You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘North Carolina’ tag.

Silence has been both a friend and an enemy for me of late. I realized, after a day of blessings and a day of self-pity, that service is one of the keys to feeling more like myself. Nothing great, nothing spiritual, just small things that help others. It is what is at my core. It helps me find my fair winds and keep sailing.

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Oak Island, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Daily gratitudes:
A beautiful warm day
Finding components of our dream house
The coyote standing in the middle of the dry field at sunset
Sun shining on wild sunflowers this late in fall
MKL’s and my girls’ support and love

 

introvert
Surf City, North Carolina

Quote of the day: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” — Desmond Tutu

Daily gratitudes:
Getting my ballot in the mail today
Memories
A little peace
Cozy blankets
Coyotes howling at night

I have been silent again. With all the upheaval in this country, I have been feeling like my pretty pictures and small gratitudes are frivolous. MKL reminded me that perhaps they are more necessary than ever. So fewer words, even though I have many thoughts.

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Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Daily gratitudes:
Home cooking
Snuggly cats
Writing deadlines
Introspection
My Washington children

 

Or it will be soon. Looking forward to going home.

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Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty.” — James Kavanaugh

Daily gratitudes:
Dragonflies
Katie Ledecky
Friendly chalkboards by front doors
Hot air balloons this morning
Perfectly dried roses

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell where the earth stops and heaven begins.

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Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “There is no death, daughter. People die only when we forget them,’ my mother explained shortly before she left me. ‘If you can remember me, I will be with you always.” — Isabel Allende

Daily gratitudes:
Blooming things
Lavender oil
Poetry
Snuggly cats
Peaceful passings

 

40 Years At Sarah P. Duke

Come spring, the siren calls of memories,
Whispers in the wind saying, “Come home,
Come home, the daffodils are rebellious in bloom,
And the pansies of the long gravel walk
Yearn for your gentle touch on each velvet petal.”
Those short stone walls clamber for the feel
Of my shoes balance-walking down them.
The wisteria palace is approaching bloom, vines
Enveloping the gazebo in fragrant violet magic
Promising blosson clusters and later, velvet seapods.
I stand at the edge of the steps, waiting for the view to
Empty of souls, so I can survey my own
Private kingdom.
A descent to the fountains, tricking cherubs
Where my father used to scoop coins from the shoulder-deep pools
Of wishing wells for us on hot summer days.
He is gone now, but the fountains still sparkle.
Criss-crossing rows of bark mulch paths
Through beds of tulips and butterly bushes
Into shade beds of hostas and lilies of the valley.
Still descending, still cross-crissing
To the koi pond teeming with water lilies and dragonflies,
Then up the slate stones, slightly slippery, as they pass
The trickle-down waterfall
To the big sitting rock – the peasant’s view of the garden kingdom.
Down across another little waterfall, through the dark shade
Of climbing magnolias
Into the big meadow beyond
Where Sarah and I drank little bottles of pink champagne
And lay among the dandelions discussing philosophy and world affairs
And boys
While basking in the sun and avoiding the bees.

This haven, with its empty grass hills, where I snuck in
With high school boyfriends for moonlit make out sessions,
With sky-high pine trees where I gathered greenery
For the mantel at Christmas, filling paper grocery bags
And leaving with cold, resin-stained fingers,
With its Japanese garden and arching bridge
Redolant with peace and solitude.

The gardens call to me, with memories of roses and sweat,
Sweetness and spring.

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Durham, North Carolina.

Quote of the Day: “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero

Daily gratitudes:
Feeling some better
A talk with Charlotte
My voice when it sounds like Lauren Bacall
Spring coming
Soft blankets

 

 

 

Always watching over us. Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers.

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Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”  — Marcel Proust

Daily gratitudes:
That my house is under the Canadian Geese flight path
Owls hooting in the darkness
Cozy Mr. Man
Having Kelsea home for a few days
Embarrassing moments that make for good stories

 

 

Today was one of those blue days when I just want to crawl into the spiral of a shell and stay there until my spirits lift. But that’s not the way life – or depression – works. On these days. sometimes, my mind wanders to things that made me bluer, and then I have to shift my perspective on those things to see the blessings inside them. They’re in there, just like a conch is nestled within the spirals of its shell.

Conched Out
Surf City, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space.” — Annie Kaufman

Daily gratitudes:
That my mother used to let me eat frozen peas in the summer when it was hot. They were so good and sweet, one at a time.

That I could afford to pay Kelsea’s first quarter college tuition today

The “golden hours” even when I don’t have my camera

The art collages on my bedroom walls

Watching “Catfish” with Kelsea – it’s her favorite show

This seat is probably hot in many ways. a) It’s in Snead’s Ferry, right on the river,  b) It’s right outside the kitchen window of this restaurant, which means the heat from the kitchen is pouring out upon the sitter, and c) it’s pleather. in the sun. We’ve all been in the hot seat from time to time, and at least this one does occasionally have a cool breeze to stir the hot hair straggling on the back of your neck in the depths of July. Looks like that beer (and the rain puddles) might have helped cool the occupant off a bit too.

The Hot Seat
Sneads Ferry, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “A man who goes into a restaurant and blatantly disrespects the servers shows a strong discontent with his own being. Deep down he knows that restaurant service is the closest thing he will ever experience to being served like a king.” — Kriss Jami

Daily gratitudes:
Feeling better
Ice water
A letter from LJRH
That I get to see my husband tomorrow
How lovely it is to say “husband”

My Mother always loved it when the pelicans flew over the porch. It happened seldom when we were little, and more and more often before her passing. Now it is a frequent occurrence, as if they have finally established a new flight pattern. I wonder what changes in the environment drew them in such numbers? I can see them sometimes skimming just over the edge of the sea. Always in formation, they have an interesting wing pattern, as if the leader starts the current with his flapping, then those in line behind each flap until he or she picks up the air current of the first party, and so on down the line, until they are gliding on the squadron’s momentum. Every so often, there will be a straggler or two, or perhaps they are rogues, trying to establish their own crew. They fly south. Then half an hour or so later, they return north. The pattern repeats, often, throughout the day. My Mother would have been delighted.

Sqaudron
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the Day: “Well, if she doesn’t like pelicans she must be very disagreeable.”  —  Tess Oliver

Daily gratitudes:
Outfitting Kelsea for college
The lovely feel of the air today
Pockets of rain
Kelsea’s excellent tree trimming
Getting all my wedding pictures from my good-sister

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