Monday, May 30, 2016


And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days. . . 
     --From: The Vision of Sir Launfal by James Russell Lowell

Like a swindler playing shell games, May’s unstable weather finally allowed summer to emerge from beneath its ever changing days and nights of warm to chilly and rainy to clear. The sun climbed higher, chasing the cold from the winds. For those who wait all year to enjoy summers in Pennsylvania, June’s arrival heralds a kaleidoscope of exquisite scents, sounds and scenes.

There is nothing more uplifting than the first smell of clover-scented grass, the delicate fragrance of wild roses, or the aroma of rain-soaked earth mingled with new green foliage. Old, gray weathered barns, tucked among the distant hills, have overflowing mows of sun-kissed, sweet-smelling hay.

If you listen closely, you can hear the rustling of the pines, the singing of a meadowlark or catbird, and the humming of busy bees. In the evening, when summer breezes drift though open windows, they carry the lowing of cattle in distant fields, or the cicadas and crickets conversing on the lawns and in the bushes. Tree frogs and bullfrogs chatter and croak, and far off, a loon or coyote calls in a lonesome voice.

Along the roadways, blackberry bushes bow down with frilly white blossoms that will bear black, sweet, ripe fruit in July. High above, billowy white clouds skip across a sky of robin’s egg blue. In the tall grass, wild strawberries elbow for room with buttercups, daisies, and blue chicory. Mornings bring hummingbirds to perform midair pirouettes among the flowers, and when the sun has gone to rest, bats soar over the treetops and fireflies twinkle as they play a game of light tag.

June is a month when nature’s at its best and the scents, sounds, and sights of summer make us glad we are alive. Oh, “what is so rare as a day in June?”

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Springtime in Reverse

“Children hold spring so tightly in their brown fists—
just as grownups, who are less sure of it, 
hold it in their hearts.”
—E. B. White

It’s finicky May when everyone is thinking of sunshine, spring, sowing seeds, and watching things grow. Despite the persnickety weather which plays hide and seek, revealing itself with a rainy, cold, or warm countenance, May is one of my favorite times of the year as the earth bursts forth with its many colors of green.

Traveling north from Texas to Pennsylvania over the last few days, I was able to see spring in reverse through the car’s windows as we flew by the rural countryside of seven states.

When we departed from Texas, the landscape was dressed in lush dark green colors. Mature leaves on the trees fluttered in the breeze. Roses bloomed, emitting sweet, fragrant scents, and verdant lawns gave off the old familiar smell of newly mown grass. The state is approaching early summer with temperatures soaring as the days fly by.

Oklahoma, “where the wind comes sweeping down the plains,” boasted meadows with Herefords and Angus grazing knee-high in the
spring grass. While In Missouri and Illinois—where miles of fields line the highways—crops are just starting to push their tiny heads through the rich soil.

In Indiana and Ohio, farmers on disc harrows kicked up dust as they tilled the earth in readiness for planting, still leery, still on the lookout for ol’ Jack Frost.

As we finally crossed Pennsylvania, we saw a whole palette of green shades—from the early lime green of new growth on the bushes, birch, and willow trees along Route 80 to the rich, dark emerald of fully emerged leaves on maples and fruit trees.

And somewhere deep inside of me, as I watched springtime arrive backwards, the farmer in me begged to be set free. I’m itching to check out the lawn and garden centers, nab a few favorite annual flowers, maybe a few tomato plants, and play in the sunshine and soil for a few hours.

Yes, it's finicky May!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

KEY TO LOVE - $0.99 Sale Ends Friday the Thirteenth

 “You still haven’t told me about your nephew,
      The luster in Lucas’s face faded. “There’s not
much to tell. He lost his mother and father and has been
tossed into foster care with the Johnsons. I’m trying to
get temporary custody, but I’m not hopeful anything
can be done until the investigation of Mike’s death is
completed. I guess it’s standard procedure when a cop
gets killed. I’ve been lucky enough the Johnsons let me
have him on weekends.”
     “Is that allowed?” Elise opened the bread drawer
and withdrew a half loaf of bread.
      Lucas rose and walked to where she was working.
“Well, it’s bending rules a little, but they trust your
father, and the Johnsons need a break. In case you
haven’t noticed, they’re elderly, not in shape for
chasing a child Todd’s age.”
      He slapped a palm against the refrigerator. “Damn
it, Liz, it’s not fair. The kid is the one being punished,
taking the brunt of things he had no part of. He’s so
lonely he cries himself to sleep at night. He doesn’t
understand what’s happening. He doesn’t even know
where he belongs.”
     “So we spring him.”
     “It’s not that easy!”
      “Of course, it’s not going to be easy.” Elise forced
herself not to shout back, “but that doesn’t mean it’s
impossible, Lucas. Sit down, will you? I’m cooking this
morning.” She waved the half loaf of bread at him, then
withdrew four slices and dropped them into the toaster
      He blinked. “Toast? You call that cooking?”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mother's Day: Your Mother Is Always With You

                                                 Buy Now  -   KEY TO LOVE

                       Your Mother Is Always With You...

Your mother is always with you...
She's the whisper of the leaves
as you walk down the street.
She's the smell of bleach
in your freshly laundered socks.
She's the cool hand on your brow
when you're not well.
Your mother lives inside your laughter.
She's crystallized in every tear drop.
She's the place you came from,
your first home...
She's the map you follow
with every step that you take.
She's your first love
and your first heart break...
and nothing on earth can separate you.
Not time, Not space...
Not even death...
will ever separate you
from your mother...
You carry her inside of you...

                           --Author Unknown