Snapshots & Whatnot: Standing Tall (in the Fall!)

Today here are a few pics from a memorable sojourn in the Italian Veneto countryside…

“A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand.” e. e. cummings

“A tree is known by its fruit, a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” Saint Basil

“The desire of God’s heart is immeasurably larger than our imaginations can conjure.” Father Gregory Boyle, S.J.

grace, peace & (tall) fall inspiration

Virginia : )

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20 Responses to Snapshots & Whatnot: Standing Tall (in the Fall!)

  1. TMH says:

    Love that carpet of leaves in the first photo.

    • Virginia says:

      I visited this beautiful place with a group of friends one November – so blessed leaves were still changing! Fall blessings, Tim!! πŸ‚πŸŒŸπŸ’œπŸŒŸπŸ‚

  2. Dewin Nefol says:

    Hey Virginia – you’ve a creative eye for a colourful snapshot and a keen mind for a radiant whatnot, together they deliver a spirited post.

    Love, Peace and polychromatic leaves,



    • Virginia says:

      Thanks, Dewin. So blessed on that trip to Italy one year in late November that there were still leaves around to gawk over! We eventually traveled on to Vienna where my friends went mad for Christmas markets (evidently there were 33 around town. My friends visited them all, while I just did a few.) Hugs! (yes, we American are a huggy bunch!) πŸ‚πŸŒŸπŸ€—πŸŒŸπŸ‚

      • Dewin Nefol says:

        Hey Virginia,

        If your photographs are anything to go by, then it seems you arrived in Italy at just the right time of year to enjoy (its) late Autumn showcase.

        So pleased to hear the holiday included Vienna’s Christmas markets. Certain sources say they are spectacular and well worth visiting. Whilst I have never been, a trip to Europe for Christmas has always been on my to-do list. One day I might find time to go and also take in the merry sights and sounds of German markets as well: and not just for the festivities but also for the food! πŸ˜€

        No doubt you are looking forward to Christmas this year and will celebrate with style. Personally, I’m hoping for snow to add that touch of traditional panache to the festive period. A chocolate-box Christmas would be delightful.

        Have a wonderful week,



      • Virginia says:

        Hi Dewin – Vienna’s Christmas markets dazzled. On that trip I also had the chance to visit friends in Prague. Since it was early December Christmas markets (& a massive tree) filled the town square there, too! I celebrated Christmas in many places while working overseas (even once with friends in the UK enjoying β€œcrackers” Christmas pudding, Queen’s speech & pantomimes!) but it’s always grand to be at home.

        I’m not sure what a chocolate box Christmas is, but if chocolate is involved this chocoholic is all in!!

        Blessings!!🌟🍫 πŸŽ„πŸ«πŸŒŸ

      • Dewin Nefol says:

        Hey Virginia – well, your reply has wetted my appetite somewhat and given me enthusiasm to take-in Europe’s infamous markets. Would it were possible to travel this year then I’d go, but certainly a trip next year is (now) pencilled-in on the calendar!

        Our family had relatives returning from Prague this year who returned with accounts and photographs of their time in Europe. Included in those images were photographs of Prague at Christmas and of the markets and winter ‘food-shows’ they visited. It looks wonderful and fuels my desire to go.

        Ah so, in-amongst other countries you’ve visited whilst working overseas (what was your profession?) you had chance to experience an English Christmas complete, I hope, with all the trimmings πŸ˜€ That is excellent news! I can only hope the occasion was greatly enjoyed and didn’t disappoint in any way and that the crackers actually went crack! I also hope you paper-crown survived the ravages of Christmas Day and didn’t get burnt when the Christmas pudding was set alight and that you enjoyed the joke contained within them!? As a child I used to love going to Pantomimes not least because one is expected to cheer, boo and heckle the good, the bad and the ugly characters on stage. Always so much fun! lol πŸ˜€

        A chocolate-box Christmas references those delightfully idyllic and whimsical wintery Christmas scenes once found in abundance on the lids of chocolate boxes, biscuit tins and sweet parcels fashioned specifically for the festive period. Such images would portray the ‘perfect’ Christmas: flaming hearths, crisp even snow, stockings over the mantelpiece, neatly decorated Christmas trees, frosted windows through which one might catch glimpse of a shepherd herding sheep into a glowing straw-strewn barn whilst overhead dazzling reindeer pulled Santa’s sledge across a star-spun sky. As kids we’d often open the sweet-and-treat tins on Christmas Eve and feast on chocolate whilst excited in anticipation of Santa’s imminent arrival…we believed taking-in excessive amounts of sugar would help to keep us awake throughout the night so that we’d not miss Santa making his deliveries. Suffice to say such a cunning plan never worked and instead we’d sleep deeply after enjoying the sugar-high until morning and then race downstairs to see if presents had been left under the tree. Those were heady days indeed πŸ˜€

        Have a wonderful week Virginia. Take care,



      • Virginia says:


        What a ‘warm fuzzy’ picture you present growing up with sweet-and-treat tins on Christmas Eve, all of that sounds delightful! (When we remember special holiday times with our parents, who are now in Heaven, we always say it gives us a “warm fuzzy.”) Yes, I once celebrated a memorable Christmas in the U.K. with friends in Poole (Dorset?) complete with all the traditional trimmings and goings-on. You may laugh, while picking up holiday items at the market, my friend asked me to pick out ‘crackers’ that I dutifully selected. Incorrectly, as it turned out, since Christmas crackers in English-speak are not saltines! What fun it was, though, pulling the crackers and wearing paper hats for Christmas dinner. My friend’s mother made the most fabulous brandy sauce for the Christmas pudding, something I will never forget!

        Celebrating Christmas away from family many years while working overseas (in Relief & Development) made me appreciate holidays with family even more (although living for several years in Bethlehem, ’twas grand celebrating there where it all began?)

        Blessings, Dewin! πŸ™‚

      • Dewin Nefol says:

        What a wonderful reply, thank you Virginia! πŸ˜€

        I loved the phrase, ‘warm fuzzy’ as it so perfectly describes both the emotion and the feeling occurring simultaneously lol πŸ™‚ ‘Tis not a phrase I’ve heard before but I will now adopt it as my own and use it, with care and consideration, when the moment is right to do so. Thank you for that.

        There seems to be several words that differ in meaning between American and English languages, which get lost in translation, and lead to amusing moments. Your recollection of ‘crackers’ is both understandable and amusing! Speaking of brandy sauce – and I do hope it was flaming – I recall one Christmas at home with the family when I was a young teenager when mother had had one too many glasses of sherry and overdid the brandy content in the sauce, set it alight and had it burst into flame, which obviously surprised her and caused her to hasten the plate to the table. In doing so the lit brandy sauce spilled across the dining-table and rapidly consumed most items laid upon it, including of course the paper Christmas crowns, the Yule log, napkins, bread basket, and table-mats! How we laughed at my mother’s expense, but she being two-sheets to the wind (a most unusual occurrence!) couldn’t stop laughing anyway and went and poured herself another small glass of sherry! lol πŸ˜€

        Well now, your overseas travels are most interesting, as to your occupation. Perhaps you will blog a little more about the work you used to do (perhaps you already have??) and detail your activities, including any anecdotes. I’m sure it would make for an interesting read.

        Of course, Christmas is a time for spending time with family and friends and being ‘at home’ – in your home country – can’t really be beaten. It is an ideal opportunity for everyone to come together – families, friends, and communities alike – in celebration, so as to share a few days of happiness and joy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone in the world could experience such moments and share in the warmth of Love and Friendship.

        Have a wonderful week Virginia. Take care,



      • Virginia says:

        Oh Dewin, your mother sounds like a very good sort to topple things over & be able to laugh it over! What riotous fun! An unforgettable holiday, as laughter makes precious memories. When my family gets together there’s usually lots of laughter- we may miss our parents (lots) but they left us a plethora of memories to laugh over!

        I have blogged about various advocacy issues (if you look on the sidebar of my website there’s an β€œadvocacy” folder) along with pictorial blogs of Africa, books about refugees etc. Remember writing one of my earliest blogs about being on crutches in Africa – will have to recycle that one again! (Talk about humorous memories!)

        Blessings DN!! β˜€οΈπŸ€ͺβ˜€οΈ

      • Dewin Nefol says:

        Thank you for pointing me to the ‘advocacy files’. I shall find time to take a read, and in the meantime, hope you will re-post the blog mentioned in your reply πŸ˜€

        As for unforgettable times – magical moments may come and go but the happiest memories remain with us for a life-time.

        Enjoy a wonderful weekend Virginia,



  3. what a truly lovely post. thank you

  4. Michelle says:

    Beautiful photos! I love the quotes, too. πŸ™‚

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