The road ends, but the journey continues...

Weekend Notes 1/13-14/2024

While many are experiencing extreme weather across the country, our little corner of the world offered up a few perfect days.

My favorite type of day, in fact. Stiff breezes delivering crisp air and enhanced sharpness to the slanty-rays of daytime sunshine…

Laura Bruno Lilly on back porch
I’m a happy camper!

While many have detailed their goals in a manner worthy of the New Year, I have been floundering in my own Sea of Lists.


A poem found me.
Its truth offered a starting point.
Its truth offered freedom to just begin.

New Year Poem (excerpts)
May Sarton

Let us step outside for a moment
As the sun breaks through clouds
And shines on wet newfallen snow,
And breathe the new air.
So much has died that had to die this year.

We are dying away from things.
It is a necessity – we have to do it
Or we shall be buried under the magazines,
The too many clothes, the too much food.
We have dragged it all around
Like dung beetles…

…Let us step outside for a moment
Among oceans, clouds, a white field,
Islands floating in the distance.
They have always been there.
But we have not been there…

…Let us step outside for a moment.
It is all there
Only we have been slow to arrive
At a way of seeing it.
Unless the gentle inherit the earth
There will be no earth.

In between getting ready for this coming week of teaching, prepping for a trip back to the Mayo for my hubby’s 6 week post-surgical re-check*, working on a baby quilt for one of my younger cousin’s new arrival, figuring out various details of unexpected commitments – and normal outloud living – I leaned into the ‘perfect day’ call to bake.

Remember to occasionally indulge all your senses with the simple act of baking.

  • Cream the butter and sugar to its smoothest consistency
  • Inhale the aromas wafting throughout the home
  • Embrace the warmth of the oven as it fills the kitchen
  • Take note of the visual art of the newly baked good before consumption
  • Relish the act of savoring each bite

*he had a long overdue total knee replacement done at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL just 5-6 hours from where we live. It was hugely successful!


  1. skvanzandt

    What a beautiful poem! “Let us step outside” has both a literal meaning and one that hits much deeper for me.

  2. deborahbrasket

    Hi Flower-sister. It’s so fun to get peeks into your busy, productive life. I love your personal revelations, and especially the one about having fun, how important it is to do stuff just for fun. And also how you distinguish it from joy, also hugely important.

    • laura bruno lilly

      HA! I certainly don’t **feel** productive, ya know?

  3. cedar51

    I could do with some “crisp air” here as we swelter through more high heat days and nights 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh, I understand – I wish for you sweet relief, Catherine!

  4. Annika Perry

    Laura, a perfect poem to still a busy mind and remind us what is truly important in life, to pause and yes, step outside! Luckily I have to do that every time to get to my studio so take a chance to walk around the garden!? The poem brings to mind one by Rose Milligan called Dust If You Must and tells us about the wonders of the world around us, to make sure not to miss them!

    Oh, the cookies look scrummy and so pleased your husband’s knee op went well – now, has he been doing all his physio?! ?

    • laura bruno lilly

      Your studio setup sounds very ‘hygge’ – separate from the house, surrounded by your garden and all.

  5. Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet

    Wonderful photos, inspiring poem. Glad to hear about your husband’s successful knee surgery!

    Our dry season in SW Florida is normally from mid October till June. This winter, we have had rain almost every day, and the grass is green! Today was the first sunny day in a long time. Robert and I sat out in the sunshine for a while. 🙂

    Wishing you more sunny days, more lovely quilts, and lots of cookies, Laura! <3 <3 <3

    • laura bruno lilly

      Wishing you the same, Cheryl!

  6. Khaya Ronkainen

    Laura, you look and sound like a happy camper indeed. Who wouldn’t be with the splendid weather captured on your tack sharp feature image and the delicious honey lavender shortbread cookies! 🙂 Hope your hubby’s post-surgical re-check goes well and continue to heal. And that poem…thank you so much for the gift of words. I keep coming back to it.

    • laura bruno lilly

      “I Keep coming back to it.”…so do I! 🙂
      Thanks for the well wishes, Khaya.

  7. Andy

    Hope your other half is soon playing ball again!

    • laura bruno lilly

      That and riding motorcycles! HA!

      • Andy

        Forever young!

  8. Marty

    Great picture of you! Sending well wishes to your husband on that upcoming visit to Mayo. I hope it all goes well.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you Marty. Our experience with Mayo has been so professional, efficient and personal. Even while dealing with hoardes of patients for myriad of needs, we never feel like a ‘number’ or rushed during the appointments; all tests and results are done in a timely manner; and there are no billing surprises – They should be used as a template for medical facilities across the country IMHO. They prove it is possible to give quality care to everyone regardless…

  9. Ally Bean

    I’m right there with you about indulging my senses with baking. I have the ingredients for banana bread on the counter right now coming to room temp so I can bake. Making banana bread is going to be my reward for checking in with bloggy friends and leaving comments. ?

    • laura bruno lilly

      I hope you had a great day of “rewards” Ms Bean!

      • Ally Bean

        ? + ? = ?

  10. Wakinguponthewrongsideof

    Quick recovery to your other half!!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, he is a bit of an overachiever which works in his favor that way.

  11. Jennie

    I love how you describe a perfect day! Great news on the surgery, and I enjoyed the poem. I can see how and why it found you. Best to you, Laura.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Jennie – hope you guys are staying warm and safe.

      • Jennie

        You’re welcome, Laura. It is brrrr cold here!

  12. marissthequilter

    It is hard to savour the moment, so thank you for the lovely May Sarton poem and for the nudge. Because it is, really, the best and most fulfilling way to live

    • laura bruno lilly

      Glad to nudge ya! 🙂

  13. You look like a happy camper – great photo! That is a cool poem! Hmm – honey lavender shortbread cookies sure would go well with my tea, now I am craving them! Glad you are enjoying some nice weather, we are freezing here is Colorado, ha!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yep, those cookies do well with both tea and coffee – easy recipe, too!

  14. Jane's Heartsong

    Great photo of you. Yes, that poem…I can so relate, as it makes me yearn for the outdoors.(a couple more days).Didn’t know your husband had knee surgery, wish him steady, continued recovery. I find the physio and exercises monotonous-but absolutely essential! These joint replacements are popular both online and amongst friends. We are at that age.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks. Yes, he’s very dedicated to those exercises at home and pushes himself at PT.

  15. Chela

    Thank you for the poem. I think baking cookies would be perfect on this cold Sunday.
    I declared this to be an official Pajama Day. Just hoping we don’t have a loss of electricity and water this time around.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I hope your Pajama Day was filled with the aroma of freshly baking cookies and warmth.

  16. zippyquilts

    Love the poem (excerpt). Thanks!

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re welcome!

  17. rl2b2017

    Hi Laura! Stepping outside – inhale the scents aromas wafting throughout your home – let us see the glory around us. Life IS good even in darker days. We have temperatures below zero today but the trees are beautiful. The ice crystals on each individual branch are sparkling at us to look up and see them. I’m glad you’re a happy camper – you deserve it. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

    • laura bruno lilly

      Ice storms are harsh, but offer a unique beauty such as you describe – I remember them well. One year as a kid, we ice skated on the sidewalks!
      Thanks for the kudos – hugs back.

  18. Lavinia Ross

    Best wishes to your husband on the surgical recheck. Sounds like all went well and things should be fine. I love the poem by May Sarton. The lines about “dragging it all around like dung beetles” is a good analogy, for sure. 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      That dung beetle image is one that’s not easily shaken, that’s for sure!

  19. Laura

    Happy to hear that surgery was successful, Laura!
    Thank you for the beautiful poem! Today, I am baking cookies to take to my 93 year old Dad…big blessing to do this!
    I like your weather better; mine is below zero.
    Carry on…you are doing great! 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Awww, 93 is a very good year…I understand the blessing you’re talking about. hugs

  20. petespringerauthor

    Great to hear that your husband’s surgery went so well, Laura. Maybe he won’t be doing backflips anytime soon, but I’m sure he’s improved his quality of life.

    Excellent choice on the poem. I love these two lines:
    They have always been there.
    But we have not been there…

    • laura bruno lilly

      Those two lines are the ones that stood out for me too, Pete! Since my first reading of this poem, they grabbed me. Now I find myself coming back to them…almost mantra-esque.

  21. Marie A Bailey

    That is a wonderful poem for the New Year. Thank you for sharing it! I’m glad that, to the plate of things you are doing, you added shortbread cookies. Funny, I think anyone could make room on their plate for cookies 😉

    P.S. I’m trying something new. I’m commenting on your post through the WordPress Reader even though I had to open a new tab to read your post. I’ve been having difficulties with commenting on WP posts. The old ways of going directly to someone’s blog no longer work for me. I have to “log into” WP every time I want to comment, and, depending on the blog, the logging-in might require jumping through one or several hoops. I never used to have to do that. So. While Reader is not my favorite way to read and comment, it’s become less stressful than the ways I used to do it.

    • laura bruno lilly

      What a clever play on words, Marie! I do agree, ‘anyone could make room on their plate for cookies’!
      The WP comments have been screwy for me for over a year now, so I, too, have resorted to mostly commenting through the WP Reader. I’m glad you took the time to navigate the maze and comment here.

      • Marie A Bailey

        I am glad my comment came through. Now I just have to remember to use the Reader (that is, create a new habit).

        • laura bruno lilly

          HA! I get it! I know you’ll succeed, Marie.

  22. L. Marie

    So glad your hubby is on the mend. And it looks like you had a lovely day!
    The poem is very apt. The sun is out on newfallen snow. We had quite a drop in temperature between yesterday and today. But I’m inside now after a quick run to the grocery store! ?

    • laura bruno lilly

      I talked with my cousin yesterday where she casually mentioned it was blizzarding outside – where else is such a stalwart statement spoken but in Chicago? 🙂
      I’m wishing for you lots of warm cocoa to add spice to that ‘newfallen snow’!

      • L. Marie

        We need the warm cocoa! Today the temperature is -12!

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