Friday, July 30, 2010

she stood at the door

her hands trembled as she inserted the rusty old key into the lock. she knew there was no turning back once she'd come this far. the journey to this door spanned decades of searching, yearning, always  holding faith that the key would unleash secret mysteries of her past. her heart raced as she heard frantic whisperings from the other side, indecipherable words that begged for an answer. the other side -- how many times as a child had she heard her mother whisper those words? the last time had been on her mother's death bed as she pressed the rusty old key into her hand. "promise me you'll find it," her mother whispered. "promise me you'll put an end to their constant questioning. i tried so hard to appease them but never had the words they longed to hear." so she had searched, slowing turning the pages of the mystery book that had been her mother's legacy to her. slowly she narrowed her search to this wooded copse and this abandoned house. and now, at long last, she stood at the door, ready to face the voices that had haunted her mother. she firmly turned the key within the lock, pushing back the resistance from years of neglect. creaking door hinges preceded a crescendo of hoarse voices and foul breath. her eyes took in the dark forms as they rushed forward, leaving in their wake a desolate forbidding courtyard. as she stepped over the threshold she understood the question the multitude was asking of her and her reply was quick and sure. "hope," she said. "hope is the thing that sustains us. hope is the answer." the words had barely left her lips when the dark forms began to transform, taking on new shapes and colors. instantly they were the purple hollyhocks, the yellow daisies and the orange poppies lining the pathway into the courtyard. vermillion roses climbed the brick wall, turning their faces to the sun, sighing with contentment. and they all welcomed her with open hearts, embracing the one who held the key to their redemption.  

this is my first time to participate in willow's magpie tales and i truly loved the challenge. to see more of this week's magpie tales, click here.  

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

where has my happy gone

where has my happy gone
it used to sit joyfully
on my shoulder
pointing out all
the blessings 
in my life
you couldn't ask for
a better friend
i miss my happy
if someone sees it
would you please
say "hurry back to julie
she needs you right now"

Sunday, July 25, 2010

surviving the heat

how i survived the heat this weekend:

slept in on saturday morning

cleaned house in my pjs with the air turned way down

went to the movies saturday night to see ramona & beezus with my daughter, dil and 2 grandaughters
ate extra-large servings of chocolate yogurt (not the low-fat kind either)

took bella & zoe to the river to swim

spent hours in the art room creating in photoshop

all in all, a pretty cool weekend!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010



your efforts to keep me out
simply draw me in

your stalwart purpose
is softened by the
intricacies of your detail
and the patina
of your worn veneer

your presence
hints at mysteries
and secrets
that my soul
desires to uncover

your beauty can be
a prelude to a
visual symphony
or the
main attraction

i seek you out
in forgotten
back streets 
and on rambling
country lanes

i gasp with delight
when i first
behold your beauty

i sigh with contentment
when you reveal
your hidden wonders

you are my muse
spurring my creativity
to take wing
and fly

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

white daisies

your stage
is my garden
your music
the twittering birds
your muse
the wind

i bask
in your
the glow
of youth
and innocence
once again
image and poem (c) 2010 julie king

Monday, July 12, 2010

zoe & bella's excellent vacation

we took the girls (our puppies) on vacation june 26 thru july 3rd -- their first vacation ever!!!! the idea of going on vaca without them or boarding them was just too much to bear so we bought a pop-up camper and headed north. destination -- lake huron, michigan!! the weather was just yummy with low temps and humidity. thank goodness we had heated mattresses in our camper -- it got down to 49 degrees at night. the girls were content to snuggle in with us AND sleep in in the mornings!  above, bill is walking the girls along a pier in east tawas, mi. it was cool and windy that day!!

here is bella being stubborn and fearful. she is afraid of most any unusual surface on the street. she steers completely around manholes and drainage holes. she refused to walk across this surface and we had to pick her up and carry her. the wet kisses i received for picking her up were just wonderful!

bella again -- taking a rest at one of the many lighthouses
we visited and photographed along lake huron.

bella aka waterdog adored our time at the state campground beaches!
she dove right in without hesitation and when the water got too deep
to walk she swam like a pro. 

our girls don't get too much chance to run off leash except in
our fenced back yard. bill has trained them to come on command
with treats if they try to wander off too far.
here they are practicing their twirls!

we were all snug as a bug in a rug in our camper beds.
after a few hours of walking and playing on the beach
we were ALL happy to take a nap!

one day we took the ferry to mackinac island where we got a ton of exercise
and fresh air. bella was beat when we got on the ferry for the ride back
to the mainland. she laid right down on the table and caught a few zzzzs.

bella was the first to get the concept of running
into the water after a thrown stick. 

but zoe was always waiting on shore
to take it away from her!

running laps on the beach!!! first they'd run to me and then
back to bill! they loved every minute of it!

where's your daddy?! i had them on leash while bill went up into
this lighthouse. they were so excited to see him when he came back out.

let us out, please! as we set up camp we had the girls stay
inside out of the way. be assured that they oversaw
every detail of the set up!!

who's walking who??!

curious zoe had to stick her head thru every
hole and take in every detail of the walk!

sandy face zoe!

cold sunset walk!!

surf play!!

tug of war!!!

more walking!

sweet face of zoe on the ferry home!

zoe is queen of the rock!

zoe trying to come give me kisses!

zoe was slow to adapt to the water but once she did, look out!!

watch dog zoe!
i was taking photos of flowers at kmart
while bill picked up a few supplies and zoe never took
her eyes off me. bella took advantage of the down time by sleeping.

completely worn out!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

hope blooms

i've been brainstorming, stewing and kanoodling for some time now on how to move back to indiana to be close to my family. hubby and i adore our home here in dayton, both have stable employment and a great life. but i really want to be there seeing my kids and grandchildren every day, being the family matriarch and living a quiet country life. i can envision myself in a big garden, having a few chickens, gathering fresh eggs and selling my art and garden wares at the local farmer's market. all my clothes will dry in the fresh sunshine, pegged to the line in the yard with some of the wooden pins my mom has used for decades. hubby will take the grandkids fishing in the local pond and i'll teach them how to bake the best cookies, find the fattest fishing worms and know when the melons are ready to harvest.

my garden will have an extra-big area for pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. we'll have an autumn pumpkin farm with candy apples, home baked pies and fresh bread for sale. i'll do face paintings on the little kids and hubby will take them on goat wagon rides. i'll have a table set up where the kids can decorate the pumpkins they've picked out. i'll teach them how to mod podge on faces, hair and ears.

in the winter the entire family will gather at our house for soup on sunday evenings. we'll play yahtzee and watch old disney movies. the grandkids will come to my house for cookies and hot chocolate after school. we'll do crafts and read books every day.

i've put it down on paper, done the math (a dozen or more times), looked at real estate and job opportunities and made lists of how to save and simplify in order to accomplish my dream. but no matter how i twist it around we simply can't afford to sell our house during these depressed economic times. it seems that no matter how much i hope it, dream it, envision it and down right LONG for it, the reality is what it is. we'll be living here for a few more years.

but i won't give up. hope blooms still in my heart and soul. i'm going to be that cookie/hot chocolate grandma -- i just may be a bit older one!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

time to ponder

when was the last time you laid out flat on the ground and looked up at the sky? it's fun to just squint your eyes shut into a tiny little line and watch the clouds scuttle by. occasionally a bird flies by giving you one of those "lady, are you crazy?" looks. or if you live near an airport like me, you might see a jet way up high, sun glinting off it's wings. i like to imagine where the passengers are headed. are they winging off for fun in sultry san antonio or visiting family in arid arizona? these are the thing i ponder as i lay on the ground.

if you're not shy and don't care about the looks you get, you might try laying underneath an expansive tree or a bed of spiky flowers. think about it -- when do we ever get to see the undersides of flowers? i'm quite entertained by the saucy dance moves the flowers make against their curtain of bright blue sky.  and there's no better way to honor the majesty of a giant tree than to lay at its feet in admiration, gazing up at the glorious reach of the branches. it's a perfect sanctuary for pondering.

i recall a tree-hugger i witnessed a few times in junior high. he was the younger brother of a class mate. i'm not sure how many different trees he liked to hug but i know he was quite fond of a big sycamore casting long shadows in the front of the elementary school.  kids can be quite cruel and he was for sure the butt of many mean-spirited jokes. i recall feeling so much empathy for both the classmate and his younger brother. who are we to judge how others choose to commune with nature. maybe that was his best pondering spot. maybe he heard and felt things most of us can't. maybe he was the lucky one to have befriended a tree.

who are we to judge? i think about this message sometimes when i'm quick to think someone is weird or just different and i try to be a little more empathetic. it gives all of us something to ponder, wouldn't you agree?

Friday, July 9, 2010

mrs. king

this is amaris, the newest mrs. king and my new daughter-in-law. isn't she just gorgeous?! i don't know when i've seen a prettier bride. she was glowing and not just because of the 90+ degree heat on june 20th, the day of the wedding. i snapped this photo, a great casual off-the-cuff shot that i really love. i cropped out the background and then added a faded shot of her candle centerpieces as the new background. voila!

mrs. king
to a new love
a new life
a new understanding
of commitment
and honor

mrs. king
in body
in spirit
in life

mrs. king
woman of

spread your wings
and soar
mrs. king
your journey
has just

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

living with the beatles

ringo turned 70 today. how is that possible? wasn't it just yesterday that i watched the fab four's first appearance on the ed sullivan show? it was a sunday night in february 1964. my sister and i had front row center seats on the floor of our family living room. i can remember being so excited that i could barely sit still. i even grabbed my sister's hand and held it tight in exhilaration. i was 12, my sister 14 -- really just innocent babies still growing up in indiana farm country. we were sheltered from most of the harsh realities of the world but we felt it. yes we did -- we felt it right down to our toes just like so many other teenage girls watching that night. it was a thrill like no other. and i liked it very much!

the beatles were there with me when i first slow danced with a boy at a sock hop a few years later. the song was "yesterday" and the boy smelled like brute aftershave with a slight tinge of teenage boy sweat. i guess i pretty much liked that too. i remember returning home from a date with another boy a few years later and sitting in the car listening to "let it be" on the radio. i wondered if that boy would be one of the ones sent off to the other side of the world to be maimed or wasted like so many others. it made me very heavy-hearted.

zoom forward a few years and i'm a single mom of two young kids. we're in the car whizzing thru the countryside when "can't buy me love" comes on the radio. as i sang along out loud at full volume my son matt said "yuck -- you like this?" it was my first generation / culture gap between me and my kids. fast forward about 10 more years and matt and i spent a great deal of time together discussing the beatles, how their music shaped my life and how it was affecting his.

i have a great collection of beatles coffee table books; most of them were gifts to me from matt. i cherish every one of them.

lennon's "grow old along with me" was played at my second wedding. i listen to the beatles at work when i'm writing copy for newsletters and packaging. and, what do you think the ring tone is on my phone? "here comes the sun" -- a lovely way to receive a call from a loved one or friend.

ringo turned 70 today. i'm 57. we've spent the last 46 years together. i wonder if he has any idea how much it has meant to me.