Author Archive: Julia

The first spring day

“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”  — Henry Van Dyke On March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, we returned to Alexandria to find six inches of snow on the ground.  Really!  I had just left behind …

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Our noblest hopes

“Our noblest hopes grow teeth and pursue us like tigers.”  — John Gardner Tigers may be my favorite wild animals.  Their beauty and power fascinate me.  I like this quote, because I believe hope can be a formidable weapon against despair.  I tend to think of hope as a passive, almost delicate quality; something silent …

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Open arms

“A library should be like a pair of open arms.” ― Roger Rosenblatt “So why on earth would you take an eight-month-old baby to a library?” my mother asked me, when I told her how Matt and I had spent the previous day with Grady.  As a retired librarian who specialized in youth services, I …

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The earth laughs

“The earth laughs in flowers.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson If Emerson is right, this spring ought to be a riot of hilarity, the kind that comes as a huge relief after sustained tension.  Last week, the cherry blossoms “brought down the house” with the earth’s mirth in the DC area.  I hope you too are …

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You know how it is

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day. When the sun is out and the wind is still, You’re one month on in the middle of May. But if you so much as dare to speak, a cloud comes over the sunlit arch, And wind …

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A curious paradox

“There is a curious paradox that no one can explain. Who understands the secret of the reaping of the grain? Who understands why Spring is born out of Winter’s laboring pain, or why we must all die a bit before we grow again.” — Tom Jones (playwright) from The Fantasticks Today I send virtual flowers …

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Very valuable

“What a pity that I didn’t keep my childhood – it would be very valuable now.” — Ashleigh Brilliant One year ago today, I wrote about the April birthday shared by my father and my brother.  I had forgotten that my father’s father, who died when I was a baby, had almost had the same birthday.  …

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They will shine

“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” ― Roald Dahl “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…” — I Peter 3:3-4 One year ago …

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Most engaging

“The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.”  — Samuel Johnson Is there any brand name more tiresomely familiar than Walmart?  Yet this enterprising Turkish businessman found a way to put a humorous spin on it, borrowing that famous name and slogan for his small …

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The little pictures

“Change enough of the little pictures, and you’ll find you’ve changed the big picture.” — Ashleigh Brilliant For many years — almost since I first discovered Ashleigh’s work in  1990 — I’ve had this quote on my refrigerator door.  It reminds me to be patient when results come slowly, and not to feel helpless if …

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The people you meet

“The great difference between voyages rests not with the ships, but with the people you meet on them.” — Amelia Barr One thing I love about travel is the way it brings people together who might never otherwise meet.  Cruises are great for this, with continual group activities planned, but even those of us who …

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A perfect ratio

“There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount , a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand, insuring that wide, free, open, generous spacing among plants and animals…There is no lack of water here unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.” — …

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A genuine interest

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” ― William Morris I like to keep a camera handy so I can capture everyday moments, the type that seem commonplace.  Now that most people have cell phones with cameras, this is happening more often, and I …

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So great a sweetness

When such as I cast out remorse So great a sweetness flows into the breast We must laugh and we must sing, We are blest by everything, Everything we look upon is blessed. — William Butler Yeats Recently when I took Matt for his diagnostic testing and pre-surgical planning at the Children’s National Medical Center …

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This is the power

No guilt in life, no fear in death— This is the power of Christ in me; From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand; Till He returns or calls me home— Here in the power of Christ …

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All now mysterious shall be bright

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake To guide the future, as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below. —  Katharina von Schlegel …

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Gift of love

Your gift of love, they crucified They laughed and scorned Him as He died The humble King they named a fraud And sacrificed the Lamb of God.  — Twila Paris This Easter weekend, I am going to quote verses from some hymns I love that seem especially fitting for this season.  Of all the most …

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A nation that does not know

“In the words of a very famous dead person, ‘A nation that does not know its history is doomed to do poorly on the Scholastic Aptitude Test.’…We constantly see surveys that reveal this ignorance, especially among our high school students, 78 percent of whom, in a recent nationwide multiple-choice test, identified Abraham Lincoln as ‘a …

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Every time you smile

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” — Mother Teresa I wrote last year about Matt’s smiles, and how they have decorated countless photos and memories in his 28 years.  That post is linked below.  He’s had some help and encouragement in …

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Coaxed downstairs

“Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.” — Mark Twain I’ve come to respect the immense power of habit to influence our lives for better or worse.  In everything from eating to sleeping to managing money to how we …

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In the spring

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ― Margaret Atwood I’m re-blogging this lovely March 19, 2012 post from Alys at Gardening Nirvana, who reminds us that we can find ways to welcome spring even in small spaces. I put the words in the next to last paragraph …

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All ready

I wanted to do something a little different with the quote today, just to change things up a bit.  Let me know what you think. I see lots of quotes online that are “posterized” with photo or art, and I always enjoy them, but I have ZERO experience creating them.  However, if you don’t mind …

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The richness of the rain

“The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected; I have always considered the rain to be healing—a blanket—the comfort of a friend.” — Douglas Coupland “…I will praise the English climate till I die—even if I die of the English climate.” — G. K. Chesterton As much as I love the sunshine, …

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Different kinds of weather

“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” — Mark Twain Until this year, I might have accused Twain of exaggerating with this statement.  Now? Maybe not. It’s easy to forget that last spring seemed equally erratic at the time.  I was searching …

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A light joyousness

Hats off to Matisse!  I think he had a good attitude. Unfortunately, I sometimes want to make sure at least some people know just how hard I am working.  I’m not sure whether that’s a tendency to play the martyr, or a subtle way of trying to make sure I don’t get buried any deeper …

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