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A fine day for feeling poetic & hopeful

Blogging about unexpected roads traveled.

Seeking to keep my chin up, and to help lift yours.


A Sunday in the life

of an author/professor/mom

sounds like a water fountain flowing,

a wedding bell ringing,

children at a botanical garden in Huntsville

shrieking at some outdoor discovery

as they walk with their family.


This morning a reading in Ecclesiastes

with a reminder that there is value

in a house of mourning over feasting,

that “frustration is better than laughter,

because a sad face is good for the heart.”


“When times are good, be happy;

but when times are bad, consider this:

God has made the one as well as the other.”


Don’t ask, “Why were the old days better than these?”


This past week was full of highs and lows,

another visit to a doctor,

issues with the house,

an x-ray—like the PET scan—revealing

that all is fine.

Time. Money. Waiting. Worry.

All unnecessary in the end.


Tuesday, a day of mounting frustrations,

none of which I considered better than laughter,

but then came a Friday night dinner with friends,

an anniversary with my husband/friend/lover,

and now, this unexpected Sunday

at a botanical garden,

water fountain flowing,

watching The Youngest lean into her God-given talents

as she photographs a wedding.

Me, the chauffeur/pseudo-camera assistant/mom

rocking in a quiet corner

of a white-columned porch,

the ceiling painted beadboard like a favorite sunroom of old,

considering the ebb and flow, stretch and pull

of joy and sorrow that maketh a more exact

and appreciative woman.



To be clear, the PET scan I referenced in my last blog and the poem above revealed no cancer, for which I’m deeply grateful. Classes started…in person, masked, with some remotely attending by Zoom…and this, too, is a blessing. I love teaching, and I missed my students. It’s not without new challenges, but we’re adapting, and learning to recognize that struggle can hold value.


I’m excited to announce—BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!—that production on a project that’s been kicked around for the past two years in the Smith family is about to begin. Me, my son-in-law, and The Youngest are set to record an audiobook for A Contradiction to His Pride. (Even that husband/friend/lover mentioned in the poem will have a small starring role.) Because Lincoln and Shelby are involved, I can claim that this book narration is going to be FANTASTIC. Lively. Musical. A feast for ears and soul.


You’ll be the first to know when the first chapter is ready.


May the joining of our talents prove to be a blessing to your heart as you continue to wade through the ups and downs of the current sometimes-frustrating, sometimes-poetic-and-hopeful times.

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The Seymour Agency: Julie Gwinn, agent

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