Right Before Dawn

Right before dawn from my back window. Mars, PA March, 2019

Right Before Dawn.

The trees stretch their branches
and wiggle their trunks
and spread their roots
right before dawn
as if to say,
“Wake up!
It’s a wonderful new day!”

I sip my coffee
and stretch my arms
and wiggle my toes
and gaze outside
wondering how I earned
this undeserved privilege
to be right here right now.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

There is Always Something to Smile About

There is Always Something to Smile About.

It was REALLY hard getting up for work on Monday!

In our part of the world, we started Daylight Savings Time and lost an hour of sleep Sunday morning when we had to turn the clocks forward.

Since I didn’t have to wake up at any certain time on Sunday, it was not a problem.

But when the alarm went off at 5 am on Monday, I said, “What the whaaaat?!?!

I skipped my morning treadmill routine and went back to sleep until 6 am.

Still didn’t want to get up…. but I did.

The upside to this crazy ritual is that it now stays light later, and Charlie and I were able to walk outside after work.

When Charlie and I go for a walk, we almost always take the same route, so I make it a point to always try to see something new.

It was on our way back that I spied a smiley face painted on this old tree stump that has obviously been there a while.

This was the first time I saw it.

And I smiled.

There is always something to smile about!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

This Past Week

This past week…

I gasped at the beauty of the early morning sunrise.

I cried about a brother who would never celebrate another birthday.

I shared overwhelming joy with a friend who became a grandma for the first time.

I shared deep grief with a friend whose mom is dying.

I celebrated life with the birthday of my longest, dearest friend.

I worried with a friend whose mother-in-law was in the hospital.

I laughed with a friend I chat with every morning on our way to work.

I discussed deep, important topics about relationships and next stages of life with people I love.

I played on the floor with two little girls who know me as Grandma and cheered first potty successes.

I was devastated to learn that friends got news they are going to lose their second child.

My heart was warmed by gratitude and comforted with love for my forever Valentine of 40 years.

This past week.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Beautiful Ending

Foggy, Beautiful Ending to the Day – February, 2019 – Mars, PA

A Beautiful Ending.

We may not be able to control or change
ugly things that happened to us –
especially in our childhood.

We can’t choose our beginning.

But we can decide to not be
defined or deflated or diminished by them,
and create our own beautiful life.

We can determine the ending.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Cherish the Moments

Cherish the Moments.

When the day is done,
take some time to reflect on the things
that made it special.

Remember the moments
that brought you joy
or made you smile or laugh.

Close your eyes
and savor those thoughts,
knowing tomorrow will surely bring challenges,

but also realizing there will be
new moments to cherish –
even if you have to search really hard.

And tomorrow will bring another sunset
and more opportunity to reflect,
and the hope of getting to do it all again.

Cherish the moments…
for the moments
are what make up a life.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Lessons from a Squirrel

Early Morning Squirrel on the Back Deck Feeder, Mars, PA – January, 2019

Lessons from a Squirrel.

It pays to be nimble.

You can get what you want if you just stretch
your body and mind a little more than you think you can.

The early bird may get the worm,
but the early squirrel gets the birdseed.

Cheers & Warm Winter Hugs,
Jodi

 

Rise and Shine

Rise and Shine.

Do you feel it?
Are you excited about all the possibilities the day may hold?

All the opportunites to make it special?
All the reasons to wake up?

Rise and shine
and cherish the moments!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Every time I hear or read or say the words, “Rise and Shine,” I think of Grandma

As a teenager, I loved to sleep in late – much like most teenagers – right?  I vividly remember hiding under the covers to keep from seeing the sun streaming in the bedroom and hearing Grandma  cheerfully holler from the bottom of the stairs on a weekend or summer morning, “Rise and Shine!”  She was always so excited and ready to start a new day.  I smile remembering that hope and excitement in her voice.  She didn’t work.  She didn’t even have a license to drive.  Her days were mostly spent at home working hard – inside and out – making it a haven for anyone who visited or lived there.  And yet she woke up so cheerfully each morning excited for what the day might hold. 

I have to admit – I love the early mornings these days – especially on  weekends and days I get to stay home.  I love thinking about having the whole day ahead of me. 

I baked Grandma’s Apricot Nut Bread yesterday.  It is a recipe I have shared here before.  And it truly really begins to feel like Christmas when I smell this bread come out of the oven.  The memories just come flooding back of Christmases past at Grandma’s house and the joy that radiated from her in everything she did.  

So rise and shine and cherish the possibilities this day will hold!

Stopped me in my Tracks

Things that have stopped me in my tracks…
lately.

This breathtaking scene along the road as I traveled home from a friend’s on a cold, rainy, otherwise-dreary day.

Watching and listening with deep admiration to Hubby deliver a heartfelt eulogy to his beloved aunt.

The unexpected, far-beyond-her-years empathetic eyes and hugs and words of a special 11-year old girl paying her respects at a funeral visitation.

The sweetest, kindest, most undeserved compliment made by my younger daughter-in-law over dinner.

The smell of my baby granddaughter’s head after annointment with the oil of chrism at her baptism.

The startling reality of what a powerful, important influence I have as a grandma to a precious two-year old.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Golden Beauty

Our Neighbor’s Yard – Mars, PA – November 4, 2018

Golden Beauty.

Most all the trees are bare with
their leaves now carpeting the ground.

Except this golden beauty
who decides each Autumn to make a statement.

It’s a standout amidst the others
in their stripped bare dormant state.

It’s like the late bloomer
who was awkward as a child

But is now the greatest beauty
as its come into its own.

It’s like the last crop
of buttery golden sweet corn

that bursts with the most intense flavor
as if it knows it will be the taste that lingers until the next season comes.

It’s like the brightest sunshine
lighting up the Autumn day

that knows the days are growing shorter,
so it must glow brilliantly while it can.

It’s like the golden rings
worn by the elderly couple

that represent the long-lasting commitment
through richer and poorer, sickness and health, good times and bad.

Thank you golden beauty
for reminding me once more

that hanging on or being last
is sometimes worth the wait.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi