Author Archive: Julia

Excitement and peace

“It was the sort of storm that rarely happened…and the steady white flakes, the silence, filled him with a sense of excitement and peace. It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the …

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Flowers, always

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”― Claude Monet I was looking through my archives of January photos, and found this one from the first month of 2016. Jeff had brought me a dozen white roses for no particular reason, except that he knew I loved flowers, and I think he loved them nearly as much …

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If you can wait

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise…  — Rudyard Kipling If I had to name my top five favorite poems, “If” by Kipling would definitely make …

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A song for all the years

“Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever. Even though you grew up and found you could never quite bring back the magic feeling of this night, …

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Downright goodness

“It is, without doubt, the gifts we get from our excursions into differences—the people we come to know whom we could never have met otherwise, the wisdom we see in those we consider to be simpler than ourselves, the downright goodness of those we fear because we do not know them—that make us bigger of …

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While time stands still

“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still.” — Rachel Cohn As I write this, snow is covering the ground for the second time in the past month. Two snows BEFORE Christmas? Unprecedented in the life of this southern woman. And very unusual for northern …

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A never-tiring affection

“One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm …

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Never far

“Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty.” —James Norwood Pratt It seems contradictory that a chatterbox such as I would love silence as much as I do, but there it is. Perhaps it comes of having lived with Jeff for so many years. Or perhaps, in …

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A wonderful thing

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ― Voltaire The sixth anniversary of this blog passed recently, without mention by me or anyone else. The giddy hope that inspired a feeling of celebration on the first and second anniversaries gave way to reality, although I did recognize …

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Heroes who live among us

“There are two kinds of heroes. Heroes who shine in the face of great adversity, who perform an amazing feat in a difficult situation. And heroes who live among us, who do their work unceremoniously, unnoticed by many of us, but who make a difference in the lives of others.” —Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Yesterday was …

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The grand finale

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”— Lauren Destefano The weather here is finally cooling off enough that we are getting some splendid fall color, though it was still over 70 degrees several …

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A thing well done

“The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson Surviving trauma and loss requires learning how to ride the waves of sorrow that threaten to turn exhaustion into despair and resignation. Despite the ever-increasing use of antidepressants, the efficacy of which has been called into question in several …

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Each must be the last

“Each golden day was cherished to the full, for one had the feeling that each must be the last. Tomorrow it would be winter.” ― Elizabeth Enright A great many of us have experienced an unusually warm autumn so far, though it seems the cold weather is creeping in. Eager for cooler temperatures, having had …

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Overheard by the soul

And we dance to a whispered voice overheard by the soul undertook by the heart. You may know it… —Neil Diamond There’s an intriguing story in the first book of Kings, in the Old Testament. The prophet Elijah was fleeing for his life, because the queen, Jezebel, had sworn to kill him. It was no …

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All serious daring

“A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.” — Eudora Welty By most standards, I have lived a very sheltered life. I don’t regret it. I’ve had a lot of interesting experiences, traveled widely and read extensively, but I also have had the luxury of being …

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This is enough

“The longer I live, the more I read, the more patiently I think, and the more anxiously I inquire, the less I seem to know…Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. This is enough.” ― John Adams I can certainly identify with Adams’ observation about reading, thinking and anxious inquiry. In fact, I’ve noticed that my …

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Packed up, but still

“Now the long freight of autumn goes smoking out of the land. My possibles are all packed up, but still I do not leave…”    —Thomas McGrath Many years ago, when the movie Dances with Wolves came out, there was a sort of fad of people thinking up American Indian names for themselves that were …

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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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