It's the most wonderful time of the year!
The morning glories are blooming, FINALLY, and they've stretched out
in a fabulous, inconsiderate sprawl over their neighbors in the front flower bed.
But I'm going to let it go and overlook this bad behavior. 
The blooms are just too 
fantastically sky blue 
to protest their invasiveness with my clippers.


In the Pew - Alone

I'd like to ask if you ever really look at those worshipping around you on Sunday morning.
Do you wonder what their lives are really like? 
What are their concerns or cares?
What are their joys and triumphs?

Who's in the pew next to you?


He slipped into his seat during that bustling moment before the music began, just as he always did now, according to his every-Sunday plan. Finding isolation in the midst of the churchgoing crowd felt safe and tight, and he judged his strategy to be serving him well. It didn't matter what pew he occupied, as long as it wasn't 'their' pew, which he steadfastly refused to even look toward.

When his Marnie had been by his side, the Sunday morning experience had been completely different. It had been a joy to arrive at church early. Every encounter with friends had been an opportunity for laughter and shared confidences, hardy handshakes and stiff slaps on the back. In those days, it had been his barely secret delight to study Marnie over the shoulders of others. How he had cherished the curve of her cheek, and the shape of her neck as it held up the head he loved to cradle in their bed at night. Her form in its loudly patterned Sabbath dresses had been his touchstone; her smile, his homing beacon. As she moved among their friends and reached to greet strangers, he had been her faithful Always Admirer, gratefully savoring the wife of his youth.

Now alone and moving stiffly, he seemed to have aged many years in the few weeks since she had gone on, losing whatever youth he had left to the continually fierce pain which loss had brought along as its partner. There was a hole in his side, a gaping rip like the war wound of his past. His breath was perpetually shallow and sour-tasting with grief, and the trembling hands at the ends of his arms did not seem to be his own as he placed his Bible in the empty space next to him. 

He was unaware of the morning light as it poured through the stained glass, bathing his solitude with shafts of green, pink and blue. The piano pounded to life and obediently he stood to sing, helplessly shouldering the weight of his bereavement.


Zoo Window

This tiny bird feeder is at the upper corner of the kitchen window looking out into the backyard.
We get an up-close view of any birds that visit - mostly tufted titmice and chickadees.
When this ginormous spider took up residence, I didn't mind. 
As long as they're OUTside and never  INside, that's cool with me.
My Youngest, who hates spiders as much as I do, insisted on going out with a broom
take care of the problem. He was horrified when I asked him to leave it. 
 Heck, it's like a zoo display right at my kitchen window! Every night it spins the most amazing huge web, then retreats to its hidey spot at dawn, just as we're getting breakfast and rushing out the door.

Did anyone notice the unsuspecting prey hanging out in a very dangerous spot?


For Sale

 We went to the 127 Corridor Sale back in August.
I took photos of everything I wanted to buy, and ended up carrying one of them home.
And only one, since we only took $6 to the sale.
Which of these do you think it was?
We shared a healthy lunch. 
The Cheetos were a Saturday Splurge item.
Ok, the hot dog was, too.

Don't leave without something to ponder - 
check out these chamber pots.  How lovely they are to have housed ... waste.
And there's definitely a lesson there. 


Fragile Line

From two full packets of seeds, yes I planted every single seed, I have three sunflower plants. Not a great accomplishment I guess, and I'm tempted to be jealous of those who have a crowded patch of these.
Especially if they're out near the road for me to enjoy on my way here and there. 
Don't think your tall lovelies have gone unnoticed - I have swerved more than once trying to get a better look.
Sunflowers symbolize that fragile line between summer and fall 
--- the full, hazy end of the season. 
These are bent over now, heavy with ripening seeds. 
Gazing at the ground and concentrating on their work 
they display a 'fall' sort of beauty that they lacked in summer.


Life in a Sack

One of my favorite birthday gifts was 
a bag of old photos from shopgoodwill.com.
I've already sorted through at least a couple hundred 
and there are at least twice that many still to look through.

I thought they would be random, but one character's face keeps appearing. 
'Ann' appears as a young woman in the early 1920's posing in the woods with a sweet bouquet of flowers, and in the 1950's as a much older Ann.
And there's a whole stack of life in between the two.

Maybe this was her collection? 
Probably not originally kept in a plastic sack...
She's the one holding the camera in this photo.
There's certainly much to ponder in sorting through old snapshots of 
someone else's life.



* "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.' "
I'm totally in with this verse - you probably are too, right? Who wouldn't like to see some of their personal 'bad guys' get a nice drippy dose of divine comeuppance? I know I would try to get a front row seat to that show! I might have to throw a few elbows, since we'd probably all be vying for the same plum position, but I'm up for that.

Now, of course, I know this verse, however, I don't remember it being paired with the no vengeance for you verse. It's a much bigger task to not only LEAVE IT TO GOD, but to set out to INTENTIONALLY BLESS the bad guy!

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
And lastly, another verse often quoted in isolation, which truly summarizes the previous pair. This plan of the Lord's will require some serious pondering, for I have fallen far short of spending time blessing my enemy. It's much easier and far more rewarding to do good for those I love, to bless those who might bless me back, to go the extra mile for people who seem to 'deserve' it.
I've been a slacker, then. Lazing around on the JV, enjoying easy, sweat-free workouts. 
Hanging with Leslie Sansone instead of Billy Blanks.

also these.