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Catch Up w/Kate; Honoring a friend and Spring in North Carolina

Hello blog readers!

I apologize that it’s been four months since I’ve written anything. I appreciate seeing that readers have checked out posts from my library archive. That makes my heart happy, so thank you!

What have I been up to? January through March are winter months here in North Carolina and when it’s cold, I stay inside. Watched too much television, although about that … hubby and I zoomed through all seasons of Call the Midwife and I must comment on how refreshing it was to lose myself in the decade 1958 through 1968. We fell in love with the characters, the cast, and the general storyline. It felt so good to watch something clean which can be a challenge in 2023. As one who attended Catholic school for sixteen years, I have personal experience with nuns (all good), so it warmed my heart to see them positively portrayed in a tv series.

Speaking of nuns, a friend who was also raised in the Catholic faith passed unexpectantly to heaven in February catching her family and friends by surprise. Jacqueline suffered a heart attack at age 61 and passed rather quickly which I consider a blessing.

To honor her memory I will share how she blessed me in December, just two months before she was no longer here. There are many great things I can say about her but in the interest of family privacy, I’ll tell only this. She and I never exchanged gifts. It was not part of our dynamic. For thirteen years, we attended the same prayer services, worship services, and a Bible Study group. She shared confidences with me so I could join her in prayer. That was how our closeness was forged, in adoration and service to Jesus.

Last December my husband and I traveled back to Florida to visit family for early Christmas celebrations. I mentioned this to her in passing and she asked if we could have a short visit. Time got away from us in our short seven-day visit so Jacqueline and I could not have lunch or a satisfying chat. She insisted I stop by her home as she lived close to 1-95 which we took our way back north.

This woman LOVED Christmas! I had no idea until I saw her home warmly decorated and inviting in the spirit of the season. She sent me home with my arms laden with packages, at least six different gifts to open. I felt it was too much. She insisted, saying “No, you’ll see, some are very small.”

Each present held meaning to me: olive oil imported from Italy, a door knocker with Psalm 91, a cozy wrap for winter – wonderful to curl up and read in, Belgian chocolates, and an anthology containing her first published devotional. Her action was significant because there are times I feel unseen. We all have these moments, don’t we? Her act of friendship and generosity communicated to me that she valued me. It was out of the ordinary but in light of her passing, I treasure that this was our final interaction. She said she was thanking me for my writings that poured into her over the years. Although only God knew her time here was coming to a close, in His kindness, He prompted her and she followed the prompting of His Spirit to bestow love on a friend. Until we meet again, my friend, I’ll think of you affectionately with every sunflower.


March brought daffodils, then tulips followed by hyacinth. I planted all three types of bulbs last fall and this spring my garden was full of color. So rewarding!

April saw cherry trees blossom and then carpet the earth below in a sea of pink when uncharacteristic winds blew across our state. The white dogwoods and their pink dogwood brethren didn’t lose as many flowers. My neighborhood was awash with glorious color!

Now in mid-April, the rhododendron, a classic Blue Ridge mountain flower is in full bloom. She is dressed for spring success!

I close with my very first iris bloom, planted last fall. I am grateful to the friend who dug them from her garden to make room for a vegetable greenhouse, gifting them to me. The labor expended in transplanting was rewarded with this incredible sight. Gardening in Florida brought me pleasure, but I’m having great fun growing bulb flowers for the first time.

That’s all for now, my friends. Very soon I will return with talk on some sobering subjects, like readying ourselves for the return of Christ and prayer. It’s always the season for prayer and intercession. Until then, remain steadfast in your faith in Christ Jesus, our soon-coming King.

Categories: death Friendship Gardens

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Christian author and inspirational speaker of truth that makes the darkness tremble. Author of two non-fiction books at

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