April 26, 2023

Village Diaries

Hello friends. I must be honest with you. Over these last months I have felt myself feeling overwhelmed and helpless at times. This is not a new feeling and If you have read a headline this past decade or so you might understand. I realized that it's very important to limit my intake -especially of angry, screaming headlines, talking heads who benefit financially from scaring people and politicians who are money hungry and trying to gain power by wielding fear. So I've stopped and asked myself what I can do, how can I contribute in any way to make my little world better. I've decided that is just by being kind: to strangers in a store, to servers at a restaurant, to the person I'm passing on the street, to my friends, neighbors and to myself. 

I wanted to pull myself out of the anxiety that I feel when I feel helpless. I got quiet. I again started noticing the beauty all around me. I started reading things that make me happy. I take walks or sit on the porch with my pup. I'm focusing on my health. I work in the garden taking time to talk to neighbors who are walking by. I notice how amazing something as simple as a bleeding heart flower is. I mean look at that. It's an actual miracle.

And then I've begun writing it down- collecting my memories of this amazing Village that has given me joy every day for the last 13 years because, I want to remember these simple, seemingly unimportant details about by life here. After picking up one of Gladys Taber's books about Stillmeadow, my first but definitely not my last, I was inspired to share some of it here. Maybe it will lift your spirits when you need something more gentle, to share in my Village days. 


Today is a beautiful day in the Village. It has warmed back up a bit, we are headed to a high of 59, but most importantly, the sun is shining brightly. One of my favorite things about living in the Village is the vast number of trees. After years of living in new neighborhoods with minimal mature trees, I recognize it for the blessing it is. As I look out the window onto Maple Street from my perch in the studio, I am drawn to the sight of the dappled light dancing on the road as a gentle wind ruffles the leaves of the trees above. 

This morning I watched two squirrels play tag, round and round Don's big maple tree. This is not an unusual sight and never fails to make me smile. I am beginning to think that tag must be high on the list of a squirrel's favorite activities. Some time later I looked out to find one of those frisky squirrels having a nosey in the studio garden bed. He was unfazed by my tapping on the window to get him to look elsewhere for tasty bulbs to thieve. It took me going onto the front porch and loudly clapping my hands for him to decide to move on. I sometimes wonder what the neighbors think. I can often be found in the garden, deep in conversation with a squirrel and now it would appear that I am standing on the front porch giving them a standing ovation. 


  1. Bonnie StoltzfoosApril 26, 2023 1:15 PM

    Beautiful post, Jenn. Haha I love that image of giving a squirrel a standing ovation. 🤣 Thanks for this encouragement of something to do when I feel overwhelmed. 💛 Take care!

  2. Thank you for the reminder of stepping away from all of the headlines...I too have been feeling that overwhelming feeling creeping in. It's so intrusive and unforgiving with its hatred and shouting. I crave the quiet, the peace and the beauty. And yes, to find it in anything and everything each day. We all should take a step back and try to not only be the beauty, but to find it and spread it. Stay well and be well :)

  3. Wow, can I relate to this. I’m learning to be still with myself, with my art, with whatever brings me joy in the moment and forget about the noise that the world is creating around me…unless it’s nature of course. That’s a beautiful noise! I love your honesty and beautiful heart, Jen.

  4. I need to do the same, and more often. XO

  5. I totally get you and feel the same way. I've missed your posts but totally get it. We need to give more attention to the little things in life and savor the good moments as they happen and not overlook the everyday moments in our life.

  6. Beautiful post. I totally relate to it.

  7. A beautiful reminder to slow down and enjoy life. Beauty is all around us... we just need to look for it. Your flowers are gorgeous! I'm just getting back to blogland as I get away from some of the social media that you talk about... that which brings me down and depresses me. Blogs are so much enjoyable and relatable. I'm glad I stumbled upon yours awhile back. I've also discovered your Instagram and looking forward to following it also. Have a wonderful week~

  8. Your antidote to feeling overwhelmed and helpless is better than any prescription. We seem to be living in darkness and grasping at straws these days. Entertainment and reading are no long refuges of respite. Movies, shows, and even books are violent and darker than midnight under a starless sky. I find peace and calm outside (while trying to ignore all of the cat poop in our backyard) beneath mountains of clouds and beautiful shades of blue sky. It is evergreen here in our neck of Texas. Flowers are still abloom, grass is more green than not, and the birds that chose not to migrate are delights that make life feel grand and good and glorious.

    Thanks for this lovely post.

  9. Your blog is a treasure trove of knowledge, and I appreciate it.


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