The Day After Thanksgiving and Still Thankful

Dear Reader:

Some WiFi problems but here are some pictures from Thanksgiving in the mountains!

So until tomorrow… May we all be thankful for life , family, and friends! So thankful!!!

Today is my favorite day! winnie the Poih

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First Gratitude, Then Joy

Dear Reader:

I fervently hope everyone is thinking about all the things and especially people who we are thankful and grateful for today!

I showed you yesterday a grandchild ( Eva Cate) turkey she made for me to bring to Highlands-I love it! I also love the simple idea of making a centerpiece turkey out of pine cones and add construction paper feathers on it-everyone takes a ” feather ” and writes down something they are thankful for and then shares it with the table.

Brene Brown discovered an “Aha” moment in researching the relationship between joy and gratitude. She went into the research thinking that the relationship between joy and gratitude was: if you are joyful, you should be grateful. She discovered she was wrong-it wasn’t that way at all.

In twelve years of research on 11,000 pieces of data, she didn’t interview one person who described themselves as joyful, who did not actively practice gratitude.

Actively expressing gratitude should be a daily ritual. Every day, not just Thanksgiving, we should let others know how much joy ( by just their presence) they bring us and actively share with others to list what things happened in each day that brought a sense of gratitude to it.

So until tomorrow… there is a great quote from a Jesuit priest that says: ” It’s not joy that makes us grateful, it’s gratitude that makes us joyful!”

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Let your light be bright today!

Please keep Joan and WT Turner, John’s parents in your thoughts-they lost Mickey-the last in Lucy’s litter still living… Same time as last year when John and Mandy lost Tigger! But little Winnie is flying with the family this year to Joan and WT’s in Huntsville for Thanksgiving-hopefully she and the children can help fill up the vacuum temporarily. Happy Thanksgiving!

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It’s the Giving… Not Just Gathering

Dear Reader:

To gather simply means to come together or assemble …which can be good …but haven’t we all seen too many gatherings recently from entertainment stampedes to terrorist invasions of Christmas parades go terribly wrong-gatherings that started out happily turning into tragedies?

Thanksgiving has become synonymous with the word ” gathering ” -family and friends coming together to share food, news, celebrations and stories. A long-standing tradition in our country’s culture.

But just because we gather doesn’t mean Thanksgiving will be a fond memorable event-it takes everyone sharing their own unique stories and strengths to bring everyone else in the fold-activities that include everyone’s participation and acceptance.

I am looking forward to sharing time with my youngest son, Tommy and wife Kaitlyn along with her parents.. Susan and Butch. As close as we all live near each other… it seems that everyone’s lives are on high speed and the growing traffic in the popular Charleston area is an increasing hindrance to gathering as much as we wish.

So to have a few days to slow down and actually be able to ” talk turkey” is so appealing right now-especially this year.

We are staying at the Skyline Lodge in Highlands NC. I know it will be wonderful-and am taking my decoration to add to the table .

I want to take a moment to thank friends for Thanksgiving cards-here are Honey’s and Gingi’s -actually matching the garden arrangement!

So until tomorrow-using Dee’s message inside hers… May this holiday be meaningful, May happiness surround it, May good things fill your table, and May love bless those around it!

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

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Once in a ” Blue Moon”

Dear Reader:

On a cool foggy morning yesterday, Ted Parker, Brooke’s husband of 32 years was laid to rest. Thanksgiving Day is their anniversary.

Ted’s service will always be memorable for the personal stories told by his friend, Bill Young, the present mayor of Walterboro. It really brought home this quote:

… And yesterday the network had everyone chuckling with laughter. It brought back to mind the adage ” We are our stories-we tell them to stay alive.” So what we must hope for with our final send-off is that someone else will re-tell our stories for us. And did Mayor Bill Young accomplish that assignment with grace and knee-slapping humor!

It is told by different Plains tribes that children once were taught never to reveal their real names to strangers …because it was sacred. Instead they were taught early on to respond to the question with this response-” I am the story of myself.”

And yesterday we were regaled with stories about Ted that kept us all entertained immensely. Stories define us better than any list of things we did ever could.

It was while driving home that I realized time was running out for autumn trees and their leaves. Gusts of wind sent leaves scurrying across my windshield-to the point I had to turn the wipers on to see.

One fact many of us heard for the first time was that Ted loved the old song 🎶 ” Blue Moon” and would break into singing it anywhere at anytime. He had a rich baritone voice and loved impromptu serenades.

So as the recessional began …as we watched family and honorary pallbearers leave… there was definitely a little more ” giddy up” in everyone’s step as Blue Moon was playing throughout!

As I drove into my driveway… I slammed on brakes-my beautiful red pear tree had lost literally half of it’s leaves since I left that morning -just in time for Thanksgiving! By the time I get back from the mountains there probably won’t be a leaf left!

With the first frost possibility tomorrow morning I told my morning glories good-bye too! ( Just in case)

So until tomorrow… Brookie… Look what was blooming on the camellia bush, you gave me several years ago for my birthday… stunning-just for you …to cheer you up and remind you to continue blooming and living your future stories.

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

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Jack Frost Nipping at Our Noses

Dear Reader:

Today is the last transitional day before the cold weather comes drifting in tomorrow. ( So glad for Brookie and family for Ted’s funeral this morning! )

The first Frost of the season is scheduled to show itself Tuesday and Wednesday morning and then myself, Tommy, Kaitlyn, Susan and Butch are off to the mountains for Thanksgiving ! So excited …so we will see a lot of Frost.

One good think about aging is that we start seeing past challenges-even in some of its most difficult periods -in a lighter context. We realize now that the ” sky wasn’t falling” and the world didn’t come an end! Even things that broke our heart.

When we get to the place that we can actually laugh or joke about it… we know the scab can come off permanently!

This time of year …with Jack Frost ready to make him his annual appearance, I have to laugh at one of my most embarrassing ” teacher ” moments … and believe me there were plenty.

It must have been a teacher work day or half-day, I and a teaching colleague went to Eva’s Restaurant ( I believe) for lunch. It was soon after school had started and I was excited about some great students I had and mentioned several names to her.

Suddenly my friend began waving at a man waiting to check out -he came over and she introduced me to him -saying that I had just mentioned his son’s name and how much I enjoyed teaching him!

We exchanged pleasantries and then I asked the father his name and he replied ” Jack Frost.” I burst out laughing and retorted ” Good one! I used to be Snow White… but I drifted!” ( oldest Disney joke on record)

He looked slightly startled but nodded , wishing both of us a good year and left.

I nonchalantly went back to eating until I looked up and saw my friend’s face… ” That IS his name” -where is that beach hole to China when you need it?

But these days.. it is one of my funniest memories… just needed Jack Frost to sew my mouth shut-forget nibbling at my nose!

So until tomorrow… No matter how difficult the dark periods in our lives are…joy, wonderful joy… will fill our human vessel again and again!

Rick, Harvey and Rick’s sister Janet came to visit Ben yesterday -I met them at Wellmore ( Ben’s friends from Conway) and we had such fun together! Thank you everyone for your kindness, friendship and time!

Here are some pictures from Kaitlyn’s birthday party.

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” Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave…”

Dear Reader:

Doesn’t it seem like, especially around holidays, that life speeds up and we start making a tangled mess out of everything trying to stay caught up with so much happening so fast?

The word ” tangled ” means ” giving the appearance of a state of utter disorder. ” As much as tangled objects like these below drive us bonkers… the real tangled problems lie farther below… within us.

Don’t you wish we could collect all our tangled objects and plop them in Jesus’ lap?

We can… when we quit depending on our own strength alone to solve our problems and believe in Hope in what God can do for us!

So until tomorrow… God alone can untangle the threads of our lives. Hope is all about handing over our tangled mistakes into God’s hands and the leaving them there!

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Last night I babysat while John and Mandy attended Kaitlyn’s birthday party!!!Tomorrow I will show you some fun photos from it!

I got so ” tangled up” yesterday I forgot my birthday shout-out to Kaitlyn but I know it was a fun and funny one! Love ya Kaitlyn and Happy Birthday!

Please keep your prayers going for Brookie and her family-Ted’s funeral is tomorrow at the Presbyterian Church in Walterboro!

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” Let There Be Light”

Dear Reader:

Aren’t some of our first memories created around light? And aren’t the first words spoken by our Creator ” Let there be light!”

Like moths we are consciously and unconsciously drawn to light our whole lives. Daylight Savings Time now has me taking a flashlight to the mailbox late each afternoon so I won’t inadvertently leave any mail in the black hole inside the box.

Then my happiest moments come when I turn back towards my home where the light from the house comforts and cheers me.

100 Rainbow 🌈 Road! Doesn’t it sound like I should be skipping with Dorothy and friends down the Yellow Brick Road?

These days I feel like my heavenly home is closer than my childhood memories of home with all the lights on.

And does anybody believe it was just a coincidence that God decided to light up His Son’s manger on the night he was born so the first thing he experienced was light. And it was the light from the Star of Bethlehem that brought believers to Him… and still does.

Thursday night Ted, Brooke’s husband, found himself following the light home-what a magnificent experience that must have been-free of pain and earthly cares.

I hope God likes twinkling lights because I keep them on in my bedroom every night of the year!

It’s starting to get dark… I am listening for the mail truck… and looking forward to my slow walk across the street and back home!

So until tomorrow… now may the light of healing fall on you Brookie and our friend Patty Knight sent this yesterday for you! Hope you feel all our hugs! We love you!

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

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Turkey and Dressing- Monkey and Rice???

Living Life with Open Palms

Dear Reader:

Nepo tells us that so much more can happen in our lives with our hands open rather than gripping fists. He shares this ancient story from China.

Traps were set to catch monkeys using a hollowed-out coconut through an opening that was cut to the size of a monkey’s open hand. Rice was then placed in the carved out fruit.

Sooner or later a hungry monkey would smell the rice and reach its hand in. But once fisting the rice, it’s hand could no longer fit back out through the opening. The monkeys that were caught were those who would not let go of the rice. As long as the monkey kept its grip on the rice, it remained a prisoner of its own making!

The metaphor? We need to always ask ourselves ” What is our rice and what is keeping us from opening our grip and letting it go? “

What about us and love? Haven’t we sometimes experienced, while believing in our moment of hunger, that there is no other possibility of love out there for us? Instead of balling up our fist for something we want so badly that we end up prisoners of love, we have to find the courage to let go and our life will unfold. For love is everywhere!

So until tomorrow… we should learn to appreciate life momentarily instead of trying to hold onto incidents and fond memories too long-balled up in our fist. We need to open our palms to new experiences and feelings -it keeps life rich and alive!

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Yesterday Peanut Butter and Jelly, turkeys from Indiana, were slated to be pardoned by President Biden in the Rose Garden but one was to also be named the National Thanksgiving Turkey for 2021-I kept googling but couldn’t find the selection results. Both are going home to live out their lives in blissful harmony-outside Perdue! Happy Thanksgiving Peanut Butter and Jelly!

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If the Universe is Inter-related, What About Time?

Dear Reader:

Have you ever had one of those days when past, present, and future all appear to run together leaving you puzzled and exhausted by the end of it? Well guess what? You are in good company-Einstein’s company !

I read a quote a few days ago that got me thinking about the reality of a time divide. ” The future is always beginning now.” ( Mark Strand)

True… and ” now” becomes “past” before we can finish making our daily ” future” plans. And sometimes a phone call or doorbell can send us scurrying back in the past to complete something we missed or overlooked causing earlier future plans to be abandoned and put away the past folder.

Albert Einstein first revealed his new perspective on time in his theory of relativity. I always thought it was too complex for me to understand but I think the process of aging helps us grasp new ideas as our own perspectives change.

Basically Einstein believed ” Everything Exists at Once: Past, Present, and Future.”

Did you know that TIME is the most commonly used noun in the English language? It is so versatile-we can kill time, do time, save time, and spend it. Most of us wish we had more of it-it is a priceless treasure and worst enemy-time ends our life.

Without getting into physics -the idea of a universe in which all events exist simultaneously is both sobering and comforting. Things and people who we have lost aren’t gone, merely a little out of our reach at the moment.

So until tomorrow… time still remains a mystery-we can do a lot with it-except-understand it.

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

*** I will always find time to keep searching for beauty everywhere-especially in my own backyard!

Vickie’s long-awaited tree of life and beauty
Boo’s Pear of Many Colors
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Just Breathe

Dear Reader:

If there was a lesson I learned from my experiences over this past weekend, it was stop jumping to conclusions before you get all the facts. Easier said than done… right?

Momentarily bad days make us feel like our whole life is in the pits . A little overly dramatic, right? But then , in my case, my greatest strength is my imagination and creativity-they bring great joy to my life. However, they can also become my greatest nemesis!

My mind can conjure up some ghastly outcomes to my on-going fight against breast cancer. That is what happened over the weekend. My imagination was completely out of control until it was reined back in by a caring doctor with calm reassurances.

Last night I slept in a deep slumber that evaded me for two previous nights. When I woke up I made myself stop and write down a list of things I was grateful for. Modern medicine being one of them-yes I am living on the edge-I just happen to be more aware of it when confronted with the fact that one person’s definition of a” critically low” white cell count is another person’s ” normal.”

But then haven’t we all been living on the edge since we took our first breath? Thanks to modern medicine we might not have found cures for all cancers but today millions of people are living with cancer and enjoying every extra minute it gives them!

I mentioned yesterday that Janet Bender loved the idea of the ” wind phones ” and thought how cool it would be for each country and state within our country to find a beautiful spot and build a ” booth.” Old landline phones could be donated-and what about giving someone grieving a landline phone as a type of memorial. I thought about this idea after reading about how one mother discovered her four year old daughter , on a play princess phone, talking to her ” Grandy” ( grandmother) updating her on her day. ” Mama told me you can’t talk back ” Grandy” but that’s okay-just listen please! ??”

So if anyone has some ideas on implementing ” wind phones” please join in! Thanks Janet!

So until tomorrow…Remember BREATHE… it’s just a bad day, not a bad life!

Today is my favorite day! Winnie the Pooh

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