Monday, January 30, 2012

What is my word?

January is coming to an end. Everyone is looking forward to Valentine's Day.... Today had a temperature of 65 degrees. Nice snow on Friday night...  And I am still trying to think what my word for the year might be... The holiday decor is mostly tucked away, but here and there linger the angels, shepherds, the gingerbread kitchen....I tell myself that the nativity lasts all year, that gingerbread is winter, not holiday.... But I recognize a liar even in my own nightgown.... Today I felt under the weather, stayed home..... Tomorrow I have to get back in the Groove. I need to embrace all the wonderful new ideas around me. Stand back! Maybe my word needs to be "wake up."  Other ideas for word of the year: gratitude, determine, grace, listen, enlighten, preserve, or..... Even go-with-the-flow.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Off limits

 My cousin sent me the most wonderful gift this week..  Tucked inside a lovely note...  Here in all his sass and glory is my dear daddy...  These photos were snapped in Japan during WW2 by a cousin who sent them to his aunt...  and lo these many years hence they miraculously made their way back to me!!  To me!!!!  They are pretty clear, but I loved the gold tone glow without flash...  Daddy is casually leaning against a sign that states "off limits"...  woooo, what a daredevilmaycare thing for my dad to do!
 Also slipped inside is this tiny (and I mean really baby tiny) letter that has gone through the mail.  Those are actual stamps...  Those are my readingglasses...
 Here is the letter by a spool of thread for sizing...  Inside in my grandmother's beautiful script...  or maybe my grandfathers??? -----  (His handwriting was also amazingly beautiful...  I'll have to check with my cousins on that one...)
 Inside in "someone dear's" script is my daddy's birth announcement...  And I loved knowing he entered this world at 8 pounds...  Oh, so special!
He's on some kind of boat in the other picture...  leaning over the side...

In the midst of all this anti-hoarding (and I know it's a problem), I am sooo very glad everyone involved took the care and time to keepsake these treasures.  They sparkle my weary spirit on this chilly January Thursday....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Miss Dickinson's slant of light

Today my college prep students "took apart" another poem by Miss Emily... They hinted they will be happy to move on to someone else. I understand. It takes a while for Emily's poems to make sense. They have a way of hitting the soul and causing a person to think too much...

I have a friend who used to tell me her husband often said, "You think too much." I don't know what he meant, but I do know the persistent thought life takes its toll on a person's psyche. We, as bloggers, currently look at the world through bloggy eyes.... ( this would be a cool picture. I could make that and it would be inspirational! I will have to think this through for a post...) The poets did the same... especially Miss Emily.

It worked its magic. Although the students aren't embracing her the way they did Elie Wiesel or Arthur Miller or dear, sweet Harper Lee, they do see a kind of a genius to her... That's all I ask.

This poem means more to me because I am obsessed with that concept of a certain slant of light. It's why so many of my blogs feature the sunset, the sunrise, or a certain shade or array of light/shadow.... It is a parable, a metaphor for life. Obviously I embrace the dark in the real world, loving the night, the moon, the starry canopy... I resist and fear the dark of the spiritual world if it means death, loss, or the scary unknown. That's pretty normal I'm guessing.


There's a certain Slant of light (258)
by Emily Dickinson

There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
'Tis the Seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –


I love the line, "when it comes, the landscape listens..." I feel that way at twilight... I have a passion for the colors, the essence, the feel of twilight... It is a melancholy time... My students had to take a moment and think of their own "certain slants of light" that touched them... Their choices were lovely: one girl wrote of a memory of the streets of a one-year post Katrina New Orleans from a mission visit she took as a Freshman; one boy wrote of the smell of his grandfather's truck bringing nostalgia because it was the exact same smell he remembered from his father who passed away when he was very very young... One girl wouldn't share, and I suspect hers was sad. One literal young man wrote about popcorn at the movie theater and insisted it was only food for the belly! (He plans to be a theater major, so I doubt that, but he held his ground).... I had slants of light as peppermint for Christmas, spring, and even one boy insisted he could write about his dream to see the Northern Lights, even though his feet haven't been out of Missouri....

I guess we all have our certain slants of light... something that triggers within us the immediate concept that we are about to receive the secrets of the Universe... We believe they are at our fingertips... and we reach out.... and they are gone... Vanished that same way the light changes imperceptibly when we race for our cameras after a glance out the window...

This photo is a picture of the windows as they appeared on our school one early morning a few years ago... I have never seen this phenomenon before or since... I love it and had to find it for this post...

For the remainder of this delightfully dark and melancholy winter's day, enjoy the light you love the most....

Monday, January 16, 2012

A beautiful day for a ride...

 I am enchanted by old barns.  I just love the way they tower over the earth, a haven for animals, hay, equipment...  the farmers....  Even in ruin, I love them all...
 One of our good friends tells us she used to climb to the top of this huge, old barn near Paris, MO...  I can imagine the view as a child...  even now I would love to see from those little windows there near the rooftop.

This mansion is a mystery to me.  I have heard several stories about its origin, but they all seem to bear the idea of a dream home built by a city dweller in the heart of Missouri farmland...  It's pretty, but always few cars or trucks...
For my holiday off from school, many ideas come into mind for a fun excursion.  Mom and I decided to drive to Perry, MO, through the countryside from Shelbina...  Lots of pretty homes, barns, cattle on the hill...  It was so warm and sunny...  and we shut our ears to the predictions for freezing rain, sleet, and snow later on tonight...

I have a few plans for the evening, but none of them include much industry...  A nap sounds promising if I can sneak one in before sunset...  I have my candles lit for the evening, though, so probably I'll read a bit on my Beth Moore James study...  That's amazing grace for a weary woman...

Tomorrow is back to school if the weather doesn't grant us a snow day...  I wouldn't cry....

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I accidentally deleted this post so I lost all five of the lovely comments. I was experimenting with the ipad, and I just cannot get photos to post.... And then I got mixed up.... Ah, blog master for sure! 

 The cold wind has a certain, unmistakable call. I sit here with a steaming cup of English toffee coffee. Mom has her magazines, and I gently glide from house to house. Through your tea parties, through your successes and through your new endeavors. Some of you feel like old friends. I can tell when you are celebrating, and I think I can tell the days when your hearts are sad and weary. This community of bloggers is an amazing, not-to-be-described family of sisters. Sometimes we are looking for that ultimate recipe, that beautiful camera snap of lace and roses on a hall table... With cookies and candlelight... and sometimes we simply seek a connection in spirit, in yearning and fulfillment of that beautiful life we all pursue. I have more friends who do not blog than those who do, and to those without our community there is a sense of doubt... I sense their hesitation As they ponder the wisdom of showing one's life online, they just cannot know why we blog until they experience the common tapestry of our daily round. Although most of us will never lay eyes on the homes and faces of our blog land friends, our thoughts and lives are changed because of something we have read or seen in each. other's lives. Thank you all for being sisters in the blog world. Your quests for joy and the good in life offer me daily inspiration

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back to School...

 Ahhhh, the pleasures of a little high tech break.   Second semester,,,,  teachers call this stretch the grim  period----   post holiday, cold, drear----
So I do what anyone would---  crush my lesson plans into ideas to spark these days and grab a cute tote---  this from a sweet friend in Florida!  Carry on...  I saw a sign to p;ost by a classroom clock:  "Time passes---  but will you?"  Too mean?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012

Did you hear the news, girls?
Something is brand new!
I will spread the word!
Hey, it's a new something or other...

 I give you all the happiest wishes for a fun year ahead,,,,,