A Spring Morn

 

It’s a spring morning in New Hampshire. As I rise the wood floor boards are freezing to touch. Goosebumps spring through me as I glance out the bedroom window.An emerging sun welcomes my rising from a deep slumber. It warms the earth as robins and chickadees fly all about the yard.

A hot cup of coffee and a watch outside begins the day. Chipmunks already are at their daily routine skittering all over the front lawn. One has made a hole in one place where I tripped the other day. I’m not sure what Tom will do with it or will he leave it?

 

As the day warms I shed blankets and turn off the electric heaters. It’s been about two weeks since we’ve had a stove fire. It actually is a luxury for Tom not to haul wood to the house and kindle a fire so early. The house is warm enough, as the day warms up to the 60’s and lasts until the night cools off. Our heating season is coming to an end besides a sporadic wood fire on chilly June mornings.

 

Nearby yards host delicate daffodils and tulips, springing their rich yellow and pink colors, a beautiful combination with the rich green grass hue. I long to have a daffodil and tulip garden and add it to my yard wish list for coming years.

 

Tom trimmed our sprawling apple tree in the back yard. It looks so much better with branches cut back. Bumblebees fly from blossom to blossom, a good sign for my upcoming garden growth. Gotta have those bees!

 

Just the other day I saw my first hummingbird on a cherry tree branch. It must have been visiting the blossoms. My feeder is up now and I’ve spied the little guy already making a visit for a sugary drink.

 

As this beautiful day emerges with all the possibilities of nature, I remain extremely grateful for this country life. Despite the worries and anxiety of everyday living and an ending school year, I find this quiet yard a haven from it all. It’s a quaint refuge where I can gather my thoughts and center my mind as birds chirp in the background. I can only hope that you all find this harmony in a corner of your world. If you have this, grasp it with all your might and indulge in its elements. It’s the best and cheapest therapy around and will prepare you for what you have to face in the near future.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

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My Son’s College is Closing

 

Photo taken by Jojo Anderson

I have been in shock for a couple of days over this! Branden’s college has gone under and sold out to a big school, the University of Massachusetts. His dreams of achieving his degree at Mount Ida are gone. His Presidential scholarship totaling $100,000 for four years is gone. We try to process, especially since we both love his college and community. From here he and his girlfriend must deal with their emotions, study for finals and scramble for colleges. My cousin Flora must try to finish her Master’s elsewhere, away from the only college she’s attended. Two years ago Branden took months to decide, tour, talked with college faculties, stood in on classes and now he must do all this again. The difference is that he has just a few weeks to decide and get the ball rolling for the Fall semester.

 

This is the post I just entered on a Mount Ida Support group. Many parents and students are lost and don’t know where to turn. I’ve read negative posts of legal action and talking to the media and my response is, why? Will that solve anything or make it worse? See my Entry below.

 

I joined this group as support as I am mourning the loss of Mount Ida College. My son is a Sophomore in the Animation major and up until the other day had dreams to achieve his goals through this institution. I am not bitter, full of hate or have no desire to blame anyone for what has happened. After all, how is that going to change things and put our students on the right path? My desire is to cope but mostly be there for my son and his girlfriend as they try to pick up broken pieces and move on to achieve their dreams. It’s not going to be easy, struggles in life never are but I’ve learned they make you stronger! I will not fight nor look into talking to media. I will not seek legal action, as I feel my son has received a great education at this college. I also want to add that my son has lost a Presidential Scholarship promised to him, $100,000 in total if he kept his grades up. It’s a blow to us, as that helped seal the deal on his initial decision. But we will see what other colleges will match and let it go however hard it may be.We will move forward with grace and acceptance. That’s how I was taught to live…simply, with strength and kindness. No hate. No blame. No negativity. I do hope many of you will choose that path and help your students find their college and move forward without hate and negativity.

 

With a heavy heart I seek your prayers and well wishes. I know it’s God’s plan and that it will work out but in the meantime it’s difficult. I feel for the 1,400 plus students and the faculty who found out the same day as the students that they were out of a job. Please keep them all in your prayers and thoughts.

Sunday Morning

 

The quiet moments of a Sunday morning calm me and my soul. Every working person knows the weekend is when you get things done at home but not only that. It’s a time of peace and quiet, an opportunity to rest and recharge your batteries for the coming work week. Without this time, I become exhausted and distracted.

 

 

 

You may attend church and that’s your peace. Perhaps you read a good book by candlelight or meditate in a dark room. Everyone relaxes and recharges in a different way. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it generates tranquility in your life.

 

 

There are various activities I do on a Sunday morning. I sit with my steaming coffee and look out the window watching my world wake up. Sometimes I blog and catch up on friends’ blog entries and comment. Other times I make a breakfast for us. This morning I made crepes, one of my husband’s favorites. On the side I heated up blueberries, added a dash of cinnamon and a tablespoon of sugar. It was fun to fill my little cordial cups with orange juice and set the table as if we had company. I love a good chance to use my best china and light the candles.

Here’s hoping you all have a restful Sunday!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

An Irish Blessing ☘️

This is my great, great-grandfather ( paternal side) John Doyle and great, great-grandmother Catherine O’ Day Doyle. John was born in Ireland in 1834, while Catherine was born in Vermont in 1844. John immigrated to the United States, landing in New York when he was twenty years old. Many thanks to my second cousin Colleen King for family history and pictures! ❤

 

May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind always be at your back,

May the sunshine warm upon your face,

and rains fall soft upon your fields,

and until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

– an old Irish blessing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m proud to be Irish, my maiden name is Doyle!

Wishing you many blessings!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

When Will it Be Enough?

With so many school shootings in the news and the latest Florida tragedy weighing on our hearts, I have to post about this. Usually I cower from the news as it boosts my anxiety up to high levels but these occurrences have to be paid attention to. I feel very close to this issue, as I work and teach at a school in the elementary wing. I see many children work, laugh, play and even cry throughout the day. When I think of this horrible action happening at any school and possibly ours too, confusion and sorrow consumes me. Like many educators, I feel helpless and just want to do my job without worries of protecting the children if needed. Of course I wouldn’t  think twice to shield my students from danger.

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Who Inspires You to be Good?

Flipping through Oprah’s March 2018 magazine, I saw the question, who inspires you to be good? I’m always striving to live like Jesus would, with kindness, compassion and empathy for my fellow-man. As I age, so does my heart expand with these traits and I work on these because I want to be good, to do amazing things in this world and affect others in a positive light. This doesn’t mean that I’m perfect by any means and sometimes I waiver and I  need God’s little  reminders to keep me on track.

 

 

My mom is one of the people who inspires me to be good. She visits people in nursing homes and prays for them and volunteers at a local senior center.

 

 

When I ponder over Oprah’s question, several inspirations come to my mind. First, God inspires me to be good in this life. I may not attend a church in this time of my life but I hope that I live a godly life. I pray throughout the day as a connection to Him and he carries me through every time. I realize that I need to take time to read the scripture and learn as much as I can. It’s a void that I’m going to fill soon.

 

Secondly, like many of Oprah’s readers, I am inspired by my family starting with my mom and dad. Even if I’m nearing 50, it still matters to me what my parents  think of me. I want to make them proud and that desire will never wane!

 

I wish for my husband to be proud that he married me. He doesn’t tell me all the time but I know I inspire him to be his best. We both compliment each other in that way. His calm and loving nature is good for me and the way he treats his clients is heartwarming ( he never charges more year to year because he knows people have a hard time making ends meet).

 

I also care what my sons think and want them to be happy by my example and live that way too.

Here is my dad, a hard-working man who creates wood projects with love and who I’m very proud of.

So I’m inspired everyday by God, my mom and dad, my husband and my sons. These people are who I look up to, who I wish to shine the brightest for and that keeps me going, striving to be the best person I can be. I’ve learned many principles in this life and one of them is to stay inspired and inspire others by trying to be an impeccable person. There are days I fall short of that desire but instead of crying in a puddle of tears, I pick myself up and try again.

As you go about your life, ask yourself  who inspires you to be good? You probably have multiple people as I do. Ask yourself are you being as good as you could? Are you focusing on others or yourself and your needs?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

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