Victoria Day @ Butchart Gardens

A few years ago my brother & I happened to visit Canada on Victoria Day during a bucket list Rocky Mountaineer trip from Vancouver to Alberta (as previously blogged about here: Victoria Day in Canada.)

water taxis in Victoria, capital of British Columbia

Cheers to Canadian friends celebrating Victoria Day 2019! In honor of the day (& for the rest of us) I thought it would be fun to take a photo visit of Butchart Gardens, located in Victoria (appropriately named for Queen Victoria) on Vancouver Island.

Although I shared a few pics previously (Beauty @ Butchart Gardens) here are some different ones from Virginia’s pocket camera…

Beautiful fountains (with fish slurping about)

& beauteous flowers (showing off)

& walkways (serenity advised)

+ more fountains (with frogs sputtering about)

& rose gardens (in bloom)

a fragrant delight!

Willows weeping by ponds…

& spectacular water works (tall in heights)

& more beauteous flowers (all over the place!)

grace, peace & Butchart Garden beauty

Virginia : )

“After everything that’s happened, how can the world still be so beautiful? Because it is.” Margaret Atwood

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Snapshots & Whatnot: Overcoming Inertia

Have you ever been stuck in a state of inertia?

The dictionary defines inertia as “a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged.” It’s easy sometimes to be set in our ways, to balk at change, to stop moving forward (maybe even give up?) To do nothing.

Blue heron @ Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

During a recent visit to Chincoteague Island my brother & I encountered a number of majestic blue herons. Fascinating how blue herons (& egrets) can stand perfectly still for long stretches of time.

This blue heron finally moved out into the water…

Albert Einstein said, “Nothing happens until something moves.” When we’re stuck in a state of inertia sometimes the hardest thing we can do is take that first step, but as we break the constraints of inertia the next step might not be (quite) so hard.

Blue heron reflecting next step…

That’s the key to overcoming inertia: taking small steps until soon we find we’re making bigger steps infused with forward momentum.

This blue heron is stepping forward at a good clip…

Sure, there might be setbacks, challenges (a few mountains & turbulent seas to cross) but if we keep on going, moving and trying…

We might find ourselves like this blue heron flying from the shade into the sunlight.

grace, peace & inertia-busters

Virginia : )

“Inertia is the death of creativity.” Austin Kleon

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Motherless (again) on Mother’s Day

Once again it’s Mother’s Day, a time to honor and love on our mothers with a little extra pizazz. For some of us this is also a day we miss our mamas (a little more than usual.)

It’s not easy being motherless on Mother’s Day when our mothers have gone on to Heaven.

Last week a new-ish colleague in my sister’s office in Wilmington (NC) announced, “Cindy is going to visit her mom this weekend.”

Another colleague piped up, “That will be a very long trip!”

As long and far away as Heaven seems, the memories and legacy of my precious Mama’s life are instantly close filling my heart and with her love, hope and joy. Last year I shared a letter written to Mama @ her Heavenly address (you can read it by clicking here: A Letter to Mama on Mother’s Day.)

This year to honor Mama here’s a poem I wrote for Mother’s Day years ago while working overseas. I sent it to my sister who printed it out & put it in a frame as a giftie for the actual day. Several folks requested a copy after I shared it @ Mama’s Memorial Celebration service (under sibling pressure that we all share something) so here it is again today.

The Woodward Family (a long time ago!)

The Mystery of Magnificent Motherhood

On Mother’s Day we celebrate the mystery of Motherhood. From the outside, Motherhood doesn’t seem all that mysterious but just simply mastering of responsibilities and physical tasks.  Responsibilities that include raising children to know right and wrong, not to hurt themselves, to study, and to grow from turbulent twos through the terrifying teens into functioning adults. Physical tasks involve delivering babies (washing them, carrying them, helping them walk) cooking, cleaning…

These, admittedly, amount to a great deal of work.

Magnificent Motherhood, however, is a mystery that involves more than just responsibilities and tasks. To understand this mystery, special qualities are required:

Magnificent Motherhood is SACRIFICE.

Selflessly sacrificing (all the time) & the last piece of chocolate cake.

Magnificent Motherhood is JOY.

Joy even when illness strikes, the pots overflow, & we act unruly.

Magnificent Motherhood is BEAUTY.

Beauty seen in us (even with pimples) & nurtured in our surroundings.

Magnificent Motherhood is GENEROSITY.

Generously sharing special gifts, checks, and Mr. Madison’s fudge.

Magnificent Motherhood is MUSIC.

Music composed in a heart overflowing with the joy of Jesus.

Magnificent Motherhood is ACTION.

Hugging us, holding our hands, and helping us through each crisis. 

Magnificent Motherhood is PRAYER.

Unceasing prayer – faithful communion with God (often on our behalf.)

Magnificent Motherhood is FAITHFULNESS.

Faithfulness to God (1st) and 58 years (!) with the Fabulous Fossil (our Papa!)

Magnificent Motherhood is LOVE.

Love shared from an inner spring that never diminishes…

It’s actually very simple.

The Mystery of Magnificent Motherhood is

MY MOTHER,

Virginia Francis Johnson Woodward

With love & appreciation from her daughter,

Virginia : )

p.s. As many of you know, my precious Mama loved chocolate (where my chocoholic genes come from?) Wish I could bake a big chocolate cake for her, but here’s a memory of sharing one of our favorite chocolate desserts – Carrabba’s Sogno di Cioccolata.

A daunting chocolate challenge…

Not too much for MY Mama!

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Snapshots & Whatnot: AMOOSING (A MOOSE!)

“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” Dr. Seuss

With chaotic challenges the world over, here’s to looking for opportunities to smile wherever & whenever we can (even in unexpected places.)

During a visit to Canada awhile ago my brother and I decided to go for a scenic walk in Banff National Park. Starting out on a such a journey, you never know what (or who) you might encounter…

a birdie (or two?)

a chipmunk (munching away)

with a buddy (at play.)

Traipsing along there was often more than one way to go (straight up the mountain or with the easy path flow?)

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.” Dr. Seuss

There were trees to see & places to rest, but then…

an unexpected EYE-FEST OF BEST!!

A MOOSE (on the LOOSE!)

AMOOSING as it was for us to see, we decided to to take care and (with littlest fanfare) we hightailed it out of there!

grace, peace & unexpected Amoosement

: )   Virginia  : )

“So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life is a great balancing act.” Dr. Seuss

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Scattering Seeds (quickie quote!)

Quickie quote today also presents a challenge –  do we have courage to continue scattering seeds of hope even when the wind gets fierce?

”I must set my face to the wind & scatter my handful of seeds. It is no big thing to scatter seeds, but I must have the courage to keep on facing the wind.”  Arab proverb

82DA83E7-55F6-4D04-AA42-9C4F4C30FCD6Scattering seeds of hope (possible @ sunset of our lives, too!)

grace, peace & seeds of hope

Virginia : )

p.s. Pics today via Virginia’s iPhone

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Snapshots & Whatnot: Snowy Egrets (& #HOPE!)

Whilst away visiting Chincoteague a few weeks ago, my brother & I enjoyed stalking all kinds of birds, but especially the egrets.

This snowy egret is playing hard to get…

okay, now why don’t you have a seat?

Making it easy for you – grab your close ups!

Great egrets (with their bright yellow beaks) are graceful and beautiful – yet the snowy egret with its black beak can be a bit on the quirky side. For some reason this trip snowy egrets captivated my attention.

They may look a little funky, but they open their wings just like great egrets spreading hope (& a little humor) around.

“Hope is the thing with feathers 

That perches in the soul, 

And sings the tune without the words, 

And never stops at all…” 

Emily Dickinson

Time for Mr. Snowy Egret to spread a little hope in other places…

grace, peace & snowy egret HOPE

Virginia : )

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Easter Monday Wrap-Up

“Do not dare not to dare.” C.S. Lewis

One last blog for Virginia to wrap up this year’s Lenten post-a-day gig. First of all, celebratory chocolate morsels are on hand because Virginia made it to Easter, thanks be to God and all the encouragers who helped cheer her along.

Many thanks for the comments, likes, shares, emails, texts, cards & calls – all greatly appreciated! Now Virginia will get back to her regularly sporadic blogging schedule of one post (or two, if she’s feeling really prolific) per week.

“To say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that’s the whole art and joy of words.” C.S. Lewis

grace, peace & (words of) gratitude

Virginia  : )

THANK YOU FOR READING!!

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