Two Years and Counting

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! ❤❤❤

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

Mary ❤

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My Journey of Patience

 

The caretakers ” cottage” where we raised our sons and called home.

 

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.

 

 

Mrs. Geneen’s grand estate

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!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Capturing JOY

Capturing Joy…

One of my friends on Facebook ( Keri Lyndes) posted this gem of her children enjoying the snow. What a capture of joy! This photo was my inspiration for this post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our niece Michele’s friend’s darling daughter before a dance recital.

 

 

 

My son Dylan and my beautiful daughter in law to be announcing their engagement in our little humble town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embrace moments of joy…

Feel the very essence

of its beauty,

its exploding energy

that erupts from your core

that can’t be tamed.

 

This joy that speaks to us all,

The excitement of the moment,

the thrill that send chills

up your spine.

 

 

Our nephew Justin playing baseball. 😁

 

My son Dylan pitching in baseball

 

 

The excitement of playing

what you love

is an act of pure joy.

 

 

My nephew’s Spencer and Luke winning a snowmobile race

 

The special graduation milestones

express joy,

these images forever

embedded in our hearts.

 

Our beautiful niece Paula, her precious daughter Alena at her Kindergarten graduation with Paula’s best friend Jill

 

 

Our niece Samantha celebrating her high school graduation with her Stepdad Roger.

 

 

It’s the joy that creates belly laughter

among family and friends.

 

My sister Barb, myself, my mom and my niece Ella.

 

The joy of mothers and their daughters

 

Our niece Jennifer and Tom’s sister Mary

 

Tom’s mom Theo and his sister Pam

 

and of mothers and their sons

being together.

 

Our niece Jennifer and her three sons Justin, Jared and Joe and his girlfriend

 

My sons Branden and Dylan and me

 

 

My husband Tom and his smile of pure joy

Capturing Joy…

recognizing bright smiles

in a family moment.

 

 

 

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

 

Our niece Paula’s awesome stepchildren.

 

How amazing it is

to see evidence of

pure joy

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

away!

We could open up those

memories like

pretty packaged gifts!

 

 

Breathe Joy.

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! 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

Raise Your Daughter to…

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. 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

 

 

❤️❤️❤️

Be the Reason ❣️

Shared from Facebook, Wild Woman Sisterhood

 

Be good to others always!

You don’t know what a person battles

day-to-day.

Be good.

Be kind.

Be patient.

Be forgiving. 

All because that’s the right thing to do

and wouldn’t you want that back? 

Be the reason. 

Thank you Wild Woman Sisterhood for the inspiration.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❣️

 

 

 

Thanks to My Husband, the Snow Plow Driver

Thank you to this hard-working man,

my husband who works multiple jobs

snowplowing, shoveling, sanding, chopping up ice

 and clearing walkways for people

so they can live comfortably.

He sure is a blessing and I’m truly thankful for his hard work! 

Dear God, please give him a day off, without snowfall 

or rain.

He needs his rest so he can be his best! 

 

Please thank your local snowplow operator and town worker today

for he works so very hard for you! 

Church Bells 🔔

 

My mom’s hometown church, Union Village Vermont.

 

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.

 

This church holds much of my family history. My mom grew up in this town and married both my father and stepfather at this church. My maternal great grandparents and grandparents are buried here as well as my Great Uncle Connie.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

This is my former neighbor, Esther Heath and her son Doug. She used to bake pies for the local firemen’s auction and it would be raffled off for as much as $ 1,000!

 

 

 

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.

 

A photo of our small town hall and the church on the right. Photo from UnionLeader.com

 

 

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!

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul