“Whatsoever things are lovely . . .”

The week after our holiday,” Beside the sea” was full of good things.  As is my habit, I did mope the first few days.  Then I painted flowers and read more Thoreau” .  I did  extensive housekeeping and created more house plants from my little rootings. . .  and all of that acted like a tonic on my dampened spirit.   
The painting of the flowers, came first.  I am satisfied with my roses.  For some reason, painting roses, feels like listening to an old familiar song. This week, I decided to paint violets, using watercolors.   I have a small beside table that I employed as my “canvas”.  Watercolors have a mind of their own,  I remembered, from years past, so I consoled myself, that I could just paint over, what could not be forgiven.  Thus, I began the project.  Of course, my violets would  be shades of faded  pink-for I can not be a realist, for “love or  money”.  The thing took days.  There was the drying of the paint, before applying new paint and then as always, I looked at at it and added as I felt pink violets would grow, if there was such a flower.  My violets grew happily on a corner and then cascaded down a leg of the table, and over the drawer .  Christian is an artist, and so I used his eye to guide my attempts. 
After several days of  “watching the garden grow”, I was finally satisfied and literally, sealed the deal.  Guess what I love about watercolors . . it is that they do have a mind of their own!  I would have an idea in mind as I painted, but before my eyes, a violet would nod in a direction I hadn’t imagined or a leaf would decide its’  own fate-always better than I had intended. 
 One day, Mama and I went to see Aunt Christine and Uncle Gene.   Aunt Christine is Mamas’ sister and lives about a half hour away.  It was a delightful visit-and Uncle Gene is quite entertaining with his humor, though Aunt Christine says “he is not that funny.”  I found out that Aunt Christine loves dishes and has  beautiful collections to prove it. 
The next day, I practiced making pastry .  My first effort, a few weeks back was less than what I desired-and so I hoped for better this time.  I was rewarded with a tender, flaky concoction and so, I will continue to practice the skill, for  it is practice that makes the difference between “beginners’ luck” – and a good cook. 
   After a very hot and dry spell of 100 degree days,  rain showed up like an old, long-  lost friend.   How happy I was to hear the rain tapping  on the tin roof.   When the wind picked up and it became as cool as May, well the world seemed friendly and  more cheerful, altogether.  I painted a flower pot that afternoon.
Mama and I left for Raleigh, the next day, to spend the better part of the week. We found little Ryan as adorable as ever-and Sydney -carrying the “little brother” is at last feeling better.  Now, she has the glow of an expectant mother. 
Ryan says anything he wants to these days.  One day, he asked Mama for a snack.  Mama said “lets ask your Mommy”.  To which Ryan replied, “I’m asking you.” Sister Delores lives on the outskirts of Raleigh, so she visits, when we are there and Mama spends a night or two with her, during our stay. 
In the evenings, I watched Brant teach Ryan how to hit and catch a baseball.  My own Daddy did the same thing, I remembered.  
Though, I have never liked the summer heat, in the south, I do like the leisure days.  From attending school as a child and then working at schools, the summer has, most of my life, represented liberty.  To me, owning your life is the truest form of wealth.  I had much rather decide when I eat or sleep- (Clocks are often poor indicators of such needs.} and  I do not consult a clock, to know when to make a pie or when to read, or paint or write.  For a bit of a the year, I can do as I please . Thus the summer is a time of indulgence for me, too.    I do not like the hateful heat, nor the mosquitoes either.  By now, the light of day is too long to suit me.   . . .but oh, there is more to the season . .
 .   . .For the cape jessamine blooms and so does the magnolia.  The lowly mimosa trees shine  like champions in July-The song of the cicadas ring out and tomatoes taste better in the summer.  The chaotic business of the world seems a bit more distant-even if it is for a short while, when roses are blooming. 
It is written that “love covers a multitude of sins”  .   . .  I have found this to be true -and so I will let the earth love me with roses and cucumbers , with a fan, humming in the house, and the greenest grass of the year. 
There is not enough time, even in the longest days of the year to count all of our blessings .. . for prosperity and abundance may not be in plain sight.   Sometimes, we have to look for the evidence.  For it is also written . . .“Whatsoever things are true,  . . .whatsoever things are pure,  . . .whatsoever things are lovely . . .think on these things.”

16 thoughts on ““Whatsoever things are lovely . . .”

  1. Well….I want to see your painting. That’s only fair after reading about them. Summer is fast closing here. The Grands start back to school on the 4th of Aug. Goodness that seems way too early. The NCF is starting up so the locals and outsiders will fill the grounds for the next week. I just haven’t gotten into that. Too much confusion and too many people and way too hot. Throw in a storm or two and you have a mud fest. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will post my chidlish art soon I have had fun and plan to continue. Such a hot summer here, but we go back to school at the end of August. Best wishes for your grandchildren to have a year of blessings-you too! love Michele


  2. In the top picture, your home looks so cozy and inviting. How I would love to sit on that porch with you and have a cup of tea. That Ryan is a bright little button. Wonderful when children begin to talk and express themselves so succinctly. Always cracks me up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Laurie-thank you for your sweet comment. I am so glad we met. Ryan is a crackerjack these days. A lovely child, truly. I am glad to hear the house looks cozy- I am liking it more and more. . .of course your little red house by the woods remains a favorite of mine. thank you-love Michele

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “From attending school as a child and then working at schools, the summer has, most of my life, represented liberty. To me, owning your life is the truest form of wealth.”….this resonates with me dear friend. I always love your writing and perspectives~”Whatsoever things are lovely”…that’s you and your life. 💛

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Michele. I truly do. Life is definitely different, but I’ve always savored that which matters. Love and hugs, Michele! Karla 💛


  4. Once again, I have escaped into the sweet world you describe…the paintings (wish you would share), the baking (one of my favorite ways to pass time) and living the southern summer through your words (which are spot on) are simply “ahhh!!”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ‘as cool as May’
    I am reading your writing on a quiet Thursday afternoon, taking a break from summer’s heat. Your words are soothing and rhythmic to this somewhat wounded heart, though the days this week are better. Thank you for the way you write. You know I love how you write. Blogging friends for 7 years. You have a comfort and grace to your words that’s absolutely lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I simply took a short vacation while reading your post. It was delightful.

    I’m reading boxes full of memories that John had saved. Daughter Lise is sorting things so that the items of interest to her siblings will be saved separately. We won’t go through these things again, which is a relief. In a way, it’s preparing for my own funeral. I’m all for making it easy for my children and grandchildren.


  7. Michele, how I love reading your words. They bring such a comfort to my soul. I hope to see what you painted for in speaking of what you painted, you teased us. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. You truly are a Blessing! xo


  8. Returning from hiatus, I am greeted with this gem of a post. From the “happy accidents” paintings bring us to the liberty of one’s days, we seem to be in lockstep at times. The closing quote sums it up nicely. When we brush aside the dust and chaff and think on these things, we are reminded of their loveliness. The beauty of life, whose “price is far above rubies.”

    All my best,


    p.s.: The bedside table project sounds adorable, and I’ll bet that brings loveliness to a room!


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