I slid on my first long sleeve shirt of the season for my morning walk. Made a pour over cup of coffee and let it sit to enjoy upon my return. Grabbed the letter laying by the front door and once my feet hit the payment, into the mailbox it went.
Brian made a comment about Hallmark cards, but I rarely use them. Writing a letter or jotting a note is an opportunity to search out artists who make them and support their craft. One artist I’ve been hooked on for a while now is David Arms. Some of his cards lean toward Christianity, but not all of them. David’s intention is to convey hope and discovered his artistic gift late in life.
This gives me hope because I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do. Since my daughter left the nest I ponder meaningful ways in which to spend this one, precious life. I’m sharing this 2 minute video in hopes you find it inspiring, because as long as there’s breath in our bodies, we still have a purpose. It surprises David to this day that he’s an artist and he describes it by saying, he didn’t know to hope for it.
To see the feature photo in all it’s glory, hover your mouse, or finger over it. It’s from David’s website here. To view notecards by David Arms, click here.
There’s no set schedule who to write to and when. Much like blogging, if something is on my heart to share, the letter is written. I received a call Friday night from a dear friend thanking me for the card. I didn’t know why she’d been so heavy on my heart and mind the last couple of weeks, but I dropped her a note in the mail. Little did I know she’s been recovering from Covid.
I don’t believe I’ve ever thrown a letter away. My sister and I would write to one another and I would keep her letters in a drawer of the console. As the enchantment with letter writing increased they required a space of their own. I remembered having this box that wasn’t being used for anything and saw it fitting for letters. As you can see, we’re going to need a bigger box.
In talking with Brian this week, I discovered he too loves to write letters. The name of his blog Is Writing From the Heart, which as heart writers, that’s what we do. Brian was doubting his penmanship which you can see here, but how you write isn’t the reason behind the letter. It’s in the message of what you wish to convey. It doesn’t matter how well crafted your handwriting is. You have to trust the words you send will be legible. A letter is to be written slowly, with ease and it’s not something to rush through.
Writing a letter is an opportunity to relax the mind and share from the heart. When I purchase a bigger box, it won’t need the word ‘love’ painted on it because from what I can see that’s what it will hold. Every envelope represents a sweet soul who took the time to send some love.
I’m not sure what the next chapter of my life holds, but I’m excited to watch it unfold. There’s not a great deal of certainty in this world, but that’s part of the intrigue.
Recently, I noticed taking my laptop over to the kitchen table to write so I’d have a view through the window. Mind you, my desk is sitting 10 feet away, but it’s facing the den which is pretty, but a dead-end view. It’s soothing to hear the thump of the laptop onto the table, knowing writing would come next. I’m a big believer in the quote by Burton Rascoe, “A writer is working when she’s staring out the window.” I’ve written quite a bit about our view while writing and it’s imperative to me for the words to flow.
Once done writing, I’d take the laptop back over to my desk, and plug it in to begin working. It almost became a sort of ritual, like writing time is over, and now back to the real world. To put a stop to this back and forth was to simply turn my desk around, so it’s facing that window, and that’s what I did. I’ve been pondering the simplicity of it and know that what I did with my desk can be used in many areas of life. If we want a better option, there’s possibility in there waiting for a helping hand to turn it around.
I changed my WordPress theme again. My daughter was surprised to see a dark background, but it’s intriguing. What really snagged my interest is what it does to the photos. At first glance they look aged, similar to the old black and white, but hover your mouse, or finger over one and it refills with color.
It was cool in the house this morning, and I was thrilled to slide on my writing robe. Oh, I have lots of robes, but this one has been worn for years and well loved. It’s heavier than the other ones, but doesn’t weigh you down. The cooler temperatures in Texas are disappearing, so this was a treat.
I get most of my writing done in the morning while wearing this robe. Neighbors see me step outside to feed the birds, or walk to the mailbox to retrieve yesterday’s mail in pajama pants, house shoes, a t-shirt and the robe. A stranger may think I’m a meth head, but in my minds eye, I look like a Writer. Before they painted the house next-door, the builder came over and asked that I move my truck. It was a considerate ask, but I remember being disappointed that I had to put on real clothes and give up the robe.
You see, once it’s removed, I don’t put it back on that day.
It’s the same look every morning in the cooler months, but I recently realized I don’t have a writing robe for summer. I have a spa-like robe to use when stepping out of the shower, but it’s not a writing robe.
I began thinking of what feels good to wear in the warmer months, and I have this one jacket I could wear all day. It was designed by Honest Cotton for a friend of mine named Jordan, so it’s rightfully called, The Jordan Jacket. I bought mine last year while visiting with her, and it’s navy in color.
The Honest Cotton website shows they make a robe. I see two designed similarly, but different weights, so one’s for Fall, and the other for Spring. I wonder what it feels like to slip it on and if Jordan has one in her shop?
In previous years, my path has been altered for me by an increase in rent. If I couldn’t afford the increase that was a sign, it was time to move on. God has blessed me with two jobs I’ve grown to love, so I’m grateful that’s not the case today. With new construction popping up all over our neighborhood, I came to a crossroad and it looks something like this.
Do I want to stay? If so, for how long?
You see, you have to take note of the warning signs, and there have been quite a few! I was talking with my friend on Marco Polo and she began recounting the signs we’ve seen since last year. When I told her my rent increased she said, “Just in case you need one more sign Barb, here it is!”
Last year one of my favorite neighbors moved back home to Kentucky. I’ve written about her in She’s That Neighbor, but we keep in touch and remain close to this day. Right after she moved, a builder removed the woods next to our houses, which was mentioned in A Moment’s Notice.
I paid attention, but to really drive it home, the washing machine flooded onto the floor, and right after we got that fixed, the dryer broke. (These appliances are less than 4 years old) The most recent thing that happened was a puff of smoke emitted from behind the stove while it was preheating.
I was listening in the stillness when these words rose up. “Start where you are and with what you have.” Looking at the items we’ve accumulated over the years, I began asking myself, “Do I love it and is it useful?” I can begin by blessing others, and keep my eyes open for more of the warning signs.
One of the most difficult parts of dating over fifty is finding a dreamer. Most men are semi-retired, already retired, or looking forward to retirement. They want to travel in an RV, or on a motorcycle, but here’s an update. You don’t have to wait to travel. It’s available at any time.
I have big dreams for my life, but sometimes I wonder if they’re big enough. As humans, we tend to dream attainable dreams. Things we know with some hard work and planning, they’ll come to fruition. My dreams are merely stepping stones to a greater plan, and that plan is a mystery.
We’ll use writing as an example. I don’t want to be famous, but I do want to write, and God can use my willingness to write in a big way. That’s the scary part. What is His plan?
Maybe you think you’re too old for dreams, or they were a part of your youth, but I’m not buying it. As long as there’s breath in our bodies, we still have a purpose. Don’t give up on your dreams, because if you woke up to a new day, your dreams are still in you. Be a dreamer.
A couple of years ago I posted about a gratitude jar. The jar I’d begun using became needed elsewhere, so I took all those little slips of paper, and placed them in an empty Voluspa jar. Last December, I sat down in the middle of my bed with the jar, and read each one.
I remembered cutting paper into strips, writing something I was grateful for, and placing it in the jar. The jar wasn’t very full, because walking by it isn’t enough. I have to pause long enough to write something down. It’s funny, but I was the most grateful for sunlight. The unfolding of each piece of paper and reading what it said, felt like a ritual. I refolded each one and placed them in a baggie for the jar to be used as a vase.
One of my most loved books by Julia Cameron is The Sound of Paper. I don’t know which I love more, the book itself, or it’s title, because I’m enamored by the sound and feel of paper. I want to experience that year-end ritual again, so I started a new jar, in hopes that by this December it will be packed full. The key is to sit it where it doesn’t fall into the background of the everyday, so it’s by my bedroom window waiting, every time I enter.
Here’s some examples of how often I see this jar.
First thing in the morning, while opening the drapes.
When I pet the cat who’s lounging in the morning sun.
To plug in my phone for charging.
While getting dressed, or anytime I retrieve something from the closet.
Anytime I’m in my room gazing out the window, the jar is there.
Running the vacuum through the room.
Closing the drapes at nightfall.
Some days I’m overwhelmed by goodness, while other days, I need a magnifying glass to see it. No matter if it’s a lot, or just one thing, there’s always something to write on a sliver of paper and place it in the jar.