Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fall, Fog and Other Thoughts

This morning as I let the dogs out,  the quiet was almost deafening.   The only sound was that of the small crickets and as I looked out,  the fog was reaching out to slowly close our little street into the folds of its long, white fingers.  Our patio and yard are covered with those first small leaves that signal the arrival of fall.  One tree will be totally bare in a few days and slowly, but surely,  within weeks,  the others will follow,  falling silently to the ground.

We've watched the squirrels raiding the birdfeeders.  stealing the larger seeds and carrying them off to their little hide-a-ways,  preparing for the cold time that will follow.  They will be snuggled in when the cold rains fall and the winter winds sway the the trees, turning their nests into cradles,  rocking them into a gentle slumber.

Fall has tiptoed in,  quietly, and without any fanfare.  The days are getting shorter,  the nights are much cooler,  the animals are feeling the briskness in the air,  birds are gathering themselves together for the trip to their winter homes.  

Even as humans,  we react to the time of year.   Checking our closets to make sure we have a warm jackets and gloves,  stocking up the pantry and freezer with those foods we so love on cold days that give warmth to our bodies and comfort to our very soul.   We make sure our own homes are prepared to keep the cold outside and the warmth inside.    We make sure we are prepared to weather whatever kind of storms this fall and winter may bring.

Here at The Pirate's Lair,  we are getting ready.  We're getting ready to close the pool,  we've checked our winter wardrobes, the freezer is full,  we have plenty of coffee, tea and hot chocolate,  soon,  much too soon,  we won't be able to enjoy the screened porch,  and mornings will be spent drinking coffee,  looking out the window,  watching the leaves blow across the lawn,  and maybe,  as the seasons progress,  we will even see some snowflakes............

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lazy Days With The Pirate

A lawn mower in the distance.
The smell of new mown grass.
The drone of the bumble bees checking out new places for a nest.
Birds singing with their musical notes in a language only they understand.
The tinkling of the windchime in the breeze drifting across the porch.
Children laughing and playing.
The gentle purr of the cat as she sleeps on the sofa.
The sighs of two contented dogs dreaming of chasing rabbits.
The chattering of the squirrels in the trees.
All these things play through my mind and I gently drop off into sleep.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Springtime, Joy and Peace

I love these quiet, Spring mornings.  I love listening to the birds telling us that it's time to sing,  time to live,  time to enjoy the beauty we find around us.

Spring is a wonderful time of the year. Not just because it's time for all the flowers to bloom and all the trees to bud out and turn green,  but it's also time for a new beginning.  It's a time to throw away all the trash and clutter that has gathered over the previous year.  It's a time to renew ourselves,  a time to do all those things we promised ourselves last year that we would do and didn't.  It's a time to make changes and move on from those things and some times,  those people,  who hurt us,  who make us feel much less than what we really are.

I love the quiet of an early morning.  I suppose that is why I usually wake up so early.  It's a time for reflection as I drink that first cup of coffee.  It's the time that I say a quiet prayer for my kids, for my grandkids,  for D, and for myself.   In the quiet,  I listen for that still, small voice that assures me that everything is under control,  that I need to have no fear,  that He is here in this quiet, Spring morning, just as He is in the cold of the Winter, the beauty of the Fall and the hot days of Summer.

I love having that feeling of peace in the very core of my soul.  When life may throw me a curve,  when I feel that I can't go one more step,  when I realize I've been on the outside looking in and can't be a part of what I see,  I still have that peace in my soul.   I still have that joy that comes with Spring, and in the quiet reflections of the morning,  I know that I am loved.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Two Little Girls and A Flower

Today has been one of those days that you sometimes wish you didn't have to get up and go grocery shopping.  The kind of day you just want to lay around in your jammies and eat bonbons and drink coffee.  However,  my evening took a bit of a different turn. One that brought a smile to my face and a laugh to my heart.

Two little girls, around the age of 6 or 7,  live on my street.  They can usually be found riding bikes, scooters,  4 wheelers,  stomping in mud puddles and carrying kittens around.  This evening they took a different approach.  Answering a knock at my door,  brought me face to face with these two little ones.  One of them was carrying a clip board, looking very professional.  Our conversation was as follows:

Alyssa:  Would you like to buy something?
Me:       What are you selling?
Brooklyn and Alyssa:   Flowers
Me:       What kind of flowers?
Alyssa:  Pretty ones
Me:       Do you have a picture of these flowers?
Alyssa:  No
Me:      Well,  can I see your papers?  (Thinking at first they might be selling for school)
Alyssa:  No
Me:      I can't see your papers?
Alyssa: Shakes head No.
Me:      Well,  how much are these flowers?
Alyssa:  Two dollars
Me:      Are you going to share the money? (By now I realized they were pretending)
Brooklyn:   No.   I get a dollar and Alyssa gets a dollar.  (But they aren't sharing the $2)
Me:     I tell you what girls,  when you bring me some flowers,  I will give you $2.  The surprised grin on their face and their ability to clear my porch in 1.2 seconds was a dead give a way as to their intentions.

I turn and go back to finishing up my dinner.  Ree and the kids are here and all of us realized what was happening.   I had a feeling it was only a matter of time until the 2 little girls returned with something.  Sure enough,  less than 5 minutes later,  there was another knock on my door and there they stood.  Big smiles on their faces,  holding a beautiful purple flower.   I got $2 from my purse and gave them each a dollar and thanked them for the beautiful flower.   The smiles on their faces was worth far more than the $2.

I have no idea where they got that flower.  Perhaps a dish garden somewhere is missing a purple flower,  perhaps a mom said "Sure, you can have the flower",  or a flower in someone's yard is missing.   I simply have no idea.

What I do know is that for a 10 minute period this afternoon, two precious little girls brought a smile to my face and laughter to my heart.  Thank you Alyssa and Brooklyn!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thoughts on a January Morning

"Something beautiful, something good.  All my confusions He understood.  All I had to offer Him was brokeness and strife,  but He made something beautiful, of my life."

The words penned by Bill and Gloria Gaither speak volumes.  We all come to a point in our lives where we question our very existence and wonder what our purpose is.  We feel that the years behind us have been futile and the years ahead are nothing more than days to be gotten through.  That isn't life.  That isn't living.  I'm not even sure it's an existence.  I know, because I've been there the past few years. 

That all ended though the Sunday before Christmas.  God took that last piece of my heart that the walls hadn't closed up yet and He made it all new.  He fixed the broken and shattered pieces,  He put life into what had become a shell.  He restored the joy of a woman who had almost forgotten how to smile.

I had tried to carry those things all on my own,  those things I thought I had to handle.  I thought they were all MY problems and I should take care of them on my own.  All I accomplished was to burden myself and my life with a weight that wasn't meant for me, and in the process,  I almost destroyed myself.

God used a 12 year old granddaughter who asked me to come see her in the Christmas play, to get me to church that Sunday, and I'm so thankful He did.  God works in mysterious ways,  His wonders to perform.

Is life perfect?  Of course not, after all, I am still on this earth.  Is life good?  Yes it is!  He took those burdens from me, and He reminded me this week that there is no prayer God can't answer.  I'm trusting Him.

Friday, December 23, 2011


D and I took the dogs to Fort Loudon and walked around the path.  It was deserted except for us.  The quiet as we walked by the lake was almost deafening.  As we walked,  we passed some baby cedars,  just the  right size  for a small Christmas tree.  I reached out and broke off a tip of one of them and the smell was overwhelming and brought back memories of many, many years ago.

I once again saw myself as a child,  in that old house that my Daddy grew up in.  We had an old warm morning heater in the living room and I could hear the crackle of the fire as we brought in the tree,  fresh from being cut up on the hillside.  The aroma was that of cedar,  of the mountains,  and sometimes,  the snow, that had been clinging to the branches just a bit earlier. 

My Mom brought out the decorations that she had for years.  The lights for the tree were the big colored bulbs and each one had to be tested because if one was out,  they were all out.  The old white type icicles that she hung on the tree,  the decorations that were so shiny, and usually contained a hint of Christmas trees in the past,  still caught in the carefully preserved hooks seemed magical to a 5 year old.   The tinsel that went on as a last finish to the tree was usually strung all over the living room by the time the decorating was over.  Mom very patiently cleaned it all up,  put the boxes in the closet,  and then proceeded to wrap the gifts that would go under that tree.

My Dad could never wait until Christmas morning to open gifts,  so we always opened them on Christmas Eve and it was a struggle for Mom to get him to wait until the evening of Christmas Eve.  The house always had the smell of something cooking,  getting ready for Christmas Dinner,  and I could usually be found sitting by the stove, eating an orange or an apple and wondering what was in the packages for me.

The aroma of that tiny cedar branch from yesterday,  brought back a flood of memories from yesterdays long ago.  It brought smiles to my face,  and warmed my heart.   Now I light a candle to get somewhere close to the aroma of the cedar tree from years ago,  and though we do have a fireplace, it isn't that kind that crackles and pops. 

Life has changed over the years and Mom and Dad have both passed on,  but the memories they gave me as a child are still here,  and can be recalled,  simply by the breaking of a small cedar branch and smelling once again,  the Christmases of my childhood.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Life takes us on strange roads and there are curves we cannot see past and mountains that seem too high to cross and take the very breath and life from us when we try.  That curve that seems non-ending and that mountain that seems straight up with no way to cross,  does have an end.  We have to want it to end though.  We have to look for the path that will take us around all those boulders that block our way.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the curves and boulders,  that we lose our way.  I lost my way.  For a long time I lost my way.  Death,  illness, hurt,  I allowed them all to take away my joy.  I let go of that one thing that was holding me up and I was floundering in the darkness, forgetting who I was and where I was going.  

Last night,  I found that hand that used to hold me up.  The hand had never left me.  I left the hand,  I alone allowed the darkness to overtake my life and turn me into a person that even I didn't recognize.  A person I didn't want to be. 

I sit here this morning with a peace I haven't felt in a long, long, long time and I'm so thankful. 

I have found Christmas.............