Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Year's Eve 2015

The Gate of the year...

The Gate of the Year was first published in 1908 with the title "God Knows". It gained greater prominence in 1939 when King George VI spoke the opening lines in his Christmas broadcast to a British Empire plunged into World War II. By either title, the words of Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957) capture my heart on the threshold of each new year.

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
 What need our little life
 Our human life to know,
 If God hath comprehension?
 In all the dizzy strife
 Of things both high and low,
 God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
 Is best. The stretch of years
 Which wind ahead, so dim
 To our imperfect vision,
 Are clear to God. Our fears
 Are premature; In Him,
 All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
 God moves to lift the veil
 From our impatient eyes,
 When, as the sweeter features
 Of Life’s stern face we hail,
 Fair beyond all surmise
 God’s thought around His creatures
 Our mind shall fill.

Happy New Year
 to all my readers and friends. 
I wish you health and happiness.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Monday Moanings - December 21, 2015

Make We Merry?

It's raining. It's gloomy outside my door. My arthritic hands are groaning in protest against this winter-less Christmas season. I am going to have to get out and push my own Christmas Spirit wagon today. Its engine of self-propulsion seems to have bogged down.

The decorations are two-thirds done.

The gift wrapping is one-third done.

The cleaning is one-third done.

But the Christmas baking is all done!

So on this dreary day, let's add it all up:

2/3 decorations + 1/3 gift wrapping + 1/3 cleaning + 1/1 baking = 2-1/3

(And that's how math works this week!)

Now if anyone asks if  I'm ready for Christmas I can say, 

"You bet! I'm more than double ready."

Banish the doldrums. It's time to be merry.

Be safe my friends.
Let's all be home for Christmas.

©2015 April Hoeller

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Thursday, or Thereabouts - December 17, 2015

The Delight of our Days

On this day 7 years ago we welcomed a new family member. Her eyes stole our hearts away.

December 2008

On December 17, 2008 we brought Sophie home from the Georgina Animal Shelter and Adoption Centre where she had been known as "Willow". Sophie wasted no time making herself right at home.

December 2008

Christmas was extra special that year.

All she ever wanted for Christmas was a Fur-ever home and she got it, along with the best Christmas stocking ever.

Neither she nor us have ever looked back.

A best friend and good listener for life.

Tolerant of wardrobe changes.

A gal for all seasons.

The delight of our days.

Happy Homecoming Anniversary Sophie! 
Love ya to bits.

©2015 April Hoeller (Sophie too!)

Monday, 14 December 2015

Monday Moanings - December 14, 2015

Gloomy Weather

The fog is lifting, but dampness hangs like a wet blanket on my line of life this morning. It may be good news for all those courier services. Their parcels will be delivered without weather delays as their drivers put pedal to the metal. Even the TV forecasters tout the wonderful warmth - what is wrong with them? And I've heard many people say how lovely the warm weather is. Are they nuts?

It's not May. It's December! Balmy temperatures means there is no snow.
And that is precisely my moan this day - NO SNOW!

I love the snow.

I love the cold squeak of snow protesting against every foot step.

I thrill to the gritty sound of shovels scraping across walkways and stairs.

I hum along to the beat of the  4-stroke Briggs and Stratton engine powering a snowblower.

And my heart leaps with joy when I hear the rolling thunder and feel the shudder of a snowplow as it rumble up the street, heaving great billows of white.

I love winter wonderlands. I have the luxury of simply enjoying the sparkle and crunch.

Catching snowflakes on my tongue.
Tromping through the snow.
Making snow angels.
Pure joy!

©2015 April Hoeller

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Thursday, or Thereabouts - December 10, 2015

How GREEN is my Valley

Soft rays of warmth bid me come out and wander through grasslands...

...and forests.

No tuque. No scarf. No mitts. No boots.
Summer hiking shoes, fleece jacket, sunglasses.
And still I broke a sweat on our hike through the forest.

Even Sophie needed to cool off.

And she found a stick, of course.

If I didn't know for sure that it was December, I could well believe it was early Spring. Only in the early Spring do I see such vibrant greens.

A glance upward through the mighty oaks and poplars tells a more seasonally appropriate story.

Coming home, there is "don't make me get the lawn mower out" green.

And mint green...

And fresh lamium

 OMG yellow!

How green is my valley? More green than usual, more green than it should be in December.

But with a flourish of yellow life in my valley raises a triumphant shout, "Joy to the World."

©2015 April Hoeller