Shattering the Slump

The pleasure of nostalgia is never without its companion, loneliness. ~Isuna Hasekura, Japanese author

I find it sad to take down the decorations after Christmas.

Removing the garlands, twinkly lights, cheerful bows, spectacular tree, and poinsettias brings a certain wistfulness, unlike putting away coats and boots when spring arrives. Continue reading

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Welcome, Janus*

Look closely, and you can see tiny buds on this maple tree — gives me hope that Spring will arrive and erase this frigid winter!

One year passes by
New one arrives with promise
Make it a great one!

 

*Note: Janus was the Roman god of new beginnings. Typically, he’s pictured as two bearded faces on one head, and the faces are looking in opposite directions (over the past and toward the future). Happy 2018, everybody!

Merry Christmas!

I am grateful for the silence of winter mornings, for the beauty and wonder of the glint of sunlight in frost melting to dew, for the early-riser’s peaceful solitude that sets a mood of thankfulness, hope, and calm for the dawning day. ~Terri Guillemets, American quotation anthologist and author

First snowfall, winter 2017

I’m taking a few days off to do holiday things with my family, but I’ll be back soon. Love to all, Happy Christmas, and thank you for coming along on this blogging journey with me! I’ll leave you with an Irish Christmas Blessing:

The light of the Christmas star to you,
The warmth of home and hearth to you,
The cheer and good will of friends to you,
The hope of a childlike heart to you,
The joy of a thousand angels to you,
The love of the Son and God’s peace to you.

Got a Blanket??

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. ~Gerard de Nerval, pen name of French poet and author Gérard Labrunie

Little Snapdragon

Wild, free, and unprotected

Winter is coming.

 

Note: After highs reaching 60 degrees Sunday and Monday, temps here are expected to take a nosedive by the weekend … down to the 20s and low 30s. Brrr! Hope this little flower finds a way to survive an Illinois winter.

Thanksgiving 2017

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. ~H.U. Westermayer

We need a real Thanksgiving
More now than ever before
With families ’round the table
Instead of at the store.

We need a real Thanksgiving
More feast and family gladness
More charity and good will
Less Black Friday madness.

We need a real Thanksgiving
With football and post-meal naps
Fewer sales and frenzied shopping
More hot cocoa and night caps.

We need a real Thanksgiving
A full day without bad news.
No phone, TV, or Internet,
Nothing to give us the blues.

We need a real Thanksgiving
Who’s with me on this thought?
A day of peace and gratitude
And celebrating as we ought.

Note: Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! My son Domer is home to help me prepare the feast and yes, we’ll probably do a bit of shopping … after the holiday! I’ll catch up with you all in a few days.

Farewell to Fall

Autumn is the season of change. ~Taoist proverb

Anticipating a wicked storm followed by a cold front on Sunday evening, I decided to get in a walk so you all could enjoy what might be our last taste of Autumn this year.

Temps were in the low 70s (!) on Sunday, but fell to the 40s overnight. And while this hasn’t been the prettiest Fall we’ve had, it’s had its beauty. Take a look and see if you agree:

Maple turning shades of yellow

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Happy Halloween 2017

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too. ~Samuel Butler, English author

Seriously, Mama? Domer’s Karate Kid outfit?

This is the best you can come up with for my Trick or Treating costume?

Okay, fine. Now bring on the cookies!

Pretty Posies

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ~Claude Monet, French Impressionist painter

I think Monet was onto something.

Perhaps all creative types thrive when surrounded by Nature’s beauty, whether it’s trees and flowers or seas and mountains.

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Walktober

Take nothing but your memories; leave nothing but your footprints.  — Native American Chief Seattle

I traveled to Douglas-Hart Nature Center in central Illinois for my Walktober, a group walk organized by Robin over at Breezes at Dawn. If you’d like to join in the fun, do so and link here so she can include you.

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Hurricane Thoughts

I know hurricanes.
Always swooping in overnight
With screeching winds,
Drenching rains, tornadoes.

Now Texas has come under fire
With a monster called Harvey.
Watching the devastation
Brings it all back to me.

No power for days on end.
No air conditioning; no hair drying;
No cooking; no television.
Hot sodas, no ice, bed at dusk.

Trying to get a newspaper out
Without the resources needed.
The easy part is finding folks
Willing to tell somebody their story.

Flooded homes and businesses,
Empty spaces where buildings once were.
Disruption of daily existence;
Focus on the elation of being alive.

Trees stripped of leaves,
Long lines, irritability.
Staircases leading to an open sky.
Gratitude to strangers for aid.

I know hurricanes.
And while coastal living can be ideal,
It also can be precarious.
Maybe cornfields aren’t so bad.

Note: I’m forcing myself to turn off coverage of Hurricane Harvey, or I’d never get anything done. Still, my thoughts and prayers are with those uprooted by its path. Stay safe out there!