Pines and Palms

Don’t you just love vacation? 

Woo hoo!!! Our’s started yesterday! We drove through 3 states and I just have to say, I love the south! 

Last night we checked into the Holiday Inn Express at Hattiesburg, MS. It is fancy! In the lobby there are beautiful statues and chandeliers. 

In our room there was a full kitchen. Like a real kitchen! A full size refrigerator and a dishwasher! In a hotel room? Love that! Talk about an invitation to stay! 

This morning we woke up to warm temperatures and palm trees. Palm trees? Somebody pinch me! 

We’ve been counting down the days for this vacation for 47 days! Livin’ it now! Heading south right now. The ocean is within 50 miles! 

Pretty sure I’m the luckiest girl in the whole world right now. Here’s to the trees lining this scenic morning drive, the pines and palms.

  

  

 

Take The Walk

Have you ever noticed how our thoughts about being busy can change from day to day? 

Today we are leaving for our beach vacation, and this week has been sort of a flurry of getting ready to be gone for a couple of weeks. 

Arrangements had to be made for pet care, going to post office to hold the mail, returning library books, etc. It’s funny how long the To Do list gets.

Thursday we had errands to run in a neighboring town and I was in one of those relaxed modes. We weren’t in a hurry, got all our things done, and were on our way home. 

We were enjoying our scenic country ride when a car suddenly got on my tail. Obviously, they were in a hurry. I didn’t want to be rushed, so I took the next road on the right, which also goes to my house. 

The other car went straight. Whew. Peace. 

Around the next straightaway, we were blessed with seeing a glorious gift. 

Horses. 

They were in the road because they’d gotten out of their fence. I parked. We just watched. Then, I drove to the next farm house and to let someone know. Before I even got to the steps, I heard honking.

As a car approached the four horses in the road, it blared its horn, passed by them, then sped away. Hmm. Talk about a hurry. 

Turns out, those horses knew right where to go and we watched as they walked down the road and made a right turn down a long  lane and were met by their owners. Pretty neat. 

We continued on our way. A few miles later, another car was right behind my truck again! Not wanting to be rushed, I pulled in to a cemetery to let him pass.

Instead of getting right back on the highway, we parked and got out. 

Good move. While he played, I sat with my back against a giant pine tree.

Have you ever done that?  Sat next to a tree? It’s amazing to just sit still, listen and look about. 

There’s a dairy farm to the right, and the cows were grazing. The sun was shining, the wind was whispering, and there was a sense of comfort in the air. 

The next day, we had more errands, more driving and what I thought was, a time crunch. Rush, rush, rush. At one point, while we were in our small town, Little Bit suggested going for a walk. 

Hmmm. A walk. I thought about it for a second. Well…we have all this stuff to get done, and another town to drive to, blah, blah, blah.

We didn’t go for walk and instead, got stuck in busy. 

After our errands, we went home. Later, when I was finishing my chores and had my hands in a sink full of dishes, I thought about the difference between to two days. No hurry vs hurry. 

Honestly, I realized that “hurry” is simply a matter of perspective. If Tbursday and Friday had been swapped, I’d have been in a hurry Thursday and would’ve missed the horses because I wouldn’t have taken that right turn. If I’d been rushed, we wouldn’t have stopped at the cemetery. 

On the flip side, if we hadn’t been rushed Friday, we may have gone for a walk on a beautiful, sunny day instead of rushing from one place to the next. 

That lesson? Minutes tick by every single day whether we’re in a hurry or not. Period. I stood there at my sink wishing for a rewind. Wanting to go back to that sidewalk earlier in the day… and the chance for a stroll with my Little Bit.

What I decided is, the next time we won’t wait. The next time we will step out of busy and definitely take the walk.  

    
     
 

Bitter Sweet Symphony

Have you ever read something and connected with it?

Last night I was working on a new story and took a break for a while by reading some blog posts when I stumbled across this one. It’s weird because THIS is what I am writing about. The idea of slowing down and paying attention..

I love what he wrote here and thought I’d share it because it’ll be a great accompaniment to my next story.

Weird Guy with the Dog is a thought provoking writer. I love that he travels the country with his dog, Vinny the Super Dog. Hope you enjoy his story. I hope to finish mine up soon. :)

Weird Guy With The Dog

a (11)

Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony this life
Trying to make ends meet, you’re a slave to the money then you die
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places where all the veins meet, yeah
No change, I can’t change, I can’t change, I can’t change,
but I’m here in my mold, I am here in my mold
But I’m a million different people from one day to the next
I can’t change my mold, no, no, no, no, no, no, no

The VerveBitter Sweet Symphony

 I’m sitting in a familiar haunt…the Walmart at Van Wert Ohio. I did something tonight I have not done in years. I took Vinny out, and I laid down in the grass and just closed my eyes. I took away one of my senses, and let the others take…

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Soaking Up the Sun

Have you ever been driving along and seen something that caught your eye? 

That happened to me this morning. I was on my way home and had just passed the corner of my neighbor’s pasture. The trees are just now bursting with new leaves and it took me a second to realize I’d seen something else. 

I backed up for a better look. Among that beautiful “good bye winter, spring is here” green, stood a glorious horse, his mane blowing in the wind. 

For nearly seven years, he has been a part of our lives. Our back fence meets up to the land where he grazes. He is a sweet old boy. When we go to his gate, he usually comes running. 

But today he stayed put, only glancing my way once, looking as magestic as ever, while he was simply soaking up the sun. 

 I spy a horse!  

   

This World Full of Wonderful Friends

 Don’t you just love the possibility of new friendships? 

I mean, on any given day, there’s a chance of making a friend. That is pretty darn cool. 

Lately I’ve been thinking about how making friends has changed a bit through the years. 

Say like, back when my grandparents had young families, I’d guess that they met new people through family members, school, work, neighbors, church, doctors, the store, or maybe the beauty shop.

Most of those opportunities for making friends are still pretty true today. What I’ve noticed lately, is how much technology seems to come into play in the ability to make friends. 

When I started this blog in October, I was essentially fulfilling a dream of writing. I had no idea that becoming friends with other bloggers was even a possibility. 

It still amazes me that writing via the internet provides a platform for potential friendships to blossom. How cool is that? Pretty amazing. Especially when you consider that not that many years ago it was practically unheard of. 

I love the idea of how common interests draw like and like together. Similar to the quilting clubs or women’s church clubs, or book clubs of the past, its almost as if there’s a big writing/ readers club. 

On my blog’s Facebook page, I’ve “met” a lot of nice people as well. It’s interesting to consider I may not have met some of you kind folks that read my stories, if I hadn’t started blogging. 

What a great gift all of this is turning out to be and I’m just so blessed by this world full of wonderful friends. 
 

A Vacation Before Our Vacation 

Have you ever just wanted to get out of town? 

In six days we leave for our two week beach vacation, but yesterday, we were bored. Like that feeling of extreme bored-ness where the last thing you want to do is go to the usual places.

So, what did we do? Packed a bag, loaded up, and took off.

We hopped on the interstate and headed east. Within three hours, we rolled into a big city with museums, a theme park, a zoo, and some fancy hotels. 

In fact, we stayed in one of those fancy hotels. A country girl like me could get used to someone parking my truck, taking my luggage up sixteen floors, and drumroll…

Room service! No cooking? No dishes? They bring it to me? Woo hoo!! Sign me up.

It’s Sunday evening now, and a beautiful sunset is escorting us home. What a great couple of fun-filled, adventurous days we’ve had on a vacation before our vacation. 

  

   

  

  

  

  

  

   

    
    
   

For among elk, we dwell. *

Are you having a good Earth Day?

I have to say that I feel like nature is trying to get my attention today. This morning before I left for my early appointment, I read my friend, Annika’s story. Afterward, I walked outside and saw a gorgeous full moon in the blue sky.

About five miles down the road, a deer crossed the road right in front of me. Luckily I had time to get stopped. I was watching a second one cross, when a blur whizzed by., number three!

I looked back to my left and deer number four stood on edge, waiting for my next move, I suppose. I sat still. She stayed put, and I went on my way.

On my way home several hours later, I saw a wild turkey by the road. It couldn’t make up its mind what to do! Finally it just ran along the woods and went back in them.

Then, an hour ago, I was in the backyard. There’s a pretty swift breeze and I saw a turkey vulture gliding on the wind. Suddenly, he swooped down, nearly touching the grass between the fence and the back door. He circled around, then went on his way.

It’s definitely a nature-y day around here. So, I asked Annika if she would mind if I share her wonderful story about seeing elk in Sweden. She said I could. Her pictures are wonderful.

Here’s to being lucky enough to share this world with such amazing animals. Wishing each of you a happy Earth Day!

Annika Perry's Writing Blog

photo 4-2This wasn’t the first time we had to brake suddenly. Not the noisy tyre screeching stop; rather a quiet sedate halt before a hushed ‘ahh’ filled the car. We all leaned forward. I glanced back and forth, desperately seeking out the cause for this joyful expression.

‘There, just there. Amongst the trees. Do you see them?’

Them? I had been looking for perhaps one deer, camouflaged amongst the dark brown tree trunks, the green of the forest sucking the clarity of shapes into itself.

‘There.’

Abruptly I sit back into my seat. A young elk calf had just skittered its way across the road directly in front of the car. By the tree line it turned around and looked back to the other side. Just then I saw ‘them’. Another calf, hidden deeper amongst the trees, then Mother Elk stepped forward towards the road.

photo 3-3This was my ‘Northern Exposure’ moment!…

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Rest Well, Moon

Don’t you just love the moon? 

We do. It all started with my mom. She loves the moon. A notice-r of truly wonderful things, she started this tradition of calling or texting when the moon is baring it’s soul to the nightly skies. 

Today, I experienced a different kind of moonlit sky. Just before sun up, I walked out my front door to leave for an early appointment. Lately we’ve been blessed with 70 degree weather causing fog to crawl about on the cool morning air. 

As I looked up to the west, a smile crossed my face. There in the most unexpected place sat a full moon! 

For a few seconds, it was like I had that moon all to myself. No one in the subdivision was outside. It’s hard to tell you how amazingly huge it was! It was totally out of place in that westwardly blue sky. 

For 30 miles, the moon accompanied me on my drive. There aren’t many cars around here on the backroads at that hour, so it was doubly peaceful. 

A glance in my rear view mirror presented quite a gift. The sun was making its way to this day and was a ball of brilliant red. The sun and moon complete circles visible at the same moment. 

It seemed almost like a shift change. Perhaps the moon was saying, “Good morning, Sun.  Sleep well?”

Maybe the sun replied, “Yes, thank you for the break! It’s going to be a beautiful day.” 

Within a few miles, the sun was higher in the sky and the moon disappeared, leaving me drenched in gratitude for witnessing such grace. Rest well, moon. 

Welcome…Wherever We Are

Have you ever walked into a place and felt totally at peace and very welcome? 

I love that!

On the flip side, have you ever walked into a place and felt uncomfortable, like you weren’t quite welcome? 

Not a good feeling. I remember one time we were told to stop by my husband’s boss’s (at that time) house to pick something up.

When we arrived, I asked my husband if Little Bit and I should wait in the truck, or go in with him since we’d never been there before. We decided it’d be kind of rude to stay in the truck, so we all three rang the bell. 

Mistake.

The boss’s wife evidently did not want company, was very unwelcoming, and made it quite obvious by her looks sent our direction that she did not want us in her home.

I have never wanted to get out of somewhere so badly in my life…

Isn’t it funny how sometimes the lessons we learn about kindness are taught by people who aren’t kind? 

Well, fortunately for me, times like that are few and far between. Most places I’ve stepped into have been quite the opposite. 

My grandparents and my parents showed me all about how to make  every single person feel included and welcome. 

Each time we visited mom’s parents, they met us at their door, full of smiles and arms outstretched. Grandma would be giggling, while grandpa stood behind her, smiling. 

When we walked into dad’s folks house, they were usually knee deep in all dad’s brothers and grandkids, and would still make their way over to warmly greet us.

I think part of the reason I still get so homesick, is I know that on the other end of our 5 hour drive, my parents will come to the door when they see our lights pull in the drive. 

There’s just something about knowing somebody’s face will light up as soon as they see you. You know? 

On a different note, Little Bit and I have stumbled upon a place here in town where when we walk in, we get that “you are welcome here” feeling. 

It’s that shop I wrote about in my story, Kindness Noticed. 

Recently, I told the gal that owns it that I want to write a story about her and how this sunshine seems to pour out of her every time we walk into her shop. 

And, it does. She reminds me of that feeling I had of pulling up to my grandparents house when I was a kid. Who would have ever thought that feeling could be replicated? 

What a gift. Not only for me, but for Little Bit to feel so welcome at place that’s not home or his grandpa and grandma’s! 

This gal is so kind to my Little Bit. She lets him help her do things and all the while she has this glow about her. Man even the thought of it, makes my “happy tear” faucets trickle. 

He loves going there. 

This week I got the news that she was selling her shop. While I am thrilled that she ‘ll get to spend her time with her family, a piece of me is sad because she won’t be behind the counter anymore when we walk in. 

Then, it occurred to me, maybe it’s not where the person is standing that makes us feel welcome. Perhaps it is simply the person.

Hmmm. I’m going to bet that my grandparents are smiling down on me right this second and that when my parents read this, a smile will spread across their faces, too. 

Here’s to feeling welcome…wherever we are.