Today in Life’s Journey


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November 4, 2016

Grabbing a bag, I step out to the front porch and begin to gather the several newspaper rolls accumulated.

“If anyone has any newspaper to spare, our hospital needs it! We are completely out. Thank you!”

That was the message I read last night on a post by a local animal hospital I follow on Facebook. I tell myself this must why I had been putting off placing those papers in the recycle bin these past few weeks.

Panning the neighborhood, I notice heavy dew on the car windows and dampness on the ground. The sun was beginning its assent of the day.  I confirm I have enough time to take the papers to the animal hospital before the graduation ceremony, as I didn’t want them to go without, first thing in the morning.  It dawns on me that it’s somewhat a coincidence that I am running this errand to help the business and its people that just so happens to be the place my daughter worked through the majority of her high school years – since late July of 2014. My daughter called me when she had gotten the job.  I was so very excited for her, and we agreed on a date when I would take her out to celebrate her success later that week. But before the moment arrived, our life paths diverged.

As I am heading out the door this morning, I pause, feeling I should go grab my camera, just in case.  Though I squeegeed the windows and outside mirrors on the car, foggy condensation filmed once more before I ever left my driveway.  The Interstate route I had planned to take seemed an unwise choice with the current construction causing merging havoc even under normal visual conditions. I therefore took an alternate route.

I’m sure there were many passing in cars and school buses, wondering about the woman standing near the side of the road with a camera.


Below the roadway fog hung low and converged over the Southern Illinois farmer’s field that butted against the Knights of Columbus parking lot on one side and a Rural Route and an Interstate on two others.  This moment seems to imprint – identifying where I am on this planet, on the morning my daughter is to graduate.

Navy Boot Camp.  My daughter graduated Navy Boot Camp today.  I’m not certain exactly how the weather felt, north of Chicago because I wasn’t there. That is not how our connective life’s journey has it at the moment.


But I am thankful that she was able to join the Navy. It’s a good division of the Service for her.  And I am thankful that I have a cousin (dear to me) who was able to help my daughter get started down that path.  I am thankful that my son, her brother, was able to go to the ceremony and be there for her on this noteworthy occasion.

I am also thankful that I was able to watch the ceremony via live-stream and share that moment with my parents, her grandparents, even as they live halfway across the country from me.


Where is she going next?  I couldn’t tell you.  That is not a part of the connective life’s journey between us at this time. But for right now, I cheer for my baby girl from where we each stand, and I find ways to be thankful for that.

Moments and Music [dot dot dot]


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Music plays in the background on the radio as I edit client files. Suddenly I feel as though I should be in a local watering hole or at some such gathering place among friends and like-hearted beings. My mind inserts what is naturally the common day lyrical accompaniment by those gathered, as I become consciously aware of, … “Sweeeeeeet Car-o-line…., [______! ______! ________________!], Good times never seemed so good.” [__________!], [__________!], [__________!]

An inward chuckle of amusement arose.  A warm smile lingered as I found myself continuing to listen and envisioning groups of my friends sharing in moments. A sense of comradeship.  Nice.  It finished out and I get back to work.

Next up on the radio.

Can you guess?

“Here she comes now sayin’ Mony Mony….”

Yeah. Really. But no, I did not have a lingering smile while envisioning shared moments then. No. Just…, no.

Losing Lester


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Many are not sad to see him gone. Lester, a cousin whose life moments shared left imprints of warm and cherished memories for me those of my immediate family came recently to the end of his journey here on Earth. I know that he was not even close to being a perfect man. None of us, I feel, can claim to have been the best example of a human being, and I heard from others hints of this man’s less than desirable salty, harsh and otherwise negative traits. I do not doubt that that was very likely true. And I am saddened and pained that others whom I love and care for have had to endure and manage life entangled with the darkness of this man.

Towards me there was always kindness, smiles and laughter. I could see a gleam is his eyes that was truly a tell of the fiery nature within yet somehow it managed to enhance the gift of light he shared with me and my immediate family. Yes, there was a charm about him.

Now reflecting on my own life’s journey, it was a similar charm that caught me off guard with the man who is my Ex-husband and the father of my children. And believe me when I tell you I have been in the deep dark shadows in life’s journey with this man and continue to be entangled as my children are still connective threads. Threads from his end used like that of a puppet master.

I know what it is like to have others whom I care about and love, continue to feel warm affection towards that man, to include another cousin who considers him to be the man’s man of a brother he never had. And yes, my children. My children know and have seen the beast of the man that is their father, but they are, too, charmed by the moments of kindness, smiles and laughter, and many times will transform their own natural inclinations to retain or regain that light from him and keep the beast at bay.

Others, like that other cousin of mine, have only had the warm and cherished kind of moments with him – my Ex. I accept that, because I can understand it, but it still hurts. As I am sure it hurts my other family and friends that I hold such fond memories of the man now recently departed.

The way I see it


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Kinda-sorta like that Brick Wall Optical Illusion thing, but not really.

From looking at this

I found this.

Lattice Alone

Seeing the forest through the trees (or in this case, the Forget-Me-Nots through the fronds.

Forget-Me-Nots behind Fern

But then, take a look at them there trees (or in this case, again, the fresh fern fronds of spring).

Fern before Forget-Me-Not

And then there’s this. Yeah. A bunch of blah, right?


I got super excited about seeing this.

Purple Basil Sprout

My basil plant from last year, sprouting.

Finally, while admiring the whimsical, non-conforming feel of this section of garden,Animal Path - Hidden Bird

I caught sight of something, non-conforming though it was, of which I felt compelled to tweak, or rather pluck, like that of a wild hair. Can you see what I did?

Animal Trail - Bird in View


Galium. My Precious.


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Galium 04252016

Galium odoratum – Sweet Woodruff (backdropped by Creeping Phlox)

I don’t know if Gallum would think of this low growing greenery with the tiny white flowers as being precious.  I’m actually not sure if I consider it precious, but I thought it would make for a clever title.

I planted this beneath what is normally identified as an out-of-control and invasive shrub which I believe to be a Japanese Honeysuckle though I’ve been experimenting in transforming it ever since it sprung into existence several years back into that of a miniature ornamental tree. However, I digress.

Galium was identified as a plant that could make a good addition at the base of trees and shrubs.  I have further just read its sweet vanilla-scented flower clusters are used to flavor May wines in Germany.  Hmmmm.

I haven’t smelled it yet.  Though I planted it last spring it had no blooms until this year.  I guess I’ll have to go out and take a sniff.  I wonder if I could toss some blooms in with my coffee grounds to get vanilla coffee?

Did you hear the BOOM?!!


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This (“off the mark” – by Mark Parisi) just came across my network feed and seeing it immediately caused me to think, after all the current scuttlebutt with the “mysterious booms” in my home town, and subsequent theories being tossed about and, well

It’s a theory. Just sayin’.

#collinsvilleboom #didyouheartheboom #boomtown

(I modified, replacing “BANG” with BOOM” prior to posting.) — with “off the mark” comic by Mark Parisi and #offthemark

off the mark - BANG BOOM - Collinsville BOOM

Durst Not Forget



Durst Not Forget


It’s the first time in the second season I’ve had Forget-Me-Nots return as a larger cluster than they were the previous year (normally they dwindle and/or peter out).  I think I finally found a good spot in my garden, even as this blue blossomed beauty now extends beyond the outside perimeter of the garden boundary line.  Instead of restricting this beautiful expanding cluster to the original planned boundaries, I have expanded the boundaries to embolden its extended reach.


Columbine. As in the flower.



I never knew.  I never knew until this weekend at the nursery.  A nursery of the lawn and garden variety.  I never knew that Columbine, before it was a headline of tragedy whose  anniversary just passed, is actually the name of a beautiful flower.

So I sent out a little prayerful thought for those family and friends who mourn the losses of their loved ones on that dark day in history, and then I picked up a couple flowers, which will now be a reminder each year of the precious gift called life.

Columbine Purple