Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day # 14 - For Autumn and Season Changes

"To Everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven . . . "

I've always thought that fall was the most beautiful time of year.  I am at my most productive and creative in the fall, and I absolutely LOVE going out and about in the beautiful foliage!!!  I guess it figures that Terry and I BOTH fell in love with a house that had a gazillion hardwood trees in the yard and neighborhood!!!  We put our initial offer on the house in October of 2011, so we had a pretty good idea then how beautiful it would be . . . by the time we negotiated the price and were ready for the inspection,  it was October 31st and the foliage was gorgeous.  

I don't think I would be happy anywhere that didn't have seasons.  I loved visiting in Southern California when my family was still alive who lived there, but I never quite got the beach scene or the flowers in full bloom in December . . . the closest I came to pretty foliage was the Angeles National Forest which was reasonably nearby.   I think I would absolutely curl up and wither away in a climate like Arizona or Florida or south Texas, etc.

I am thankful for Autumn and for changing colors and the vibrancy of nature and the Carolina blue skies.  I love the feeling in the air that "something is happening and something is coming".  I guess some of it is my love of the fall holidays.  

"And I say to myself, what a wonderful world . . . "

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day # 13 - In Memory

"For all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these,
'It might have been.'"  
(John Greenleaf Whittier)

I don't have a photo to go with this post.  I guess that's to be expected since I never met - never saw in this life - the one I am remembering.  I am thankful for family and for my half-brother, Julius Vincent Pierotti, Jr. 

Last night as I was getting ready to post my Day # 13 Gratitude post,  I was wandering around in and discovered, quite unexpectedly, that my half-brother has died.  He died in February at the age of 69.  I don't know what the cause of death was, and probably never will, although the one time I talked to him on the phone,  he had just been diagnosed with Type !! Diabetes,  and I suspect that it might have been from complications as our Father died of complications of Diabetes at the age of 70-something and heart disease. 

Sometimes people in our lives die, and we are devastated. It seems the mourning will never stop, and we already KNOW that the grieving doesn't ever stop - -  it does abate somewhat, but it never really stops.  Sometimes,  we hear of the death of strangers - like movie stars or Astronauts or great religious thinkers or national leaders.  We are at a time right NOW when thoughts of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy weigh on our minds and occupy our thoughts.  I never met him, but felt I knew him, and I was saddened.  Sometimes people die that we think we "should" feel something but don't. There are all sorts of conditions and situations. 

I will not really miss my half-brother because we had no relationship either in childhood or as adults.  He rejected that, and didn't want to meet me.  I don't know whether he ever REALLY told my half-sister about me, but I finally wrote her a bit over a year ago. She never responded, and I find that sad, but nothing I can do anything about.  I read, also on that she is living in Hartwell, GA which is less than 50 miles from me. I maintain some hope that something will change. It's hard to go through life knowing one has siblings - half or otherwise - who refuse to even meet me.  Well, now Vincent is gone, and that's where my sadness is . . . the death of "HOPE" in that regard more than the death of the "PERSON".  

He was a good man.  A devout Catholic with a lovely family.  He was a good boss according to things I heard about him and according to some entries in the funeral home guest book.  He had children and a wife and grandchildren who will miss him dearly, and I will spend the next few days "missing" what might have been . . .
"Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord."
~ Rest in Peace - 

Julius Vincent Pierotti, Jr.
September 21st, 1943 - February 3rd, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day #12 - "For Thorns . . . "

"Thanks for roses by the wayside.
Thanks for thorns their stems contain."

Some years ago, I came across a wonderful hymn that is just FULL of "comparative text".  It seems like it is full of dichotomies.  The format consists of pairs of opposites and the phrase, "Thanks to God for . . . "

The caption under the photo above is one such pair . . . it has occupied my attention in a powerful way for several days in early November . . . I am using my "Day 12" thankfulness post to affirm:
"Thanks for thorns . . . "  

However weird that seems, I am, indeed, truly thankful for the "thorns" in my life.  There have been plenty of them along the way, and I have spent my "time in hell on earth" many times over, but the end of the story is that I am thankful, not only for roses, but for their thorns . . . for the negatives in life as well as the positives.  I AM who I am by the grace of God and because of every experience I've had thus far.  

Is it easy to remain "thankful" for everything that comes?  No, it's not easy, but it's not written anywhere that life is supposed to be "easy".  Is it always comfortable? Does it always tickle? Does everything have a clear purpose?  No . . . it's very painful at times and not at all comfortable to wander through the brambles and thorns.  It certainly doesn't tickle and make me laugh, and sometimes I cannot see the purpose in a given event no matter HOW hard I try!!!   I CAN say, however, that from a distance - such as is afforded by looking back (hindsight) - things come into perspective and that which felt like the end of the world is actually another part of the "big picture".  

I could give you examples all afternoon, and if you want some, just talk to me  :)   I'm dealing right now in "bottom lines", and MY bottom line is that I can see the good in everything if I look long enough.  One of my favorite scripture verses is found in Romans 8:28 - "All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." 

It does not in ANY way mean that "All things are good" . . . they aren't.  It DOES mean that the greatest imaginable "bad" can eventually bring about the greatest imaginable "GOOD".  It may take a while, and the journey may be painful, but it IS possible to learn to smell the roses without getting pierced by their thorns.  

The only example I'm going to give right now in this particular writing is, again, related to my having been surrendered at birth for adoption, and my subsequent TWO adoptions - the early death of my first adoptive parents and my "difficult" childhood and teenage years in my Aunt and Uncle's care and keeping and eventual adoption.  I felt "weird" and "damaged" and "unworthy" most of my life.  I felt responsible for all of the bad things that happened to me throughout my life.  

My second adoptive parents often told me, "We don't know what's wrong with you. We love you as if you were our real child."   One day it HIT me - - - I felt "as if" and "not real" for all of my early years.  I had to attain the ripe old age of 47 years old before I understood that I am "not" an "as if" person, and I was not a mistake, and I do have some value and worth in this world as I journey through it.  Do I slip back into that "other" mode?  Sure I do.  I can go to the dark place much more easily than I wish were the case.  Do I continue to try to "prove" to somebody that I AM worth something?  Sure I do - I try to prove it to myself all the time.  The difference is I am no longer WILLING to stay in the dark place or to allow the dark to overcome the Light that is in my life.  

The Apostle Paul is said to have endured a "thorn in the flesh" that he prayed to depart from him on an almost constant basis.  It was painful, and it hurt him.  It stopped him in his tracks at time. It made it difficult to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish, and yet he was able to proclaim, "I have learned whatsoever state I am in, therein to be content."  That's one powerful testimony, and it gives me courage.  I would come to the end of my journey on earth with those words on my lips and in my heart.  

I am "me" because I have faced, endured, and won the battle with those things that would bring me down, and I am thankful . . . for all of it. 

Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a memory,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,
Thanks for dark and stormy fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
Thanks for peace within my soul.

Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,
Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!

Thanks for roses by the wayside,
Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
Thanks for heavenly peace with Thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,
Thanks through all eternity!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Day # 11 - Have You Hugged a Veteran Today??

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all."  

 (Semper Fidelis - always faithful) 

With grateful thanks and appreciation to all who answered "duty's call" and served our nation proudly, nobly and with distinction.   I come from a family full of Veterans, and I am profoundly appreciative of the service and sacrifices of each one of them.  I have, likewise, many friends who have also served, and whom I honor, respect and thanks equally.  

I guess I wouldn't be telling the whole truth if I didn't acknowledge the fact that my "favorite" Veteran of all time is my husband, the Rev. Terry DeLand, who served in the United States Navy during the Viet Nam War - an EXCELLENT example of one who didn't want to go to war and did it anyway for the good of more than just himself.  Thanks Terry . . .  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day # 10 - I Remember, With Grateful Thanks, My Grandmother . . .

 Remembering Vera Claire McDonald Shipp  
My Grandmother
 November 10th 1892 - April 25th 1986
My Bridesmaid's Luncheon at the Swan Coach House in Atlanta - June 7th, 1975
Front - Me (Center) - Jan Fuller (Left)
Back - Granny (Left)  My Mother (Right) 

Afternoon Bridal Tea at Mary Jean Davis's House
Left to Right - Granny, Me,  Mother

At Our Wedding - June 7th, 1975 - Druid Hills Methodist Church - Atlanta, GA
Granny and her Brother, My Great Uncle Mid (Middleton McDonald)
 All Ready to Go - Dinner Party Given for Us 
Granny (right)  Terry (center) Me (left) 

One of our last pictures of Granny - Taken in Feb of 1986 before her death in late April -
Taken Outside the Skilled Nursing Facility at DeKalb (then General Hospital) Medical Center
Left to Right - My Niece, Rebecca, in my Sister's Lap,  Dorothy (back center) and Granny
She was a beautiful woman up until the very last breath she took.

I spent much of my spare time today remembering, with grateful thanks to God for her life and for my acceptance into her family.  She never treated me any differently than her other Grandchildren even though I was the adopted daughter of BOTH of her daughters,  first her older daughter, Mary Claire, and then her youngest child, Ethel, after Mary Claire died just before I turned nine years old.  

She and Granddaddy were the only ones in my adopted family who never changed "roles" . . . I came to know and love them as a baby, and that never changed. They were, simply, "MY" Grandparents.  Granny and I had a very special relationship, maybe partly because I "HAD" lost my mother and my father at a very young age. Whatever the case,  I loved her dearly, and not a day goes by that I don't think about her and those beautiful blue eyes and hair that turned silver when she was just 20 years old. Those eyes, even after they grew old and tired and dim and could no longer see to sew which she dearly loved to do,  were still full of twinkle and mischief.  She was a woman who knew exactly how to find trouble and get into it when she wanted to!!!!  I loved spending time with her.  

She would have been 122 years old today - - - yes, I know - - - not possible, but today IS the 122nd anniversary of her birth, and I am thankful beyond description for every day I had with her and for every day she lived, and for the way she lives on through each of us still.  

Happy Birthday, Granny - we love you and we miss you every day . . . it's as if the last 27 years since you left us don't even exist.

In the words of the hymn, O God, Our Help in Ages Past" 
(Isaac Watts - Public Domain) 

"A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an evening gone.
They fly forgotten as the night before the rising sun."

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Day # 9 - Yesterday . . .

Today, November 9th, 2013, was one of those days I'd rather forget, and I held on to this post until I decided if I was going to just skip posting at all, but I have decided that I'm going to go ahead and post it even if it is a few hours late. 

I felt beleaguered for most of the day, and kept wishing I had the luxury of just going back to bed, pulling the cover over my head and staying out of "harm's way", but life and obligations that I had freely accepted kept calling to me. 

All during the day things kept "cropping up" that demanded my attention, money, time and energy or all three, and I felt like I was a couple of quarts low on each of them. 

Sometime, however, toward evening,  I became aware of a rather surprised feeling joining the other, more negative, ones, and that was a certainty that somewhere in my life in the last 20 years or so, I have made a quantum shift in perspective, and I realize that I am more comfortable being happy and upbeat than I was being morose and miserable.  

I guess that describes the difference between being a victim and a thriver. I have to pay my respects to that shift, so I spent some time last night thanking God for having helped me to move what once seemed immovable!! 

Friday, November 08, 2013

Day #8 For the Beauty of the Earth . . .

"For the Beauty of the Earth . . . for the glory of the skies . . . for the love which from our birth over and around us lies . . . for the joy of human love . . . brother, sister, parent, child . . . friends on earth and friends above . . . for all gentle thoughts and mild . . . "

Today, I am full of gratitude for the community in which we live and for the guidance of a benevolent and loving God in leading us to this place.  We are merely a hop, skip and a jump away from Cherokee, NC and the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway which we DEARLY love to explore.  The color change has not been quite as dramatic this fall, but there's only so much gasping and "Oh Wow" a person can do, and there have been plenty of such moments!!!

The quote under the picture is from one of my favorite hymns, "For The Beauty of the Earth"  . . . I've posted snippets from a couple of verses because I am particularly thankful for the beauty of the earth and my earthly home, and for the JOY of human love - brother, sister, parent, child, friends and for gentle thoughts and kind deeds.  

Late this afternoon I will join with a number of friends to pay our last respects and Celebrate a life well-lived, to one of our daughter's college room-mates whose mother's memorial service is at 4:00 today.  We will be there for support for our daughter, for her dear friend, for MY own friends (Whit and her Mother, Mitzi) and for their family and for our feeling of "like family" with Whitney and her husband and son.  Lots of different feelings to navigate, and, as I have confessed here before, my own issues with losing mothers is right there running.  

As all of us know,  some friendships run so deep and are so important to us that they FEEL like family, and, sometimes, are even stronger THAN family.  I have a couple or three of them - YOU have them - we all do unless we live alone on a deserted island.  Whitney has been like a sister to our daughter, and has, on more than one occasion, rushed to our side in times of trouble.  

I will never forget the bond I saw between our daughter and Whitney in December of 2008 when Dorothy was in an accident on the way to work, hydroplaning her car on an icy mountain road, and broke her neck in three places.  Whitney came to the hospital as quickly as she could and brought Dorothy a little Christmas tree for her room and lights for her halo contraption, and she brought her some of her own childhood ornaments.  Sure she was busy  . . .  has a very high-powered job and a husband and all sorts of obligations . . . but she came!  That matters very much.  

I have such a friend in Wendy - when I woke up from a week on a ventilator with doctors and nurses all standing around waiting on my family to get to the hospital to say good-bye when they turned off the machines,  I called Wendy on the phone - first thing,  She was just someone "like family" with whom I wanted to connect!  I often refer to her as my "sister of the heart". 

Last summer when my husband retired, and we moved to our retirement home,  another dear dear friend (from childhood) and her husband dropped all their plans to help us settle in and move books and go to the dump with throwaways, etc.  

I have a cute little acrylic picture (I keep it on my angel collection shelves) that has a cat sitting looking out of a "window".  On the other side of the frame it says, "A friend is someone who comes in when the whole world has gone out."  

All that to say, "Friends matter."  and "Thanks for my friends and for my family and for my "like family" and for my "Church Family" . . . 

"For each perfect gift of Thine, to our race so freely given;
Graces human and divine, flowers on earth and buds of heaven . . .  
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise."

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Day #7 - It's So NICE to be Asked . . .

My entry for yesterday never made it out of the "draft" stage, because something came up later last night that WAY overshadowed the one I was planning to write (and will later).

My husband was "puttering" around the house . . . doing some things to get ready to do some more Christmas preps . . . and he came in here where I was "computing", as he calls it, and said, "Will you come in the living room and play some Christmas music on the piano while I fluff the tree?" 

Had to bite my lip to keep from crying (again) . . . he is SUCH a sweetheart and SUCH a wonderful person with whom to share my life!!! He just "knew" I needed to plug in musically somehow - - - YESTERDAY!!! 

Terry and I met in 1963 in high school . . . I moved to his school in the middle of my junior year and met him in History Class . . . so we've known each other for 50 years this past February.  Had our first date on May 9th, 1963, and I've been hooked ever since  :)   

We didn't marry until June of 1975, thanks to the Viet Nam War and his five years in the US Navy, plus two of his three years of Seminary at SMU, but the wait was more than worth it,  I joined my soul mate in a marriage we believe was made in heaven, and it will be our 39th anniversary this coming June. 

In ALL of those years, he has NEVER asked me (that I can remember) to come and play for him as he did some specific task around the house.  I guess the reigning emotion of today will be "sappy" and "mushy" . . . sometimes he does something that just makes me fall in love with him all over again. 

I am thankful for every day with him and for the gift from God that is our marriage.  

Later . . .  

(This is last year's tree and where we are "headed" this year
 when all is finished.)

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Day #6 For Over Half a Century of Singing . . .

"With a voice of singing, declare ye this,
and let it be heard  . . . 'Alleluia!'"

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who had big blue eyes and long light brown ringlets, and she was always either reading books or trying to pick out tunes on the piano. That little girl was me.  I started piano lessons when I was four . . . it would have been sooner but back then, there was an unwritten "rule" that children taking music lessons must be able to read first.  I learned to read the summer I turned three, and was pretty good at it by the time I turned four. 

One of the things I loved as I grew older was "Junior Choir" at our church.  We sang frequently, and we were the beneficiaries of some wonderful teaching,  As I grew, my voice matured, and by the time I was 12 or so,  I was drowning out other children in the "Junior Choir".  I didn't mean to, but it just happened most of the time.  I was allowed to join the Chancel (Adult) Choir at the age of 14, and I loved it.   I couldn't wait to take voice lessons and get a formal education in singing.  

At some point in time during those years, I decided I wanted to "major" in Church Music and become a choir director and organist.  My father wasn't too keen on it because he wanted me to be a concert pianist  . . .  said I'd never make any money in church music. Well, of course not!!!  Who goes into full-time Music Ministry for the purpose of "making money"? 

I sang in a number of groups and choruses and choirs . . .  and when I wasn't singing, I was playing for them to sing.  I went on several tours with church choirs and played in some really neat places!! There are some remarkable places that I might have missed otherwise!  I've been in the St. Louis Arch, for instance, and I've been on Asateague Island and seen the wild ponies at Chincoteague Island.  What a preparation for life and for maturing in my faith journey.  What gratitude I feel for those experiences in North Georgia Methodist Churches across the years.  What a JOY it has been to work with true "artists" and leaders in Church Music . . . I am totally humbled when I remember all of this!

I was privileged to sing for two seasons with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, and I sang solos for several years in productions of "Messiah" with the Tara Choral Guild.  I've accompanied some major groups and artists, and folks in the Atlanta Opera Company several seasons - - - years ago. 

I did major in Music Education at the U of Ga, because I wanted to do public school music and be just like Mrs. Wiggs,  my music teacher at Garden Hills Elementary School in Atlanta. She was "THERE" for me the year my father died right after I started first grade, and again when my mother died at the end of the third grade.  She was my rock and my mentor, and I think of her almost daily and the influence she had on my life - personal and musical.  She would let me sit next to her on the piano bench during music class, and I learned early on to turn to music for comfort - to accompany groups for singing - to love public school music teachers - in short, to soothe myself during times of complete and total chaos at home. Thank you, Mrs. Wiggs . . . I'll see you again some day and thank you in "person".  I hope you will be proud of me and the contribution I've tried to make to "pay it forward" because of you!!   

This post is not meant to be my CV, and I have to stop with the listing of my "credentials" because I'm beginning to feel like I'm bragging, and that's the furthest thing from my mind. I'm telling you all of this in order to explain how cataclysmic something is that is happening in my life.  

I was good . . . not great, but good. I've had a wonderful Fifty-Five years of singing the praises of God through the music of the church I love. The picture is one of me directing the choir and congregation during our Christmas Cantata in 2003 at the Clarkston United Methodist Church in Clarkston, GA.  Even though I love being "retired",  sometimes  I still really miss my "job".  I loved being involved in helping to plan worship.  

As I said earlier, it was when I was a little girl that I decided that I wanted to be an Organist and Choir Director in a Methodist Church    For many reasons, this "dream" didn't come true until 1995 when I became the Director of Music at the church my husband and I were appointed to serve in College Park, GA (Cliftondale UMC).  We spent seven wonderful years there, six of which (for me) as the Music Director.

When we moved in June of 2001,  I assumed I would not have another chance to be the choir director, but one year after we got there, the Director of Music Ministries retired, and I was given the "job" and spent the next three years as the Director of Music Ministries.  

I was right when I was a little girl . . . I really *DID* want to be a Choir Director and Organist. I consider myself lucky to have had a chance to fulfill a childhood dream. 

(taking a deep breath for a minute) - - - it became crystal clear to me tonight (Wednesday) at choir practice that I'm done.  I'm going to have to quit singing.  It's been coming for a long time, and, while I'm still young enough to have more years in front of me as far as singing goes if everything was as it should be (normal?),  I had some damage to my vocal cords from being at death's door on a ventilator in 1997 following emergency surgery to remove a third of my colon, and I've never quite recovered, although I've continued to sing in choirs, in community choruses,  at funerals and weddings, etc.  Several more surgeries, and time on ventilators, has further diminished the quality of my voice, and following my open heart surgery last December and the time on the heart/lung machine,  it has completely 'gone'. 

It breaks my heart.  I had a meltdown in choir practice last night.  We're working on Christmas music, which I particularly love, and the selections we will be doing are gorgeous!! It washed over me that I may not even make it long enough to contribute anything meaningful to the choir THIS Christmas, and that is making me crazy sad . . .  it physically hurts.  

It means also that I am rapidly approaching the point where I have NOTHING to offer to the music program of my church, which I dearly love,  except my hands at the piano/organ.  If the severe Arthritis that is putting me in constant pain - - - spine and neck and hips - - - gets to my hands, even that is done. 

OK - the choices I have before me are (1) keep struggling and being sad, with more meltdowns possible;  (2) sink into a deep, dark depressive episode; or (3) face reality - take the steps I need to take - feel the pain and grieve and move on. 

I choose # 3 and I do so with immense gratitude to some fine church music programs over the years - some lifelong friends in the Atlanta area AGO (American Guild of Organists) and mostly to God, Himself, for the talent, the heart, the will, and the determination to give something of what *I* have in the love of this music.  

In the words of an old Gospel hymn,  "Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come?  Why should my heart be lonely . . .His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." 

In the words of another song I used to really enjoy playing and singing,  "With a voice of singing, declare ye this and let it be heard, 'Alleluia'" . . .  my heart will go on singing NO MATTER WHAT!!!

Later . . . 

Day #5 - For Inner Peace . . .

"Thanks for Tears by now Forgotten . . . Thanks for Peace Within my Soul" 

We had a gorgeous sunset tonight in Cornelia, GA.   It reminded me so much of the one in this picture that we experienced some time ago up on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Sunset is my favorite time of day, especially in the winter time.  Cold weather, for whatever reasons, brings the most glorious of sunsets!!  

The mountains are always calling to me, sometimes more loudly and more insistently than others,  and I just have to go up - - - higher and higher until there's no higher to go.  I find the greatest peace of mind and soul in the mountains.  In the quiet peace of gathering night, with all of the colors - so vivid for such a short time as the sun sets - and the first stars of the evening, I find my strength and a deep sense of calm and kinship with all of creation.  For however long I am able to be there,  it seems that the world and all of the cares it contains are both very far away and completely insignificant.  I am so thankful for such a place to go and be. I'm thankful for the sense of kinship, and the calm, and the peace of mind.  It makes me feel very blessed. 

I don't know when it was that the mountains became so important in my life.  I was always a beach person.  I suppose it's Terry's roots in the mountains of North Carolina, and the love of being there that he shared with me some years back.  As we served appointments in north Georgia and were close enough to get onto the Parkway easily,  I fell more and more and more in love with their majesty and beauty.  I'm now a convert.   *smile*

I experience much the same feeling when I'm fortunate enough to be on the Georgia coast on Jekyll Island . . .  sunrise on the beach when no one is around but the birds and the ocean and me . . ..  it's that sense of knowing there is something that stays the same even as it's a different place every day.  In addition, it's a feeling of being where something is so much bigger than I am - the ocean, a mountain peak . . . it feels solid and that's comforting to me in a world that is changing too fast and leaving me behind.  The top of Mt. Mitchell, some 6800 or 6900 feet above sea level, is the highest point in the eastern United States.  Standing up there gives me a feeling of safety that I get nowhere else . . . as if only God, Himself, can find me unless I want to be found, and a feeling of safety like nowhere else. 

I'm thankful . . . for so many things . . . today, in particular, for inner peace and for peace of mind when it comes, for however long it stays.  

Later . . . and, thanks for reading.