An Adventure Begins

Hot air balloons

As I wrote the heading for this post I realized that it may not seem to fit with my topic, yet in reality it does.

Last summer I sat right next to the roped off area where these and many other balloons prepared for take off.  To see all the work it takes, spreading that nylon out on the ground, getting the burner ready and firing it just at the right place and time, seeing the shape come to life…it is really something to behold.   

Then when the balloon is ready someone lets go and upward it floats.  When a bunch of them are lifting into the sky you can hear all those burners firing.  I love that sound.

I shared some of these thoughts today over at Vision and Verb, which you know I have contributed to for a while now.   Later this month Vision and Verb is going to close.  Marcie Scudder, the creative force behind that gathering, has decided it is time after five years to say goodbye.  I support her decision and her courage to stand for what she values.

I think I am one of those contributors who found her voice in that space.  By sharing an image and some words every few weeks I think my best got better.  Not an elegant way to say it, but you get what I mean.  

We are letting go of something we have all loved, and now a new adventure begins. No, not another collaborative or website.  The adventure is that we will no longer be around that “table”, but will be on our own, still keeping in touch. 

I invite you to head on over to Vision and Verb, read the recent posts, join in the conversation.


Vision and Verb

Opening the Heart

Let go

At the beginning of this year this little phrase found me.  I
approached 2013 with the idea that it would be easy to release some old
habits, let go of what no longer helped me be the true me.

Easier said than done.  Much as I hate to admit it, change is often difficult for me.

Finally, just this week, on Christmas Day, I experienced what it felt
like to really let go of what I thought was always expected, always
necessary, what I thought I simply had to do. There were minimal
decorations, and the food prepared was nothing like what I would have
done in years past.  The simple meal served our needs, nourished our
bodies, was not perfect in any way, yet it was enough.

Normally I would have overworked myself in that annual attempt at the
perfect holiday feast, resulting in too many leftovers, too much food
in our bellies, and worrying about just how that table was set and how
it looked.  There is a time a place for such things, but this holiday
was just not one of those times.

The best part of all this was that the day became so much more than I
anticipated, a beautiful time with dear friends.  Good conversation.
Plenty of coffee.  A game of dominoes afterwards.  Then we went our
separate ways. 

In the letting go I was opening my hands and heart to receive
something more.  In releasing the idea of the perfect holiday feast I
found joy and comfort in the simplest meal.  And in that simple
preparation I was able to then have more time to bask in the glow of
love and friendship. 

Funny…now that this little phrase has found it’s way into my life I believe it is meant to stay.

Sharing my image and words today at Vision and Verb.
Vision and Verb


Yes, I do have a nice food processor, one that keeps everything
contained and has a sharp blade that will obliterate any kind of food
quickly.  Yes, I can go to the deli and get the relish all made up and
ready to eat.  Oh, and yes, I know, it comes in a can.

But why would I want those conveniences?  Why would I want to make
the traditional cranberry relish in record time?  Why have it from a can
when you can have it fresh and tangy and so sweet?

The holidays begin here for me.  I use this old hand cranked food
grinder.  It leaks as you chop the berries and apples and oranges, so a
dish has to be placed below it to catch the juicy mess.  And it drips
all over everything no matter what I do, and then I have to clean up the
floor and table and me.

But it is so worth it!  When I turn that crank, I can almost feel the
presence of my grandma and grandpa.  Grandma would supervise.  Grandpa
would have to taste test everything.  Sometimes he kept coming back in
for more. 

Some traditions are worth keeping.  The older I get 
As a woman of a certain age, I find that the memories of what we ate
and who made that dish, even an aroma that makes me think of someone’s
home (like my grandparents) or a special dinner time, all those memories
make the holiday bitter sweet. 

Bitter sweet because we have all moved on.  Part of me wants to hang
on to what was, but I know I must blaze new trails and find new ways to
celebrate just being together with family…no matter the date on the

Traditions can be a blessing and yet they can be a hindrance. 
You’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that cranberry relish is
one worth keeping.

Sharing my words (AND the recipe!) at Vision and Verb today!

Vision and Verb