November morning rain

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“There were never such devoted sisters” :: autumn pictures

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I am blessed with two amazing, beautiful, brilliant sisters, both writers, both my best friends . . . one of whom was behind the camera (she and my brother have powers with my camera that I could never dream of possessing), and the other posing with me. ❤

The guys were out of town over the weekend, and so we seized some sister time on Friday to venture out into the beautiful autumn weather and take some snapshots. I had to share a few!

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Journaling, and the wonderful properties of fresh air

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The weather has been really lovely the past few days! Being as such, I found myself trekking outside yesterday afternoon to journal . . .

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I took a few pictures, but nothing can accurately capture the breezy beauty of these kinds of afternoons, when the temperature is pristine and everything is full of softness and quiet.

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By the way . . . it’s so nice to have a gazebo in your front yard. It was one of the most enchanting things about this place when our family was searching for homes – not forgetting the lamppost, of course (Narnia!).

(In fact, someday down the road, Lena is sincerely hoping she’ll be proposed to in a gazebo. There’s one on our parish grounds that seems perfect for something so felicitous. We shall see if her dreams come true one day . . . maybe a sanguine older sister of hers will drop heavy hints to whomever her future boyfriend happens to be . . . 😉 ) As for me . . . as long as it’s a proposal, I’m good! ❤

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I’m really, really glad I’ve gotten back into journaling. This time of life practically necessitates an ongoing documentary because I just know I’ll be wanting to read back through my rambling, handwritten accounts of it one day when I’m a harried housewife. At the moment, I’m already itching to go outside and put some current thoughts down . . . I snapped the above picture while sitting on the gazebo swing.

I think journaling is especially good for girls, what with all our emotions and hopes and dreams, our “meld of mind and heart.” It’s good to get it down on paper.

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Plus, being able to soak in sunshine while journaling is always a good thing, too. Going outdoors puts things into perspective somehow; it’s calming and refreshing, makes your joys clearer and your worries not quite so staggering. So here’s to stepping outside today and seeking out a little refreshment!

Sig

Isn’t it wonderful?

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Today marked my last day of tutoring for this school year. My miniature adventure of a once-a-week sixty-mile round trip, of teaching in a classroom, of bonding and laughing and learning with a bright group of girls: an adventure that fell into my lap without me at all expecting it, is already (temporarily) over!

I feel as though, just this morning, I walked into the classroom for the first time, blinked once–and now I find myself home again, with my plastic blue bin of supplies sitting in the kitchen corner, in a state of semi-retirement. My two quarters of teaching are over; the year’s finished. How is it already over?! “Well, I’m back,” he said.

Until this evening, I hadn’t fully realized just how much a part of the fabric of my week all these young girls and their varied personalities and talents had become. And their mothers, too! They are all so unique and delightful in their own ways, and all so sweet to me. What an enriching experience these past four months have been for me; I’ve certainly learned far more than any of the girls I taught! Although I’m thankful for the break, I’m growing increasingly conscious of just how much I’m going to miss them!

Next week, there’s an end-of-the-year picnic for the co-op, so perhaps it won’t really seem “over” until that’s come and gone . . .

But that’s that!

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After I’d gotten back home this afternoon, I closed my eyes for ten minutes, drank some (much-needed!!!) caffeinated tea, played a card game with my two youngest sibs, and talked for a while with The Dash on the phone. And then I came downstairs and found my parents rummaging through old pictures, laughing at themselves, reminiscing over old days with the deep love and ease of a beautiful, seasoned marriage nearly twenty-five years old. It was a delightful thing to watch them and quietly drink in their example of love for my future marriage 🙂

After supper, I cleaned up the kitchen, using the CD player I’d employed every week for co-op to now play some Sinatra while I wiped counters. Words can’t suffice for the contentment I experience in cleaning the kitchen . . . though it’s a mystery to some I know . . .

A few minutes ago, from out in the backyard, Dad called the home phone from his cell, explaining he needed the container of gasoline that’s currently in the garage. I slid into some old shoes and walked down the slope of our back hill, feet squelching in the wet grass, carrying gasoline . . . and noticing the riot of flowers!

Having delivered the gasoline, (conscious of my reputation as a house cat) I paused to soak in the evening quiet, then slipped back inside to grab my camera.

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Isn’t it wonderful? Life, I mean! Life imbued with God’s love and grace, most especially in the small things; in the eager, animated face of a young girl; in an evening blooming with flowers; in a man and wife laughing over old pictures; in a walk down the hill with a gasoline can.

Today, by the way, is the feast of St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Martyr; the altar of my home parish holds one of his relics! I wish I could have visited it today, but in lieu of that, I’ll be praying especially for his intercession.

From Lena’s bedroom, I hear Voces8’s “Pie Jesu,” and am gently reminded of people who have recently passed away, including the souls of two holy shepherds, one a priest, the other a bishop. The bishop confirmed my younger brother and youngest sister and frequently visited our parish. The priest I never met, but was by all accounts a saintly father and very dear to The Dash’s family. Would you offer a small prayer for both of their souls? Thank you!

Pie Jesu, Domine; dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem.

I’ll leave this post with a quote from St. Fidelis:

“Woe to me if I should prove myself but a halfhearted soldier in the service of my thorn-crowned Captain.”

Let’s let his words inspire the rest of our week as we strive to sanctify, for God, all the challenges and work we must undergo!

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Sig

Views from my afternoon walk

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Sixty degrees, breezy, sunny. . . that, my friends, is the recipe for a perfect afternoon walk by the lake, and I was blessed to have one just now! Recently, I have rediscovered how refreshing going outdoors is and how much it uplifts the spirit. It has pulled me away from stress, worries, and the hum of technology, and has helped me unwind my mind . . . and believe me, these past few days have certainly had their share of thoughts and considerations in need of un-winding!

Especially after the aforementioned 5K, I’ve found taking a brisk (yet still relaxed) outdoor walk to be such a simple thing, and yet so restorative. So please forgive the poor quality of these washed-out, unedited phone pictures and absorb the lovely scenery and the adorable little goslings 🙂 (And perhaps next time I’ll remember to take my actual camera, like one wise older gentleman had done! He was contentedly snapping pictures left and right while we were there.)

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