Author Archive: Julia

So glad

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” — L. M. Montgomery As I write this, I’m feeling sad and very tired.  I’ve not been sleeping well lately, and it feels as if everything in my life is currently a source of some sort of worry.  This evening, despite having many …

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The land comes alive

“The land comes alive through its wild creatures.”  — Charles Fergus When I was employed by the Tennessee Department of Conservation, one of the foresters with whom I worked heard me say my fiancé was from Hickman County.  “Hickman County?” he said. “They got more deer there than people!” I had to agree with that. …

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Invariably imagined

“…it is not surprising that paradise is invariably imagined as a garden.” — Mac Griswold Autumn is upon us, with all its promise of splendor, but it’s not too late to bid a fond farewell to the green grass and vivid blooms of summer.  I hope you are able to spend a few minutes this …

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Many worlds

“Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists…” — Marcel Proust How are you feeling today?  I hope it’s a happy day for you, with agreeable weather and time to enjoy a few …

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Our heart is not always able

“…our heart is not always able to say what it wants to say, and frequently has to content itself with less.” — Alexander McCall Smith In spite of my ceaseless flow of words, McCall Smith’s statement quoted above (as expressed in the thoughts of the winsome Mma. Ramotswe) is more true for me now than ever. …

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The noise is democracy

“Our political institutions work remarkably well. They are designed to clang against each other. The noise is democracy at work.” — Michael Novak When I first read that quote by Novak, I couldn’t help wondering when he said it, and whether he still feels that way.  Everywhere I turn, I hear people complaining about the government. …

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To produce some good

“I am very little inclined on any occasion to say anything unless I hope to produce some good by it.” – Abraham Lincoln To borrow some famous words of Yogi Berra, Lincoln really didn’t say everything he said, but apparently he really said this.  And WOW, what a quote.  Just think how much better the world …

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There are no words

2022 update: When I first decided to re-post everything I had written for the past seven years, I dreaded the heartache that would come when I had to re-live the most difficult times. This post marked the first of the great sorrows that changed me forever. Yet watching the video, I also feel blessed beyond …

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I learn by going

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.    I learn by going where I have to go. —  Theodore Roethke I’ve never been fond of awakening from a nice dreamy sleep, and getting up (especially on cold, dark mornings) is not something I do well. I envy and wonder at Jeff’s ability to get up very early, usually …

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Important decision

“The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.”― Voltaire In the grand scheme of things, it might seem that Voltaire is exaggerating to describe a mere mood as being so important.  After all, there are plenty of huge and life-changing decisions that are far less transient than how we feel on …

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Ingenuity and resourcefulness

“Risk brings out the ingenuity and resourcefulness which ensure success.” — Robert Rawls “There are men climbing around in the top of your tree!” Darla reported with excitement when I answered the front door that morning.  She knew the tree surgeons were coming to remove our giant oak that day, but the sight of them …

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Truly artistic

“The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” — Vincent Van Gogh Quick, think of your stereotype of an artist.  Did you picture someone isolated, temperamental, aloof or demanding of perfection?  Someone slightly out of touch with “normal” life?  I have to admit, that’s …

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Vitally appealing

“The emotional energy created by the critical illness of a child is unlike anything else in a family. The medical situation devours much of the family’s life and leaves its mark on everyone involved: parents and siblings, grandparents and friends. Passions are generated, enormous resources are called upon, any moment can suddenly turn into a …

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A pathological nostalgia

“I had a pathological nostalgia.  I grieved not only for my own rapidly receding childhood but also for the years, ‘the pasts,’ that I would never experience.  The past seemed as real to me as the present, as real as another country.  But unlike another country, its borders were closed…pictures felt like the next best …

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Doing more

“…look for ways [that] devices or media may be making specific tasks easier or faster but at the same time making your work and life harder.” — Alex Soojung-Kim Pang “There’s no question that labor-saving devices save labor.  But they also manufacture labor.  The washing machine and the dryer don’t save time if you end …

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A logic all their own

“Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me…they made me want to believe.”  — Benjamin Alire Sáenz As incredible as it seems to me, the summer is already beginning to wind down.  The days are getting shorter and there have been a few touches of cool weather here …

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We don’t need as much

“We don’t need as much money as we have. Hardly any of us need as much money as we have. It’s true what they say about the best things in life being free.” – Donald Miller Miller’s words may sound controversial or oversimplified, but the more I think about them, the more I agree.  I …

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Ashore

The land may vary more; But wherever the truth may be— The water comes ashore, And the people look at the sea.  — Robert Frost I haven’t been to the seashore in awhile, and I’m missing it.  Carla, Matt and I enjoyed a late breakfast at the Belvedere recently, but we didn’t have enough time …

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So much your own

“Child, who sculpted you, that your face is so like mine and yet so much your own?”       — Joan Walsh Anglund  (I think*) I was about to draft a post for today when I realized something exciting: it’s Grady’s birthday! But without giving you the exact date, or the number of years that …

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You’d think I knew

“The way I run this thing you’d think I knew something about it.” — Bugs Bunny Bugs Bunny is 75 years old today! No puns about gray hares, just heartfelt celebration for the laughs he has given us all these years.  Bugs had some very similar cartoon cousins who came before him, but the general consensus is …

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Not actually alone

“There are only two things I like to do alone: reading and traveling, and for the same reason.  When you travel, and when you read, you are not actually alone, but rather surrounded by other worlds entirely, the footsteps and phrases of whole other lives keeping you company as you go.” — Shauna Niequist There’s …

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Time to relax

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” — Sydney J. Harris I’m guessing today is a busy day for you.  All the more reason to give yourself a quick break, or maybe even a long one.  See that bench in the garden, pictured above?  That’s your virtual space to sit …

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The great cure

“Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I have found out long ago.” — C. S. Lewis It seems that a great many people don’t like to write, and I find that amazing. Whether I’m writing a letter, an email, a blog post …

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Don’t lose sight

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.” — Walt Disney Walt Disney’s success is legendary, and the tough road he took to get there is well documented. He died in 1966, soon after his 65th birthday, an age that sounds far too …

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Come as children

O men, grown sick with toil and care, Leave for awhile the crowded mart; O women, sinking with despair, Weary of limb and faint of heart, Forget your years to-day and come As children back to childhood’s house.   — Phoebe Cary Today I invite you to set aside a few moments for remembering what it …

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