Thursday, November 20, 2014

Collections: A Giveaway

I love collections, and I'm
willing to bet that you, too
have had a collection or two
{or three or four.....} that you've
assiduously added to over time.

I've collected a variety of
things throughout the years, from
seashells and poodle-themed
items as a child, to tea cups,
vintage frames, old keys and
much more, as an adult.

But in recent years, the items
I've squirreled away the most
don't have tangible shapes or
forms. They aren't vintage, rare,
or even unique.  And though
they are quite valuable to me,
they are absolutely free.

What am I collecting?

Moments.  Twinklings.
Jiffys.  Flashes and instants.

Tiny joys.

Sitting here in my car in the 
early morning, watching sunshine
dance on snow that glistens like
I've already collected
six new ones.

Probably more.

My first, hot sip of english
breakfast tea.

A kiss from Gracie.

My big boy and his dad,
laughing over their eggs.

Mist rising from the lake
at sunrise.

Pennies from Heaven on the 40's station.

A rainbow in the sky, with snow
on the ground.

Tiny joys, not for sale.

Like all experienced collectors,
I've learned to recognize the
good stuff when I find it, hiding
among the less-inspired moments.

Very often, my tiny joys come
in the form of words, including
those that I receive from readers
like you, who are, without a doubt,
the kindest on the planet : )

{Your comments and emails
become part of my heart's
collection, daily.}

Thank you.

I added a very special moment
to my cache last June, when the
managing editor for the magazine
Artful Blogging contacted me
about submitting my words and
pictures for the winter issue.

It was wonderful collaborating
with the publisher then, and even
more amazing for me to share
my excitement with you, now!

To celebrate, I'm giving away
copies of this gorgeous, quarterly
publication to two Privet and Holly
readers.  The winners will each
receive the Winter 2015 issue, as
well as some other little gifts I
will tuck in, too.

Because tiny joys are even
better when they are enjoyed
with others.

How to enter?

Simply tell me about a tiny joy
you've collected recently, by
leaving a comment at the end
of this post.  {Click on the words
Lovely Thoughts.}

If you subscribe via email or
read my blog some other way,
you can also reach me at

See how this little anthology
of moments will grow? Your tiny 
joys will become part of my own.

The giveaway ends on December 4th.

Until then, I'll be busy adding to
my collection, polishing each
twinkling and jiffy, each instant
and flash, until they all shine
as brightly as this winter sun.

Won't you join me?


all images P&H

Friday, November 7, 2014

Turning the Page

For last year's words
belong to last year's language,
and next year's words
await another voice.
And to make an end
is to make a beginning.

T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding

The date had been circled
on my calendar for two
months, but truthfully, I'd
been anticipating its arrival
since he was a little boy.

My son, who turned 16 the day
before Halloween and passed
his driver's exam that same
morning, drove away with
a big piece of my heart in the
seat next to him.

I waved until he was out
of sight.

It was one of those surreal
moments in life, when the
event you'd thought about
for years and years was
actually happening.  

It was here.

And with its arrival, a new
page was turned; a new
chapter thrown open before
my eyes.

I'm certain you've had
similar occasions, too.
Moments where time seems
frozen for a split-second,
the reality of its significance
leaving you breathless.

I'm graduating from high school.

I'm standing in front of family
and friends, getting married.

I'm nervously signing all the
mortgage paperwork, 
and buying a home.

I'm in the hospital, anxious
and scared and elated to
meet my baby.

I'm waiting, hands shaking,
to speak at my grandpa's funeral.

Saying to myself, over my 
pounding heart,

this is actually happening.

Page turners, all.

The knowledge that life
as we've known it will never
be exactly the same as it was
before, can be frightening.

But happy or sad, these page
turners are all connected
to one thing:


When it's a joyous page turner
those blessings lift us up,
oh so high.

But even if the new page is
a sad one, that sadness is
also rooted in love.  Love
for a person we were blessed
to have known or a time in 
our lives we had cherished.

So, as my husband and I stood
together in that parking lot on
our son's birthday, congratulating 
him and offering a few more
pieces of advice before he drove
off to school, love was my focus.

I concentrated on the blessing it's
been to raise him.  And I fixed my
eyes on the ebullient expression 
on his face as he hugged us good-bye, 
assuring us that he would be okay.

His chapters are only beginning
to be written, and we are so very
proud and happy for him.

But still, just a bit sad for us,
and the turning of another page.

Just a bit.


all photos P&H