Monthly Archives: June, 2013

The mystic moon

At midnight, in the month of June, I stand beneath the mystic moon. An opiate vapor, dewy, dim, Exhales from out her golden rim… —Edgar Allan Poe Last Saturday, just after the summer solstice, I returned from a wonderfully cool evening walk with Pasha.  Although it was nearly 9:00 pm, there was still daylight outside.  Jeff told …

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A garden and a library

“He who has a garden and a library wants for nothing.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero Several weeks ago one of our readers sent me this quote, and I immediately thought “That would make a great post for the blog.”  What makes the quote so appealing is that most people can have at least a small library and …

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So rare

And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days… — James Russell Lowell June has been a blur for us this year, as perhaps it has been for you.  We’ve been overwhelmed with hospitalizations, seemingly endless appointments, backlogged tasks indoors and out, and the yearly traffic snarls from summer …

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When there is nothing

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”     — lines from the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling Over 200 posts ago, on my second-ever post on …

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To flowers

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” — Claude Monet It’s easy to believe that flowers inspired Monet to capture beauty on canvas, creating some of my favorite masterpieces.  Add one more amazing gift to the lengthy list of the ways flowers have enhanced our lives. The flowers seem even more beautiful than usual this year.  …

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It still matters

“Tradition does not mean a dead town; it does not mean that the living are dead but that the dead are alive. It means that it still matters what Penn did two hundred years ago or what Franklin did a hundred years ago…” — G. K. Chesterton Tevye isn’t the only one who prizes tradition.  …

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And then there is…

“There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience.  And then there is California.” — Edward Abbey In case Abbey’s quote leaves anyone in doubt, I mean it as a compliment. Whatever else can be said of California, it is certainly unlike any other state in the USA.  It’s a web of contradictions; …

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Brilliantly disguised

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations…” — Charles Swindoll I will always remember the first time I saw this quote.  It was fairly recently, in an email I got from an extraordinary person, Dr. Anitha John.   She specializes in adult congenital cardiology, a relatively new field that is both …

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The real secret

“The real secret of how to use time is to pack it as you would a portmanteau, filling up the small spaces with small things.” — Sir Henry Haddow Much has been written about the importance of prioritizing major tasks and important duties first, and fitting everything else in around them.  But sometimes there still does …

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Solace, inspiration, adventure

“Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.” — Lorraine Anderson Whatever may be bugging you, I’ll bet it would be eased somewhat if you could manage a few moments to get away to a place without electronics, …

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Resolved in the morning

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” — John Steinbeck If you’re an insomniac, a night owl, or both (as I am) you have probably done a good bit of work and/or worry in the late hours …

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Just the thing

“Eeyore, what are you doing there?” said Rabbit “I’ll give you three guesses, Rabbit. Digging holes in the ground? Wrong. Leaping from branch to branch of a young oak tree? Wrong. Waiting for somebody to help me out of the river? Right. Give Rabbit time, and he’ll always get the answer.” “But, Eeyore,” said Pooh in …

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Being peace

“It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace.” — Thich Nhat Hanh The tragedy is that the world is a very broken place, and probably always will be so.  The beauty is …

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One who knows the way

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”  — John C. Maxwell As Reneé, Roger, Tammy and I walked through one of the outdoor courtyards at Walter Reed NMC, one of them said, “Look, a mother duck and her babies!”  Naturally, I had to take some photos.  It was really …

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More than a hundred

“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” — George Herbert Watching someone fight bravely the battles Jeff has fought these past 9 months, it’s easy to get overly sentimental about him.  Yet I think I can say without exaggeration that I have never known a man more devoted to his wife and children than …

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One step at a time

“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…one step at a time.” —  Joe Girard Years ago when I wanted to lose about 5 pounds, I was able to accomplish that goal by making just one small change.  I worked on the third floor of a large building, and I …

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A place once visited

“Venice appeared to me as in a recurring dream, a place once visited and now fixed in memory like images on a photographer’s plates…” — Gary Inbinder Sometimes a place seems magical because of the circumstances of our time there, but some are inherently spellbinding.  Venice is certainly such a place, especially as the daylight …

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Delicate enjoyment

“Another novelty is the tea-party, an extraordinary meal in that, being offered to persons that have already dined well, it supposes neither appetite nor thirst, and has no object but distraction, no basis but delicate enjoyment.”  — Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin Whatever else can be said of contemporary culture, it seldom suggests “delicate enjoyment” or for that …

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A friend who cares

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen …

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God’s handwriting

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”  —Charles Kingsley Travel is one of my favorite ways of searching for …

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The celebration

“A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity.  The order varies for any given year.” — Paul Sweeney This month, Jeff and I celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary.  Without question the past year has been the most difficult and challenging time we have ever faced together, but the “together” part …

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Whatever we lose

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it’s always ourselves that we find in the sea” — E. E. Cummings I can scarcely remember a time when I went to the beach without these words from Cummings’ lovely poem running through my head.  How simply and perfectly he captures the endless allure of the ocean! I …

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Rejoicing that I’m still here

“Getting older is the best thing that ever happened to me.  I wake up every morning rejoicing that I’m still here with an opportunity to begin again and be better.”  — Oprah Winfrey A long life is a decidedly mixed blessing.  Those of us who make it to our eighth and ninth decades will do …

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Blinking once-sealed eyes

“I do not know what I am doing. But just like a baby bird, I am blinking once-sealed eyes and unfolding damp wings.” – Julie Gregory No matter how old we grow, life forces us to keep learning.  Sometimes it helps to re-frame even the most difficult experiences as opportunities to increase our competence, tenacity …

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Produced in a garden

“For all things produced in a garden, whether of salads or fruits, a poor man will eat better that has one of his own, than a rich man that has none.” — J. C. Loudon We are now approaching the time of year when those of us just coming out of springtime will soon be able …

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