Sunday, February 20, 2011

Easy Does It

“Diligence is a good thing, but taking things easy is much more restful” - Mark Twain

  Still Life: Tea Set, Jean-Étienne Liotard, c.1781-1783,Oil on canvas
 J. Paul Getty Museum

Oh, the sacred, divine peace of a day of rest.

I suspect my kitchen table will look very much like this as soon as the family rises.  I hope it does.

Most of the time I have an almost physical need to clean up a mess and restore order to my surroundings, but once in a while, I know I need to let it all go for a while and just take it easy. 

It actually makes me feel very happy to occasionally think of ignoring the dishes piling up, the leftover crusts of bread lying around, and general clutter accruing throughout the morning. Today, it will allow me some precious time to catch up with the Graceful One.

It was a very late night waiting for our daughter to arrive home for her week's vacation. I confess, I couldn't make it for the duration of the saga.

I'd been up since 5:30 that morning, and had a full but gratifying day with friends and family in Kansas City. I started back to Weldon Spring around 3:30 p.m. and immediately encountered the gloomy, gathering clouds that foretell an imminent storm. Within the next five miles, it was upon me.

The rain was the type that went from torrents accompanied by crashing thunder to little spritzes that barely wet the windshield. The overall result of such a rain is to make one very aware, very cautious, and very busy with the windshield wiper settings. It was a blessing, really, because I couldn't afford the careless luxury of feeling drowsy.

Well, nothing lasts forever, and neither did the rain. By the time I had reached Columbia (the halfway point of the drive), the rain had all but stopped, so I took the opportunity then to find an exit, fill the gas tank, grab a cup of caffée mocha, and head back out.

Then the fatigue hit me. Oooh. I should have tried that "triple caffeine" coffee at the filling station after all, I thought.  But just when I thought I'd have to pull over to take a power nap before pressing on, NPR saved the day with Garrison Keillor and his "Prairie Home Companion."

Did anyone else happen to hear the program? Their podcast isn't up on the website yet, but you can read more about last night's show HERE.

The name of this week's show was what first caught my attention. "There is a Quiet Spirit" was, of course, meant to describe the little town Minnesota town of Morris, where the show took place, but it also tapped me on the shoulder and said much more.

Along with the surprisingly fabulous music from the university's concert choir, and the usual witty and charming stories, I was given the chance to sit alone and reflect on the concept of a quiet spirit.

The Graceful One's travel saga was just beginning as mine was ending. The usual problems she encounters in traveling with her little maltese, Maya, never manifested themselves, but instead, she was hit with delay after delay, which could not have been easy on either the dog or the worried doggymommy.

She texted me at 11:30 pm to inform me of yet another delay, this time in her connecting city. I texted her back that I was crashing. Her dad would be picking her up.

I woke this morning eager to see my daughter, but not willing to wake her from her hard earned rest. Instead, I'll make the coffee and talk to you and wait patiently.

We have all morning to catch up. Easy does it.

Take it easy today, friends.

With no music available from last night's "Prairie Home Companion" I thought I'd post this one, a surprisingly good duet with Meryl Streep and Garrison Keillor. Enjoy.


  1. jo - i really enjoy the names you have for those you already named!! the names i have for those i already named have changed over the years to reflect their changes. i wonder what they'll be to me when they leave home and do their own thing. take it easy. steven

  2. Thank you, Steven! I see their souls manifested a certain way, but as you said, that changes over time. Definitely, though, my daughter's has yet to change, and probably never will. She is definitely filled with grace.

    Enjoy your day,

  3. Thank you, Rick. You, too (do you ever take a day off?)!

    much love, dear friend. ♥

  4. I'm glad everyone is home safe and sound. The dishes can wait. I am almost obsessive about tidying up, but sometimes there are more important things in life, and the dishes (dusting? vacuuming? ironing?) can wait.

    That is an absolutely WONDERFUL painting. Wonderful!

  5. Thank you, Jo..I so agree with you about the painting. Can't you just imagine Liotard telling the maid, "Leave it on the table--I want to paint this!"

    I'm glad I'm not the only one with that 'obsessive' thing happening (is it a "Jo" thing?) can make me feel unsettled inside sometimes to let the mess go.

    Not today, though!

    Thanks again for stopping by. I enjoy your visits!

  6. I asked myself what it was about Jo's blog that you enjoy so much? I think it's because you take an ordinary day and turn it into a beautiful story.

    Thank you!

  7. What a timely post! I too have had to "not sweat the small stuff"! After fixing dinner for 14 people and trying to keep up with the puppy, I am finally alone (except for Hoss) for 2 days as David had to go to KC for a couple of days. AAAWWWWWW!

    As always you never cease to amaze me with your words, painting (love this) and your perfect song of the day. As Donna said "You turn an ordinary day into something special". Just as you are!

    Peace and love coming your way... Enjoy "The Graceful One" and give her a hug from me.

    And thank you again for representing us so well at the funeral... We are all so blessed to have you in our hearts...

  8. Thank you for the very kind words, Donna.

    I'm glad you 'get' the real message behind most of my posts...there is really no such thing as an ordinary day, is there? We are all so blessed to be here, sharing space on this beautiful planet.

    Let's see our existence for what it is...a miraculous blessing connecting all of us and all things around us to the Divine Creator.

    I really appreciate your comment, Donna. Thanks again!

  9. Oh, Vicki! You've earned a good long bubble bath for all that!

    I hope you take this opportunity to treat yourself to a few little luxuries in order to recharge the batteries for your next family dinner!

    Thank you for your many kindnesses to me, Vicki, and it was a pleasure and an honor to represent Dubby's friends with Rick at the memorial service. ♥

  10. While you catch up with Andrea "the Graceful One," I wish you could let the tea set sit for an extra hour after your precious time together. Hope you get rested soon, I know you've got to be exhausted.

  11. Dubby, it's just like you to be concerned about others, even when you're in the midst of the storm.

    I'm fine. More than fine, I'm brimming over today. That's what a weekend of connecting with friends and family can do for a person.

    I hope you're able to find some time to meditate and, of course, stay in your lungs for longer than usual. I'll be checking up on you! :-)


  12. I love it when anything kicks me out of my routines. Well done, you!

  13. Oh, Yeah, Reya. My routines were ALL kicked to the curb today! whew!


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