Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happiness and Hydrangeas... Hope and Honey

The art of being happy lies in the power
of extracting happiness from common things.
-Henry Ward Beecher


So. Hi. I'm here, with my hands in my back pockets, rocking from my heels up to my toes, blushing. Hi. It's me again.

It's been many weeks, hasn't it? Maybe someday I'll find some courage and use it to tell you all what's been happening in and around me these past few months. Someday. It won't happen today, I assure you. All I can say is, I think I'm back to blogging and I have missed you all dearly. It's good to see you again. You were okay while we were apart, weren't you? Fill me in. Tell me everything.


Everything bloomed while I was away from blogging. These hydrangeas - planted by Ms. Freeman herself some 40 years ago - are at their best today. Truly. The blooms are as large as dinner plates, and the thick-with-dew morning breeze sways them into the peeling, grayed walls of this house. The window pictured here is my bedroom window, along with the hydrangea that sits underneath.

Years ago, back during the second World War, my room was used as a kitchen. A worn table used to sit on the other side of this window. I imagine brides and then children and then old, tired men looking out from the wavy-paned glass onto the frothy blue-and-violet petals below, just as I do now. I wonder if they thought about the same things I do: life... love... dreams... happiness. I wonder if they came to the same conclusion about it all that Beecher and I have: that the art of being happy... of being hopeful... comes from extracting every bit of hope and happiness you can from the common things. It's all much like the bee who extracts good things from blossoms and then carries them home, knowing one day it will all collect and run together and become something substantive and sweet.


Happiness and hydrangeas... hope and honey - they have much in common, if you ask me.

So. So you know, things may begin looking differently around here in the coming months. I want to add some features and introduce you to some new things I love. (Like Picnik, the new [free!] photo editing software I'm using to play with pictures now.) I want to tidy the place up a bit. I still haven't made a decision on ads, but I do know that the bakery isn't turning a profit yet, and this girl's got to do something to survive. Living on hope is running its course.

In the meantime, we'll plan for a calm and comforting summer, and continue to press our noses to our windows and look out, extracting every bit of hope and happiness we can from the common things.

So then. It's hello again. I'm settling back in again. It's good to be back. -Brin

79 comments:

~Mad said...

So good to "see" you back!
~Mad(elyn) in Alabama
ww.xanga.com/madewyn

B said...

I knew you'd be back! I checked here every once and a while, and this morning, lo-and-behold...here you are! Looking forward to many more posts. Enjoy this pretty day!

linda t said...

Sooo happy to have you back Brin!
You have been dearly missed.
Blog on...

Donna said...

So glad your back. I know the bakery will start turning a profit soon. I have missed you.
And yes, I have been fine. My project, stitching for a cure, is growing bigger and bigger. Do check out my blog if you get a chance and see what is happening.

Kerri said...

I've missed reading your blog! I'm glad it's back. I remember your post about ads that you made a while back. I'm sure no one will hold it against you if you put some on the site. It's great that we live in a world where you can write and keep a blog you love and also make some money from it.

wanderingbtrfly said...

I'm so elated that you are back, Brin. Your words in the last few weeks have so quickly reminded me of how much I loved your blog! Yay! You're back!
Sarah

Linda Z said...

Welcome back, Brin! You have been missed!! :)

cupcake studio said...

Yay! Brin's back!!!

I just tried Picnik last night...uh oh, this could be trouble :)

Love to see the bakery on Facebook :)

Kathleen Grace said...

It is good to have you back Brin. Nothing earth shaking happened while you were gone, we are all just going on with life as you are and glad to hear your "voice" again:>)

Life At Camellia Cottage said...

It's so good to have you back! I for one have missed you terribly! I left your link on my blog, and every time I scanned past it, I sighed and thought "Wonder how Brin is doing today"! And I agree - happiness IS found in the common things, the tiny things, the things that make you smile. Blessings sweetie! Becky G.

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

SO glad you're back and I must tell you that I love, love, love Hydrangeas and especially the color you have here, and do they ever look wonderful against the house!
XOXO
Joni

Kimberly said...

Brin, I can't even tell you how happy and excited and fuzzy warm I am over this! Truly, your blog is such a gift and I'm absolutely thrilled that you're back! I am certain you'll find the best way possible to bring in some income while not losing the spirit of your blog. I'm so looking forward to visiting with you here this summer:) If you're curious what this suburban NJ girl is up to, check out my blog at www.findtimefortea.com.

Beth said...

The hydrangeas are gorgeous! Glad you're back.

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

I've missed you so much Brin, your quotes, photos and words did become apart of my life, I got attached! Your such a blessing, you may never know how much you touch us, but your words were meant to be shared and you made my day with this post, a classic Brin post! I love the new editing software, is it free? I'm mulching flower beds that finally got planted, late due to all the rain and Hydrangeas are on my wish list! Hugs!!

Laura said...

Since I just discovered your blog yesterday and stayed up until the wee hours reading archived posts, this is good news to me.

Your sense of home arts speaks to my heart- especially down here in South Texas.

Laura

whitespraypaint.blogspot.com

Cindy said...

Yea!

Lindy said...

Hello, hello, hello! It's SO good to have you back! We've all missed you terribly!

The hydrangeas are absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing these lovely pics! :)

Patsy said...

Hey girl,

All I can say for us that read your blog is that if you wait long enough, good things happen.

Cheryl said...

Yay! It's good to have you back. So glad I decided to check in and see. I was just about to make some brown sugar cookies, pull up a chair and we'll enjoy them together!

Vintage Girl said...

Oh Brin, so wonderful to have you back writing. You have been truly missed. I am so sure your bakery is going to be turning a profit real soon. Can't wait to hear more adventures from the bake shop. Your hydrangeas are stunning, love the colour! I spent the day in the flowers beds getting them in tip top shape for the summer, so rewarding digging in the dirt. Simple joys are the best things in life. Blessings and hugs, Heather

wilderartist said...

So glad you are back, Brin. I really missed reading your "warm fuzzy" blogs. I always left with a great feeling.

Kristie said...

I'm a happy camper! It's great that you decided to start blogging again! You and your blog have been missed.

Your hydrangeas are wonderful! I have four bushes but they are only a couple of years old and not nearly as nice as yours. Gives me something to look forward to.

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

Welcome back sweet girl! I've never taken you out of my favorites list and I'm still a follower. Missed your words and pictures so much. Those hydrangeas are beautiful and did this old heart good to see. Told you we'd always be here for you. xxoo

Granola Girl said...

Have you thought of possibly running ads for your business? Mailing baking mixes for your various goodies, or doing gift sets with them and the cute napkins you made (I think it was last year). It was just an idea, but the whole country, quaint, tea and picnic thing seems to be quite kitchy these days. We live it everyday, so the kitch is gone for us, but many find it just so wonderful around the summer, Mother's day, birthdays and such. Just a thought.

P.S. My real name is Brynn; I haven't met too many others :)

Granola Girl endofordinary.blogspot.com

Louise said...

YUP, what everyone else said.... We all missed you so much... I have you on Google Reader so whenever you had a chance to drop in, Reader was to my rescue and I never missed a note from you.
So excited that you are back again.

Jenn said...

I have missed you. You inspire me to be a better writer. I will find the time one day to pull the books out of my crowded head. As a home school mom and business owner I can tell you that your time for profit will come. I truely believe that for you. You deserve it!

Sandi said...

SOOOOO Glad you decided to come back to us!! I am just thilled!!! If I lived closer I would come to your bakery...everything always looks so yummy!!!
Blessings~

tara said...

Yay - such great news, Brin! Isn't it nice to know blog readers are a bit like old old friends that you can just pick up with where you left off.. apparently, they say ... (whomever "they" are) that if you have only 1 or 2 true friends like that in your life you are truly blessed. I love friends like that. We bloggers are welcoming you back with open arms... now we look forward to picking up where we left off... I am glad you will have this blog as an outlet again. I am glad I get to be a part of it, too. God bless you! yay! this makes my day :)

The Brickhouse said...

So happy to have you back..I missed you! I love reading your blog...WELCOME BACK!
~~Patti~~

Grateful Gramma said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog. Glad you're back!

Diane said...

I'm so glad you're back! I so enjoy reading your blog!

Rox said...

YeeHaw!! I am so tickled... I really am!!
It is so good to see you back. ;)
You have been missed.

Rox in Atlanta :)

Emily said...

Your blog is so inspiring, peaceful, and encouraging! I had just found you when you decided to leave. Though I understood, I'm SO GLAD you're back! We've missed you!

Dream. Imagine. Happen. said...

Hi there, I found your blog a few months ago and have checked back periodically--glad I looked today and learned you're up and running again! I have enjoyed your open, spontaneous writing and look forward to reading more. I have every faith that your dreams and heart will guide you where you need to go. This quote made me think of you: "Be at peace and see a clear pattern and plan running through all your lives. Nothing is by chance." --Eileen Caddy
http://dreamimaginehappen.blogspot.com/

patientmom said...

So glad to see you back! I have missed you :)...I knew you would be back!...at least I never stopped hoping you'd be back, does that count!

Reading your old posts just wasn't the same as a fresh word.

And about those ads... dive in!....let this wonderful gift of yours bring you some income, it's NOT a sell out, it's an open window....breathe in the opportunity :)

Shelley in SC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanne said...

So glad you're back, and hope you find your own water level that works between real life and journaling about your real life. Blessings from a Grammie in Canada

Sue said...

So very good to have you back!

Shelley in SC said...

Oh.my.word!! What can I say?? I'm delighted. Your posts are a bright spot in my day. So glad to see you back!! (And I LOVE Picnik too!!)

Terri and Bob said...

Sigh. This is what I have been missing. To catch you up, the school year ended, summer school as begun and my garden is in. Those are the highlights!

I Should Be Cleaning Up said...

:)

Southern Comfort said...

Oh, thank goodness you are back and I get to read you again. Wish your town were closer so I could visit your bakery. Best wishes!

Sissy said...

Yes, we are glad you are home where you want to be. You know you missed us.

As for an update on our time apart, we have had a busy time as well. We were matched for an adoption and it fell through at the last moment. It's been a hard couple of weeks at our house, since everything is now ready for a baby.

Wish your bakery was right around the corner. I could so use a warm cookie.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Just blog hopping today and enjoyed reading your blog...I am posting on our Disney trip so hope you will stop by. Also, the June giveaway starts today...all comments left in June will be in the drawing for the "June Card Box"! You will have to go down a few posts to read about the monthly giveaway. Happy Sunday!

Lulu said...

i'm so happy, happy to see you back...
hugs and prayers for your new business..

Jourdan said...

Yay you're back! I have loved reading your blog and I'm so so glad you have started it up again :) Some days I wish I had a "Freeman house" of my own to bake in...Blessings,
Jourdan

scot7 said...

my favorite blog is BACK!!!! YAH!!hoping you are doing good and the bakery will turn a profit soon!!we pray for you daily!GOD BLESS YOU!

betty r said...

Good to have you back Brin
I love those peeling gray walls and oh my that window..I think I'd stand on the outside just admiring that window. I do love 'old things!

Kay said...

I've missed your blogging. You've been in my thoughts & prayers as I've kept up with the bakery via FB.

Have you thought about selling your photographs? Is there a gift shop around that would take your matted (not framed) photos on commission?

You have a real eye for composition and I would Love to buy one from today. The peeling paint, the window of hope and those hydrangeas.

Just a thought.

MJ said...

Hello Brin!

I just wanted to let you know that I finally started my own blog! I have followed yours for so long and just love it and decided it's time to join the fun! And I am sooooo glad you are back! Of course, it's just my first so it's pretty boring but I know it will get better. Please stop by and check it out. I also need to learn how to add your blog (and my other favorites) to the sidebar. You can find my blog at yellowbeachdog.blogspot.com.

Blessings,

MJ

chunnym said...

Welcome Home Brin, Welcome Home!

Elenka said...

Hello again to you!! This is great....looking forward to keeping up with Brin!

Victoria said...

Brin, it's so good to have you back! I have to admit I was hopeful that you would return to blogging. We can all deal with the ads...just please keep on blogging. :)

Amy said...

We've missed this part! You do what you have to do! Anyone who gets upset about ads doesn't understand hard times.

We may be near your neck of the woods in a few weeks...will let you know!

Tammy said...

BRIN, YOU JUST MADE MY DAY! Saturday I picked a lovely bouquet of flowers from our garden and brought them into the house, arranged them in an old white pitcher and took a bunch of photos of them. It made me think of you and how much I miss your photography, Freeman house, Millie, your lovely gardens, everything! I was so sad that you had gone away. I still check your blog on a regular basis in hopes that there might be something new there. Yay! I can't wait to tell everyone!!!!!
Welcome back! Your were missed!!!!
-Tammy

Becky K. said...

Welcome "home" to your blog. We are so happy to see you here again!

I didn't take you off my blogroll..."just in case!"

Amy@DesigningaLifeILove said...

Ahhhh.... like a breath of fresh air, here you come breezing through this ol' space of mine!

Glad you decided to sit a spell. Hope to hear from you again, just when you get a chance...

muttonfish said...

I am just thrilled. So very happy. An unexpected and perfect little gift! I am so glad I couldn't bring myself to delete this blog from my favorites list. :)

Tami said...

Yah!!! You're back! You've been missed Brin

Michelle said...

Hurray! :)

Randi said...

Just checked in to see if there was any chance you had posted anything ... I'm so glad you're back!!

Jodi said...

New to your blog, but I love it already!!

Stefie said...

Soooooooo Happy you are back =) You have been missed!
I love the hydrangeas one of my favorites!!

MeridionalBelle said...

Yay! I'm so glad you are back!!

Donna said...

What a wonderful surprise to find you back. You were missed!I will be checking in on you often.

FoundProdigalDaughter said...

Welcome back Brin, so glad to see you again! ***HUGS*** Take care and God bless!

Katy said...

Those hydrangeas are lovely - at home we have some outside our dining room window which are this wonderful pink colour - duller than barbie pink, but a calmer more grown-up sort of dull. They look wonderful in a vase in the dining room (which is blue).

And welcome back, I'd missed reading about cooking and Freeman house and of course Millie (speaking as a labrador owner myself!)

Lallee said...

Brin, I'm so glad you are back. Blogland is not complete without you. I love your bee~hope analogy. I've been taking closeups of bees in the garden and enjoying their intricacies. I'll be thinking of what you said when I look at them,and sharing it with my Bible study too. I continue to pray for you. (Ads are fine if that's what you decide to do.)

Susan said...

Hello ... hope and honey and happiness and hydrangeas.

Welcome, welcome back! and may that
multi- book deal be right behind you.
xo S, Miss D & les Chats

Georgia Peach said...

Hooray!! I've really missed reading your blog. You are so much fun and I've thought of you as a friend. It's hard to be left without that contact. Bless you for needing that, too.

Amy Jo said...

I'm happy you're back! I kept you on my subscription list just in case you changed your mind...and you did! That's the great thing about blogging: you can do it on your own terms and when you feel like it. Go ahead and add some ads; it won't bother me!

Sharon said...

I have been away from my blog for awhile and what a nice surprise to come back and find you here again. You always bring a smile and a sense that all will be well. I love your simple way of life and living. Yes hope and contentment in everyday small pleasures. Oh It's a lost art.
I have hydrangeas but I don't seem to be able to get them to bloom. I have sandy soil here and its a tropical climate so not sure if that's it or the fact I suck at gardening and don't give them much attention. I have something else to look forward to read your blog and be inspired.

Antonella said...

It's just sooo nice to have you back.

Your writing and photos are lovely.
Keep'em coming

btw Millie seems so "grown up"

hugs from Italy

Bethanie said...

I am so glad you're back to blogging!! I hope the bakery is going well--I am dying to come back. Hopefully soon--I told a few friends about me and Mary's trip out there, and now they want to go with me on a mini road trip and come see you! :) I promise we will do it!!! :)

shoegrrl said...

So glad you're back; I've missed your blog so much!

As far as ads - I say, go for it. A girl's gotta eat and it's not easy for us twenty/thirty-somethings doing it on our own. :-)

Michelle said...

Oh my where have I been!! Soooo happy to see you back, Brin! So glad things are going well. Now I have a little catching up to do. :)

Lots of love and hugs,

Michelle :)

Cathy said...

Couldn't help myself from checking every now and then. Very happy you are back Brin. I start my own staffing agency tomorrow! I was laid off in January and you inspired me with Henrybellas to go for it. If not now, when? : ) I will keep you posted. Say a prayer for me please. I have several folks depending on me. I have asked God to guide me. I am praying for peace for your family. Very sorry about your grandfather, but how wonderful you and your family have had him alllll of these years. Love, Cathy

Kristen said...

Could I be more excited? : ) I hopped over here with the hope you MIGHT be back and was so pleasantly surprised!

Welcome back, girl. You were missed!

Sandy at God Speaks Today said...

I just realized you're back! I had you on my "reader" but I never go there. I'm giddy.

Sandy