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Showing posts from May, 2020

Finish the Sentence Friday: The Best Thing about Summer is. . . .

Five-year-old me riding a bike on our gravel driveway The best thing about summer is memories--making them, and remembering them. Here's a summer memory from my childhood, which I'm linking up to the Finish the Sentence Friday blog hop.  As soon as I was a child in school, summers became special. After months in the classroom--which I loved, by the way--summer presented a break from academic expectations. Endless hours of free time stretched almost as wide as the horizon.  I lived just outside city limits of a small town in Oregon. Every year, near the 4th of July, the World Championship Albany Timber Carnival would be held in the appropriately-named Timber Linn Park. Loggers from all over would come to compete in events such as log-rolling, pole-climbing, and various sawing competitions. I lived just about a mile away from the park, and at that time, there were just fields and a few trees separating my house from the carnival. In the days preceding the carnival, I would go to

Ten Things of Thankful: Only One More Week Until the Big Day!

Cupcakes on a plate, surrounded by a banner that spells out "Thankful," from last year's TToT celebration                                      Next week marks a milestone for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop: it turns SEVEN years old! Do you remember when you turned seven? I'm not sure, but I think my birthday cake that year might have featured little plastic dogs on top to decorate it, and to be party favors for my guests. I remember selfishly wanting to be able to keep all the dogs, but my mom taught me that it was nice to be gracious and share.  The nice thing about sharing gratitude is that you can still keep the feeling, even as you share with others. AND we can all be happy for each other. I love this quote by Jeffrey R. Holland: Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortu

Six Sentence Story: Right

an old-fashioned typewriter Linking up with Denise of Girlie on the Edge again this week for another Six Sentence Story. This week's prompt: right. ******************************************** Ever have one of those days when no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to go right? If only she had been trying to be a straight man in a comedy duo instead of a children's chorister!   As the children sang, "Wave on, wave on, forever, The banner of the free," one little girl on the front row jumped right up, holding three fingers in the air, and proudly (and loudly) announced, "I'm free; I'm free!" The teachers giggled along with the children as the chorister, trying to maintain composure, patiently explained, "The word 'free' in this song isn't about an age; it means we have the power to choose." The little girl popped up out of her chair again, so excited to share: "I have shoes!"  The chorister--who also was

Ten Things of Thankful: Reading, Writing, and Smelling the Flowers

The compact "Miss Kim" lilac blooms in the foreground, while bearded irises bloom in the background You probably thought I was going to say 'rithmatic at the end of that title, didn't you? 😉 Don't be silly! This week has been bursting with new growth and blossoms in the yard. I take a garden walk multiple times each day, and each time I do, I'm delighted with the progress I see.  1. I'm thankful that, although I will probably have to wait years to enjoy blossoms on the lilacs I planted this spring, the little "Miss Kim" lilacs I planted last year are blooming. I prefer the common lilac varieties, but these little Miss Kims have the same scent.  2. I ventured out to a local nursery this week, and purchased some fuchsias. I love fuchsias, and think I've found the perfect spot for them: in planter boxes on the north side of the house, where it is fairly shady. I'm thankful that they seem happy so far, and I'm looking forward to

Six Sentence Story: Eternal

A old-fashioned black typewriter It's time once again for another Six Sentence Story . Each week, Denise from Girlie on the Edge gives a prompt word and invites all to write a six sentence story based on the prompt. This week's prompt is "eternal," and at first I was thinking that would result in a deep, meaningful story--and then I got another idea.  **************** Sure, she had worked before, doing the typical early-teen jobs of the time in Oregon--like babysitting and strawberry picking--but this would be her first, get-an-actual-check-at-the-end-of-each-week kind of job. She was dressed in the required uniform: the (soon to be not-) white apron; the oh-so-attractive hair net (topped off by the are-you-kidding-me hard hat); with the day-glow orange, squishy, yet strangely uncomfortable, earplugs in her hand, ready to be inserted once she entered the cannery.  She carpooled with some friends, and they arrived at the parking lot in the dark, in time for t

Ten Things of Thankful: May Flowers, Continued, and Other Garden News

Ruffled white and lavender irises bloom  When John and I moved into this house, we realized that our yard had quite a few iris plants. Most of the year, they look like giant, overgrown grass blades, but in May, they explode and fill the air with an intoxicating fragrance. This week, we've been enjoying their beauty. 1. I'm thankful for irises. Monday afternoon, I went to the Red Cross to donate whole blood.  2. I'm thankful that something that is so easy for me to do is actually helpful for someone. I might have mentally said, "Yeah, yeah," when the phlebotomist gave me the instructions about avoiding exercise for the rest of the day. I knew I had raspberries and strawberries arriving that afternoon that would need to get planted. As soon as I got home, I started digging holes. I must admit that, even though I only needed a hand trowel, digging 70 holes when down a pint of blood took more energy than I would have expected.  3. I'm thank

Ten Things of Thankful: Mother's Day Weekend Edition

My mom holds toddler-me in this black-and-white photo. The caption reads, "A mother's unqualified love approaches Christlike love." (Ezra Taft Benson) Mother's Day is nearly here, at least in the United States, so it's a perfect time to reflect on the women in my life. 1. I'm thankful for my mom. I think she's as close to perfect as you can be and still be permitted to remain on earth. Her heart is pure gold. 2. I'm thankful for John's mom. She is always thinking of others, and I think she did an exceptional job raising her children. :-) 3 and 4. I'm thankful for my grandmas. My dad's mom was talkative and fun-loving. She was joyful, even though she had experienced the loss of close loved ones throughout her life. My mom's mom was quiet, petite, and incredibly strong. She never stopped learning. Both were loving and kind, and wonderful cooks/bakers.  5. I'm thankful for my sister. She's intelligent, articulate, and

Six Sentence Story: Gulf

An old-fashioned black typewriter--not what I used to compose this Six Sentence Story! Every week, Denise from Girlie on the Edge invites writers to pen a six sentence story based on a prompt word. It's a fun challenge, and I enjoy reading the stories that bloggers come up with. Feel free to visit Denise's blog and see for yourself! This week's prompt word: gulf.  **************************************************** Though it had been planned for weeks, she wonders if she can actually go through with it. Logically, it makes sense. One little step and it would all be over quickly. But here, standing on the high platform, primal fear rages deep inside her. I don't want to disappoint my children.  Pressing ahead with that thought, she starts forward, leaving the security of the platform, and zip-lines across the gulf, where she arrives safely on the other side.  The ending platform for the zip line course is just a tiny dot across the reservoir.

Ten Things of Thankful: May Flowers Edition

A blue and white columbine blossoms in a bark-covered bed. Although apparently April was the driest on record here (or at least in Salt Lake City), the lack of showers didn't stop the May flowers. I love walking around my yard and seeing what has bloomed. The beautiful pink bleeding heart reemerged this spring. I'm thankful (1) not only for what is already blooming, but (2) for those plants that will bloom in the future. I had to pick up a prescription at Costco the other day, and when I walked into the store, there were some peonies for sale. I've seen peonies growing in my neighborhood, so I impulsively added one to my cart. I'm thankful (3) for John, who dug a hole and planted the peony for me. It's so nice to see something growing on the hillside.  A newly-planted peony sits in the lower left-hand corner of the photo. John has been doing so much work in the yard lately. In addition to planting the peony, he dug holes for four lilacs that I pl