Friday, March 25, 2011

Gone Living


Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face
into the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the
sky and want, more than all the world, your return.

~ Mary Jean Iron

My kids are on their spring break from school
and I want to relish my time with them.....
Normal days that all too soon, will be gone.

I won't be posting while they are off, but I
may be writing and I may be able to sneak
in a visit to see those of you who write blogs.
But, I  may not.  

I want to be present for long walks 
and long talks; snuggling in to watch movies or 
play board games; for pushing up our sleeves
to create in the kitchen or kicking back
to read books.....for living on their time,
not mine.

Normal things and normal days that all
too soon I know that I will be longing for.

So, look for me next week.

And until then, embrace your normal
days.....for they are far sweeter than
any of us can really know, 
while we are living them.

xx
Suzanne



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wrapped and Ready



When lottery winners
are interviewed about
their good fortune
and asked What are
you going to buy first?
I'm always tickled by
the one who answers

I want to buy my mom
and dad a new house
or
 I'm going to pay for
my neighbor's daughter
to go to college 
or
I'm going to give our local
senior center a complete
remodel.


The reason it makes me
smile is because that 
would be me.  My love
language ~ showing how
I care for someone ~ has
always been through gifts.

Usually they aren't expensive
gifts, but little things that
say I really know you, I 
care about you and I have
you in my heart today.


If I suddenly became the
recipient of unlimited funds,
oh, the joy it would give
me to share it with others.
I have to think that this is
one of the best things about
being an Oprah or a Bill
Gates or a Donald Trump!

When I am shopping and
I see something that reminds
me of a loved one, I'll pick
it up and squirrel it away until
either a birthday, holiday or
the right time presents itself.


I remember the fall of my
sophomore year in college
when my mom was having 
cancer surgery 1500 miles
away from me.  My parents 
didn't want me to come home
and miss school and I felt
completely helpless. 
 What could I do? 

I sent her a gift, of course.
In retrospect, it seems sort of
silly, but at the time, it felt
right.  I still remember what
I sent, too.  It was a pendant
on a chain; a tiny gold leaf. 


I think maybe I was 
subconsciously
hoping that she herself would turn
over a new leaf and shed her
cancer or perhaps that after
the surgery she would grow
away from it; a sort of new life.

And she did.  

I recently gave my mom another
just because gift that reminded
me of her.  It is a cuff* that says Bloom, 
because when I was growing up our family
 moved often and her motto for us was
Bloom where you are planted.

And we did.


As I was walking this morning
and thinking of her reaction to
this gift {she loved it!}, it struck
me as a full-circle kind of 
moment. That leaf pendant, so long 
ago, saying grow, grow, and her new
cuff, affirming that growth as well
as the fact that we can continue to 
flourish and reach for new 
dreams,  no matter our age.  

To bloom.


My wish for you, today, is that
you continue to blossom all the 
days of your life.  And if I could wrap
that wish in something beautiful and
send it off to each and every one
of you, know 
that
certainly 
would!

Have a wonderful week.

xx
Suzanne 



*Cuff created by my talented friend, here.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Daffodils and Damask.....

....and other small things
I'm loving right now!




Tea towels
from Anthropologie ~

Due to a severe case of
 spring fever, I'm loving
all the ones featuring birds,
but if Bernese Mountain Dogs
or Bull Dogs remind you of spring, 
they have some cute towels
you can snap up on-line
for half off, here.






Dry roads, washed clean
 by our first spring rain
{Gracie likes it, too.}
We hit 50 degrees F. for 
the first time this week 
since November.  And with
the sun out.....heavenly.





Essential oils, which I mix
with jojoba oil and rub on my wrists. 
 The one I seem to be using most these
 days is lemon, for energy.
Reminds me of Love's Fresh Lemon
cologne, which I wore in sixth grade : )



Excellent reviews of the new
Jane Eyre movie with
Mia Wasikowska as Jane and
Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester.
Understated, yet transfixing 
according to one journalist.
Can't wait to see it at a
matinee over our spring break!



Prosecco, an Italian sparkling
wine that is light, dry and bubbly, much 
 like champagne. To me, it tastes like
spring in a glass. If you have 
a champagne stopper, it keeps well in 
the refrigerator after opening.  
I like to have it on hand for little 
celebrations...

the laundry's put away
it's Wednesday
an A on a history exam
no cavities

You get the picture!



Words.
Can't seem to get
enough of them.
I like to post sayings
and words on the 
bulletin board by the door that
leads out to our garage.
Usually printed from my
computer or scrawled
on a piece of paper.  Decided to
kick it up a notch with
this lovely, purchased at
25% off this week here:





The dignity of the Japanese people.
No looting, no violence, just a quiet
commitment to moving ahead.
One woman I saw on TV even
bowed before being scanned with 
wand for traces of radiation, 
to the worker wielding the wand.


True grace.







What are you loving,
these days??
I would love to know.

Have a wonderful weekend
and as my new sign says,
give GOOD!

xx
Suzanne



PS:  The reference to
damask in the post title
is to the stencil that I
finally finished painting in 
our powder room....and YES,
I still love it.  {Thank goodness!!}





Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Garden

It takes a long time
to grow an old friend.
~ John Leonard


A special friend once
told me that when she thinks of her
friends, she thinks of a garden.

Some friends are
like annuals,
thrown together
in riotous color
because of school
or work or you
volunteer together or
your children are friends.

And when that
season is over,
the tie that bound
is slack;
the friendship slowly
fades and is gone.

 

And that's okay.
We need annuals;
they have their
own unique place
in the garden.

Because we have
perennials....Those
friendships that endure
the seasons and that
can be counted on
to be there,
 year after
year.



As a child, my family moved
a lot and I left in my wake a
trail of annuals....friendships
that blossomed brightly and
then were gone.  In my heart,
I am so thankful for each and
every one of them for befriending
the new girl....

Pam Keehan of Glens Falls, NY {2nd and 3rd grade}, thank you.
Dena Blevins of Walla Walla, WA {end of 3rd; 4th}, thank you.
Sheryl Miller of St. Helens, OR {5th grade}, thank you.
Lori Adams of Salem, OR {6th, 7th and start of 8th}, thank you.

I still remember them all, but despite
initial earnest letter writing, we
are no longer in touch.


Some friends you can see only a
few times a year or even a decade,
but you pick up right
where 
you
left
off
like it was yesterday, when you were 
first nestled in that garden, together.

I am so excited because
in a few short weeks
I will be reunited with
that very pal I first mentioned,
who thinks of friendship like a garden.


We haven't seen each other
 in over five years!

How easily we might have been annuals,
but lucky me, our friendship grew
strong, sweet roots.

A Gymboree class in Indiana brought us
together, almost exactly 15 years ago.
She made her entrance to the first class
a bit late; she'd gotten a little lost, as she
wasn't from the area.  Her nine-month
old daughter on her hip, she gracefully
joined our circle and I was immediately
drawn to her fresh style, warm smile 
and yes, I must admit, her accent.

She's from New Zealand.


Her family was in Indianapolis while her
husband, an ophthalmologist, completed a
 fellowship athe Indiana School for the Blind.

Despite growing up a world away
from each other, we found that we
were kindred spirits and could
easily talk for hours.  We enjoyed
meeting with our baby girls to
chat about everything and anything.
Hopes, fears, dreams; we covered
a lot of ground while chasing after two
 little tykes.  And we laughed. A lot.

Indiana
1996
Our friendship had only blossomed
 for a year when it was time for them
to return home.  Tears were shed.
This was not like having a friend move
to New York or California or even
Hawaii.  This was a move that
would separate us by half of
the earth!

But we were perennials.

California
2000
Mainly we have communicated via
 letters and the Internet, as
coordinating a phone call can be both
costly and tricky.  When it is 9AM here
  on Monday, it is already 3AM Tuesday 
 morning, there.  Helga has the most beautiful 
handwriting and when I open the mailbox
and see her unique script on a card or parcel, 
it always lifts my spirits as I anticipate brewing
a cup of tea and savoring every word.

New Zealand
2002
Since Helga and her family returned
to New Zealand in 1996, I have seen
 her three times.  Our upcoming
visit will be the shortest ~ just one
lovely day together ~ but it may just
be the most precious.  Like old 
times, we'll talk and talk, but now as
perennials that have braved many
more seasons in our own gardens.

Some of those seasons have brought
 a lot of stormy weather as we have both
 faced life's  inevitable ups and downs.

But our friendship has endured.

We have endured.

Perennials.

Minnesota
2005
Do you have a special perennial
in your garden of friendship?

I'll pour the coffee.
Let's visit that garden.

xx
Suzanne