The Glorious Sounds of Fall

I don’t know what fall sounds like in your corner of the world, but fall means music in the air to me. And I mean that literally.

Since we live just a few blocks from our local high school, the marching band has jazzed up my fall mornings for years with its lively, high-stepping melodies. They’re carried to me loud and clear by the autumn breezes.

The staccato beat of drumsticks readies the band for action. The syncopated rhythmic boom, boom, boom of the bass drum provides the cadence the whole band needs as they march in unison. The blare of the horns energizes the very air around me, and their crisp cut-offs add the perfect punctuation to a fall morning’s melody.

Even though this year is slightly different because of COVID, in years past the band has busily prepared to perform at football games and march in area parades. As they’ve done that, I’ve gotten to enjoy a sound that transports me back in time not only to my high school and college days but also to childhood memories of going to homecoming parades with my parents and grandparents. Larger-than-life days, for sure. The band helps me taste them again.

What does fall sound like to you? Maybe a fire crackling in the fireplace or a flock of geese honking high overhead as they fly south for the winter? It might be leaves skittering across the driveway or crunching underfoot, or it might even be the sound of someone splitting wood nearby. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s music in the air to you.

Let’s thank God today not only for the beauty of the autumn season, but also for giving us ears to hear the glorious sounds of fall. Truly music in the air!

“‘But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.’” Matthew 13:16 NIV

*What are your favorite sounds of fall?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.) p.s. If you sign up after Oct. 30th, you will be included in all future Life Notes giveaways but not in this current giveaway.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Chandler AbrahamCreative Commons License

Turn Ordinary Wedding Items Into Keepsakes

Mother of the Bride, why not turn a few of the ordinary every-wedding-and-bride-must-have items into something more? Why not transform them into keepsakes that will remind the newlyweds of precious wedding day memories for years to come?

For instance, instead of picking up a set of standard wedding garters (one to keep and one to toss) at your favorite craft and hobby store, ask a family member or dear friend who loves to sew if she would be willing to make garters for your precious girl.

My friend Teri made garters for both of my girls (see Kelli’s above), and her loving touch and personal effort instantly transformed the garters into precious keepsakes for both Kristin and Kelli. And since Teri and I had great fun selecting the lace and ribbon she would use to craft this traditional part of the bride’s attire, the whole experience made for a great memory for us as well.

Toasting flutes can also become a treasured keepsake. I found a special and elegant set for Kristin’s wedding, but for Kelli’s, we decided to ask a friend to dress up some standard flutes. This time we asked Teri’s daughter Stephanie for help. With her creative knack and a little input from Kelli on what she would like, Stephanie transformed the flutes into something far more beautiful than we could have found at any wedding supply or craft store (see below; click on the photo to see it better).

MOB, these are just a couple of ideas—I’m sure other possibilities will come to mind as you think of your own daughter and her desires and style. Have fun turning the ordinary into keepsakes for her. She’ll be forever grateful—and you may make some great memories along the way!

*You might also like to read Craft It: Bridal Keepsake Box, A Keepsake Photo of the Wedding Invitation, Deciding On a Wedding Guest Book: Ideas to Get You Started, and Wedding-Themed Shower Gifts.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Photos by Will Flowers

Just Married Getaway Vehicle and Photo Idea

Mother of the Bride, have your soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. given any thought yet to a getaway vehicle? Here’s a fun idea to share with them—and just in time for the spring and summer weddings that are upon us.

A bicycle as a getaway means is sure to provide for fun as well as memory making. Whether one built for two or a ten-speed big enough for the groom to carry the bride in front, joy and laughter will abound when the bride and groom breeze away on two wheels. All you need to do is make sure a Just Married sign is attached to the bike so the photographer can snap a super cute photo too.

Chances are the newlyweds will only ride a short distance before needing to change forms of transportation, but the memories will have been made and the fun photos captured by then. They’ll need to have their other means of transportation waiting for them at the appointed time and place along with someone else to pick up the bike. The bride and groom can simply hop off, sneak in a kiss or two, and then take off on the next leg of their honeymoon journey.

Fun idea, right, MOB? Your happy couple may not know it yet, but a bike may be just what they need for their perfect getaway. Here’s hoping!

*You might also like to read Just Married Sign and Photo Idea, Wedding Day “Just Married” Photo Idea, and Honeymoon “Just Married” Photo Idea.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Flickr photo by Rachelgnatiev, Creative Commons License

The Snapshots of Summer

As summer winds down, let’s rewind mentally and take some mental snapshots of the joys this fun-filled season bestowed. For each of us they’ll be a little different while at the same time being much alike. May my latest poem help you recall the scenes of your own special summer!

Summer Snapshots

As the waning weeks of summer slip by
Its snapshots drift through our minds,
Classic moments, favorite memories
Keepsakes of the carefree days.
Toes painted for flip flop season,
Poolside parties and ballpark nights,
The grill fired up and ice cream churning
All part of the rhythm of summer.
Playing in sprinklers, drinks from the hose,
The Fourth filled with fun and fireworks,
Friends and fishing, bike rides and berry-picking
Each day holds hope for adventure.
Zoo days and picnics, gardens and flowers,
Loading the car for road trips,
Mountains and beaches, sunblock and shades
All leaving the gift of memories,
All captured in summer’s snapshots.

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3 NIV

*What are your favorite snapshots from this summer?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Daniel Ray, Creative Commons License

The Pull of the Past

IMG_2126

Is there an activity, a place, an aroma, a taste, a sight, or a sound that transports you back in time? Most of us long for times gone by on occasion. We long for loved ones no longer with us, we yearn for a simpler time.

Nostalgia can be good for us. It causes us to remember our blessings and even inspires us to look forward to a heavenly home where we’ll be reunited with our loved ones, where we’ll be safe and happy in the presence of our Lord.

So indulge in some nostalgia today, friends. May my “Pull of the Past” give rise to your own. And may it lead to all our eyes looking heavenward!

The Pull of the Past

As I travel down the country road
the pull of the past is strong.
Decades suddenly disappear
as my heart is drawn like a magnet
to the farms, to my grandparents,
to our family as it was then.
The crunch of gravel under the wheels
and the smell of dust wafting behind
stirs memories so deeply held
my heart aches from the longing.
Oh to go back in time,
to find everyone at home
waiting with ready smiles and welcoming voices,
waiting to share the day together.
Those bottled memories
so real yet just out of grasp
stir a precious joy
trailed by a touch of sadness
that keeps me lifting my eyes
to the sure hope of the future,
to the promise of reunion.
And so the pull of the past
becomes the hope of heaven
where one day I’ll find
everyone at home
ready to share forever together,
ready to praise and serve our Lord.

“I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.” Psalm 143:5

*What triggers the pull of the past for you?

*The Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway is underway. Details are in my Oct. 19 post and sign-up is to the right under “Free For You.” Deadline is 6 p.m. Nov. 11. Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

*My photo