Sunday Thoughts ~ Love’s Special Day

“The heart, like the mind, has a memory.  And in it are kept the most precious keepsakes.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

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Good Sunday morning dear friends, and thanks so much for visiting.  Today, we celebrate Valentine’s Day, a special day of love.  Pablo Neruda tells us ~ “To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.”  Such true words.  Our love for our families and friends, and their love for us, indeed enrich our lives.

Life can change overnight and celebrating love, often, is always a beautiful and important thing to do.  Even, in small ways.  Therefore, I would like to share a few lovely photos and words that touched my heart and I hope they will yours.

 

“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.” ~ PLATO

Winged cupid with sash and wreath around hips.

Love’s Philosophy

By, Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the river
   And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
   With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
   All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
   Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high heaven
   And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
   If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
   And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
   If thou kiss not me?
” Love finds a way.” ~ unknown
“In dreams and in love, there are no impossibilities.” ~ János Arany

 

 

Dear friends, I wish you and all those you hold dear a most beautiful Valentine’s Day.  

And . . .

May the day bring you special memories to cherish always. Stay well!

“Who, being loved, is poor?” ~ Oscar Wilde

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

Images: via tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ “Wakened Hands”

“Old houses, I thought, do not belong to people ever, not really, people belong to them.” ~ Gladys Taber

Good Sunday morning, sweet friends.  I hope this finds you well and that the first week of February was kind to you. 

You may be wondering about the above photo of our home still dressed in Christmas attire.  The photo is a rather good one for a cold December/January day. We even have a blue sky, which is a rare winter sight in these West Virginia Hills.  At the time the photo was taken, I was not ready to say goodbye to Christmas.  However, this post is not about the weather or what our home is wearing.  It is about something I came upon in my collection of lovely things that offered me additional thoughts and wonder of the things I love and treasure.  And therefore, food for my ‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ “Wakened Hands.”

“Things men have made with wakened hands, and put soft life into are awake through years with transferred touch, and go on glowing for long years.

And for this reason, some old things are lovely warm still with the life of  forgotten men who made them.” ~ D. H. Lawrence

When I read these words, I was brought to tears, as I immediately thought of our dear old home.  Look closely at the photo of our home and notice the roof.  The roof is original to the home, built in 1939, and is made of clay tiles ~ handmade.  Now, there have been repairs over the years before us, which some actually did more harm than good.  You see, you can’t walk on clay tiles or you will crack them.    

A few years after we were settled in our home and after a bad storm, Mike thought he heard dripping sounds in the attic.  So up to the attic he goes and his thoughts were correct. We had a leak.

We have the very good fortune of having an excellent young contractor in our area.  He appeared quickly after a call from Mike.  They discussed the situation and after checking the roof, inside and out, our contractor’s thoughts were not to replace the roof, provided Mike could locate the tiles.  He also knew how to replace the tiles without walking on the roof.

Fortunately, in the attic of the garage, there was a box of unused tiles from when the house was built with a company name stamped on the tiles.  And so, Mike began his internet search.  Much to his surprise, he discovered the company was still in business and owned by the family who began making the tiles in Rome, Italy nearly four hundred years ago.  When the family immigrated to America they first settled in Chicago.  Then in 1902 opened their business in New Lexington, Ohio, where they remain today.  Their location in Ohio was a plus with regard to the cost of shipping as New Lexington is about a three-hour drive from us. 

After much discussion with one of the owners of the company, he asked Mike to send him one of the tiles currently on the roof.  After receiving this tile they created a sample tile and sent it to us for approval of the color.  The match was nearly perfect.  The tiles were handmade to match, in size and color, of our original tiles.  We were set to order. Five hundred tiles were ordered, enough for current and future repairs.  They arrived at our door in West Virginia via a flatbed trailer. “Some say the antique syndrome surfaced to offset the newness of the land, the homes, and the settlers.  Some say the interest was initiated by a desire to return to the roots of yesterday.  I contend the entire movement to acquire antiques was born out of sheer respect of things that lasted longer than fifteen minutes.” ~ Erma Bombeck

I do not remember not being drawn to beautiful things made by hand.  I suppose that is because I have had a needle and thread in my hands since it was safe for me to hold a needle.  I believe the love and appreciation of handwork and craftsmanship go hand-in-hand with the love of old and treasured things.  For instance, the needlework, pictured above, was stitched with love for me by my dear friend, Janet.  She created this lovely piece, which hangs over our front door after we gave our home a name.  Should you be interested in the story of naming our home, visit here.

Of all the many lovely pieces that my sweet friend has created for me, I would have to say these two are my favorites.  Or perhaps it is as Mike says, “My favorite is the one I am enjoying at the moment.” 

I like to think Isabel Conant would be proud her words were beautifully stitched and hang in the foyer of our old home.

“Beauty reminds humans that we have needs beyond function and practicality.” ~ unknown

Another reason I am drawn to old things is the stories.  I look at a lovely old quilt or beautiful china teacups and I can hear their stories.  This beautiful old quilt was stitched by Mike’s grandmother and kept numerous family members warm throughout the years.  She has been gone for many years, however, her quilts have remained “glowing for long years.” 

I rather imagine these teacups and saucers attended many a fireside chat as well as tea parties.  Oh, the stories and secrets they could tell.  The three on the center shelf (with butterflies) are part of a set my mom received as a gift when she was the West Virginia State Garden Club, President.  She loved pretty teacups and said, “Tea always tasted better when served in a pretty cup.”  These are just a few of my collection of too many.

“A precious, mouldering pleasure ‘t is, to meet an antique book, In just the dress his century wore; A privilege I think.” ~ Emily Dickinson

In closing, to me, Emily Dickinson was right when she said, “It is a privilege to meet an antique book.”  Antique books do speak to me and certainly, take me under their spell.  They most always contain marvelous information and are also usually beautifully written, not to mention how pretty what they are wearing may be.  I do adore these lovely gems and if you have never ventured down the old book trail, you might want to take a little stroll.  But a warning, it can be a bit consuming.
Dear friends, I thank you so much for your visit.   And, perhaps you will think of Lawrence’s words the next time you come across something of age which tugs at your heart.  Remember, there is always a reason it speaks to you.  Whether it may be an old home or a book, it is asking for your attention.  And, I believe it is also asking you to pause a moment and remember the “wakened hands” who with such care and pride in their work, created magnificent beauty.  

 

 

Wishing you and yours a lovely and peaceful day.

And . . .

May your week ahead be full of sweet surprises.  Stay well!

 

“We may talk of saving antique linens, species, or languages; but whatever we are intent on saving, when a restoration succeeds, we rescue ourselves.”  ~ Howard Mansfield

 

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

 

 

Images:  Michael S. Lambiotte and tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ A Garden Walk About

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.” ~ Gertrude S. Wister

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Good Sunday morning, sweet friends.  This past week our weather has been quite cold.  Although, on Tuesday we had blue skies and temperatures hovering around fifty degrees.  So out  I went for a ‘walk about the garden.’  Such a good idea it was because the next day we had snow and temperatures in the twenties.

On this lovely blue sky day, I was delighted by the many splendid things happening.  One of which was the charming snowdrops, well on their way through the soil.  Louise Wilder, an American gardening writer, tells us, “Snowdrops are a fragile but hardy celebration . . .in the very teeth of winter.  True words.  I never fail to be in awe of their remarkable strength to come forth in the bitter cold and provide us with delicate and delightful little blooms.  Indeed, a few snowdrops in a tiny vase provide such joy on a gray winter day.   

“Life is the greatest gift that could ever be conceived … A daffodil pushing up through the dark earth to the spring, knowing somehow deep in its roots that spring and light and sunshine will come, has more courage and more knowledge of the value of life than any human being I’ve met.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

Daffodil ~ King Alfred.  The lovely Tulipiere was a gift from a dear friend.

A few years ago, I wrote a lengthy post about daffodils.  There are so many varieties and classifications. I only touched the surface in this post.  Should you be interested in reading,  visit here.

Daffodils are such a cheerful sight in the spring.  Bursting with sunshine, they seem so happy.  As many years as I have watched them poke their sweet green heads through the soil, I am always thrilled beyond words to see them.  On my walk, I was happy to see many of ours are on their way up, with the bold King Alfred arriving first, as always.  King Alfred will soon be keeping company with Billy Graham, Barrett Browning, sweet Tete-a-Tete, and many others.  

Daffodil ~ Billy Graham.

Narcissus 'Barrett Browning'Daffodil ~ Barrett Browning.

Muscari, Blue, Blossom, Bloom, Spring, DaffodilsDaffodil ~ Tete-a-Tete with Muscari.  Tete-a-Tete is a miniature daffodil.

I hope wherever you may be that you are seeing a few tiny snippets of spring.  These little wonders can certainly carry us through the winter, especially if one is not a winter person.  I happen to enjoy winter and all of its dazzling beauty, but I know winter can be difficult for many.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.” ~ Dr. Seuss

 

Dear friends, in closing, the following words are from my first post, written on January 29, 2017.  Now and again, I look back at this post as I always want to remember why I began this adventure.  

“There is so much I want to say and so many things I hope to inspire.  I want this blog to be special for you ~ something you look forward to in our crazy world, a source of inspiration.”  

I hope I have been successful in some small way and that my blog, for the brief few moments you visit, offers you peace and inspiration.  Inspiration to possibly inspire you to create beauty for yourself and those you love.  Or, perhaps you read a few special words to tuck away in your heart and bring forth on a difficult day. Something which speaks to you.

We are all too busy, so know, I sincerely appreciate your visit and the time you take to comment.  It is what moves me forward on this journey.  This past year has proven how terribly important a circle of like-minded friends, even virtual, can be. 

Wishing you and yours a beautiful and peaceful day.

And. . .

May your week ahead be full of kind people, sunny skies, and snippets of spring.

Stay well!

1lifeinspired: “♥ ”

 

“I already hear the flowering spring” ~ unknown

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

Images: Tumblr, White Flower Farm, and M.S. Lambiotte

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~January 24, 2021

“Politeness is the flower of humanity.”  ~ Joseph Joubert

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Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds you well and the past week was good for you.  We have a pretty blue sky today and the winter storms planning to go from coast to coast are predicted to visit the states around us.  While I am not eager to see feet of snow, two or three inches would be nice.

As you know, I like my ‘Sunday Thoughts’ to be something that may encourage one to pause a moment and think.  To ponder the words I have included.  The following thoughts of Danusha Laméris did so for me and I hope they will for you as well.  Perhaps, you will tuck them away and think of them on a rainy day when someone offers you a gesture of kindness.  And then,  you repay them with your best and most beautiful smile. 

 

Written by:  Danusha Laméris

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs to let you by.

Or how strangers still say “bless you” when someone sneezes, a leftover from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.

And sometimes, when you spill lemons from your grocery bag, someone else will help you pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.

We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot, and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile at them and for them to smile back.

For the waitress to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder, and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.

We have so little of each other, now. So far from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.

What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here, have my seat,” “Go ahead~you first,” “I like your hat.”

 

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Dear friends, know I wish you and yours a beautiful day and week ahead.

And. . .

May you find joy in all that you do.  Stay well!

Amour,

Sandra

“How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it.” ~ George Elliston

 

 

 

Images:  Via Tumblr and Pinterest

Sunday Thoughts ~ White Roses

“I smell the white roses sweet-scented and growing.” ~ Walt Whitman

 

Good Sunday morning, beautiful souls.  I hope this finds you well and happy this winter morning.  We have just a light dusting of snow, enough to be pretty.  So, you may be wondering, “Why is she writing about roses?” 

“Love is the only thing in this whole universe, that can make the roses grow out of the swords.” ~ Akshay Vas

My thoughts, of course, are on our Presidential Inauguration.  As you know, this has always been a joyful and celebrated time in our country.  A dignified event and a gleaming star of our democracy.  In dreaming of a perfect day for this grand event, I began to think about a flower that could symbolize such an occasion.  My mind went immediately to the white rose.  Why the white rose?  Because the white rose is an ancient symbol of love and peace.  White roses also symbolize feelings of friendship, peace, respect, and hope.  All are attitudes of love and decency, which we pray to once again enjoy in America. 

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Dear friends, as we approach this most special day, my heart is heavy with concern.  I can not begin to tell you how many times throughout the years I have read the following words, nor how many times I have read them in the past few days.  They are always a comfort to me.  The words remind me to think good thoughts and pray for a wonderful day and safety for everyone.

 

“Whatsoever things are true,

Whatsoever things are honest,

Whatsoever things are just,

Whatsoever things are pure,

Whatsoever things are lovely,

Whatsoever things are of good report,

If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,

Think on these things.”

Philippians 4:8

 

Please know I wish you and yours a beautiful day.  

And. . .

In the days ahead, may we see peace and goodness across our land.   As well as, many white roses.

Stay well! 

 

“.. .I will dwell on all the angels singing, putting love and truth in my heart and in the words I speak.” ~ Alexandra Stoddard

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images:  Pinterest

 

 

 

 

The Gentler Side of Life ~ A Virtual Walk

“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.” ~ Anatole France

image

Good morning, dear friends and welcome to ‘The Gentler Side of Life.”  I enjoy the words, ‘Gentler Side of Life.  They make me feel safe, happy, and also they bring me to the realization of how much I crave a sweeter world.  A sweeter world is my hope for all of us.

As our weather is gloomy, I thought yours may be too.  Therefore, I would like to invite you to join me on a walk through a virtual path of beauty.  Beauty I have found from a gentler time.   I won’t be speaking much, as not to distract from the lovely images or from your own thoughts.  This post is just a wee bit of dreaming for a gray January morning.   So pour yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea and find a comfy chair.

“Beauty is all around us, of course.  Our world, with all its sordid problems, still brims with breathtaking loveliness.  And one of the benefits of the teatime ritual is that of slowing us down enough to notice what is beautiful around us.” ~ Emilie Barnes

A lovely teapot and or teacup is an exquisite thing.  Not only is it about the beauty of the vessel, but also for the gentleness it imposes on our souls.

There is something in the quiet nature of tea that leads us into quiet contemplation.” ~ Lin Yutang

“Ballet is like writing poetry with your body.” ~ Elif Shafak

Ballet is a breathtaking art that I know little about.  Other than to me it is beautiful, captivating, and holds the power to move one to joyful tears.  I have long admired the majestic dancers who are extremely disciplined and devoted to their craft.  Amazing souls who provide the world with spectacular beauty and grace every time they dance onto a stage.  

“Beauty is a nectar which intoxicates the soul.” ~ T.C. Henley

“. . . Luxury lives in the finer details.” ~ Iggy Azalea

I have long loved and collected vintage table linens and pillow slips.  The hours spent in creating such flawless beauty is astounding.   My mind always wonders about the person who created such magnificence and I like to think perhaps they know their lovely creations are now in good hands and appreciated.

“Beauty was not simply something to behold, it was something one could do.” ~ Toni Morrison

“Chandeliers are marvels of drop-dead showiness, the jewelry of architecture.” ~ Peter York

fancitaste: “ (via TumbleOn) ”

A little sparkle can change a room and its personality.  We have a crystal chandelier in our living room and dining room.  When the sun shines and they twinkle and sparkle, I become almost giddy.  They are certainly a mood changer.

“Beauty is a fragile gift.” ~ Ovid

No photo description available.

Vintage items are irresistible to me.  Although, often, their price tag will keep them from my reach.  Even if that may be the case, I do enjoy admiring them and never fail to fall under the charm of their beauty. 

womansart: “ 1920s Wedgwood fairyland lustre series ‘Ghostly Wood’ by Daisy Makeig-Jones, UK pottery designer ”1920s Wedgwood fairyland luster series. ‘Ghostly Wood’ by Daisy Makeig-Jones, UK pottery designer

“Nature isn’t owned.  Its beauty is available to everyone.” ~ unknown

 

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“The Earth is what we all have in common.” ~ Wendell Berry

The garden was full of fireflies, the scent of flowers was intoxicating, the moon was full.  We seemed to have reached almost the limit of beauty.” ~ Diana Cooper

Mottisfont Abbey & Gardens – Hampshire, England

A stroll through this lovely garden would be a glimpse of paradise.

 

“Great beauty is moving because it touches the soul.” ~ unknown

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your walk.  As you can tell, my heart truly resides in ‘The Gentler Side of Life.’ 

Wishing you a lovely and peaceful day.

And . . .

May beauty warm your heart and provide you all the joys and peace of a gentler time.  Stay well!

“Beauty does not become more profound the higher the price.  Beauty can be found in the most humble.”  ~ unknown

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

Images:  via tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ Beauty Soothes

“Beauty is the shadow of God on the universe.” ~ Gabriela Mistral

tulipomania historyPhoto from: Flower House|Garden| Lifestyle Magazine“Soft hearts make the universe worth living in.” ~ Veronica Roth

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  The horrendous events of this past week left me feeling lost, bewildered, and heartbroken.  Perhaps you felt the same?  So, what did I do for comfort?  I turned, as I always do in times of distress, to beauty.  Beauty helps soothe broken hearts and souls.  

Thinking that your hearts could probably use a little soothing as well, I thought I would share some lovely things which helped brighten my past few days.  Please know I am not rushing the season and I don’t think I have gone around the bend.  However, tulips are such happy flowers and they always bring me smiles.  I hope they will do the same for you.

A simple tulip arrangement by floral designer Mimi Brown in a tole cachepot “A simple gathering of tulips in a tole jardinière brightens a room. See designer Mimi Brown’s step-by-step instructions for this easy-to-assemble arrangement in an excerpt from LIVING FLORAL by Margot Shaw” (see note at the end of this post.) Photo and information are from, Flower. 

“Tulips are all about levity and rebirth. Their flowers are like ballerinas ~ they dance”  ~ Sandra Sigman

All of the following photos are from Flower House|Garden| Lifestyle Magazine.  Should you not be familiar with this magazine I highly recommend you purchase a copy.  It is spectacular, not just one issue, but each one.  And, the regular column in each issue written by the Editor-In-Chief, Margot Shaw, is always grand.   Also, her book Living Floral is a treasure. (See information about the magazine and book at the end of this post.)

field of yellow and pink tulips along a wavy brick wall

This lovely photo was taken at the gardens of the Stevens-Coolidge Place. The Stevens–Coolidge Place, formerly known as Ashdale Farm, is a garden and historic home located on 91 acres in North Andover, Massachusetts. It is stewarded by the Trustees of Reservations to preserve the 20th-century North Andover, Massachusetts estate of Helen Stevens Coolidge and her husband John Gardner Coolidge, a descendent of Thomas Jefferson. Notice, the serpentine wall which was added by architect Joseph Everett Chandler when he designed the Steven-Coolidge gardens.  It serves as a nod to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.

virtual 2020 Tulip Festival

This pretty lady is floral designer, Sandra Sigman.  She said, “I felt lightheaded when I rounded the bend at Stevens-Coolidge Place and saw 30,000 tulips in full splendor.”  I certainly guess one would.  What a sight to behold!

blue, white, yellow and peach arrangement by floral designer Sandra Sigman“Muscari and white hyacinths balance the visual weight of yellow and peach double tulips. Green viburnum softens the flow.”  Design by, Sandra Sigman

multicolored tulip arrangement by Sandra Sigman with pink, yellow, and white blooms Design, by Sandra Sigman.

According to Sigman, “Tulip’s beam happiness, and they prompt glorious floral arrangements in a range of hues other flowers can only wish to match”

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit and that you have been soothed by a little beauty.  

Know I wish you and yours a lovely day and a splendid week ahead.

And. . . 

May you find love, beauty, and kind souls wherever you roam.  Stay well!

 

  Tulip, Amazone

 

“To love beauty is to see light.” ~ Victor Hugo

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

Notes:

The magazine Flower House|Garden| Lifestyle, may be ordered here:

Living Floral, by Margot Shaw is available through Amazon

Living Floral: Entertaining and Decorating with Flowers

 

The Stevens-Coolidge Place’s Spring Spectacular will be held April 24–May 16, 2021. Pre-registration is required. For more information, visit thetrustees.org 

There are 150,000 bulbs planted throughout their grounds.  One would have to be inspired at such a sight.  It truly will be a Spring Spectacular.

 

April 17 – 24, 2021, will be Historic Garden Week in Virginia.  This is something quite amazing and I highly recommend attending. For information,  Visit: 

 

Photo of tulip, Amazone is from Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts – The ‘Flame Within’

“Goodness is a bright flame within you. Use it to light up the world.” ~ Frank Sonnenberg

sheepyhollows: “Zetas ”

Good Sunday morning, dear ones.  Welcome to the first ‘Sunday Thoughts’ of 2021.  Today, I want to share a lovely piece written by Howard Thurman ~ The Work of Christmas.  It is my hope his words will settle in your heart, as they have mine.  To me, such words are inspiring and help to move us forward when thinking of the days and work ahead.

The Work of Christmas, by Howard Thurman

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart. 

Dear friends, 2021 will certainly be a year of much work.  But, I don’t believe any of us are shy about sharing what is within our means to make our world a happier and more loving place.  Truly, the smallest kindness shown toward our fellow man can make a vast difference.

 

Know I wish you and yours a beautiful day, full of love and joy.

And. . .

May the week ahead find you enjoying the things which make your heart sing.

 

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“Whatever you do in life . . . remember . . . think higher, feel deeper.  Life is not a fist.  Life is an open hand waiting for some other hand to enter it in friendship.  Ultimately, the answers are so simple.  Not simplistic, but so simple.” ~ Elie Wiesel (see note) 

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images:  via Tumblr

Note:  Elie Wiesel was born September 30, 1928, in Sighet, Romania, and died July 2, 2016, in New York, New York.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1986.   Elie Wiesel was a Romanian-born American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor. He authored 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a Jewish prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome ~ 2021!

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy New Year, beautiful people!  I don’t believe there is a person among us who is not happy to say goodbye to 2020.  However, I feel it is important to carry with us the lessons from the past year.  Mom always said, “Count your blessings, life can change overnight.”  I have always tried to count my blessings, but now more than ever.  The past year has reminded me of how important it is to pay extra attention to the remarkable people in my life, as well as all the many marvelous details of which I have been graciously blessed.  Most importantly, to hold tight to those I love.  Life is so precious and COVID has also reminded me how quickly it can be gone.

While 2020 is now part of history, I do not believe 2021 is going to be all ‘cake and ice cream.’  Mask-wearing and social distancing will remain our good friends and patience will be required for a while longer.  It is going to take time to get back to normal, but we will get there.  

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest.  We must learn to sail in high winds. ~ Aristotle Onassis

“So many books, so little time.” ~ Frank Zappa

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a favorite of mine.  I give myself permission to be lazy, not cook, and to read and read and read. A Santa-helper named Mike brought me a wonderful book for Christmas.  I devoured it in two days.  Only because my eyes became tired did it take two days.  For anyone who is interested in France, the lives of the French after the war, and the Holocaust, this is certainly a must-read book.  It is on my shelf with other books I consider to be ‘The Best.’

The following is part of a review written by, Lin­da F. Burghardt a New York-based jour­nal­ist. (See note at the end of this post.) 

“Filled with a com­plex mix­ture of aching sad­ness and abun­dant joy, A Fifty-Year Silence fol­lows the author’s very per­son­al jour­ney across two con­ti­nents and three gen­er­a­tions. Mouil­lot is the grand­child of Holo­caust sur­vivors, and she describes this fact of her life in sim­ple yet heart­break­ing words: ​I’d grown up in a uni­verse that revolved around an unspo­ken max­im: every­thing can fall apart.”   

“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.” ~ Langston Hughes

I also find these quiet days to be perfect for dreaming.  Thinking of things I would like to do or places to visit once COVID is out of town.  Many of us are eager to be with family and friends.  To once again enjoy those warm hugs and sweet kisses.  Others are keen to travel and complete canceled plans, which were made at a time that seems like ages ago.

French Onion Soup

And, there are those who want to learn new skills, such as cooking, painting, or photography.  To register and participate in classes, make new like-minded acquaintances,  all while learning something which is fun and interesting.  These are a few ordinary things we have all enjoyed so many times and perhaps taken for granted. I know have.

I close my eyes to old ends. And open my heart to new beginnings.” ~ Nick Frederickson

 

Dear friends, know I wish you and yours a spectacular New Year. 

Most of all I wish you health, happiness, love, and peace.

And . . .

May the angels walk beside you every step of your journey, in 2021 and always.

 

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“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

Images:  via Tumblr

Note:  Lin­da F. Burghardt is a New York-based jour­nal­ist and author who has con­tributed com­men­tary, break­ing news, and fea­tures to major news­pa­pers across the U.S., in addi­tion to hav­ing three non-fic­tion books pub­lished. She writes fre­quent­ly on Jew­ish top­ics and is now serv­ing as Schol­ar-in-Res­i­dence at the Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al & Tol­er­ance Cen­ter of Nas­sau County.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What Can I Give Him”

Image may contain: candles

In The Bleak Midwinter, By Christina Rossetti

“In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.”

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NIV)

joyeuxno-el: “A Merry Little Christmas Blog ☕️🎄🎁”

 

Dear friends, may your Christmas be beautiful and overflow with joy and love.

And. . .

May the New Year bring you peace, good health, and happiness.

 

“Star of Wonder, Star of Light, Star with Royal Beauty Bright. . .

Guide Us to Thy Perfect Light.”

 

Joyeux Noël,

Sandra

 

 

 

 

 

Images: via Tumblr and Pinterest