Amid the traffic and trouble, the whirlwind of everyday life, slowing down to relax, reflect, and renew will not just automatically happen. All the more reason to make time for these important ingredients in a healthy, happy life. Ideally, each day includes time made just for...Read More
Balance for Your Life & Rhythm for Your Days
What better way to celebrate our wonderful country and our freedom than having an extended holiday with our kids and grandkids?
The first night we were solo at the cabin, the peaceful countryside summarized by this placid sunset.
But then the troops arrived, and the games began!
Little Angel Monkey painted on the porch. . . and painted the porch itself at times.
No high-tech gadgets were needed for entertainment. Something as simple as a coffee can, a couple of plastic shovels, and an endless supply of rocks provided loads of entertainment and yielded two dirty little tykes.
Hot dogs and burgers on the grill and lots of other goodies painted our holiday red-white-and-blue! A mighty fine Georgia Peach Cobbler, topped with vanilla ice cream while still warm, rounded out a day packed with fun and treats. (This recipe is so easy to make that it could become dangerous. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because it reminds me of my mama’s homemade peach cobbler. Yum!)
Meanwhile, Angel Monkey worked on her yoga poses and built strength to use against us later.
Long walks, lots and lots of porch sitting, cows, hummingbirds, and fireworks filled our days and nights. Little Dude loved to lie on a chaise lounge on the porch at night, snuggled under a very soft blanket and watch the lightning and the fireworks put on a major show.
But then the little booger, who appeared to be relaxed and about to drift off to Slumber Land on the porch, rallied with his little sis, and the assault on the grown-ups began. They showed their grandparents no mercy! Here Angel Monkey and Little Dude body slam Chops. I’m surprised he could walk the next day!
To add insult to injury, that innocent looking little girl smiled sweetly at Chops, but then . . .
Little Dude was a bit kinder in his farewell hugs and kisses for Chops.
We all survived somehow, and now the grown-ups know to be prepared next time! Those two are sneaky, strong little devils!
Besides good food, fishing, fun, and fireworks, we shared lots of love and made special memories. And we laughed really hard!
Our Fourth of July spent at Blessings, our cabin, reminded us once again just how very blessed we are to live in this wonderful country and to enjoy our freedoms however we choose! We are thankful to all of the men and women who have served our country in countless ways.
Let Freedom ring!
How did you spend your Fourth of July holiday, or if you don’t live where the 4th is celebrated, how do you spend special summer holidays? Let me know in the Comments below.
One of the main things I’ve learned in June is that “Done is better than perfect.” It’s late. I’m tired. June’s almost over, and I’m about to be away from an Internet connection. But I wanted to participate in this link-up started by Emily Freeman at “Chatting at the Sky.” I want it to be “done.” So here goes, my list of Things I Learned in June.
1. Done is better than perfect. I can drive myself nuts messing with details trying to get small things just right. Then I wind up frustrated, and sometimes the big things go undone. I could fret about this post for days. Or I could just do it. Right now.
2. Fear can be conquered, or at least pushed around a little. Always one to have a fair share of anxiety, I’ve seen mine escalate in some areas, especially regarding striking out on my own on a long road trip. I’ve now logged 1,700 miles–solo–and I feel much less anxious, more confident, and freer.
3. Speaking of fear, on one of my trips I learned that I can drive down my cousin’s driveway and not have cardiac arrest. This may sound like no biggie, but take a gander at her driveway! It’s really worse than this photo shows. You should be at the top and look down because it’s like that point on a roller coaster when you lose all sense of perspective since you can’t see the ground. You just have to floor it and sail over the edge, praying you don’t take a dive off the cliff. The first time I drove down her driveway, I literally had to sit in my car for about 5 minutes and collect myself before I could get out. One time when my husband was driving, I made him stop at the top on the road and let me get out and walk down. It’s. That. Bad!
4. I learned that as fast as time flies, I can also be swept back in time and be that kid laughing till my sides ached. My cousin and I stayed up late every night and talked non-stop all day, even though we visit on the phone weekly. Sharing memories, telling jokes, and simply laughing hysterically reminded me that you really can turn back the hands of time.
5. Another thing I learned all over again in June is that I love small towns and their personality. My cousin lives outside Ellijay, Georgia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here’s just a quick taste of the town’s quaint charm.
7. I never get tired of sitting on the porch drinking my coffee and watching sunrise at the river.
8. I learned that when something this cute just calls my name, I should go ahead and splurge or spend the rest of my days regretting it.
9. I learned that I still know how to ride a bike! I learned to use hand brakes and gears too. Well, sort of . . . I almost had an unfortunate encounter with the wooden bridge in the woods. (I know–I’m not wearing a helmet. And I don’t intend to! Remember what I said earlier about conquering fear? I’m just riding in my teeny little neighborhood, consisting of one closed street. Mainly I ride on the path in the woods. There is zero traffic. I know that I could fall and hit my head and croak. That actually happened to my friend’s adult sister. But I want to feel the way I felt when I was a kid and rode until I was exhausted at night–wind in my hair, flying down the street. So there!)
10. I learned that seeing my granddaughter’s wide-eyed amazement over her first lightning bug is what summer is really about!
It’s not perfect, but it’s done–just a sampling of Things I Learned in June. I can’t wait to see what delights July holds!
What did you learn in June? Let me know in the Comments below.
Chops and his little buddy are joined at the hip, and anytime the little fella can persuade Mom and Dad to drop him at our house, he is sure to want to dip a line in the water at our neighborhood pond.
He has been going fishing with his granddaddy (Chops) since he was very young, and even caught fish when he was only 3 years old.
Here you see the two of them striking out for a fishing expedition, Little Dude decked out in his fishing vest and Bass Pro Shop camo hat. The front of his vest has a hook with a compass attached and a plastic pocket where he put a map I gave him months ago. The hilarious thing about the map is that it’s a huge wall map I had in my classroom–a map of the entire world! Oh, well, I guess he has inherited my attitude that you should always “be prepared”!
I love this picture of my two guys because it shows them just hangin’ out, two fellas on their way to having fun. I love it, too, because you see their closeness in their interlocked shadows, and you can see Chops pointing out something, always teaching him about fishing and safety and life.
Whether it’s baiting a hook, reeling in a fish, or untangling line–again, Chops is always SO very gentle, kind, and patient. He is and always has been the perfect daddy and granddaddy. Plus, he’s passing on to Little Dude his love of fishing, a healthy hobby that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. What a blessing!
Here the guys are with just one of the little fella’s fish he caught that day.
What hobbies do you enjoy? How important are hobbies to you? Have you ever passed on one of your hobbies to someone else or at least tried?
Let me know in the comments below.
“Friendship begun in this world will be taken up again, never to be broken off.” Saint Francis de Sales
This week, I lost my colleague and good friend. For years, her office was next door to mine, so close I could hear her laughter and her sighs as she graded papers. We’d call out to one another without ever rising from our seats. We shared those highs and lows good friends reveal to one another. We mourned the closing of our beloved college. We attended our families’ baby showers, weddings, and funerals. And now, tomorrow–far too soon– I’m attending hers.
Ten months ago, she was suddenly and dramatically felled by a vicious, incurable brain tumor:
One moment she was laughing on the beach with her family; the next day she was stricken.
Bravely, she faced the ups and downs of treatment, the loss of one ability after another. It all seems so unfair. She was always gentle and kind, talented and good. A gifted poet, she even had to surrender her ability to speak, though I remember just a few weeks before her death when suddenly at the end of a visit as I told her I loved her, she said, “I love you too.”
Perhaps because words failed her toward the end, my way of coping with the loss of my friend has been to pay tribute to her in my own very inadequate way, and so I offer these words for you, Ann, my friend, with love.
Summer roared in on race cars,
Indy engines’ deafening crescendo screamed, “Final laps!”
But twelve characters stopped those powerful beasts,
David to their Goliath,
Hushed their thrust, as if frozen on the track.
Just twelve characters, a short text,
My phone’s pleasant trill
Belied its painful truth.
Stark words, stabbed my eyes, my heart:
“She died @ 1:45.”
I escape to the refuge of the deck,
Melt into my chair,
Those words echoing in my eyes.
I sit suspended,
Processing the reality I’d been expecting.
Below, your river playground overflows with life:
Boats spilling revelers’ laughter,
Kids’ squeals bouncing from inflated tubes.
But my heart overflows with your death.
Pure face paving a path across black water.
If I could have walked that silver sidewalk to your side,
To squeeze your hand one last time,
I would have risen from my couch
To bid you farewell and safe journey.
The ivory face, perfect and round, spoke your peaceful
Dawn eases open the door of a new day:
Purple finch whistles hell-o.
Hummingbird hovers, sips nectar, tiny wings awhir.
Catfish plop, liquid spirals vibrating to infinity.
But a mourning dove knows the truth:
You are gone . . .
High in the sky
one Great Blue Heron wings south,
Mid-river their paths cross.
Their lives intertwine,
Briefly . . .
Your flight ended too soon.
Soar on, my friend.
Life still teems
Across that Great Divide.
As a child, the term “Good Friday” mainly represented a longer holiday and the coming of Easter–chocolate bunnies, egg hunts, a new Easter outfit (complete with patent leather shoes, a hat, and white gloves–the uniform of every little southern girl). It meant going to church with my parents, as we did every Sunday. Still, I realized that Easter was special. So the term “Good Friday” seemed all good to me!
As I grew older, the term “Good Friday” puzzled me. I understood more about the Easter story, about Jesus’s passion and death and resurrection. But that focus on Friday, the day of His death with all its pain and suffering, seemed anything but “Good.”Read More
(Note: This post is part of Five Minute Fridays and is part of an unedited writing exercise. Visit the site after the post for more information.)
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“A little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6) And indeed he did!Read More