Sep 3, 2016

Ode to the Last Days of Summer {In Pictures}

It's a kind of end of summer cleaning day, and it's just kinda overcast outside. Still warm with the breath of summer, but as if the autumn is fighting to come out.

I look at the trees and the flowers and I just see it, in the light of this cloudy warm day, the first signs on a September day. September, the in between month.

The month of the last summer bonfires and star flung skies, the last days of the wind in green leaves, and the smell of fresh cut hay. The month before things just really start changing, and you can feel it in the morning as the harvest moon fades, and the wheat lays cleared and shaven, and the blackbirds wave in flocks over sunflower fields as you drive by on your way home.

And I'm the one who just wants to savor the in between, to let anticipation build for the first, honest-to-goodness, blessed first day you can just really call chilly. And I can look out at the day and I can smile back, because this is the first day of autumn for me.

We just brush by it all too soon, just like Laura Timmins said. We have to write it down, we have to capture it because someday I'll have someone asking me questions, just like I ask them now, "What was it like? Back then?"

And when the seasons tick toward their beginnings, I'll have something to answer them.

Jul 6, 2016

Books I'm Reading This Summer

It's strange how when you have lots of time to read you don't read and when you don't have lots of time to read all you want to do is read, and your to-read list grows by leaps and bounds. But I think I've narrowed the summer reading list down to these eight.

Sorry I haven't been around much. I have been greatly enjoying my new job, my boss and co-workers. My computer is kaput at the moment and that's been putting a hold on a lot of my plans. But I hope to get some posts up in the near future.

Happy summer reading, in the mean time!

1. Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo
I've seen this book around and it sounded quite interesting, mostly because the plot sounded a bit like a fantasy I wrote a few years ago. But this one sounded more clever and epic. Then my little brother brought it home from a book store and so it has a home here where I can enjoy it at leisure.

Do you like lovable thugs and thieves? Me, too. That's why I'm reading this. So you should, too.

2. 7 Women - Eric Metaxas
This book had me at the introduction. "When I consider the seven women I chose, I see that most of them were great for reasons that derive precisely from their being women, not in spite of it; and what made them great has nothing to do with their being measured against or competing with men. In other words, their accomplishments are not gender-neutral but are rooted in their singularity as women. All of them existed and thrived as women . . ." Eric Metaxas, Seven Women: And Their Secret to Greatness

3. Emily of New Moon -  L.M. Montgomery
I will admit I bought this entire series at a second hand book store not only because I love L.M.M. but because of Perry Miller. I am not ashamed. After an agonizing watch of a few episodes of the TV series the only reason I continued watching was just to be delighted by Perry Miller. And so I will read the books for, mostly, the same reason.

4. The Highly Sensitive Person - Dr. Elaine Aron
If you like MBTI and personality typing, you should read this book, too.
Are you an HSP? Take the test to find out.

5. Jack and Jill - Louisa May Alcott
I love the simple, delightful innocence of Lousia May Alcott's story-children. The simple, delightful, peaceful innocence of her story-worlds. And I will always love going back in time to the days when children were really children.

6. Anne of Windy Poplars - L.M. Montgomery
I've gotten back on my Anne kick. I just finished Anne of the Island, and now I cannot wait to see Anne and Gilbert's relationship grow. I love discovering all the scenes in the books that were not in the movies and I shall forever bemoan Phillipa Gordon being cut from the films altogether. WHY? I hope there is more of her in Anne of Windy Poplars.

7. Cold Sassy Tree - Olive Ann Burns
I've been looking for a new author to get into and Olive Ann Burns seems like just the one I've been looking for. Southern, grounded. Gritty and real, can't wait to dig my fingers into this book.

8. To Have and to Hold - Mary Johnston
My sister read an excerpt of this novel and had to get the book. A runaway ward of the king who becomes the bride of a gentleman in the American colonies. It was a bestseller in America in 1900 and I cannot believe I have never heard of it till now. The gentleman, I hear, is quite the chivalrous man, and just a bit refreshing.

Jul 2, 2016

5 Patriotic Things for Your 4th of July Weekend

On a forum I was on once someone asked what the 4th of July meant and how it was celebrated in different families, in different areas. I'll never forget what one young girl said, that it was just a chance for the men to show off their fancy grills. I'll never forget how sad that made me, and I resolved to never let my Independence Day become simply a day to eat food, watch a parade, get candy, and shoot off fireworks. This is why I celebrate the 4th of July:

Happy Independence Day

You Ask Me Why I Love Her?
He doesn't say, "Let me think." He says, "Give me time, let me explain."

A Warrior's Pledge
"We have always been willing to pay that price."

The Declaration of Independence
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor."

The Ragged Old Flag
"We're kinda proud of that ragged old flag."

The Star Spangled Banner
"Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave
O're the land of the free, and the home of the brave."

Let's chat! How do you celebrate the 4th of July?

May 29, 2016


Dear Charlie,

Today was a perfect day. The sun and the sky, even St. Luke's Episcopal Church that looked like something right out of England. I can't believe I've lived here all these years and never seen that little church tucked away on a hillside. 1894 was carved into the sandstone on a corner stone. The front door was red, such a brilliant scarlet and I wished I could see inside.

Hayley obligingly sat in the doorway at the back and indulged my whim, though. I'll show it to you someday. And maybe, just maybe, the doors will be open and we can walk right in and we can stand in its holy place together.

It was just a perfect day. A day when the shade was cool and the sun warm and the waterfall speckles you with refreshing droplets of water so you fairly feel you've been sprinkled with fairy dust.
It was the kind of spring filled with the kind of green that makes the forest and shadowy rock boulders look like Sherwood Forest. Makes your breath go still and your words whisper and everything around you has eyes. And if you don't go slow, if you don't take in the beauty of the moment of a patch of light glowing on a leaf, if you don't stop to listen to the sound of sheer nothing, it's like you might be missing something. Something not everybody get's the chance in a life time to see.

Go slow, Charlie. Go slow and listen to the sounds of life happening. And even if you don't have an entire day, just pause, just for a moment, and listen. 'Cause things we don't have often are sometimes right next door, sometimes they're just waiting to be discovered, waiting for someone to notice.

Don't miss those moments, Charlie.