We need your payers, especially Friday morning

We’re off to Atlanta today (in the downpours) to spend the evening with the wee
trick or treaters, spending the night as it will be off to the hospital,
bright and early Friday morning—
for our little James and his long-anticipated surgery…


(our little James in his fall photos)

I humbly ask that you please remember our little grandson James,
along with his parents and sister, in your prayers.

Prayers for a successful surgery, prayers for the medical staff and prayers, in the words
of St Julian of Norwich, that all shall be well!

I’ll be staying in Atlanta next week during “rest and recovery” so posting will be sporadic
at best but I will post about recovery come Friday afternoon.

Thank you in advance for your prayers and for remembering our small family


(a gathering of pumpkins and James)

“God, of thy goodness, give me Thyself;
for Thou art enough for me,
and I can ask for nothing less
that can be full honor to Thee.
And if I ask anything that is less,
ever Shall I be in want,
for only in Thee have I all.”

Julian of Norwich

is my heart strong enough???

The goodness of God is the highest object of prayer, and it reaches down to our lowest need.
It quickens our soul and gives it life, and makes it grow in grace and virtue.”

St. Julian of Norwich


(The Mayor is all smiles…if only she knew what was coming her way…./Julie Cook / 2018)

Almost two years ago, before my husband sold out his business and before we had
The Mayor in our lives…
we had both already lost our parents, I was retired and our son and daughter-n-law
had moved away.
We knew we didn’t have much that was remaining keeping us here in our current community.
No family to speak of…so selling, downsizing or simply resizing seemed like a
viable thought.

We toyed with the idea of perhaps moving and in turn, started kind of looking around.

I like nature, the woods, the mountains, the ocean, water…
He likes nature, the woods, the mountains, not so much the ocean, but definitely water
as in lakes and streams.

Maybe someplace out west?
Someplace wide, unpopulated and quiet?

Maybe somewhere down in Florida’s panhandle…white sands or better for him, out on the bay?

Maybe up in the mountains of Tennessee or North Carolina?

It doesn’t hurt to look and dream right?

We actually came very close to pulling the trigger a year ago on a place in Florida
but walked away before going too far.

And it was shortly thereafter that we found out that The Mayor would be coming.

Sooooooo our vision changed. We couldn’t be far away.

The idea of The Mayor coming into our lives put a halt to ever being further away
then we are now.

The notion and thought of different, however, remained…particularly as my husband
sold out the business in June.

Maybe we should move closer to The Mayor?

Despite having grown up there, I hate Atlanta…
And my small town husband…well, I think living in the city would kill him or kill
me for having to live with him in said city!

Still, there just wasn’t anything keeping us here…albeit the house we built 20 years ago.

And it’s 5 acres are getting more and more overwhelming…
more than either of us can physically maintain…we have
more than enough bedrooms…let’s just keep looking…right?

So we thought we had found a place in North Georgia, up in the mountains and not much
further from The Mayor than we are now.

We got right close to closing on this latest pipedream of ours when we realized
the impending house was in worse shape than we actually were aware and that getting
it up to speed, to the necessary shape expected before the closing, just wasn’t happening…
and who wants to buy a house in bad shape for a price beyond its shape???

Not us.

So that was our wrinkle this past week, besides drawing the ire of realtors.
But such an investment needs to be worth what you’re paying for—not something you
want to be overpaying for…only to turn around to pay more down the road as an
unending fixer upper…think the classic movie The Money Pit.

We’re too old for that.

Add to all of that… we are both still dealing with the messes our respective father’s
each left us upon each of their deaths.

Besides having almost been house poor, we are currently a bit lawyer poor.

At some point, I will be free to write about these two messes we’ve inherited….or
perhaps I’ll simply write a book from our experiences…
Maybe I could title it…
“When it’s your time to go,
make certain those who remain aren’t left cleaning up after you!”

Sooooo…there we were Wednesday night, eyes glazed over, licking our wounds
when the phone rang.

It was The Mayor.

Well actually it was The Mayor’s father who was facetimeing Moppie and Poppie on
behalf of The Mayor.

Our son says…”Mother move away from the phone, just let daddy look”

Hummmmmm…what’s up with that I wondered???!!

Peeking over my husband’s shoulder, aka Poppie, I see The Mayor rolling about like
the wild rabbit she is…I notice she’s wearing some sort of new little shirt.

I can make out only one word, but it’s a keyword that has me instantly jerking the
phone out of my still clueless husband’s hand as I immediatley holler into the phone…..

OH MY GOD, ARE Y’ALL PREGNANT???????!!!!!!!”

The shirt reading “I may be small but I’m going to be a Big Sister”

WHAT THE HELLO DOLLY?????


(The Mayor is mad to be held still so Moppie can clearly read the shirt)

So yeah…not planned, but The Mayor is about to have an assistant…

The assistant, James Gregory, is due May 1…and yes it is a he…
and it’s a safe bet that Poppie is already planning a fishing trip…
So I just bet a lake may be in our future…who knows…

All I do know is that I only thought we were consumed by The Mayor…
now there will be two…under two…

Yes… God help us all!!!!!

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
Julian of Norwich

You are enough for me. . .

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
Confucius

DSC00914
(brand new little gala apple blooms / Julie Cook / 2015)

Eyes hesitantly flicker open long before first morning’s light
A groggy mind works to sort out what the day ahead has in store.
Then the weary eyes close, wanting to put the day off a bit longer
Oversleeping leads to jumping up, bounding, and then running the remainder of the day
Long drive
Disheartening reports and observations
Long conversations
Hard conversations
Hopefulness is blindsided by reality
Strong words echo of defiance,
Yet are betrayed by both fragile mind and frail body.
The child now tells the parent what will or will not be.
Battles of will and hearts rage.
Tiny compromises stave off a bleeding flood by a day, maybe two. . .
Tears ride home in tired eyes,
While a heart fights breaking.
The traffic consumes what nerves remain
When a familiar prayer floods a rattled mind. . .

God of your goodness,
Give me yourself.
For you are enough for me
And I can ask for nothing less that is to your glory.
And if I ask anything less,
I shall still be in want,
for only in you have I all.

A lifeline of hope guides this wayward soul home. . .

(Prayer and image of manuscript below by St Julian of Norwich)
west2
(Westminster Manuscript attributed to St Julian of Norwich)

The parable of Sister Buzzard

He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.
Friedrich Nietzsche

RSCN7916
(a soaring turkey buzzard over the skies of Troup Co. Georgia / Julie Cook / 2014)

I asked for wings so I could fly my way to find you,
because I knew you were just beyond the clouds.
By day I would search the endless skies,
. . . but you were not to be found in the skies.
By night I would scan the dark horizon,
. . .but I could not see you in the darkness.
I flew over vast oceans seeking you,
because I knew you would be sailing across the seas.
I soared over every body of water on earth,
. . . but you were not to be found on the oceans, rivers or steams.
I flew through valley glens and mountains high,
because I knew you would be walking across the earth.
. . .but you were not found traversing the land. . .

My heart grew heavy because my wings did not help me find you.
My eyes failed to see you
My ears failed to hear you
My nose failed to find your scent

With no other choice, I flew onward, continually seeking your presence,
yet I began to fret. . .
The question of why echoed in my thoughts.
My failure to find you plagued my heart.
Was it because. . .
I am dull and bland?
I am not majestic or grand?
I am not flamboyant or colorful?
I am not popular or sought after?
I am a seeker of that which is discarded and thrown away?
I am ridiculed and looked down upon?
I am chased away and shunned?
I am not wanted?
I am not pretty?

On a deep blue cloudless day, as the brilliant Sun danced lightly across the sky,
Brother Sun stopped to ask, “Sister Buzzard why do you seem so sad?”
I explained to Brother Sun of my quest. . .that it was my desire to fly, where ever my wings could carry me, in hopes of finding you.
Brother Sun warmly wrapped me in his rays and said to me,
“Oh sweet Sister Buzzard, be of good cheer young bird, for you are greatly loved and richly blessed beyond measure.”

“But Brother Sun, how do you know this?” was my sad reply

“Sister Buzzard, I smile upon you daily, just as He asks me to in order to warm your wings.
Brother Night envelopes you each evening, allowing you to rest in peace, just as He commands.
Brother Rain falls upon you cleansing the air you both fly and breathe in, exactly as He would have it.
Sister Moon glows for you at night, offering you hope in the darkness, just as He requests.
Brother Wind blows lifting you gently higher in the sky just as He desires.
Sister Mother Earth provides you life as well as death for your very survival, just as He has deemed.
You need no longer fly endlessly searching. . .for He is constantly at your side and you are forever in His presence.

And so it was. . .Sister Buzzard had found her peace, which was never far from her touch, resting in the warm thermal skies as she now contently swirls in the new found knowledge of the Love of the One who has deemed that all shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of thing shall be well. . .

But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. “When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice. “For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.
Deuteronomy 4:29-31