the issues and what candidates stand for, and decide what it means to them in their own belief system and values.
Alaska (Clockwise from top): Sunset, Denali National Park, Yukon Railroad, A Float Trip.
Q:  If we can change the subject, you're also a photographer, and you love to travel.  How did you get started with photography, and what are your favorite subjects to photograph?
A:  I always enjoyed taking pictures.  I was an only child, and if we'd go on a family vacation, I would always take the pictures, mainly because my dad wasn't that interested in doing it.  My mom wasn't interested either I guess.  And so I started early.  When we were first married, we didn't even have a decent camera.  On our honeymoon we borrowed my folk's camera.  We went to Niagara Falls.  And of all things, I forgot to take a picture of the falls!  I guess Hawaii would be my favorite place.  I mean you can't get a bad picture in Hawaii.
Hawaii: Whales
Q:  So what would be the most challenging photo you've taken?
A:  Challenging?  Whale watching.  You sit on the boat, and they're so fast.  You have to be ready, and it depends on how you have your camera set.  If you have to have that second delay, like on automatic (it focuses and then takes the picture), you've missed the whale.  So you have to have the shutter pressed halfway down if it's on that setting.  A lot of times I put it on the action setting for whales, and that works real well.  But they are so fast, so if you get a good whale picture, you're very lucky.
Alaska (Clockwise from top): Mendenhall Glacier, Caribou, Sea Otter, and Harbor Seals in Resurrection Bay.
Q:  What was your first camera?
A:  We've always had Canons, basically.  I really liked the one I had before we went to digital.  It was a wide-angle; the lens was built in, but it really zoomed out.  I loved that camera.  When digital came along I thought, "Oh, I don't want to give up this camera!"  And it took me a long time to be convinced to go digital.  I remember I went on a Panama Canal cruise with a girlfriend on a bank tour.  I bought 27 rolls of film to take along, and I used every one of them!  Then you had to worry about going through airport security--whether the scanner would ruin the film and all that, back then.
Hawaii
 And then you had to develop all those!  Oh yeah, it got expensive.  We met a couple from Canada on this cruise.  He was really into photography, and he had a digital camera.  And I was kind of to the point where I thought, maybe I should look into it, because my friend had a digital--one of the first ones (in 2004).  Anyway, this guy from Canada had done a lot of research on the best cameras, and what he came up with was the early version of the Canon Powershot, so that's what he got--and he loved it.  I followed his recommendation, and that was the digital one I bought.  I've gotten one or two upgrades since then.
Clockwise from top left:   Old Kahakuloa Village Congregational Church, Mokuaikaua Church, Wailua Church (HI), and Tin Cup Chapel (CO).
Well, I'm certainly glad I have a digital, because with the thousands of photos, you know it'd be terribly expensive.  I bet I have 50,000 on my computer.  We've travelled a lot.  I retired in 2003, and Gordon retired from John Deere.  (After he worked as a teacher for two years, he started at John Deere as a draftsman and worked his way up to designer, and he worked there almost 30 years, retiring in 1993.)  
Gordon with a model tractor he built from scratch.  He brought one of these with him for his interview at John Deere, and was hired on the spot.
Well then you're a green tractor person too, hopefully?  Oh yes!  
Canadian Rockies (Clockwise from top): Peyto Lake, Mt. Edith Cavell & Lac Beauvert, Lake Louise, and Spirit Island (Maligne Lake). 
Q: How many states and countries have you visited?
A:  Not too many foreign countries.  Of course Canada, but we haven't been to Europe at all, overseas, mainly because Gordon was reluctant to go.  He just didn't have any interest in Europe.  But we've gone to Canada several times.  On the Panama Canal cruise, we started out from Miami, and we had to stop at the island of Aruba.  Then we went to the Panama Canal,  and we stopped at Costa Rica.  We had about three Mexican stops before we arrived in California.

As far as states, we've never been to Texas, although the last time we came back from Hawaii, they routed us through Dallas-Fort Worth before we came to Des Moines, so we were at the airport there, but that's all.  That counts.   And it was dark; it was like 5 o'clock in the morning.  We saw lights of Texas.  You were there!  And I don't think we've been to Louisiana or Mississippi.  We drove to Florida sometimes, so we hit Georgia and some of those states, but I don't remember ever being in Louisiana or Mississippi.  We've been out east a lot.  We love New England.
Alaska (Clockwise from top): Glacier, Near Portage Glacier Visitor Center, Mt. Mckinley, and Float Planes.
Q: So what do you think would be your favorite of all the places you've visited?
A:  Hawaii.  And second favorite?  New England maybe.
Flowers in Hawaii
Q: What are your other interest and hobbies?
A:  I used to play the piano a lot.  I took lessons when I was a child; I could play hymns and popular music.  After we were married, I took lessons again for about 12 years and at that time really got into classical music.  I had a wonderful teacher, and we became very good friends.  We still keep in touch.  Another hobby is reading!  I always am into some book. I prefer Christian fiction.  Since I got my iPad, I've been able to download so many good books through Christian websites, and most of them have been free.

Q:  How has your Christian faith influenced your life?
A:  I would say being a Christian affects every aspect of my life, my attitude, thoughts, and actions.  As Christians, we are so blessed that the Holy Spirit brought us to faith, and we have the assurance that no matter what adversities we face in this life, we will one day spend eternity in our heavenly home.
Colorado (Clockwise from top left): Big Horn Sheep, Deer, Yellow Bellied Marmot, Deer.
Q:  What is your favorite quote?
A:  That would have to be my confirmation verse, Matthew 6:33, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."
Hawaii: Kahua Ranch at Sunset
Q: What is the best advice on life you can give in up to three sentences?
Always keep Jesus Christ in first place.  Live according to Christian principles.  Live with joy & confidence of the future.  
Many thanks to Gordon and Kathleen for their hospitality, and to Kathleen for sharing her story, views, and beautiful photography!  It's not everyday that I run into such interesting and talented people.

Linking with: Our World Tuesday, Wordless WednesdayGood Fences, Skywatch Friday,
 Saturday's Critters, & Inspired Sunday.

Thanks to my technical team, my mother Betty Carson and my sister Charity, for their assistance with this interview.

64 comments:

  1. Bethany, this is a wonderful interview. Kathleen is obviously a wonder and interesting person. Really well written and organized. I enjoyed it all!

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    1. I enjoyed my time with her! She is a wonderful person to interview.

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  2. This was an awesome interview! She sounds like such a lovely woman. Her photography is outstanding. I really enjoyed all her images, but I'm especially fond of the Kahua Ranch at Sunset. Wow! Your interviewing skills are wonderful, Bethany. Have you ever considered doing this professionally?

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    1. The photo of the ranch is one of my favorites, though it would be hard to choose an absolute favorite. Thank you Martha! I love blogging and all its facets--photography, community, the places I see, and the fascinating people I meet (and as in Kathleen's case, get to interview). If ever I noticed an opportunity to do something similar professionally, I'd probably consider it a very interesting possibility. (Sometimes I wonder if I should be more observant to notice more possibilities.)

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  3. She sounds like an interesting lady! Absolutely beautiful photography!

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  4. Good work Bethany. You're a gifted photographer.

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    1. The title of gifted photographer for this post goes to Kathleen, who graciously consented to share her stunning photography along with her interview.

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  5. Thanks for an interesting interview, Bethany. I felt I was learning through their experiences they shared with you, and I admire their talents...their political views for the Republican field this year echoes my impressions. I hear a candidate, appreciate some of their views, and think they might be the one...until I listen to the next candidate :)

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    1. Ha! That must be a widespread phenomenon. My family and I were thinking that we might consequently vote for the last candidate we end up seeing. It looks like the last candidate we'll see though may well be Hillary Clinton...so I think we'll be able to resist the urge. ;)

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  6. My mother sorta of met George W Bush during his 2000 election campaign. He stopped by a local over-rated but famous restaurant (which is typically for many candidates), she had a few pictures of it. He certainly had color in his hair. That's one thing about being president, you'll certainly go gray by the time your term is up

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    1. Very true. I might think twice before running for President when I'm older for that reason. It would be no fun to go gray before my time; though I guess the country should be more important than my haircolor...perhaps I'll consider making the sacrifice. ;)

      Neat that your mother saw President Bush!

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  7. Good interview, Bethany. I think it is fun the people we run across and meet on the highways and byways of life. Many of them certainly enrich our lives and it looks like she has made a wonderful connection with you. xo Diana

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    1. It is interesting to meet people while pursuing our varied interests. I really didn't expect to meet anyone except the candidates when we started attending events. But there are some pretty neat people out there interested in politics. I'm glad I was blessed to meet Kathleen.

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  8. Very nice interview, Bethany, and your photos are absolutely gorgeous! You look lovely, too. :)

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    1. The photos are in this post are Kathleen's. I do agree they are absolutely gorgeous. Thanks! :)

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  9. That's quite the interview! Nice that you were able to include Kathleen's photos in this post

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    1. Yes! I love her photography, and was so happy she agreed to share them. :)

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  10. Thanks for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/11/basilica-shrine-of-saint-mary.html

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  11. Hi Bethany, Wow, you did a really wonderful job with this post. Just an excellent interview. Seriously, you need to consider doing something like this professionally ... you sure have the knack for it. I love the way you integrated Kathleen's photos. She is quite a fine photographer ... many of her shots are "calendar" quality. (From one of your comment replies above I see that your favorite may be the Ranch photo ... I agree completely!) I found it fascinating that Gordon took one of his models to a job interview and got hired on the spot. Now that is pretty cool! In those last few questions, Kathleen sure gave some good advice. It is quite interesting how you and Kathleen connected through the campaign events. At the beginning of the post you showed the photos of Kathleen with the candidates. I found it interesting that she does not have one alongside Trump and he is the only one who slipped by you too. I think that says more about Trump than it does about you and Kathleen. (I wondered if you were watching the debate last night?) Thank you for sharing this excellent post!

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    1. Hi John,
      Kathleen was at the Trump event early, and stood for about 5 hours to be right up front and meet Trump. He signed her Newsmax magazine, and posed for a nice picture. Unfortunately though, the lady taking the picture did not push down the shutter all the way, and Kathleen didn't get a photo. Imagine how disappointing that must have been after standing 5 hours!! A few photographers/newspapers did get photos of Trump as he was walking by Kathleen, so she is in pictures with Trump, but doesn't have a posed one with him.

      Another lady I've met at a couple different events has a son who is Vice-President of the College Republicans at a college that hosted a Trump event this year, shortly before he officially entered the race. Trump was there early, sitting in a back room waiting for the event to start. His security let her in, and she and a few others got to sit and talk with Trump for 20 minutes! I think she must be one of the most fortunate candidate-watchers I've run into.

      Yes, I watched the debate--wouldn't miss it! If you stop back here to read this, have you been watching the debates, and if so, what impressions do you have from them? Thank you as always for your very interesting and thoughtful comments.

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    2. Yes, I have been watching all of the debates ... I'm just like you ... Wouldn't want to miss one. I have to confess that I did turn the Democratic debate last Saturday off a little bit early because it just seemed like all three candidates were saying the same things. Could it be that I wasn't hearing well? :-) In the earlier Republican debates I was delighted when some of the candidates called the media on their biased questions and just trying to ask those "gotcha" questions. As for the R debates, I think it is time to narrow the field so we can concentrate on those most likely to win public approval and thus votes. The downside to that is I'm so impressed with people who are so serious about helping this country get back on the right track and willing to do all this work just to get elected. We have an amazing system, don't we? Any yet it has run into some real problems in the last few years. I would love to sit down and share a cup of coffee with you and talk about this for a while. Alas, that probably won't happen so I'll just continue reading Today Liberty or Death to know your thoughts on all of this political process we are involved with. Lastly, thank you for your interesting and thoughtful comments as well!

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    3. Yes, the Democratic candidates have many similarities. I did love it when the candidates stood their ground against the CNBC moderators. I thought those moderators were pathetic. The FOX moderators at this last Republican debate were much better. It will be interesting to see which candidates are the last standing, but I think having so many candidates has made it very interesting so far. It would be neat to talk about politics with you in more depth, but at least I get some insight on your thoughts from your comments. :) Thanks for your response, and take care!

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  12. Hello Bethany, excellent interview! I also enjoyed Kathleen's photos. Thanks for sharing, enjoy your day!

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  13. you picked a wonderful subject, her photography is stunning!!! i'm sure it was thrilling!!!!

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    1. I know! And to think I was at four events she was at before I even met her! I'm so glad she reached out and connected with me on Facebook. I may need to be a little more friendly at these campaign events; who knows how many interesting people I am missing out on meeting?! Though I do think running into someone like Kathleen is a pretty special and probably rare occurrence.

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  14. Another interesting meeting. Interesting post

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  15. Wow, Bethany, what an amazing person you've met! Thank you so much for taking the time and sharing this interview with us. I loved reading it! And I'm blown away by these amazingly beautiful pictures Kathleen takes. I want to visit all the gorgeous places. Such an inspiring post! Thank you again :)
    Have a wonderful week! Lots of hugs to you,
    Beate

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    1. Ha! I had exactly the same impression when I first saw these photos. Where can I buy some plane tickets? ;) Thanks for visiting Beate. You have a beautiful week as well.

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  16. Great! Thanks for sharing the interview/pictures.

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    1. It was a lot of fun to interview Kathleen, and a real pleasure to look through the beautiful photos she sent me.

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  17. This was an interesting interview. She's quite a lady, and very talented with her camera too!

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  18. Beautiful photography. <3 Btw, Bethany, I don't know how you possibly managed to meet so many candidates. I don't think I heard of even one of them being in our general area. Anyway, do you know who you are voting for by now? I don't expect you to tell. :-) ~Lisa

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    1. Hi Lisa, Since Iowa is the first state to caucus, candidates spend a lot of time campaigning here and in New Hampshire, another early state. If you live anywhere other than IA or NH, it will be significantly more difficult to meet candidates. If you do live in either state, this website is very helpful in finding events. They do miss some though, so it's good to check news articles and candidate websites as well.

      I'm not sure yet whom I will vote for. I have two more candidates (Carson and Cogswell) whom I've already met and need to write about in the near future, and I plan to meet Democratic candidate Martin O'Malley next week. Still hoping Clinton makes it to my area, but it's looking bleak for catching George Pataki or Lindsey Graham. Anyway, after I've written about as many of the candidates as I can meet, I plan to disclose my decision on which candidate I'll vote for, as well as my reasons for arriving at that decision.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Thanks for the info. We live in CA. We will have to settle for getting our information via the internet and tv news. And of course informed people like you! :-) Have a great day! ~Lisa

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    3. Oh, you're Lisa, Paige's mom! I wasn't quite sure as I do have a neighbor named Lisa as well! Have a beautiful day! :)

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  19. Halo Bethany, what a great interview.
    I enjoyed the pictures of Kathleen.
    It has become a wonderful blog, thanks for sharing.
    Best regards, Irma

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  20. This sounds like it was a lot of fun for you and wow, great interview plus photos.

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    1. Kathleen is a very cheerful person, so yes, it was fun to interview her! Thanks Happy Whisk! :)

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  21. she sounds like a lovely lady. beautiful photography! she has a passion for life. and loved gordon and his tractor model. :)

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    1. I was impressed that he created his models from scratch!

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  22. Wow she sounds like a very interesting, well traveled and educated lady. - Her photos were just stunning. There were so many beautiful scenes that she shared. I enjoyed your post about her.

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  23. thanks for sharing kathleens' intoeresting story. Your photographsare amazingly beautiful.Love the whales and the other critters. Gorgeous reflections also

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    1. The photos are all Kathleen's. I do agree that they are amazingly beautiful...a feast for the eyes!

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  24. Great interview and amazing photos!

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  25. What an incredibly wonderful lady! Oh, Bethany I just loved this interview and learning more about her. But, her photographs are incredible! Such a fabulous post!

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  26. Great interview, and she's an impressive photographer!! Have a nice weekend.

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  27. This is a wonderful interview! I really enjoyed it.

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  28. Hi Bethany! Great interview with a remarkable lady and her husband. It is a real blessing to meet with people who do you good!
    Her photos are wonderful also, so thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. I am very glad I met them! Thank you for stopping by!

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  29. Hello Bethany, I am just stopping back to say thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

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    1. Thank you for hosting! Have a great week!

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  30. the pics are so clear. crisp. love the churches. what a fun trip, i felt like i was there. wish i was ... we love traveling. see new places. taking pics. etc. meeting new friends. chatting. have a lovely week & enjoy every single second. take care. ( :

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