I’m so glad to live in a place where there are significant changes in the seasons. Too much of the same thing gets a bit boring after a while, and each new season brings excitement and joy for change. Winter brings a time for all things to rest, not just plants and hibernating animals but also people, because there is less to do outside so we spend more time on the couch enjoying a good book and a fire. The winter holidays are always special and full of parties and gifts and fun. Then in the spring everything wakes up and colorful blossoms are everywhere. Ugly brown grass and barren trees change into beautiful greens again. In summer everything “fills out” and becomes even more beautiful, with roses blooming full force and Hastas exploding into fat leaves and tall purple stalks and corn fields high with green corn. Then comes autumn, my favorite. Leaves turn a rich red and yellow and orange. Pumpkins abound. Hot summer nights become cool and you can open your windows and get rid of stale air-conditioned air, replacing it with clean air that smells like piles of leaves and fresh apples. The corn is harvested, apple trees are heavy with their red fruit, and – of course – there is football!!
I am feeling grateful today for so many things … the beautiful weather – the fact that my books are selling well and Amazon will soon come out with my Blue Hawk Trilogy for e-books – I am 100 pages into my next new novel – my grandsons are playing football – my #1 grandson, who broke his leg almost 2 months ago, is almost 100% healed – and I’m thinking of baking a pie when I get home.
Most of all I am grateful to live in “small town” America, where people pray and sing hymns and neighbors know their neighbors … where there is a church every couple of blocks and one of them plays hymns on its church bells every day at Noon … where people still say “under God” when they say the pledge of allegiance … and where friends abound, some of them I’ve had since high school fifty years ago!
Life can hand you some bad stuff sometimes … and it can also be very good. A lot of it depends on how you look at life to begin with. Making good choices helps, acting on hobbies that you love helps, opening your heart and sharing your joys with others helps, having a lot of faith helps, and keeping your family close also helps. World news can sometimes knock you for a loop, so you have to narrow your world down to those around you, perhaps just your neighborhood if you live in a big city, or the small town you live in. Sometimes it helps to shut off the news and shut out the rest of the world, if just for a while. Getting on your knees and praying helps, as well as forgiving those who sometimes make you angry and resentful. If they want to be the way they are, you won’t change them, so you just have to let them live their lives and not allow their thinking to affect yours.
I think living in small town America helps me write good love stories and helps me be better able to envision what life was like in the 1800’s. Some of that old fashioned way of living and thinking can still be seen and felt here in my little town … manners, respect, true love. Oh, we have a lot of the “bad stuff,” too, but overall it’s a good place to live and here you are surrounded by neighbors and loved ones who would rush to help you out in any time of need, just like in the old days when neighbors would gather together to help another neighbor build a barn or help him get his crops in. We still have picnics and parades and queen contests and cherry spitting contests and fund-raising events. My home is surrounded by family farms, some of which have been in the same family for as far back as I can remember.
I’m not sure of the purpose of this particular blog other than to share my joy and hope it brings joy to those who read it. In this day and age of oppressive news stories a person has to remember the good and concentrate on that, blocking out the bad as much as possible and praying for those whose way of life hardly allows for good thoughts and joy. Recently I took great joy in working extremely hard physically to create a rose garden out of about half of my back yard just off the patio. It took a lot of sweat and sore muscles, but I turned weedy grass into a beautiful private garden, and now it is my own little “get-away” when I am troubled. Maybe someday there really will be peace in this entire world, but for now we have to settle for the peace of our churches and small towns and our own back yards … and the peace of prayer.