LET’S GO!

Hey! Wait for me, 2023!

While I was still singing Auld Lang Syne, January 2023 started its journey toward December!

Hey, wait up, I call out to the New Year! I didn’t figure out my goals, plans, and dreams, yet, for the next 12 months. 

2023 isn’t listening.
2023 is almost stepping into February.
How did that happen? 

This 2023 is a tricky fellow, I mumble.
I snatch up my creative self, 

As my thoughts swivel to 2022’s unfinished “to do” list.

I reflect, 2022 had some rocky stretches. 

Last year’s paths weren’t always flourishing! 

I ran into some dead ends! 

And my creative babies weren’t always beautiful. 

2023 ignored my whining, deliberately advancing.

Finally, I shouted in frustration, “2023, you just keep going!”

Did I note a flicker of hesitation in the new year’s step? Was that a wink I detected in the twinkle of new year’s eye?

Aha! I get it!
I remember, now!
How many times must I relearn this lesson? It’s impossible to go forward if I’m always looking back! 

2023 offers me a daily invitation:
JUST START! 


So, with toes to the line and setting eyes forward, 

Go!

Meet a DEAD END?

Don’t stop.
Don’t bother to despair.

Look for the DETOUR,


and keep moving forward.

Thanks, 2023, you’ve got the right idea.
Keep… moving… forward…

What exciting possibilities await, if I dare to accept 2023’s challenge?

So, Let’s Go!

Wishing you a delightfully adventurous journey through 2023!
JUST START!

Jingle All the Way!

I usually hear these bells only in December, but at their first jingle I am transported to
my childhood.


I “jingle all the way” back to the days of my Christmas caroling on horseback.

The annual Christmas party at Knack’s stable was always held on the Saturday before Christmas. It was a small gathering of “horse crazy” girls consisting of: two high school barn workers, two lucky teenagers that owned their own horses, and a couple of preteen, self-appointed apprentices.
(My friend Lucy and I fit the last category.)

Lucy and I were so “horse crazy” that frigid temperatures were nothing compared to the one-on-one time we had with a barn full of horses. We learned everything about horse care by spending every Saturday, dawn to dusk, working in the barn.


The winter months were the best!
We even got to exercise the horses!
For free!

On the Saturday of the Christmas party we arrived at daybreak and rushed through the morning chores: hay, grain, water, and clean the stalls.


We took a quick break at noon to warm our frozen toes and gulp down a sandwich before racing back to the barn to prepare our mounts for caroling.
(We apprentices were thrilled to be allowed to ride one of the stable mounts. For free!)


Rushing to our assigned horse, we threw the heavy horse blanket over the stall boards, brushed, and tacked our horse with lightning speed.
Then the decorating began.

Garland, bows, ribbons, and yes, lots of jingle bells were woven, draped, and braided into manes, tails, and bridles. Peals of laughter erupted from the stalls all over the barn as each rider shouted out their brilliant fashion ideas, trying to outdo one another.

Decorations completed, we bumped about in front of the barn until everyone was mounted. Our usually sedate horses demonstrated the high spirits of the occasion. They twisted and turned, tossed their heads, stomped their hooves, and clouded the air with streams of vapor from their nostrils. With each movement the jingling of bells grew louder until the tumult of sound and joy could wait no longer.

Off pranced the jubilant parade with hooves tapping out an energetic beat on the main street as the DIY pageant streamed forward.
“JINGLE BELLS! JINGLE BELLS! JINGLE ALL THE WAY!”
We sang over our horses’ ears.
Bells jingled.

Voices strained.
“HO! HO! HO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!”
Shouted, Becky, our Santa, complete in suit and beard. She brought up the rear on the docile gray mare whose flowing white mane and tail matched the bushy white beard Becky kept adjusting on her face.

Up and down the unpaved side streets we brought our Christmas caroling parade.
The jingle of our bells brought families out to share our joy and Christmas cheer, even when our voices grew faint.
“MERRY CHRISTMAS!”
and
JINGLE ALL THE WAY!

The Wonderful Challenges of November

The eye records the trees waving and relinquishing the last of their brilliant fall foliage.

Squirrels scamper across lawns, vigorously tamping nuts into the earth.

Geese gather under apple trees gobbling up the sweet goodness of unclaimed fruit.

Flocks of red chested robins flit through treetops as they pass through the neighborhood chirping a final farewell on their flight to southern warmth. 

Dropping temperatures hint at advancing winter whiteness. 

From experience we remember. 
A season is closing, another arising.

The eye sees, but the heart must choose. 

I’m accepting two November challenges.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins November 1.

Along with writers all over the world, I accept the personal challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. 
Ridiculous? Yes!
Difficult? Yes!
But a challenge that holds many benefits with its struggles.

November is also National Gratitude Month.  

Thanksgiving Day is November’s most famous day for giving thanks. 
This year, I’m challenging myself to practice thankfulness every day in November.
An interruption before getting busy with “important” things?
Definitely.
A bother to recite the obvious?
Possibly.But choosing to see blessings, whatever size, will bring to profit my heart.

I hope you join with me in the “Thankful Challenge” for November.

It Happened To Me

There I was, sitting pretty at the top of July’s summertime sunshine.  
On top of the world, soaking in the blue skies, relaxing under the warm sunshine. 
Blissfully lost in those lazy summer days.  

With a jolt, down a wild slide I slid. 

Barely recognizing that days, months, seasons were flying by.
With a thump and a bump, I landed back in the present. 

The leaves are no longer green upon the trees? 

Somehow summer has flown right out from under me.

With a smile and sigh I surrender. 
Good-bye, sweet summer. 
Hello, adventurous fall!

It happened to me.
Did it happen to you?

National Day of Joy

When I heard June had a National Day of Joy, my thoughts sprang immediately to summertime fun of childhood.

Endless hours playing outside with friends. 

Favorite sweet treats. 

Tranquil times, lost in nature and a good book.

Music of my own making.

Fancy feet flying to the rhythm of my heart.

Roasting marshmallows at night by the glimmer of fireflies over dimming campfire embers.

But the Comfort Keepers had something more in mind when they created this day in 2019. These dedicated caregivers for seniors encouraged all to experience the simple joys that are present, even in hard times, if we take the time to look. Like a ready smile,

that turns easily into contagious laughter.

The Comfort Keepers urge us to see and love the family that surrounds us every day.

On this National Day of Joy, let’s remember that a simple kindness may mean more than we will ever know.