While browsing my blog stats and dates, I noticed that my blog has been running for two years. It all started as a simple idea and a whim. I had no expectations or plans tied with the launch. All I knew is that it was time to present my writing and satisfy my need to be complete. For as you and I both know, if you’re not practicing and doing what you love, then you’re not truly being yourself. I had to write and this blog was a way to do so.
I want to thank you, all of my readers who many have become lovely friends who I “talk” with back and forth such as Rhonda, Jodi, Tammy and Ellen just to name a few. Others who I check in with from time to time mean just as much. The one thing I’ve learned as a blogger is that you become a family member of the community, gaining a rich patchwork of friends. With all you special people, I have read fascinating stories, tried delicious recipes and gawked over amazing photos and pieces of artwork! In the process I’ve shared my life stories and pictures and have put everything out on the table and trusted you all. It’s felt natural and good to trust and share my life.
I hope to continue this blog as long as I can for years to come. With this wish, my other dream is to compile alike posts and write a book someday about a mom’s life in rural New Hampshire.
So here’s a HUGE thank you to my family and friends who regularly read my posts and offer positive comments in response. This is what has propelled me to keep moving forward…it’s something I’m very grateful for! ❤❤❤
If you didn’t already know…I waited 22 years to live in our renovated home. We already lived in a home just down the road nestled on a grand estate. A winding driveway led to a grand mansion, garages and sheds, an apple orchard, a Christmas tree field, a built-in pool, all surrounded by a serene stonewall. It was a magical place to raise our sons and we felt as comfortable as can be. But it wasn’t ours and sometimes the reality of that slapped us in the face.
As time ticked on, money and precious time were factors in a renovation standstill. The house stood lonely and cold and every time I passed it, I felt a break in my heart. Every now and then I would dream of what curtains I would have and where our furniture would go, just to keep the dream alive. Then it would fade away again, with unsettled future plans in limbo.
Finally we decided to finish the house and make the big move. Our employer and friend, Mrs. Geneen had passed away a few years before and we were eventually paying rent to stay. It was the perfect time to let go, to walk away and start a new life in our home! Now, three years later, we occupy our dream home and it’s a blessing and a relief. Sometimes I pinch myself while walking through the rooms. It doesn’t seem possible that we are finally here in our own home! The wait has gifted me patience that maybe I didn’t possess before, a strength that flows in my blood now.
If you can learn anything from my circumstance it is this…sometimes all that you desire or think you need isn’t meant to happen right away. For the journey you travel while you wait makes up who you are and why would you pass up something so teaching and beautiful? If you’re being tested and have to wait, remember my story and keep marching on. Stay strong and hopeful during your journey. Eventually events happen as you wish, but not on your timeline but God’s. Trust it…for such beauty lies in the wait!
The joy of knowing yourself and it shines through like golden rays of the sun
The joy of young love 💗
The joy of family reuniting,
bridging long distances
with tightly wrapped up hugs.
The joy of finding the special one
How amazing it is
to see evidence of
and feel it
and all the love in a single picture.
If we could just remember
the joyful moments
from our lives
on sad lonely days
and swallow our sorrows
We could open up those
pretty packaged gifts!
Indulge in JOY.
Capture the Joy!
Remember to capture your moments of joy! Thanks to Keri, Theo, Pam,Mary, Paula, Jen, Michele and Jojo for contributing their lovely photos and memories! Thanks for the expressive writing inspiration, Michele!
I don’t have a daughter but will be gaining a daughter-in-law in a few months. Despite raising sons, I know raising daughters can be difficult especially in times like this. You don’t have to go far to see slim looking Barbie doll women in the media, magazines, tv and movies. Even when I was growing up it was so easy to see perfect sized women in the media. I never seemed to fit the mold, being overweight and not having a thread of confidence. Yet here I am…I managed to overcome all that pressure girls are thrust in and I can only hope that girls of today (including my sweet niece) make it unscathed.
With these thoughts, I hope moms and dads can raise their daughters to:
Be themselves and not waste energy comparing to others
Believe in themselves despite what others say or do
Look in the mirror with a strong love and acceptance
Love their body and accept it
We can only hope that our girls and young women are taught to thrive, being entirely who they are despite messages from society.
As a young child I remember hearing the church bells ringing as entering church. It was peaceful and magnificent, something that evoked sentimental feelings within me. Back then I knew that it was a signal for worshippers that church was about to commence and that it was a bold celebration of God.
Do you know the history of church bell chimes and what the ringing meant? Upon reading Eric Sloane’s American Yesterday, I learned that long ago church bells communicated community events such as births and deaths. Every time a male died the bells chimed three times three and for women, three times two. Shortly after moments of silence the bells would ring the number of years the person lived. I wish I lived back then to witness this…a true ceremony and tribute that would send goosebumps up my spine.
All church bells were rung three times a day, in the morning, at noon and at 9 o’ clock for a curfew. In later times the bells were ringing every hour and that tradition continues today.
When I took my boys to a local Congregational church in a nearby town, I learned that the bell ringing was the children’s responsibility. Besides being that, it was a special treat for them to take turns pulling on the thick hemp rope up and down. Each child had to pull with all his might and sometimes a younger one would need an adult’s strength to help. It would pull their little bodies up towards the low ceiling, like an exciting carnival ride, as they chimed the ringer after church services. My boys did it a few times, and as they performed the special Sunday ritual, their faces lit up with a joy that I wish I could’ve bottled up. The beautiful jingle filled the church yard with heavenly music, bringing a thrill to many who heard it.
I’ve had a special experience with church bells during a neighbor’s funeral. This woman, Esther Heath, was very involved in the town and played the organ at the local Methodist church at one time. She was a farmer’s wife who raised two children and stayed active in our small town. I remember a few of our visits when she would crack a funny joke and we both would laugh uncontrollably. She had quite a sense of humor.
After the little funeral ceremony, all the people who paid their respects, either walked up the country road or drove to the nearby church. As we talked quietly, the air felt still. I solemnly started pondering over my life and how precious time is . While I thought of how blessed I am, the church bells called to the whole town. Amazing! I choked back tears as I walked and listened to the chimes, one after another. I didn’t count how many times it wailed and it didn’t matter to me, just that it rang in honor of this woman. I’ll never forget it or probably experience that again.
Long ago church bells jangled for fire warnings and if war had begun. It was a widespread communicator, tolling to spread the town message. Today the bells still toll in celebration of marriages and in honor of the deceased. They announce a church service in honor of God. Church bells, in all their long history, represent community, God and bring people together in ceremony. Thank goodness for them and all that they represent!