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    The Strength of the Pine

    The thin pine swayed and bent in the violent wind gusts pushing her against cluster of fir trees behind her. She was fully exposed to all the elements now that her diseased southern neighbor had been removed months prior. She looked so weak and alone. I thought she might snap from the pressure. I watched spellbound, scarcely breathing, until she bounced back aright after each harsh blow. On one side her branches were stunted from their years in the shadow her neighbor had cast. Now, off-balance and without protection her handicap evident as she tipped. Suddenly, I realized why I was so concerned about this tree’s ability to survive through…

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    Cusp of Change

    Sometimes it’s desire that brings change, and sometimes it’s born of necessity. Seasons change and boy, over the winter my body did too! I had to get back to working out. I overheard an older woman at the health club tell a friend she hadn’t exercised in years. Watching her copy the stretches of the young instructor, I could just imagine how she’d feel later. A beginner trying to keep up with this trained mass of muscle is in for a world of hurt tomorrow. The key is in taking baby steps. That trainer didn’t get toned overnight. It took slow, daily growth. And that’s the key to staying healthy…

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    Simplicity in Stillness

    I love this time of the year. Winter has exited. Spring has sprung and a vast array of colors dot the landscape. And oh, so many fragrances. So many sounds. Bees buzzing, birding chittering, and children out of doors squealing. Yes indeed, this is a most favored season. I’ve spent the last few weeks cleaning out winter’s remnants in preparation for all that summer offers. Boating, swimming, picnics, walking in the park, nature hikes, and camping. For me, being out of doors is invigorating. Contrasting blue sky against chalky cloud formations. Gentle breezes. Nature sounds, usually muted by the insulating cocoon of busyness. Time to quietly rest in the sun’s…

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    Heart Flutters

    I love reading cozy mysteries with a little clean romance thrown in. I mean, the term ‘heart flutters’ is something I can relate to. It’s the feeling similar to the movement of a butterfly on your finger. A soft motion that may cause you to catch your breath. I love it. There’s a similar term in the medical journals called palpitations or in layman’s terms a flutter. It can be a bit unsettling to notice that your heart is doing something different. With me, it also caused the perception of a shortness of breath. The good news is that my heart is fine, my lungs are clear, and my blood…

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    Breaking into May

    It’s May! How did that happen? There are so many things I didn’t get to do last year that I’ve been busy trying to cram them all into the last few weeks lest the world is tipped on its axis again. Have I enjoyed a soft ice cream cone? You bet!  Barbequed on the grill? Yup, a couple of times.  Eaten a meal on the patio? Of course. I cleaned  the yard from the dregs of winter weeks ago. And I have even made reservations for a  summer family gathering. (Deep sigh.) There’s something I’ve noticed, and perhaps you have too. People seem to be making an extra effort to…

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    Fits and Starts

    The heaviness of winter has melted into a glorious early spring. The birds sing of their love as nests are woven. And I have shed my winter wear to don lighter, more cheerful fabric in solidarity with my feathered friends to announce, “Yes, SPRING is here!” Fragrant, colorful blooms broadcast festivities and all manner of flying insects join in carnival games. The lawn is cleared of fallen debris in preparation for the mower’s maiden tour around the property. Much like a birthday party, anticipation has now exploded in a crescendo of sun, heat and busy revelry. Today I’ve opened my back door several times to shoo away a pair of…

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    Feed the Baby

    Dreams!  It was my  3 or 4th baby dream… in this one I was solo parenting. I walked into my bedroom and was surprised to find a baby. If you know me at all, you will understand that without hesitation, I picked up this unknown child and attended to its needs. The real twist came when I left my room. There was another hungry baby at the bottom of the stairs. In fact, I found myself running room to room feeding babies. So many babies! So what does ‘feeding the baby’ in these dreams represent? In real life I’ve raised my share of children and meeting needs comes naturally to…

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    Baby Steps to Letting Go

    I’ve graduated from raising children to having grandchildren. The bumpy path of maturing teenagers can take its toll on parents. How many teary prayers have been quietly shared or scratched between the pages of our journals? My child’s self-sufficiency did not always arrive in a timely fashion, and there came a time that I had to step back and assess how best to parent my adult child. I admire people who are able to just let go. Some children mature and make life choices that sustain them, but what happens when everyone else’s kid has moved forward, but yours is still lingering in immaturity? What if they don’t fly or…

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    Tarnished Treasure

    It was a silver pot, blackened by sulfur and tarnished by time. Someone had attempted to clean the old thing, so it had little collector’s value. Its owner simply wanted to clear space in her home and when I asked about it she passed to me as a gift. I loved the shape of the little container. Its bent handle that fit through an ornate embellishment added to its charm. The fitted lid boasted an intricate overflowing vase of flowers with which to lift the top from the container. But the most attractive feature to me was the word ‘crackers’ engraved in a wacky font across the front. The meaning…

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    Clouds

        Clouds   I stood on my lawn and gazed skyward at the clouds. Each unique visible vapor in deepening tones marched silently past as if on a secret mission. Looking up from the earth we can only see the underside of clouds. In hues of blue gray, they can feather across the expanse or gather in tremendously large shapes of various forms. As a child, I once read a book about the power of one’s mind. One of the suggested exercises was to lay outside on one’s back, stare at the clouds and to try to mentally dissolve the clouds. I spent a good portion of that day…

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    Rainy day regroup

    The sky is gray and heavy. As the storm presses in I set my distractions aside, and find a good window to watch the incoming deluge. I absorb the smells from an open window. The sound of the leaves sighing in refreshment stirs my memories. My mind wanders back to my childhood when this exact scenario played out. At that time I was frustrated, angry that my plans to build a fort, or climb some imaginary mountain; soaring high with my conjured up wings to a place of untold adventure had been foiled by this dreadful set-back. Today, I may be discouraged  that my plans for the  sunny day I had envisioned will not transpire as I had hoped,…

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    A Small Ceramic Horse

    It is so small, a remnant from my childhood. Just a little ceramic horse with a lingering star sticker on its saddle that I placed there the day I claimed ownership. It probably was a yard sale purchase or something my grandmother no longer wanted, but somehow it became mine, and oh the magic it contains. Holding the sleepy, cold porcelain  pony transports me back to a place of innocence. A land where I felt safe, care-free and loved. A world where tragedy and disaster rarely entered; play was expected  and where four kids in empty field often morphed into a kickball game. The outdoors was my playground and the setting sun was my clock. Many days the morning dew would wet my bare feet…