Monday, 30 April 2018

Small and Wonderful Things . . .


"The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But who gets excited by a mere penny?...It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted with pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. what you see is what you get." ~Anne Dillard

A few of the small and wonderful things which bring untold joy into my life. It's the small things in life which truly mean the most. Simple abundance . . . it's the best. 

I got to thinking last night about all the things I have had in my life to be grateful for. Maybe it is just I am getting older, but I was feeling very nostalgic, so here we go!

Day in the life of a girl, Norman Rockwell

Dear Diary, I think I was lucky to have been born in one of the most amazing times in the world's history. A time of great progress and achievement. Things seem to be going down hill a bit nowadays, but my growing up years were the best and most bountiful years ever  . . .  

I feel a bit like Nephi when I say I was born of goodly parents. They did the best that they knew how to do for me. I was warm and clothed and fed and loved. I wanted for nothing. No, I wasn't given everything I wanted, but I had all that I needed to have and they taught me the value of working for other things and so much more. I truly value the lessons I learnt in my home from parents who wanted the best for me. 


I had a father who read to me every chance he could and instilled in me a great love and respect for the written word. He would make up voices for each character in the stories he read to me, which turned each story he read to me into a real adventure. I can still hear his voice in my head, and some of the words to some of the stories . . . 

I had a mother who worked hard to keep our home clean and tidy and to make sure we were well fed.  When I was small she made all of my dresses and sometimes even matching ones to hers. She had a lovely Singer Sewing Machine, which she still has and which still works. It is the machine my sister and I learnt to sew on.  


I was lucky enough to have been given a younger sister, who became my best friend for life.  She is still my best friend, even though we don't get to talk as often as we used to, what with the time difference and all, and our own individual responsibilities, but we love each other very much, and I know she is always there for me, and always has been, for at least the whole of her life! 

 A Boy and His Dog, Norman Rockwell

I was also given a brother, which enabled me to see things from a male perspective. I can still remember how excited I was when he was born. My sister and I held hands and danced around my grandmother's kitchen singing "We have a baby brother!"  Throughout my life he has been a steadfast and immovable example to me of how to do things right.  I love him and I know he loves me too. (On a side note, the dog we had when I was growing up looked just like that. Her name was Penny. I loved her too.)

Family. It is a gift from God.  

My parents taught us to love God and while we didn't often go to church together as a family, they always made sure we went to Sunday School.  I got perfect attendance pins every year.  I learnt lessons and standards in Sunday School that have stood me well through the years and I am grateful for all of them, and I have a great fondness for the memories I have of us when we did go to church together as a family. Special memories. 

I grew up with the privilege of a free education which I sometimes took for granted, but for which I will always be grateful. My father never graduated from High School. My mother was the only one from her immediate family who did. It was really important to my parents that we were educated and that we got a high school diploma. My mother helped us with our homework and I had good teachers throughout my school years.  Teachers who taught and inspired, some of whom I am still in contact with and whom I still admire. 

Norman Rockwell 

I grew up out of doors, in an environment which afforded me the opportunity to develop my imagination, with lots of other children, which taught me how to get along with others, and how to develop relationships outside of my family group.  I am so grateful for the loving communities that I grew up in, and for the friendships forged. 

Wet Paint, Norman Rockwell

I am grateful for my many talents and abilities. I did not get to go to Art School, but I did get a Jon Gnagy Art Kit for Christmas one year and I learnt a lot from it. That was my parents way of encouraging my talents and supporting them, even if they didn't think becoming an Artist was a way to make a life. They were and are my biggest fans.  

Things were not just handed to us. There were chores and expectations, standards to uphold. We treasured the things we had because we worked for them.   

Norman Rockwell

I grew up in an age where  most children went to Cubs, Scouts, Brownies, Girl Guides.  I learnt a great many skills through those programs, and was also given the opportunity and responsibility in time to lead and supervise others younger than myself.  These skills have also stood me well through the years. 

Norman Rockwell 

Grateful for babysitting courses and for parents who entrusted me with their wee ones. 


For Saturday morning swimming lessons and for swimming lessons all the summer through, which taught me how to swim, something my mother never learnt how to do.  It was important to her that her children did. I have not been swimming for years, but I am sure it is just like riding a bicycle, once learnt, never forgotten. 

For Sunday School picnics and school sports days and all of the other community social occasions that helped me to feel like a part of something larger than myself and which gave me plenty of happy memories to look back on . . .  along with small achievements like ribbons for racing, and the ethic of it not really being if you won or lost, but how you played the game. Of sharing. Of learning how to rejoice in the accomplishments of others.

Norman Rockwell 

I had parents who were strict and set rules and boundaries for me.  Rules and boundaries designed to keep me safe from harm. I did not always appreciate them at the time, but I am grateful for them now. They were another example of my parents love for us. 

For me, it really was the best of times and for that I am eternally grateful! 

I am missing my friend Jan who always used to comment here.  I hope she is okay!  I miss her comments and I always worry when someone just disappears.

A thought to carry with you   . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

Laughter is timeless,
Imagination has no age,
And Dreams are forever.
~Walt Disney •。★★ 。* 。


Today's Reading -  Alma 8:1-17 
Question - What have you learnt from the reading today? Why was Alma's mighty prayer unanswered at that time? 

ThoughtsThere is such a great contrast drawn between the people of Melek who came TO him to listen and make covenants. Then the people of Ammonihah who WOULD NOT hearken and would not repent and be baptised, all because satan had a great hold on their hearts. They reviled him, spat upon him and cast him out. I'd like to think Alma's prayers were answered in that the Lord was preparing Amulek.

There are two things that I absolutely love about this reading. The first is that the same Angel that came to Alma in the first place to start his conversion, came again to give him strength. That is beautiful to me and I can't even describe why! The second is that there is always a warning before destruction in the Book of Mormon. I have felt this on a smaller scale in my own life, if I am going in the ways of pride or self will, I normally get promptings to realise, repent and return to the Lord. This teaches me Heavenly Father is very merciful and patient.

Tomorrow's Reading (Day 150) -  Alma 8:18-9:6 
Question - What have you learnt from this story of Alma and Amulek? What can we learn about God's ways in these verses? 
In The English Kitchen today . . .  Cucumber & Dill Chicken Salad. Scrumptious!

Have a great week.  I hope its filled with lots of love and blessings for you! Don't forget! 
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And I do too!!


  1. Lovely..happy..grateful post w/ sweet images..Can you contact Jan?I keep thinking about 1 girl on IG too:(

    1. No, I have no way of contacting her unfortunately! One of the downsides of the internet is getting attached to,people and then they disappear! Xoxo

  2. I'm thankful to have lived in the time I did too. Life today seems so much harder for the young ones. I don't know the friend that you mentioned, but there have been many that have stopped posting on blogger. I'd say better than 3/4 of my reading list have faded away. Surely does make one wonder.
    Hope your Monday is off to a great start ! The sun is out and it's warming up here!

    1. I think you are right Pam! Life was much simpler then! I hate it when people just disappear! It’s cold and windy here, but dry for now! Xoxo

  3. Oh my your chicken sandwich looks so yummy; I must try it tonight.
    I must say that this is a wonderful post. I feel much like you on this one. We have similar backgrounds in some ways. I too have loving parents and I was the youngest of three. I have two older brothers. The sad thing is they are all gone to the spirit world and I miss them so much.
    Everything you wrote brought back sweet memories of my own upbringing. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I may try to write my own at some point of time.
    Sending loving thoughts, big hugs and extra love!

    1. Oh, I can well imagine how much you miss them Monique. I would surely miss mine. Love and hugs, xoxo

  4. Hi Marie!

    Wasn't life so much more simple and easy back in the day?! All of your memories, are very similar to my own. When I think about my childhood, it makes me just a little sad, but happy at the same time. The days seemed longer, the sun seemed to shine brighter, things smelled better, people were happier and nicer, and more polite. We have definitely lost something through the years. I just loved all of the pictures you used, they really brought back some fun memories. The older I get, the more I am determined to make sure my grandchildren, know what life was like when I was young. It was a truly magical time to grow up...thanks for the trip down memory lane. Love to you and Todd, and of course, your sweet, Mitzie!

    Hugs and Love,

    1. It was definitely a sweeter time Barb, and I am not sure if that is because we look back at them with rose coloured glasses or what. In any case, I do worry about my grandchildren. They don't have the freedoms that I enjoyed or the closeness of community. Love and hugs to you and yours! xoxo


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