What's In A Name

What’s in a name; thoughts behind a title.

Skies over restored mesic prairie at Chicago Botanic Gardens, copyright 1991, Pamela Breitberg
Skies over restored mesic prairie at Chicago Botanic Gardens, copyright 1991, Pamela Breitberg

Miracles Respectfully Preserved is the name of my blog and my miniature business, my very miniature business. I made a whole $28 royalty last year, which was a wonderful surprise to me when the 1099s came in the mail. I was a person with “royalties”. This was one minor miracle. Wealth was not the incentive behind these ventures, instead it was honoring my family’s desires that I “do something more” with my nature photography. My loving parents and husband relentlessly encouraged me to share.

First, a little background: For twenty-six years, I was a professional portrait and wedding photographer, of which twenty-two years co-owned an upscale studio with my husband. We closed a studio that succeeded in a loyal reputation of quality portraiture and caring service yet never prospered financially. Nature photography was my personal passion allowing me time outdoors and opportunity for creative play with my skills. Nature and photography continue to renew me.

With the support of my father, I made a book of my “New Beginnings” prairie images collection. Over a two-year period at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, with the aid of a naturalist, I became a part of the prairie. I photographed the prairies over each season, each time of day, under all types of weather. The book began with the forty-five images chosen for an exhibit at the garden celebrating their in-progress prairie restoration work, and included a few other images that supported my words about this unique experience. The book was published twenty years after photography; a miracle.

I labored over a name for my potential new business in the case that someone other than family and friends would have an interest in my book or photographs from the exhibition. It was relatively soon in the name-seeking process that I realized the blessing this experience was for me. It brought me closer to my parents, both strong supporters of my talents. For these otherwise non-verbal supporters, both my parents were outwardly telling me I was special. A miracle. Observations of nature’s renewal and survival and adaptations revealed miracle upon miracle. It soon became obvious to me that in God is where I would find the name for my photography sharing. For several weeks, while attending church, I sat in the pew and wrote lists of possible business names. I am almost certain that the pastor was distracted a few times when spotting me busily writing during his sermons.

Miracles Respectfully Preserved says concisely my thoughts of my nature photography, and for that matter, my photography of any subject. The experiences of being close to nature and the resulting photographic images have been blessings for myself, which I graciously share. I have found a way to be my quiet self and still share my deep awe of God’s blessings.


  1. Pamela, have you researched the proposed prairie memorial work at Oak Forest Hospital Heritage Preserve? Did they ever manage to implement the plans? During my recent geology research, I discovered that my great grandmother and her second husband, had not simply disappeared into space. They were both listed on the poorhouse registry at Dunning in 1930 and she was on the records of Oak Forest at the time of her death (around 1934-35). He was still at the Dunning property, listed as dementia, widowed, so he outlived her by at least 10 years. I have no outside records of their deaths, and believe both of them are among the unmarked graves of these sites. I’m sure you can imagine my horror of finding this discovery, learning my family had covered it up … she had 5 living children, all married home owners at the time. Because she was my mother’s namesake, she is the link in my family history, the chain of events that set off what still plays forward to this day. It’s amazing how one event can tumble forward, change future events without leavening a trace, and continue 90 years later to effect me. At least now I have the most likely answers for the whys and hows. And it may all come back to rest on a prairie. I’ve been walking out into my own backyard prairie the last couple of weeks and wondering, were they able to do that? Walk out at night and listen to the peeper and the crickets? Look at the stars, see the Milky Way. Or were the door locks, the windows bared, and the outside world forever lost to them? Thanks for any answers you might have.

    • I’m sorry I can’t help you; I am unfamiliar with this prairie. I find the few keepsakes I have of my great grandparents to more and more dear to me as time passes. It is wonderful that you have found this information about yours; to have some answers or insights is calming. Don’t quit your research; there may be more information somewhere waiting for your discovery.

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