Sculpt the World

Dear Reader:

Chris Frazier sent me this beautiful metaphorical story awhile back and I have just found time to catch up on some “messenger” notices since my return from Pawleys. But this story touched me as apparently it did Chris when she forwarded it on to me.

Such a beautiful lesson on life and our ability to create beauty every single day…each of us using our unique God-given talents.

The story goes like this:

An artist in Europe goes to the ocean and places stones in unique formations knowing that they will be scattered with the tide. Later, he gathers the same stones and places them in a different position just as beautiful as the time before. Each day the outcome is different even though he is using the same stones.

What if we took that same outlook on life?
What if we took all our talents and started fresh everyday creating beautiful things?

Just like those stones… they don’t go away.
It’s what you do with them… how you use them!

Don’t ever give up, make beautiful things happen with what God gives you every day! 💙💙💙💙
His loving kindness begins afresh each day and so can ours!

Source: Jon Foreman: Sculpt the World


AS I continued scrolling down I discovered another God Wink. Last Thursday night I had trouble sleeping and my thoughts had wandered back to that night before my first major surgery following my breast cancer diagnosis.

I felt completely numb…too much news too fast to absorb and surgery scheduled a day after getting it. I was completely lost and the only thing I knew to do was “parrot” one thought over and over and over. “Help me God…What do you want me to do?” Please tell me what to do?” “Please, please, please!”

And then through that deepest, darkest night…came God’s response…cutting straight through my muddled jumbled thoughts.

“HOLD MY HAND!”  That was it…nothing else. Though I am sure He understood that it was all I could take in that dark night amid confusion and bewilderment. All I had to do was “Hold God’s Hand.”

And now 12 years later …here I am (after the surgeon’s four year life expectancy prediction) still holding God’s hand.

My good friend Harriett…a fellow traveler along the breast cancer journey ….saw this sign below…thought of me and sent it in Messenger too recently.

Thank you Harriett…I needed this reminder…because God has never let go! Thank you.

So until tomorrow….God continues to hold our hands and show us your God-given talents we need to share with others to bring fresh daily beauty to Your world!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

I had a pop-up memory from two years ago today and it was little Eloise and family….how fast they grow in two years! Slow down please!

***We got wonderful news from the Barbour side of the family yesterday…Ady just heard that she got in the Rollings Middle School of the Arts next year in vocal chorus. It is very competitive so  we are so proud of you Ady! I know you will have a great time there “where learning is an art!” (Right up your “Ady” alley! 🙂


Almost overnight now when I look out the window by my computer while working on a post…the azalea bushes/almost trees are blooming more and more every day! I get the privilege of seeing nature at its best with one glance in its direction. Beauty on a daily basis from God using His talents to bring me nature at its best!


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Love Surrounds us Every Day of the Year…not just Valentines!

Dear Reader:

There was certainly no sunshine early yesterday morning in Summerville…in fact it was so dark I thought it was still midnight at 6:30 a.m….all was gloomy.

As I lay in bed listening to the wind and rain…I thought “What a bummer Valentines Day”…cold, dreary, windy, and rainy!”  I was allowing myself to be influenced by the weather instead of by me and how I perceived the day.

And then as if on cue…life decided to show me just what a  wonderful life I was living and what a precious day this day of love really was going to be… through texts, emails, phone calls, friends and family sharing their love with me!

Lisa started the day with early greetings…she sent a cute little new hello to which made me smile. Adorable!!

Every day is about celebrating life and feelings with friends and family who complete our lives.



Then up pops Winnie the Pooh…all dressed in glittery red valentines from the wonderful Jo Dufford…great way to start the day.  Suddenly I found myself smiling.

Then I really had to grin. Mollie  has been gone for a few days visiting her sister and new baby nephew.  I was wondering how Walsh was getting three kids off with Valentines and outfits on today…he came through like a champ.



Apparently he had already dropped Rutledge and come back to dress Lachlan and Eloise…in their Valentine clothes..even got Eloise to keep her bow on long enough to take a picture…truly a God Wink. Very proud of Walsh!


Then Kaitlyn sent  a picture of her holding Valentine flowers…Tommy had surprised her by leaving them at their favorite coffee shop on the way to work…she ran in to get the coffee and came out with flowers. *Their first guests arrive at the Air B&B  tonight for Valentines day…a lot going on!



John and Mandy and the children are at at Disney for the long Presidents’ Day holiday weekend and taking in Valentines Day with Disney characters!


With every text, call, email, joke , cartoon (Loved the dog valentines cartoon Janet B!) or Valentines cards….my smile got bigger and bigger. And then came the Whammy surprise…the Ya’s were concerned about a procedure on a close friend and everything turned out miraculously well. Breath out ….life in!

Later in the afternoon*another friend, Ann,  received good news concerning her breast cancer future treatments…the sun seemed to be over-flowing  with love and life.

By now the rain had dissipated, the sun was beaming down and by lunch time…it was chilly but beautiful…phone calls came in (Honey’s always make me smile and tear up) and Valentine cards arrived…I could hardly contain all the sunshine of love floating around my Happy Room.

Some days…don’t you just want to run around the yard with your arms flung wide open hugging everything that comes in your direction. Love has conquered all with kindness, prayer, friendship, family and compassion.

So until tomorrow…no need to wait on some special retail holiday to feel love…wake up right now and start the love with your own sunshine.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


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Oldest Seaside Resort in America- Pawleys Island

Dear Reader:

I have had to reconcile myself to my weakness of looking over and under items…rather than at them and through them. This is true of one fact about Pawleys Island I should have picked up on.

Pawleys Island has the distinction of being known as the “Oldest Seaside Resort in America!” Now that is amazing. I know we must have ridden by this Welcome Sign numerous times. I am sure I glanced at it…but I didn’t take the time to read the bottom line!


When the first explorers pulled into (what is now known as ) Winyah Bay its earliest known inhabitants were the Waccamaw and Winyah Native-Americans. They called their land ‘Chicora” which simply means “the land.” Chicora is a very popular term still used in the region for seaside cottage names, names of schools and recreational areas.

The Waccamaw got its name from the nearby Waccamaw river- it was referred to by the natives as “coming and going” which influenced their name.

Both of the tribes lived off the land and sea…and their special fondness was for smoked oysters. Today there is evidence of all the “Oyster Roasts” they held by hundreds of  “middens” left behind. ( huge piles of shells from the oysters that were harvested by both tribes.)

There are a few descendants of the Waccamaw tribes today  but the Winyah tribe was completely demolished and now extinct. The fight over territory and trading took its toll over generations, along with spread of diseases and always the dreaded malaria….causing the destruction of the tribes.

Summer tourists started flocking to Pawleys because of its consistent windy conditions that kept mosquitoes away…which in turn kept malaria away.  George Pawley owned the island during the colonial period before selling off tracts of land over time.

President George Washington made several famous stops along Winyah Bay and Georgetown in 1791…while visiting the 13 colonies. He was quite impressed by the sea island cotton acres… along with the seafood delights the region offered.

Hurricane Hugo posed the greatest threat in 1989 as many historical sea island homes, especially along the south inlet area of the beach were swept out to sea.

What makes Pawleys special today is the ban on commercial or industrial building on the island…a few old historic inns were allowed to remain… including the Sea view Inn…but that is it.

For us Ya’s… the nicest thing about Pawleys is its significance to us after ten years of building memories here….everything is quiet and family friendly. Our personal refuge…our “Balm in Gilead.”

So until tomorrow….”If Pawleys is the oldest seaside resort in America…I think we Ya’s need to strive for the oldest tourists to return each year to Pawleys in America.”  🙂

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

I remembered to look up yesterday and saw a few branches of a flowering pear tree  blowing in the breeze over the roof.

Happy Valentines Day to one and all! Make sure you eat something sweet today, give something sweet away and most off all…always be sweet. The perfect Valentines Day!








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Loving Being Back Home

Dear Reader:

Yesterday when I walked around my yard…surprise after surprise greeted me! This large snowball camellia stunned me with its purity of beauty….no other camellia color could compete. (Libby it reminded me of the “Snow Moon” last Friday night!)

And then I realized that every single azalea bush had at least two or three buds blooming…not even Valentine’s Day yet and the azaleas have come to stay. Wow!

I walked around the front, side, and back yards taking picture of my “rainbow” display of different colors….light pinks, dark pinks, lavender, apricot, orange, yellows, and purples…there are over a 1000 varieties I recently read….Let me show off my Azalea Parade.


Then add in summer flowers popping up everywhere and spring is determined to stick around.

*(If anyone knows the name of the beautiful purple flower please let me know! Clusters of them are popping up)

My new neighbor, Mary, who now lives across the street from me told me how she had been looking for the cottage she bought from Luke and Chelsey for years in her dreams…she already knew what it looked like….her own home had been flooded three times and she was in the depth of depression when the real estate agent told her about the little house.

Mary asked the address and when told it was on “Rainbow” road she knew she was going to buy it and fix it up and make it her own…and she has done just that…adding a large porch onto the back and a metal roof. She knew she was supposed to live on “Rainbow” road after all her earlier flood experiences…the light was shining now ‘at the end of the rainbow.’

I understood perfectly…since that was the way I felt too. What a great name to live on! (Of course I always tease the clerks when they ask for my address and I tell them 100 Rainbow Road…a smile always lights up and they say “Really?”)


Continuing with the fun I admit that if Road turned into Row...Rainbow Row…then I really would be on “easy” street …living downtown Charleston near the Battery!

In Debbie Macomber’s Devotions from the Heart she makes an insightful comment on wanting to live on “Easy Street.”

Debbie loves looking for crazy street names when she and her husband takes trips…some of her favorites have been:

Baby Doll Road, Noisy Hole, Succabone, Hell for Certain roads. (That last street she decided to skip…didn’t want to take any chances.)

One day she noticed a road near her home that she had never spotted before…curious she decided to follow the street and see where it lead. The name of the street was Easy Street. It looked pretty similar to her neighborhood until she realized it was a dead-end. She stopped and thought about this for a moment before realizing she had experienced a God Wink

She concluded with this prayer:

Lord, sometimes I’m guilty of wanting to live on Easy Street. Thank you for leading me down the path that leads to you. 

So until tomorrow….“Just because God’s Path isn’t always understandable…doesn’t mean it isn’t the right path.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Sammy the Cardinal bird feeder is the most popular one now…too cute. However destiny hasn’t intervened to provide me with the right moment with the iPhone in hand at the right place. Not giving up hope…one day there will be a picture of a red cardinal eating from the Sammy the Red Cardinal Suet Cage.

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Sunflowers and Pawley’s Island Shell Necklaces

Dear Reader;

When the Ya’s  arrived Thursday afternoon Libby surprised us with Pawley’s Island shell necklaces that she discovered (on-line. )

*A  Pawley’s Island resident made the necklaces from her home after strolling the beaches for shells daily.

The “shell seeker”  had come over Thursday before we arrived and Libby had gotten each Ya a Pawley’s Island shell necklace….more beautiful than any expensive gold or silver replica…we had the “real” thing!

For Jackson she had also a sunflower arrangement that only Jackson and the Ya’s could remember and fall over laughing about… Jackson was the last of us teachers to retire because she took a few years off when her son, Matthew, was little to be with him. But now we were retired and fancy-free and Jackson was just plain tired and ready to retire too….just counting down the days.

Isn’t it sometimes the smallest things that set us on another path…a small God Wink perhaps? Jackson’s God Wink arrived in the form of sunflower seeds.

The  day when the  “straw broke the camel’s back” had already started poorly ( the copier was not working to run off some tests and worksheets after arriving early to get this task done) and it went down-hill steadily from there. It was a “Domino Day.

When Jackson later caught some of her freshman class students spitting sunflower seeds in her class, something snapped…she immediately knew it was a sign. It was time to leave all this “fun” behind. She texted the district office and made an appointment to start filling out the paperwork that very afternoon when school let out. Jackson and the district office worker figured out the date she needed to reach to get her retirement and bingo…for the first time ‘time was on her side.’

By the time we got her email later that day updating us on what happened…we were falling off our desk chairs in laughter. Jackson has a dry sense of humor and her re-telling of the incident should go down in educational history…required reading on how to retire with dignity and humor! When “enough” is truly enough!

The cold, windy night we went to Chive Blossom…there was the most beautiful, breath-taking moon shining in the frozen skies…it is called the “Snow Moon.” (Thanks Libby for  sharing the picture!)

We Ya’s like to stick closely together …to the point that none of us wants to take turns staying upstairs in the master bedroom suite anymore. I occasionally will go up there to take photos of  the N. Inlet side of the beach from that height… but that is all.

In 2010 Jackson had the suite after her mother, our beloved Mama Mia) passed…then I had it one time after some trying cancer procedures and later Brooke. Soon we got to insisting that Libby should stay up there in her sister and brother-in-law’s suite…but even she started making excuses and opted to  stay downstairs with us.

So the “Cinderella’ suite is left alone with extra pairs of shoes and magic dust.

Fantastic as it is…one feels detached from the “party”…you can hear voices and laughter downstairs…and you just want to be down there with the others. Today we can all laugh about it and why everyone came up with different excuses why they couldn’t stay in the suite …because it is drop dead gorgeous. See for yourself.

Since this was our tenth anniversary mid-winter retreat…we went back down memory lane and one of the Ya’s found this picture taken our senior year…the night before graduation…little did we know some of the happiest times of our lives were about to end.

*This photo has been re-copied so many times…it is a little fuzzy…but then as we all get older…”fuzzy” becomes part of our daily life. 🙂

Left to Right: Lower: Me on the left and Brooke on the right: Upper- Libby on the left and Jackson on the right.

Today: L-R: Me, Libby, Jackson and Brooke

We are still altogether…nothing short of a miracle!

So until tomorrow:

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

It is February in the Lowcountry- which means our state flower is in bloom…Yellow Jessamine!

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“Once Upon a Shoe”…


Dear Reader:

Somehow, someway….The Ya’s ended up with the best planned winter retreat of all by simply reversing when we did our annual meals and adventure shopping. We usually held off to the  last day or two…but this year…we jumped right in with our “last supper” on Friday night and our adventure day with lunch out on Saturday leaving Sunday and part of Monday to just be together.

The highest anticipation is always when we first pull out….Brooke was at the house right on time Thursday morning…and we were beyond excited. It seemed like we had waited an eternity to get to the mid-winter retreat. Our tenth year anniversary retreat!!!!!!!!!!!! We didn’t want to miss a minute of it!

We made good time and arrived in Georgetown around noon with a hour to “kill” before Jackson arrived from Columbia. Hummm…an ‘hour to kill’- shoe store. And we found such a cute one!

But before we went in the store we found a walk-through to the pier along the river front…it was windy! We got two  nice couples to take our arrival pictures. They were so much fun….hailing from Pennsylvania. When we asked where…they said very close to home of the famous groundhog….Punxsutawney Phil!  (Gobbler’s Knob)

We told our friends to thank Phil for his upbeat prediction about an early spring. One of our friends said we might need to sign a petition soon if things went the way some wanted them…to have a robotic groundhog! You have got to be kidding me. Hopefully that awful idea will die on the vine…if not I will be heading up a petition drive. Really! Is nothing “sacred” any more…or safe from technology?

Brooke and I separated in our browsing around.. but I soon found her in the cutest shoe store!

She told me about the most comfortable shoes I would ever put on….I tried them on and never took them off…walked right out of the shoe store with them on. Lise Jacobsen (never heard of them before…but Brooke swore by them-she has two pairs!)

But it wasn’t just the thrill of finding a fun shoe (though we women do love it) but in “Head over heels” the two attendants were so much fun…we ended up with trying on shoes, shoes, and more shoes all around a carousel. Other customers came in and got caught up in the fun and soon we were swapping, telling stories, and making new friends. That’s the best part-meeting new people in new places.

Thursday night the weather reports were kinda “iffy” with tornado watches and windy forecasts…Friday morning…we walked out on the porch to witness first hand the results of that first windy night.

Friday the winds were so turbulent no one could stay out on the porch for long without getting hit with debris or something falling…so we huddled inside until around 5 when we got ready to go eat at our favorite haunt….Chive Blossom!

Again, what made the eating experience memorable…was our neighboring table…a fun couple who just wanted to join in our conversation and vice versa…with all of us laughing so much it was hard to swallow…but somehow we managed. I even took a ‘before’ picture of my meal so I could remember it when I got home.

Crab cakes, golden yukon smashed potatoes, asparagus and dill sauce! A meal to dream about.





Saturday the winds were finally calm again…though it was chilly. Our first stop was the annual Hammocks Shops...the girls especially like the Pawley’s Island Shoe Store. I had gone to one other store first so by the time I got there….the Ya’s had all found a pair of shoes and were having a blast with clerks (Leslie and Linda)…laughing and joking. I was glad to be a part of it…a real family feeling.

We asked Leslie if she could come take a photo of the “Four Blues Sisters.” We each had purposefully worn our Land’s End blue jackets we gave each other for our birthdays this past year….believe me…those coats felt good ….the sun was out but it was in the high 30’s and 40’s starting out.

Leslie and Linda then came up to us and asked if we would agree to let them post our photo in this week’s store posts. They like to feature fun customers and showing their store as a great gathering place for stories and immediate friendships. We told her “certainly” and then she got some information from us.

Sunday afternoon…this popped up on the shoe store’s website.

We and adore our customers… a big shout out to the YA-YA Sisters, for brightening our day yesterday with their wonderful stories and charming ways! We greatly appreciate these lovely ladies who called themselves the “Blue Jacket Ladies” for stepping into#pawleysislandshoes and reminding us just how great shopping in#local boutiques/businesses truly is … for us, it’s still about servicing & building customer relationships while creating a wonderful 🛍experience for all!!!

This post made our trip! If we all make it our mission statement to be kind, fun, and attentive in any situation…it turns a  typical blah ordinary day into a memorable one with laughs and memories…we love ya Leslie and Linda!!

So until tomorrow….Cinderella was right…”One shoe can change a life”...and if not a life…a moment of ordinary into extraordinary!

“Today is my favorite day”.….Winnie the Pooh (More Pawleys tomorrow!)




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We’re Heading “Home”…Shadows of Ourselves

Dear Reader:

Every time we have to leave a retreat it seems these days- Whether it is our summer Edisto one and or our mid-winter Pawleys retreat…there is a piece of us that gets left behind…a shadow.

It takes all four of us to keep the puzzle pieces in tact any more…we do better as a team than individually. God didn’t intend any of us to go it alone…in this lifetime. These days when we part it is like we have to get ready to acclimate once again to our “other” life.

I, also, recognize more often when something just pops up out of nowhere…there is a reason. When a blog post from 2014 popped up and I noticed one of my favorite authors (Madeleine L’Engle) had written a small insert …I knew I was supposed to hear it, listen to it, embrace it, learn from it and (most importantly) share it.

The only answer to life is more of life!

Madeleine went on to explain that when life gets tough we must dig in and get tougher. We have to be adventuresome and get out there and live it….even while making mistakes. Wrong choices just help us realize what we don’t want, where the wrong direction is…and then it steers us along the path of right choices…and growth.

This short story explains it….like this:

The Road to Holiness”  

A seeker after truth came to a saint for guidance.
“Tell me, wise one, how did you become holy?”
“Two words.”
“And what are they, please?”
“Right choices.”
The seeker was fascinated. “How does one learn to choose rightly?”
“One word.”
“One word! May I have it, please?” the seeker asked.
The seeker was thrilled. “How does one grow?”
“Two words.”
“What are they, pray tell?”
“Wrong choices.”


We are being told that the only way to understand life is to live it…fully and completely. So if we make our daily routine too “routine” (too restricted and narrow) we deny ourselves the opportunity to grow in our understanding of the universe and our place in it. God wants to see us continuously growing…to become spiritual “lifetime learners.”  The best way to do this is to let go of the norm, the secure…and open our eyes and heart to new people, places, and events… waiting to show us new perspectives and thoughts.

So until tomorrow….we will take our memories with us, be thankful for the time we had together, and hopefully laugh out loud by ourselves remembering different incidents from the retreat. A successful retreat…then!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

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