So much more than coffee

Coffee, a chance to pause, reflect, plan; a time for conversations, hugs, laughter, tears, warmth, strength.  Comfort in a cup for moments of solitude, and a reason in itself to get-together with friends and loved ones.  Liquid energy to stir the creative thoughts and complete those important tasks, and a means by which the beauty of the present moment can be savored, sometimes in an antique china cup. ~  Coffee, the perfect excuse to take snapshots along morning walks and send them to my sisters throughout the year so we can all have a coffee break together, wherever we all may be.   ~ Coffee, it’s so much more than just coffee.

Enjoy a few cups with me….

Coffee ~ So Good

~ Peace ~

 

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Monday Morning Coffee & Back Porch Prayers

Welcome, friends, to this last Monday of August 2017.

It’s different, you know, when Monday is your day off.  The world seems to be in such a rush; everyone has so much to do as the new week begins.

Meanwhile, my focus is on a coffee cup and how few words I can speak.

Soon enough, I will be searching the news for the hopeful and reassuring actions in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and other situations happening throughout the world.

But not yet…..

Now it is time to sit quietly with ancient prayers and fresh coffee as the rays from the rising sun reach through these old oaks and bathe the back porch in soft morning light.  And I will stay here, where the morning light dances, as long as it lasts.  ​​At least part of this morning’s ancient prayer comes from St. Augustine (354-430) “O Lord, my God, Light of the blind and Strength of the weak; yeah, also, Light of those that see, and Strength of the strong; hearken unto my soul, and hear it crying out of the depths.  O Lord, help us to turn and seek Thee; for Thou hast not forsaken Thy creatures as we have forsaken Thee, our Creator.  Let us turn and seek Thee, for we know Thou art here in our hearts…..”

The rest of this morning’s prayer is a whisper of overwhelming deep gratitude and thanks from the core of my heart and depths of my soul, sent forth on the morning breeze with true intentions and hopes that it may grow as the rest of this day unfolds.

Be safe out there, everyone.  Look out for one another.  Saint Augustine, pray for us.

Soon enough it will be time to leave the back porch, but not just yet…..

 

Busted Halo 30 Day Challenge.

Earlier this week I came upon an Instragram post that caught my attention:

https://instagram.com/p/BWxjkJagRHY/

Now, I don’t always listen to the show, and I don’t always follow the posts, but for some reason this has stayed with me.  The fact that it still has my attention 4 days after I saw it is impressive.   It’s nagging me. Who starts a 30 day challenge close to the end of a month?   The answer is obvious:  People who want to start something NOW.  Why is it nagging me?  Because I really need to make some changes.

Sometimes we see things just at the right time – I think that’s what’s going on here with me and this challenge.

The guidelines are wide open, just join in the challenge to make a positive change or move closer to a goal over the next 30 days.  My personal issues:  lose weight, Yep, I need to do that; pray more, absolutely need to do that; spend more meaningful time with your family, Yep – that too!  I need to focus on all of that and so much more, but therein is the issue.  Focusing on too many things at once leaves me in a state of spinning.  Sure, I’m moving, but actually accomplishing stuff – not so much.

So here it is.  This record of acceptance that I need to dig in, get some traction and start moving instead of continually being exhausted from perpetual motion, but not gaining any ground, so to speak.

Join me in joining the Busted Halo 30 day challenge if you wish – whatever your focus may be.  For me, I’m going to choose two areas to improve.  First, for my health I am going to attempt to walk more each day. Hmmm, wonder how much I should be walking anyway…where’s that Fitbit?   That may not always be comfortable here in the dog days of summer, but it will be cooler in the mornings and late at night, and I know that is the first step in other improvements for my health.  Secondly, and this will be a bit more difficult for me, I will attempt to be more active here on Kelly’s Keyboard – write a little more, post more pictures, follow some other interesting bloggers.

I’m thinking it’s ok that we didn’t start on July 19th, 30 days will pass regardless of when we start and day one is just that ~  Hello day one!

 

 

 

 

~Kiawah~

Recently, I happened to be in the right place at the right time to receive an amazing invitation to Kiawah Island, South Carolina with some wonderful women for a few days.    It’s good to travel to nice places, but it’s more important to travel with good people.  This unexpected trip was both, and so much more.

This post is all about capturing the small moments, those “bookend” times of the day when one can carve out a few moments of solitude to simply be, and simply be aware of where we are and grateful for our time here.

Allow me to share a few of the beautiful sights and moments experienced within these 13 or so square miles along the edge of the Atlantic.  First up:  Arrival!

Welcome to Kiawah Island
That feeling when you know you’re close to somewhere special is even more exciting when greeted by such a beautiful sign.

This beautiful place has miles and miles and miles of trails.  Level, well-marked, well maintained trails.  Where the trails end, there are more miles of well packed sand at the edge of the Atlantic, just perfect for strolling or cruising.  Walking and bicycling were the preferred means of transportation throughout much of the stay on Kiawah.

With bags stowed in the condo and sunset approaching, one of the first activities was to find a spot for the best show in the area!   A little side note here:  Early in the drive, our theme song became Castle On The Hill by Ed Sheeran.  Looking at this photo now, watching the pelicans fly over the nearby Sanctuary Hotel that could easily be mistaken for a castle in the sunset that first evening, that song fits so well.

Brilliant Sunset over The Sanctuary Resort ~ Kiawah Island, SC
..a lone gull, a flock of pelicans, and an amazing mid-week sunset..

Mornings are a favorite time for me, especially at the beach, any beach, but I had no idea the beauty and majesty awaiting me on my first morning walk at Kiawah.  I happened upon a couple of bucks looking for breakfast!

Buck Surveying the dunes
..caught sight of a buck surveying the dunes on my morning walk…

He must have heard me behind him and turned around.  For just a few seconds he walked towards me on the boardwalk.  I backed up accordingly to give him his space.

Beautiful buck on the boardwalk
..Let me just slip off to the side to get out of his way…

After a couple of minutes, the buck turned around and joined a friend for breakfast in the dunes.   A lovely cardinal flew into the frame just as I snapped the picture.

Morning Company
This is how I spent my first morning on Kiawah, in the company of beautiful creatures at the edge of the vast ocean.   No other humans to be seen.  #GodSightings!

The condo where we stayed had a wonderful kitchen with ample beautiful and comfortable spaces to enjoy meals and conversation.  But one night we ventured out to a restaurant at Bohicket Marina. Oh.My.Goodness!  Yes, the food was delicious, yes the company was delightful, yes the conversation included A LOT of laughter; but upon exiting the building we were greeted by the twilight sky settling in for the night over the boats.

Boats at Bohicket
Last rays of sunlight fading ahead of gathering clouds. ‘Tis good the boats are in the harbor this night.

Heavy clouds gathered throughout the night.  Summertime thunderstorms are a reality here, but the boats seem determined to shine with their reflections despite the imposing darkness.

Marina at night ~ The stuff of dreams!
….calm waters below, troubled skies above….

The next morning the clouds seemed to want to linger a little longer and enjoy the sunrise as well.  Who could blame them?  Later this beach will be filled with people enjoying the sunshine and surf, but for now it’s nearly deserted.

Morning sunrise through clouds at Kiaway
The sun seems to be blanketed by the clouds, rising from them as if slowly waking to the new day itself.

I love those glowing moments, when even the air seems saturated between the actual light and the reflection from the water.

More morning scenes from Kiawah ~ lone shrimp boat heading out to sea.

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More morning scenes from Kiawah ~ Sunrise reflections from the pond.  There’s a sign warning of alligators, but they stayed out of sight on this trip.

Sunrise reflection on one of the greens
Morning sunrise and clouds at one of the greens on the golf course.

As much as I adore the pictures of and on the beach, this picture is one of my favorites from this trip.  This is the walkway to the beach following an overnight rainstorm.  Fallen leaves, blown by the wind and rain, lay undisturbed as I approached on my morning walk.  Perhaps in this picture there’s a hint of how spectacular autumn will be along this trail.

Walkway to the beach ~ Kiawah
Storm soaked boardwalk and fallen leaves ~ Beautiful Sights at Kiawah

What you don’t see in these pictures are the in-between moments.  Images of conversations over coffee, morning chats, laughter over wine, bonding between a mother and her recent high school graduate daughter, friendships growing, rest and renewal.

What I hope you see are images of a beautiful place where these and more wonderful things happened, all  because one person chose to extend an amazing invitation.

While leaving, I stopped for one more sign.  The Sanctuary Resort sign adorned with Old Glory in preparation for the Independence Day festivities.

Departure Sign:  Sanctuary
Sanctuary – So much more than a resort hotel.

Our sign upon arrival simply stated where we were, our sign on departure simply stated what we had experienced ~ Sanctuary.

Peace.

 

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”

  1 Thessalonians 5:11

 

 

 

 

 

 

New day, Old books & Strong coffee

These past few weeks have been filled with changes, growth, and adventure for our family and many of our friends.   Graduations, birthdays and other anniversaries all fell in May.  Goal trips off the bucket lists have carried over into the first part of June, and suddenly I find myself on my front steps realizing we’re basically halfway through 2017!   Wow!    That was fast!

So, on this mid year morning, this new day, I found myself thinking on what may lie ahead, and even though I know tomorrow is never promised here on Earth, I have challenges and fears to conquer.  I have hopes and dreams that need some acknowledgement and attention if they ever stand a chance of coming to fruition.

It’s day one.   I have strong coffee, morning light, and old words.  Today’s reminder from my grandfather’s book of ancient prayers, very much paraphrased:  “Lord, I stand before you calling for grace and mercy, refresh my spirit and kindle my coldness with the fire of your love, enlighten my blindness with the brightness of your presence”. (Thomas A Kempis)

One of the things I love about that old book is how the prayers and reflections seem to speak to whatever’s happening for me.  I don’t think I could have found a better guide for beginning this new day and these new chapters.

Peace to you all!  Stay safe out there everyone!

 

Kel.