A Fathers Words of Wisdom

A Fathers Words of Wisdom


words of wisdom

I grew up in a household full of love and joy and creative individuals….a band of merry men….

…..led by the merriest of them all.

My father was the heartbeat of our home.

He knew every single element on the periodic table and every detail of the revolutionary war and could sing every verse of the Battle Hymn of the Republic in a perfect tune he strummed out on his guitar.  He was witty and funny and kind and generous and when he talked to you….

…he had the amazing ability to make you feel like you were the only person in the room.

And that you could climb mountains.

Probably backwards…..carrying your brother in a wheelbarrow. :) Continue reading

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O Beautiful For Heroes Proved

O Beautiful For Heroes Proved

photo 4

Have you ever sung all the verses of America the Beautiful?

It’s starts off with spacious skies and amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties and fruited plain.


And poetic.

And majestic.

Lyrics that paint a descriptive picture of this beautiful country that we live in.

But what about the rest of the story?

Continue reading

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Cape Cod Beach House Tour

Cape Cod Beach House Tour

beach house garden

When I started blogging they had this thing called Wordless Wednesday.

Do you remember it?

I’m not really sure who started it….but every Wednesday bloggers would simply post a picture like this one I just took for the beach house tour.

Beautiful, wonderful, amazing pictures….

….without any words.

beach house entry

And then we all would jump from one another’s blogs and look at the beautiful pictures and be all inspired in the middle of the week and leave comments like….”amazing pictures” and “wow….what a wonderful scene.”

Or something equally clever.

And everyone would be wordless and inspired all at the same time.

Except me.Continue reading

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Some Are Silver and The Other Is Gold

Some Are Silver and The Other Is Gold

Finding Home Living Room

Can I ask you one of the unsolved questions of the universe?

And maybe it’s not really even unsolved.

Maybe every one else has already figured it out…..

…..and I’m the last to know.

But seriously…..I just want to know why?


Why….when you take a trip and wash your car and pay actual money at the car wash because you want it to sparkle and shine….and then when you arrive at your destination somehow….between here and there…..

….every bug in the universe ends up the front grill of your car. :) Continue reading

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The Day I Sounded Just Like My Mother

The Day I Sounded Just Like My Mother



I’m not really sure when I realized that I sounded exactly like my mother.

Not that it’s a bad thing.

Just totally unexpected.

I mean….I grew up on “there are nit picks all over your room” and “time for chewing practice” and “if you can’t say something nice….” and “watch your attitude” and my personal favorite….

….”I don’t really care what everyone else is doing.”

And my, myself and my bad attitude would sigh…and promise ourselves that when we grew up we would never talk like that or provide completely unsolicited opinions.


Until the day I got older and wiser and realized….

….how brilliant my mother was all along.


Here’s a story I wrote long ago and far away about things that a brilliant mother says….

….and the beginning of a New York Times Bestseller. :) Continue reading

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The Home of the Brave

The Home of the Brave


For all the incredible men and women who have fought to make this country the land of the free and the home of the brave…..

….I salute you.

And for those they left behind at home….

….those amazing individuals who watched them leave with tears and a heavy heart….

….all those who stood in silent support on the home front with worry and uncertainty and prayers for a safe return….

….this story is for you. :)

burlap-flag - 750 x 500

A long time ago in a land far away……I stood in a navy dress with brass buttons and shoulder pads wearing bright red lipstick as my Lee Press-On Nails desperately clutched a chain link fence and tears streamed down my face…..

….and I watched as my new husband sailed away.

Silently I sobbed and cried as the ship got smaller and smaller…..frantically running down the fence with eyes blinded by tears to try to catch one more glimpse before the ship turned the corner and headed out of the harbor.

Hundreds and hundreds of sailors lined the decks of the ship that day….standing at attention with their crisp white uniforms gleaming in the sun and their heads held high….as they left to fight the unknown.

Not one of those sailors knew what the future held.

Not one of those sailors knew what the fighting would bring.

Not one of those sailors knew if they would even return home.

And still they sailed on.

fourth back porch

Days and weeks went by….and as the country watched….the conflict escalated.

Until one day I arrived at work to see terrifying night-time pictures flashing across the national news with bomb after bomb and explosion after explosion….

….a half a world away.

The fighting had begun.

And when I saw those explosions…..I stood silently as my world crumbled around me.

I was here and he was there…..

…..and the sheer helplessness of the situation overwhelmed me.

I wanted to talk to him….for him to reassure me that he was alright and that he was coming home and that he was going to sail back into the harbor on a sunny day wearing his dress whites on the deck of that ship….

….and that all was right with the world.

But it wasn’t.

And I felt my heart crack in two.

fourth outside

And then….suddenly……I heard my name over the loud-speaker at work.  They said they needed me in the office….that I needed to go at once…..that I had a call from an officer.

A call?


From an officer?

I didn’t want a call.

Not even a little.

All the calls I had ever seen in the movies from officers during a war…..never ended well.

I entered the office and with shaking hands took the phone…..and I think I said hello…..the smallest tiniest hello I have ever said in my entire life that sounded like a cross between a squeak and a whisper.

“Mrs. Wood….this is a ship to shore call.  We have your husband on the line.  Please be aware that all conversations on this call will be repeated several times to transfer information to the ship.  Please begin when you are ready,” boomed a loud voice at me over the line.

I didn’t understand.

A ship to shore call?

I didn’t know what to say…..so I simply said “Hello again?”

And then I heard it…..across the miles of land and ocean……the hello repeated from military personnel to military personnel……over and over and over again.

“Hello again.”  “Hello again.”  “Hello again.” “Hello again.”

fourth garden view

Until it reached my husband half a world away.

And then the message came back from that sailor on a distant shore……”Hi cutie…..I’m fine.” ”Hi cutie…..I’m fine.” ”Hi cutie…..I’m fine.” ”Hi cutie…..I’m fine.”

He was fine?

He was okay?

He was safe?

I screamed and giggled and spun around and the heavens parted and I heard the hallelujah chorus.  And then I shouted into the phone with all of the joy and exuberance and adoration I could muster…….”I LOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVE YOOOOOOOU.”

Except I forgot.

You see….the “I love you” didn’t end there.

It wasn’t just between us.

There were five people listening on the call.





They smiled as they repeated it……those veteran military personnel.

And each of them said it with all the joy that my “I love you” was intended to convey.

And in the end…..

…..I didn’t care if the world was listening.

Because that sailor with the brown twinkling eyes didn’t miss a word.

And he knew that I adored him.

And would be waiting for the day he returned.

And winging its way back across that ship to shore line with the static and the beeps and the blips via half a dozen scratchy military voices….

.….he sent me the sweetest “I love you” I ever heard.  :)

PS  I know I’ve told this story before….but a holiday isn’t a holiday….

…..without a happily ever after.   :)

Happy Memorial Day.

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Love Letters From Thistlewood

Love Letters From Thistlewood



When you are a parent….

…you do a lot of talking.

You talk about being nice and waiting your turn and making good choices and respecting each other and speaking in an inside voice and trying your hardest….

….and keeping your promises.

There’s a lot of variations on the same theme.

And in the middle of all that conversation and discussion…..sometimes you sigh….and wonder if anyone is listening.

This Mother’s Day….my son gave me a gift that let me know…

….he had heard (almost) every word.Continue reading

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The Day the Garden Smiled

The Day the Garden Smiled



2013 was the year the weeds took over Thistlewood Farms.

They partied like they owned the place and planned fancy soirees and threw Weed-a-Pollooza and sold tickets in surrounding the counties….

….and invited all their friends.

Then their weed relatives all showed up and grew stronger and bolder and took over all the beds….

…..and told all the flowers to take a hike.

It was so embarrassing.Continue reading

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