30 Days Absent

One month has passed since I last posted here.

30 days with nothing shared – no inward thoughts, no outward voice….

I was shocked when I signed in this morning and noted the date of my last post.

Life has been busy and my mind occupied with living it.  But, still…there was a time when I posted daily.  Suzansays served as a catharsis, I suppose.  Perhaps it’s one I no longer need.


But, if that’s the case, why do I feel myself relax and open up as words begin to flow and my typing increases its pace?

And, why do I suddenly feel exposed…vulnerable…?  I’ve shared much over the years through writing.  Why do I now seek to draw the shades and pull privacy around me like a protective blanket?

Growth often takes place in dark places. You plant a seed where? Under ground. You don’t see it again until two things have happened. 1) a root system has formed and pushed its way downward to nourish and establish, and 2) it breaks through the earth mature enough to endure and be energized by the sun’s glare.

Bear with me now – my mind is piecing together this puzzle and I’m simply typing as my mind unravels the mystery of why I’ve been silent and absent for so long.

I’m growing. Changing. Becoming.

I wasn’t even aware of the depth of the change that’s taking place within me until I sat here to type in the quiet opportunity that this Saturday morning provided me.

Oh, I know – that’s something we all do in some form or fashion.  But, this is a radical makeover. And, it’s not something I instigated. Outside forces initiated various changes within me.  And, as those life forces pressed in – some things within me began to change.

(I’ve sat still and silent for 7 minutes now, unsure what words to type next – my mind a whirl of thoughts….)

Pressure has a way of affecting change.

Here’s a simple experiment to explain what I mean.

Take a Ziploc bag and fill it halfway with water.  Remove the air from it. Place it in the freezer – on a flat surface with nothing touching it. Take another Ziploc bag and repeat, just like you did with the first.  Toss it into the freezer then place upon it and around it whatever is handy.  Leave both for 6 hours.

When you return to the freezer and carefully remove the Ziploc bags – what will you find?

The one bag that felt only the pressure of its own weight and no confines apart from its own will conform to its own boundaries.  The bag that was tossed into the freezer and had the pressure of the weight of other things bear upon it is far more interesting and unique than the bag that felt none apart from its own.  It holds the same amount of water, but the pressure experienced by it redirected the flow into various directions and shapes.  It embraced that which bore down upon it and flowed as it was able.

The way I see it, we have two choices.

  1. We can insulate ourselves and resist the pressure of anything that might press in on us.  (resist change by confining ourselves to and conforming to boundaries we place on ourselves)
  2. We can go with the flow and use that which presses in on us as an avenue of growth. (accept change and allow the pressure to redirect us)


(Just FYI – this post took 84 minutes to write. That’s over an hour out of the 24 allotted me today. The pressure of time constraints indicates this post is finished and I need to flow on to other things.)


It All Comes Down to Choices

2015 arrived.

With bells, whistles, and fireworks the ball dropped in NYC as confetti filled the air. Hugs, kisses, and well wishes were shared.

We went to sleep.

We woke up.

And, now a brand new year stretches 365 days before us.

What will we do with it?

Will we make resolutions? Will we welcome change…force it…fight it?

What will 2015 look like as we stand at the cusp of 2016 and look back across it?

Will we smile at the journey the past 365 days took us on? Or, will we sigh because we spun our wheels and never got anywhere?

In truth, it all comes down to choices – those we make and those made by others.

We can’t do much about choices made by others that affect us.  But, we can do something about choices we make.

Where do you want 2015 to take you?  What choices need to be made to point you in the direction in which you want to go? How willing are you to choose wisely those things that will bring about the changes you desire and the direction you prefer?

Hard questions for my sleepy head this morning, but important ones if I’m to live fully into who I’m created to be, filled with hope as I celebrate each breath as a gift from God, and each sunrise as a new opportunity to begin again.

Happy New Year!

I Write

I write so I won’t forget…

…the way the fallen leaves chased after the car that whipped through them as they lay thick on the lane…

…the road covered with orange, yellow, red maple leaves – newly fallen – unbruised, not crushed or creased, unblemished – like golden snow covering the road and raining down with the gentlest breeze…

…the garden in its last blush of bloom – the okra 15 ft tall with new buds and opening blooms atop it – and a freeze warning issued…

…the farewell glance I gave the garden after picking all I could from it before the hard freeze claimed it…

…the last green tomato found hiding beneath a tomato leaf, plucked and tucked safely into my pocket…

…the orange maple leaves on the three trees across the street cascading from said trees in waves of orange, covering the ground, hedge, street beyond…

…my refusal to put away my shorts and don sweat pants even though the wind was cold and whipped my legs until numb…

…the rush to rescue potted plants summered outdoors from the coming frigid blast and the frustrated flurry to find space for them in the crowded garage…

…heat from the “grow” light in the garage warming my face as I removed cold, damp clothes from the washer…

…knowledge that Summer is past and Autumn means business…

…that all work and no play makes Suzan a dull girl…

…Zinnias in their faded glory looked tired and ragged as the wind whipped them and temp fell – with scissors in one hand and a vase in the other I kissed Summer goodbye and brought in what I could of it before the freeze blackens the reds, pinks, purples….

…the snipped tops of okra stalks in a vase before me – hibiscus type flowers, yellow, pink and red threaten to open – I know they will wilt…

…I try to delay winter’s arrival every way I can think of….

…free weather gives way to cold weather and the thermostat is pushed from cool to heat and the furnace cuts on briefly and raises the temp from 64 to 65 for the first time since April…

…thoughts turn to the homeless man we saw at BK – I pray he found a warm place for the night…

…my gears are changing…from warm weather minded to cold…outside in shorts, breathing deeply of the cold windy air, embracing the drizzle that chilled me, refusing to hang onto what I cannot keep and willing to embrace what is now…

…cannot hold in my hand Summer’s beauty and wonder, but I can in my words and memory retain as much through writing as I can allow myself time and indulge myself the pleasure of…

…that October is beyond my reach and November, now here, has begun the countdown to year end activities…birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve…

…the ease of warm weather and less clothing is no longer an option – sweaters, sleeves, jackets and coats, gloves, scarves, and hats become the norm and a necessity…

…that on one trip to BK for a quick dinner we were approached by two (at BK) who said they were homeless and hungry…

…the crisp pinch of surprise 29 degrees and 35 mph wind gives to bare skin….

…that cold zoo mornings offer fantastic walking opportunities with few obstacles and only occasional reasons to slow for animal (or people) watching…

…that I am not a fan of change or of discomfort but I trust I am woman enough to embrace it and move forward through it with joyful expectation and hope…

…I am a survivor and though I may not embrace the idea of change, I do adjust quickly to it and move forward within it…

…that this who I am and how I clear my head and unload thoughts and memories to make room for more…

…who I am and why I am – where I’m going and my journey to get there….

This is why I write, you see.  It’s not for you.  It’s for me.


October Blue(s)

Beautiful blue skies are the backdrop for October’s blaze of autumn foliage.  Anyone who spends much time outdoors knows the color October Blue.

But, what about October blues?

There’s a certain sadness associated with October.  Summer’s final blush faded with September and we say “Goodbye” to what was and prepare for what it’s coming.

As I type this, I’m able to look out the window and into my backyard.  Okra plants stand 12 feet tall with yellow hibiscus blooms crowning their tops, and at their feet summer peas sport white blossoms, both busy with the task of producing delicious Summer produce.

The problem is, Summer is no more.  And, after today, Summer’s heat will be gone as well.  Today, the temp is forecast to rise to 90 (perfect okra and purple pod pea weather) and tonight rain will fall as the first COLD front of the season moves in.

In the extended forecast, there are no 90 degree days…not even 80 degree days.  Saturday will see a rise of perhaps 65 and by Sunday morning the temp is forecast to be 42.

What will happen to the garden when chilled to 42 degrees?  It depends, of course, on the warmth of the next few days and nights, but I expect the plants to slow production drastically.

In the next few weeks, the garden will be pulled up, turned under and laid to rest.

Summer is gone and Winter is coming.  It’s time to bid farewell to warm weather chores, say our goodbyes to Summer’s ease and bounty, accept the coming darkness as each day grows shorter than the one before, and face the future with thanksgiving for what was and anticipation for what will be

I’ll admit – I feel a twinge of October blues nagging me today.  I’m not ready to turn loose.  I don’t want to move forward into the year.  I’m so not ready for cold weather.  I’m not looking forward to being cooped up inside. And, I don’t want to pull out sweaters and jackets or turn on the heat.

I like it fine the way it’s been…the way it is now.  I don’t want it to change.  Can’t we just bypass Winter this year and slip from Autumn into Spring?

Ah, wishful thinking is often foolish thinking.

And, wrapping my October blues about me and bemoaning the loss of what was and grouching about what will be doesn’t warm my heart or bring me comfort.  October blues change nothing but my mood – from sunny to cloudy with a chance of rain.

October blues – be gone.  I don’t want you.  You depress me, you deprive me, you distract me.

Seasons change.  That’s life.

Letting go of the old and embracing the new is the only way to live.  And, live is what I want to do.  And, I’ll do it without October blues, thank you.

Yep, gonna get me a good strong dose of October blue today while the sun shines and enjoy the wonder of today as I face forward and free myself of the past and open my hands to each new day ahead.

Change is coming.

No…change is here.  Slow down long enough to appreciate it but don’t hang onto what was.  Reach out for what’s next.

Live hard into it.

The Difference a Year Makes

Can you recall this time last year?

Take a moment and reflect back to the first few days of May, 2013.

Think of where you were and what you were doing.

Think of who you were with and why.

Remember who you were a year ago today.

Now allow your mind to play back over the highlights of the past year – from then to now.

The ups and downs, the good times and the bad, the mistakes and the blessings, all these things worked to bring about change in you – and to bring you to who and where you are today.

It either happened to you or it happened for you.  It’s not just a matter of perspective.

What a difference a year makes.  What a difference a year can make. The first statement is passive and looks back on what happened.  The second is dynamic and looks forward to what can happen.

Who and where do you want to be in 12 months time? Instead of living passively and letting life happen to you, invest heavily and live passionately…engage life and make it happen for you.

Day 115 vs 250 Days

April 25th is the 115th day of 2014.

Take a moment and look back over the past 115 days.

Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

Now…remember New Year’s Day and any decisions / resolutions you made going into 2014 and any hopes you had for this year.

How’s it looking for you?

Did you stay on track? Have these past 115 days moved you forward into who and where you wanted to be?

If not, there’s time to get back on track.  We’re not too far into 2014 to regain focus and begin anew with clearer insight and greater determination.

Regain and redefine the vision of what you want.

Now, step confidently into the next 250 days and make each one count as you take possession of your dream.

There’s still time to make it happen.

You’ve come this far in 115 days – just think of what all is possible in the next 250!

Surprised by Beauty

I didn’t know myself.  When the makeup artist / hair stylist finished with me and I stepped to the mirror, I didn’t recognize myself. I turned to look over my shoulder to see who had joined us in the room.

Then I looked again.  I saw my own green eyes staring back at me.


I looked different. I looked sophisticated, polished…feminine…. Simply put, I didn’t look like…me.

I’ll admit – I wasn’t prepared for the extreme change. My curly hair had been straightened and the gray was more evident – streaks that high-lighted my hair.  My lips wore color and my eyes were dark.  My face looked severe in the room’s bright lighting with the shadows the makeup created.

I couldn’t stop looking at myself.  And, I wondered how my photo would look…it would be the photo of another woman.

The photographer called out, “Is she ready?”

All that remained was a quick change of clothing…with the makeover, something different was required to complete the look.

I quickly slipped into the clothes purchased especially for this occasion and tentatively stepped from the small room where the makeover had taken place into the photography studio.

As I stepped from the brightly lit makeover room into the darkened studio, I glanced Hubby’s way and smiled.  I wondered what he thought of the change he saw. (I later learned he didn’t recognize me and wondered when “the other woman” had joined us in the makeover room.)

Lights, drapes, white umbrellas and other odd things filled the room.  And, there behind the huge camera stood the photographer.

“Perfect! She’s gorgeous!” he said.  I turned to see who he might be talking about and everyone laughed.  The joke was on me. It was me.

The women who had crafted the change in me crossed the room and sat before a computer monitor.  As pictures were taken these women viewed them and suggested changes in my position, attitude, and look.  And, if they noted a hair out of place or a shine on my face, it was quickly remedied.

I’ll admit – I was mesmerized.   After each flash of the camera I wanted to glance to see what the picture looked like. And, when I heard “that’s a good one,” I’ll admit…I did look.

Still, I couldn’t believe that was me.  I was surprised by the beauty the makeover brought out and the camera captured as I followed the directions of the photographer.

I saw little of myself in the pictures.  But, they were of me…there was no one in front of the camera but me.

And, so I relaxed and played to the camera.  I felt silly and awkward, but I quickly developed a confidence I’d not felt before…ever.  I began to live into who I looked like.  And, I began to feel different…as different as I looked.

I was filled with wonder. The makeover affected more than just my hair and face.  It reached deep inside and touched the me that is hidden, the me that struggles to find herself, the me that is unsure, the me that seeks identity and purpose.

I was surprised by beauty – yes, on the monitor that showed the pictures taken of me, but also deep within me that lay hidden and untouched.

When I arrived home, I hesitated to remove the makeup and wash the chemicals from my hair.  Why?  I didn’t want to lose who I had become.  I wanted an impression made of who I had been those few hours…an impression deep within me that would acknowledge that I’m more than I think and can become more than I can ever dream.

A quick look in the mirror this morning assured me that I’m back to my old self – at least on the outside.

All my life I’ve heard “Beauty is as beauty does.”

I think it’s more – beauty does as beauty is perceived.

Confidence may come from within, but as my dad was fond of saying, “even an old barn looks better with a little paint slapped on it.”

And, when you look better, you feel better.

When was the last time you were surprised by your own beauty…by your own gorgeous self?  And, by the possibility and beauty of what could be?


On the nurse’s desk was a vase.

In the vase were 5 cut stems.

At the top of the stems were closed yellow buds.


The nurse’s desk was in the center of the unit Hubby’s dad was in.

Throughout the day, as I passed the desk, I noticed the buds.

Change happened slowly.

What was first tightly closed, slowly began to relax…and to open.

By day’s end two of the buds had fully opened, their fragrance perfumed the hallway.

As we talked with Hubby’s dad’s nurse at the close of day, she mentioned that they had lost two patients that day.

Goosebumps prickled my arms as I remembered the 2 yellow lilies, now fully blossomed…beautiful, fragrant…changed from what was at day’s beginning into what is at day’s end.

And, what is is beautiful!

31 Days Out

31 days – that’s how old this new year is.

It’s time to take inventory and see how the year is shaping up before we slip into another month.

I’ve not made as much headway as I’d hoped so it’s time for me to turn up the heat a little and get things cooking a bit faster if I’m going to accomplish all I ‘ve set my mind to do this year.

Yes, there are still 11 months to go before 2015 slips in.  But, February has only 28 days and it will be in and out before we know it.

I’m out of here…grabbing my list, checking it twice and checking off at least one thing on my important to-do list before this day ends.

What about you?  Will you use today as THE day to get back on track and heading in the right direction?

Early Morning Call

When the phone rings before the day has begun it often sets events in motion that dictate and determine what the remainder of the day looks and feels like.

In times like this it’s good to know that Sovereign God loves us and sees beyond where we are and what comes next.

And, it’s good to trust God for what lies ahead and rely on Him for our every need and with every concern.

Pray for those who received an early morning phone call today.  Pray for focus, for wisdom, for clarity….