Tag Archives: family

The art of counting

“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” — Harold Coffin I often have a problem with envy, especially when friends who are my age start describing their carefree “empty nest” travels and activities.  After nearly 30 years of caretaking and managing the lives of our children (beginning when …

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Deep in December

“Deep in December it’s nice to remember Although you know the snow will follow Deep in December it’s nice to rememberWithout a hurt the heart is hollow…” — (Lyricist) Tom Jones, from The Fantasticks I grew up listening to this lovely song, and Jeff and I saw the staged musical on one of our first …

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This is where

This is the bright homein which I live,this is whereI askmy friendsto come,this is where I wantto love all the thingsit has taken me so longto learn to love. This is the templeof my adult alonenessand I belongto that alonenessas I belong to my life. There is no houselike the house of belonging.  — David …

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Home is not where

“Home is not where, it is whom.” -Christianne Dettmann As most readers have figured out by now, I’m no longer posting two weeks in advance, but taking it day by day as I am able.  Since my days are mostly spent in hospitals lately, I have a bit of a one-track mind.  In any case, …

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Don’t pass it by

“There it is round you. Don’t pass it by—the immediate, the real, the only, the yours.” — Henry James Until this year, this would be a typical sight for a Saturday in November; Jeff mowing the grass for perhaps the last time until spring.  I took this photo seven years ago, but even if I …

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A combination

“Home is a combination of human will and divine grace.” — Alexandra Stoddard Whether we live alone or with family, whether we open our doors to traveling friends and adopted animals, or prefer a more solitary life, it takes substantial effort to create and maintain a home.  Despite what we sometimes refer to as modern conveniences, the …

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The incredible gift

“The incredible gift of the ordinary!  Glory comes streaming from the table of daily life.” — Macrina Wiederkehar One of the hardest things about the past year has been the need to cancel no fewer than three scheduled visits to see my parents.  It’s good that our grandson happened to be born in Atlanta, so I finally …

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Everyone belongs

No one is a stranger here. Everyone belongs. Finding our forgiveness here, we in turn forgive all wrongs. — Bryan J. Leech On a recent Sunday during worship in northern Virginia, we sang one of my favorite songs before communion.  A verse from the song is quoted above.  Having entered the assembly that day feeling …

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To become a grandparent

“To become a grandparent is to enjoy one of the few pleasures in life for which the consequences have already been paid.”  — Robert Brault My nephew Ryan sent me this photo recently and I loved it instantly.  Since Jeff and I will soon be grandparents for the first time, I thought a post about grandchildren …

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An honor to live

“I am grateful for my daily life; it is an honor to live it.  My day-to-day routine holds many mysteries, even though it has become ordinary and comfortable to me.”  — Steve Deger No matter where we travel, Jeff and I always try to get off the tourist path for at least a few hours, …

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Firesides on winter evenings

“The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cozy parlor firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender; of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of …

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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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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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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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Perceptibly nearer

“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence…yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. The vast and shadowy stream of time sweeps on without break, but the …

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A little at a time

“I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year.” — Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)  Even more than last …

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An enduring savor

“If I summon up those memories that have left me with an enduring savor, if I draw up the balance sheet of the hours in my life that have truly counted, surely I find only those that no wealth could have procured me.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Most likely, today will seem like just another …

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Whoever you are

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on… Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.    — Mary Oliver …

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Our old home life

“I was never before so eager to cling to every bit of our old home life and to see you…Come and see me, I am homesick…” — C. S. Lewis Today is my 900th regular post, so I hope you will bear with me as I try something a little bit different. I’m bringing you …

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An echo from the past

Nothing is Lost by Noel Coward Deep in our sub-conscious, we are told Lie all our memories, lie all the notes Of all the music we have ever heard And all the phrases those we loved have spoken, Sorrows and losses time has since consoled, Family jokes, out-moded anecdotes Each sentimental souvenir and token Everything …

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First find thankfulness

“This is the only life you will have before you enter eternity. If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness. Indeed, the one who is thankful for even a little enjoys much…It does not matter what your circumstances are; the instant you begin to thank God, even though your situation has not …

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We come home, eventually

“Our ancestors derived less from life than we do, but they also expected much less and were less intent on controlling the future. We are of the arrogant generations who believe a lasting happiness was promised to us at birth.” ― Amin Maalouf “We return to the lives of those who have gone before us, …

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Always in the midst

“It is always in the midst, in the epicenter, of your troubles that you find serenity.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Using Drew’s phone, I took this photo of Matt, Drew and Carla on Thanksgiving Day of last year.  We were awaiting a pizza that was being prepared as the last order of the evening at …

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The celebration of life

“Grace is the celebration of life, relentlessly hounding all the non-celebrants in the world. It is a floating, cosmic bash shouting its way through the streets of the universe…” ― Robert Farrar Capon In at least three generations of my mother’s family, the males outnumber the females by a ratio of two to one, or …

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