The horror of these times would be unendurable unless we kept being cheered and set
upright again by the promises that are spoken.
The angels of annunciation speaking their message of blessing into the midst of anguish,
scattering their seed of blessing that will one day spring up amid the night,
call us to hope.

Alfred Delp



Picture Linus and his blanket.

Or better yet…

Picture your computer, your phone, your car or even your home…
They are all the sorts of things in your life that are most likely well protected
with some sort of security system in place.

Even your very self…
you protect, or so you try, yourself from harm, crime or even accident.

Yet we are currently living in a time when security is at a constant risk.
Many individuals are feeling that even their very
security of self has been threatened…
as in it has or will be somehow taken, hacked or even stolen.
Much like identify theft, but not.

It’s not because our country has been invaded…
despite the cries of
“the Russians are coming,
the Russians are coming…”

It’s not because we have each been kidnapped or abducted by aliens.

It’s not because we have all lost or out grown our blankets or our teddy bears…

However it could be because those very things into which we have poured our feelings…
those places, things or persons into which we have assigned our sense of security…
has turned out not to be what we thought…

With many still foolishly reeling from post election trauma,
to those who are merely finding themselves lost in the midst of
“this time of year” overload,
the sense of safe, secure, content is anything but…

It is at such times when we find ourselves reaching for those things that provide us with
a sense of comfort, a sense of well being, that long sought sense of contentment…
most often with those hoped for things, places and people fading and fleeting
or simply falling flat.

Enter Advent.

The Jesuit priest Alfred Delp reminds us form his Nazi prison cell that…
For all its earnestness, Advent is a time of inner security,
because it has received a message.
Oh, if it ever happens that we forget the message and the promises;
if all we know is the four walls and the prison windows of our grey days;
if we can no longer hear the gentle step of the announcing angels;
if our soul no longer is at once shaken and exalted by
their whispered word—
then it will be all over with us.
We are living wasted time and are dead before they do us any harm.

So might this heightened sense of loss and fretfulness be rooted in something
greater and deeper than mere misplaced security?

Have we forgotten the message, as well as the promise, of long ago
as we languish in the emptiness of the grey days of our lives?

Have we forgotten that single announcement, proclamation, revelation?

That there is One, and only one, who was to come,
nay, has come,
to offer us everlasting security…
Security that will neither waiver nor fail…
as He offers the dearest thing He has…in order that we may finally
feel secure…


Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 91:1-2

The Pumpkins are coming, the pumpkins are coming!!

“Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He’s gotta pick this one. He’s got to. I don’t see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there’s not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.”
Linus from It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown


Wait a minute.
Those are not pumpkins Julie.
Those are….acorn squash!
Well…. maybe not exactly pumpkins but they kind of look like little pumpkins….don’t they?
Acorn squash…pumpkins… pumpkins…acorn squash…one half dozen or the other….all in the family if you ask me. And since I haven’t gone to pick out my fall pumpkins yet (no, I didn’t grow any in the garden this year, I grew tasteless watermelons remember??), acorn squash will just have to do!

I love Fall and I love the subtle little fall decorations…pumpkins, indian corn, wheat, acorns, colorful leaves, my turkey plates….. Turkey plates? Yes, well a tad early for that but I’m on a roll here…..dried corn stalks, hay bales and more pumpkins.
And the colors…let’s not forget about the colors…
Beautiful warm browns and creams, burnt oranges, golden yellows, crimson and burgundy reds,….
And of course the weather…cool and crisp…soon, maybe soon, there will be a nip in the air and it will turn cool and crisp…maybe….yes, maybe soon……

So I got really excited, when I was at the grocery store earlier this week, and I spied the pretty acorn squash. Excitedly I look around. Gourds and squash are one thing but where are the pumpkins? Why don’t they have the pumpkins? There are already freaking Christmas trees with decorations at a great many of the retail stores and scattered all throughout the catalogs, so where are the pumpkins?? (don’t get me started on this Christmas business—we ate breakfast at a Cracker Barrel a couple of weeks ago– can you believe they had up a Christmas tree with decorations???!!…I’m sorry, is it still September or what??!!…..blast commercialism!!!….digress on that till later)—

Tomorrow I will go on my quest for Pumpkins. I will seek out my larger home improvement stores (aka Home Depot and Lowes) as well as the smaller local garden supply shops. I will seek out the produce market and fruit stands. I may even have to go to a local farm that has a pick your own patch…but I will find my pumpkins!!

I found these lovelies last year (I had more but this was the better shot)—the pink ones are the breast cancer pumpkins…yes, you heard me correctly, breast cancer pumpkins. A portion of sales of these pumpkins went to Breast Cancer Research….pretty cool eh? And yes, I usually get the standard orange globule pumpkins but I rather think the trendy heirlooms are quite lovely and very unique.


I’ll let you know what I find. As Linus sat undeterred and waited for his Great Pumpkin to appear, I too will wait for my great pumpkins

On Halloween night, the ‘Great Pumpkin’ rises out of the pumpkin patch, then flies through the air to bring toys to all the good little children everywhere. Wouldn’t you like to sit with me in the pumpkin patch on Halloween night and wait for the Great Pumpkin?


I can’t sit around waiting that long, I’m going tomorrow……