I had rather be…

I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give.

Thomas Jefferson


(…except the bacon part. I’ll take bread and jam!)


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far away (but not so far)

So looking forward to Thanksgiving, loving this hustle and bustle of holiday preparations (even though I’ll be working on Thursday!)…but my heart has been far away lately. I’ve been thinking of a place where food is scarce, clean water is a precious commodity, and people are bravely enduring yet another disaster. I want us to enjoy, to eat, to drink, be thankful–oh, yes, be thankful. But please, don’t forget.

I spoke to my uncle today, who just returned from Haiti. He says the crumbled buildings are lying in virtually the same places they landed in January. The tents cities aren’t getting any smaller. Cholera is spreading. He told me of the IV bags lined up at the clinic, waiting to be used.

It seems far away, but it’s not so far.

I just got mail yesterday from my dear friend  Bernadel Clarime:

“Hello Kelly ! How are you doing ? How is your family doing ? Iam doing well, my family doing well too. From day to day the Cholera give us much problem a lot of villages has it, have more than 20100 people sick and then more than 1200 people dead. Please, I would like you still help Haiti, specially me and my family in your prayer. Iam happy to write you . Sinerely Bernadel”

It’s not so far.

I need to get back there. My heart is yearning to be there, to be working, to be crying, to be seeing, to be living life with eyes open alongside my brave friends in Haiti.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for grace, thankful for family, safety, healthcare, and peace. My heart is glad for these things…but somehow, the knowledge that these people are still living in disaster, now in fear of death, fear of  illness in the water, in chaos, and bearing it bravely, as they have every other burden, every other disaster for the past several decades…this knowledge tempers my propensity to waste my time, to spend hours shopping, to whine over trivial discomforts. It makes me thankful for life. It makes me uncomfortable in a good way. It makes me remember.

Friends, happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy, be thankful…and please, don’t forget.

*(photo courtesy of Boston.com–follow the link for more difficult/raw/beautiful photographs of Haiti 10 months post-earthquake)

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Delicious Autumn!

I love October.

“Delicious autumn!   My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns.”
–   George Eliot

The chilly air, the crisp blue sky, the fresh color in everyone’s cheeks–delicious. Here are a few snapshots of our October days.

“There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on
the feelings, as now in October.”

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

“She had only to stand in the orchard, to put her hand on a little crab tree and look up at the apples,
to make you feel the goodness of planting and tending and harvesting at last.”
–  Willa Cather

(Forgive me for all the donkey pictures. I really like this guy. He was at the orchard we visited in Warwick, NY. He’s sweet.)

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i heart Maine.

These are some of my favorite Maine sights. James and I loved our time in Maine…the rugged rocky coast and the icy blue water were almost too beautiful to believe. One day we’ll have a farmhouse or a coastal house in some wooded, rocky area like this. Until then, we happily make our life in our cottage in NJ, thankful for these days.

The arrival of the fall days means that summer vacations are over, but I’m glad to be nestling in, making the house warmer, taking out winter clothes and blankets. Even the 2 weeks of rain have brought a sort of welcome coziness to the necessity of staying indoors. My fall candles are lit, and I am ready for the cooling nights of autumn, and will be thrilled at the first snowfall. Autumn and winter are my favorite seasons…they seem to be seasons of quiet reflection, of conversation, and staying warm together. The cold, dark evenings are good times for writing, thinking, praying. I welcome the cold and the dark, knowing that we will be warmed and cheered by firelight, tea, and blankets inside.

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I missed a lot of my brothers’ growing up days (when I left for college, Will was only 2 years old), but now that I’m back in NJ for a few years, I have been loving my days spent with these boys. They are as different as night and day, but each interesting in their own way. Matt has become a dedicated and impressive athlete, and his basketball games are awesome to watch (Varsity this year!). Will has a sharp wit, mature intellect, and a creative turn of phrase (he’s working on a novel in the pic above). I am so blessed to have such kind-hearted and fun-loving brothers. It’s funny, they are, and have always been, my little brothers (Matthew by 13 years, Will by 16 years)…but somehow, now (as they bypass me in height and strength) they are quietly becoming protectors, in some ways, big brothers.

The highlight of my childhood was making my brother laugh so hard that food came out his nose.

-Garrison Keillor

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Sneak Preview (of the most beautiful place on earth)

James and I have the good fortune of spending 5 days on the coast of Maine. It is the most beautiful place on earth. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world, being able to sit on a rock overlooking the icy blue Atlantic, gulls crying overhead, as the waves hit the rocky coastline.

And then, as if things couldn’t get any better, we had the joy of listening to these girls create music that made us cry.

Oh, vacation, I love you.

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happiest moments.

“The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.”

-Thomas Jefferson-

I’ve been loving my family lately: Mom, Dad, Little Bro’s and Sis. Here are some recent shots of my sweet gang:


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