Love is… Surprises!

Recently our daughter went away on a vacation and while she was gone, she invited her Dad and me to spend a few days at her place.

She lives quite close to the city and she figured her parental units (as she calls us) would enjoy the chance to have some “city fun” with a crash pad nearby!

It was very thoughtful of her; we had a terrific time.


We left her house before she got back from her trip – but wanted to leave a couple of “surprises” for her to find on her return . . .

~ Her Dad mowed and trimmed her yard to perfection!

~ And because she loves her flower garden, I found some garden-y window clings to add to her kitchen door.

Click photo to enlarge

She was delighted to discover her surprises.

But, you know what?

I think Sir Beads and I were just as excited getting those surprises ready! 🙂

‘Til next time,


I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Click the envelope to leave a comment or to read what the other kids are saying!

Turtle Time

Every spring . . .

there’s a little parade going through our back yard.

Well, I guess it’s more of a slow march.

In the waning days of May, a couple of very large turtles leave the small pond behind our house and then cut through our land, on their way to spend the summer in a pond across the street.

We’ve lived here for 3 decades now, but each time we witness this event, it’s just as thrilling as it was on the very first occasion. It usually happens rather unexpectedly. One of us will suddenly notice a majestic creature inching his way up from the tall grass.

Some years – including this one – he’s wearing a little coat of duckweed that he picked up on his way out of the water.


Although he doesn’t really seem to mind, I often wish I could give him a light shower – maybe with a watering can – to rid him of his “coat”. I don’t dare do it, though. These turtles prefer that you keep your distance! We stand pretty far away to get photos.


They’re fascinating to watch… so determined. If something scares them, they will just stop and draw up their arms and legs, waiting calmly until they feel comfortable enough to resume the journey.


He’s now about a third of the way to his destination.


I think he’s smiling at us! (Thank heaven for the telephoto lens.)


Finally, he heads out of our yard. It’s at this point that we always hold our breath – he has to cross the street!

We keep watching and are elated when he reaches the other side and disappears into the woods.

Once autumn arrives, he’ll reverse his tracks and come back home again!



I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Click the envelope to leave a comment or to find out what the other “kids” are saying! 😀

Growing Pains

It was the spring of 1961 and Easter was just around the corner. All the girls were chattering about the new outfits they’d be getting to wear to church on Easter Sunday.

And it wouldn’t be just the usual spring clothes. Oh no!
After all, the girls were in the 5th grade now, so they’d be wearing “grown-up” fashions. And for the first time – they’d wear NYLONS and “SQUASH HEELS”, which were the latest craze in footwear!

Crystal thought it all sounded pretty wonderful. Honestly, who wouldn’t feel like a full-fledged woman in the attire described by these preteen fashionistas? Besides, she was tired of wearing ankle socks and looking like a “baby”.


That evening, she broached the subject at the dinner table . . .

Crystal: “All the girls are going to wear nylons and shoes with little heels this Easter.”

Her father: “Absolutely not!”

He added that she was much too young; there was plenty of time.
Her Mom looked at her with a touch of sympathy . . . but Crystal knew there was no way her mother would disagree with her father on parenting policy.

~ The matter was settled. ~

Crystal was desolate. She could clearly picture herself looking like a little kid next to all the other girls. She did need an Easter outfit, however, and so a few days later – her mother took her dress shopping at a local department store. Their second stop was a shoe store, where the salesclerk brought out a selection of flats for Crystal to try.

Suddenly, Crystal’s mother asked the clerk:

“Can you show us some squash heels?”


Crystal could not believe her ears. Her mother smiled and motioned for her to try them on. Crystal slipped her feet into a pair of black patent leathers, accented at the toe with twisted leather trim and a little gold embellishment with a mabe pearl center. Oh, they were gorgeous and those little heels were divine. Within moments, her Mom had paid for them and they were back at the department store. Crystal was puzzled, at first, and then shocked to see her mother heading straight for the hosiery counter!

Crystal: “Oh Mum! Squash Heels AND nylons?”

Her Mom: “Well, you can’t wear socks with THOSE shoes!”

Crystal: “What about Dad? What will he say?”

Her Mom: “Well, I’m making this decision. I will talk to him.”

Crystal was touched and very grateful. Her mother understood and was going to bat for her!

~ Easter Sunday arrived. ~

Crystal jumped into her new dress and then carefully put on her nylons (wearing a pair of cotton gloves just as her Mom always did to avoid snagging them.) The tissue paper rustled as she uncovered her pretty new shoes. She loved the clicking sound the heels made as she walked….

She arrived at church early and when she entered, the scene was awash with colorful new hats and dresses. She walked down the aisle and quickly spotted some of her friends who gestured for her to join them.

After a few seconds, Crystal noticed that her friend, Julie, was wearing ankle socks and flat shoes. A further glance revealed that Pauline was, too! In fact, Crystal was astounded to discover that hardly any of the girls were wearing nylons and squash heels!!!

~ It had all been just talk . . . ~

Or perhaps wishful thinking. Either way, it seemed as if there were lots of parents who had not given the green light for the “grown-up” wardrobe.

Crystal learned a couple of things that day —-

* That she should never again allow peer pressure to influence her desires.

* That her mother loved her very much.

A few notes . . .
When the events described above occurred:

* Crystal was close to 11 years old.
* Her mother was 32.
* Pantyhose had only recently been invented (in 1959) and were not yet widely available. Ladies wore sheer stockings or “nylons” until pantyhose became very popular during the 1960’s.


I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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An Extraordinary Afternoon

On this blog, I usually avoid discussing national and world news. I figure we’re already over-dosed with the 24/7 news cycle from TV, print, and social media.

This week, I’m making an exception – not so much to discuss the recent events, but to talk about what happened afterwards . . .

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know that I LOVE Boston.

I was born and raised there. It’s the city where Sir Beads and I met and fell in love. The surrounding areas are home to most of my family.

So, as you can probably imagine, we were devastated by the horrific nightmare that began at the Boston Marathon and continued over the next several days. We were glued to the reports and life seemed to stand still for a time.

But, it’s what occurred in the aftermath that I want to focus on today.

A week or so had passed and by then we really needed to shop and do a few errands, so we headed to the stores.

Generally, people at the mall seem detached, or rushed, sometimes grumpy, even rude. But on this day, after such a difficult week, there was a distinct change.

It’s hard to explain how I became aware that the mood of people around me was quite different than usual. Very gradually, as I negotiated the aisles with my shopping cart, I began to notice that people were making eye contact and then smiling. I don’t ever remember receiving so many smiles from strangers in one day. But even more amazing – people were kind. Several times, I encountered another cart in my path but invariably the person pushing it would jump out of my way . . . even apologize for the inconvenience!

At one point, I came upon an older lady who was waiting for a prescription. She was sitting on a store bench but leaning into the aisle area. I realized I couldn’t easily get by, but I didn’t want to bother her so I began to turn my cart in the reverse direction. Immediately, she stirred and said, ”Oh wait, please come ahead. I’m sorry. I must be asleep.”

Such a contrast to the customary aloofness of passers-by . . .

It was as if the events of the previous week had reminded everyone that we are truly one very large family . . . that we need to appreciate each other . . . be good to each other. Surely we knew that already . . . but it’s so easy to forget.

As we headed for our car, a young man, smiling broadly, called out to Sir Beads: “Hey, I like your jacket!” (a Red Sox jacket)

It had been a day of unexpected healing. The young guy’s comment was simply the icing on the cake. We drove home feeling better than we had in quite a while.

Life may be frighteningly uncertain, Kids, but there’s great comfort in knowing that when things get really tough, we are surrounded by good-hearted people.


Extra hugs for all of you,


I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Still The One

When Sir Beads was a young man, he met his future bride at work.
At first, Crystal had no idea they would eventually marry.
He claims he knew it from the start.

She adored his sense of humor and soon they began to spend lunch hours together.
Sometimes, he’d leave his desk to buy a snack and return with one for her, as well.
She loved his thoughtfulness.

One morning, when Crystal arrived at work, she found a gum wrapper on her desk.
It was actually the silver foil paper that is the inner liner on a stick of gum.
She was puzzled.
A closer glance revealed that there was something written inside the silver wrapper.
She unfolded it and read the words:

“Every office has its silver lining and you are ours.”

Needless to say, this deeply touched Crystal’s heart – the words, the clever presentation, the romantic idea of it all.

Fast-forward 4 decades.
Crystal had been thinking about getting an Ipad mini.
Sir Beads said: “I’ll order it for you for Valentine’s Day!”

It arrived a few days later.
When Crystal opened the box, she let out a little gasp.
The iPad was white… but the back was silver.
There was an inscription . . .

As she read it, she was immediately transported to a day long ago –
and her heart skipped a beat.