Friday, October 26, 2012


The weather forecasters are telling us that a huge storm is approaching and that we need to be prepared!  Just three days ago, the skies were bright blue and cloudless, the sunlight showing off the changing Autumn leaves and creating a banquet of colors on which to feast the eyes.  If nothing else, the weather is unpredictable and sometimes catches us by surprise with dramatic changes.  As does life. 

I am not looking forward to this probable hurricane we are facing.  We will do what is necessary to prepare, but the impact the storm will have is unknown at this point.  Storms come and go, as do beautiful autumn days.  Seasons change, almost always bringing with them a mix of bane and blessing.  Today there are clouds, probably the harbinger of rains to come, but there are also dancing leaves outside my window and a carpet of red and gold on the patio stones.  I will enjoy today.  I will scuff my way through the leaves and enjoy the sight of the colors under a gray sky.  I will remember and give thanks for many wonderful days throughout each season, and that will give strength to face the inevitable storms.  You have heard it before, I am is a gift, and that is why it is called the present!

" Take the blue of the sky and the green of the forest, the gold and the brown of the freshly mown hay, and the pale shades of spring and the circus of autumn and weave you a lovely today." ~Gloria Gaither~

Thursday, October 18, 2012


My friend and I had been out of touch for quite a while. She lived across the ocean and came infrequently to the States. Although she and I had shared only a few times actually being together, we bonded quickly and continued to keep up with one another through cards and notes.  We shared our mutual joys and concerns, our family news, the birth of grandbabies, our hopes and, at times, our discouragement.

She wrote to me a few years ago and told me that she was having surgery to remove a cancerous growth.  She seemed to feel confident that she would be restored to good health.  I'm not sure exactly when we stopped writing.  Looking back, it is difficult for me to believe that we did.  I thought of her from time to time, but did not resume our correspondence.

Her daughter called yesterday to tell me that my friend had died.  Sadness was my first reaction, of course, not surprisingly followed by a sense of regret.  Why had I not written to her during these past few years?  How could we have neglected to keep up with one another?  Now it is too late.  I want to tell her once again how much I enjoyed our friendship, how funny she was, how glad I am that we met one another all those years ago, how much she meant to me.  The good times we had together, the little gifts and notes, the laughter that so often marked our conversations.....I will remember.  I will not forget her.

The lesson here is an obvious one.  Carpe Diem.  Seize the day, resist the temptation to put off until tomorrow the letter or note, e-mail or phone call.  Treasure family and friends and remind them frequently of their value.  Remind them today.

" She thought how much the death of any one person took out of the world; it took all that person had remembered."  ~ from The Fierce Dispute by Helen Hooven Santmyer ~

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Simple Acts of Kindness

It is wonderful how the smallest acts of kindness can touch our hearts and lift our spirits.  A little child's hand softly touching a "booboo" reaches much deeper than the slight bump or scratch that has brought about the concern.  The thoughtful note or e-mail, letting us know that we are remembered and cared for can be much like sunshine breaking through on a cloudy day.  A friend's "here, let me...." might mean so much more than he or she realizes.  Small comforts often bring great blessing.

"How precious little deeds of love and sympathy are; how strong to bless, how easy to perform, how comfortable to recall."  ~  Louisa May Alcott ~

Saturday, October 13, 2012

True Hospitality

Having just returned home from a wonderful visit with family and friends, I have been giving some thought to what it is to be on the receiving end of hospitality. It is an experience that leaves me in awe of the impact of knowing I've been welcomed with open arms and countless gestures of comfort and generosity.

The word hospitality shares the same root as hospital and hospice, and as I was researching these words, one source reminded me that in reality, hospitality has to do with care-giving and healing. That is exactly right. Through hospitality extended to me, I have been refreshed, strengthened, encouraged and renewed.  I have been welcomed into the home and heart of my family.  I have been welcomed into the home of a friend.  I have been welcomed home.

Whether it is in hosting a guest, spending time with my family, sitting down with a friend over a cup of tea, or just pausing to greet someone in passing, I want to be that person who extends hospitality in every sense of the word.  Listening, giving a hug, seeing to needs, speaking words of encouragement, letting others know they are valued and worthy of time and attention.....all these and more define hospitality as it is meant to be.

" 'Stay' is a charming word in the vocabulary of a friend." ~  Louisa May Alcott ~