“Red Flower will grow new Leaves and Buds…and so will we, so will we!”

Dear Reader:

I told “Big Red” good-bye yesterday.

It was tough to pull that last (“plug”) stem but a human analogy would be that “Big Red” had ceased taking in nourishment for several weeks…the last stem had started turning black, like the others did that Chelsey and I amputated earlier in hopes of saving one last piece of the root system.

But now all that was left was the final stem with green leaves (at the end) slowly turning yellow as the black took over more and more of the stem each day. I couldn’t bear to watch it any longer die from lack of nourishment. The stems were like hardening of the arteries…nothing was getting through.

I had to go in early yesterday morning to get some lab work/blood work done for my doctor’s appointment next week, then went by the store and got that chore done. It was still early when I returned…around 9:30. After I put the groceries up…I slowly walked out on the porch and told ‘Big Red’ good-bye.

I made a box and put the stem with the last green leaves in an air-tight plastic bag….wrote “Big Red” a note of appreciation for ten years of love and devotion…made a cover for a box to place everything in and even put some flowers around the box. A fitting tribute for “Big Red.”

History in a Nutshell: (For new readers)

I received a beautiful, red geranium on the day I returned home from my first mastectomy May 31, 2008. There was a large group of people already home when I arrived and lunch had been fixed…there were several presents and cards around…so by the time I started connecting gifts with cards I couldn’t find one inside the beautiful red geranium plant or even a separate card identifying the giver.

I placed the beautiful plant on the white bench on my front porch….never realizing it would stay right there for just over ten years. As time went by…nothing seemed to be able to kill this plant…heat, cold, bugs, storms and hurricanes. “Big Red” as I dubbed the plant was courageous, persistent, and loyal for a decade.

Eventually what took its life was its over extended abundance of blooms that finally pulled the root system from the pot and slowly began the decline this summer that resulted in its death yesterday.

A visual look at Big Red over the years….starting in 2010 with the blog.

This past Christmas Big Red was at its most beautiful….when the cold weather hit after Christmas it came inside for the longest time ever during the ice storm and then other nights Luke would carry it inside for me. Everyone in the neighborhood loved Big Red and would slow down and beep when they saw it.

During the early days of my first chemo infusion treatments in the summer of 2008 I would go sit in the sun and just talk to Big Red. It is amazing how close all God’s creations are in reality. There is no doubt Big Red came into my life when I most needed it  and now…?

Out of nine cuttings that Chelsey took when Big Red was struggling earlier this summer…only one “took.” Now Little Red (Big Red’s clone) sits inside the beautiful bowl Chelsey and Luke gave me with the plant inside. Yesterday I couldn’t bring myself to throw the big potted plant container away that Big Red called home for a decade…so I simply placed Little Red on top…hoping that the same courage and perseverance that kept Big Red blooming to everyone’s enjoyment for so long will be passed along to Little Red.

This was Big Red’s last bloom for me…as it struggled to stay alive while Chelsey and I did everything humanly possible we knew to help it. It was just its time…so now my hope lies in Big Red’s clone…Little Red. May Little Red carry on his father’s legacy of hope and courage.




At the end of the children’s book “Red Flower Goes West” a little boy’s red geranium survives all the trials and hardship of traveling in a covered wagon out west. Soon the little boy, like me, realizes that keeping that red flower alive for his mother is the most important thing on the trip. When they finally arrive….the little boy hands the red geranium to his mother and she says” Red Flower will grow new leaves and buds…and so will we, so will we.”

***I think I got left one last ‘smile of health’ from Big Red. The sciatica I have been plagued with the past few months left two days ago…Wednesday I felt a twing here and there but nothing like the sharp, shooting pains down my leg I have been experiencing…and yesterday I realized I felt no pain. Coincidence…perhaps…but then Big Red was always there for me to make me feel better…I will think of it as the last gift.

So until tomorrow...”May Little Red grow new leaves and buds and so will I…so will I.” 

“Bread feeds the body and flowers feed the soul”  How true! Thank you Big Red for feeding my soul for ten wonderful years.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


Yesterday was Meet the Teacher Day.…a most exciting day in a child’s life. Eva Cate loves her new teacher, Mrs. Bodie….and Jakie likes her too. Also, Eva Cate’s best friend, Lily, is in her class this year. Happiness is…



Rutledge loves his new kindergarten teacher too! Her name is Mrs. Bendig and he, also, knows one other little girl, Maggie Bailey, who will be in his class.

Eva Cate and Rutledge can hardly wait for school to start now…they both have wonderful teachers!



*Just heard from Bekah and Ady is also thrilled with her teacher for fourth grade, Mrs. Atkins! Wow! Three out of three…can’t beat that. Here’s wishing everyone a most wonderful school year!







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Why I Drive a Green Car…

Dear Reader:

I actually had my green 2007  Saturn Vue when Honey sent me this story about a green car story she saw in one of the mountain newspapers and knew I would love the article because I loved my “Vue” so much….I did then…and still do. Eleven years and still going!

The story was originally posted back in October of 2010 in the blog…the first year of it. By happenstance I discovered it again, a couple of days ago, and I remembered how much I loved that story Honey sent. So here we go….!

The Green Car” was originally titled “The Last Word” by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker, Editor of a local mountain paper. At the time she was in a  “testing” stage of life…she wanted evidence that there was Something or Someone in charge of the universe Who understood the pattern or secret of life. And this is what she discovered….


One day Sandi was driving into Asheville for a yoga class. It took about an half an hour to get there from her home…so she usually spent the time listening to music or thinking through the day’s activities on her daily “to-do” list. But for some reason that particular day… she started thinking about the idea that “we see what we expect to see, what we are focused on.”

She decided to test the theory…a green car passed her and she thought “Ok…a green car….I want to see dark green cars today.” So she began concentrating on this task at hand… but to no avail. Not one…how odd she thought…before the “contest” I was seeing an occasional one and now nothing. She felt strangely disappointed and then felt silly for feeling that way. Like a pouting child…she thought…so that’s it then…the universe is just arbitrary…and I have no connection to the universe in some deep and significant way. It’s all just a fairy tale..make-believe.” I am too insignificant to matter to the universe and my wishes.

But suddenly as she turned onto the street where the class was being held…looking for a parking space…there was a dark green car parked right in front of the first available space. Abruptly… her grandmother’s words of advice (that she had heard hundreds of times before her death) …rang out loud and clear: “Never give up…because it is just at that moment…that the tide will turn.”

Strangely… Sandi felt lighthearted and even found herself wanting to “skip” into the yoga class with sheer joy. She felt safe again…protected…like a child who has been lost and finds his parents in a crowded mall….loved unconditionally …she felt happiness!

And then it really started happening: Over the next several day… Sandi began seeing dark green cars all around her….while driving to Asheville two days later…she realized… startled… that there was a dark green car in front of her… behind  her and one passing her. “Okay, Okay…I get it God…You know my every wish…and You know I was testing You…and You know I needed you to acknowledge this lack of faith and sheer “silliness” in me…You took me seriously! Thank You!”

Suddenly Sandi started laughing for the sheer joy of feeling connected to the universe…she had to pull over…and then laughed louder as seven dark green cars passed her in a row.

She knew that some people would look at her strangely if she shared this story…considering it a bit too “New Age” or simply coincidental. But…she understands that they just aren’t in the same playing field right now…one day they will be…just not now…the busyiness of life has closed their eyes to God’s signs.

Sandi admitted… that perhaps her faith should be stronger and not need proof. But given the world we live in, given the trauma and chaos so many humans experience daily…she felt that this reassurance that there is a deeper story, purpose, and pattern to our lives is understood by our compassionate God. He reassures us just like  parents reassure a child that there isn’t a monster under the bed and they are right there watching and protecting him/her.

So Sandi says she will keep looking for green cars and see them as proof of a benevolent force, spirit, and source that is available to everyone who is open to it. It means literally letting God’s blessings flow into us…to be the people we are put on this earth to be. To follow the map of life signs…directing us back home.

She also believes that each of us can stop that miraculous flow by our ego’s refusal to accept or acknowledge it. We build walls around the daily “busyiness” to keep us looking inward…not outward.

Instead…she says in conclusion…tear down those walls of fear and cynicism and instead….look for “Green Cars”!


So until tomorrow….I will just look out my front window this morning and (with a wink) say “Hi God…beautiful day isn’t it? Do you like my green car?”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Mollie has been keeping Rutledge filled with adventures this last week before school starts. She took Rutledge and Eloise to the Charleston Museum. Rutledge loved his history lessons…particularly dressing up like a colonial child and listening to the description of the time period. Eloise just liked Rutledge’s drawing. (Thank goodness both Eva Cate and Rutledge love history….social studies is Eva Cate’s favorite subject.) Now to get to work on the other three….! 🙂





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The Five Minute Daily Miracle Gift

Dear Reader:

When I went to type in a five minute daily devotional that I read some days (yesterday)…I hurriedly just typed ‘five minute day’ and instead of the devotional popping up….a quote from Wayne Dryer did and it said:

“Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to face your life in awe!”

“Thank you God” I whispered to myself with a grin….”that is a good idea.” Instead of just reading about miracles…go experience them.

I immediately wandered out to the garden and strolled over to the Confederate Rose. You might remember a few weeks ago I told you the huge bush’s (over 12 feet tall) branches had just atrophied. Starting at the top and slowly working itself down on several branches. What in the world I thought?

After looking it over with a couple of other neighbors it was decided that I should cut off all the afflicted branches and then spray the rest of the bush with an insect soap spray. This I did and yesterday during my five minute miracle observations….I saw new growth starting back on several branches. I think the Confederate Rose is going to make it.

Another ‘strange’ miracle had taken place along the fence where the morning glories grow. Apparently in one of the latest summer thunderstorms my solar mason jar had fallen… but it got caught up in the morning glories and now they have wrapped their tendrils around it to ‘keep the light’ shining. (Or maybe Tinker Bell did it!)

As I listened to the fountain babbling away I wandered over to it and really looked at the fountain again for the first time in a long time. Memories came flooding back. I bought the fountain soon after Rutledge was born…so when I saw the figures of a little girl -Eva Cate and a little boy- Rutledge and even a little dog…Tigger I instantly knew it was the fountain for me.

(Little did I know then that I should have bought a fountain with lots of children and many dogs playing around it…God is so good!)

I climbed up the stairs to the garage apartment overlooking the garden and my gaze settled on the deck. I should call it “Poppy’s Deck” because I used a portion of his monetary gift to family that he left behind following his death. I remember debating back and forth about a roof or deck…the sensible part of me said I should ‘bite the bullet’ and use it for the roof…but the dream maker in me won out…I had wanted a deck coming off my bedroom since I could remember.

Little did I know that it would be the completion of the deck that provided a new overview of the back yard that finally gave me a glimpse into the design the garden should be…I was finally able to look down on the back yard, with a new perspective, and that was the catalyst that cemented the reality of my garden sanctuary.

And finally some miracles come from outside inside….the miracle of friendship….Anne picked up some plates from Castillo’s and dropped by for an early supper. She got in just before the skies let loose with more heavy rains….but, before she left, we were able to go out on the deck and see the garden.

She brought her latest book album with pictures from her trip to Ireland and we had the best time looking at all her latest adventures.

Talk soon turned to the church service Sunday, the ‘Old Ticker’s Band,’ the floating gold balloon during the offering, while they played “House of Gold.” Miracles are found every day.

Anne asked if I heard the lyrics of one song sung during the service called “Holy Now”…the most appropriate song for this blog’s theme of every day miracles. Enjoy!


Every step of child development is a miracle, isn’t it? When Mollie sent this latest photo of Eloise a couple of days ago…I gasped…she was sitting up by herself….wait a minute…nobody asked me if she could do that without my “okay”…How is all this happening so quickly…Baby Eloise is becoming one with the world…with or without her Boo Boo’s permission. And the beat goes on….

*Another miracle. At 8:00 last night under Blog Stats on the blog post…the number of “hits” changed to 150,000!

Blog Stats

  • 150,003 hits



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A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.

Dear Reader:

The most wonderful thing about being with a grandchild is how the simplest conversation can turn into an important lesson in kindness. One thought can transform an entire day into a valuable life lesson.

Eva Cate decided that she could spend the night with me when the family came over Sunday. We all held our breath because (for the past couple of years) Eva Cate has been afraid of getting homesick…in her mind I lived too far away. I was delighted! She had packed her overnight bag.

Having suffered so from homesickness as a child, myself, I knew this was a big step towards getting over this deeply felt dilemma and if successful, it would open up new possibilities for more diverse sleep-overs.

As soon as John, Mandy, and Jakie left Sunday afternoon I waited to see her reaction but she was all excited about going out in the garden and she had lots of plans for us. She helped me put the trucks back in the hall closet (I always pull out for the boys ) and it was there she spotted the red clown noses.

She remembered putting them on one Christmas Eve to act as elves to give out presents. She tried one on again. On a spur of the moment thought I told her that red noses just weren’t used as clown noses or elves noses…but wearing a red nose also stood for Walgreen’s “Red Nose Day”…a project to raise money to help feed and clothe children growing up in poverty.



She didn’t say anything at the time and I thought the conversation ended right there. But then yesterday morning she came in and stood by the computer while I checked to make sure the blog was up and running. She began flipping through my business cards and then held up one particular card and slowly read: “SMILE…you’ve just been tagged.” What does that mean Boo Boo?

I told her it was like wearing the red nose and giving a smile away…but instead you give a stranger the card with perhaps a little note or money to surprise them with a act of kindness to make their day brighter.

“Can I give a stranger  a card today?” “Could we maybe put one dollar on the back as their surprise?” I said we certainly could and let’s make it two cards, two one- dollars and most importantly two big smiles from Eva Cate to the selected stranger of her choice.

*(I think sometimes the term”random act of kindness” has been over-used. Sometimes Pre-planned acts of kindness can have the same effect.)

Eva Cate decided the first person would be the nice sales clerk at Belks who helped us find the final, final sales rack and a couple of cute tops and pair of shorts. Eva Cate waited until I had finished paying for everything and then she walked up to her and handed the clerk the smile card with the one dollar attached.


The sweet clerk hugged Eva Cate and thanked me….it had been a harried morning with her having to fill in  unfamiliar positions due to a shortage of clerks that morning….and this “righted’ her day.



We left Belks to go to Groucho’s for lunch. The young waitress there was so sweet and brought Eva Cate extra turkey at no charge and with extra pickles. Eva Cate winked at me (our pre-determined sign that this was the next recipient.)


Eva Cate got the same reception…the waitress loved the gesture and hugged Eva Cate…it too “made her day.”





We talked about giving her new teacher (when she sees her) next Monday a Smile card with a note inside “I will try my very best this year.” Students don’t realize teachers are just as excited and nervous as their students that first day of school. They also probably didn’t get much sleep the night before either. (I never did!)

So until tomorrow…

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves!’     

Amelia Earheart

Little did I know yesterday that there were several God Winks going on in connection to our ‘run-away’ balloon. Ann Graves filled me in on this unknown connection.

“A few months ago Andi did the children’s service and released the balloon. It represented Jesus watching over us. So Jesus (the gold balloon) touched down yesterday while the band was playing House of Gold. I’m glad you got a photo of it. Yesterday was a lot of fun!”

Mollie’s sister, Chelsey, found this gorgeous picture in her past memory picture archives and sent to Mollie. Some pictures just make you smile and this one does it for me every time. Best Mother’s Day ever! Great way to end the blog …with a smile! Six years ago!



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The Runaway Balloon

Dear Reader:

Yesterday was just one of those church services where you are glad you were there to experience the warmth and camaraderie of the “old time religion” music and personal storytelling sermon that touched each of our hearts by Michele Jones (who was filling in for our pastor, Jeff Kackley.)

Before the service was over we were clapping and if “Do Lord” had gone one more stanza….it would have been knee slapping. The band Anne plays her fiddle for (The Old Ticker’s Band) provided us with the old, familiar songs that bring back so many childhood memories….songs like “Shall We Gather at the River”  and hymns like “Blessed Assurance.”

I know Presbyterians have been jokingly dubbed “The Frozen Chosen” …but not yesterday. Yesterday was a down-to-earth ‘back to basics’ nostalgic ‘preach-in’ or perhaps song fest.

So as if this wasn’t enough…a balloon I noticed dangling from one of the rafters caught my attention. Before the service started I, idly, wondered what the occasion had been and how just one balloon got left behind. I made a mental note to myself to take a picture of it after church service. (That idea changed about halfway through the service.)

Suddenly the balloon got free and began slowly drifting over the congregation…slowly, slowly, slowly. It only took a few seconds for the congregation to pick up on it and now just about every pair of eyes was following it…where would it land? The situation was getting “curiosier and curiosier.

Closer and closer it crept to the large wooden cross hanging behind the pulpit ….I quickly grabbed my iphone and started following it until….bingo!…it stopped in front of the pulpit with the cross in the background…I pressed down and there was the picture. It was as if the balloon was being drawn to the cross. A celebration of happiness and fun….with God joining in.

One of our youth jumped up to remove the balloon since it would be directly in front of the pulpit blocking Michele from the congregation. I found it funny, however, that a sigh of regret was audibly heard… not just by the children… but the adults too. There is something magical about a balloon that (excuse the cliche)  lifts one’s spirits.

I, then , remembered the short anecdote I published a few months back called “The Balloon”…a lesson in happiness.  I felt that it was worth re-printing today because we can never get enough happiness and joy…as our congregation discovered yesterday with our runaway balloon, finger-snapping happy music, and amazing storytelling by Michele Jones…(it fit the scripture perfectly.) Great metaphor, great job Michele!

“The Balloon”

(Find Happiness)

Once a group of 50 people were attending a seminar. Suddenly the speaker stopped and decided to do a group activity. He started giving each attendee one balloon. Each one was asked to write his/her name on it using a marker pen. Then all the balloons were collected and put in another room.

Sometimes later these delegates were let into that room and asked to find the balloon which had their name written on it within 5 minutes. Everyone was frantically searching for his/her name, colliding with each other, pushing around others and there was utter chaos.

At the end of 5 minutes no one could find their own balloon. Now each one was asked to randomly collect a balloon and give it to the person whose name was written on it. Within minutes everyone had their own balloon.

The speaker then began, “This is happening in our lives. Everyone is frantically looking for happiness all around, not knowing where it is.

Our happiness lies in the happiness of other people. Give them their happiness; you will get your own happiness. And this is the purpose of human life…the pursuit of happiness.”


So until tomorrow…

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

John and Mandy brought Jakie and Eva Cate to visit their Boo Boo yesterday…I got to hear all about their last vacation before school starts.

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Living the Life We Imagined… Now… With Love

Dear Reader:

Yesterday was set aside to catch up on some correspondence with people I admire who are going through some tough times now. As I was looking through my note card boxes I found this small box of note cards at the bottom of my large cloth box where I keep all my writing supplies.

I had used up most of the cards (in this particular box) but there were still about three cards left… that would work out perfectly. As I stared at the back of the box…it had pictures of some of the different messages that were once in there. It was a good thing so many were gone….because I loved each message equally and the more I thought about it…the more I realized (once again) just how fortunate I am to be where I am in the happy stage of life.

The five messages read:

  1. May you always have reasons to laugh
  2. May you live a life you love
  3. May you be surrounded by delight
  4. May you find your life filled with every good thing
  5. May you live the kind of life you imagine for yourself

It has taken a lifetime, for me, to reach this completely happy stage of my life. I certainly never pictured my retirement starting out with breast cancer but then, again, I never pictured five beautiful grandchildren either. Life balances itself out so perfectly if we step back and let God work His magic and wonders in our lives.

Maybe it is just some kind on in-bred philosophy coming from my zodiac sign ( Libra -the scales) but I believe every time our lives get out of sync, off-kilter or off-balance… it is because we are getting in the way of God’s construction plan for our path. He can’t do His work for us trying to take over His job as supervisor. We have to let go to see the good things waiting for us farther down our path.

I remember as I was getting closer to retirement I kept having the same image in my thoughts about what my retirement would look like…and for whatever reason…I pictured myself as a gardener digging in the rich dirt planting beautiful flowers. As lovely as that image was it made me laugh out loud.

I had no green thumb, no prior experience, or even interest in gardening…still the image wouldn’t go away. Things were so hectic and stressful at work that I probably imagined the scene for the calming, peaceful effect it had on me.

It would take several years for this imagined scene to unfold…years of cancer treatments, radiation, chemo, surgeries, physical therapies etc. – but it did come to pass…just like I saw it in my imagination years before it became reality.

Besides having a garden sanctuary now, I get to look out my side window while working on my beloved blog and see the birds feeding and the new flowers and bushes growing that I planted. In my Happy Room I get to watch the hummingbirds drink their nectar and laugh at all the antics from the different personalities that assemble for a drink. So every day I am “surrounded by delight.”

To date…I am “living the life I imagined” and “living a life I love.”

I have wonderful friends, neighbors, children,  grandchildren and blog readers…so I have “found my life filled with every good thing.”

Last but not least (“May you always find reasons to laugh”) when I saw this video on the news the other night I just cackled out loud to myself. Some of you might have seen it…but it is so funny. Two women steal a car and a police chase ensues…including a police helicopter. Finally the car stops beside a pasture…one woman remains in the car but the other takes off running across this pasture in Florida.

She doesn’t know there are about 20 cows in this pasture and when they see her running through it they start running after her and herding and then finally corraling her up against a fence which she passes through to the waiting policemen who handcuff her. The cows were the true heroes of the day! They kept the suspect “moo-ving” in the right direction!

*(A picture is at the top of the link but scroll down the story to find the video)

Video: Cows help ‘reel in’ wanted suspect in Florida – Agriland.ie

So until tomorrow…Catch a smile and then pass it on…smiles really can be catching.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

The Turners are back…everyone stayed healthy and well. I love that with all the rides at Disney…the carousel still holds its own in the mix. Nostalgia at its best for childhood memories.





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The Power of Written Correspondence

Dear Reader:

I re-discovered two precious pieces of correspondence I remembered and/or received on the first anniversary of the Chapel of Hope Stories August 7, 2011. The first was an historical story originally told by Robert Todd Lincoln (I told my students) and the second a wonderful note by Bill Barutio, husband of Beverly, who together turned the dream of a little chapel in the mountains into reality. St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope.

* On our first anniversary of the blog Eva Cate was now walking and by October, she kept wanting to get out of the stroller to walk the Race for the Cure that year.

And now our story- “The Letter”

One day a young man was waiting on a platform in an underground train station in Washington, DC. Just moments before the train arrived he slipped and fell onto the tracks. The crowd gasped in horror but one man reacted quickly to the situation.

Grabbing the railing he leaned down and pulled the young man up with just seconds to spare. The crowd began applauding as the rescuer quickly disappeared into the throng. But not before he was recognized…”That’s Edwin Booth!” “Yes, that was him…the actor…John Wilkes Booth’s brother!”

Startled the young man whose life had just been spared asked the crowd if they were sure that was Edwin Booth. Several people vigorously nodded their heads. Suddenly…another voice rang out…”Aren’t you Robert Todd Lincoln…Abraham Lincoln’s son?”

Robert quickly nodded and then scurried out of the crowd leaving an amazed group of people shaking their heads.

(Robert Todd Lincoln on the left….Edwin Booth on the right)

A couple of days later there was a knock at the door of Edwin Booth. A courier stood there with a letter in his hand. Edwin slowly took it and sat down in the parlor. Pictures of him and his famous family of actors hung on the walls. But Edwin had not acted since April 14, 1865 – over three years ago. How could he when his brother had killed the President? How could he face an audience again? He had become somewhat of a recluse.

But now as he opened the letter and began to read Edwin Booth’s whole demeanor slowly changed. The letter read:

Dear Mr. Booth,

Let me introduce myself. My name is Robert Todd Lincoln, eldest son of former President Abraham Lincoln. It was I who slipped and fell two days ago in the train station. You saved my life.

There are few times in life when the scales of justice come full circle and balance, and sir, we have both witnessed just that. The way I look at it…one Booth killed a Lincoln- one Booth saved a Lincoln.

Thank you sir for your courage and quick actions which resulted in my life being spared. I hope to see you again on stage…you are quite a talented actor.

All is forgiven.

Robert Todd Lincoln

*Edwin Booth kept the letter next to his heart when he returned to the stage and a glorious career…and it was buried with him when he died. After all it had given him his life back.


The power of a letter. There are many of us today, of a certain generation, who bemoan and lament the loss art of written correspondence or (snail mail.) There is something so intimate about finding a stack of letters with a ribbon tied around them. Most of the time the writer’s heart and soul, dreams and goals, can be found within the writings.

Still (six months into the blog’s beginning)….when I got this email from Bill Barutio letting me know he approved of the blog’s by-line and infrastructure, using St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope as the anchor for the daily posts, I felt like putting a big pink bow around my computer. I was so relieved he felt that I was honoring Beverly the way he would like her story to be told!

Even though the stories deal with everyday life within a wide diversity of topics and subjects… while recognizing people who turn the ordinary into extraordinary (like the Barutios)… hopefully all the stories reflect Beverly’s positive outlook and attitude towards life… In her eyes her cancer was just an “annoyance”...certainly nothing to deter one’s life dreams.

Mon, 11 April 2011

Dear Becky,

Last month I searched “Trust, NC’ on Google to try to get an update on events in that special spot that we called home for almost 20 years. I was directed to your blog, read the archives, and was inspired to contact you. Thank you for your eloquent and heartfelt entries that describe the sense that Beverly’s spirit of hope and courage are palpable in the little chapel and its setting.

I was saddened to read that, as Beverly used to say, the “annoyance of cancer” has altered your life again. Please maintain your positive attitude. My wife, Nancy, and I are praying for you. We will also ask our friend, St. Jude, to intercede on your behalf.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any other help.

Thank you for your tributes to Beverly and for your promotion of the chapel. Beverly always believed that the chapel would have a “life of its own.” I am sure that she is smiling down on your efforts to assure that it does.

With thanks and prayers for a speedy recovery,

I remain,

Very truly yours,

Bill Barutio


So until tomorrow…Whenever I feel down…I pull this letter out ( I ran off a hard copy of the email on my printer) and re-read it. I really needed to hear that Beverly’s family was behind this project of love in memory of her on-going spirit and the little chapel she left  us all. Getting this affirmation, this letter of endorsement and encouragement, was exactly what I needed to hear that first year out while finding my way through a new frontier of technology.

I keep a hard copy next to my desk and a memorized one in my heart…now and forever.

“Sometimes I just look up, smile and say, “I knew that was YOU, GOD! Thanks!” *Because of you Beverly…the God Winks just keep on coming! Another day, another story.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


I want to re-explain the Facebook situation to my wonderful blog readers again, since some of you must have missed my earlier explanation two weeks ago. As of August 1 Facebook has ceased allowing free publication of individual (WordPress) bloggers’ posts. Apparently there were talks between both organizations but nothing was settled so this avenue of free publication is closed.

So until (hopefully) the situation changes if you would like to be able to read my blog daily…simply sign in under followers on my blog page (Look on the right column) put in your email address and you should receive the blog post daily in your emails. You can also google chapel of hope stories…and each day’s post will pull up at the top of the page.

Supposedly if a blogger switches from their Profile Page to a Facebook Page…the publication on Facebook will once more be accessible to Facebook readers. However…I got Izzy to come see if he could work through that transition for me and he could not figure it out…and he is the computer expert. ***But if any of you understand the problem and can help transition the blog over to a new Facebook page (not profile page)…let me know and I will be glad for you to come show me on my desktop.

We talk so much on the blog about accepting change…but these kind of tech changes are tough if we don’t understand the technology to fix it. (Quite honestly I think it should have been fixed by the higher-uppers and not left to us poor (bottom of the food chain) bloggers to figure it out.)  Hopefully it will all sort itself out….thanks for your patience…I am having to work at it a lot from my end…patience that is 🙂

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