there must be something in the water…

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.”

― Norman Maclean,

(a thriving viola / Julie Cook / 2016)

Somedays we write our posts laced with happiness and smiles,
As other days we find our posts derived from the midsts of infectious laughter.

Some posts are written when deep in thought…
While others are written briefly, gliding across the screen…
with the lightness of a feather,
caught innocently on a Spring morning’s breeze.

There are reflective posts written as mirrors of the times…
While others are written in anticipation of our promised tomorrows.
As still there are those posts written forlornly…
remembering all that has ever been…

Some days posts are written through eyes filled with tears,
with tear streaked cheeks and the ache of breaking hearts.

They are written through the frustration of helplessness…
and at times, through the desperation of hopelessness….

Some days they are written selfishly for ourselves…
While other days they are written without our conscious knowledge,
only intended for those “others” out there in need…

Today is no different…

A post is composed.

Today it comes from the heaviness of a battered heart.
The tears have somewhat dried,
yet the wet streaked tracks remain etched on cheeks hiding a set jaw of clenched teeth.

A call, a text, is often all it takes to change the day.
As ongoing battles loom out of reach and out of control.

The story is the same, merely growing longer.
Harder to smooth out.

Lives long gone are keenly missed as their empty presence cuts through both space and time…
Their losses suddenly feeling as fresh today as they did so very long ago..
like a searing knife falling through cold butter.
Effortlessly the hurt floods back.

Having been left alone to deal with it all seems, today, almost monumental.
Resentment for all that was comes crashing to the forefront.

Choices made, always the choices made, effect more than ourselves,
Yet at the time, who thinks of others or future others affected?
Our choices are selfishly seen as our own…

Born a fixer,
I fix things.
It’s what I do.
Yet as life will always have its way,
we each quickly discover that fixing is not always possible…

So we, the fixer and the observers, are relegated to helplessly and hopelessly watching…

Expendable is what we quickly become when the lost look to holding on to what they have.
Desperation and panic trumps rationality and ties that bind.

It’s like the song that gets stuck in one’s head.
Over and over it plays, seemingly without any end.
Never seeming able to string all of the verses together…
in order for it to end.

And just when you think you are broken, be it for the day or for life,
dropped to your knees with the tears freely flowing,
A word, maybe two, maybe several…suddenly surface from somewhere deep within your head…

“couldn’t fight back the tears so I fell on my knees…
Saying, “God if you’re there, come and rescue me….”

“Something In The Water”
By Carrie Underwood

He said, “I’ve been where you’ve been before.
Down every hallway’s a slamming door.
No way out, no one to come and save me.
Wasting a life that the Good Lord gave me.

Then somebody said what I’m saying to you,
Opened my eyes and told me the truth.”
They said, “Just a little faith, it’ll all get better.”
So I followed that preacher man down to the river and now I’m changed
And now I’m stronger

There must’ve been something in the water
Oh, there must’ve been something in the water

Well, I heard what he said and I went on my way
Didn’t think about it for a couple of days
Then it hit me like a lightning late one night
I was all out of hope and all out of fight

Couldn’t fight back the tears so I fell on my knees
Saying, “God, if you’re there come and rescue me.”
Felt love pouring down from above
Got washed in the water, washed in the blood and now I’m changed
And now I’m stronger

There must be something in the water
Oh, there must be something in the water

And now I’m singing along to amazing grace
Can’t nobody wipe this smile off my face
Got joy in my heart, angels on my side
Thank God almighty, I saw the light
Gonna look ahead, no turning back
Live every day, give it all that I have
Trust in someone bigger than me
Ever since the day that I believed I am changed
And now I’m stronger

There must be something in the water (amazing grace)
Oh, there must be something in the water (how sweet the sound)
Oh, there must be something in the water (that saved a wretch)
Oh, there must be something in the water (like me)
Oh, yeah

I am changed (I once was lost)
Stronger (but now I’m found)
(was blind but now I see)

(Carrie Underwood, The Grand Ole Opry / Julie Cook / 2015)

Will it or won’t it ?? Oh, and a happy anniversary to us. . .

A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.
Mahatma Gandhi

(the ominous forming of icicles / Julie Cook / 2015)

Perhaps it derives from a sense of solidarity with our northern kinsmen—
Those hearty New Englanders who are currently burdened, as well as heavy ladened, by the 9 foot and growing mountain of snow which has beset misery and woe upon our northern brethren in oh so many weeks.

Perhaps it is because of the still painful memory of the debacle of Atlanta’s SnowJam 2014 with
visions of the interstates as frozen parking lots and children camping out in their frozen-in-place school buses. . .

Perhaps it is because we are simply tired of the abundance of cold dreary rain and are, by sheer force, willing this miserable liquid to be something different. . .

Today marks the 3rd day in recent weeks that our school systems, at the behest of the Governor, have canceled school due to snow. . .might I add that there has been no snow.

This being a cancellation of anticipation.
Hummmmm. . .
Have you ever had a snow day without any snow?

Our weather woes and worries have become a much ado about nothing sort of affair. . .as in we have been warned for days and days in advance that calamity is soon to be riding in on the snow packed Northerly winds as the southern streaming Gulf moisture rides up to meet it. . .a scenario for the perfect Winter Snowstorm meeting in the middle—it’s just that nothing really seems to ever meet in order to materialize. . . other than up in the north Georgia Mountains where such happenings are expected.

As mere mortals, we are constantly trying our utmost best to corral the fickled wiles of Mother Nature. We study radar and charts, we compare highs and lows, we listen, we watch, we probe, we dig, we explore, we enlist the myriad of satellites circling the earth like lonely buzzards over head in search of calamity and catastrophe. We pat ourselves on the back when, by chance, we actually hit the forecasting nail on the head and then are quick to point fingers, while casting blame, when we’re caught by surprise.

So on this day of standing on the periphery of will it or won’t it, while I mindlessly join the masses who are making the dutiful pilgrimage to the grocery stores in search of the vastly fleeting and survival necessary bread and milk, as once again we stay glued to the windows in search of the elusive snowflake, I want to take a moment to wish both you and I a warm and loving Happy Anniversary. . .

Anniversary you ask?
Yes, yours and mine, as in ours. . .
Two years ago on the 25th of February 2013 you and I began this little blog journey–together.
Well actually I started the journey relatively alone and by myself–as in I ventured out into the unknown blogoshpere not even knowing what a blogoshpere was. . .

But two blessed years and 859 posts later here we are. . .you and I. . .together!
What a Blessing. . . and I wouldn’t have it any other way!!

You bring me joy daily as you allow me to wax and wane, grouse and sing, vent and create. . .we support one another and we share. . .
We share the ups and downs of life–of which none of us are exempt. . .
And so it is on this 2nd anniversary of this journey we call Life, as visited via the blogoshpere, I thank you for walking by my side—it always makes a journey so much more meaningful, bearable, fun as well as magical walking side by side don’t you think. . .so thank you for taking this journey with me, by my side. . .

The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26




Nice things and remembrances

Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the blossoms,
Kind deeds are the fruits.

~19th century rhyme used in primary schools


First of all I want remind those of you who know Natalie, over on Sacred Touches (—Natalie is set to get a new knee Thursday. It has been a long and painful journey for Natalie as she longed for this new chance of painless mobility— I ask that you join with me in offering a collective prayer of good wishes, ease of procedure and recovery and for a healing balm to wash over both Natalie and her family during the worry of surgery and arduous recovery. . .
As we may offer up prayers for others who may be under the heavy blanket of pain and worry this day. . .

Now those of you who know me, already know that I am a reluctant recipient of awards, accolades and honors. I tend to eschew such as I never quite figure I’m a deserving soul. . .there are far more deserving folks out there who certainly do a better job than I do at whatever it is the honor is to be recognizing. I’m not one who enjoys blowing my own horn. . .

As fate would have it, I was actually nominated for a little blogging award this morning–The Inspiring Blogging Award.
I was nominated for this honor by Stuart M Perkins over on Storyshucker
If you are not familiar with Stuart and his writings on Storyshucker–I highly recommend that you take a look.
Stuart, not a writer by trade, paints beautiful folksy southern narratives of both his childhood growing up in Virginia as well as from his day to day observations. There is a bit of Faulkner hiding in Stuart and I have greatly enjoyed reading his sage tales.

Now what you should know is that there is always a sort of passing of the torch when one receives a blogging award. One is to usually answer a few questions about ones self, which I suppose helps the “reader” to glean a bit of insight into said author. The honoree is to also, in turn, nominate a fellow blogger who is deemed equally as deserving. . .
And in keeping with the tradition, I begin my foray into life of the honored. . .

Here are the rules for the award:

Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
List the rules and display the award.
Share seven facts about yourself.
Nominate 15 other blogs you enjoy, then comment on their posts to let them know that you have nominated them.

1. I’m a retired high school art teacher who seems to prefer writing to painting
2. Despite being adopted and claiming to the be the long lost love child of Sophia Loren, I am Southern born and bred (don’t tell Ms. Loren, she has no idea)
3. I am a deeply spiritual Christian committed to my faith–no apologies there
4. I adore watching college football, especially cheering on my beloved University of Georgia Bulldogs—GO DAWGS
5. I’m actually rather shy in unfamiliar settings preferring a quite evening to anything “social”
6. I love to travel as I find nothing helps us to better understand those we share this planet with than a visit elsewhere as we develop a deeper empathy and understanding of folks other than ourselves
7. I love to cook and I posses an unhealthy, in so many ways, obsession with the real deal BUTTER

Here are the bloggers I wish to pass the torch of honor to–give or take 15 and in no particular order. . .

1. my friend and most talented wood-master and cook, Michael–his work is amazing

2. my very busy yet very kind brother-in-Christ and wistful seaman David over on Ebs and Flows

3. dear sweet Natalie of Scared Touches

4. My new found friend and true champion of Christ, Melissa

5. My misplaced English friend who is forging a life in Italy, Pecora Nera (black sheep) who provides a healthy dose of truly needed humor whilst sharing what it’s like to be an Englishman married to and Italian while dealing with life in Italy—as the Italians, mind you, go about life a bit differently than the rest of us. . .

6. To Melanie Jean Juneau–the inspiring French Canadian mother of 9 and author who devoutly shares her Catholic faith with others

7.To Father Hugh—my most favorite Australian monk living in a monastery in England who shares his faith and tells it like it is–again with Christ, there are no apologies

8. To Nicodemas, another bold lion ad brother in Christ over on Color Storm

9. To Laura over on What’s the Good Word–who offers calming peace as she paints daily images through word and image of God’s endless grace

10. To Deborah Ann over on CHRISTian Poetry whose daily sticky notes provide a reminder and inspiration to all who trudge their way through life that God is indeed Great