What I Learned In October – A 31 Day Recap

In October I participated in write31days.com.  It was my third year to do this and, while I finished, I did skip a few days.  I also did mostly pictures on several days.  It seemed that my whole October pivoted around the writing challenge, so I thought I’d review from those pages to see what I learned through the process of the challenge. The numbers in the list refer to the day from the 31 Days, Prompted To Write, that corresponds with the learning experience.


2.  I learned that in the midst of my deepest pain, I can still laugh.  With Joy.  On this day I also learned that the essence of my Mom is still here, even if her mind is confused.

3.  I learned that I can’t be all things to all people and still be me.  I need balance and perspective. It’s ok to know this, because God’s grace is enough.

More water towers

6.  I learned that I love rainy days.  I don’t love depression, but I can still praise God in the storms.

8.  I was once again reminded that my mom wants to be Minnie Pearl.  I also learned that life does not have to be perfect and the ability to laugh at yourself is priceless.

9.  I learned to be thankful for slammed doors and to wait with expectation to see how God will open a window.  And he will. He will provide the work he wants us to do.  I’ve also changed how I pray for that work.


13. 14. 17. 20. 29.  I was reminded once again just why Autumn is my favorite time of year and how much I love drives and taking photos of the fall splendor.  I also discovered that there is much beauty not too far from my own back door.  I found a breathtaking view just a few miles away in a most unassuming location, just waiting for me to bask in it’s panorama.  I was once again reminded of why I call this My October 


16.  I was reminded that the testimonials of a man’s character and how he was an influence in the lives of so many is the real legacy left behind.

25.  I learned to look for Vignettes around my own home and was inspired to share a few with you, thanks to the Nester and her 31 Day Topic, Vignette Me.


27.  I was inspired to worship under the ministry of my husbands piano playing for a congregation in his home town.  It was a sweet day.  Like getting a glimpse into heaven.  (in the original post I linked to him playing a bluesy version of Nothing But The Blood)  Go ahead, click over, I promise you’ll be inspired.

28.  I was blessed by the wonder of friendship and reminded of how important it is to meet halfway for the sheer joy of celebrating that friendship.


31.  I found an old letter from my mom that reminded me of the beauty of forgiveness.  I was also reminded why my ears don’t stick out (just go read the note at the end of Day 31).

If you want to know more, you can read the entire 31 Day series here. If you wanted me to point you to say, my top three recommendations form the series, then I would say here, here and here.


I’d love to hear from you – what did you learn in October?

I’m linking with Emily over at Chatting at the Sky for her monthly link-up on what we learned.  You can check out what others are learning here.

Learning and remembering in grace,


Prompted By A Girl’s Day Out


I love getting together with friends for an outing.  My friend, G, lives in Ohio about an hour from me, so once a month or so, we plan to meet halfway for lunch, shopping, but mostly talking!

We love to throw some words around and let them bounce off the walls and back in our faces.  We can hold our own with the best of them. We talk about everything – food, religion, politics, teaching (we were both former teachers), former students, husbands (mostly ours), family – no topic is off limits.  And we don’t have to agree. We are free to have our own opinions.  But, if we can make the other see our point of view that’s okay too!


It is a beautiful friendship that began twenty-two years ago when we both started teaching at the same small private school.  Being two of the three middle / high school teachers that year, we were together often (the other teacher was a man and put up with us).  Naturally, we would meet at the end of the day to compare notes.  Then, there was the conference that we attended where we were roommates along with my mother, who also taught at the same school that year.

On that trip we really bonded.  It wasn’t long before we started getting together with our husbands for movie and pizza nights, or going out to dinner or shopping.  We always talked up a storm while still keeping focused on the movies.  We’d give our opinions and our husband’s would just shake their heads.  Her husband started calling us Siskel and Ebert.  I’m pretty sure we could have given them a run for their money. Siskal and Ebert that is, our husbands have no money.


We never tired of each other’s company and luckily for us, our husbands really liked hanging out together.  It was sports that brought them together (UK Basketball and Cincinnati Reds).  We have many happy memories of spending time at their place or ours.

Then, we had to move and break up a good thing. 100_3742The friendship didn’t break, just the amount of time we could spend together.  We’ve moved a lot, but over the years we managed to stay in touch.  When we’d be home for Christmas or in the summer we’d do our best to find a time to go visit them.   And, we always picked up right where we left off.


You can imagine our excitement when we knew we were moving back to my hometown in 2012. This meant we’d only be an hour away from them and could start having adventures again.  They could come here and we could go there and we could meet halfway.


When we meet halfway we have progressive dinners.  We meet at restaurant number one for dinner and stay as long as we dare without getting dirty looks from the waitress.  This can be up to three hours.  We make sure to tip well to make up for the extra time.

After dinner we may go shopping at the Dollar Tree, big spenders that we are, and then we’ll go to restaurant number two for dessert, where we’ll again stay as long as we dare.  After which, depending on the time and our mood, we may move on to restaurant number three and have something to drink, or a snack if we’re up to it.

One time we hit Sonic around 10 pm for drinks and tater tots and we stayed until midnight. The guys made friends with the manager who seemed to enjoy our company and he didn’t mind at all that we were using his restaurant for a meeting place. So we were cool. Another time we went to their house fully intending to come back home the same evening.  At two in the morning we were still talking and watching movies; we decided to stay and crash in their guest room.

We love this friendship because we can totally be who we are.  There is no pretense or judgement.  Just love and acceptance. I’m pretty sure they feel the same way.  We thank God for them.


This past Saturday G and I met halfway for lunch at a sweet downtown restaurant on a brick-lined street with wonderful old buildings. The leaves were softly falling and made a satisfying crunch under foot.




We were early for the lunch crowd so had the place pretty much to ourselves for awhile.  We talked and remembered and shared from our hearts.  When the waitress asked if we wanted dessert (they sounded so yummy) we decided we’d walk around downtown, hit some shops and then come back for dessert.

Which we did. We found a wonderful quilt shop with beautiful fabric.  No, we don’t quilt.  She crochet’s and I write. We browsed through a wonderful little consignment shop and made a few purchases.  We walked around and peeked in windows.

Once, as we were walking,  I happened to look down and right there in the middle of Second Street was my husband staring back at me from a display window.  Well, not my husband, but his picture. 100_3737.2jpg I did a double take.  It was a display to announce a night of music in honor of volunteers, in which my husband is on the musical line-up. I can’t seem to go anywhere without him crashing my girl time.  Just kidding, sort of. He did crash a girls night out one time with another friend which is another story. Anyway, back to the walk.

100_3739.3jpgWe walked around and I took pictures of buildings and streets and steeples, then we made our way back to the restaurant for dessert.  Yes, it lived up to the expectation of yumminess.  Turtle Cheesecake and Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie.  We ate as much as we could, talked some more, then, we hugged goodbye and went home, all the better for having had a girl’s day out.  Thanks, G, for being my friend and loving me in spite of me.

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures.  For in the dew of little things the heart finds it’s morning and is refreshed. ~~Khalil Gibran



Loving my friends in grace,



This is part of a 31 Days series, Prompted to Write, in which I write about the ebb and flow of life in my day to day living.  Please click the banner below for the complete series in this series and for more information about the Write 31 Days and others who are writing as well.