Posts Tagged ‘friendship’


Last week, I sat awhile on the memorial bench in Lucretia’s front yard, enjoying the balmy early March seventy degree weather.

Lucretia’s front and back yards are actually gardens surrounding her home and giving enjoyment to all who pass by or pause to reflect.

I sat reflecting on our precious friendship that spawns from the 1960s, while we lived just down the street from Jude and Lucretia Thomas and we were “growing up” our family of young ones.


There was quite a bit to reflect on. It is still so easy to see these adults now, who are raising families of their own, as the little children they were, it seems not so long ago now. We all played together, laughed together, and were so very busy with family stuff.


There were the purple crocus, reaching up out of the still cold earth. The crocus to me looks so gentle, a flower of blessing and lifting of spirits. But it is also a flower of courage, for it arrives usually before winter flurries have had their last say for the year.



And so it was, one short week later a snow storm of six inches covered the Lexington Bluegrass and trees.  It never deters the crocus from arriving however.



Over time, a blessed time, the family branches grow in varied directions and increase in number and we give thanks for all the blessings on our tree. We have planted our tree in rich soil and we honor and acknowledge the deep roots of all who have come before us.



The family tree reaches ever upwards, reaching for newness, becoming one with joy and with sorrow. Our lives are shaped by all that this tree contains.



Our tree does not stand alone. It is overseen by the God in whom we trust.





A heart that holds such sorrow, only the saints can understand. Judy, and her family, ever-present in our hearts and lives.



Linking the fun and promise with the grandchild generation….bright, bright, bright.



Lucretia goes to Mother Mary, and remains Mother and Nana to family.



Another summer visitor in Lucretia’s garden.

In the Nana is contained all the ages of the woman.  Walk with her in her garden.


In the Garden
Jim Reeves

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses

And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

(He speaks and the sound of His voice)
(Is so sweet the birds hush their singing)
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing

And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

Songwriters: C. Austin Miles
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Songtrust Ave
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

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Lark in prayer

“My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds
that rise from the lake to the trees…..to sing
through the night like a lark who is learning to pray.”

The Sound of Music, Rogers and Hammerstein

My suitcase is almost packed. In the words of John Denver, “I’m leaving on a jet plane.”  But unlike the lyrics in his song,  I DO know when I’ll be back again.  I leave July 3 and I’ll be back again on July 15.

Where am I going?


I’m going to dance in the Austrian mountain meadow field where Julie Andrews musically enjoyed all the earthly glories of God in Sound of Music.

This will happen on Day 5 of a twelve day tour through the Alps where we will touch “up and down” 4 countries and a principality:
Germany, Austria Italy, Switzerland, and Leichenstein. I’ve even learned how to spell the name of that tiny principality.

But there is nothing tiny about this trip.

First, it is a trip that is given to me by my friend, Martha. Our friendship has spanned forty five years, since our early married days. We were neighbors who played together with our children and other neighbors in our Lexington Kentucky days.

It was the middle sixties; Martha had two sons, we had two daughters, and they played together in our safe triangular shape of four yards that all ran together.

Along with our children, Martha and I grew, wondered and processed all the changes of consciousness and human growth that were “in the air” at that time, so along with traditional stay-at-home motherhood values, we enjoyed the emerging new persons we were both becoming. It is a friendship that led to deep bonding.

Then by the mid ’70s some rather big changes began to develop in both our family lives.  Unrest, namely, by both our spouses, in the way they were earning their livelyhood, formed through their college training.

My Tom wanted out of mid-management in his field; her Joe wanted out of pharmacy. He went back to college and earned a PhD in another field; Tom took a “leave of absence” from a Blue Chip Corporate company, never intending to return. We sold our home and  moved to Chicago to determine how to create what was next in our life.

Lark learning to pray

I was not singing at that time in 1976.  Martha came over the night before we would be leaving with UHaul, Pop-up camper, and car with our two young daughters and our black cat, Fritzi.

Martha said, “I’m not even going to watch you pull out of your driveway, this is good-bye.” The pain of separation was huge.

Well, life went on. Martha and Joe moved onto St. Louis, Martha went back to school and got her Masters in Social Work, and eventually moved down to Florida where she would be near her parents, working many more years in her field setting up discharge and supportive services for the elderly in hospitals.

We have “picked up the phone” to check in on one another at amazingly synchronistic times…like our friendship has a vibration that communicates across time and geography which is the only thing that separates us now. We have visited briefly across the years, but it is mainly the bond we each feel that has kept us connected and vital to each other. We’ve shared joys and sorrows and moved on, each in our own way.

This year, in February, I was enjoying some Saturday night leisure time with Tom in my lounge chair in front of the TV. I was probably reading my Kindle rather than paying much attention to the TV.

The telephone rang. It was Martha. She told me she was just going to “throw something out there” and I should think about it and tell her if I wanted to do it.  She then told me she was inviting me to accompany her to the Swiss Alps, all expenses paid. Would I come, she asked.

I didn’t have to think too long. And the second part of this gift is that she sounded so excited and even surprised that I said a quick  “yes, when do we go?” response.

Lark praying

So we are ON….two girlfriends, twelve days… five countries,  three days in the birthplace and music of Mozart, mountain tops, meadows, and villages, first class travel and hotels…..

oh, you should hear me singing now!


Austrian Mountains

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Sue - Black Formal & Drape

“It’s a sin to look so good at 70!” That is what my neighbor friend Lois called me next door to see.

“Sue,” she said on the phone. “Come over here and see what my sister got me for my birthday.”  Out the door I went and she met me half-way across the front yard, sporting and showing-off her new t-shirt her sister gave her for her birthday.

It is true. She really did look good for 70. She still does, today, about five years or so later. She called me to wish me a happy birthday, for I have reached the same number in age this year.

I asked her how her t-shirt was. She said it was a little faded. I told her that what was important was that it was the t-shirt fading, not her.

Not her, indeed. We were neighbors in North Carolina for just a couple of short years, but we became close-knit friends. We didn’t spend that much time together, really, because we were busy with our businesses and gone from home long hours each day.  But she and Jim moved into the home next to ours shortly after we had arrived, and together with Terry, the builder of both homes and his wife Judy who lived across the street from both of us, we were just good old “drop-in” neighbors, who shared some special times together.

Now the three homes are owned by others. I wonder if they built the same type of community we easily formed over a very short period of time. Somehow, I suspect not, but I could be wrong.

Lois, far from fading, had to be on the move…..always. She and I sometimes walked the neighborhood road together. Then, when I was away managing a fitness business, she would be on hiking trails, on kayaking ventures, and I don’t even know what else. If Jim was outside, you would find him mowing grass on his John Deere tractor or sitting on his front porch thinking about things. But Jim was most comfortable inside around the poker table. Lois needed the fresh air….and action!

Or a good joke; and she and Jim had plenty of those.

Today, Terry and Judy live in Wales, his homeland, we returned four years ago to our Michigan family area, and after Jim’s death, Lois returned to her beloved upstate New York home where she owns a cabin at the top of a long, wind-ey and steep hill in the Finger Lakes area on, none other than…..”Lois Lane”, of course.

A regular hiker in the summertime, she adds the snow shoes for her winter treks. Today, she told me she went to the sports store just to look at cross country skiis. She came home with the whole package and was probably going to be too busy skiing later to call and wish me a happy birthday.

She is in love with her Irish Notre Dame team who have gone unbeaten this year and is anticipating the big national championship game soon to light up the TV screens across the land.

Our first meeting came, when she and Jim pulled into their driveway, after having newly unpacked. I was on our deck and waved to the new couple appearing to be in “our age range” and welcoming them to the neighborhood.

“We are really friendly,” I warned her. “But you probably won’t see us much because we’re gone a lot on business.”

“Hey, hey, wait a minute,” she called, not missing a beat or sending me a hi either. She took a few quick steps in my direction and said, “I want to ask you: Do you play bridge?”

That was our introduction to each other.

Well, I don’t, but I thought that was the funniest thing. She, an ardent die-hard fan of the game, was drumming up her newest table of her favorite game. That’s about the only inside sport I think Lois likes. I told her she would have wished my aunt Kate was her neighbor, for they surely would have had the greatest tourneys going between them.

So I could tell by today’s phone conversation. She’s not fading. She’s still lookin’ good but somehow I think she has overcome the sin of it all and resides in the state of grace with her humor and her constant on-the-go activity.  She’s just that good.

I’m happy about being 70. I feel good. And  I drummed up a couple of pictures of lookin’ good so I can do right by this new gift of life given me. Blessings and God’s Presence abides.

Amy - photo G & G

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May Your Heart be Happy in Your New Home

Tom and I received this card in the mail today from two good friends.  It is all about joy.

Not necessarily about the joy we are finding in our new home. But we are happy to be in it. It is more about the joy I felt in receiving the card. It surrounded me immediately and I did not wait until I got into the house to open the card up. I am glad I didn’t.

This card is about the joy found in a friendship that has formed and sustained itself over the test of time and built upon the good that abounds in four human beings. It is a friendship for which Tom and I are both grateful and count ourselves blessed.

This card is the creation of Kathy Davis on an American Greetings card. Her name signature on the back of the card carries the line….”scatter joy” led by a small butterfly. And see how that worked! The butterfly popped out of the envelope as soon as it was in my hand and joy was mine!

This is Kathy’s bio: “As a mother, wife and career woman, my work reflects my lifestyle and the things that inspire me. A love of nature and desire to give back to the world are driving forces in my creative process. My vision to Scatter Joy (registered) is personified through my brand promise:

                              ‘Joy through Art, Joy through Living, Joy through Giving… ‘

I hope that my artwork brings you joy that you’ll want to share with others.”


And, Kathy, your artwork does make me want to share with others. The rest of my day built upon the joy you shared with me and was given to me by my friends.

And now for an additional treat in Joy, please continue to Karen McMillan’s work below. Both Kathy and Karen rank high in the Muses of Joy with me.

 The video is over too soon. Karen, next time make one that lasts at least one minute!

Oh, wow, I see that your video is a minute. Well I need a two minute one next time then.

Thank you.

Loving the Video Karen made during her playtime, I am sharing it with you. I had an amazing day. Hope you did too. And I hope all my connections to Karen’s work actually work on this blog.  

“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.”


Amelia Earhart
When you let go of fear, peace follows. 
Are you following peace?

 In Joy,

Dedicated to your peace and prosperity,
Karen McMillan, ACC, CUG


February 21st, 2011

Lazy Amazing Day – inspire you video #1

I am playing with my 2011 theme of “connection and play.”

Today, I am connecting with my inner artist via my photography.  Learning to play with software on my computer, i.e., Windows Live Moviemaker.  All with the intention of inspiring you.  Creating a 60 second time out for you and your busy brain.

Let me know what you feel.  And, share how you are honoring your inner artist.



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