Thursday, August 31, 2017

20 Years Later -- England's Rose

As I glanced at a past post on Facebook this morning, I realized today was the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of my princess. I looked for a post I wrote and realized it came ten years ago...  I have been a blogger for over a decade...  and a score of years has passed, the world very different. Personally, I have aged through both my parent's deaths. I still feel a strong bond to Diana, but time has kept her forever young while I have felt the weights of real life alter my priorities.

I received this comment from a former student on my Facebook post tribute to Princess Di, and I wrote the response...  So thought I would send this post through once again...

For those of you who felt a kindred spirit to Diana, England's Rose:

My 10 Year Tribute----  from 2007 (written on her birthday in July of this year a little over a month before my dad passed away and I moved here with Mom.

Ten years ago this fall the news came of her tragic death....

"My heart has never been the same. Diana seemed so much more than an English Princess to me. I know she was adored by multitudes, but somehow, I always felt so extremely, personally, close to her. I absolutely loved her as a friend I had never met, somehow a kindred spirit, a soul similar to my own, I believed. I'll never know for sure, but I imagine we would have been dear friends had there not been miles of ocean, protocol, issues, and fate between our lives.

"On Diana's wedding day my home became a lovely English reception hall. My adored and revered gramma came down, stayed all night with me, and helped me decorate and cook a wedding breakfast fit for royalty. We used our best sterling silver, my finest china, live roses, and we created little maidens in Welsh clothing as favors. My family all arrived desperately early in the morning (England is six hours ahead!!!) We watched the wedding and then celebrated with scones, what I believed to be crumpets, tea, and lovely what I hoped to be English foods. My dad and my ex-husband were bumfoozled. What was happening? They thought I'd truly flipped. But it was an event to immortalize, so I tried. I remember I used to play a little game with myself as I cleaned my house and readied it for company. I pretended Diana was planning to be a guest! Boy, could I ever clean for a Princess!!!! During her life, I collected, hoarded, begged for and cherished a stack of books, cups, dolls, miniatures, magazines--- anything Diana. My collection fills a five foot amoire. When Diana stopped, so did I. I barely managed to tuck in the beautiful People Commemorative issue. A few lovely friends gave me books or magazines in her honor. But, for the most part, I was never happy collecting anything "Diana" after Diana was gone.

"I am not from England, so I have no idea how hard the whole Diana lifetime events have been on the English. I understand they must have been overwhelmed and heart-broken by everything that happened. I have only MY side of the ocean, my own reverent and unashamed adoration of her. When the negative things about her came into focus, it only made me feel more kindred to her spirit. I have been disappointed in love, a little obsessed with weight issues (little?), and uncomfortable with my surroundings too many times to count. I have adored a son with all my heart and felt my heart break for world causes. I have flirted with disaster and with men who spell disaster. I listened to taped interviews with the Princess, and I finally believed my initial guesses to be true. We are friends for life.

"I have a confession to make. I don't grieve and go on. Hidden below a cheerful (I hope) and bubbly (I wish) exterior lies every wound, every grief, every tear I have ever created. Sometimes the sheer angst (how I love that word but hate to use it) of it all just gets me to sobbing when I don't know/can't say why. Diana is a part of all that, just as are the beloved people in my own circle who have left this earth. When Kensington castle had a fire, my then-husband left work a little early and came to my school room door: "Everyone's alright," he assured me. "But Diana's castle was on fire for a little bit. I was afraid you'd hear it on the news and worry." Aw.... one of the sweetest, most understanding moments I recall. Then that awful night ... A phone call from my dad; disbelief, denial, first refusal to turn on the television, then glued in loud sobs to the broadcasts. My son told me he could hear me from his room, but he couldn't come out because he didn't want to invade my wall of sorrow. I remember putting my flag at half mast and walking to my mother's to do the same. She told me quickly and curtly, "She wouldn't be crying if this were reversed!" But I insisted she would if she had known me. So."

Kim Kardashian? Not even close....  <3

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Summer nights

Delicious dipping oils with Italian herbs and Parmesan, served with soft bread sticks. Vegetables marinated in olive oil...  chicken wings from China Garden...

My friends have been visiting. We rotate turns for the meal.

Oops. Somebody never takes her turn!!! What's up with that?

Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Shade of Difference

(Disclaimer: This is the only in-focus picture I took. I was snapping a few shots like a wild child, but I did not waste a second of time focusing...  sorry!)

If you had asked me a few months ago when the publicity about the total eclipse of the sun began, my remarks were firm and quite negative. "You won't find me there. I think I hate eclipses. It seems dumb to me..." I based those ideas on the fact that I was rather afraid of the first lunar eclipse I remember viewing during the 60's with a very excited daddy in our back yard. He took me out to see my beloved moon turn dark. Now, my dad was brilliant, kind, just perfect.... but he didn't mention the eclipse was TEMPORARY, so although it lasted only seconds... I was so sick at heart that my moon had turned muddy. I remember standing outside by the purple Rose of Sharon bush thinking how weird it was my dad was happy about that. Later we laughed about it, but it rather tainted my feelings on eclipses. Future solar partial eclipses were overshadowed by warnings about going blind and the absurd idea you could see by looking into a cereal box pinhole. I was not interested. It may have worked. I admit I did not even try.

Fast forward to a couple months ago when my wonderful, so much like his grandpa, son texted he had requested August 21st as a day off. I pondered that date and came up quite empty. Then he said we were headed to the full eclipse zone at least 70-80 miles to the south... I decided I needed to wake up and be "cool," or I would get left behind. I was lucky I hadn't rattled my negativity to him, so I was the eclipse partner he chose. Since Mom passed away, we both are pricelessly aware we are the sum total of our basic family... for a while, at least. I was not about to lose a golden opportunity to spend a day with my son.

I did some fun prep work over the weeks, buying the special glasses, ordering chipotle garlic sunflower seeds, baking cookies, and choosing my wardrobe... moon and stars sweater ( a bit HOT, if I admit it).

Yesterday we left the house and mutually decided to grab my dear friend Doralee, kidnapping her to go along. She was outside and not ready, but it took only five minutes for her to throw on a cute outfit and grab her eclipse glasses she had (just in case)...

My son had researched through the night on Sunday--- the weather, the trajectory, the traffic...  We headed toward Ashland, MO, with no set destination. Guided by guess and by golly... and such a loving Heavenly Father, we drove around town a bit and then headed down a blacktop to the west...  We spotted a church on a rise of land--- and a few cars ----and we drove in to see if we could join. My son had talked of nothing but the things to look for. He had asked what I was most excited about, and I had honestly (but rather disappointing to him) responded, "Being with you all day."  Well, duh, Mom... He added a few scientific reasons to be inspired, such as his favorite (behind being with me, of course), the 360 degree sunset, the diamond rings, the accentuated shadows....

This church parking lot was perfect. The Youth minister came out to our cars and told us we were welcome, invited us to come in and get cool water or use the restrooms. He had an excited group of kids who joined the cluster of cars gathered  from all over the country, all navigated there to that one spot to form an ephemeral group. One family from Oklahoma had just decided on a spot much like my son had. The dad took our emails to send us the photos he took through his telescope. I will share those when he has time to do that.

What can I say? The air tinted surreal. We greeted each advance of the black thumb edging through the sun with greater anticipation and exclamations of delight...  but oh! in those brief few seconds of totality...that 360 degree sunset of lavendar hush... the total twilight at nearly noon, the sudden stirring of breeze and locust...  spontaneous respectful applause mingled with children and adults saying aloud, "Thank you, Lord." We peered at the Total Eclipse of the Sun 2017, hoping and praying ourselves and our loved ones to be alive and well when it comes again in 2024. I am telling you this. It was a singular two minutes in my entire life with nothing ever really like it for comparison. I shared it with dear people. I shared it with strangers. I shared it with God, and I somehow shared it with my dad.

We left the group waving and exchanging wishes for safe travels. Of course, I sobbed like the baby I am....  I am crying even now because the overwhelming "darlingness" of life fills my heart too full.. most of the time.

We didn't experience the traffic jam forewarned of nearly a million and a half extra vehicles in Missouri... until we drove home to our own small town, Macon. I think we had most of that surge through our two-lane highway. There it took nearly two hours to inch a little over 8 miles. We saw license plates from many states and ...finished the last of my oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies, of course! We heard that several friends at home and even some who traveled just as far, missed the eclipse due to rain and imperfectly timed clouds drifting and blocking the Totality. I hope they see it next time because it is hard to describe and simply incredible.

Later my dear friend who writes so beautifully created an amazing essay, which he will share at a future time. I will only hint this much about it, but you will be blessed when he reveals it.

Motto of this story: Do not waste any golden opportunities to experience this life and what might seem to be "take it or leave it" moments...

Here are the shots from that kind person in Oklahoma.They are incredible. I thank him for doing this for us. People are good.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Go With the Flow

Kind of true. Kind of not...  I used to be a complete Autumn girl, but about fifteen years ago I decided not to settle for 25 percent, so I became a Seasonal Living person. I enjoy trying my best to get the most personal joys for myself and for my family from each season. 

 However, the pull of Autumn requires a relaxation on my part. I don't have to try to enjoy the sweet Queen of Seasons. It is intrinsic...  I still have some summer left to do, but... as my friends all start sending kids and grandkids back to school, it steadily approaches, and I am glad!

I keep doing the cleaning thing. I realize all of my dear readers clean all the time. I laugh that my friends and my son come by and see no change! It seems the only proof I have is the growing stack of boxes I have downstairs that contain tons of "weeded" items from each and every cupboard, closet, drawer, or nook. I was just told my house was "suffocating." Now, that's not the look I am going for! While my cat does look as if she disagrees, I know I am making progress. Other issues are more important, but ...  
"How we spend our days, of course, is how we spend our lives." (Annie Dillard) 
So. Cleaning it is. 

After removing the paper/plastic shelf lace, boxing up a ton... the kitchen cupboard looks fresh and different to me.My sister/cousin brought me the great mug and New Orleans glass from a recent vacation. She has moved to town, and although it isn't really much farther away, it seems like it. 

Did you catch the misty fog lying over the lands this morning? That speaks of the end of season and the Back to School energy of  an early start to our days.

Since this photo, I have moved the clock from the spot it has perched for 60 years, I think... Can you imagine how often I look above that cabinet to catch the time, to measure the baking length... Habits...   But, oh, I love to shuffle...

Today is baking and cooking day... unless it isn't. Being my own boss is not an easy chore. I am often not a compliant employee...  So I just dock my pay.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Cleaning Day

A day cleaning out a china cabinet becomes a walk through family history

Suddenly this violet, sun aged glass cannot be handled at face value. That is my grandmother's handwriting, so the glass clearly was held in the lap of my great-great-great grandmother. In a covered wagon. From Kentucky. 

No help from this girl... yet.

My great-gramma's sugar bowl.

Nobody loses marbles in this family. 

My mother claimed responsibility for the chips in this marble. She was trying to get to the candy inside.

Only I know it is clean. And two boxes didn't fit back in!

Still no help.

And a little too much help here at last.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Whimsy and Hugs!

Blessed with fresh vegetables! That summer indulgence becomes so affordable as we purchase an entire back seat of tomatoes, cucumber, muskmelon, green pepper, zucchini... and more for less than $15. I love to visit this Amish farm house, and it never fails to bring back happy memories of trips with my mom. This is their barn. So tidy and simple in its summer glory. 





Loving our little excursions... My son is in the process of finding a second job which may cut into our available time... However, he has a huge list of improvements he wants to finance, and we are "not made out of money," as my dad always reminded me.

It is Bevier Homecoming time, and the Homecoming Brunch is an annual kickoff to the events that follow. Our lunch was delicious and the laughter and visiting with friends made it complete. I will leave you with some "people shots." This year's theme is 


I have a dear friend coming to spend a few days with me and to attend the festivities. If you could see the obstacle course between here and the guest room, you would remind me of what needs to happen in my world today!