Category Archives: Things to ponder….

People, events or things that cause one to stop and think.

Stepping Back in Time

What a weekend! It was Tom’s 50th Class Reunion (twice delayed), which sent us heading to Scottsdale, AZ for Memorial Day Weekend. The class reunion was great and provided my hubby with the opportunity to connect with folks from his past, talk about high-school pranks, project cars and hobbies. We enjoyed much laughter and good connection with some of his former classmates. During the video presentations of senior pictures, I realized those students looked like the kids I graduated from high school with 50 years ago. They sure looked young! My guess is they were like the kids I graduated with. They thought they knew much about life, Didn’t we all experience a surprise?

Though the reunion was fun, our accommodations were the highlight of the weekend. We stayed in the house where Tom grew up. A home built in the early 50s, designed by a renowned architect and built by Del Web as one of his first homes before he became famous for building communities. This house was a one of a kind in a unique neighborhood developed by invitation of the owners of Ride ‘n Rock Ranch. This house was the initial build within the area and identified as the Ranch Guest House. The owner never stayed in the home, but used it as a perk for his executives and for tax benefits. A breezeway separated the bedrooms from the main structure, with each bedroom having its own entrance and a private bathroom. Tom’s parents were the second owners of the structure. During their tenure there, they enclosed the breezeway, which resulted in the first bedroom being connected to the main part of the house.

There’s a one lane road leading to the home, which is set back with plantings and trees lining the walkway to the entry. I felt like I was entering an enchanted zone.

The current owners are passionate about the history of the home and understanding changes performed on the property. They have amassed a huge history on the house and the neighborhood.

Tom has told me many stories of the place and his growing up experiences. I have to admit, I struggled to understand the layout or the neighborhood. His stories came to life for me. It felt like I stepped back in time.

Ho, Ho, Ho…

The stockings are hung…

Ho, Ho, Ho! The stockings are all hung on the mantel with care.

Not with hopes of gifts, but stuffed full of memories from Christmases past.

Ho, Ho, Ho! Santa should come on a sleigh. 

Ha, ha, ha—no snow here, but then there are no children here either. So perhaps no one will notice.

The music of the season fills the airwaves, the shopping spaces, vehicles and homes. Taking listeners on journeys back to their past, those years of prior Christmases. Some smile, some shake their head and think it is all nonsense. I’m one who smiles with memories of being a child, memories of being a mom and surprising a child. My memories overflow and allow me to derive pleasure watching others as they celebrate the season.

Back home, it is quiet here. Not an eerie quietness, but a quietness that settles like a soft comforter one wants to snuggle into. This season has brought contentment, joy and peace. I revel in these feelings.

Lights and baubles bedazzle the tree; some shiny and some not. 

Each bauble holds the secret of its history waiting for the dark when only the lights of the tree allow them to speak of their origins and how they became part of this holiday tradition. How I would enjoy hearing them tell their own story, how they feel being out of the box for a brief season. 

The nativity scenes on full display sit in several rooms, emitting their own scenes and memories from years past within the family tree. Now they live together in our home, with our family, and share their pride of being treasured for so many years. Their story continues to live in our lives.

Ho, Ho, Ho! 

May this Christmas season come to your home and bring hope for the future, eyes to see the good in others, and peace to all who enter through your doorway, thus leaving you with many happy memories.

This time of the year…

What’s your shiny object?

While holiday songs fill the airwaves and pine fragrances permeate the air, I find my days filled with decorating, getting holiday letters written, gifts for children and grandchildren to be mailed. With those things going on, my personal pattern finds my mind pulled to evaluating the year’s writing goals, and developing plans for the next year. This trend has been consistent, and you’d think I would expect it instead of finding it to be an annual surprise.

Reflecting on 2021 writing was an interesting project. My major goals were accomplished. I have “first drafts” of three distinctly different writing pieces completed. It also means many hours of editing, creating cover designs and proof copies will fill 2022.

Be on the lookout for upcoming information on:

  • The sequel to Dream Glasses, which is Finding the Way Home. Liz returns from Paris excited to start the future she has planned, only to discover life doesn’t always move in the direction we expect.
  • A collection of short stories, poetry and little quips—Clouds. Most of this writing occurred during COVID, and was inspired by various writing communities I am involved with. The inspiration and camaraderie of like-minded artists is invaluable to me.
  • A children’s story, Charley’s Great Adventure. The story of Charley the Chipmunk on his first big outing without his mom. He’s excited, he’s nervous—and he’s totally unprepared for what he encounters. How does he react to a fearful situation, to knowing he failed to follow his mother’s advice?

On the less than stellar accomplishments, my commitment to write as regularly as I had in 2020 was a struggle. Between moving and connecting in a new community, there were more interruptions. My excuse “shiny objects distract me.” I’m fortunate to have another writing mentor who assures our group, even when writers are not writing, they are processing information for future writings. I take heart in her words.

As your year is winding to a close, where are your thoughts and dreams for the coming year? Did you feel stuck in 2021, or did you discover new passions and interests this year? 

Holiday Decorations 2021

This is the first year since leaving Wisconsin that we have a Christmas tree inside the house. Our Colorado years sported a dressed tree on the deck outside our dining area. Sturdy ornaments able to withstand the elements donned the tree. Many of the years, dustings of snow graced the branches and sometimes birds would land in the tree. All those years our fragile ornaments hid in boxes wrapped in tissue. It was a treat to open those boxes and see treasures stored away.

The decorating process unleashed memories from years back, memories of family events, memories of friends. The nativity set I grew up seeing at my grandparent’s house now lives at mine. Unwrapping each piece stirs memories from my childhood, when its home was a corner table in their living room. I treasure the story of how the set was acquired. First the stable with the holy family, then, as finances allowed, they added to the collection. The pieces don’t match, but they warm my heart as it’s part of my history. Several years back, my husband purchased a new stable for the set. It was our way of putting our own touch on this set.

Antique Nativity

The other set comes from hubby’s family and was purchased by his parents many years ago on a trip to Italy. The pieces all have exquisite facial features, all are in the same style. It is a simplistic piece that finds its home on an end-table each Christmas. I love both sets, and unwrapping them is our introduction to the holiday season.

Italian Nativity

Unpacked ornaments lay on the table, ready for the tree. Hubby picked up a piece and said, “Is there a history here? I see so many snowmen.”

I chuckle. “Yes. I have a friend who knew I liked snowmen and for many years, she gave me an ornament or two for my tree.”

I’m grateful he asked. It brought back so many pleasant holiday memories after my children were adults and I lived alone. Friends are so important in life.

He asked about other ornaments or decorations. Some were from my mom; some made by children; some purchased on travels; some, I don’t remember. Then we talked about some ornaments he brought.

I have many things my mother gave to me over the years. So much has changed since last year when we were absorbed with cleaning, unpacking and getting settled in our new home. There were no Christmas decorations. In retrospect, I recognize that may have been healthier for me. This year, I’m able to pick up a piece and enjoy the thought of my mom giving the ornament or decoration to me. Many of the items reflected her personality. The simple styles, or elegant lines, reflected who she was and how much care she gave in selecting gifts for others. Last year, I wasn’t ready to appreciate the memories associated with those items. 

Time is a healer.

Timber…

The end has arrived. It was time to purge the agave before it became rigid and too tough to cut. The blooms hosted bees, honey birds and some butterflies. 

Timber…

When the stalk fell, a mild sweet fragrance filled the air.

Pieces cut to fit the green waste mounded on the ground. 

Then each was stabbed with a pitch fork and dropped in the bin. 

Smaller pieces were scooped in. 

Few pieces wait for next week’s trash collection day.

July 27 — Close up

Check out the close-up bloom. Each of those tiny tennacles were feeding zones for all the flying critters that hovered around the blooms once they opened. After sitting in the sun for several days, there was no fragrance, and no visiting creatures. This piece will join its kin in the bin next week.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this marvel of nature with me. 

We’ve yet to determine what will be planted in the agave’s former location. But the next selection will take into consideration the little bridge and mature size of the plant.

Patience…

Close-up blooms July 21

Obviously, I lacked patience when I wrote my last post

The blooms are breaking forth

Hummingbirds and bees swarm the yellow flowers

The green leaves shriveling and giving up their life blood

Soon the flowers will produce seeds as the plant withers and dies

My front row seat to this miracle of nature has fascinated me

Our blue agave bloom process took longer than my research suggested

The show has been fun

I’ve enjoyed sharing it with you

Gardner friends have encouraged we start to cut back the leaves

As their nourishment drains, the outer skin will shrivel and harden

As they say, 

July 21 — partial blooms

…the curtain closes on this performance

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea plants explode with color

Petals are thin

Each bloom holds four to six petals tightly together 

Two white dots fill the center of each as identifying marks for the species

Some tower to the sky growing against the house

Others fill large areas of the garden

Whichever, they fill their space with color and gaiety

Colors vary depending upon plant

The blossoms dry then flutter to the ground

They swirl in the air, ultimately landing below

Like tissue paper scattered and left after a celebration

Tissue Blooms

The yard represents life

Family visited for two weeks

House filled with laughter

Children played games, ran in the garden

Shared cooking experiences

A glass of wine enjoyed in the evenings

Tomorrow’s adventures planned

Car loaded

Family departed

Time flies

Memories are left scattered around

Different shades and hews

Much like my bougainvillea tissue flowers

Blossoms, like memories scattered everywhere

Some People Say…

…2020 was the lost year.

I disagree

2020 was the year… 

I became focused

I got serious about my writing

Enjoyed contact with writers from around the world

Was challenged and encouraged

To be bold

To let the words out

To trust my voice

Learned the peace of spending time with my thoughts

Found joy in simple pleasures

Around my house

With my husband

Enjoyed time to read

And then read some more

Cooked some amazing meals

Wrote, and wrote and wrote some more

Became comfortable with Zoom and its limitations

Met other creatives who were open about their struggles during this time

Up rooted myself

Moved

Settled in to find myself surrounded by unknown plants

Doors opened to new learning 

Writing continues

Meeting neighbors and others

Continue Zoom meetings with writers

Projects progressing…

2020 was the year that continues in 2021!

Amazing Agave or Dr. Seuss Tree

Habit or not…

Away from home…

Habits creep in
Like stalkers at night
We awake and find them amongst us

So goes the way of the news

Read for interest to be informed
Look for more complete details
Shock value captivates attention
Research
Then repeat

And repeat
Peace disrupted
Habit revealed

I long to return to consuming news 
On a “need to know” basis

Question
How to be informed yet not addicted?

(I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on this topic)