Blooming Little by Little

My mom brought us a bouquet of roses from her garden when she came over for dinner on Easter. I’ve been enjoying them this week. The creamy petals are lined with a happy, deep pink. The pale colors sit peacefully among the brighter hues.

One reason I love roses is that they start out as tightly wound buds, then they open little by little. They hide their goodness inside and let you in gradually day by day. Today, most of them are in full bloom.

These remind me of a new piano student I’ve had only a few weeks. She’s young and she learns a bit differently from others. She is more natural, more open than most of us. If she wants to draw a picture in the middle of her lesson, she grabs the notebook and starts in. When I asked her to dance to happy music, she had no trouble shedding all self-consciousness and twirling in my living room. When the next student rang the doorbell, she ran out the door and gave him a bear hug, even though she’d never seen him before.

So I’m trying to see life through this young lady’s eyes. She’s not hiding what she thinks and feels, as many of us tend to do (me!). She isn’t filtering love through anything–she’s running towards someone and expressing joy, wrapping her arms around another human being just because he’s there.

I’m her teacher, but actually she’s teaching me a lot about opening up and blooming. It comes so naturally to her, and it’s a joy to see.

How about you? Do you open up to people easily, or do you take a while to “bloom” with others?

Linking up with Little Things Thursday.

Little by Little


A Simple Place

Where do you go when you need life to be more simple? It could be a room in your house, a nearby park or woods, or if you have young children, it could be your bathroom with the door shut for a few minutes of alone time. I have a place just a few minutes’ drive from my home. This little grove of old trees and scattered boulders is a quiet oasis. The dappled sunlight, the nearby river rustling, the floor of softened leaves are all simple pleasures.

The rocks form a natural chair. People wander by and take a seat, rest a while, then continue on with their explorations.

When I’m in here, I feel like the trees are bending over me, protecting me, shutting out the business of city life. I see the world through the frame of these stately, twisted, curving boughs.

How about you? Have you found a simple sanctuary lately?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. The first and last photos are edited with Kim Klassen’s texture Happy Heart. The theme this week at Texture Tuesday is “Simple.”


Looking for Wonder

When you sit in a garden, do you see the beauty, or do you notice the imperfections instead? In any clump of flowers, some will be wilting.

Some are past their prime and straggly. Those pesky bees are flying around, too. They can be a nuisance.

You may wish for more of some flowers in the garden, or less of others, or different colors. But if you focus instead on the tiny miracle of each flower, you’ll know delight.

How about you? Do you find yourself thinking of the niggling negatives of your day? Or are you looking for wonder? I’m trying to move toward seeing more wonder, and it’s something I want to work on day by day. Because it’s always there waiting to be seen, isn’t it?

Wishing you a week decorated with delight!

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photos are edited with Kim Klassen’s texture 0312. The theme this week at Texture Tuesday is “Perfectly imperfect.”


Photographs–From the Eiffel Tower to Two Bits

What photographs do you treasure the most? One of my favorite albums is this one, with its elegant leather cover.

My dad made this album to chronicle his time in France in the army just after the end of WWII.

He was stationed at Le Havre, a harbor city where the Seine River flows into the English Channel.

He took photos of his friends and named them all in his album. And he carefully labeled the places he enjoyed visiting.

Being so close to Paris, his unit spent time in the eternal city. Isn’t it interesting that the Eiffel Tower looks just the same today? And the beauty of Notre Dame continues to leave visitors breathless.

He captured this action shot on the beach.

This chilling sequence shows the damage Le Havre suffered in the war.

But joy was seeping back into life there. This couple was able to pull off a fancy wedding.

And the men in my dad’s unit adopted this little cutie.

My dad never talked much about his army days. I’m so thankful to have this record he meticulously put together to document his time in France.

How about you? What photographs add meaning to your life?

Linking up with a song-inspired party, Song-ography, where the theme this week is “Photographs” by Nickelback.


For the Love of Weddings

Have you been to a wedding lately? It’s a time of love, laughter, tears of joy, lots of hugging, friends eager to help, and family gathering from across the miles. It’s the launching of a new home, a new bond between two people who promise to encourage each other in the mundane and the earth-shaking. Every guest is a well-wisher, and the bride and groom treasure every one. If you’re the mother of the bride, it’s a day that’s off-the-charts happy and emotional and fun and rich.

My daughter’s wedding day holds so many warm memories. I loved seeing her in the dress she’s dreamed of for so long, on this day she’s dreamed of since she was a little girl.

I loved hanging out in the dressing room while her close friends helped her get dressed. Lots of lively chatter and so many laughs filled that room.

I loved my son-in-law’s reaction when he first saw his bride.

I loved how they had some moments to talk together right before the ceremony when no one could hear what they were saying. There was an intimacy in the midst of all the hoopla.

I loved the setting. You may be sure the decision of where to hold the wedding took months to make. And we all agreed it was the perfect place.

And I loved the littlest lad in the wedding party. He climbed walls, jumped off benches, got his tux a tiny (!) bit dusty. Adorable.

Oh, and I loved the desserts. Especially the pudding cups. I may have eaten more than one. Yum.

Those are a few of the things I loved about this day.

How about you? Have you enjoyed the love shared at a wedding lately?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. The first photo is edited with Kim Klassen’s texture Happy Heart. The theme this week at Texture Tuesday is “For the love of _____.”

A Happy Place

Where have you been lately that’s been a happy place for you? Disneyland is one of my favorite places to spend a day. And it’s billed as the happiest place on earth. This was the driving force behind the design of this charming land.

When Walt Disney opened the park in the 1950s, he told the crowds his aim in designing it. “I think most of all what I want Disneyland to be a is a happy place where parents and children can have fun, together.” He and Mickey Mouse watch over Main Street today, waving to the throngs who thrill to the enchantment.

You enter through a castle.

It’s common to run into a princess or Donald Duck or Buzz Lightyear. You just never know.

And you can dress up as Minnie Mouse or Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. You can pretend all you want. Imagine. A dream is a wish your heart makes here. Dreams are most welcome.

You can enjoy a parade.

The unexpected is around every corner. Here’s Woody and Buzz in Legos.

And Mickey is always happy to greet you.

Sometimes it’s refreshing and revitalizing to shed reality in this little world. My husband snapped this photo of me meeting a Disney character. As you can see, I was one happy princess-for-a-day.

How about you? Have you been to a happy place lately that made you forget all your troubles? At least for a little while?

Linking up with a song-inspired party, Song-ography, where the theme this week is “Happy” by Pharell Williams.


A Place of Peace

Do you have a place you can relax and enjoy spring? I’m thankful for my patio at our condo. Small flowers in the tiny space pack a big, beautiful punch.

Last week our neighbor moved and asked us to please give some of her plants a new home. We have this healthy greenery now.

And this new wrought iron decor.

Can you tell my favorites are reds, whites, and pinks?

If I ever feel closed in and in need of a wider view, I can look up.

My patio is a place of peace. In spring, it’s abloom, fresh greenery grows, and I’m warmed by the sun.

How about you? Where do you find peace in your neighborhood?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photos are edited with Kim Klassen’s textures 1412 and Cora.



There Is a Season

To everything
Turn, turn, turn,
There is a season . . .
– The Byrds

The turning of another season is something to celebrate. Especially when the turning is from winter to spring. We’re in a season of fragile, new blooms.

Delicate colors against the blue yonder.

Extravagant flowers growing every which way.

Painter Claude Monet wrote, “I must have flowers, always, and always, and always.” He must have loved spring, when one small pink bush can fill the world with beauty.

How about you? Are signs of spring are adding delight to your view this week?

Linking up with a song-inspired party, Song-ography, where the theme this week is “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds




Have you enjoyed a place of quiet lately? We found a new trail to hike that turned out to be just that.

The Santa Ysabel Preserve near Julian is just a mile or two from the little town, but a world away from noise, people, hustle, bustle. We walked to the sound of the wind in the trees and birdsong. A fire tore through this area 10 years ago. The dead trees still stand, with their white trunks and bare branches.

Old, stately trees that escaped the blaze tangle upwards. They give welcome shade.

We walked on, drinking in the quiet. A gradual low swishing sound grew louder. We arrived at the creek.

Crossing the swirling water, we continued on the other side, up up up to the crest of the hill.

Hiking back, we felt completely relaxed and renewed. The quiet in this preserve is the kind that seeps into the heart and calms the soul.

How about you? Where do you head when you need quiet?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photos are edited with Kim Klassen’s texture3003. The theme at Texture Tuesday is Quiet.



One Is the Loneliest Number

One is the loneliest number . . .
– Three Dog Night

You know this, right? One can be lonely. Three Dog Night’s song tells us what we’re already well aware of. Since spring arrived this week, I was thinking how nature shows us this truth. Have you thought about how often flowers grow in clumps?

One flower can be filled with infinite beauty . . .

But it’s an even happier sight when it’s with others in the family.

We can focus on one of these little gems while our eyes take in the surrounding colors.

Here’s 3 of them look perky.

Flowers sometimes grow so close that they bunch up, two together. So sweet.

So how about you? Who is in your flower family? Who are the people who keep you from feeling alone? Who’s in your clump of life this spring?

Linking up with a song-inspired party, Song-ography, where the theme this week is “One Is the Loneliest Number” by Three Dog Night. Flowers are from my patio spring color bowl, which I’m enjoying!





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