Simple trending

I just recently read a blog that said silver hair may be trending.  Never mind that I’m four months late reading this exciting fashion news. Suddenly I feel in style.silver hair

During the era of the 1970s when straight hair was hip and the hippies flaunted it, I used giant curlers to calm my wavy tresses.  Once my mother ironed my hair so I could achieve the “in” look.  Not with a hair-straightening iron but with a regular iron-your-clothes kind of iron.  I was desperate.

When I was young and free as a breeze, living in my parents house, I enjoyed sewing my own clothes.  I was quite fashionable then.  I window-shopped the stores and looked at magazines mostly to see what was current so I could purchase fabric and make it for a fraction of the cost.  I enjoyed the craft of sewing, and saving money was a bonus.  The compliments about my clothing were nice also.

Fast forward several decades.  I shop consignment stores and gladly accept hand-me-downs.  I’ve got a favorite navy hoodie jacket that came from the discards of a lost and found box where I worked many years ago. Fashionista I am not.  Happily, I’m OK with that.

Insecurity weighed heavy in my teens, twenties and even my thirties.  By now, I’m not so consumed with what people think.  It is quite freeing.  I still want to look presentable when I head out the door.  I still iron, but only clothes for Sweet William and me since we like the crisp look.  And I am a regular customer to a wonderful hair stylist because she knows what to do with my curly hair.  She cuts it so I can wear it the way it was made to be.

I’ve learned some things during the years of my living.  One is I can never measure up to fashion plates, TV personalities, or even the woman next door.  Constant comparison is tiresome.

Someone said, “We can compare or we can connect.  But we can’t do both.”  Comparison with those more beautiful, more talented, more whatever only leads to an ever-ending feeling of failure.  Connecting leads to amazing relationships.

I’ve come to the conclusion that people don’t really care what I look like as long as I’m clean, neat, covered.  What they will remember is how they felt when they were in my presence.  Loved.  Accepted.  Heard.

Sometimes I wonder why I couldn’t I have known then what I have come to know now.  But that is the way of life.  We learn as we go.  Our experiences are the best teachers after all.  Even struggles that I just wanted to avoid or somehow get out of quickly have offered me instructions I could not have gotten otherwise.

In the eyes of my God, I am loved, accepted, and heard every single time.  I am also chosen, redeemed and adopted. Because of Jesus, I am clothed in righteousness. There is no one else who can give me that kind of grace, make that kind of connection to my heart.  I am not compared to anyone else, and He takes me as I am.

For a few brief moments in history I may be stylish.  The rest of my days I choose to wear a thankful, contented heart that can welcome and accept others.  You might also see me with my silver, curly hair and maybe my old navy hoodie
Me three

(Obviously I picked one of my better pictures.  I think that is called vanity.  I’m still working on that.)

Simple beauty

There is a first frost on the pumpkins and a mist rising from the lake this morning.  It is quite lovely.

Yesterday afternoon I gathered the remaining annuals from the yard knowing the frost would soon wither them.  I put flowers in vases throughout the house.  Their brilliance startles me as I walk in the room.  Their seeds assure me of more next year.

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The flames flicker warm in the fireplace.  I catch sight of a golden glow on the large maple tree as the sun rises high to shine on it.

I look at pictures of funny faces sent to me by my eldest granddaughter, the one who flew in like a bird with me in July.  The silly show reminds me of the fun with had just being together, the shared experience.

In the afternoon we attend the celebration of a child’s birthday.  Grandparents, other relations, and friends gathered, taking pictures, telling stories, eating cake.  And there is an exquisiteness of the life of family.

There is beauty in the air and in our home and in our world.  It is sent from the Father for us to enjoy.  It is His great pleasure to shower us with blessings.

And I shall keep my umbrella down today and let the blessings fall like rain drops to soak into the heart that has felt dry and cracked this week.

The simple beauty of life, everyday life is what I crave.  And today I am filled.

Simple birthday

Today is Sweet William’s birthday and we celebrate simply.  I gave him a silly card, a snickers bar and a CD of The Isaacs‘ The Living Years album.

Bill at dad's 90th2

There is a time for everything and a season for big elaborate parties, complete with festive decorations and a gift-laden table.  This is not one of those years.

Truth be told, we are both a little melancholy today though joyful to be sure.  Perhaps it’s because at this age there are so many memories to contend with.  We recently went to the place where Bill’s parents lived until their death.  It was an emotional trip, visiting the few remaining relatives living in the area, some aged, some confined to a nursing-home bed, some so forgetful I wonder if our visit will be remembered.

We both realize we are getting “up there” in years.  We are the older generation now.

Today we tried to recall what time of day he was born.  I remember this day was also my mother’s birthday and how we celebrated them together so many years past.

Bill’s older brother called to wish him greetings this morning.  They laughed and told jokes to each other.

The one and only son from too-far-away called in the afternoon, and I could hear the talking and the listening from the other room.  Father speaking to son with words familiar and tender.

Family is so important, whether we are young or old, near or far.

We ate a simple breakfast of sausage and pancakes, his special request.  The CD was playing “Grandpa, tell me ’bout the good old days,” and I could barely eat for the lump in my throat as I thought of the goodness of God in our “good old days” and the present where we now are.  That we are even sitting here together is no small miracle.  He and I have sailed rough waters in our years together.  God has been faithful.

I remember fondly the many birthday celebrations around our big table.  Favorite desserts for the celebrant were made with love, and there were stories and laughter and love in the atmosphere.  There was one year when each of us wore the birthday hat that started on my special day.  It was really a cardboard birthday cake handmade by the grandchildren but fit perfectly on my head.  It was our joke of the year.

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In the next couple of days Sweet William and I will gather with friends, family.  We will enjoy their company and eat good food.  I will bake his favorite pecan pie.

It’s the simple pleasures I treasure most.  Memories.  Communion around the table.  The smiles and laughter.  Friendships bonded.  Music in the air.  A kiss and a tear.

Birthdays are to be celebrated.  This year we celebrate simply.

Simple graces for the journey

Sweet William drives and I look.  He watches the car ahead and I read the map directions.  He is the pilot and I am the co-pilot.  We make a good team.

Sometimes a drive in the country is just what the doctor ordered.

The beauty is all around for the taking in.

Brushstroke clouds that turn to cumulus and then hang heavy amid blue sky that shouts but later whispers.

Trees that are just beginning to trend toward their true colors.

A flash of red amidst green, a little show-off in the trees.

A chipmunk scurrying and I wonder why I think he is so cute but not his country mouse cousin.

Safely navigating our way with an assurance; underneath are the Everlasting Arms.

Darkening skies, shortened days, reminding me that earth’s seasons change and so will mine.

The earth is full of God’s glory, there for the beholding of it, for the pure enjoyment of its splendor.  If I am not careful or if I am too care-filled I might miss it.

I don’t want to miss it.  Not a single moment of His grace.