I chose B-E-A-U-T-Y as my focus word for 2020. Even if dozens of leviathans had dropped from the sky from Mars, never would I have imagined the impact world events would have on our collective experience in the first 5 months of this year.

Wow, oh, wow!

Below, you can focus your eyes on images of flowers, food, and a surprise or two that hit a few high notes of the year so far.


Peach-colored, double hibiscus and a hearty sausage & sauerkraut stew, feast for eyes and taste buds.



We visited Jack and Judy Short in the The Villages, Florida. Judy, an artist/quilt-maker, is the mother of my daughter-in-law Sarah. In a re-designed space usually reserved for a golf cart, Judy’s husband Jack has created her art studio…



News reports became increasingly ominous. Our church began to broadcast online. Yet, natural beauty has been persistent.

An orchid with 28 blossoms burst forth in glorious bloom back in 2018,

I abused this same orchid by letting it sit in high heat during the summer of 2019, when I was obsessed with revising and publishing Mennonite Daughter. The arches of this orchid became scorched; they looked like dry sticks. Nature is forgiving, however, and this same orchid surprised me with more than two dozen flowers on its arches this year, 2020.


We walked on the sand just days before all beaches were closed in the Jacksonville area because of the pandemic. Two months later, now, in May they have begun to re-open with restricted hours.



ZOOM meet-ups began in earnest. My writers’ group, my Pilates class, and pre-school teachers at church all met in virtual clusters. We heard Ian play “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” in low tuba tones.

Then his daddy gave him a haircut!


Patrick and Jenna mulched our lawn, and Cliff planted marigolds and sunflowers


Generous blogger L. Marie sent me a crocheted gift. She says I won it by commenting on her blog!




More floral beauty has evolved:

A crimson hibiscus and a succulent. . .

. . .  and, then, the face of a teeny-tiny Phalaenopsis smiles at me – and you!


Hubby got a haircut, transforming him from from woolly booger to suave style



During these months, we also experienced a pebble flying onto our windshield, which had to be replaced; a flat tire caused by a nail; and a storm-damaged roof, which we hope will be replaced in June. All, a nuisance, but certainly fixable.

The world is in flux. Because of the Corona Virus. States are in a quandary now as they ponder next steps:

Judy Woodruff of PBS News Hour asks Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson, “How will your state reopen?”


But, so far, our family members have remained well.

Mother died in 2015, Aunt Ruthie in 2017, and brother Mark in May 2018. I grieve for them still. However, we had a proper service and burial for each of our loved ones.

At this time, I mourn especially for readers who have lost loved ones after the disease hit, perhaps even because of the deadly virus.

Family members who died after March 2020 will have to postpone beloved rituals to commemorate the lives of their loved ones. I know who some of you are, and my heart goes out to you.

My Wish: Peace and comfort and good health to you and your family


Which photos or anecdotes resonate with you?

How have you handled big (and little) upsets during this strange season?

What beauty beckons in your world?


Remember this! “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”    ~ Anne Frank