Permanence and change

I took this photo less than a block from our front door in Alexandria, October 2015.

“October is a symphony of permanence and change.” ― B. W. Overstreet

It’s comforting that some things remain the same. As the seasons remind us, there is a reassuring pattern in nature that helps us stay on track when everything around us seems to be in meltdown.

The changes in my personal world, and in the world at large, have been beyond anything I could have predicted even a few short years ago. Sometimes it seems as if things cannot possibly go on, and yet they do. The news broadcasts are full of malice and mayhem, disaster and desolation, and yet somehow the sun continues to rise and people everywhere press on through devastating challenges and everyday frustrations.

It’s often said that anniversaries of great sorrows are difficult, and I have found that to be true. Yet we have managed to survive this past year, and this realization consoles us as we recall the strength and stability that were the hallmarks of Jeff’s legacy to us.

The splendor of nature’s passage into winter is a visual tribute to the bittersweet beauty of life’s transitions. I wish for you a glorious symphony to accompany you as you survive and celebrate the permanence and change in your own life.



  1. Prose both poignant and comfortingly soothing is rare. You have accomplished that with this blog entry – wow.

    • Thank you, Eric.

  2. Bob

    Continued thoughts and prayers for you and Matt. Your courage and strength inspire me as an example to push on through challenging times with the promise of better things to come and a reminder that even in the tough times there is so much to be thankful for and inspired by all around me. Thank you:)…..

    • Thank you, Bob. I’m so happy you find the blog helpful.

  3. Connie Reed

    Very nice, Julia! That was beautiful!

    • Thank you, Connie. It’s always a joy to see you here.

  4. Harry Sims

    Thank you Julia.


    • You’re welcome, Harry. 🙂

  5. It’s interesting, Julia, that I’m thinking of writing something right down this ally. I was writing it in my head this morning on my walk. This truly resonates and I know how you are feeling. There is no permanence. Change is all there is. Great post and hope the ache gentles soon. Anniversaries do bring it back up again. Hang in there.

    • Thank you, Marlene. It is comforting to know that there are those who understand.

  6. Sheila

    Good Saturday morning from Willow Tree, Julia. We changed up our week a bit by going to Topsail Beach, NC to visit with our vacationing Winston Salem friends. We came back to “428” on Thursday and landed at Willow Tree last night. Haha! 🌊🏠🏕 Your world has changed, for sure. I feel that the change and despair you’ve experienced has been laced with enough courage to see you through to this season. You are a “point of light” for so many and a friend that’s always close in my thoughts! Hi to Matt. 👋🏻 Love, Sheila

    • Sheila, Willow Tree is one of those comforting constants to me. Even though I’ve never been there, I feel as if I know it from hearing you describe it so well. Thanks so much for your friendship and your kind words!

  7. raynard

    Julia thank you as always. It has been too warm for October. But you save on your heating bill. Been busy baking and work with people coming and going. A lot of training” the youngsters.This month would have been my late mother’s 92nd birthday. Also, it’s been one year since Ella my wife’s aunt passed away. My wife is getting ready for a trip to see the grandkids. She ‘s doing well going back to work part-time a few weeks ago and rehabbing her shoulder. By now you should know about the changes at U.R. I guess it’s all about” the winds of change’ Hope you and Matt are doing well. Is it just me or” is ” The Candy Man in” cahoots with the dentist as waits for the day after Halloween to sing” It’s the most wonderful time of the year” I digress. One night my wife and I were watching reruns of Mr Ed. My dogs gave me ” that look like” Man that horse is so old, he should be glue or dog food by now lol

    • Raynard, I know this is a difficult month for you. I had remembered that Ms. Ella died around the same time Jeff did. Until you mentioned it, I didn’t know anything about the U.R. changes – I just dashed over there for a quick visit and I saw a different layout (and I liked seeing everyone’s pictures– appreciated your profile pic!) Did they change anything else, such as policy? That just shows you how out of the loop I am right now. Matt and I are doing OK. I sent you an email the other day because I wasn’t sure I had your most recent address. Couldn’t remember exactly when y’all moved. The past 5 years are sort of a blur for me. There is a little something I have been intending to send to you and Mary. We are getting ready for Halloween which is lots of fun here. Yes, I used to suspect that the dentists were in cahoots with the Halloween planners! But they have fluoridated themselves out of a lot of business. Mr. Ed was one of my favorite shows!

  8. “…Permanence and change.” The oxymoron of life it seems. Arms around you Julia. I feel your pain and sorrow and understand the overwhelming nature of it all.

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