End-of-May Musings

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Here in TN, May begins with spring and ends with summer. Even though summer doesn’t officially begin for a few weeks yet, we’ve had temperatures in the 90s, AC struggling to keep up, and sweat. And those temperatures will continue to climb, so for now I’ll appreciate that the mornings and evenings are still pleasant enough to sit outside for a while.

Family and events

We’ve had a couple of celebrations this month. Mother’s Day is fun as my family works together to make Sunday lunch. Then my youngest completed his Bachelor’s degree. When he got his associate’s degree a few years ago, he walked for commencement and we had a small party. He took classes online this time, didn’t want all the hoopla again, and didn’t want to drive to VA to walk. But once he had his actual degree in hand, we went out for a special dinner (more on that in tomorrow’s Friday Fave Fives.)

We also had a fun but all too short reunion with most of my extended family. One of my sisters in TX had to travel to SC for business, not too far from where two of my other sisters live. So she decided to rent a car and stay the weekend and visit them. We agreed to meet in Asheville, NC, for lunch one Saturday with all of mine except my oldest son. Then my stepfather, nephew, and youngest sister decided to fly over for a visit as well. It was such a fun time. Maybe next time we can get all six siblings together.

This May had some sad moments as well. Mother’s Day and my mother’s May birthday are tender moments since my mom’s passing 14 years ago. Though unexpected waves of grief don’t come quite as often as they did the first year, they still come. Mostly I have a few moments of quiet remembrance and appreciation on those days. This Mother’s Day, a lady I called my second mom or spiritual mom passed away. I knew she was declining, but I don’t think I realized her health was quite as poor as it was. She didn’t write much about her physical condition. So when I heard she was ailing, it came as quite a surprise to me. I had been thinking of writing her for the previous few of weeks, but kept putting it off since I always send a letter with her Mother’s Day card. But it was too late by then. I’m reminded again not to set those inclinations aside. And I am happy for good memories.

Making

The only card I made this month was for my daughter-in-law for Mother’s Day from a Cricut design:

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Watching

My main other out-of-the-ordinary activity this month has been catching up on a few Marvel comics movies in order to see Avengers: Endgame. My youngest son watched Avengers: Infinity War and Spiderman: Homecoming with me at home, then we saw Captain Marvel and Endgame in theaters. So good, if you’re into that kind of thing! My only complaint was a bit more bad language than I remember the earlier movies having. Grr! This was also my first experience with our newly revamped theater, with recliners, menus, and waiters!

Most of what we watch on TV is off for the summer, but we usually enjoy America’s Got Talent, which began this week (although even with that you have to have the remote handy occasionally).

Writing

I finally got back into the book I am writing. I had mentioned before that I had completed the first draft, but needed to go back and do some heavy editing. The first chapter was going to be the biggest challenge, as I needed to reshape a lot there and wasn’t quite sure the best way to go about it. But I had a couple of good sessions with it this week, and I think (hope) I am over the hurdle of the worst part (of that chapter, at least). Editing seems harder for me than just typing whatever’s in my head or notes, but it’s rewarding to see it come together better.

Reading

As always, reading is a big part of every month. I’ve completed:

A Room of My Own by Ann Tatlock. A young girl’s coming of age during the Depression. Very good.

Travelers Rest, also by Ann Tatlock. A young man is paralyzed while in the military and wants to end his engagement, but his fiance still loves him. This didn’t end the way I thought it would, but it was quite good.

All the Way Home, again by Ann Tatlock. Are you seeing something of a pattern here? 🙂 I had enjoyed her I’ll Watch the Moon so much last month that I started reading all her books that I had collected through Kindle sales. This one involves two girls in the 1930s, one from a dysfunctional Irish family and one from a Japanese-American family, who become fast friends until the Japanese are sent to internment camps during WW2. Excellent.

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, the comic misadventures of members of a gentlemen’s club. While this is not my favorite of his books, I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

I just finished How to Understand and Apply the New Testament by Andrew David Naselli, so I’ll have a review up next week. I’m currently reading:

  • Close to Home by Deborah Raney
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • The Returning by Ann Tatlock
  • Loving People: How to Love and Be Loved by John Townsend

Blogging

Around the blog, I share five favorite parts of each week on the Friday’s Fave Fives, and I share interesting links via Laudable Linkage on a few Saturdays a month – just however often I gather enough for a list. Elsewhere on the blog this month, I’ve shared thoughts on:

  • Trusting or Grasping. Even as I am ostensibly trusting God to meet my needs, sometimes I feel compelled to manipulate events to “help” Him out.
  • The Joys and Pains of Mother’s Day. I enjoy the holiday, but for some it is painful.
  • Recapture Your Wonder. Sometimes we can get into a rut with our Bible reading and prayer time and take God for granted. These thought help me get back to that awe that we should have towards God. This was one of my favorite posts to write, and I’m sure I’ll need to reread it many times in the future.
  • When the Lines Aren’t Clear. God is very specific about some things, but not others. How we handle those others reveals our heart.

A question for you

I started doing these monthly recaps because I enjoy reading others’ recaps and because Shannan and Linda invite us to link end-of-month posts and because I missed the What’s On Your Nightstand link-ups 5 Minutes for Books used to host. I really enjoy doing them, but I wonder how beneficial they are to you. Would you mind letting me know if you enjoy reading them or if you think they are too redundant? I’m not just fishing for comments – I’d really like to know if you like reading these or if you pass them by.

I hope you’ve had a good May. On to June!

(Sharing with Literary Musing Monday)

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21 thoughts on “End-of-May Musings

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog, but I read your blog regularly. I enjoy your thoughts and insights on various topics, particularly on books you’re reading. Good for you that you’re pursuing your dream and writing your book.

  2. Glad you had a productive time editing your first chapter. Sometimes I’d rather edit than write fresh.

    I definitely enjoy your end-of-month posts, Barbara. I hope you’ll continue them, even though I know they can be time-consuming to write.

    • Thanks so much, Lisa. As far as the process goes, I think I like writing fresh best. But nothing is ever at its best in that first go-round. While editing is hard to me, it’s satisfying when the outcome is so much better.

  3. How exciting about the editing of your book! Before we know it you will be a published author!

    And I’m so glad that things worked out for you to have some good time of fellowship with your extended family! And, isn’t Asheville a wonderful little town?

    I love reading your end of the month recaps! It wraps up different things that you’ve shared about previously, but it also highlights some things that you haven’t shared any other time of the month.

    • Thanks so much, Dianna. That’s one thing I wondered – whether the end-of-month posts just sounded like a recap of Friday’s Fave Fives. I’m glad there’s enough difference that it doesn’t sound like that. I appreciate your input – it helps!

      Yes, I love the Asheville area. We’ve been there a few times for anniversaries or family trips.

  4. I enjoy your end-of-month posts and all the personal posts, really. To me, one of the benefits of the internet is that I’ve gotten to know several people I’d likely never meet in person in real life. It’s funny that I’ll think of you and your family often, and feel that I know you and them due to these posts. The card you made is great! It looks like a bunch of separate pieces, and if so — wow, what a challenge to put all together.

    • That was one of the best surprises of blogging to me, too – making so many good friends online.

      Thankfully the card was just a cutout laid over the darker cardstock. I could never have gotten all those tiny pieces together neatly.

  5. I appreciate your Laudable Linkage because you gather very interesting articles from web sites I don’t have time to follow. You do the so called leg work and I get the benefit of reading the articles you feature. Thanks much. Your monthly recaps are always fun to read. You are a very good communicator and I appreciate the time you give to your posts. Always love your family updates too!

  6. I too enjoy the recaps partly because I’m not as regular in my blog visits as I would like to be. I like the idea of a monthly wrap up because some things don’t fit in the FFF format but not enough on their own for a whole post.

  7. I always enjoy monthly recaps. It helps me feel like I get to know my blogging friends a little better and it’s fun to find out what’s been going on in people’s lives! I love the card you made!

  8. Pingback: End-of-June Musings | Stray Thoughts

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