All posts filed under: Holidays

‘Thank You For Serving Our Country’

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

via Photo Challenge: Twisted The twisted object I choose to share today is a simple one—yet one that carries a timely message. It is a handmade, braided bracelet stapled to a card by a child named Audrey. The words, Hears A Bracelet, in her printing, tell me that she is quite young. Note the date—Valentine’s Day. The card is a love note to a veteran whom she has never met, and most likely never will. […]

April 4, 2018

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

It has been widely publicized that today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. It is indeed a day to celebrate his heritage. His life and work have inspired countless people of all races, beliefs, and nationalities.         Today is also the birth date of another influential Civil Rights activist who knew and worked with Dr. King. Dr. Maya Angelou, who also championed women’s rights, was born […]

Easter Nostalgia

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

Dear readers: I wrote and published this post four years ago. I am sharing it again as holiday nostalgia sweeps over me on this Easter weekend. My feelings and memories have not changed. Only one thing has; I lost Mom a year and a half ago. ••••• Do you feel it too? For me, holidays always bring back memories of the celebrations of my childhood. I can close my eyes today and see us so […]

Not Too Late

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Holidays / Woodstock

It’s New Years morning. In my imagination, I’m standing on a bridge passing from 2017 to 2018. I can see both from here. It’s a time for reflecting, for planning, for living in the past but dreaming of the future. Beginning a new year, with all of its promise, is always exciting. Yet I have a few regrets about 2017, mostly of opportunities not seized rather than those that I did. It’s too late now to […]

Remembering My Dad, A Would-be Veteran

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

Editor’s note: I usually don’t believe in rerunning posts. Perhaps I should say, it’s fine for others, but I prefer to come up with something new for my own blog. But… it’s Veteran’s Day, and I want to acknowledge it.  Because I haven’t come up with anything I like better, here is the post that I published four years ago today. I hope you’ll like it.   My father, Carl Dierksen, tried very hard to […]

Happy Halloween 2017

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Holidays / Just for Fun

Trick-or-treating is underway at the Maples. Every year that I’ve lived here, we’ve had more costumed kids stop by. And each year it has been more fun. One of the most creative groups I’ve seen tonight came over from our next-door community, The Sonatas. It’s cold, so one of the dads rigged up a heater on the golf cart that carried the parents while the kids ran door to door. Many of the costumes are […]

Party Central

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Holidays / Social Life

Downsizing. It is one of the most common reasons people give for buying a home in Maples at the Sonatas. Once the children are on their own, many find there is no longer a need for as much living space. And then there is maintenance. Our buyers also come looking for less upkeep, both inside and outside the home. After they settle in, they realize they are living comfortably — luxuriously even — in less […]

Connections, Maples Style

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Holidays / Neighbors / Social Life

There’s no better time of year to celebrate connections than the holiday season. Physical connections, social connections, historical connections—all seem to carry more significance as we approach Christmas. And here at Maples at the Sonatas, we have our share of celebrating to do this year. Physical connections first. Our growing community is now connected in a new way: Our last street, Verdi, has joined Handel and Schumann as officially completed streets. The view, which not […]

Thanksgiving Elegance

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Holidays

We all know what Thanksgiving is really about—gratitude, family, friends, remembrance. By that definition, the holiday can be celebrated nearly anywhere, in any circumstances. Be it a family home, a restaurant, a dorm room, a homeless shelter, even a Las Vegas hotel. It matters little whether it’s a fancy spread or fast food. It’s about the intangibles. But if you ever, just once, long for an elegant dinner, prepared by someone else, in a beautifully […]

Father’s Day Without Dad

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

This is the 21st Father’s Day I’ll spend without my dad. I haven’t done the math for quite a while. The number of years has sneaked up on me. But no matter how many third Sundays in June remain in my lifetime, I’m sure I will still feel that punch in the gut when I remember that he is gone. Physically gone. The photo below is the oldest I can find of the two of […]

Happy May!

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Holidays / Nature

I wanted to wish you a Happy May Day yesterday, but Mother Nature wasn’t cooperating. And what’s May Day without some flower pictures? With an entire weekend of fog, rain, and wind, with a little thunder thrown in, I couldn’t get the photos of Connie’s tulips that I wanted. But this morning the sun returned to lift our spirits and brighten our lives. So, though it’s too late for May Day, it’s not for the […]

Vintage Valentines

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Holidays

Love is unchanging. Isn’t it? The eternal feeling may be constant, but the way we express it changes over time. Ninety years ago, when my mother was a child in a one-room, eight-grade school, the kids exchanged Valentines like these. They are lovingly preserved in one of her scrapbooks.   Now jump to 2015, when the same sentiment may be expressed something like this: 💕❤️😍👄 However you choose to say it, make someone’s day. Spread […]

Happy New Year 2016

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Blogging / Holidays / Mostly Musings

  My motto/goal/inspirational saying for the new year is: If not now… then when?   2015 did a good job of reminding me how short and fragile life can be. I’m fortunate because I did not learn the lesson through personal experience. But I did share it through the hardships of some people who are very dear to me. As we enter the new year, I’m feeling the vulnerability of being in my upper 60s. […]

Rays of Sunshine

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

Normally, I would not be happy to see this. It’s all a matter of perspective, though. In June, this is a yellow weed thumbing its nose at our landscapers. On Dec. 9, it is a lovely flower marking a winter warm spell. The dandelion got me thinking about other little things that have brought a smile to my face recently. Here are a few of them. 🙂 Yesterday in yoga class, my teacher was describing […]

Every Day Should Be Veterans Day

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Holidays

In August, I had the privilege of going on an Honor Flight as a guardian to my boyfriend, one of the participating veterans. The three-day trip to Washington, DC was an overwhelming experience, one that is constantly on my mind as we approach Veterans Day. Looking back, everything seems larger than life. Certainly the monuments were—the World War II, Korean and Vietnam war memorials; the Naval, Air Force, Marines, and women veterans memorials, and Arlington […]

A Hometown Fourth

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Holidays / Social Life / Woodstock

Today I offer you freedom of choice. Think of this post as a visual potluck showing how we celebrate the Fourth of July here at Maples at the Sonatas in Woodstock, Illinois. First, please enjoy some views of Maples decorations. As I sit here writing, I have a lovely view of Bonnie’s flag from my office window. Earlier this week I walked closer to it to shoot two short videos. I include two of basically […]

Father’s Day 2015

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

Happy Father’s Day! I hope you are celebrating with your dad today. But if you can’t, I hope you are enjoying a flood of happy memories of him, as I am. Here are two old photos of Dad, whom we lost in 1996. Both were taken on the farm where I grew up near Davenport, Iowa. Dad was proud of my brother and me, and also proud of his great corn crop that year. Yes, […]

Mother’s Day 2015

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Holidays / Nature / Woodstock

Happy Mother’s Day… to all moms… and to those who want to be moms but aren’t yet… and to everyone who loves a mom today. Please enjoy this image that Marlene Frisbie, of Woodstock, captured on our lovely town square yesterday. The haiku that accompanies it is hers too. Trip to the market Enjoying spring’s finery Soft rain of petals.