Traveling The Back Roads Of This Country

“Try to be one of those on whom nothing is lost.”― Henry JamesThe Art of Fiction

This morning, I found Henry James’ quote in an article I was reading. His words struck me. I get what he is saying. I’ve written on numerous occasions how I observe things all around me, whether it is the diamond glitter trails of snowflakes, the warm rays of sun puddling on the kitchen floor, or the silky feel of fabric. My observing skills do not end with “things”. I am an avid people watcher, and also enjoy hearing people’s stories. It has been said, everyone has a story…and that is the truth.

 

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My desire to “hit the road” grows each year. I want to road trip. Meet people. See things. Explore. Observe. Make memories. Hear stories. I want to write down my thoughts…and by so doing, make this big wide world seem just a little bit smaller. I want to meet the lady down the block, listen to the elderly vet in town, see the little girl working at the lemonade stand, know the guy who plays his guitar on the corner.

So, here is the deal. I am considering starting another blog. I will still keep this current blog because I love it. I love talking about my Lord, I cannot nor do I wish to ever separate my faith from my day to day life. My relationship with Jesus is part of me and it always will be, and blogging helps me share His love with you, my readers. With that said, I have this dream, desire, to write stories about people I meet. I truly believe it is a “God thing”. Sadly, I think that most of us go through our daily lives in such a rush that we miss out on getting to know each other. It seems like we don’t come together unless there is some sort of tragedy…then we hold a hand, hear a word, wipe a tear. Shouldn’t we touch others lives, share a smile, wave hello, stop and say, “Hi. It is good to see you. What’s up?”….and then wait to hear the answer. Sure it takes time, but isn’t life a series of moments? And don’t we really live when we are reaching out?

 

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I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I am a huge fan of the late Charles Kuralt’s, On The Road. He was a news man that got out of the box and onto the backroads of this great country. For him, no topic was too small, no person too insignificant. Kuralt once said, “There are sights in this country and people in this country to banish any gloom you ever may feel and to fill you instead with wonder.” By noticing the ordinary and celebrating originality, he exalted us all. (On The Road with Charles Kuralt)

I want to take up the torch, and then blog about it. About you. About life. In the cities, in the small towns and all the places in between, because your stories matter…you are interesting. So, tell me your story and don’t leave anything out.

 

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Once I figure out the setting up of a new blog, and get it underway, I will post the new blog site. If you are interested in hearing people’s stories, like I am, then you can join me as we travel the back roads of life, together.

I’m Not Lost

“Not all those who wander are lost.”– J. R. R. Tolkien

 

 

 

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Stop. Listen. Hear the quiet… allow it to still your soul.

 

 

 

 

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Take in the views. Be aware of how small you actually are…

 

 

 

 

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Breathe it all in. Savor the beautiful times.

 

 

 

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Memorize the moments, because you might not come this way again….

 

 

The Sweetest Harmony

Last week I was in Costa Rica, having fun and enjoying the tropical locale. Good conversation with great people. Fresh pineapple with sweetness that was addicting. Sitting in a chair on the beach, watching the ocean crash into the sand.The opportunity for me to enjoy…

English: Sunset over the Pacific Ocean, Tango ...

Blessed beyond words.

The scales tip wildly– me in an expensive vacation home, catered too, fed, given so much. They in houses that are necessary shelter, very little comfort, practical and plain.

My brothers and sisters. We are very different and yet so much the same.

And these things Lord, the opportunities given to me, blessings beyond imagination– am I here too for such a time as this?

What is my role, my responsibility? The challenge, the honor? This one life that I have been given. The minutes that make up the lifetime.

The ocean waves roll in, breaking hard, causing a foamy surf.

The sun shines on the Pacific water, as I contemplate time, and life, and purpose.

Made in Your image–these people. Me. All of us.

Loved by You, always by You. The vast ocean could not, cannot, contain your love…no, not the whole of the world can contain it. For it is your love that covers us all. No matter the color of our skin, the language that we speak, the differences of culture or custom.

And isn’t it my job, my responsibility to share? Not just the vastness of Your ocean with others but, the great depth of Your love?

And shouldn’t John 3:16 be the song that I hear in the crashing waves on this beach so far away?  The melody of the love song that pulls us all into sweet harmony with You.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  John 3:16-17 NIV

 

Tamarindo Time

My husband and I just returned from our trip to Costa Rica. The company that he works for had their annual Summit in Tamarindo, Costa Rica this year. Luckily for me, spouses and significant others were also encouraged to attend. It was great, and we really enjoyed our time there. All of us were very aware that time is felt a little differently in that area, and we teasingly referred to it as “Tamarindo time”. Life slowed down, and became more casual. Schedules were only loosely used, and there wasn’t the normal frantic pace of having to get everything done.

Today I am thankful for:

* the chance to slow down

* breathtaking sunsets

English: Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste, Costa Ri...

* new friends

* laughter

* Chef Derek and staff

* kindness of the locals

* learning the stories of others

* bare feet

* pineapple and fresh fruit

* monkeys that woke me up each morning at 5am

* safe travel

* TV and movies on the plane

* no lost luggage

* driving down the road to home

* animals that are glad we arrived

* sleeping in my own bed

* unpacking and washing clothes

* early afternoon, summer storm

* Costa Rican coffee

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Life is good.

Each day, each moment, is a gift.

I am grateful for it all.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

 

Good Morning Sunshine!

It’s Monday. 102_3038

Good hair day, Monday.

Clean clothes ’cause I did the laundry, Monday.

Living room needs dusted, Monday.

I hate dust because it never goes away, Monday.

I’m still on my diet, Monday.

The “I don’t know what in the world we will have for dinner tonight”, Monday.

My chicks keep escaping and pooping on the floor before I realize it, Monday.

The I’ve got a couple more weeks of babysitting the chicks before they go outside, Monday.

My bushes are starting to bud, Monday.

It’s sunny, Monday and springtime, Monday and so in love with my husband, Monday.

I was pondering yesterday…how much I have to do over the next couple of months.

The thoughts of it all, piles up in my brain, weighing heavy.

Sigh.

Life can just we whirlwind crazy sometimes, can’t it?

Sometimes the spin gives me a headache.

Time to get off the merry-go-round…

slow down…

and  just say thank you.

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Today I am thankful…really thankful…

* Cool springtime mornings that feel good on my skin102_2683

* Streaming sunshine

* Sparkling dew on the new blades of grass

* Budding bushes that just scream Springtime is here!

* Chirping chicks

* My husband, my best friend, my confidant

* Safety for my children

* The last few weeks until summer break

* Plans to travel

* Stories to hear

* Finishing my grad class

* Getting a good grade

* Learning new things

* God who created all things

* Christ who deserves all my thank you’s

It really is all good, because all good things come from Him.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17  NIV

 

The Road Less Traveled

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Some days it is about taking the road less traveled….

finding adventure on the back roads.

Not being able to see past the horizon, but knowing there is something good there

just waiting.

The Great American Travel Adventure

I think it’s the sunshine that does it to me. The longer days, the warmer nights. I often go outside and look up at the endless puffy clouds…the vast expanse of sky…and….

I want nothing more than a full tank of gas and a map.

This country I live in, is beautiful and interesting and exciting and inviting….and I want to see it all. I want to meet the people, hear the stories, make the memories.

It happens to me every year at this time.

I pull all my travel books off the shelf. I peruse various scenic highways and byways. I have a longing to see that which will stay in my soul, long after the pictures fade.

So, I was thinking…. Wouldn’t it be fun to travel? You could come along with me. We could “virtual travel” together. Each week, I will explore  a different state and you’ll be along for the ride. (even though today is Wednesday…I’m thinking that Tuesday would be a better travel day)

Put on something comfortable, turn the radio up loud, and lets hit the road!

Hold on, just a sec. I’ll be right back. I’m going to close my eyes and randomly pick a state on my U.S.A wall map.

Here goes……and the first stop will be Mississippi!

Mississippi state welcome sign

Tune in Tuesday, for our first destination. Related articles

What’s Down The Road?

To me, there is nothing better than a Saturday drive.

I come from a long line of Saturday afternoon drivers.

Wandering the back roads, looking for the place “not yet found”.

Searching for the perfect picture while making memories.

Last Saturday was glorious. I enjoyed the early spring sunshine (late winter?).

I’m hoping for another good day, tomorrow.

Pictures tell a story of days gone by.

What stories could these houses and barns, on the back roads, tell?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Ace. He greets us when we get back home.

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Always curious. Always wondering. What might be down the road and around the corner?

Take time to enjoy the drive. Look at things in a different way.

You might just be surprised at what you find.

The Best Is Yet To Come

Pumpkin pie, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...

Image via Wikipedia

Reflect on your journey of faith as you enter into the fall season.

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Everyone that knows me, knows that Fall is my favorite season. I love everything about it.

The beautiful colors. The striking vividness of it all.

The tastes of hot chocolate and pumpkin pie.

The smell of wood smoke or cinnamon spice candles.

The feeling of being wrapped up in warm sweaters, to fend off the chilly air.

The sound of geese flying in a V, over head.

It’s all good…and I enjoy it.

Fall encompasses all my senses.

But, as much as I love Fall and all it has to offer…

Fall is also about what is coming.

All of nature has one last color infused celebration before dying.

For a season. Only for a season.

I think most people can agree with me, that in each of our journeys there is “a Fall”.

A time of reflection. A time to slow down. A time to recoup. A time to enjoy. And a time…

to get ready for winter.

Fall brings with it the desire to stay close to home, to “nest”, to be with family, to give Thanksgiving.

And, to prepare for the dead of winter.

The cold times. The hard times. The isolated times.

But, it’s for a season…..only for a season.

Death always gives way to something new.

Much like a bulb (or seed) that is planted in the Fall…that lays dormant in the darkness of soil…it waits.

Waits for the sun and the warmth of new life.

A seed must die, before it can ever bloom and become what it is supposed to be.

So, to me, Fall is that “in between” time.

The best of what was, waiting for what will be.

And from what I understand…the best is yet to come.

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Stamped With The Words…Fear Not

Scared child

Image via Wikipedia

The ring is silver. I wear it on the middle finger of my right hand.

It is stamped with the words…

FEAR NOT

I’ve had this ring for quite awhile, and to be honest I don’t even remember when or where I actually got it.

I look down at my ring often…  reading the words imprinted on it…learning to imprint those same words

on my heart.

A reminder.

A proclamation.

Hope.

“Fear not, for I am with you;
      Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
      I will strengthen you,
      Yes, I will help you,
      I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10  NKJV

On days when fear threatens to overwhelm me… when I’m not sure how it’s all going to work out.

When doubt creeps in and moments can seem overwhelming…I am reminded.

To fear not!

My hope is in the One who has already overcome the world.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”             John 16:33  NIV

He has overcome fear, to bring me hope.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

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How do you practice hope?