Sunday, June 28, 2015

summer captions

It's been so hot. Over 100 degrees each day this week. 
Finally today after some much needed rain a break in the heat.
Outdoor concert with a favorite hometown band. 
What little boy doesn't want to celebrate at least one birthday with a dirt cake?
Littlest One insists on wearing her sunglasses inside and upside down. 
Fathers' Day at our church: all the men and boys up front to sing.
A warm night of dominoes and 60s music with friends on the porch.
It wasn't til later that I realized why this game was so hard for me.
Look at how busy the tablecloth is along with the colorful dominoes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

hair story

My hair is so, so thick that I feel confident that I'll probably never start balding as some women eventually do. The only time I've messed with my hair color was in college when I combed in "Clairoxide" in the summer to add some blonde highlights. My increasingly gray highlights are natural even though I'm often asked about my color. While I've always wished my hair wasn't so very straight, its curious that at this age I'm suddenly getting cowlicks, and not in advantageous spots. I have found a hair stylist that I adore. Christie listens to what I want, does many of my friends' hair (so it's a little taste of "Mitford") and even better, her price is so cheap. Just in the past week two women have asked where I go, and I have to say that Christie is "closed." No more new customers. This girl is busy. And she can hide my cowlicks.

She loves to talk about the color of my hair. She says more and more women are coming in and asking for gray, which I find amusing, unless she's just trying to make me feel good. Are these women taking a turn to reality, or is it because gray is so popular in decorating?

So here's the story. One day Christie told me about an 80-something woman whose hair color is just like mine. She comes in weekly for a trim because her hair grows so quickly. She's an "active 80" and has beautiful white hair, but gets gray highlights because she's not ready "to go totally white." While I was getting my hair cut a sharp looking woman, looking to be in her early 70s or late 60s walked in and greeted Christie. She sat for a bit but then grabbed a broom and started sweeping the floor. Her gray highlighted hair was lovely. How amusing that this was the same 80-something woman Christie had just been telling me about. And our hair is identical. I hope I will be in as good shape in my 80s. Just from chatting with her a bit I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with her outlook on life.

And, by the way, it's quite a feat to photograph the back of one's head.

Friday, June 19, 2015

on providing

I've been using my iPad to read the first book in the Narnia series to my granddaughter. We began just to satisfy her curiosity, and then she got hooked. How I loved reading the series to her dad and his brother, and now I'm enjoying sharing it with her. The first day we read I found something on line. I'm not sure how these copies are done, but sometimes a letter is left off a word, etc. We're never sure we'll find it the next time we read so I decided to reserve a copy from our library. I went online and found only two in our large city library system. I tried to reserve a copy but it looked like someone already had so I knew I wouldn't get the book soon.

I was telling the Gardener my surprise at the lack of Narnia in our city library and how I had tried to reserve it. It was the plan for me to go over to their house to read and babysit after lunch. As I headed out the door my phone beeped with a message -- from the library -- my reserved book was ready. Had I actually reserved it? Who knew! Then followed another beep and a message from DIL--could I come 15 minutes later? That would give me just the time I needed to stop by the library.

It was an old copy with the same sweet sketches as in the one I read to my kids. I was eager to tell Little B about the provision of this book -- I call such things a "wink" or "smile" from God.  For isn't He concerned about everything in our lives? Both big and little? She took in my story, eyes a bit wide, and then her mom iced the cake.

"What was our lesson in VBS this morning, B?"

It was on "God provides for us."

Another wink.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

the tiniest of vacations

 We went to a wedding in Greenville recently and 
decided to stay overnight and visit the city park before heading home.
 What an amazing park in the middle of the city. 
You notice how the suspension bridge left one side free
for viewing the waterfall?
We walked and bench hopped and even found a swing to enjoy.
The morning was cool before the heat set in.
It was the tiniest of vacations, but as we all know,
even a couple of hours in such a place can be refreshing.

Joining Mosaics on Monday today.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

a second kiss

Well actually I never got a second kiss, but I could have. The Gardener was off to 
other parts of the world. I ask him again and another time and maybe a third or fourth time 
as he packs, "Do you have your passport?" "Yes, yes." 
Always a man full of patience with my repeats.

Friday afternoon rush hour traffic. I leave him at the airport door and my mind briefly 
flirts with the days past when I would go in and sit with him until boarding. Before 2001.

I'm on the expressway headed home. Traffic surrounds me as by now employees are flocking from the city with the weekend in mind.

My phone rings and I answer cautiously (I'm driving you know) 
and hear the Gardener's voice.

With passport safely tucked on his person, he tells me he has left something very important at home, crucial for his work. Can I make it home and back before the flight leaves? Bumper to bumper as my mind races about which route might be better. I breathe a frantic prayer and it almost seems like God parts a path through the steel on wheels.

How many times do we ask what we did before cell phones! I try to remember how things evolved the one time he actually did forget his passport. I must have known before I left him at the airport. That ended up being a frantic trip home and back and a begging of the next flight to LA, where he had a layover,  to carry his passport to him.

I feel more comfortable as I glance over now at the gray laptop on the seat beside me. We are on our way back and traffic is flowing. I make it just in time. He rushes to the car a little breathless with a face full of gratitude and relief. A tall man can't reach into a car across to the driver. "A kiss" I beg. Sorry no time to come around; there's a plane to catch. No second kiss. 
We touch hands through the open window and off he goes.

Monday, June 08, 2015

texted beauty

 Beauty comes in all ways, and sometimes through a text.
 I love it when someone sends me a picture they know I will appreciate.
 It's like saying "I'm thinking of you."
 These are a few beauties I've receive on my phone recently.
All but the top one came from my boys.
These vibrant beauties were not texted but came right through the front door.
Neighbors got them at the "left over market." There is still a lot of life
 in them. It was sweet to see the girls from next door carrying 
a big bright bouquet to each neighbor in our cul de sac.
We put some on the tables later when we all gathered for a cook-out.

Thursday, June 04, 2015


 (my grandmother's house)
Each house I pass by is a piece of art for me. I grew up being a house 
person--our whole family seemed to love houses maybe because 
both my grandfathers had businesses involving houses. 
My favorite place in the whole world is home, but I know not all houses 
are homes, and not all homes are the havens that my home was growing up. 
It's a blessing I don't take for granted.
I've written a lot about home on this blog and here I go again!
I place a high value on comfort and peace in our surroundings.
Where we live there is a lot of pressure to "update" our homes both 
outside and inside, furniture, bathrooms, kitchens, etc.
Sometimes it's tempting, but I prefer the old heirlooms,
the stuff that tells me stories, has character, 
and promotes cozy. 
I love the descriptions of a home in E. Goudge's Pilgrim's Inn. 
I could read it again and again.
"There did not seem to be a straight line anywhere, and yet the old place 
gave no impression of decay. …The room was gracious, lived-in, 
warm, glowing, and altogether glorious….
Standing there in the sunlight and firelight, George and the children felt as
though they had come home. They looked at each other, but could not speak."

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