Saturday, November 22, 2014

grace and granola bars

When Anne Lamott was in Charlotte on Thursday night, one thing she said really stuck with me: 'sometimes grace looks like granola bars and water bottles.' Occasionally she and her Sunday School kids go out into the community and pass them out to hungry people they meet on the street. It's not a grand gesture and it's not a solution, it's just a bit of grace. Which got me thinking how grace shows up in ordinary ways. It felt a whole lot like Thanksgiving to jot it down:
1. Ian's never-fail 6:30 am cheerfulness before he heads to school
2. two different people saying the nicest compliments about Yates
3. Italia completing (and enjoying!) a half-marathon
4.  Mike saving an article he thought I'd like
5. watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on YouTube
6. clients who didn't mind moving meetings around to fit my schedule
7. catching up with my sister-in-law on the phone
8. finishing a great book 
9. starting a new one
10. orange roses as big as peonies
11. cold, sunny afternoon walks
12. nature's November palette  

Monday, November 17, 2014


The ginkgo tree stands for hope, resilience, peace. She loses her leaves in one fell swoop in late autumn. They cascade down in almost a single day, creating a carpet of gold on the ground. The brilliant leaves give way to bare branches which light filters through.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

in all things

If you get complacent in appreciating this banquet we call life, your senses can help turn things around. A friend told me about the idea of keeping a Thanksgiving Sensory Notebook in which you jot the good things you see, hear, taste, smell and touch throughout the day. Pumpkin spice tea and the pretty can it comes in. The bag of bright tangerines. Crunchy leaves underfoot. The voice you love so much on the other end of the phone. The mysterious moon in its inky sky. It doesn't take much before your cornucopia really doth runneth over. The wisest person I know says that the antidote to feeling like life has gone flat, or haywire, is to be radically present. A stick of cinnamon is an excellent place to start. 

Friday, November 7, 2014


While I didn't plan ahead, got rushed and bailed on even making a dish for the potluck football picnic last Thursday, another mom showed up with this platter of edible art. She thought it was funny that I took a picture of the cookies, but I wanted to remember every detail about that fun, festive evening. Especially how some people not only show up, but put a unique and lovely stamp on whatever they do, splashing grace across the canvas of life.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

too full for leftovers

The ironic thing about being full of thanks is that there's no room left over for the host of other things that can edge out its place at the table: regret, worry, ennui, negativity and even loss. When I think of the most searing grief I've ever known - losing Dad - even that is transformed now when I focus on the gratitude of having had him at all, much less for 30 precious years. As well as the loving bond that continues to thrive (and guide) today on a different plane. For that, I give infinite thanks.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Can't get enough of these snappy, snazzy, spicy stems. Orange you glad it's October?

Friday, October 3, 2014

I found this gem on the website for National Poetry Day, which was actually October 2. Makes me want to grab my camera and start snapping some poems. 

Poets are Photographers

by Paul Cookson

Poets are photographers
Capturing moments in words

Snapshots of humanity
Pinpoints of reality

Poets are photographers
Capturing images in language

Articulators of feelings
Mirrors of experience

Poets are photographers
Capturing memories on pages

Seekers of the common ground
Sharers of the everyday

Poets are photographers
Capturing the elusive

Scribes of the wondrous
Chroniclers of the mundane

Poets are photographers
Poems are their pictures

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

an ad for autumn

In advertising-speak, orange and gold is the official color palette of October and the scarecrow is its brand ambassador. The brand promise is that this month will make you glad to be alive. Its essence is exhilaration. Core attributes include: crisp temps, changing leaves, the crackle of a wood fire, a bucket of candy. But the trick, the treat and the truth is, October can't be packaged and is not for sale. It's a gift. Thirty-one days of sights, smells, sounds, tastes and textures evoking extreme joy and morphing into glorious memories. All you have to do to open the gift is open your heart.   

Thursday, September 18, 2014


A rocking chair, a circle of love and a window of time to mull what matters most. Some refer to this as a retreat. I simply call it a treat.

Monday, September 8, 2014

book love

I'm Italian so I do adore a good hug. Giving and getting one. That's why I'm all about Hug A Book Week, except seven days is not nearly enough time to wrap my arms around all of the books I love. And all of the ones that have loved me back so unconditionally with their words and information and ideas and inspiration. A nearly lifelong lovefest it's been, as passionate today as when I turned that very first page.