Watch with glittering eyes

I hope Grady always watches the world with this much joyful anticipation. January, 2014

I hope Grady always watches the world with this much joyful anticipation. January, 2014

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.”Roald Dahl

Look around you today.  Great secrets and enlightening discoveries may be hiding in plain sight.  What are the unlikely places you tend to look past?  What secret discoveries might be waiting for you where you least expect them?  Every day is an adventure, though we seldom see it as such.  I’d love to hear your reports from the trails you are walking today.  Turn your glittering eyes on the whole world around you, and watch what happens.

Grady found the view Mama and Daddy's dining room fascinating.  March 2014

Grady found the view from Mama and Daddy’s dining room fascinating. March 2014

One year ago today:

The last thing you expect


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    Today outdoors, everything will be glittering!
    I had been thinking “soggy,” but “glittering” puts a much nicer perspective on our week of rain.
    Thank you again for sharing your gift of perspective. To share a quote from Raynard this morning, “God didn’t give me his best and talent and abilities not to give my best to share with others.”
    Again, I salute you for your efforts in that department. Outstanding!

    • Susan, yes, “glittering” is much more appealing than “soggy,” and sometimes even more applicable, especially if the sun emerges now and then to make those raindrops sparkle. Thanks for your salute of encouragement, and for quoting Raynard too. “Freely [we] have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8 – one of my favorite verses, and also the motto of Pepperdine University.

  2. Ann

    Thank you for sharing Grady’s picture! It brought a smile to my face and my heart❤️❤️

    • Thank you Ann! That photo was made back in January, but I still love to look at it.

  3. Anon E. Moose

    Beautiful, the way Grady’s eyes turned so blue! (Most babies eyes start out dark colored.)
    Along my trail today it is brisk and windy, with many leaves blowing off the trees now (as is seen in the tree on the left of the photo below).
    Nevertheless, I am enjoying viewing the last vestiges of autumnal color.

    • Grady gets those blue eyes from his Mom (and maybe a bit from his Dad). Hey, thanks for sending me this lovely photo! It inspired me to make time to take a few photos outdoors today myself. I don’t know why sometimes photos show up in the comments directly and sometimes with only a link – if anybody has a clue, please let me know. I’d rather have them there directly.

  4. Aha…beautiful blue eyes!! Beautiful Baby Boy…

    • Thank you, Merry! ❤

  5. Sheila

    Julia, anticipation of seeing as much as possible today in this huge Texas city definitely was done with glittering eyes. We really are enjoying being here to see where Bill’s brother, wife, and three nephews live. It has been wonderful. 👏
    Tell Matt that Trent gave us a tour of the Houston Fire Department. 😄

    • Sheila, I am so glad you are enjoying Texas! Of course there’s a special place in my heart for that state. Some great people have been born there. 😀 BTW I love the name “Trent.”

  6. Rene

    “What are the unlikely places you tend to look past?” This reminds me when my oldest was about Grady’s age. He was riding in his car seat, on one of the ugliest freeways in our area—old, congested, surrounded by blight. All Jake saw were the big trucks and the trains going by on the tracks adjacent to the freeway, two of his favorite things in the world; he was reportedly “amped” the whole ride. What my husband and I deliberately overlooked was magical to our little boy.

    • Rene, isn’t that a wonderful memory? Children bring such joy by seeing things differently from the way we see them. When Drew was about two years old, and Matt just an infant, we went to Miami and stayed in a hotel that gave a really low rate to airline employees. When we got there we saw why. It was probably the dumpiest hotel I have ever stayed in, though it was right on the beach, which is why we chose it. Drew thought it was a palace. I didn’t know whether to be grateful or sorry for him! I hope we can learn from our memories of our kids, to see past the ugly stuff to the exciting and interesting and even pretty things hiding.

  7. Looks like he’s trying to soak up everything he can.

    • Alan, he does. Now that he’s crawling and walking, he has to be watched every single second. Drew reports he has learned to climb on top of the dining table from the chairs, and they are teaching him that’s a no-no. He also gave me advance warning (for Thanksgiving and Christmas) that Grady can open doors now. So those eager eyes are translating to a lot of exploration.

  8. Giggles, I bet Grady’s oodles of fun now that he can wander around and ask why? why? why? Are those well honed mom skills coming back to you now that little Grady’s in the picture? Or maybe as the grandma, you can defer those things to his momma and just enjoy being the official spoiler. His milkie completion is like fine china…oh if only we could keep it. I wish we retained the memories of discovery and how fascinating everything seemed to be. I think my earliest memory is that of a 4 or 5 year old crushing my finger under a dowel that was moving a camper in the garage. I remember thinking it was stuck under there and thought I’d pick it up. Fast forward past the giant scream and dad’s kissing my finger in the pickup truck and wiggling it so he knew it wasn’t broke. A quick hug and back to play time. I remember this moment so clearly. I also remember waking up Christmas morning with a really back tummy ache. It was all the excitement. This would happen to me all the time. Like Halloween, first day of school, birthday parties and Christmas. Dr’s just called it a nervous stomach (??) I guess I outgrew it. To bad there wasn’t the photo and video opportunities then that there are now. My childhood remains a bit of a mystery. xoK

    • K, thanks for sharing those childhood memories. Isn’t it great how Daddies can make everything well? I don’t think I ever got sick at Christmas or Halloween, no matter how much candy I ate. I too wish you had more photos and videos of your childhood. I love the one that you sometimes use as your Gravatar. I guess we had quite a few photos compared to some families, but we had no home movies, which were becoming very popular in my late childhood. I’m sort of glad of that. 😀 I wonder if future generations will take it all so much for granted that they never even look at the tons of digital photos we are all taking now.

      Since I see Grady so seldom, I get to be a total spoiler. But I never quite leave behind my diploma from the Attila the Hun School of Childrearing. Miss Viola Swamp will always be lurking in the background somewhere. Of course Grady is NEVER anything but adorable in my eyes! 😀 😀 😀

      • Attila the Hun School of Childrearing…..LOL you crack me up. I can’t imagine Grady being any other way. That is the face of an angel xoxo

        • I am one of their “Most Distinguished Alumni” 😀 but I’m happy you recognize that G is an angel!

  9. Michael

    Beautiful pictures of your grandson. You are going to Atlanta for holidays? We were going in November but have to delay for a bit.
    Norah was Abbey Cadabby? for Halloween. A new Sesame Street character I have heard.
    Skype is nice but just not quite the same as a real time visit. Now that Delta is trying to stretch its international markets through Seattle. Perhaps they will have some good deals on return flights to Atlanta. They are trying to compete some with Aaska air -the biggest carrier out of Seattle.

    • Thanks Michael. We do hope to see Grady a couple of times during the holidays, both in the Atlanta area, and up here too. This season has always been a big deal in my family so I really try to see Mama and Daddy each year around this time. It’s been convenient that Drew, Megan and Grady are in Atlanta, but with Drew finishing up his dissertation at Emory, this might be the last year for them to be in ATL for the holidays, se I’m glad we plan a trip there. I didn’t realize that Alaska Air was the biggest carrier in Seattle. I hope you get a few fare wars going. I wish Jet Blue flew to Atlanta. Now that Southwest has taken over Air Tran, the fares have about doubled. 😦

  10. Michael

    In the second pict; he looks a little like the baby on those Gerber baby food jars of old. Pretty adorable.
    Good quote from Raynard.

    • Thank you, Michael.

  11. Michael

    What is the NONO program? Writing a novel in the month of November. Heard of this?

    • Hi Michael, I have heard of it, though I’ve never participated. I would like to, but I have not yet had the time to devote to it. I wrote most of the only novel I’ve ever finished during Matt’s four-week stay at camp in the Blue Ridge mountains, which was in the summer (NaNoWriMo is always in November, I think). It was the first and only time Matt’s ever been away from us that long, and I knew it might be the only chance I had to get the novel down on paper within a period of time when I could stay focused enough to get it done. So I know there is great value in writing intensely within a set amount of time, with a goal and a deadline. Maybe someday I’ll be able to try it!

  12. Michael

    Correction: it is . The month is November and you write 1500 words a day for a month to get a 50,000 word rough draft. Having an idea for a novel and writing one are two different things- right?

    • Oh, yes, two FAR different things. Having said that, I would have no problem coming up with 1500 words a day (which I’m sure does not surprise you :D) though they would require much editing, which I also enjoy. But I find it entirely too frustrating to be focusing on a long project when my day is so unpredictable and full of interruptions. I do think something like NaNoWriMo probably is good at separating people who are serious about writing from people who may not be aware of how hard it can be, and thus give up before getting very far.

  13. Michael

    Yes- kind of like dieting in a way

    • I had never thought about it that way before, but it really is. There is so much stamina and commitment required to keep slogging along no matter what.

  14. Michael

    Garrison had interesting article about Margarett Mitchell- birthday last week- in the Writer’s Almanac, how she was a reporter for the Atlanta constitution and did society pages etc. Then broke her leg in an Equestrian mishap. Confined to her apartment for a long period of recovery her husband encouraged her to write a novel and then wallah!.

    • Michael, doesn’t that make you wonder if Bonnie’s death in GWTW (she was thrown by a pony) was inspired by her own accident? Of course, in her case it worked out better…

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