The tightrope

I never argue with Yoda. Right he almost always is.

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.” — William Arthur Ward

Hello everyone (those of you who are still with us). I have missed you immeasurably, and just couldn’t go another day without posting. Or maybe it’s partly that I need some escape, however momentary, from getting my papers done. (OK Amy, I hear you, I am getting back to work now! You need not tell them about the other momentary escapes that somehow added up to hours.)

Seriously, I’m worn out with being serious, so I just headed over to the trusty Yoda Meme Generator and made a photo the easy way. Besides, I could hear his wise little growl in my ear, telling me that wait I should not. I can always count on the old Jedi master to remind me of serious things in the funniest way possible.  We used to say (only half-jokingly) that Daddy reminded us of Yoda.

I’m going to try my best to be back here regularly, and I’ll update you little by little, as I hope you will do too, in the comments. The short version is that Matt and I are OK, we are surviving, and some days are better than others. Thanks so much for all of you who have continued to keep in touch, sending me warm thoughts, little remembrances and much-needed prayers. Though Matt’s situation (and therefore mine) is still in limbo, I have a few happy things to report, so stay tuned. Note to Pat: now is your last chance to tell me if you don’t want to see your smiling face coming soon to a blog post near you!


  1. Happy to catch this from you Julia just as I toddle off towards bed for the night. xo

    • Thank you, Pauline! I love it that your clock is the opposite to mine (although it gives you crazy jet lag when you visit) 🙂 – because when it’s late at night, quiet and a bit lonely, I can imagine you just beginning your morning, and when I’m dragging my groggy self out of bed and trying to get started, I can be comforted by the thought that you are about to enjoy some restful sleep. I think it’s wonderful that all the time zones and both hemispheres can now so easily connect!

  2. re: “much-needed prayers” – Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you . . .
    1 Samuel 12: 23

    • “Let us by all means pray for one another. It is perhaps the only form of ‘work for re-union’ which never does anything but good. God bless you” — C. S. Lewis, from Letters to an American Lady

      • MaryAnn

        Great C.S. Lewis quote! I can ALWAYS trust you to find the gems!

  3. Jim Beavers

    Welcome back!

    • Thank you, Jim. You have been one of our most faithful members of this little community, and I’m happy to see you are still with us!

  4. Sheila

    Well, make my day! ☕️ I am so glad to see your beloved blog this morning, Julia. I know you’re busy, busy but I really think that is better than being idle and too much “worry time”! I know you’re enjoying some of your studies immensely, especially C.S. Lewis. I can’t believe we only have a few days before we go out on the porch, again. I find myself looking forward to that! “What! You Too? I thought I was the only one.” 😘💛 Hugs to Matt! 🙏 Always in my daily being! 💖 She

    • Good afternoon, Sheila! I’m sipping some iced tea on this relatively mild Southern day. I have not peeked ahead at our next Verandah; this one is so lovely that I will have a hard time moving on. I did get a big kick out of showing Pat (a longtime reader with whom I’ve corresponded for nearly five years) the calendar when she was able to visit me recently. “This is CLUB VERANDAH!” I told her proudly. Thanks so much for quoting from my favorite author, who is even more human, and still more heroic in my eyes, than ever before. He was such a prolific writer that one could study his work for a lifetime, which I hope to do for the rest of mine, in one form or another. Thanks for making my day too! “What a long, strange trip it’s been,” but you have made each step of it easier and brighter for me.

  5. Ann

    Julia!! What a treat! I think of you & Matt often and miss your missives😊 Welcome back!!

    • Thank you, Ann! It’s wonderful to “see” you here. I have missed you. ❤

  6. Your gift of the written word has been missed by all of us! You affect our lives with your insightfulness and gift of sharing. We are all praying for you & family. You would be amazed at how many people surround you with endless love and well wishes even if you don’t hear from them often. In my business we often say: “Making a living while making a difference.” You are living and making a difference through the life you share and give to others–(again) through your gift of the written word.

    • Renee, your support is so strong and unwavering and inspiring! Thank you for reminding me of what I’ve been depending on for a long time now: that I KNOW you are always there for us. I hope I never need to wake you with the 3:00 a.m. “I just need someone to talk to” call, but I know that if I do, you will be there. Your kindness and generosity have been so important to me. Thanks for cheering me on, and for giving me your living example that surviving loss is possible, and need not be grim. Hope to see you soon (though not this Sunday — maybe next).

      • MaryAnn

        Totally agree with Renee! You are a wordsmith who touches hearts!

        • Thank you, Mary Ann. I wish you could meet Renee. She is definitely your kind of person!!

          • MaryAnn

            How special that will be!

  7. Bob

    WELCOME BACK!! You have been in my thoughts and prayers and I am looking forward to your future post of wisdom and humor. It always starts my day on a positive note. Your courage and faith have inspired me. Thank you:)

    • Thank you, Bob. Wow, it makes me happy to think that that in the midst of all this craziness, I have somehow managed to help someone. I appreciate your presence here, and your encouragement and especially your prayers!

  8. Welcome Back, Precious Friend!

    • Thank you, Barb. I think of you often, always with fond gratitude. I have not yet given up the idea of getting you, Ann and me together someplace for a “She Musketeers” reunion!

  9. Our love of humor always bonds us together as we enjoy happy smiles together and comforting belly laughs. Glad to hear you guys are doing OK and hope brighter days are coming. Youtube the Monty Python argument sketch if you need a pick me up! 🙂

    • Don, thanks so much for the reminder. I just watched the whole thing here and I don’t know whether I ever even saw the entire sketch before. I had forgotten how brilliant it is. As I watched it, I couldn’t help but think: 1. Hey, I could have worked there, and so could everyone in my family except maybe Carla! and 2. Hey, where are those amazing comedians when we need them most. Can you even imagine what they might be saying about current events? Oh, well, at least we’ll always have YouTube. 🙂

  10. Carolyn

    Hi sweet friend, so good to see your blogs again. I have missed reading your thoughts and seeing your pictures. You and Matt are so special to me. I am hanging in there waiting for my next doctor’s appointment. I will let you know how that turns out. You take care ,sending love and hugs .

    • Hi Carolyn! I have been very bad about keeping in touch lately, but I so appreciate your frequent notes and reminders that you are thinking of us. Hope all goes well at your next appointment – please keep us posted. And meanwhile, have some iced tea and enjoy the magical Memphis summertime! Even with the heat, it was always special and fun.

  11. Rene

    Good morning, Julia!
    First of all, forget you I NEVER will.
    Second, I am so sorry for the loss of Jeff and your Mom. I can’t even imagine the pain.
    Third, I had been off the grid for a little while when I read your post about Jeff. My intention was to send you a personal, private note by mail before posting again; but I am a horrible correspondent. It was inexcusable (so I’ll spare you the excuse) to wait so long. I am sorry but so, so glad that God (obviously it was Him) prompted me to drop by today!
    Fourth, I didn’t know that there was a Yoda meme generator; whoo hoo, I can’t wait to try it out for myself!
    Have a blessed, beautiful day!!!

    • Rene, I am so excited to hear from you again! I have been so absent from most correspondence that no apologies or excuses are necessary. Life is just speeding up for all us. Over the years I have gone from saying “Why don’t they write?” to saying “How on earth did they manage to write?” when I do hear from someone. As the blessings and distractions increase, we are all being pulled in so many directions. But once in awhile, a really good distraction (like the Yoda Meme Generator or the Monty Python Argument Clinic– see link in comment to Don, above — is worth a quick interruption. OR, as I told Raynard (several years ago now, hard as that is to imagine) the unofficial title for this blog should be “We digress!” Say it proudly and add lots of laughs! Hope you too have a blessed, beautiful day — and THANKS so much for being here!

  12. Cherie

    So happy to see you back!! I missed your sweet words of wisdom. Welcome back!!!! Love and Light! Cherie

    • Thank you Cherie! You and Ron are ever in our thoughts and prayers. ❤

  13. Happy to see you and Matt back with us.

    • Thank you Merry! I have missed you. Hope this finds you doing well or at least OK. I imagine it’s fairly hot in your neck of the woods right now, so I hope you will join me in sipping some iced tea. 🙂

  14. Rita Thompson

    What a delight to see a DD post pop up in my inbox. To hear from you again brings such joy to this hungry reader!!

    • Thank you Rita, that is such a lovely thing to say! I am glad to be posting again and reading these comments. I missed you all. Thanks for being here.

  15. I’m delighted to find your post here, Julia. xo

    • Thank you, Alys. For this, and so much more!!

  16. Sheila

    Good morning, Julia and Matt. ☕️ Walter is my “background music” this morning! I suppose that’s his way of greeting the day. I just finished reading a James Patterson novel, “Two From The Heart”, a bit different for him. A gal travels, meets strangers along the way, listens to their stories, and takes photos. Later she combines this into a book and opens a successful art gallery. Just a fun read! It’s two short stories, hence the title. 📚Have a good weekend! ✅

    • Sheila, I’m tuning into my imaginary Walter channel, certainly a favorite among my “nature sounds” selections. Sometime when he’s especially chatty, maybe you can do a quick phone video for me. If he’s anything like Sweetie (my Aunt Peggy’s cockatiel) he might just ham it up when he sees a camera. That books sounds interesting. I could use some fun reading, so I just checked the Fairfax library and there were 43 HOLDS ON THAT TITLE!! So it must be popular. Luckily the library near our York home has an audio copy available, so I’ll try to check it out soon – no pun intended! Hope you have a super fun weekend.

  17. MaryAnn

    Julia, Julia!!!! What a joy to read you thoughts! You encouragement to US is much appreciated! I miss “My” Dentons! That James Patterson book sounds great. I just discovered Dee Henderson, wonderful cop/FBI stories written with Christian attributes in the characters! I have read 10 novels this summer. I am so blessed to have you as my forever friend! Praying for you & Matt! Much love!

    • Mary Ann, you are truly a forever friend to Matt and me. Your love for him has been one of the greatest gifts anyone has ever given Jeff and me. Please keep those prayers going. We love you!

  18. Just wanted to say that I think of you and your family often and pray for you, for your comfort and peace.

    • Thank you, Nancy, it is always a joy to hear from you. We so appreciate your presence here, and your prayers. Hope you are doing well!

  19. I always look forward to reading your posts, and so happy that you’ll be writing to us more often. You have such an encouraging way with words. I continue to pray for your situation. Thank you for sharing your life with us in a good way.

    • Hi Leslie, thanks for being here to greet me. I really appreciate your encouragement. I have really missed this blog, and not because academic writing is so thrilling (NOT!) We continue to need and appreciate your prayers, good wishes, and presence here. I’ll try to keep sharing the good things that come our way. In any situation, as many people have pointed out, there are still blessings for which to be thankful. I’m glad you’re one of them!

  20. Good morning, Julia! Welcome back, and thank you for reminding me to add some humor to my life, which needs better balance.
    P.S. Forget you, we’ll never! 🙂

    • Thank you Susan! Yes, balance is a continual struggle, isn’t it? Including getting off-balance about being off-balance! 🙂 But I keep aiming mainly to get through each day, and so far I am managing that, and I’m amazed how much time can pass that way. I do like to dream of the future, though. Come see you we will!

  21. Sheila

    🎉HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRADY!🎂 Is “Baby Grady” 3 years old today? I know it’s “Big Boy Grady” now! 🏃🙍🏼‍♂️👨‍👩‍👦‍👦

    • Sheila, believe it or not, Grady is FOUR years old. He has grown up so much. Tonight on the phone he told me about seeing bats at night, and about a book on flags that he checked out especially for me at the library (Drew says Grady didn’t understand that he couldn’t keep library books forever). Happy Birthday, Grady! Four years ago this very hour I was holding you in my arms.

  22. Good to see you back in spite of your struggles. Hopefully, things will work out in a manageable way soon. I know what you mean about needing to add a little levity when life gets too heavy. I love your Yoda. May have to find one of my own. 🙂 I’m trying to get a post done today as well but the brain has ceased to function so I’ll come back to it a bit later today. Hugs for you and Matt

    • Marlene, Yoda told me to tell you, “Rest your brain must.” I said “Well, what about MY brain?” and he said “Nonsense is strong with you. Survive you will.” 🙂

      • Thanks for passing on the message. 🙂 Yoda is a pretty good and smart guy. 🙂 You will survive. You are still needed by the world. Hugs.

  23. LOL, you have a super sense of humour and I’m glad to know it is not lost in lifes furl. I’m going to start here this morning and work my way to the top of all your delicious writings! A very belated welcome back xoxo K

    • K, this is a very belated thanks for your comment, and for being here! I keep intending to put something in the snail-mail for you, and then keep not getting to it…so belated is something I understand. I do appreciate your being here at all, anytime, and your kind words about my writing. ❤

  24. Wow! Welcome back. I was sure you would be back sooner or later. So happy to see you posting.
    I was in India for a month. A lot of changes in my life. That’s a long story. Anyway, I shall be catching up with your posts soon.

    • Bindu, it’s always such a joy to see you here. I hope you were in Kerala? I am eager to hear your story. I hope your time in India was refreshing.

      • Yes, I was in Kerala. Some major changes are taking place in our life. So, I’m in no mood to check out what is happening in the world of blogs. But really, so happy to see you back. And shall be soon reading them all and know more about you. 🙂

        • Thank you, Bindu! I am hoping the changes are all good ones, or at least will lead to something good eventually. I’m happy you were able to spend some time in beautiful Kerala.

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