Category Archives: Uncategorized

Graceful, varied and enchanting

“Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.” — Jeffrey Glassberg Flowers are not only attractive and fragrant; they also draw butterflies to add even more beauty to our lives.  When I was a child I was tempted to …

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The best kind of friend

“The best kind of friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you’ve had.” — Author Unknown As much as I enjoy talking (OK, no wisecracks here) I have to admit that an amiable silence is also one …

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A big journey

“Childhood isn’t just something we ‘get through.’ It’s a big journey, and it’s one we’ve all taken. Most likely, though, we’ve forgotten how much we had to learn along the way about ourselves and others.” — Fred Rogers One of the most sobering things about being around children is the realization that everything we do …

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Unless we share

“…pleasure has no relish unless we share it.” – Virginia Woolf I’ve written a good bit about the joys of solitude, but enjoyment is almost always better when it is shared with others.  I think that’s one reason most people like traveling with companions; it’s much more fun when there is someone along who understands …

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A light from within

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross I love stained glass, from tiny sun-catchers hanging in kitchen windows, to magnificent soaring panels in cathedrals.   Whenever I see …

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Achieved, not bestowed

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt We often speak of freedom being granted, as if it is something given.  While it’s appropriate to view our freedom as a gift, it is also a quality that has to come from within.  We can become the willing slaves of …

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The torch of freedom

“The stature of our homeland is no more than the measure of ourselves. Our job is to keep her free. Our will is to keep the torch of freedom burning for all. To this solemn purpose we call on the young, the brave, the strong, and the free.” — John Paul Jones Many of us …

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Through all the gloom

“I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all  the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means; that posterity …

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A safety place

“It is strange how a man believes he can think better in a special place. I have such a place, have always had it, but I know it isn’t thinking I do there, but feeling and experiencing and remembering.  It’s a safety place. Everyone must have one, although I never heard a man tell of …

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Dear earth

“…a greater glory I may one day see, but oh today, dear earth, how I love thee.” — Louise E. Weber, as recorded in The Notes by Ronald Reagan (page 47) Skeptics sometimes describe those of us who believe in heaven as people for whom religion is a crutch; a desperate hope to which we …

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Read history

“If you think you have it tough, read history books.” — Bill Maher I’m no fan of Bill Maher, but he has a point about history.  It’s a great way to gain some perspective.  Not long ago I read Bill Bryson’s fascinating book At Home, and I realized I’d never fully appreciated such things as electricity and sewer systems.  From …

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The mystic moon

At midnight, in the month of June, I stand beneath the mystic moon. An opiate vapor, dewy, dim, Exhales from out her golden rim… —Edgar Allan Poe Last Saturday, just after the summer solstice, I returned from a wonderfully cool evening walk with Pasha.  Although it was nearly 9:00 pm, there was still daylight outside.  …

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A garden and a library

“He who has a garden and a library wants for nothing.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero Several weeks ago one of our readers sent me this quote, and I immediately thought “That would make a great post for the blog.”  What makes the quote so appealing is that most people can have at least a small library and …

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So rare

And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days…  — James Russell Lowell June has been a blur for us this year, as perhaps it has been for you.  We’ve been overwhelmed with hospitalizations, seemingly endless appointments, backlogged tasks indoors and out, and the yearly traffic snarls from summer …

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When there is nothing

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”     — lines from the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling Over 200 posts ago, on my second-ever post on …

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To flowers

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” — Claude Monet It’s easy to believe that flowers inspired Monet to capture beauty on canvas, creating some of my favorite masterpieces.  Add one more amazing gift to the lengthy list of the ways flowers have enhanced our lives. The flowers seem even more beautiful than usual this year.  …

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It still matters

“Tradition does not mean a dead town; it does not mean that the living are dead but that the dead are alive. It means that it still matters what Penn did two hundred years ago or what Franklin did a hundred years ago…” — G. K. Chesterton Tevye isn’t the only one who prizes tradition.  …

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And then there is…

“There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience.  And then there is California.” — Edward Abbey In case Abbey’s quote leaves anyone in doubt, I mean it as a compliment. Whatever else can be said of California, it is certainly unlike any other state in the USA.  It’s a web of contradictions; …

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Brilliantly disguised

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations…” — Charles Swindoll I will always remember the first time I saw this quote.  It was fairly recently, in an email I got from an extraordinary person, Dr. Anitha John. She specializes in adult congenital cardiology, a relatively new field …

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The real secret

“The real secret of how to use time is to pack it as you would a portmanteau, filling up the small spaces with small things.” — Sir Henry Haddow Much has been written about the importance of prioritizing major tasks and important duties first, and fitting everything else in around them.  But sometimes there still does …

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Solace, inspiration, adventure

“Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.” — Lorraine Anderson Whatever may be bugging you, I’ll bet it would be eased somewhat if you could manage a few moments to get away to a place without electronics, …

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Resolved in the morning

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” — John Steinbeck If you’re an insomniac, a night owl, or both (as I am) you have probably done a good bit of work and/or worry in the late hours …

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Just the thing

“Eeyore, what are you doing there?” said Rabbit “I’ll give you three guesses, Rabbit. Digging holes in the ground? Wrong. Leaping from branch to branch of a young oak tree? Wrong. Waiting for somebody to help me out of the river? Right. Give Rabbit time, and he’ll always get the answer.” “But, Eeyore,” said Pooh in …

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Being peace

“It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace.” — Thich Nhat Hanh The tragedy is that the world is a very broken place, and probably always will be so.  The beauty is …

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One who knows the way

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”  — John C. Maxwell As Reneé, Roger, Tammy and I walked through one of the outdoor courtyards at Walter Reed NMC, one of them said, “Look, a mother duck and her babies!”  Naturally, I had to take some photos.  It …

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