A Hope for Peace and a Unique Arrangement

This thrift shop find is whimsically inspirational. A reminder we can make great artistry from inexpensive found objects. Such fun to browse secondhand shops and view the unique ways merchandise can be displayed.

Just remember to wear a mask and keep your distance as you seek cheer and support local businesses these winter days – so stores can stay open safely.

The dove and the upward reaching display behind it seems symbolic of our hope for a more peaceful and positive 2021.

Celebrate the New Year’s Debut but Do So Safely

Many of us are anxious to turn over the last calendar page of 2020 in the hope that 2021 will be more peaceful and safe for everyone. Let’s not let our enthusiasm create a hazard. Celebrate at a distance and don’t overindulge.

Love this vintage display of glasses, a reminder of mid-twentieth-century hospitality.

Side Door into a Lovely Country Church

Here’s another picture from my spring morning churchyard stroll,which I posted about earlier. There’s something simply charming about the plain white door, neat sidewalk, plush bed of vinca minor,otherwise known as “periwinkle” or “myrtle” ground cover.

It was a perfect morning, very calming. I sat beside the vinca Bed for some time, contemplating these crazy times. The solitude, except for the melodic songs of birds, gave me hope and inspiration.

Book Review of Crash – The Great Depression and the Rise and Fall of America by Marc Favreau: This book carries messages we need now.

A story of pain and suffering, but also a tale of hope and inspiration.

The Crash by Marc Favreau, tells many little known details of the times leading up to The Great Depression in America, the human impact of the devastated economy, the rise to prosperity fueled, whether fortunately or not so positively, by World War II:

Herbert Hoover suffered the bad luck of being president at the time of the crash but his seeming lack of sympathy for those who suffered most spelled his death as president.

His lack of ideas for bringing the country back to prosperity caused his presidency to go up in smoke with the “Bonus Army’s” shacks – the ones that Hoover ordered burned to the ground to quell the fervor of the World War I Veterans who protested the postponement of their promised benefits until 1945, during a time when they greatly needed the supplemental income.

The story tells of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, two people of wealth and privilege who formed plans to help all Americans.

Their marriage wasn’t always completely rewarding, but they each remained focused, without arrogance, upon improving conditions for the country’s citizens.

This excerpt from an early speech by FDR captures the spirit of his presidency and of Eleanor’s attitude:

“Help for people stricken by the Crash must be extended by Government not as a matter of social duty; the State accepts the task cheerfully because it believes that it will help restore that close relationship with its people which is necessary to preserve our democratic form of government.”

Whether the offering of government sponsored jobs and aid was done in the interest of keeping the public peace, or due to actual empathy on the part of leaders, it was certainly a necessary and humanitarian action.

Readers learn of fights for citizen benefits. Of civil rights and worker’s rights.Of the CCC and the WPA, and various programs that pulled people up from despair and failure, lifting their prospects spiritually and financially, and improving conditions across the country.

Of people like John L. Lewis, a man touched by the witnessing of a horrific mining explosion, who founded the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

Of the little-known lady named Frances Perkins who inspired and drafted the founding documents of the Social Security System. The same lady hoped for a system to provide health care for all, but achievement of that goal still lies in the future.

The Crash and resulting Depression of the 1930’s taught us many lessons. Alas, history tends to repeat itself due to lack of respect from citizens.

The causes of our country’s troubles today differ a bit from those of the Depression. But the resulting affect on society seems similar. May the lessons we learn from the current situation in our country, and the COVID-19 pandemic, lead America to develop new programs to provide hope and prosperity for all of its citizens.

A study of The Crash, can inspire hope and innovation action to benefit our future.



Daffodil Days

Nearly the only spring bulb that isn’t eaten by rodents, daffodils are among the most reliable of flowers. Highly popular, the traditional large yellow ones dot lawns, fields, woods edges, brightening rainy April days.

I love all the varieties in the Brecks and other catalogs of bulbs, but alas, lack funds and stamina to order and plant them all.

Daff-a-down-dilly, daffodilly, lent-lily, are some of this flower’s traditional nicknames. They symbolize regard and chivalry, and naturalize well.

Many poets have written poems about them. Here’s a popular one:


by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

 I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

From The Complete Language of Flowers by Sheila Pickles

A New Generation of Voters Offers Hope

I strive to keep this column light and upbeat, so normally refrain from political commentary.

But I must mention my fervent hope that younger voters of all political parties show up at the polls tomorrow for the primaries, in the fall for the presidential race – and always for the state and local issues. It’s the younger generations who will be most effected by the outcome, and they are more wise than we realize.

Many of us are disenchanted with what goes on in government. But whatever one’s age, disillusionment is not a reason to avoid voting.

No, it’s not fair that the entire country cannot vote simultaneously for candidates in the primary. We all deserve a chance to vote for our candidate of choice, not just the ones who win contests in the states that vote first.

Yes, the entire election system must be modernized, to eliminate policies of unfairness.

But ceasing to vote will not remedy these issues. It will only serve to lessen our rights as individual citizens.

So, especially if you are young, but no matter your age, please head to the polls. Wear a mask and gloves if you have concerns about the risk of contracting coronavirus.

Just remember to take some time to be informed about implications of candidates and issues. Elections shouldn’t be popularity contests, or name recognition tests.

Neither should political parties separate us; we must make decisions on issues based upon individual thought processes. Our focus should be upon the unselfish goal of choosing what’s fair for each and every one of us.



A Quote for Christmas – The Penny Mason Post

Christmas is something new that comes each year to an old world. It is like new-fallen snow upon an old tree, a new flower upon an old plant, new shoes on aging feet, a new home in an old town, a new light on a dark street, new hope in an old situation. – Robert D. Wigert

Weekly Wisdom – The Penny Mason Post

“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. The most you can do is live inside that hope, running down its hallways, touching the walls on both sides.

 — from Animal Dream by Barbara Kingsolver

A Misty March Morning Beside the Lake

Prints of boots dot the sand in front of this lakeside bench, but before we know it the tread impressions will be replaced by the soles of bare feet. Snow flies today, but summer is just three months away.