The trick is growing

Ever seen a pinwheel bouquet? If not -- now you have! My day was made considerably brighter by this colorful surprise, April 2016

Ever seen a pinwheel bouquet? If not — now you have!
My day was made considerably brighter by this colorful surprise, April 2016

“The trick is growing up without growing old.”Casey Stengel

Let’s just say it had not been an easy day for me. I know I say that a lot, but if you have followed this blog for very long, you probably know why.  Then– when I least expected it– I got an instant sip from the Fountain of Youth.

There was a mysteriously lightweight package at my doorstep, addressed to me.  Hmmm, what could it be?  I enjoyed the suspense as I saved it for later. That evening, after Jeff and Matt were in bed, I tore open the lid and have never been more surprised and delighted by what I found inside.  Yep, it was a whole BOX full of glittery mylar pinwheels!  Be still my heart!!!

There was this little note inside, by way of explanation:

Operating instructions

Ever since childhood, I always loved pinwheels, but somehow managed to own pitifully few of them.  In fact, the eight pinwheels I got in that box were probably four times what I’ve had in my whole life.  I think I must have laughed aloud even though nobody was awake to hear me. Then the next day, I took about a zillion photos of them from every angle before putting them on display in a bouquet that brought smiles even from Jeff (whose skull had been cut open to remove a brain tumor less than four days earlier).  Our kitchen now has bling!

The generosity, creativity and originality of people who read this blog never cease to amaze me.  Every time I think about how much fun it was to get this fabulous treat, I am more impressed.  What a totally unexpected joy.  Between the rainbows shooting all around the room from Pauline’s handcrafted light catcher, and the glitterfest of these pinwheels, I have mood-lifting color to greet me every single day!

Today, I wish for you a wonderful, jack-in-the-box moment that reveals you have grown up without growing old.


  1. Cherie

    What a joy filled surprise for you !!! I love pinwheels too and COLOR! Julia, I have been praying for you and the family so much! Love and Light. Cherie

    • Thank you Cherie. We continue to need and appreciate your prayers. I believe they are being answered. Thanks so much for caring about us! ❤

  2. Hooray! Thank you for starting my week with a smile, Julia!
    I also should acknowledge my friend, Darissa, who was my apartment-mate and friend in New Hampshire – one day I received a box of squirrels and a raccoon (stuffed toys, of course; we couldn’t have “pets”). The raccoon was intended to keep an eye on the squirrels while I was at work or out of town … and they all had such adventures together that Darissa and I have several fun photos. (Playing cards, and one was cheating; dressing up like giraffes; eating popcorn and watching movies on the computer ….)
    What fun is there in getting old and fuddy-duddy?
    So we don’t! (Maybe next time I go to the tax preparer I’ll bring a couple of pinwheels!)

    • Susan, thank you for telling me about your own “Fountain of Youth” surprise. I think almost everyone, whether they admit it or not, loves stuffed toys; that’s why we tend to give so many to kids, who are generally overstocked on them. I love the idea of playing dress-up with them for photo ops. Whimsey can add so much to a photo – just ask K about Alyster and all the silly photos I took of him when he visited us along with K. I don’t think there is much fun in getting fuddy-duddy, but then, I guess I wouldn’t know about that, hee-hee. 😀 Hope your tax professional gets a grin out of the pinwheels. I bet they don’t get them very often.

  3. Sheila

    Good morning, and sunbeams to go with your pinwheels! ☕️ I was so happy for you, the thoughtful gift from Susan made me a bit tearful. Don’t you love that feeling of all quiet, kitchen clean, dryer silent, feet propped up, and day complete? I often say, “And my day is done!” I hope there will be more happiness for you, as well as Jeff and Matt, in the upcoming days! 🙏 To Susan: Thank you for the thoughtful, fun gift that you sent to our friend! I always enjoy your comments, too.

    • Hi Sheila, I loved your description of that delicious satisfaction at the end of a productive day. Something we don’t savor often enough, I think. Before our lives got so disrupted, I used to enjoy cleaning house on Fridays so we could go into the weekend with everything calm and bright. I miss those comparatively simple days, but I am not giving up on the hope of getting them back someday! I hope you are having a good week with “the guys!”

    • You’re very welcome, Sheila, I appreciate you and your comments, too. Plus your very name is a happy reminder of my childhood: my best friend in elementary school was named Sheila, too!

  4. My prayers have been with you, Jeff and Matt for more than three years with every offering you have published. I love the bouquet of pinwheels, and can imagine a yard full of them.
    My theory is that you never grow old as long as your wife keeps asking when you will grow up. At seventy nine I still am safe.
    Cliff Shiblom
    Bartlesville, OK

    • Hi Cliff, it is always so good to hear from you! I’m pleased you are still with us– and yes, I remember you from the very beginning. I am very happy to learn that you are still “safe” at seventy-nine! May we all be similarly blessed. Thank you so much for being with us all this time, and for checking in with a comment now and then. Hope all (or at least most) is wonderful in your world! 🙂

  5. Amy

    What a lovely gift and fun idea. It brightened my day just looking at the photo and thinking of the pretty pin wheels. I spent the day working on a craft my mother gave me long ago which has proved to be a challenge but once I got started it has turned out very lovely. Enjoy your pinwheels friend. I love you.

    • Amy, this is sort of like something you would do, I think. I’m glad you were able to get going on the craft project. Sometimes just getting off to a good start is the most difficult part. Thanks for being here, there and so many other “wheres” with us! Love you too!

  6. What a wonderful gift! I must start making pinwheels immediately!! 🙂

    • Pauline, I bet yours will be wonderful. Somewhere I saved the instructions to make pinwheels from a craft magazine I bought for just that purpose, but I have never tried it (please see volume 395, page 492 of Julia’s Exhaustive Encyclopedia of Good Intentions. Seriously, the colorful pinwheel bouquet is a perfect complement to the rainbow-generating light catcher you created for me!

      • That made me smile! We all have mental volumes of good intentions, hopes and dreams. That’s a good thing. How dull life would be if we ever caught up.

        • So true, so true! Years ago I remember reading a column by Marilyn Vos Savant that really made an impression on me. A reader had written in frustration to ask why there was always so much to do. Vos Savant replied that she LOVED having too much to do, because it gave her a great range of choices of how to spend her time, and she could always choose something to fit every mood. I decided that was a great philosophy. Thus my multi-volume Encyclopedia. 😀

  7. I too am loving Pauline’s rainbows every time the sun shines. As a hater of cut flowers (I like to see them growing not decomposing in a vase) your pinwheels make the perfect bouquet in my opinion.

    • Thanks, I agree. I do love cut flowers, but not as much as growing ones. About 90% of the time, when I send something floral, it’s a potted plant rather than a cut arrangement. But I’ll take my flowers any way I can get them. 🙂 The pinwheels have the advantage of requiring no water, leaving no mess, and staying super colorful.

  8. Ann

    A box full of Mylar pinwheels. What FUN, what a wonderful idea! I had to smile at the mental picture of you whirling around with pinwheels in both hands😀
    I had no idea about Jeff’s surgery although I could sense something was amiss. Words fail me but prayers for all of you continue.

    • Thank you Ann, Jeff is a very private person and doesn’t like this stuff to show up on the blog at all, but sometimes I just have to include these details, especially since they shape such a huge part of our lives right now. I meant to include you in the private email I sent around to friends to let them know; I must not have your email address in my book, though I know I have used it in the past. I’ll check for it next time I do email. Thanks so much for the prayers!

      • Ann

        Please re-send the email to me. I care about you and your family.

        • Thanks Ann — done! I’m so grateful that you care.

  9. What a beautiful idea and such a thoughtful gift! Those could brighten the bleakest day. I would imagine they could cheer all of you. It’s funny, I’ve never noticed them or had one. Now they are on my radar. 😉 I liked Susan’s note that came with them. So original.

    • Yes, I thought this was quite an original idea, colorful and fun and can be shared (as she suggested) to brighten the day for others too. I am looking forward to sharing them with the adorable kids next door, once I can work up the will to part with a couple of them. 😀 Susan is quite creative, I think.

  10. blseibel

    How wonderful! I must find these and make my own. I love the ideas I get from you. Praying Jeff’s recovery is going well.

    • Thanks B. He is getting a bit stronger each day, I think. His doctors seem pleased.

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