Monthly Archives: December, 2013

So late so soon

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” ― Dr. Seuss My sister Carla has been teaching children for nearly 40 years, and she shares my love for Dr. …

Continue reading

Divine pleasures

“Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.”  ― Thomas De Quincey Before Jeff’s surgery in November, when he was disappointed …

Continue reading

See all the good

“Maybe all my days are filled with little miracles, but I’m too distracted by what I think is my life to notice them. Sometimes bad news is the best way to see all the good quickly and clearly.” — Glennon Doyle Melton When trouble hits, whether it’s catastrophic or just a series of mind-numbing irritations, …

Continue reading

Success is stumbling

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ― Winston Churchill One of my favorite places in California is the haunting Donner Memorial State Park near Truckee.  It’s beautiful country, but there’s an eerie stillness that lingers in memory of the tragic history of the Donner Party, for whom the park …

Continue reading

The best remedy

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. …

Continue reading

Beautiful and joyful

“Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying.  The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.” — Elise Boulding …

Continue reading

Let us remember

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms …

Continue reading

In the company of children

“Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become entirely alive.” ― Robert Lynd This quote sounds charming, but I couldn’t help but laugh a little to recall how exhausted Jeff and I used to be during the years when Santa would visit our sons.  It always …

Continue reading

An act of recollection

“The Polar Express was the easiest of my picture book manuscripts to write… Once I realized the train was going to the North Pole, finding the story seemed less like a creative effort than an act of recollection. I felt, like the story’s narrator, that I was remembering something, not making it up.” — Chris …

Continue reading

The diamond-frosted clasp

“December, the diamond-frosted clasp linking twelve jeweled months to yet another year.” — Phyllis Nicholson While most of us associate December with the holiday festivities, there is also the winding down of the calendar year, and a sense of wonder about how fast the months flew by, whether we were having fun or not. I …

Continue reading

Deep in December

“Deep in December it’s nice to remember Although you know the snow will follow Deep in December it’s nice to remember Without a hurt the heart is hollow…” — (Lyricist) Tom Jones, from The Fantasticks I grew up listening to this lovely song, and Jeff and I saw the staged musical on one of our …

Continue reading

Sensations more painful

“There are few sensations more painful, than, in the midst of deep grief, to know that the season which we have always associated with mirth and rejoicing is at hand.” — Sarah Josepha Hale This week, a dear friend of ours lost her close and steadfast friend of over 37 years, after a courageous battle …

Continue reading

All is bright

“All is calm, all is bright.” — Fr. Joseph Mohr, as translated by John F. Young Today I’m having to keep telling myself to take a few deep breaths and stay calm. Being so far behind on household tasks such as cleaning and bill paying, as well as trying to enjoy at least some of …

Continue reading

A state of mind

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” ― Calvin Coolidge Now that Jeff is home, my days and hours are engulfed in happy busyness.  I can’t seem to let a day …

Continue reading

Home for the holidays

“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays…” — Al Stillman As of last night, we are HOME.  Though we are exhausted, I can’t remember a time when we’ve been happier to be here!  Thanks for being here with us! One year ago today Like of each thing

Continue reading

The summer of the soul

“A part of childhood we’ll always remember It is the summer of the soul in December…” —Paul Williams, from the song “It Feels Like Christmas” There’s a persistent misunderstanding that adults with autism or intellectual disabilities remain children all of their lives.  This is a convenient but often demeaning illusion for those who have a …

Continue reading

Renewed day by day

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” — 2 Corinthians 4:16, NIV The barren winter landscape, even when accented with snow, is a stark and sometimes sad contrast to the lush flowering of just six months prior.  Yet underground, much is going …

Continue reading

So much happiness

“He went to the church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted the children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of homes, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any …

Continue reading

On his darkest day

You have to believe in happiness, Or happiness never comes … Ah, that’s the reason a bird can sing – On his darkest day he believes in Spring. —  Douglas Malloch I’ve done a lot of walking through snow and ice the past few days, and already there’s a part of me that is eager …

Continue reading

This is where

This is the bright home in which I live, this is where I ask my friends to come, this is where I want to love all the things it has taken me so long to learn to love. This is the temple of my adult aloneness and I belong to that aloneness as I belong …

Continue reading

Share to the full

“Let the children have their night of fun and laughter. Let the gifts of Father Christmas delight their play. Let us grown-ups share to the full in their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie before us…”  — Winston Churchill, in his Christmas Eve message of …

Continue reading

Our blessings

“…remember that our blessings outnumber the lights. Happy Christmas to all.” — Betsy Cañas Garmon Every time I think I go overboard with decorating my Christmas trees or gift wrapping, I see someone whose efforts to make Christmas beautiful leave mine in the dust.  But the house pictured above may surpass anything I’ve ever seen.  …

Continue reading

Unintentionally

“Small kindnesses often, unintentionally, produce the biggest payoffs.” ― Richard Paul Evans Sometimes people give us gifts that they don’t even realize they are giving us.  Here’s my memory of one such gift, an intangible expression of an all-too-unusual kind of love. Because my father has always been a good sport about being teased, all …

Continue reading

Bless you abundantly

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things …

Continue reading

Despite overwhelming odds

“We salute the veterans and survivors of Pearl Harbor who inspire us still.  Despite overwhelming odds, they fought back heroically, inspiring our nation and putting us on the path to victory.  They are members of that Greatest Generation who overcame the Depression, crossed oceans and stormed the beaches to defeat fascism, and turned adversaries into …

Continue reading