A Few Things I Learned in August ( And Am Willing To Share)

You may have stumbled here. Welcome. Or you may follow along. Thank you. What a gift to have you reading. ¬†This is where I mix it up a bit. It’s the end of August and I am joining my friend Emily P. Freeman (I love that she uses her middle initial. Someone else I know does the same thing. ūüôā ) from the blog,¬†Chatting At The Sky . We are taking a¬†look back at last month, recalling some things we learned ¬†during August. Here are seven things I have chosen to share. You should see the ones that didn’t make the cut. They may show up in their very own blog post or poem.

Get out now. Well I really would rather you stayed but I am trying to sort of warn you. It gets very very random from this point forward.

This was fun in June and July. Follow the link to go back and review the summer highlight reel with me.

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1. I learned what a “Dirty Chai” is. ¬†One of the recent things I have done slash happened upon which made no sense in hindsight involved lots of caffeine. ¬†At my favorite coffee shop one day around ” tired 4:00 ish pm” ¬†I asked if Chai Tea had caffeine in it. And the barista answered yes. And I then asked how can I make it more caffeinated and he responded “we call that a Dirty Chai”. Oh, ok. So one shot of espresso wasn’t enough so I ordered two. And a small wasn’t enough so I ordered ¬†a large. And the rest is sleepless history. It was deliciously caffeinated and I was really tired the next day. You’re welcome for the heads up.

2. So I am a big fan of Downton Abbey. ¬†Which opens up all sorts of other British drama possibilities once one goes looking. I am now a huge fan of “Call the Midwife.” I mean I am kind of NUTS about it. ¬†As in I may, may like it better…..no I can’t make that judgement. It is like picking a favorite ice cream or favorite child. ¬†After you watch an episode or two you can tell me what you think. Here is the trailer from PBS. The music is fab too. ¬†I believe we are up to Season 3, but don’t quote me. How do you like the royal we there. Oh and I follow them on twitter and facebook. So can you.

3. Parenting isn’t for weenies. And if I elaborate on this you will end up with a “War and Peace” ish tome on that very subject. I am just guessing, but I don’t think you signed up for that here. But I may be writing about it soon. #parentingisnotforthefaintofheart. I wonder if I can add 23 plus 18 plus 17 and round up since the birthdays are soonish and if that equals how many parenting years I have under my belt. #feellikeanewbie

4. Parenting isn’t for weenies. (that one needs to take up two line items of learned knowledge

5. I have decided I want to write music. Mildly obsessed with this, really. Maybe one day I will. But you all are so precious to listen to my dreams. It is number 5 because I sort of ran into this piece of knowledge. I mean, it kept haunting me. Finally, I said “Dream, nice to meet you. I think I will keep you.”

6. I am learning to seek poetry in more places. And I am increasingly fascinated by Instagram. Once a skeptic, now a big fan. (Should I rename this post “Some Things I Am ¬†A Fan Of This Month). Here are some fun peeks into my Instagram world. Am I following you on Instagram? I am @graceappears there.

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The salt creek and brown pelicans will never grow old. To my soul they deliver joy and utter fascination.
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I love this church at the end of my street. And though I am not a member, I love to visit. I don’t know why I want to giggle at The Chapel Of Ease, subtitle? It is probably really good theology. What if all Churches were chapels of ease, and grace and love and sweet warm invitation. Holy gracious goodness. I love this picture, this church and I love the front doors.

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7. The “teacher” on Scrabble is sort of a show off. I have learned a lot from him/her and I do feel challenged by her skills. I play a two player Scrabble game where I take turns with myself. So after every move she grades me and says Outstanding, Excellent, Good or HMM. It’s when she says HMM that I get a little grumpy. And there are words, really, really that are words. Did you know “aa” is a word. And I could go on and on. Here are a few words I learned from the “Scrabble Dictionary”. I probably won’t be using any of these on my blog. And I just learned while I was looking up random weird words that I was using the British (Collins) dictionary. I switched it to the English (TWL) dictionary. Great. That should make a big difference. Aa,ab,ae,ag,oo,ee are all words and it gets weirder. She knows so many multi-syllabic words that I have never, ever heard of that it makes my head spin. Seriously, words I will never ever use in a sentence or a blog post. But I was taught not to question the teacher. So whatever. I think its like the casinos in Las Vegas. I am just guessing, the house always wins.

8. And 8 is my bonus item. I know I told you there were 7 but I learned that my neighbor’s parrot might be imitating me calling my dogs at night. I am going to post a video on Instagram of the parrot imitating me and then ¬†you can decide if you think it is me calling my dogs or the parrot. It is a hoot. When we were newly married, we had a parrot that imitated my husband calling me “Elizabeth, Elizabeth”.

I warned you it would get random here. ūüôā You all are good sports.

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This is so much fun, don’t you want to share a random thing you learned sometime recently in the comments. I would love to hear. Tomorrow it is back to poetry, but this rocks my world. Can’t wait to go to Chatting At The Sky to read some of the dozens of posts up over there. I love being a life-time learner. Life is never boring.

Why I Am Dreaming Small and Under The Oaks

(Thank you.¬† Yes, you. Dear readers here, you ¬†who are uncertain of poetry. I too,¬† am uncertain of poetry. But you are still here reading. Or maybe you have left, because of poetry. So ¬†I’ve ¬†decided I ¬†am going to make a little space for more prose. To offer both,¬†together, for a season. Each time I post I will publish¬†prose and poetry. Thank you for journeying with me as I pen this life, look for beauty, reflect my faith, and place words, some shaky, some brave, into this community. Let’s see how a vision of prose and poetry will look, here. And now that the comments are open again, ¬†I would love to hear your thoughts on two writing forms, together. Here, in this little corner of the inter-webs. Wising you grace, elizabeth)

thank you peach

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morning light on flowers hydrangae

Under The Oaks

I spot threes
Write sounds in threes
See the world in
Triplicates
Focus a lens on multiples
Trios

So fitting, that  on a street named Venning
The street with three n’s
There are three souls, new
To me
Three new friends have I
I spy beauty

Grace and elegance

Grand dames
I could have come and gone
Perish the thought
I’d never known the life behind the smiles
Life lines on their faces
Telling

Me
New one on the street with the winding sounds
Learning of life
I make my way
Up and down the tree lined street

Life learned
From a trio of grace
From the Ladies of Venning

Quiet now, they are living large
Speaking softly, they live and breath
A writer, a gardner, a traveller
Lover of film and land
Living their stories

Wonder and awe
It is well to
Listen

To the three
Ladies of  well-lived
Lives,  it appears
From where I sit and stare

And  wait to earn a place
Of friendship
Among the three
Who barely know me
And  yet, have shown

Friendship
Grace

So I study the lines
My eyes trace their living
Laugh lines, crows feet
Fragile lines around the eyes
And mouth

Of these three
Ladies, each

Under the oaks
With me.

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Spencer and the dolphin

Why I Am Dreaming Small

And so it seems everyone is dreaming big. Anyone  that dreams at all has big dreams.  Thrown up and out into the sea of living. Brave and big. Bold and large. The bigger the better. Super-sized.  These dreams of man.

Words crisscross my screen every day  about these dreams, the ones that I see  looming large. But I think I am dreaming small.  Not because of fear. But I , like everyone have my share of fear.  Not because of lack of faith, for mine is at least the size of a mustard seed.

Because I hear a  clear crisp call to small. One that  whispers in my ear of dreams scaled down, sized in miniature. But lovely nonetheless.

Small dreams now from a grand and glorious God who is the one that’s large.

How beautiful and whimsical, are my little hopeful dreams.  The ones I  have dancing in my mind, by day and keeping me awake at night.  They lack nothing in the winnowing. The paring back and whittling down.

It is not really that I have  a shrunken faith. Or fear to take my dreams and expand them on a larger scale. Truly, not.

It is, rather, that I am seeing beauty in the small things, after all. It comes with age. A grand release. And in my younger days I dreamed so big. And came to value all that is small. I walked to here, a place of growing contentment, in the smallest acts of kindness, moments, and conversations with a friend.

And somewhere in this life, I am ¬†coming to a place. That not all measurements are more wonderful, ¬†the larger they become. So we are looking for a home. Another house to call our own the remainder of our days. ¬†Is this the eighth. I can’t count. But ¬†graciously and gratefully , one that will be new for us. Or maybe held the joy of others for sometime. Another ¬†through the years.

New is not necessary,nor is big.

And I am dreaming of one small and cozy. I dream ¬†on Pinterest and in my mind and with The Patient One. And look for beauty, comfort and a house with just ¬†a little this and a little that. For my children and my children’s children.

I’m finding contentment after all, in you guessed it, things so small.

Last night we found a house we love. It fits my dreams just so.

I am dreaming small. We laughed at the little number ¬†the realtor printed on the sheet; the one that revealed the total space, for living, here. But I know we would have just enough. All we need. Even though we dream of adding a bit to what is there. Because we have a history of piling up and ¬†piling on and living in a cozy space. Just wearing out and down the soul of every house we’ve owned. Even though we have lived large. Between the walls of lots of space and things.

Small now calls my name.

I heard a story of a man, a writer in his graying years. And he had published seven poems. Ever in his life of writing. Only.  Until he wrote a little book. And off it went, big and large. A big success from all accounts.

One never knows where dreams might go. I love friends with dreams so big. And God may grow mine bigger.

But for now they are just so dreams. A little small.

So I will write my little poems. Here for awhile. And maybe one day there. And dream a little dream of one days. That maybe I will find a publisher who says lets go and run, or fly or soar. Or maybe even a home between the covers, nestled in a spine. My little poems will settle down and live up ¬†on a shelf, in a book leather bound. ¬†One that has a name that’s gold embossed, that is my very own. ¬† Or maybe my poems will gather. And compile themselves. ¬†Into ¬†a collection. Walk themselves off to a printer and return to me in published form.

I love my little dreams.  They fit me just right, right now.

And that is why my God sized dreams may look a little small. One never knows where dreams will go when they are grown by God.

Maybe tomorrow they will grow an inch or two. After I grow contented with what I have and where I am.

My portion perfected by his loving hand.

Oh to dream, by day, by night. And watch Him change us in our dreaming. Bless us always with so much more.

Than we ever dreamed, was possible or could be true.

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Joining Jennifer Dukes Lee and Emily for Imperfect Prose

(I am gathering some of my writing to submit to a magazine as examples of my work along with some ideas for editorial content. If you have a prose piece you ¬†have particularly enjoyed ¬†let me know in the comments. Let’s see where this dream goes. You will be some of the first to know.)