Simple Things That Stir My Soul

      Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

From This to That…..Read to the end please.

This time of year brings a powerful emotional rush for me, with blessings in such abundance that the ride from Thanksgiving until New Years Eve feels like one long continuous smile through teary eyes of gratefulness. I am a simple girl at heart, not very high maintenance I have been told. It is because I am an artist – it is ALL wondrous to me, the small is way more intricate than the big. Every day brings joy and wonder at all the goodness still in evidence in this tumultuous, troubled, wounded world. Every tiny thing stirs my soul. Every song, every kind word, every demonstration of love and giving melts me right down to a tender mess. During the holiday season, the common becomes the extraordinary; all that is good and true becomes magnified and more important in my eyes. Every moment is a reminder of how fortunate we all are to be where we are and who we are in a country of opportunity and bounty; we are all well aware of the alternatives.

I will always and forever be moved by the stark imagery of a red barn in the snow. It travels me back in time to my youth spent on eight magical acres in the country, when we lived in a huge enfolding mother of a home and Santa’s sleigh landed on the roof.

I am brought full speed to happiness by the giggles of little children waiting for Santa, opening gifts, bundled up against the snow, eating holiday cookies and finally snuggling in for bed on Christmas Eve.

I can tear up making mashed potatoes when I am suddenly aware of how many Christmases I have been fortunate enough to make them for a mob of partying people arriving through my door. I am so grateful to have survived all this time. I am so grateful for people who enjoy coming to my home.

I am amazed when the simple glass globe that changes colors and acts as a nightlite for  my laundry room (it really deserves a better location)  becomes the single most fascinating object in my home, (amid piles of new markers, crayons, coloring books) for my three precious nieces. I wish I had gotten a picture of them clustered around it, oooing and ahhhing….it was priceless.

I am struck by the panorama of the Rocky Mountain range spread out before me in snow-covered majesty against a deep blue sky, clear as a bell and sparkling in the late November sun. It is a scene I am treated to every time I drive through the entrance of the community I call home, and it makes my return from the most mundane errands a constantly changing artistic delight. That view is my barometer of weather rolling in and many times a barometer of the mood I am in. How can one not be inspired and humbled by that enormous landscape? It puts you right in your place if you are feeling the slightest bit grumpy. It straightens you up and makes you fly right as my mother would say.

I am ever-awed by the surprises that come my way, both great and small, during this giving season. I also happen to have a late November birthday, lumped in with Thanksgiving and Christmas and so I am also facing the fact that I am in the late fall of my life both literally and metaphorically. No need to remind me – I am well aware of the years, thank you very much. Winter is just around the corner. I can already hear the wind howling as it gets closer and closer. Anyone who is fortunate to have reached this point relatively unscathed asks herself or himself a lot of questions. I mean a LOT of questions….you become rather introspective. And quite philosophical. Wondering…how many Christmases are left…wondering how many of all the “this and thats” you might have left. What is to come? It is not always pretty up there in your mind’s eye. You welcome diversions.

I am fortunate to be blessed with an old-soul daughter, a rare and wise and fun daughter who is beautiful both inside and out, in my life who takes great pleasure in stunning me – shocking me – rendering me speechless and babbling like a goofball with monumental surprises beyond my wildest dreams! The most recent surprise (in a long list of events and occasions that scroll through the attic of my mind) first unfolded with a request to play a silly little game of rhymes, followed by the big realization when the answer was revealed, then chaos in my mind and dumbfounded confusion about how it had all been planned so carefully behind my back, complete with a Fed Ex delivery to my door with mysterious envelopes to open over a week’s time…….a plane ticket and more! It finally sunk in that I am being sent away to Paris for a week, accompanied by a dear friend (in on the planning) since my daughter was busy meeting deadlines with her job and could not get away. This is a wild dream that had been eliminated from any dreams (for one reason or another) I had for this particular year of my life! It is a rather large birthday I am facing. It makes me gulp. This surprise is large enough to match the numbers and now my gulps will be of wine. For an art major and fanatical fan of Da Vinci, Notre Dame, the Eiffel and all that is France, this will be heaven. I am crazy with anticipation.

I have learned more from this darling daughter of mine than I could ever have taught her myself. She was born Yoda-wise. I saw it in her baby eyes when she was born.

She believes deeply in the giving of experiences. She knows that there is great value in giving memories, because those will entertain and  warm you in the long winter of life to come when your ability to find adventure and action packed days is no longer a possibility. She finds ways to fill my bucket list and stoke my fire of a life well lived, so the embers will burn for a very long time. It must also be mentioned that her old-soul Renaissance Man husband is very much a part of this picture, also loving the fine art of the surprise! Thanks so much for this birthday gift! I will do it up right I promise!

Eiffel Tower by night

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20 responses to “Simple Things That Stir My Soul

  1. Dear Jo, What a great surprise you have from your daughter for, I assume, your 75th birthday.  What a great time you will have.  I am jealous but know how much you will enjoy such an adventure. I loved your Thanksgiving letter.  It is just the way I feel.  Ever so grateful for so many wonderful things in my life including being married to Marv for so many years.   Marv has had a difficult year.  He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in February-from there to chemo for 16 weeks and the advent of a blood clot behind his left knee.  He developed a wound on his left foot as the blood was not flowing down the leg properly.  Finally he was referred to a vascular surgeon who immediately put him in the hospital and they performed an auxiliary femoral bypass on Aug. 22.  They were able to eliminate several blockages on the left side of this body and saved his leg.  Then to continue on, he still had to face the bladder cancer.  On Oct. 16 he had a radical cystectomy with an ileal conduit which means he had his bladder, prostate, and lymph nodes removed.  The surgery was successful but with two major surgeries in such a short period of time, he was so weak when he came home on Oct. 25, that it has been an uphill battle ever since.  Due to low blood pressure, anemia, and other blood issues that are slowly being corrected, he will start getting stronger.  He has lost 48 pounds so he is very thin.  All in all, we are very thankful to the surgeons and Kaiser for their superb abilities to make him well.  We are still facing lots of doctor appts. but things will get better.  He has a good 6-9 months before he is recovered from this assault to his body.   Just wanted you to know what has been going on at the Halliday home.  Thank goodness we have a single level home as Marv is able to use his walker very successfully.    Enjoy your life while you can travel around as we never know when our lives might change.  Have a great holiday and my love to you. Love, Karen

    #yiv9492153553 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9492153553 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9492153553 a.yiv9492153553primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9492153553 a.yiv9492153553primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9492153553 a.yiv9492153553primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9492153553 a.yiv9492153553primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9492153553 WordPress.com | Jo Ann Brown-Scott posted: ”      Photo Courtesy of PinterestFrom This to That…..Read to the end please.This time of year brings a powerful emotional rush for me, with blessings in such abundance that the ride from Thanksgiving until New Years Eve feels like one long continuou” | |

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    • Oh Karen this news is difficult to hear – i am so very sorry that Marv and you have had such a rough time. You are both strong to have gone through this and finally be on the mend – my love and support to you both. Writing on WordPress is not private so anything mote should be said by email when i get home. Many huge hugs – love Jo

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  2. Thank you for reminding me of the great blessings. When one has such. Gratitude the universe repays you with a daughters blessings. Bon voyage!

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  3. Jo, what a Beautiful post!- It’s funny but the other day in my bed, I was thinking, My God, if I can go back to my later years when things were so different, I believe it was the memories of wonderful times I had,like having my mom with me on the Holidays, it was the simplest of things that thrilled me and excited me- It was when I was in my apt in the Bronx on the 4th floor overlooking a beautiful view of NY way out their and I would sit out by the fire escape window gazing out to the world wrapped up in a blanket with Hot chocolate. The times bundle up in a couch reading great books!- My small trips I did to get away, my family, having coffee with my bet friend- Even on the times of Solitude, it was different as well- These as you said are the simplest of joys that makes us feel fortunate in life- Today life is still wonderful and I feel blessed as well, but it’s just not the same. People live in this FAST world that they truly miss out on the MAGICAL part of life-.. The new generation is just right down nasty and ruthless with no respect, in my time I believe people had compassion, sympathy, respect, even love and giving back- So we linger or may I say, I linger to those memories to get me by in this life time- I’m ever grateful for so much right now in my life- Like I said earlier, I have been blessed with a lot and every day teaches me how fortunate I’m to the simplest things I do like buy a coffee, read, eat, move, swallow and taste food, walk, own my gallery, do art, create, enjoy my doggie and the beautiful sunsets and mornings- I have a roof over my head and a plate of food in my table everyday. I have very few friends that bring magic and joy to my life on a daily basis- But those memories from way back are so precocious and dear to me- I hold them tight in my heart, so it becomes my safe haven in the times I need to survive from the world we know live in- You have been blessed with a lot and I have been following you for quite some years and I have seen so many beautiful things evolve in your life- Your art is just amazing and inspiring, your book was wonderful and soon you are headed to Paris! Wonderful gift from your daughter- I was their many years back and it was an amazing trip full of memories- I hope you enjoy the trip, not because is Paris but because is an added Journey to your experiences in life, and you live and experience for a week within a new culture full of wonderful art and food, not to mention the scenery in Paris- Make everyday special and sit in the cafe’s to just people watch and have a yummy dessert as well, take it all in and bring it all out with your soul and memories. Like I said, we are all blessed with so many things and Paris is no exception, that’s a blessing given to you from your daughter through God- Thank you for your wonderful post and for letting me write a part of my life memories to share with and many and thank you for your Art!!! and your friendship- Hugs and many blessings- Laz

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    • Laz so sweet of you to take time to write this gorgeous comment! I loved reading it and thank goodness we have been fortunate enough in our lives to have golden memories. Your new art is just incredible – and art is indeed a blessing. I must get down to SF next year to see your shop!!!!! Santa Fe calls to me all the time! Must have lived there in another life or someting….. Holiday Love and Hugs to you my dear friend! I will be writing about Paris when i return so stay tuned!

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  4. Excellent post, mom! I am SO excited for you to get to Paris! And everyone’s comments here are great reminders to move slowly, sit, watch, soak it all up, eat dessert, stare for hours at the centuries of art. This is a landmark life moment to savor now and for years to come. But remember … you can always go back! Can’t wait to be in CO for the holidays. À bientôt!

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  5. What a wonderful gift from a wonderful daughter. As you know, I have one, too – Denise! She has on many occasions thought a mother/daughter trip would be great and I am realizing that “how many Christmases” do I have left. Have a wonderful time in Paris.
    Shirley Hasbrouck from Crookston, MN

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    • Shirley! Thanks for commenting! You MUST do this! Kelly and i went to Rome & Florence together and it was priceless. As i always say, if not now, when? Life is too short and unpredictable to put it off…..you owe it to yourself! 😘

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  6. I’ve been thinking of you alot lately. Even have a birthday card but not sure where to send. A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!! Glad to hear from you. I enjoy your writing, always lovely and inspiring! Oh, Paris I love it too. Have a wonderful time. And remember Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!
    Love you.
    Carolyn Bellante

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  7. I’ve been thinking of you alot lately. Even have a birthday card but not sure where to send. A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!! Glad to hear from you. I enjoy your writing, always lovely and inspiring! Oh, Paris I love it too. Have a wonderful time. And remember Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!
    Love you.
    Carolyn Bellante

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  8. Hi Jo,

    Don’t know when you are going or if you’re already there as I’m way behind on emails, but have a wonderful trip. I wish you a happy holiday season and a great New Year and I’ll check in and see if we can get together for lunch early in 2018.

    Jay

    >

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