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

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Leaving Home to Go Home

A day like today is always bittersweet for me. I spend the day looking extra long and hard at everything (and everyone) around me, because tomorrow 'I'm leavin' on a jet plane' to go home. I'm very, very lucky because I have two places I call home. When I fly back to the U.S. I say I'm going 'home', and then when I leave to fly back to the UK, I'm going 'home' again. So two homes, the best of both worlds.

Wild heart, child heart,
all of the world your home.
Glad heart, mad heart,
what can you do but roam? 
~Robert W. Service,
"The Wanderlust,"
Rhymes of a Rolling Stone, 1912

Jack and I had our final walk through Holywell Cemetery this morning before I get back home to Oxford in the middle of May. It was one of those mornings that sparkle and shine, as though fairies had gone through at sunrise and touched each leaf, blade and petal with fairy dust. I felt like I was floating rather than walking and everything glittered in the light.

The smell of magnolia was the first thing to say
hello on our morning walk through the cemetery.

Golden dappled light
bounced off the stone.
The crabapple tree hangs
heavy with blossoms.
Bluebells are everywhere.

Wildflowers are starting to appear.

Lingering daffodils mingling
with the bluebells.

Jack always leads the way
through the dappled sunlight.

St. Cross church in the morning sun.

After weeks waiting for spring, it's
finally appeared in tender green leaves.

Today is St. George's Day in England and
flags are flying over all the colleges. As I
walked up to our front door, I looked up.
There was the Union Jack waving overhead
and a regal hawk flying over it all--
this 'scepter'd isle'.

There are so many things to do before I leave in the
morning--like planting flowers so they'll be blooming
and beautiful when I get home in May. As always, 
I have my little shadow and helper tagging along.

So Jack and I are signing off for a few weeks. He and Stuart will still be in Oxford, keeping the homefires burning, but I'll be on the east coast and the west coast of the U.S.,and a few points in between. 'Home' with my five children and five grandchildren, seeing old friends and soaking up the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Then in mid May I'll be 'home' again. Home to Oxford and Stuart and Jack, and then soon after I get back, the English summer! Like I said, the best of both worlds.  See you in May...........

Don't you know you've got a chance of seeing the
world? You're one of the lucky people that can have
touch of the wanderlust without being made
useless by it. You may wander in thought as well
as on freight-trains, and discover something of the
world. Mostly, young Americans get tied up to
something before they see what a big world there
is to hike in. Son, son, for God's sake, live in life.
~Sinclair Lewis, 
The Trail of the Hawk: 
A Comedy of the Seriousness of Life, 1915


  1. Oh Carrie, I so enjoy your words and pictures! Thank-you and safe travels , I am on the east coast of New England and will be waving from my garden as you pass by. Have a wonderful time, much appreciation, Wendy-Louise

    1. Hi Wendy....thank you so much for the travel wishes. Travelling these days is a real leap of faith sometimes which is always good for the soul. I'll be looking out for you down in your lovely garden and will wave madly! Take care and have a beautiful rest of April....and then on to May! xxCarriexx

  2. Enjoy "home" and you friends and children!

    Marianne Ingersoll

    1. Thank you Marianne. All packed and ready to go. Take care--xxCarrieoo

  3. I'll be out and about at the same time you are! Leaving on May 6 to visit my sister and family and Mom in Indiana. Home 10 days later; then up to Kansas City to see Susan May 18 and home again on May 19. Just in time to welcome you back to Oxford! Lovely time of year to travel!! Maybe we'll be crossing paths, who knows!! I'll be looking up to see your plane passing over Arkansas, or points in between!! Have a safe and wonderful trip!! Jane xoxo P.S. Too bad you couldn't drop down and visit Ann and me and the English wedding chapel!! If you look closely, the fairies might let you get a glimpse from the sky!!! :-)

    1. What a wonderful month you have ahead of you Jane. So much to anticipate--and isn't that half the fun of travel? I do wish I could make a quick pit-stop in Arkansas too-- but I'll definitely wave and blow kisses as I fly over. Have a wonderful and special time and many prayers for safe travel. How lucky we all are to be able to do this--be with our loved ones in just a matter of hours. I'll definitely watch for the fairies. Take care xxxCarrieooo

  4. I always say "I'm going home" when I'm travelling to England :D It's totally my "mental home", I'm so hoping to get someday spend more time there than just couple of vacation weeks... maybe when I'm retired :D
    I hope you enjoy your stay in the US! And welcome home in May :D