Author Archive: Julia

Because you once traversed

“These trees are yours because you once looked at them. These streets are yours because you once traversed them… You once spoke to Him, and then God became yours. He sits with us in darkness now…” ― Kamand Kojouri We talked here recently about how, in a sense, experiences in our past belong to us …

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As it always does

“But when fall comes, kicking summer out…as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed…” — Stephen King As I write this, Hurricane Florence is forecast to strike the Virginia and North Carolina coasts in a few days, and our beloved …

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Not alone

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” ― Shannon L. Alder The online world is full of contradictions, and none more obvious than its tendency to create feelings of isolation even as it facilitates digital connection. Still, the anonymity and freedom …

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Activity

“Don’t mistake activity with achievement.” ― John Wooden My sister keeps two hummingbird feeders on her deck, and during the few days that I spent with her recently, I probably saw more hummingbirds than during the rest of life put together. They swarm around, off and on, for most of the day every day. To watch them …

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You never know

“…you’re not the only one who feels like you don’t belong, or that it’s better somewhere else. But there ARE things worth living for.  And the best part is you never know what’s going to happen next.” ― O.R. Melling Recently I was flying out of DCA to attend the memorial service for Tuffy, about whom I …

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So much faster

“They outgrow us so much faster than we outgrow them.” – Jodi Picoult Drew and Grady flew in to see us on Matt’s birthday. I had not seen Grady in nine months, and during that time he went from a somewhat precocious four year old to a very mature five year old. His birthday is …

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Like a handprint on my heart

You’ll be with me Like a handprint on my heart… — Stephen Schwartz Many of you will remember my earlier post about going to visit my “other Mama and Daddy” on the first Christmas after Jeff died. My siblings and I were blessed to have a second set of parents who provided us with another home …

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Smaller and less sneaky

“Friends can make you feel that the world is smaller and less sneaky than it really is.” ― Lemony Snicket Sometimes, especially lately, it’s pretty hard to see the world as a friendly place. From the nefarious newsmakers who hack away at others figuratively, digitally and sometimes even literally, to the rude strangers who cut …

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A book of hope

“Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me. Summer was supposed to be about freedom…possibilities and adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope. That’s why I loved and hated summers. Because they made me want to believe.” ― Benjamin Alire Sáenz The past few weeks have been so …

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Like a million suns

Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns,  And calls me on and on across the universe…     — John Lennon & Paul McCartney Recently while I was driving to York County, I began getting sleepy as I almost always do when I make long drives alone. The coffee I brought along …

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Still, flowers bloom

“this life has been a landscape of pain and still, flowers bloom in it.”      ― Sanober Khan Just when it seemed the heat was becoming unbearable, it broke. On Friday my sister and I walked outside and simultaneously burst into exclamations of delight at the wonderfully cool air. When I arrived back in York …

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Patience and perseverance

Dear Readers, As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, I find myself sorely in need of both patience and perseverance. This week has been filled with endless paperwork, logistical tangles and other oppressive tasks, and it feels increasingly difficult to muster the energy and enthusiasm to keep going. Here I am, once again re-blogging a …

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Perhaps the greater

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien Let’s just say it had been one of those days. Following one of those weeks. …

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How important you are

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” ― Fred Rogers “Mister Rogers wasn’t a relic of a simpler time; he …

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A wayside sacrament

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”  —Charles Kingsley Dear readers, I’m sitting here in the wee hours of …

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Such beautiful lessons

Another morning and I wake with thirst  for the goodness I do not have. I walk  out to the pond and all the way God has given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord,  I was never a quick scholar but sulked and hunched over my books past the hour and the bell; grant me, in your …

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Though they sleep

“The brave die never, though they sleep in dust:   Their courage nerves a thousand living men.” — Minot J. Savage Dear readers, though I don’t typically re-blog earlier posts, today I wanted to share this one again. Arlington National Cemetery is very much on my mind for so many reasons. May this Memorial Day …

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Count on flowers

“No matter how uncertain our world sometimes seems, we can count on flowers to appear each spring.” – Barbara Milo Ohrbach Longtime members of the Defeat Despair community will be familiar with Susan, whom I first met here and whose previous visits have inspired earlier posts. She spent some time with Matt and me this …

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The jangled soul can flee

‘Tis fitting in these days of noise, Here in these thunder years of steam, The soul should keep its equipoise And think its thoughts and dream its dream. We scar the placid vales with mills, We scoop the seas and shear the hills: ‘Tis well that to these temples of the mind The jangled soul …

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Nothing but the thread

“I have gathered a posy of other men’s flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”― John Bartlett In a recent post, we talked about the fondness for quotes that many of us share. Probably no name has been more associated with quotations than John Bartlett, whose classic collection has continued …

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To share our pain

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” — Henri Nouwen “…losing love Is like a …

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Conversation partners

“The borders between reading and writing and living are fluid. I do not take time out from life to write, nor do I take time out from life to read. When I quote somebody, I’m not hiding. I’m introducing you to one of my conversation partners.” — Patrick Henry (no, not that one, this one) …

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No endings

“There are no endings. If you think so you are deceived as to their nature. They are all beginnings. Here is one.” ― Hilary Mantel “…life is eternal And love is immortal And death is only a horizon Life is eternal As we move into the light And a horizon is nothing Save the limit of our …

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Inverse correlation

“There are things money can’t buy. I don’t think standard of living equates with cost of living beyond a certain point. Good housing, good health, good food, good transport. There’s a point you start getting inverse correlation between wealth and quality of life… I have everything I need to have, and I don’t need any …

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But one has seen

“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is …

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