There is an emanation from the heart

which cannot be described,

but is immediately felt and puts

the stranger at his ease.

~Washington Irving

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie

Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth.

May my life be like a great

hospitable tree, and may

weary wanderers find in

me a rest.

~John Henry Jowett

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

A Rainy Day

The best thing one can do when
it’s raining is to let it rain.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This is what I call a wall of rain. Incessant,
unstoppable, unrelenting rain--today, 

all day. There's nothing for it but to carry
on in spite of it, it's Britain after all. 

Luckily if you're a tourist in Oxford, there's
still plenty to do when it rains. College
chapels are warm and dry--and beautiful.

This is Exeter College chapel.

The dining halls are resplendent in the soft lamplight and it's hard not to imagine Harry, Hermione, and Ron huddled together, urgently discussing their latest scheme to foil Malfoy.

Take a walk inside Oxford's Covered Market
(and out of the rain), and stop to admire the
tiny Mother's Day cakes in the Cake Shop
window. Mother's Day is March 6th 
Britain--it always falls 3 weeks before Easter.

Closer to home, a very bored puppy (and laundry
thief) is in desperate need of a walk. I put if off
as long as I could to avoid the wall of rain
outside, but when he starts grabbing laundry it's
time to put the wellies on and grab my umbrella.

A rainy day is the perfect time
for a walk in the woods. 
~Rachel Carson

Holywell Cemetery was every bit as
soggy as I thought it would be, but I
came fully armed with a big umbrella
and indestructible wellies. Jack was
protected by not one, but two coats. 

Wee Jack was very good 
at avoiding the puddles.
It may have been bucketing rain but
the birds were singing up a storm
and Jack had a wonderful romp.

Yesterday we passed by these daffodils
and hopefully they're still upright
and surviving today's torrent.

We returned from our walk
in time to feed a pair of disgruntled,
and very wet, hens. Apparently
they blamed me for the weather, but
once they had their blueberries all
was well in the poultry world.

And then it was time for tea.....

......and a good book.
"To me, February is like standing in the
middle of a bridge. December and January 
are behind, but it is a long journey to the
other side where daffodils scatter gold..."
~Gladys Taber

So even though it's been raining for nine
hours, and there's still nine left to go,
there are no complaints here. This
is what we have to look forward to,
once the clouds part and the rains stop.

Magdalen College in the April sunshine.

Gentle Spring's around the corner, 
 Waiting just to show her face 
 And to bring us flowers and sunshine; 
 Winter's almost run his race! 
Be not, then, my friends, discouraged 
 That there's cold and ice and sleet; 
 For Springtime soon will be with us, 
 And the flowers we will greet: 
Daffodils, so bright and yellow, 
 Hyacinths of varied hues, 
 As they nod their heads, in gladness, 
 Telling us they bring good news... 
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, 
"Springtime" (1940s)

February 18th Update ~ And then the sun came out..........

The Lewis Tree against a sky washed
clean with 18 hours of rain.

The rain, and then the sun,
are bringing the daffodils to life.


  1. Dear Carrie: Again, you have not disappointed! The "Harry Potter" dining hall; the sweet Mother's Day cakes; the countryside beginning to burst into bloom; wee Jack! and the romp in the rain! It makes me almost long for rain here!! We can't complain! It's been a very sunny, cold, windy, but dry winter. Very easy to get around. I suspect we might be facing some drought in the summer unless we have spring rains, which we normally do. But for now, we are enjoying blue sky, golden grass in the meadows and pastures, where the black Angus cows stand out in bold relief, and the bare huge oaks that somewhat resemble your Lewis tree! And enjoying the squirrels scurrying among them.

    AND. . . a lovely, large thick cream colored envelope arrived in my mailbox this morning with the most exquisite piece of fine silk weaving that I have every seen! You will be hearing more about that shortly!

    Have a wonderful day! Jane xo

    1. Well this South Dakota girl can picture the black Angus and all the rest very well, and I sure hope you get some rain before the summer season. The west coast is finally catching up with their snow pack and rain. glad you received your card and liked it. I found that up in Coventry when we visited last Autumn. I just loved Mr. Badger. Hope you and Gene are well and have a lovely day. xxCarrieoo

    2. I do indeed just absolutely love it!! The work is exquisite. I was just blown away! And yes, Mr. Badger is wonderful in there. A page right out of Wind in the Willows! What kind of tree is that with the lovely yellow clusters? I remember Ann telling me how heartbreaking it was for her to see the empty shell of that great cathedral when they were there. But how wonderfully they have restored the remains. Thank you so much!! A gift I will treasure! Jane xo

    3. You're very welcome and I'm so glad you like it. :-)

  2. Hi Carrie, so love everything you share! Everything is so beautiful. I can not wait for Spring and daffodils, it will be a while for us yet.
    Take care and bless you. xo

    1. Hi Pam~So glad you enjoy our snippets of life in Oxford--and thank you for the very kind share on your own lovely blog. It's such a wonderful way to connect kindred spirits. The full daffodil season is very nearly upon us--just think, next week is March!! I hope the Michigan weather is kind to you and that you have a beautiful and early spring. I remember being a little girl in Detroit and very sad that we had snow on Easter one year, which made it very hard to wear our new Easter dresses and patent leather shoes. :-) Take care and have a lovely day. xxCarrieoo