Notes from Jan

Holy Doorknobs

February 22, 2020

It looked like any old storm door handle in this condo complex until  yesterday.

Night had fallen and I hadn’t, which is always a good way to end the day. I’d gone about my usual bedtime routine, turning down the heat, shutting off lights, except for a lamp or two and locking up.

On windy days the storm door sometimes flaps a bit in the breeze so, each night, I open the front door to double check if the storm door’s secure.

It was but something hung from the handle, moving just enough to pique my curiosity.  After steeling myself for a blast of cold, I reached around to retrieve the dangling particle.  (Hope no physicists are reading this.)

Not a flyer advertising something I didn’t need, nor an announcement from the condo association but a gift.

A gift, blowing in the breeze, no name attached!


That’s the kind of neighbor she is.

The kind of neighbor I wish to be.

She reads my blog and still chooses to be seen with me in public.

The gift?

Happy clips.

A set of four wooden clothes pins, the kind Mama and I used to hang Monday’s wash, back when life seemed more ordered.  Sundays were for church, Mondays for washing clothes and Tuesdays for ironing.

These clothespins were painted and each came with a word, suggesting how one might designate a stack of stuff  other than: Keep, Toss, or Giveaway.

They came as a set of Happy Clips:





No need to sort and sob with so much for which to be happy, thankful, blessed and grateful, especially for a neighbor who reads more than words.




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Notes from Jan


To squander is to waste what should be valued, especially time, but also money and opportunities. Guilty! Yesterday, while sorting stuff into three piles mentally marked: Keep, Toss or Giveaway, I realized how much time and money I’d squandered over the years.  Before long, I…

February 19, 2020
Notes from Jan

Love Matters

Wonder what Saint Valentine think’s of his day? A column in today’s Globe by Renee Loth posed a question,”Does love belong in the classroom?”   About half our states  mandate sex education, “primarily focused on disaster preparedness, largely avoiding pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease.”  But…

February 14, 2020
Notes from Jan

Lost and Found Words

A while ago our book group read Simon Winchester’s The Professor and the Madman, on the making of the Oxford English Dictionary. Fascinating. Recently, I learned there’s an Oxford Junior Dictionary, used in schools around the globe. They revised the dictionary in 2007, omitting about forty…

February 7, 2020
Notes from Jan

Still Christmas

After almost five weeks in California, I returned to Christmas at my condo,  which I kinda liked. Held mail included cards and a few packages to open.  Enjoyed doing both beside a tree with Christmas music playing in the background.  I’m still opening and…

January 30, 2020
Notes from Jan

Truth with Consequences

Almost one month ago, Mark Galli, editor of Christianity Today wrote, “Trump Should Be Removed from Office,” prompting some of us to shout, then subscribe.   I expect my first copy in “6-8 weeks.” Some early reporting made it sound like the magazine would lose its…

January 16, 2020
Notes from Jan

After The Star Goes Back Where It Came From

The Christmas tree star’s back where it came from, boxed up until it’s time to shine again. No more signs of Christmas other than some wee lights wrapped around  a potted cactus in the living room.  Not a bad visual. Life’s prickly here and…

January 10, 2020
Notes from Jan

Welcoming a New Year with God, Groups and Grapes

Looking back, it was a year of loss, twenty pounds lost.  Hadn’t made a New Year’s resolution to “lose weight” in 2019, since lost weight always found me before I could celebrate with a small hot fudge sundae. My goals, resolutions and  lists tend to…

January 3, 2020
Notes from Jan

Turnaround Time

Sometimes Plan B’s the better one. Last night I hurried past the Salvation Army bellringer,  stationed outside  our Market Basket.  I reasoned, “Running late, sent a check last week.” As I  pulled away, I caught a glimpse of her, jumping around to keep warm…

December 21, 2019
Notes from Jan

Shopping for Comfort and Joy

Jiggled the key into the designated spot, still showing dribbles from my attempt at lubricating the mailbox keyhole. Better. Lock’s old and stiff, like someone I know. Last week I reported to my family about my check-up at the Dr. After looking at some…

December 6, 2019