Monthly Archives: July, 2014

A lion inside

“I was the shyest human ever invented, but I had a lion inside me that wouldn’t shut up!” — Ingrid Bergman I want to thank Bob Mielke, who visits here often, for the inspiration behind this post.  If you’ve visited Bob’s blog, you have seen his amazing images, including the animal photos that are always …

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A giant reset button

“I couldn’t imagine living in a state that didn’t reach the ocean. It was a giant reset button. You could go to the edge of the land and see infinity and feel renewed.” ― Avery Sawyer One year ago today I was sitting in a hospital waiting for Grady to be born.  He didn’t arrive …

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When everything is perfect

“Every summer there are a number of nights, not many, but a number, when everything is perfect. The light, the warmth, the smells, the mist, the birdsong – the moths. Who can sleep? Who wants to?” ― Fredrik Sjöberg During summer, my tendency to be a night owl kicks into overdrive.  The longer daylight hours …

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To be the caretaker

“Life is too short to be the caretaker of the wrong details.” — Alexandra Stoddard I don’t have too many regrets in life, but one thing I know for sure I’d do less of, if I had it to do over: FILING.  For years, I compulsively kept neatly tabbed file folders with everything from medical …

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Like poignant land mines

“Nothing is more memorable than a smell…Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years.  Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once.  A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.” — Diane Ackerman Tangerines smell like Christmas to me, just as onions sauteed …

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What is left

“A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.” — Edward de Bono I’ve written very little here about my younger brother Al.  I guess there are a lot of reasons why.  As he is my only younger sibling, I’ve always felt a stronger need to protect him, however illogical …

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What we must give

“Attention is love, what we must give children, mothers, fathers, pets, our friends, the news, the woes of others. What we want to change we curse and then pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can with eyes and hands and tongue. If you can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.”  — Marge …

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Why we travel

“Travel tends to make us hyper-aware of details…when we are away from the distractions of our lives, we come awake to the small moments. That’s why we travel, and why we take pictures. The trick is to bring that hyper-awareness home with you, and keep it alive.”  — George Lange Until I read this quote …

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Our conscious choice

“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we shall tend.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach Every day I wake up with a mixture of thoughts, some pleasant and some not.  There are always things I look forward to doing that day, and …

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Imagine a time

“…I like to close my eyes and imagine a time when life was simpler. I like to think about a time when no one would choose text messaging over good, live conversation. I think about sweet tea or perhaps an after dinner cup of coffee enjoyed in time to the rocking of an old cane …

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The enemy of the people

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life…” — Anne Lamott “I make mistakes; I’ll be the second to admit it.” — Jean Kerr Because I’ve known so many world-class perfectionists, it took me longer than it should have to realize …

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In the yard

“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’ ‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ‘We’re raising boys.’ “ — Harmon Killebrew This is a perfect time of year for this quote.  The All-Star break is coming up, and …

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Constantly and visibly

“Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil.” — Roman Payne I don’t know whether it’s because I’m less than three years from 60, or because of all the life-and-death issues my family has faced in the past 18 months, but I …

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I travel somewhat differently

“Some people walk with both eyes focused on their goal: the highest mountain peak in the range, the fifty-mile marker, the finish line. They stay motivated by anticipating the end of the journey. Since I tend to be easily distracted, I travel somewhat differently–one step at a time, with many pauses in between.” — Hannah …

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Museums, formed from the heart

“In poetically well built museums, formed from the heart’s compulsions, we are consoled not by finding in them old objects that we love, but by losing all sense of Time.”— Orhan Pamuk On a recent day while Matt was at camp, Jeff took a day off from work and we went to the National Gallery …

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Compensating

“Grandchildren are God’s way of compensating us for growing old.” — Mary H. Waldrip It seemed rather cruel to me that we learned we would be grandparents at about the same time we learned of Jeff’s devastating diagnosis.  We prayed for this moment, hoped for it, dreamed of it.  We are so thankful that it …

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A kind of artist

“We have neglected the truth that a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist.” — Wendell Berry History tells us much about the wide-ranging though conflicted brilliance of Thomas Jefferson.  Aside from his celebrated love of books, farming may have been his greatest passion. He and his trusted gardener …

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The meaning of immortality

“The wise understand the meaning of immortality, and do not seek the never-changing in the transient.” — Upanishads No small part of my sorrow in life comes from my abiding difficulty in accepting that nothing on this earth will last forever.  This reluctance to let go encompasses the entire spectrum of my life, from a …

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A curious fact

“It is a curious fact that people are never so trivial as when they take themselves seriously.” — Oscar Wilde When I think of the celebrities who annoy me most, I almost always think of the ones who appear to take themselves too seriously, as if they were the center of the universe, or had …

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For almost everything

“There is a use for almost everything.” — George Washington Carver “A great master can find a use for everything…he is good at salvage. He wastes nothing; therefore, he always has enough. He values everyone; therefore everyone values him.” — Chris Prentiss One year ago today I wrote about my problems with clutter, and having …

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Flowers that fly

“But these are flowers that fly and all but sing…” — Robert Frost Of all the symbols of summer, perhaps butterflies come the closest to capturing the season.  The brevity of their time here, coupled with their freedom of movement and dazzling visual appeal, seem well matched to the warmer months when we tend to …

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No faster or firmer friendships

“There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.” ― Irving Stone OK, think of how to describe the friend of your dreams.  The best friend you can imagine. First, and this is a big one – someone who lives close enough that you can get to …

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The task of the educator

“The first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil; and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confuse good with immobility and evil with activity…” — Maria Montessouri Any adult who interacts with a young …

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That’s why I recommend it

“People often tell me that motivation doesn’t last, and I tell them that bathing doesn’t either.  That’s why I recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar I hope it’s obvious why I like this quote.  As I’ve often said, this blog is my own way of forcing myself to focus on the positive things and be …

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More enjoyable

“You seldom come across anything more enjoyable than a happy person.” — Frank A. Clark When I told Jeff I wanted to use this quote in a post, I asked him if he could think of any photos that would go with it.  He immediately responded, “Have you got one of Momba?” “Yes, I have …

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