Saturday, October 26, 2013


    Once upon a time, (and we all know that many good stories begin with, “Once upon a time,” don’t we?) my family and I lived in the far northern part of the State of Maine in the city of Caribou.  Though the church family there was small, the love was large. 
    For fun, the ladies of the church had “secret sisters.” Those who chose to participate filled out forms that included personal information that answered what our favorites were.  The idea was to draw a name, slip a secret something of encouragement onto a designated entry table without being seen, and to keep our identity secret for three months.  At the end of that time, we’d have a gathering to celebrate and tell whether or not we had guessed who had been leaving the mysterious messages and personal packages.
    Over the period of time I took part, I am unsure whether anyone guessed my being her secret sister, but I do know I had a very sneaky little one who fooled me not just once, but twice!  The one who had me so completely baffled was a very sweet teenage girl named Heather Ledford!  Heather did everything anyone would do to keep me in the dark as to who she was, and to this day I smile, as each year at this time I bring out my very own Jack-O-Lantern pin, a gift from my sweet little teenage secret sister.

    Not only is the pin dear to my heart, but so too are the memories of those times with Heather and her family, made even more precious by her unexpected passing on January 9, 2012.
    Times and seasons pass, 
      but love never fails.
M Sue       October 26, 2012

Friday, September 20, 2013


    Many of us have shared our family members with this country as they have served with the military in one capacity or another.  There are those of us who have been military members.  Some have served briefly while others have made it their life’s work.  Whichever way these men and women have chosen, each American has benefited from their honorable service.  There are times when I wonder about some of these who have helped to keep our country free.     
    One time I wonder is when I travel down a street in the city of San Angelo and I see not only the American flag briskly blowing in the breeze but under it just as proudly lifted by the winds is a POW/MIA flag.  Since I frequently go by one particular house whose flag pole often has both flags fluttering, my imagination goes a little like this:  I make a purposeful trip to that house, stop my vehicle, get, go up the walk, ring the doorbell, and hope the people who live there answer the door with open hearts.  I deeply desire to know the story of the person behind that POW/MIA flag so I imagine asking them about it.  So far I have not been bold enough to do that but I have already conjured up in my mind that this particular flag represents a Vietnam Veteran, possibly the brother of the man who lives there. 
    One day as I drove by, imagination intact, the man was out with a boy who was probably new at being a teen.  That day I decided that the homeowner might be the uncle of the boy and had him visiting in order to help fill the empty place caused by the POW/MIA’s absence.  Or maybe, the teen is the son of the homeowner and his dad is helping him learn to remember the fallen.  They were working in a flower garden and I felt it was to honor the loved one who wasn’t there.  Now, a couple of years later, each time I pass by that flower garden, my mind’s eye sees the man and the boy working together and I wonder some more.
    I also wonder about this draw that has my mind so wrapped up in wanting to know.  Deep down inside I am sure it is because the flag represents a person who left hearts at home and whose presence is loved, missed, and will never be forgotten.  Isn’t that something each one of us would like to know when we are gone from the presence of those we love?  Would this POW/MIA be any different? 
    The white-on-black flag tells us that it is obvious that this POW/MIA has not returned…or, here goes my imagination causing me to wonder again…is it possible that our flag person was a POW/MIA, who continues to fly that flag as an honoring remembrance of those who didn’t make it back? 
    I wonder.
© Marilyn Sue Moore                     4-19-05                       

Monday, September 16, 2013


    My mom did a lot of cooking and I became the sole possessor of a favored nine-inch shiny aluminum baking pan after she died.  At first glance the pan looks empty to one who sees it but to me it is filled with thoughts and memories.  Let’s take a closer look.
    A little bulge on the upper rolled edge near a rounded corner causes me to wonder how it got there.  Perhaps it was from being not well-packed in one of the many moves it was forced to make.  Maybe it was dropped on the floor or pounded into a floor by an ambitious toddler grandchild who thought it was the best toy ever created.    
    There is also a grayish colored lime deposit water line about 1-and1/4” on the inside.  That is most likely from water added in which glass custard cups were set while the custard baked to a lovely smooth creamy consistency, topped with a golden brown crusty rim around the upper edge. Sprinkles of nutmeg were added that caused the house to smell like Christmas whenever the time of year.
    Tiny pits on the bottom of the pan make it look sand-blasted.  Since I know it was never treated in such a manner, I suspect those appeared as another result of the water used when baking the custard.  These little tiny holes do not detract from the ability to bake some tasty morsels in there though!
    Shiny silver lines like plaid crisscross the bottom. Many times fudge or brownies were cut right in the pan as they were served directly from it.
    Holding that silvery pan in my aging hands causes my mind to return to the brilliant shine in my mother’s so-brown-they-were-nearly-black eyes whenever she was offered anything chocolate that came from that (or any other) pan!  One of the things she was known for was her love of chocolate and in that regard the gene pool proves I am truly her daughter, the rightful present owner of the shiny aluminum baking pan!

© M Sue         8-13-06                          

Saturday, September 7, 2013


    Included as Dear To My Heart on my bookshelves you will see:  Write Articles From The Heart by Marjorie Holmes, The Right To Write by Julia Cameron, and Wildflowers of Texas by Geyata Ajilvsgi. With so many books in sight, you may be wondering why I chose only those three titles and why I didn't mention The Bible.
     Yes, God’s Word is Dear To My Heart: however, the only Bibles on my bookshelves are versions used on occasion that are kept there for convenient storage.  My daily use Bibles are on my iPad and/or kept where I can easily pick them up when I sit down.
     The book, Write Articles From The Heart by Marjorie Holmes, holds special meaning to my heart based on one sentence of encouragement it contains.  The message I brought away is that a person with talent has a duty to use it.  At the beginning of her book, Ms. Holmes describes uplifting words regarding her early writing.  Though I am no Marjorie Holmes, I too, have had such and if I stay away from my writing too long, I am reminded of "my duty".  Though as anyone who writes knows, I cannot stop writing; it's just that there are times that I have to have a hiatus.
    Another favorite inspiration has been The Right To Write by Julia Cameron.  I have been so thankful for the day I first found it at our local library!  Once I opened the book, I had difficulty putting it down except to put into practice the writing recommendations of  Ms. Cameron.  It was here I learned of "Morning Pages", the daily practice of three 8.5 x 11.5" pages of handwriting whatever first morning thoughts come into your mind and off the tip of your pen or pencil. 
     A few weeks after our almost 17-year-old Yorkie had to be put to sleep, I questioned whether I'd really made the right decision. Because I practiced writing "Morning Pages" I had a well-documented journal of Tray's last days.   In my grief, I'd been remembering what I wanted to...her healthier days.   As I read those pages, I was reminded of the things I'd been willing to overlook in my loss.  A comforting truth was in those handwritten words from fifteen years ago that remain Dear To My Heart.
    Not to be overlooked is Wildflowers of Texas by Geyata Ajilvsgi, a most valuable resource for answers to my never-ending, "What is the name of this flower?" frequently following many of my photo finds.  In recent years, I have found a new love in life, that of photos and flowers.  Therefore, having this book at my fingertips has become Dear To My Heart in helping me learn new flower names not just for myself but that I will be able to share the information with others on My Living Lens blog. ( 
    Because of my interest in expressing myself well, most of the book titles that appear in this photo have to do with writing.  It's a small amount in comparison to what I had on my bookshelves about a year ago.  Hopefully the missing ones have found happy homes in the hands of other would-be writers who found them at the local library book sale to which they were donated.  Maybe this number will also dwindle but some will likely be there when I am no longer here.  They have been promised to a granddaughter who showed writing promise from her first lessons of learning to write sentences.  I believe some will be Dear To Her Heart.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Friends Dorri Jones and Norma Anderson are well aware of my love for my home state of Maine, especially the rockbound coast, so years ago when a particular occasion came around, they wanted to give me a special reminder: a reminder not only of my love for all things related to the craggy coastline of the land of my birth but also a reminder of their love for me and their awareness of my love for all things related to Maine’s coast.

They gave me a beautiful solar-powered lighthouse just like the one in this photo, but not this very one.  You see, in order for the light at the very top to work during the dark of night, it requires a full day of being in direct sunlight.  It is built to be patio d├ęcor; however, to our dismay, it was not built to withstand West Texas winds on a patio as unsheltered as ours!  

I had placed it above ground level and one day while we were away, it blew to the cement and smashed irreparably.  Besides my own despair at its loss was the dread I had in having to tell Dorri and Norma of its devastation.  I waited, but eventually had to tell so I could ask where I could go to get a replacement.  Every local merchant indicated it was seasonal merchandise, so using the name of the lighthouse on the paperwork that came with it, I searched the Internet and finally found one!  This picture is a special set-up outside so you can get a clear view, but as you can see from the earlier office view August 29, 2013 post in, it now has a safer home on the floor of my office near a window!  It is too dear to my heart to be left to the West Texas winds!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


This is the photo that planted the idea seeds in my mind for this blog.  One day as I searched for a particular picture, I stopped at this one long enough to really consider all that's within.  At first glance, it is an all-encompassing picture of about one-third of our home office.  A closer look brings individual story opportunities sprouting quickly from my mind, much as beans once planted in prepared garden soil, break ground, growing into full-grown "seeds within seeds".  Oh, yes, we've only just begun...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


As I look around my office area, I see so many reminders of love poured down upon me from my youth to today.  There are stories behind many of these items so thinking they might add interest to your days, I decided to share the tales here on a site chosen to be titled "Dear To My Heart".  I believe you will quickly be able to see why.

The paperweight in this photo was on a shelf at Tuesday Morning.  As I do so often when tempted, I admired it, wanted it, but decided I didn't need to spend the money on it, so left it at the store.  However, that night, I kept thinking about how much I liked and wanted it, so by the following morning I had decided it wasn't such as would break our bank account and I would treat myself by buying it.  I have taken so much joy from seeing the sun shine through it as it sits on my desk that I have never regretted going back to get it!