Delights: April 15 to April 21

April 15: I visited the little town of Snow Hill on this sunny afternoon. Speckled with 19th century houses and churches, Snow Hill seems to have just one tiny retail street. And I found it. I found the bakery (and secured baked goods for our oven-free Easter). I found Tides & Vine, a charming beer and wine bar with rough wood ceilings, comfy antiques and a friendly barkeep. And I found two teenaged boys outmatched by a three-person job. So I offered to help.

My job was to affix zip-ties to five sets of semi-circular (empty) iron flower baskets while the boys held them high on five old-time lamp posts. After a few false starts (and at least twice poking one boy in the face with an extra zip-tie I clenched between my teeth), we installed them all. I’ll need to come back soon to see the new flowers and visit all my new friends.

The appealing front porch of Tides & Vines in Snow Hill, Maryland.

April 16: Just ahead of a thunderstorm, a small group of us gathered in the courtyard next to the church. The celebrant kindled a fire and lit the Paschal candle. We processed into the sanctuary, each of us given a taper to light from the Paschal flame. Saint George’s Easter Vigil had begun. 

In the dark church, illuminated only by the Paschal candle, a few distant lamps, and our tapers, the cantor offered a beautiful, ancient song. Readings, antiphons and quiet choral arrangements carried us to the Eucharist. And then: the organ erupted in a joyous fanfare, altar candles glowed anew, and we extinguished our tapers. In hectic joy, we shook jingle bells and sang “Jesus Christ is Risen Today.” 

I now understand why my mother thought the Easter Vigil was the most beautiful of all worship celebrations.

The stone has been rolled away….

April 17: Our toaster oven cranked out the love on this feast day with a casserole for breakfast and another for dinner. I think she’s earned a starring role when Thanksgiving rolls around. 

Another beautiful Assateague sunset, courtesy of Kevin. He was late for dinner that Thursday night, but we agreed it was worth it!

April 18: I shivered in the seat of my car, discouraged and grouchy by persistent cold rain. At a stoplight, I shifted my sympathy to a bare-legged mother who crossed the street in front of me with an umbrella and a child in her arms. Leaning toward her son, the mother shared a few words and a big smile. The little boy looked up and smiled broadly in return. I cranked up the car’s heater, but I no longer needed it.

This image of Currituck Sound in North Carolina popped up today as a photo memory from a year ago. That week, my friend Kathy and I were enjoying a springtime jaunt in the Outer Banks. I love thinking about it again.

April 19: I went walking with my friend Jini along my town’s familiar roads and pathways. We turned toward the forest creek; rounding a bend, we came upon tulip splendor. For 23 springtimes, I’ve walked past this garden and saw tulips waiting or tulips spent. I wondered, I imagined, what the garden must look like in bloom. And now at last I know. 

This is just a taste.

April 20: As a substitute teacher at our local preschool, I move around a lot (in every sense of the term). Lucky for me, I eventually entered a classroom as a nap-time aide. Recorded music from violins, harp and vibes filled the darkened space. To my surprise, I heard “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Nowhere Man,” “Norwegian Wood” — and many other instrumentals from a Beatles nap-time CD. (“She’s Leaving Home” makes a poignant lullaby.) I didn’t close my eyes, but I allowed myself to rest, because my preschoolers, at the moment, were no longer here, there and everywhere.

Bonus: Imagine sunshine + a grassy hill + huge sheets of flattened cardboard. Toss in a dozen inside-all-afternoon preschoolers and you’ll have joyous chaos!

Double Bonus: When I walked into our local brewery tonight, the brewmaster smiled and said, “Welcome home, stranger.”

Last week, I encouraged readers to send me photos from any minor league baseball game they attend. This photo is from my nephew Jack Crilly who cheered on the South Bend (Indiana) Cubs this week. And I’ll see the Des Moines Cubs in May!

April 21: Beautiful spring flowers. Warm weather. A long visit with a dear friend. Playing all week with my new preschool buddy, a shining boy with Downs Syndrome. I cherish so many lovely things today. I think the best moment, though, occurred this morning when my preschool friend threw his arms around me and greeted me with a glorious smile.

I saw this improbably lovely daffodil on my walk to work today.
And I saw these pink dogwood flowers on my way home.

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15 thoughts on “Delights: April 15 to April 21

  1. Those tulips get a Maine “Wowsah!” And I want you to know that I don’t give “wowsahs” willy-nilly. But my oh my, how glorious they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for appreciating them, Laurie. That was exactly my reaction when I rounded the bend and saw them. I’m thrilled the photo evoked a similar reaction in you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Many of the songs written by the Beatles work wonderfully as classical orchestral arrangements, and the lyrics of some of them still seem as fresh as they did nearly 60 years ago. “In my life”, for example, remains one of my all time favourite love songs (“Though I know I’ll never lose affection / For people and things that went before / I know I’ll often stop and think about them / In my life I love you more”). Beautiful, John Lennon at his very best, tears in my eyes right now. And speaking of beauty, Kevin’s Assateague sunset is a stunner!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mr. P — You are so right about classical arrangements of Beatles songs AND the resonance of their lyrics. Your quotation from “In My Life” is indeed beautiful. I also love the poignancy and truth of “Eleanor Rigby, keeping her face in a jar by the door. Who is it for?” The documentary “Get Back” renewed my awe over their immense talent. (And I’ll definitely pass along your compliment to Kevin. He’ll be delighted!)

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  3. What a lovely week! Snow Hill sounds like a place for me! Hello from New Plymouth this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you would indeed like Snow Hill. My next visit will be to go kayaking along the naturally black waters of the Pocomoke River. I’ll report back!

      Thanks for sharing your whereabouts in New Plymouth. I looked up the city: it looks beautiful and fun. I know your readers will get a lovely taste from you. Enjoy your holiday!

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  4. I imagine you sitting in your car on April 18. I can well empathise with disgruntlement over the rain and inconvenience. I also am moved by the change in heart with the perspective shift. How quickly our world view changes from tiny nudges. Thank God we are sensitive to these nudges He sends our way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the way you put this, Ju-Lyn: tiny nudges from God. They are all around us, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear (and a heart open to them). You have these things, as I think do I. Let’s keep sharing them together.

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      1. Yes please! I appreciate you praying each day with me – it is comforting and motivating.

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  5. Reread your entries, and this morning, your April 21 entry brought much warmth and a big smile. Younger Child is a Downs Syndrome ray of sunshine – she keeps me on my toes and never fails to remind me to be a better version of myself. So, I really empathise with the joy you share with your new buddy.

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    1. I am honored to be introduced in this new way to Younger Child, whose gifts I avidly follow in your blog. Your words tell me that she is nudge from God (as are we all?), with a life full of grace, inviting us to live likewise. I will think of your family when I celebrate playing with my own new friend.

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      1. Indeed she is a nudge (some days a downright push!) – our gift and privilege. I imagine spending time with your new friend bears much fruit for you both.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for your words and the link to my blog in your today’s delights. ❤ The best nudge to pick up where I left on your blog.

    So much joy and joyous glimpses in this post again. ❤ I'm so happy that you caught the tulips in time and that you came by just in time to help with the baskets. There are such just-in-time things in all our lives, but it takes a special person to notice them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I love that observation, Manja. “There are such just-in-time things in all our lives, but it takes a special person to notice them.” I smile and accept your very kind compliment. I think it’s also about paying attention (which you and I discuss a lot) and taking chances, especially with other people. I continue to be amazed by how generous strangers are when I engage them.

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