Author Archive: Julia

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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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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