Downton Abbey Movie (Absolutely FABULOUS!)

It’s September 20th, a day Downton Abbey groupies have looked for with great anticipation: the official release of the big screen Downton Abbey movie. Although the popular PBS television series ended a few years ago, the whole gang has returned.

The year is 1927 and big news: the King and Queen of England are coming for a visit.

Here’s a YouTube video of the official trailer. (Email readers, you know the drill – link to the Roses website to watch.)

My sister and I saw an advanced screening last week with a group of her friends. Must say, the movie far exceeded my high expectations!! Julian Fellowes (the creator and writer of the series) has devised a brilliant plot that engages every member of the cast (not an easy thing to do with 20+ characters) and draws the audience in right from the start.

While the drama of the movie includes Serious Goings On and touching scenes, funny bits like the repartee of one line zingers between Dame Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton kept us in stitches.

Fans of the series will be thrilled (as our packed theater demonstrated with boisterous clapping at the end) but you don’t have to be an avid fan to enjoy this movie that is absolutely fabulous!

Commemorative chain received @ advanced screening

grace, peace & absolutely fabulous movies

Virginia : )

“We must always travel in hope.” Carson, Downton Abbey

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Snapshots & Whatnot: Colorful Journey(s)

Traipsing around Venice with friends on a cold November day (during an unforgettable trip to Italy) we took a boat out to the fishing island of Burano. On a dreary day this island lifted droopy spirits as everywhere we looked bright colors popped us. (Although how droopy can spirits be traipsing around Italy?)

Chiesa di San Martino (17th-century leaning bell tower)

Bright colored homes, Burano Island

Even Burano boats get a colorful coat (PURPLE!)

“Colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites.” Marc Chagall

Bridges led from one colorful street to another…

…as we left a colorful sunset peeked out from the clouds.

grace, peace & colorful journeys

Virginia : )

“The journey is essential to the dream.”

Saint Francis of Assisi

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a spunky tree (by the sea)

This spunky tree inspired me as it stood next to the sea and a colorful street in a fishing village on Burano Island in Venice, Italy.

“What is the good of stars and trees, sunrise and wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?” E.M. Forster

grace, peace & spunky (inspiring) trees

Virginia : )

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Snapshots & Whatnot: Waterfalls of Understanding

Years ago my brother and I visited Niagara-on-the-Lake in southern Ontario to see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side – a glorious occasion for this waterfall groupie!

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”  Confucius

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” Helen Keller

“When we are ready to die at any moment, we are also ready to live at any moment.” Henri Nouwen

“When it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain there would be no rainbow.” G.K. Chesterton

“The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God – if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That’s what I think.” Maya Angelou

grace, peace & waterfalls of understanding

Virginia : )

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Misery Loves Company

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” C.S. Lewis

Misery may love company, but not always. Sometimes we are misery martyrs, preferring to wallow in our misery in a vigil of isolated silence. We feel so bad about ourselves we never seek company to share our misery. We suffer alone.

Then there’s the other extreme – we become misery magnets. When we are miserable we want everyone around us to be miserable, too. With our misery we lash out, making everyone we come in contact with miserable.

Into every life the rain of misery and pain falls. Sometimes it’s a light sprinkle, but more often than not misery monsoons its way into our lives.

Sickness, loss, physical pain, heart pain, break-ups, shake-ups, and too few make-ups.

Misery loves company, because company (the good kind) can relieve bits of our misery by sharing the burden of our pain. Company can’t take the pain away, but company (the good kind) says, “We’re here for you, with you, as you deal with your pain.”

Good company (the cheer-up kind) does tangible stuff to ease as much misery as possible, but also sits and listens. If misery doesn’t want to talk about it, good company quietly holds our hands and hearts letting us know we are loved.

If storm clouds of misery and pain are blustering your life, don’t be a misery magnet or a misery martyr. Invite the company of family and friends into the corridors of your pain. Set places for them in your heart to share what you’re going through. Let them bring meals of comfort and understanding to digest your hurt, to companion you in your journey.

Misery loves company, because company (the good kind) is good for misery.

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up… Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

grace, peace & company (the good kind)

Virginia : )

Photos: Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

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Butterfly Beauty (scattering JOY!)

A little Monday butterfly inspiration…

“There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be at peace and let your soul feed upon the sweetness of heavenly love, without which our hearts are lifeless and our life joyless.” St. Francis de Sales

grace, peace & butterfly beauty

Virginia : )

Photos: wildflower patch @ Norfolk Botanical Garden

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Snapshots & Whatnot: Humble Herons

On Saturday my brother and I zoomed down to Norfolk to visit the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, a glorious place for flower lovers (& tree huggers of all varieties.)

While there we took an hour-long boat ride through the canal system and out to Lake Whitehurst that borders the massive 175-acre Botanical Garden, the largest in the state of Virginia.

We saw all sorts of scenic views as we wound our way through the canals, but the beginning of our journey started out with a surprise visitor who saw us off with great aplomb just a few feet from the boat…

A blue heron, who hung out for a few clicks!

As our boat passed by this blue heron seemed comfortable standing tall, exuding a sense of confident humility. (Trying to work in a quote from church yesterday, so here goes…)

“Humility is a proper sense of self in a universe of wonders.”  Saint Benedict

Front and center, have a good look at me!

“If you’re searching for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror.” Anonymous

Have a good look, I’m proud to be me but don’t take myself too seriously!

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.” C.S. Lewis

grace, peace & humble herons

Virginia : )

p.s. My heart and prayers are with the people of the Bahamas and everyone in the path of Hurricane Dorian. Be safe!!

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