Monday, October 3, 2011

What do YOU Think?

 Truth is, the pavement is dusty and the street is lined with serviceable cars and trucks.  The dog walkers look very ordinary and the dogs themselves are not show dogs.  The air is a bit sultry.  Windows are not sparkly clean in my neighborhood.  
Even the neighbors I don't know always say hello, though.  I think we all need to step outdoors a bit more often.  What if we set timers and every two hours, we went outside to run around for fifteen minutes or so?  Even in nursing homes, it wouldn't hurt to wheel all the ladies and gentlemen out to sniff some fresh air, would it?  I feel very cooped up at school. 
At least I'm closer to the door this year.  
 I picked up two leaves for my nature table.  I had to put them in a fat book Bill's reading so they'll flatten out.  Turns out picking up stuff off the ground involves bending over.  I'm a stiff old granny.

"There is always one moment in a day when I think my heart will break.  Such a moment I think all women have, and men too, when all the meaning of life seems distilled and caught up and you feel you can never, never bear to leave it.  It may be when you turn and look down a blazing autumn road or it may be when you see your house under great ancient trees or it may be, in the city, when you look up at a towering apartment building and see one light and think "that is mine."  It may be any one of a number of things, according to the circumstances of your life.
But there is the moment, and all the heartaches and sorrows of your life suddenly diminish and only the fine brave things stand out.  You breathe sharp clean air, your eyes lift to the eternal wildness of the sky."     ~ Gladys Taber (Stillmeadow Daybook)

One of the many sweet features of October is the perfect temperature.  Last night I snuggled in our bed wearing my "Eat Crab" hooded sweatshirt.  I thought, "I feel just right.  Not too hot.  Not too cold." Why do you suppose that people over a certain age (let's just say around 50) wake up a bit more often during the night?  I think it might provide us with extra opportunities to figure things out.  I rarely come up with solutions when I'm wakeful, but I think a little more pondering upon the basics helps.  Maybe.  Maybe not.
I rarely woke up during the night when I was younger.  I was out cold, snoring away until morning.  Now I find myself thinking, "There you are again." 
What do you think about when you wake up before morning?

Another thing I'd like to ask you is, what's your favorite story?  We're reading short stories at school and some of the stories in the book are SO DUMB.  We're learning about plot, theme, character and setting, tone, mood, and what not.  I just can't bear to discuss stories that don't have any spirit in them.  I try to imagine sitting around a camp fire telling tales and I believe the stories should change our thinking in some way.  Do you think so?
Okay, thank you for the help, good visitor, good seeker, good sleeper, good thinker.  Until we meet again . . . 


Gumbo Lily said...

Lovely photos and beautiful things that surround you. Such bright colors. It is mostly brown here, but it is as it should be.

That GT quote -- amazing!

Favorite stories: I always loved the Hans Christian Andersen stories like The Ugly Duckling, Little Match Girl, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Wild Swans, The Princess and the Pea. I believe they are stories that make us think and have compassion. I also like George MacDonald -- The Princess and the Goblin, The Lost Princess (and these are not "girlie stories).


Anonymous said...

Hello PP, lovely post and so thought-provoking.

My favourite stories are the Milly-Molly-Mandy ones. Innocent and lovely, the characters are always busy doing something fun like cooking, camping, organising a party for a loved one, looking after a shop, etc. My children loved those books so much (and so did I). I still read them, and still love them.

Hugs to you! xxx

Catherine said...

That's why I like being (mostly) a "Garden Fairy" I really don't like to being cooped up either, but fairies also like to do a little bit of this & then a little bit of that which is quite nice too. What wonderful bright cheery flowers. I do prefer medium..spring is quite nice here just now too..just sort of "middle". Dad gave me the huge old family bible a little while back it is brilliant to squash things with! & it was nice to find my name written in the front by my grandparents. I am not very impressed with the incessant waking just at the moment..some times I fret about the biggest issue lurking around, sometimes I just lie there thinking resting is good too & hear the birds stir & begin to sing & eventually I sleep again a little.
I have only just read The Velveteen Rabbit this year & I love it & the Secret Garden..I always relate to Mary who wasn't wanted but she was the one that found the key to the door & planted the garden again & changed lives. Otherwise I have dozens of Chicken Soup stories that I adore..they always move me to tears & touch my heart. Do you remember my 2 Baby Jesus's story..might be good for your sweeties closer to Christmas:
Can I still visit with you please even when we are old ladies? I will still wear my brooches even then & even when I am gardening. Big hug. x0x0x0
I see that those 3 are having a right leisurely time on holiday!

Betty The Wood Fairy said...

Hi PomPom, deep thoughts in this post! I lov Hans Christian Andersen 'The Tinder Box' is probably my favourite. From the Bible, Noahs Ark because I like imagining the animals, from my teen years 'Nancy Drew Mystery Stories'. From school days Lorna Doone, not least because my grandmother's cottage was on the edge of Exmoor (Porlock Hill) and I spent a lot of time there walking on the moors between Porlock and Lynmouth and riding country buses around so it was easy to imagine the adventures of Lorna. I wanted to be her!
I do wake up at night and think it is to say prayers - so I just squeeze a quick one of thanks in for my family and the good things as we so often pray about the things that aren't so good. Love your last picture of the fairy. Bettyx

Angela said...

You are right, I wake up in the night more than I did when younger [not counting the calls for 'Mummy!', that is]

Do you have the expression "To Count Sheep" in the states, as a rememdy for insomnia?

I find that if I wake and cannot sleep, the best cure is not to count sheep, but to talk to the Shepherd.

blessings xx

Carolyn Phillips said...

Lovely photos.
I often find myself trying to work out if I am awake and thinking or asleep and dreaming in the middle of the night.

Floss said...

Hello Pôm Pom - what do I think?? Well, you've given us a lot to think about!

Getting out of doors - totally. In fact, there's a retirement home near us and the elderly French ladies and gentlemen do like a walk down the road to the bench near the school, or even into town. I love seeing them out and about and they love it if people take the time to stop and say 'bonjour'.

Sleep - well, in our early to mid 40s, this is already happening to Ben and me. One thing I like is that he doesn't want a lie-in any more - it makes us more compatible!

Stories. Gretchen Ruben of the Happiness Project is intersting on the subject of loving children's literature. She used to see it as a guilty pleasure, but now recognises it as a perfectly legitimate love. She thinks it's beacause the stories are clearer and more satisfying - less muddy water in terms of morals and conclusion, perhaps. I couldn't possibly tell you my favourite because I have too many. I've just read Anne of Green Gables, Percy Jackson, I am Number Four and, in between, Love in a Cold Climate. I also like Agatha Christies and Father Tim - but not too much of anything, as the varity is what makes each one so good!

M.K. said...

I love that quote, Pom. I don't have moments like that each day, but I do love them when they come. They give a "breather" to the worried soul.

My favorite story. Hmm. There are many, but perhaps my all-time favorite is "The Gray Wolf" by George MacDonald. It's mysterious, dark, wonderful, short, meaningful, heart-wrenching, scary (a little). I used to read it aloud to my college roommates. It was required :) You could easily read it to your class, and he is a great writer. Here is a link to an online copy you can use:

Farm Girl said...

I love all of your pictures and your thoughts as always. I will tell you what my teacher read to us when I was in fourth grade that greatly shaped who I am today.
She read Charlotte's Web, but I think if you are teaching writing any thing by E.B. White would do.
Then of course Ralph Moody who grew up in Colorado. Little Britches is a good book for boys and girls.
I still enjoy the Railway Children, and Five Children and It by E. Nesbit.
I can't tell you how many books I have bought and then spent a ton of money and wanted to throw them across the room.
I like books that tell a story and not twaddle.
I will think about some more books.
I am reading Understood Betsy by Dorthy Canfield. Wonderful book.
I used to not be able to sleep, then I moved out here, I never wake up. I can never figure out what happened. :)
We had rain during the night so today will be glorious.
Have a lovely week, my dear friend.

no spring chicken said...

My, your photos are even more gorgeous than ever today! I think that if everyone popped out of their house at the same time we would finally by forced to interact with neighbors we've never even met! Of course, I force myself upon mine with cookies. Great plan...

As for what I think of during those wakeful hours in the night... It depends on the state of the house. If I feel behind on housework or like we've been running too much then I worry. If all is well on those fronts, then I just send up prayers of praise.... hmmm... I never really thought this out before. Thanks!

And about the books. Don't even waste my time with twaddle. My reading time is too precious to not be stimulated or inspired in some way... Books should be treasures, not just fluff someone turned out to make a buck! So, there you have it...

Blessings, Debbie

A garden just outside Venice said...

Your garden is still look awesome - as you are -

GretchenJoanna said...

I don't think these are for children...maybe adolescents...but two stories that come to mind immediately are "The Day Boy and the Night Girl" by George MacDonald, which is so captivating to me...not that I know what the author was getting at! And "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" by Tolstoy, a story that doesn't show up in anthologies much anymore, but is worth searching out. Another one I like -- or maybe I should just say that it is powerful -- is "To Build a Fire" by Jack London, another one for older people.

Now that you have got me started, I may have to make a list of good stories, just for my own satisfaction. :-)

magsmcc said...

I'm still thinking all this through. Will have to reply properly when have got to the bottom of what I'm thinking. I do however think that you should drink more camomile tea at night...

Jo said...

Goodness, lots to think about and your photos are gorgeous!
Yes, I seem to wake up in the night so much more than I used to... apart from those sleepless spells while teaching when I simply couldn't switch my brain off!! I agree, I am sure those wakeful moments are a 'gift' to us: an opportunity to reflect away from other distrations.
My favourite books.... not sure where to start as there are sooo many!! I still adore all the Narnia stories and the Secret Garden plus the Lord of the Rings. But the two I most frequently re-read are "Hindes Feet in High Places" and "Mountain of Spices" - allegorical and full of 'imagery'.

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

You captured nature's beauty so very pretty my sweet friend. Autumn is here again, I adore the changing of the leaves and the late Summer flowers.
Have a happy wonderful lovely merry great Midweek xxxxx

wayside wanderer said...

My son has been learning about all those same literary elements. He started by using O'Henry's The Ransom of Red Chief. What a great short story!!! Have you read it?

I refer to Beatrix Potter in my writing class often and some of those children have no idea what I am talking about. I am tempted to read one of her stories to them every week. I think I will. Then they will understand me and some of the things I say better. And I am sure their writing will be better because of it, right? =D


Sara Lorayne said...

Thank you for the colorful flower display and those glorious skies!

That Gladys Taber, I must get a copy of Stillmeadow Daybook so I can indulge in the luxury of her marvelous words too!

Being a bit more advanced in age than you, the sleepless nights have pretty much settled down for me...I used to wake up and worry about what was on my desk at work for the day, week, was terrible!

Now on those occasions when I cannot sleep, I get out of bed and go into the dark (but cozy) living room and talk to God or daydream (can you daydream at night?) or look at a magazine (after turning on the light of course!) until I get sleepy again.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! Hand waving wildly in the air! See if your school library has Some of the Kinder Planets by Tim Wynn-Jones. If it doesn't, I'll buy one and donate it to your classroom library. Great, contemporary (or sort of contemporary; it was published in the early '90s, I think) stories for kids. Very thoughtful and good.

Thanks for the GT quote. I feel that way especially this time of year, but most days all year when I take my morning walks with Travis.


Gigi said...

Oh Pom, as always, you make me smile! So many beautiful photos today -- gorgeous flowers, and heavenly heavens.
And yes, I've got the sleep thing too. I like your theory about waking up to figure things out -- not sure I do that though. But sometimes I pray about things on my mind. Then, I lay there and get frustrated b/c I can't go back to sleep ;).


Farm Girl said...

It is so nice to know we are the same age and that we have 30 year olds. We were babies when we held them. I think I was such a idiot and I am so glad that God went ahead of me all of the way. He deserves the glory.
It is nice to know that about you.
We really are kindred spirits, just like Diana and Anne.
I am so glad.
Thanks for your words they really spoke to me.

Lisa Richards said...

Beautiful photos as usual! At work today the radio was set to an all '70's music station. Suddenly I heard "Rocky Mountain High" playing and it took me right back to my youth in Colorado, right outside Boulder where I used to listen to a lot of John Denver. Also, memories of singing some of his songs with my cousin, Johnny when visiting Texas. It was a fun moment at work!

I also wake up a lot and I usually spend my time praying for all the kids and family.

So many favorite stories! Jane Eyre is one of my most favorites. Probably for the same reason I love to read biographies. I love stories about people's lives!

The feeling you described reminds me of what C.S. Lewis called being "surprised by joy". I've had it many times. :)

God bless your day, my friend!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Your photographing finger certainly isn't stiff - your photos are beautiful!! As far as sleep, who sleeps?! So much to do, solve, and think about :) Regardless of age XOL

Floss said...

Da da da da DA,
Stuff stuff, mart mart!

You've set me off now, Pop Pom - and I've replied to your comment properly on my own blog. Thanks for writing

Lynn said...

Beautiful post as usual Pom Pom. I am a flitter so yes I need to charge outdoors every now and again.
Books - around the age you are teaching my teacher read to us A Christmas Carol - I was enthralled.
Yes I awake often nowadays too! I snuggle down, make myself comfy & I talk & listen with God for ages and then I plan my garden :)
Love ya Pom Pom.

The dB family said...

Oh please don't tell me I will start waking up through the night! I do so love my sleep.

Hmmm, favorite short story? It depends on how short is short I guess. I would have to go through my children's literature books to be reminded.