All posts by Helen

Happy New Year

Very Grateful for:

God’s newness every morning

An extra second in 2016

A new, beautiful Chenille throw from Linda

Pinon wood in the fireplace

black-eyed peas (I remembered this year!)

the Christmas cactus bloomed today!

Ronnie’s wife, who is recuperating after triple bypass surgery

Addie’s graciousness


Solitude is the path to visit yourself ~Mehmet Murat ildan

{Happy New Year!}

Visits and Visitors

Very Grateful for:

God’s foresight for our need for companions

Someone to pray with me and hold my hand

Someone to pray for me and hold my hand

Someone to laugh at my silly observations

Someone to together watch eagerly for the topping of the DOW at 20K … and.. to sigh when the DOW misses the mark

A partner to co-write resolutions for the New Year and commiserate at the unrealized ones of the past

Someone who squeals with delight at the sound and sight of bacon and pancakes on the griddle

Someone to put gas in the car, wood on the fireplace, and hold the door for me as I push Dad’s wheelchair

Someone who shares her views on the world and listens to mine with judgement

Someone to proofread my dissertation for erros   …   :)

When Amelia comes home for the holidays

“If you come at four in the afternoon, I’ll begin to be happy by three.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

a Tale of a Dissertation and a Fish Taco

Very Grateful For:

God’s Big Love

the final defense for my dissertation on December 15th

the culmination of 3-1/2 years of study and writing, and work!

figuring out the flight schedules so that Amelia could fly from Virginia and join me

feeling my mother’s presence during the defense

finally realizing a goal that my dad discussed with me over 20 years ago

safe travels

the relief of passing my final defense!

celebrating with fish tacos!

“My prayer rose to you…” Jonah 2:7

Inhaling Memories

Very Grateful for:

God’s provision of Reunion through memories

our sense of smell

the memories triggered by our sense of smell

finding a light jacket that was my mother’s

even over two years later the scent of Mom’s perfume remains

the memories that float in from the perfume- good memories

pictures in my head of Mom’s feisty sense of style: Georgia O’Keeffe meets sunset rainbow sherbet

grateful for the gift of the idea of wearing this coat and hugging my Dad today so he remembers too

grateful that maybe Mom looks, recognizes her coat and sees me from heaven

“Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”  ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

it takes a village of apps…

Very Grateful for

God’s playful innovation

the Bible app- scriptures!

the Kindle app- books!

the Audible app- audio books!

the Spotify app- music!

the weather app- forecasts!

the Daily Art app- beauty!

the Health app – steps!

the QR Code reader app – scans!

the Shutterfly app – memories!

Find your quiet center of life and write from that to the world. ~Sarah Orne Jewett



It could have been worse

Very Grateful for:

God’s bonuses

the new competent, young women we have working in the office

finding my car in a dark and crowded parking lot without having to “signal” it with my key fob-dealey

Walking 5232 steps during the three flight cancellations and gate changes


the Farmer’s Market and the early fall pears and last of the summer tomatoes

yielding my agenda

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends” ~Colossians 3:13

a labor day away

Very Grateful for:

God’s labors

A labor day away

the medicine prescribed for Dad is working

time to visit Amelia

…and see the playful deer in the park by her place

the deer keep playing and living surrounded by hospital, commerce, and neighborhoods


lots of sleep

and reruns of “Night Court” on Amazon (does anyone remember that show?)


long walks through quiet Colonial Williamsburg

hearing Amelia humming in the kitchen

The hardness of a diamond is part of its usefulness, but its true value is in the light that shines through it.  ~B.K.S. Iyengar


Accepting the trade-off

Very Grateful for:

God’s expansiveness
The half-dark/half-light sky of almost dawn
A deep breath that expands my chest
The sweet scent right before rain
Time to hold Dad’s hand
Remembering a password
Accepting the trade-off that some noise (office, traffic, chatter) is necessary in order to return to calm silence

“It was all so far away–there was quiet and an untouched feel to the country and I could work as I pleased.” Georgia O’Keeffe


Very Grateful for:

God’s opportunities

The opportunity to return to speaking to teachers

The opportunity to return to beautiful, beautiful Santa Fe

Smart pilots, flight attendants, gate personnel, even with delays, ease of travel

The opportunity to return to the Georgia O’Keeffe museum

Learning that O’Keeffe first saw the wide landscapes of Santa Fe in 1929 when her train stopped abruptly and needed repair

Wondering how many opportunities are birthed from what seems like inconvenience

My Vine : The historic square in Santa Fe

And…the teachers who made the visit possible!

Psalm 13:6 (MSG) “I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers.”  

No Fear Just Attention

Very Grateful for:

  1. God’s Blessings
  2. The way a slight summer rain lifts everyone’s mood
  3. The Wu family, who came to my yardwork rescue when I managed to slice into the hedge trimmer cord, not once but twice
  4. Garrett’s tweet of this post on Embracing Contradiction & the Sacredness of Human Attention:
  5. Ezekiel bread
  6. Air conditioning
  7. A parking place close-by
  8. Dad, responding better to less medicine
  9. the postcards from the trip to New York

Having eyes, but not seeing beauty; having ears, but not hearing music; having minds, but not perceiving truth…These are the things to fear… Tetsuko Kuroyanagi