Be like a train; go in the rain,

go in the sun, go in the storm,

go in the dark tunnels!

Be like a train;

concentrate on your road

and go with no hesitation!
~Mehmet Murat ildan

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie

Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

***Unfold your own myth.***

I hope you will go out and let stories,

that is life, happen to you, and that

you will work with these stories . . .

water them with your blood &

tears & your laughter till they bloom,

till you yourself burst into bloom.

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Under Construction...Again

Life is a great big canvas, and you
should throw all the paint on it you can.
~ Danny Kaye

At the end of my 62nd year, I seem to have lived as many lives as I have shoes. And I have quite an array of shoes. I've reconstructed myself more times than I can even remember, and am about to do it again. After 11 years of providing a warm bed and a mouth-watering breakfast to travelers in Oxford, Holywell Bed and Breakfast will be closing it's doors at the end of August this year.

The reasons are many, and Stuart and I have been grappling with the decision for awhile now, but the simplest way to put it is that it feels like it's the end of the story of our life on Holywell Street. Even though my health has pushed us in this direction, it feels right, it feels good, and we have nothing but excitement for our future story. 

🦋 If nothing ever changed, 🦋
there'd be no butterflies.

I've always thought it's best to move toward something, rather than away, so once we had a picture in our mind that we could move forward into, the decision to close the B&B was an easy one.

Life was meant to be lived,
 and curiosity must be kept alive.
 One must never,
 for whatever reason,
 turn his back on life.
 ~  Eleanor Roosevelt

💛 And this is what 💛
we're moving toward.

Ever since Stuart and I fell in love in the Cotswolds 21 years ago this summer, we've dreampt of living in a golden cottage in a little Cotswold village. And that is what we're moving toward. We'll still have our cottage in Wales, but until Stuart can retire we'll live in the Cotswolds within an easy commute into Oxford. Right now we have the pure joy of searching for the perfect Cotswold home for us...the one above is in the village of Bibury, and the one below in a village just north of Oxford.

So this is a happy time, a good time for us, as we wind down the B&B and look to our future. Change is something I have never, ever been afraid of...especially when it means the realization of a twenty-one year dream. 

Two more of our cottage possibilities below,
and I have to say we're spoiled for choice.
Even though our future home for the next
ten years or so may not be one of these
four little gems, the perfect one is out
there, waiting for us.

Optimism is the foundation of courage.
~ Nicholas Murray Butler

Stuart and I have nothing but gratitude for the past 11 years together on Holywell Street. We spent the first 10 years of our marriage apart, with thousands of miles between us, so just being able to live together full time felt like an answer to prayer. I've learned so much as well, taking care of people in a way that was just a continuation of my nursing care.

Nothing that is can pause or stay;
 The moon will wax, 
the moon will wane,
 The mist and cloud will turn to rain, 
The rain to mist and cloud again, 
Tomorrow be today.
 ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In fact I've been taking care of people for a long, long time now and it's time to take care of myself, to closely guard the health I have left. I'm luckier than so many people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (Chronic Fatigue). I can enjoy long walks with the boys, climbing hills in Wales and hopefully soon, in the Cotswolds. I plan on continuing to do that for a very long time which means the apron must be hung up, my spatula put away, and my bed making skills put to rest. Thinking of doing all of those things feels very, very good, which is how we know closing the B&B is the right thing to do. So goodbye Holywell Bed and Breakfast, hello whatever it is to come next. As long as it includes these boys below, I know it's going to be good. Full of joy. Full of happy.

Thank you for being here today and reading this. Because of this crazy, old world of ours right now, and some of the people in it, I've disabled comments for my blog for awhile. You can always find me on Twitter though @CarrieHerself.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Go Slow, My Life, Go Slow

March is a month of considerable
frustration. It is so near spring and 
yet across a great deal of the country
 the weather is still so violent and
changeable that outdoor activity in
 our yards seems light years away.
~ Thalassa Cruso

From Edith Holden's
Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
March has come in like a
mighty lion, in Wales at least
And the dogs are more like cats,
in and out, in and out along with
the showers that come and go.

Rain pelts the kitchen window that
look out onto our narrow lane.

With winds & rains, we get skies
blown clear of fog and mists.
The sun and the rain conspire to
make a rainbow arcing over
Panpwnton Hill.

Our daily daffodil progress reports pay
off and we finally spy wild daffodils
beginning to bloom.

Daffy-down-dilly came
 up in the cold, 
Through the brown mould
 Although the March breeze blew
 keen on her face, 
Although the white snow
 lay in many a place.
~ Anna Warner

Our front door sentinals have been
blooming away for weeks. They 
withstand 40mph winds and lashing
rain, but still they persist.

They feed me courage.

I can't, and won't, complain about
the rain though, since it creates this.

And yet they’re not like, said Lucy.
They’re different. They have more
colours on them and they look
further away than I remembered
 and they’re more … more … oh,
 I don’t know …
. . . More like the real thing,
 said the Lord Digory softly.
~ C.S. Lewis
The Last Battle

I felt as though I stepped into
Narnia our entire walk.

I have come home at last!
This is my real country!
I belong here. This is the land
 I have been looking for all
 my life, though I never knew
 it till now...
Come further up, 
come further in!
~ C.S. Lewis
The Last Battle

At the top of the hill, right
where the arrow points, is
our destination . . .
climbing further up, further in.

The boys wait patiently for me while
 I catch my breath and let my heart
rate slow a with
 ME/Chronic Fatigue. But still I persist.

But courage, child: 
we are all between the paws
 of the true Aslan.
~ C.S. Lewis
The Last Battle

And there it is, Aslan's country,
laid out before me. I watch for
Him to come bounding like a
great cataract of power.

Who will tell whether one
 happy moment of love or
 the joy of breathing or walking
 on a bright morning & smelling
 the fresh air, is not worth all 
the suffering and effort
 which life implies. 
~ Erich Fromm

The past few weeks have 
been a bonus for the
boys and I. Walking,
watching the daffodils
begin to bloom.
Resting & reading.

I was going to be spending all of
spring in Oxford, but our bookings
at the B&B were quiet and a bonus
3 weeks opened up for me to spend
it my real home.

The best things in life aren't things,
and sometimes seeing daffodils in 
bloom is more important than
money in the bank. The busy
and the money will take care of
themselves in the days ahead,
but in the meantime, seeking
sanctuary and rest has been
just what my body & soul needed.

Go slow my life,
go slow.
Let me enjoy the beauty 
of silence, serenity & solitude.
~ Debasish Mridha

It's a funny old world we live in these days, so I've disabled comments for the moment. BUT thank you for being here today and visiting my blog.