Finding Family

I’ve always said that we have two families in life: the one we’re born into and the one we make along life’s journey. And while some are blessed with emotional abundance in their core family so often it’s the second one–those we choose or who choose us–that understands us, lifts us up when we need it, makes us feel whole and loves without judgement. The more people I meet the more I see our commonality, the thread of kinship that connects us all, across barriers of race, color, creed, and geographic location. In today’s world, distance has no meaning; through technology, the world sits at our doorstep, as close as our computer, phone, television. Nothing happens that we aren’t instantly made aware of….and that’s both a blessing and a curse.

As the holiday season approaches I am mindful of the healing our world is so much in need of. We must become better stewards of our planet and its resources, just as we must remember that we are all brothers and sisters, one family. The greatest gift we can give is that of tolerance, patience, kindness, acceptance. Love, unconditionally. And begin with those who need it most, even though they are most often the ones to refuse what is offered.

Be a light in the darkness, a strong beacon of hope, not just today but every day, and may the true spirit of the season linger in your heart long after the last package is unwrapped.

Christmas  Card 015, Adj Thresh, -42 T83

Blessing and love to all! xo


As color fades from the landscape I look for it in my archives. Here, the soft lavender-blue of iris petals catches my eye, transporting me back to Summer’s sights and scents. Warm sunlight; bees drowsing in the blooms, wallowing in pollen. Bird song. I close my eyes and I’m there, surrounded by a rainbow of beauty…..and I am happy.

Blue Petals, Memories Poster, Vig70, Watermark      More clematis, Irises, et al 5-28-2014 029

For the Love of Zinnias

One of my favorite flowers, endlessly fascinating. The basic structure of each is the same, yet what infinite variety is found in the colors, the arrangement of the petals from one bloom to the next. How boring if they were all identical, and how quickly I would lose interest! There is a parallel here, between variety within a single type of flower and the diversity found in the human race. Each individual, yet distinct. And all beautiful. Take some time today to notice the diversity in your life.

8 Images, Zinnias, K12               Ribbet collage

Family Matters…..

When my children were growing up, I never imagined that as adults they would live anywhere but here, in Iowa, where they were born and raised. And for a while, they did. Now only my daughter, Noelle, remains in Cedar Rapids, and I wouldn’t bet on that being permanent. Things have a way of changing….and not always in ways we can foresee. It has been career choices that have taken my two sons, Michael and Bryan, farther afield then I ever dreamed. Michael, a working artist, calls the Big Apple home, while his younger brother, Bryan, just relocated his family to New Jersey and is working in Philadelphia, as a tattoo artist. It’s hard not to see them often, and harder still since Bryan’s move also included my beloved granddaughter Ireland, who will be turning four in a few days.

Age has a way of giving us clarity and perspective, if we let it….and, in the end, what it all boils down to is family: parents, if you’re still lucky enough to have them living (I’ve been an orphan for a number of years now), sibilings (not always congenial), and one’s own children. Their spouses and partners, as they grow up, and, if you’re lucky, grandchildren. I will be seeing Ireland this coming Saturday, as she and her mother are in town for a few days. What an unexpected treat! Since it is so close to Ireland’s birthday, we will be celebrating it with a family gathering on Saturday evening. Good food, family, love and laughter–these are the finer things in life.

9 Images, Family Matters     Ribbet collage