Skip to main content


It's Five Minute Friday! Time to write for five minutes flat (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by the lovely Lisa-Jo --- then linking up and sharing a little comment love with other bloggers. To learn more and/or join in, click here.

Nothing. That is probably what this photo would mean to most people. Some might have their own memory association, but no one (even someone who knew me) could know exactly what that picture means to me. Not "means" like "I have strong emotional ties to this photograph" per se, but "means" like "this picture represents a thousand words."

I don't think in words. I have poured years of my life into (attempting to) master the English language, from a burning desire to be heard and understood - because while I can have a perfectly cohesive thought in my mind, outside of my mind it's incomprehensible to others. Except that, after all of my efforts, I'm finding that no one actually speaks English. Definitions change, both the dictionary and the thesaurus are sadly underused, and I can't count the number of times that I've crafted a sentence that perfectly expresses what I want to express only to be met with a blank stare and the request to reword my statement.

So all of my efforts in speech (including overcoming a very thick Southern accent in order to remove even that barrier) are worth... nothing. But when I write, I'm not faced with that. If someone doesn't understand and doesn't want to, I never have to know. If they're willing to use a dictionary or reread something in order to fully gather my meaning, spectacular. And if they both understand and empathize with what I've written - all the better.

In one sense, that's what that picture represents - a difficult lifelong pursuit of something that others take for granted. You see, that doily was crocheted by my great-grandmother. She was naturally left-handed and held the hook in her left hand for that project, but because of the era in which she was born, she was forced to learn to write with her right hand. And her handwriting wasn't just legible - it was lovely. She could have just gotten by, but she made the hard choice to excel. In her beautiful penmanship, she wrote the following in my autograph book:
"Sarah Jo. I am writing this with my right hand, but you know that I am left handed. If a task is once begun, never leave it 'til it's done - be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all. Love, Grandmother King"

So it may just be a too-close art shot of a bit of antique piecework to others... just another image without meaning or purpose... nothing... but to me, it's a cherished memory, a strong reminder, inspiration when I'm floundering, motivation when I'm failing, encouragement when I'm tempted to give up... in a word, everything.

What inspires and encourages you, that may hold no meaning or value to someone else?


Asheritah said…
I LOVE this story of your great-grandmother and how she instilled in you a desire to do things well. I'm glad you're writing!! Thanks for sharing. (Visiting from #fmfparty)
Rebekah Ellis said…
This is a beautiful memory - and how I love that you are pressing on: in writing and all other words. We need to speak more so I can hear this accent (which will sound like echoes of home, I'm sure) - just because. Happy to see you here, and well, just about anywhere!
MyJourneyBack said…
Beautiful words.Thanks for sharing your heart.
Have a wonderful Friday.
Karen Brown said…
Powerful words- so beautifully written. Love how you tied the picture into your message. Great post! happy Friday!
Amy Reasoner said…
Wow! What a great story, and what wise words! I popped over here from FMF, and I clicked on your link because I was drawn to your photo - my grandma crocheted doilies that looked exactly like that. I think we even have one that color. Thanks for sharing!
Karrilee Aggett said…
Beautiful... that photo... the memory and truth behind the story... the 'autograph' from your Grandmother... your heart... all of it!
Heather Parks said…
I got a crochet doily catalog that was my great great grandmother's as a wedding gift. Copyright 1957 and has a price of $0.10 on it. I still haven't gotten around to trying any of them because the patterns are all diagrams and I haven't learned how to read those yet. :/

Popular posts from this blog

31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…