Author Archive: Julia

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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Created for the transcendent

“We were made to enjoy music, to enjoy beautiful sunsets, to enjoy looking at the billows of the sea and to be thrilled with a rose that is bedecked with dew…Human beings are actually created for the transcendent, for the sublime, for the beautiful, for the truthful…and all of us are given the task of …

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The experience of a great people

“The flag of the United States has not been created by rhetorical sentences in declarations of independence and in bills of rights.  It has been created by the experience of a great people, and nothing is written upon it that has not been written by their life.  It is the embodiment, not of a sentiment, …

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Hopeful signs

“I’m looking for some hopeful signs — and something keeps telling me to look in your direction.” — Ashleigh Brilliant Today is my 800th published post, not counting the special posts linked above.  That number becomes more amazing to me the more I think about it.  Not only have I been writing that much, but …

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For a moment

“I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.” — Henry David Thoreau Not long ago Jeff called me to the front …

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Foundations of ease

“Burdens are the foundations of ease and bitter things the forerunners of pleasure.” — Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi I had to really think about this one for a few minutes; I wasn’t sure whether it was truth or wishful thinking.  Then I remembered the joke about the man who, when asked why he hit himself repeated on the …

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On noticing

“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.” ― H.L. Mencken Have you ever noticed that we have a tendency to idealize that which charms us?  Because we like the appearance of a product, we might conclude that it’s more functional.  If we fall …

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A tree has something to say

“When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent.” — Hermann Hesse It would …

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In familiar surroundings

“As much as I love to travel and see new things, I’m also a homebody.  No matter how far I wander, I’m always eager to get back to my own nest.  There’s nothing quite as satisfying as the little surprises that can pop up in familiar surroundings.  I find a great deal of pleasure right …

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