Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Next Best Thing

It's funny, sometimes,
how a little phrase, a
quote or an exchange
of words gets stuck
in my mind....

A sure sign that I need
to unpack it, smooth it
out, and share it 
with you.

On Christmas Night,
after the feast had been
eaten, the crackers
snapped, paper crowns
cast aside and board
games played, we curled
up on the couch and
watched an old holiday
episode of The Waltons.
(Gracie, too!)

At the end of this episode,
as everyone says goodnight, 
the youngest Walton,
Elizabeth, asks the eldest
Walton, Grandpa, which
Christmas, of all those that
he'd celebrated in his long
life, did he like to think
about best?

His answer?


None? she replies, aghast.

The Christmas I like to think
about, Miss Elizabeth, isn't
this year's, last year's, or the
one in '06.  

It's next year's Christmas.

I love Grandpa's philosophy.

I love his optimism.

I love his child-like 
of the future.

Despite living through very
challenging times and 
enduring many losses,
the patriarch of this beloved
American family wasn't
going to get stuck in the past.

I want to embrace Grandpa
Walton's outlook and apply
it consciously to my own life.

Instead of looking 

I want to look 
forward ~

to my next birthday 
my next vacation 
my next summer 

or simply, the next day,
convinced as my head hits
the pillow each night, that
tomorrow is going to be

the best.

As children grow and we
age, as the world around us
shifts and changes at warp
speed, it would be easy to
cling to what has been, 
persuading ourselves that
those times were the 
best times.

But in doing so, it seems
to me that we miss the
opportunity to continue
grabbing what life has to offer,
and I don't want to do that.

As Robert Browning penned,
...the best is yet to be.

He and Grandpa Walton 
were definitely on
to something.


{all images P&H}


Dianna said...

Absolutely the best way to live, my friend! LOVED this post, Suzanne! xo

Gretchen said...

Love this Suzanne! Thanks for sharing and inspiring me. I've always looked forward, but not always with this great understanding of why I do.
Just think I see a new 'quote' for my business too from this post. Thanks my friend. We should set up a lunch/shopping trip in March. Taxes will be on my mind until then. :-(

Sandy at You May Be Wandering said...

Your posts speak to me every time! Thank you for the reminder to live in the present and stay hopeful for the future!

Have a lovely day, Suzanne! xoxo

Lucy martin said...

Hi follower here...
I love your message here. How true indeed. have a sweet day!

Shelly W. said...

Hello there, Suzanne! You have such a beautiful way of putting in words exactly what I need to hear. This morning I woke up much too early--4:50, to be exact--with my mind racing with all of the things I needed to do today. And I felt a little sick about it all, wondering how I would get it all done. But what you remind me of is that today is going to be a great day, no matter what. Rather than dread, I need to anticipate, to look forward, and to be excited.

Thank you, friend.

Julie said...

I love you Suzanne. Beautiful words. Glowing reminder. **I love the Waltons, and I love your little basket of lights you left out. a girl after my own heart. Big Big ((HUG))

Joanna said...

I enjoyed the message in your post, Suzanne. Those Waltons were always so wise, and I loved them for it.


michele said...

yes yes yes! i need to be intentional about adopting this mentality as well, suzanne. to be full of hope for the future is not foolish or naive. it IS childlike and just as i want it to be. thank you for this.


Anonymous said...

The beauty and hope of tomorrow. Sometimes it makes the todays bearable.

My challenge is to embrace the todays as well as the tomorrows without getting lost in the morass of the mundane.

Thanks for reminding me that the "nexts" are always there to look forward to!

AmyH said...

Well said. I think it is alway good to stay in the present, too. I know someone who CANNOT wait until retirement. I see him ruining his present with frustration and anger, by being so focused on the future. That is an extreme example.
Glad to have you back!

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

Bravo Suzanne...wonderful post!
I love watching the Waltons and Grandpa sure does make me smile!

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

Oh my gosh I so needed to hear this! Thank you for reminding me that the best is yet to be...sometimes that's really hard to believe, especially as we {gasp} a-g-e. I only hope I can be as positive and forward-looking as you are this day. Thank you, my friend.

Jill Hinson said...

Oh wise friend, nice to hear from you here. Hope you are staying cozy and warm!

Hartwood Roses said...

There is a lot of wisdom here today! Live for today, learn from yesterday, and look toward tomorrow.

Hindsfeet said...


oh my dear, my dear....just thank you...


Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

This is so sweet, Suzanne. There are times when we just want to stop, or even slow time down...and hold the future back...but time marches on. I love the idea of keeping our hearts open to and anticipating what is to come. And that last Winnie the Pooh quote...I need that on a wall somewhere! Hope you are well, Suzanne! XO

Leslie said...

Wonderful a wonderful attitude Grampa Walton has:) Age is just a number and time is going to go by .. we might as well look at this in a positive note. Living in the moment and looking forward not back:) Hope you are enjoying your week! xxleslie

Jenny Short said...

Thank you, Suzanne. My husband and I are having problems and looking forward is what I need to do. xo Jenny

lisaroyhandbags said...

I love this thought and to be honest I'm always thinking forward. The thing is, I have to remind myself to enjoy the present as well and not be constantly looking around the corner for the next thing. xo

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...


Good morning! I hope that you are keeping yourself toasty and warm. Such wonderful messages the Waltons shared each week and this one is perfect for the New Year, especially for all those wondering where the time is going and why they have not managed to start their resolutions, organization, etc.

I hope that you have a wonderful day! Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and message. I hope Gracie isn't too sad with Elizabeth back at school.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Absolutely. The past is our teacher, today is our mentor. But tomorrow pregnant with possibilities, but challenging and rewarding. Thank you again for yet another well-written piece, a portion of your heart and wisdom, Suzanne! Thank you so much for visiting! (can you believe this infernal cold?)

Things and Thoughts said...

So glad to discover this little blog corner where everything seems so lovely and kind!

Things and Thoughts said...

Newest follower !

Farmgirl Paints said...

Today is the best day. You're a special person girlie. Love this so much!!

Rambling Tart said...

That is beautiful and wonderful and makes me smile. :-) And I'm SO glad you're back. :-) xo

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

Every time I come to your blog it's my favorite day! I love this post, I love love love it, and I often think about how glad I am to have just a regular, ordinary day with my family - the kind where I am scrambling to make dinner, run everyone to their practices, turn over the load of laundry from the washer to the dryer, take the dog for a walk. The ordinary days I savor and hope for many more. Your blog is such a highlight at the end of one of those days, thank you my friend!

and *Goodnight Johnboy!*

Deborah said...

Love this Suzanne!
What can I say? You've said it all...and quite beautifully I might add!
Love to you dear friend and warmest of hugs!
(P.S. I watch The Waltons all the time)
All my heart,
Deborah xoxooxoxoxox

Deborah said...

And Pooh Bear? Don't get me started!
He is adorable with all his little sayings!!!
I just wanna squeeze him so!!

Deborah xoxo

Just a little something from Judy said...

You said it so beautifully! It challenged me and inspired me this afternoon. When I come to the end of each day, I want to look forward to all that God has ahead for me, even if that is not always the easiest route to go. I feel blessed once again, by my visit here.

Palomasea said...

A brilliant post, dear friend....beautifully, beautifully written.
Amen to this philosophy...pure wisdom....
Thank you for blessing us... :)))
And your photographs are so lovely...give little Gracie a kiss on the nose from me... ;)
And a tight hug from me to you, dear Suzanne.
Stay warm...
- Irina

June said...

You are so wise Suzanne for someone so young and I LOVE that about you! I know you will always be content with life because of your wisdom and grace. Not all people have made the choice to learn from life as you have and I am so happy that I get to read your heart.
sending hugs...


Enjoying today (in Cannon Beach) and looking forward to tomorrow ... a winning plan.

I discovered the Waltons the first year that Dave and I were married. (I grew up without television since I was overseas.) I was teaching school and came home every afternoon and watched an episode before I began cooking dinner. A sweet memory.


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Lili said...

Aw...any blog post ending with a quote from Pooh is such a sweet one! xoxo