Archive for January, 2018


There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. 

Rainer Maria Rilke
Letters to a Young Poet. 


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The birth of our grandson, Andrew was an event no less than the creation of the stars, recounted in the Bible.


In fact, I gave him his birth scripture that told us about the creation of the stars, and how God made man and woman no less than the stars and gave us dominion over all creation.


Andrew embodies that dominion within him as I watch him grow into full manhood, now a first year college student. This dominion he carries in his wide smile, his gentle ways, and his passion for perfection and musical magic with discipline.

Andrew has studied voice, percussion, piano and leadership with this talent and he, I am sure, will have stars named after him in his life of love and service to humanity.

Dominion comes with responsibility. He carries that responsibility well. I will listen to his drum beat.


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Now is the Time

Dear Lois,

This one is tricky, right? They say timing is everything…they also say no time like the present…and again…now is the only time we have. They say… time and time again. 

Time and time again, I have had to turn to my faith and trust in my God.

Time and time again,  I haven’t liked the pain in my now.

Time and time again, I have seen my joyous acceptance of the Exquisite Blessings in my life and find I never question them.

Time and time again, I have found the faith to accept a difficult now, and then comes the strength to bear it.

Time and time again, I have learned that surrender opens my way to the only part of the path that I need to see at this time.

At this time, I call upon the loving presence of the God you love and who loves you, to satisfy your every need.


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Tom and I received an invitation in the mail today. We will be marking the date for a visit to Christ the King School for Grandparents’ Day on Monday, April 30, 2018 to be with Amy, age 10, in the fourth grade. Well, it was not actually THE invitation. It will follow. It is a SAVE THE DATE heads up.

From firm roots, grow beautiful leaves…

Indeed!  It is winter here in Kentucky, with a cold spell and snow on the ground, but I know we are blessed with firm roots, even though we planted those roots several times in different orchards.

Our first beautiful leaves…

These two awesome leaves gave us our grandchildren leaves.

Devon…first born granddaughter

what a new world opened to us.



Her brother, Andrew, now a first year Central Michigan University Marching Chippewa in the percussion section…I always knew he would play the drums; this year he clanged the symbols mightily in one of the best college fight songs there is.


Their love and talent in music stems from their passionate mother… a CMU marching band alumni, Tekonsha school music director 5th grade through high school, and community theater music director for children and adult performers, and Misdirection Jazz Band founder who books gigs and outings in her area. She has NYC in her sights…



Lucy and Andrew




So many leaves filling out our tree…such solid roots of love…

And then comes dynamo, Amy Frances Mitchell, who is taking her mother’s energy to a new level…

Amy’s leaf blows cheerfully in the wind as a sports enthusiast, a gifted and joyful pianist, a Minecraft  exquisite designer, a math wizard, and fashionista, just to name a few.

Amy is always watching out for grandma and dziadzia, telling us she is S T R O N G. Here she is helping us replant our roots in our second apartment in Lexington in one year’s time.  I feel our roots deepening here for a strong hold over a long, long time, now feeling another orchard is on the horizon for awhile.


Pumpkin girl

Christmas surprise



She likes horses and is taking riding lessons. So I gave her a copy of BLACK BEAUTY for Christmas, one of my very favorite books which I was a young girl, oh so very long ago.

A kalaidscope now, all the years running together…our arms threading into the  leaves like branches, not getting to hold them as often. Devon, a college graduate and married to Tyler, a new grandson leaf on our tree, making their way into an “out-of-school” world, and holding promise of future young leaves we will get to share our love with. Andrew, totally engaged in the college scene, with a musical beat and a friendly social presence that promises so much fun. And close-by Amy, who brings light and young energy to her grandparents that feed their souls.


A beautiful Christmas gift made by Devon.


Grandparents day 2017

Last Year’s Grandparents’ Day


Beautiful leaves from a grateful tree.






Bride Devon


On the Journey

Thank you, God.  We are loving the journey.

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My friend, Lois Miller, called me today to lament the recent bad playing of whom she knew to be our favorite team, the Michigan State Spartans. She is quite the sports fan and her affections lay with that little leprachan in Indiana and the sacred name of our Holy Mother, Notre Dame.

I was having an “inside-day”, catching up a bit on every little thing from laundry, to stretching the menu another week with what we have on hand to eat, to last storing away of Christmas items and playing stupid games on my Kindle Fire.

She reminded me she hadn’t heard from Napkinwriter lately and tapped directly into my guilt vein, provided generously by my Catholic upbringing along with all the good stuff it brought too.

I explained I am writing, but not at Napkinwriter, but I will begin again immediately. I have been focused entirely upon writing a book I have for a very long time wanted to write and now, at last I am doing it.

Lois sounded like she was struggling a bit but wanted to bring me current since it has been since 2008 that we shared a neighborhood in Newton, NC.  During that time, she sported a terrific tee shirt “It’s a sin to look this great at 70!”, a birthday gift from her sister, Mary Lou.

She also brought health news of two more friends in that neighborhood, Terry and Judy. She said Terry is all right now, but had suffered a heart attack on Thanksgiving night. Terry was the BUILDER of our little three-some neighborhood. He built both our home and was in the process of building the one Lois and Jim moved into next to us. Terry, whose home country is Wales, and Judy, a realtor, lived in their beautiful home across the street from us and had a magical English garden and landscaping all through their back yard.

The neighborhood of which I speak had many beautiful days with small gatherings between us, where laughter and frivolity always seemed to find its way through when we were together. Separately, we each faced our challenges — us overworked and running three separate Curves exercise franchises with about three years of success and two dwindling years of hardship and creating an exit strategy; Lois was an on-the-go gal, moving, moving, moving and Jim loved his on-line and buddy poker times and sports TV, but eventually faced the curse of the big C – cancer; Terry and Judy looking for a way to find their way back to his beloved Wales.

So we each departed “our neighborhood” at different times; Tom and I were first and moved back to Michigan close to family, then nine years later on to Lexington, Kentucky where we had started our married life in 1965, to join one daughter who was moving there with her medical practice; Lois and Jim moved back to Cleveland near his family as the disease progressed and claimed his life and then Lois moved back to upper New York state, near Fingers Lake region where Tom and I had a fun, fun, fun visit to her cabin in the woods on Lois Lane; and Judy and Terry moved back home to Wales.

Now our neighborhood is kept intact through cyber world with occasional texts, tweets, posts and Facebook.  It was a short time we were together, yet we’ve never been “apart” since we met. These friendships are treasured and as the elderly years keep bringing those things called limitations upon each of us, it may be that we will not be able to visit each other’s neighborhoods again.

Lois had a very rough and tough chemo journey a couple years back, got back on the mend and now she has more to face. Her call today gave me an inspiration for Napkinwriter and I will begin to make posts with these scripture images I am receiving on Pinterest, which means they have been posted somewhere else.

I will begin a series for Lois and I hope I can get them copied to Judy and Terry.

We danced well together!!




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