The house across the street…

Diane's Yellow Brick on ElmwoodBirdsong wings its piquant patterns, as if in tune to the way light is dappling and softening the  lawns as I step from my car this morn.  The perfect stillness, the refreshing…the memories I love here… all is enlivening to a creative spirit in me.

“Oh! I just knew this was the yellowish-brick she meant!” I declare silently to myself as I slip unobtrusively (I hope!) to the front of this home she wants me to draw as a surprise gift.  I’m careful not to get too close.   “They have security cameras,” she warns,”though if you can go today to snap a few photos, they should be away…”

Mm... the glory that is spilling from heaven over this landscape makes me click away more than I really need… like sipping from an endless cup of thirst…

This 1940 charmer sits across the street (with a slight jig over) from a Cape Cod treasure my dear friends once owned — one they tried every way to stay in but did not offer enough space for their growing family.  It’s on a Norman Rockwell-ish street I’ve loved long and perused in walks over, as Anne Shirley dreams by her lake of shining waters – a drive where summer twirls it’s green frock, autumn dresses with persimmon and pumpkin, and Christmas lights the way over snow with candlewick luminaria from home to home…

She sends me now some straight-on views as possibilities, but it’s this side pose I hope she chooses – and she does! — for it makes me feel as if I’m there, as if in a movie opening where the camera is floating in over the neighborhood to bring you into the mood…

Lightness is on my shoulders as I draw this piece… praise welling… and I find myself thinking of the artist who called himself “Painter of light.”  Is it possible to create such a light from black and white?  I would love to be able to that, Lord… to know a fresh anointing from Your Hands… and somehow…paint light with my pen and ink and pencil.

He alone has been showing me style and technique to make things look a certain way… for I haven’t known much if any real training… Then, just before I begin on the lawn area of this one, an image of soft pencil grays and patches of sunlight and tree shadows is strongly in my mind.  When I put the pencil to paper, I am suddenly knowing a way to create those spots of gleam…

As I look at the result, I am stunned by the sense of wonder it seems to have added to the picture.  That inexplicable feeling of an early morning that makes you sense Presence, Glory light falling softly all round…

At least…that is what I hope it makes the owners of this piece sense each time they look at it.

And I suddenly feel – as if I am stepping onto a threshold to a fresh style that I want to explore more and more…  Like the way I love how the photographers caught sunlight shadow play in old black and white films…  

Image result for black and white flourishes

A thought whispers over me as I ponder all these ideas…  that this is a creative longing in His heart for each of us.  Oh, NOT just in art.  But in all the areas of our lives where He wants to shine as light through a stained glass window.

Is there  a passion within you that makes you want supernatural wisdom, ability, strength to accomplish beyond what you know how to do?  Or think you ever could?

Don’t settle for limitations you imagine.

Ask Me, He says.

And I will accelerate and anoint the work of your hands (and heart)

in ways you have not yet imagined.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      ©   Pam Depoyan

Pen and Ink Drawing, “Dappled Morn” … Mine.

Ask about prints of this piece!  :)  See more in my new Heritage Home Portraits…An Ode to Currier & Ives collection at https://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com (Picture It in Pen and Ink!)  (Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)  )

Digital Camera

This photo appears a bit dingy for some reason…really a cheerful colonial blue wall.  And the framed picture is more fresh white in person.  But thought I’d share how I just framed this one in traditional frame.  So many framing options, it was hard to choose… I can see it in a simple modern black frame too, as I’ve done others, but I’m more of an English cottage person for myself so thought I’d try this white and soft gray frame for my own print of this…:)

Posted in Wonder Moments | 34 Comments

Chasing clouds across blue meadow

Digital Camera

Sometimes, as a sort of long distance teacher’s assistant, I find myself reading  paragraphs written by anonymous children I will never really meet.  But every once in awhile, one of them knocks my socks off with their tenderness of thought… little light of wisdom… or a truly wonderful way of saying something.  And I wonder – do you know just how special you are?

And so, I wrote a never-to-be-delivered letter to one of these.

For myself…because I would love to encourage him to keep on shimmering – if only I really had a way.

 And, maybe for you who need to believe just what a gift you are, too.

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Little boy of the literary name,

I “met” you, just by chance – your stories in answers to questions coming across my desk.  Not really part of my assignment, but there you suddenly were… lighting up the page with words that drew me in, like a hand moving a curtain to one side, exposing a window into the boy of feeling and insight you are…telling me– this kid’s a writer!

I read you over, then over again. You made my spirit skip with such simple words.

How you opened your story honestly, brought me into the moment you wished you could take back some angry words against one you love.  How you recognized her hurt, and heard it in her voice when she had to put a deserved restriction on you as punishment.  And nothing you could say would change her mind.

I could see you shuffling on outside, zero else to do but hang out hitting a few with the only one around…

You took me into that scene, so that I could almost feel the way hours slipped by into waning light of day before you knew it.  How they enfolded you in an unexpected moment of camaraderie you had never before imagined between you.  Like sunlight stood still over you…draining away your frustration and leaving you warmed by the awe of this time- capsule moment.

Your best day ever, you said.  One you would never forget.  And then…you learned something wondrous.  That sometimes things can start out sorrowfully, even in anger – then turn into one gift followed by another.  Because she saw your heart out there in the catching and the throwing, and forgave you…extended grace that rescinded the punishment. How in the end, the greatest blessing to you was discovering the fun you’d found playing in the everyday ordinary with your little brother.

You left me…wowed.

And did it all over again in your next story.  Describing the day you and your mom shared, planting colors in the garden, laughing at nothing and at everything… enjoying the digging side by side in the earth, choosing the perfect plants together, feeling closer than ever…seeing God all around you.

As I think back on newness that falls upon my own days, I will remember you….along with the wonder of the afternoon that turned your day from bored gray to warm amber.  How your words did the same for me!  Making me see as you did… a gift can come when you least expect it.

Oh, I wish I could tell you.

Because youeleven year-old friend I can never know beyond your one page of pretty much anonymous words… are a writer!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

©   Pam Depoyan

If today you are doubting yourself,

I want you to know — Someone sees the real you,

is moved by you and is cheering you on! 

.Digital Camera


photos: mine

 

Posted in Living Letters | 21 Comments

Wonder Moments On Parade

Molly and Moira 4th of July Color

The little-ies knew…

The best thing about wonder moments on parade is

sharing them with a kindred heart.

                                                                                                                              ~ P.D.

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
.
In the midst of shooting star radiance lighting up our skies
the stirring marches,
the heartfelt hymn for Heaven’s Blessing,
Let us lift our hearts and nation
to the One who holds us all…
that He will breathe Holy Spirit Light from shore to shore
Reviving all deeper in Him
Leading us in all our ways
Pouring His wisdom in hearts across the land
Powerfully reminding —
It is His call and gift upon us to vote…
to never throw it away or give it up as inconsequential…
but to wisely, conscientiously, prayerfully
choose those who most follow (or stand up for) the course of HIS Heart.
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Lord, we trust to your promise to turn the hearts of the “kings” to you!
.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
© Pam Depoyan

Pen and Ink Drawing, Parade Buds … Mine.  See more in my All Things Childhood collection at pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com (Picture It in Pen and Ink!), and ask about available prints and note cards!   (Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)  )

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Red, white and blue stars – clipart

Posted in Prayer Corner | 18 Comments

A Friendly Game (And An Unexpected Lesson)

Micah

Humming obliviously, happily, two year-old Micah busied himself around the circular play base on the church lawn.

Now he was even dipping his rosy cheeks, nose down, inside the hole at it’s top – curious to spy inside.  Investigating.  Learning.  Having fun.  Pulling his face away with a whee and a giggle.

To him, all the world was pure joy, playing at Daddy’s knees.   He wasn’t paying attention to his brother’s and cousin’s excited voices a few yards away.  He wasn’t worrying at their arms poised to whiz bean bags directly where his little face rose.

Was his dad aware of him there?  How could he not be?

Oh, this makes me nervous,” I was just commenting sotto voce to my friend beside me, nodding at her tiny grandson, when we heard her son in law call to the other boys — “THROW!”

Like watching a fast ball hurtling through space, we gaped as the sturdy bag came zipping full speed towards the hole. Speedier still, a strong arm shot out…just an inch away from Micah’s forehead… with microsecond timing.  Smack! hit the bag into the grip of that hand while it’s owner just took it in stride and whooped towards his other son across the way.  “Great job!” he called, giving him the thumbs up.

“WOW!”  I exhaled, open-mouthed.

And there little Micah remained, unscathed, still dancing around his daddy’s legs, completely unaware of danger or of miracle protection.

The game went on while I swallowed my breath.

And a picture formed in my mind, like a kaleidoscope focusing and zeroing in.

The image of a larger than life Father watching out for us all.  Sending angels to intercept those whamming bean bags headed our way.

Sometimes, it may not even seem like His eye is on us.  He’s looking out ahead, elsewhere.  He’s letting us do our own thing, explore our own way, despite possibility of imminent danger.  He wants us to grow freely… but His strong right arm is ever poised and ready.  Ministering angels at our sides.

How many fast flying bean bags has He protected us from?  The way we just missed that car when it seemed to almost pass through the front end of our own.  The multitudes of times we’ve been like Micah, having zip idea what we’ve just been spared.

Micah laughed, looked up, up… into his daddy’s face high above.  Had I been the one following my instincts, I’d probably have grabbed the child and spun him out of range.  Most likely to the screech of an angry, non-comprehending toddler who would interpret me as a terrorist interrupting his freedom for no good reason.

How beautiful is the right Hand of our Father, administering joy…grace…power and strength to our lives. 

Breaking through gates of iron.

Lifting us up out of the pit and putting our feet on sure, high ground.

Anointing us with His hand of favor…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

© Pam Depoyan

‘Do not fear [anything], for I am with you;
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you;
I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand                                                      [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’

~ Isaiah 41:10, amplified

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Pen and Ink Drawing of Micah’s Treasure Pocket, above – Mine.  (Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)  )

See more portraits in my All Things Childhood  gallery collection (at pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com Picture It in Pen and Ink!), and ask about available prints!   

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Posted in Wonder Moments | 31 Comments

Amethyst in His Hand

Tea Pot With A Cup of Tea - Royalty Free Clipart Picture   You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough  to suit me.  ~ C.S. Lewis

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In a sea of unknown strangers, we meet on the only soft couch in the break room.  The silver-haired lady dressed always in varying shades of purples and lavender… and I.

Sofa buddies, she calls us.  Taking a break from rock-hard chairs and dim computer screens. Sharing words like tea from a kettle…warm and satisfying.

Someone compliments her on her matching periwinkle sweatshirt and pants of the day and she smiles, puts her hand aside her mouth and leans over to me.  “My favorite color,” she twinkles.

Bits and pieces of making conversation volley back and forth between us over the days.  She’s a retired schoolteacher.  I talk of freelance writing.  “I wrote a book once!” she crows, regaling me with her former college thesis-turned-book theme. I tell her about my stories in Highlights and currently writing a piece to submit to Chicken Soup for the Soul.

“I’d like to do that!” she cries.  I encourage her to do it, give her the web site info.

We talk of God and faith and how she tries to encourage the “young people” around her to think of Him in their everyday…  even as she playfully teases a man walking by us about just that and he tells her she is right…

And before we know it, there’s a kindred spirit between us.  Every cross-hatch line on her  75-ish face speaks to me of a lifetime of stories I wish there were time enough to hear, but this job is only for a few weeks.

Gently, I pull them out of her.

She begins with her dad.  An austere, distant man on weekdays, overworked and too spent for family chatter.  “But – oh, our Saturday nights!” she enthuses.   “That’s when Daddy would become a kid again and we’d stay up deep into the night playing cards and board games until we’d fall over!”

Her blue-green eyes mist a bit as she talks…and I can almost see them all there, her brothers and sisters and dad…bending over boards scattered across their dining room table, contemplating their next game moves, whooping at the wins, moaning over losses.  Her father tugging at her braids, giving her brothers a good-natured nudge in the ribs.  Their window the only one brightly lit with the glow of sweet banter in a now dark neighborhood gone to bed hours ago.

Then, she’s on to her own family… seven kids, I think she says… Speaking of days when she was pregnant with twins…Sorrowfully, how one of them died as an infant.

“Do you think the twin who lived ever felt… lost…without his twin?” I ask, thinking how twins have that built in closeness even in the womb.

“The kids were all so close,” she explains, “I don’t think so…”

She goes on to talk of how they lived in a sprawling home far from neighbors…How her children became each other’s best friends out of necessity…how they too, still love their game night tradition to this day. How her dad was an inventor.  She chuckles, remembering some of his craziest ideas, speaking proudly of others.

These days, she’s up at the crack of dawn, dropping her granddaughter off at school, wending her way across 45 minutes of freeways and traffic to this place.  Again, I marvel at her stamina.  I see her catching a few winks in her car at lunch, but she’s ever chipper on the job.  We laugh together over some of the funnier things these kids write on the tests we’re reading… the cute ones…  Wonder over some of the atrocious penmanship.  “Never would have cut it in my class,” she expostulates, privately.

She tells me how she works here twice a year, and at a candy and nut shop over Christmas, boasts of the best cashews in the world at that place, and plops a little bag of them in my lap one morning with a mischievous grin.

“What’s this?”  I smile.

“Just a treat,” she waves her hand dismissively.  But I see her waiting for me to take a bite, rave over their succulent taste…and I oblige, heartily.

We talk of favorite children’s books and her love of scrapbooking and crafting and my old love of drawing and painting and how she’s looking for something fun to give her youngest grandchild for his birthday.

Next day, I’m waiting on the couch.  She drops down beside me with a Hi’ya, sofa buddy! and deposits Amelia Bedelia in my lap.  I exchange three Frog and Toad books she told me she’s never read.  Two kindergartners at show and tell.

She giggles at Frog and Toad antics while I chuckle over Amelia’s mishaps, when I sneak a look at the impish dimple in the corner of her smile.

She feels me looking, glances up from the page and a butterscotch pudding cup in her hand.  “Ohhh… I bet you’re thinking,  why did I ever give that uncouth woman my book when she’s eating something gooey!” she laughs, embarrassed.  “I have to force myself to eat these days, or I’d put it down, y’know…”

“Not at all,” I assure her.  She is indeed thin as a rail, not interested in food much anymore at her age, she says.

“I’m buying these for my grandson!” she hoots over Frog.

Bulletin Board Clip ArtOne day, supervisors announce a posting of those who will continue on another project.

That makes us notice.  “I don’t know your name!” we splutter together, chortling.

Anne,” she says, as I’m wondering if that’s Anne with an “E,” like one of my favorite Anne’s…but I don’t ask.  “I’ll go check the list to see if we’re on it,’ she says. “What’s yours?”

I laugh.  “Pam…”

She isn’t on the list, but I am.  She makes light of it, saying she has something planned in the middle of it anyway…but I know she’s disappointed.

Her project is nearing close the Monday after Mother’s Day, and it is suddenly looking like it will end unexpectedly within hours.  I find a powder blue box shaped like a tiny bag with a heart cutout on top, filled with little goodies, at my computer that morning.  One of the little Mom’s Day gifts she told me she was crafting for the women at her church.  “I saved one for you,” she says with a friendly nudge, “because you don’t have to be a mom to have a mom’s heart.”

I’ve been mulling over getting her a card to say goodbye these past few days…something light and pretty, and purple of course!… and now time is running like sand through our fingers before I know it.

I muse whether I can make it to a local grocery store and back during our short lunch.  Dash there and find the perfect one – Happy Mom’s Day in flowers and lavenders.   Grab a pen from my glove compartment to pen her a few words…  tell her how her stories make me see her mother’s heart, how I’ve enjoyed knowing her…   Put one of my cards inside, in case she’d like to read some of my blog stories some time…Slide it by her computer before she returns from lunch.

I sit down to begin working, when I feel her fingers kneading my shoulders.  Thank you… she says, close to my ear, with emotion… for the beautiful card.   You’re a sweetheart.  She grabs my hands and folds her own business card into them.

Before long… her side of the room is emptying out, project done.

I think of how transitory life can be.  How God brings people into our lives for only a moment sometimes… like a brief chapter in a book…

Later, l look at her business card and smile.  The woman’s energy never quits. It’s what makes her happy.

Creative Memories Consultant, it reads.  Workshops and classes.

And I think…I like how God stamps His own creative memories across the momentary intersections of our lives…  and how He often speaks His heart to me through the elderly.  How I’ll miss meeting her each break, during the next project…

This weekend, I see a movie with a friend.  It’s about a group of elderly people feeling lost in the emptiness of their lives… traveling across the world to a third world country in search of a hotel advertised as elegant and lovely…though anything but..

Hotel for the beautiful and the elderly, the sign reads when they get there.

Laughter bubbles up inside me at that…and snapshot memories of a woman who is passionate about purple and life to the full float across the screen of my thoughts.

The beautiful and the elderly…   hmm.  Sounds  like a soap opera.  I think I prefer God’s view on that

Beautiful is He who satisfies our desires with good things so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

And makes us like amethyst, in His Hand.

©  Pam Depoyan

 Now I’m telling the world your wonders;
      I’ll keep at it until I’m old and gray.

~Psalm 71:17

Posted in Living Letters | 26 Comments

Written on the heart

When you pray, you go to God.

When you praise, God comes to you.

In my mind, I see her laughing eyes, hear her                                somehow-always-breathless voice bubbling over,                             remember how we used to bump into each other on campus…       stop and share helloes and hearts between classes.  How we first became friends in a group of kids who often met to sing and pray… sunlight dancing warm stained-glass color patterns all around us… all of us sitting informally on the chapel floor, lifting up  each others’ needs.  It was a time set apart…still in school, on the verge of our adult lives. A season for quickening, deep friendships.  Bonds to last a lifetime.

And even though she’d made the decision to leave the university at the end of the year, return to her home state and fiancé, I knew how torn she was to abandon the roommates who’d become like sisters to her –            to watch us moving on without her. She introduced me to two of those dear friends, making way for me to “take her place” – and we (along with another girl) became a new foursome for the following year, hoping and praying to make the list for an apartment on site.  That is, if we managed to be selected from the hundreds upon hundreds camping out at the registrar’s office overnight…

The 24-hour camp-out meant that one of us had to be sitting on that musty stairwell at all times…juggling our classes and work amongst us…and spending long, weary, boring hours – holding fort in line. My turn came in some late afternoon hours of the second day.  Exhausted kids wondrously snored all around me. I was leaning my head back against a hard wall, willing away the hours, trying to concentrate on books, stiff and uncomfortable… and a bit lonely.

“Hey, Pam!” a voice called, and when I followed it, there she was – stepping over the bodies everywhere, then dangling an enticing little bakery bag in front of me.  House of Pies, the label read.  Too small for pie, but certainly something scrumptious. She plopped down beside me, looking fresh and windblown, pretty aqua sweater tied around her shoulders …

“I thought you might like some company… and a treat,” she said, offering me a couple of fresh-baked, over-sized sugar cookies.  Favorites of my soon-to-be roomies-so-she-knew-I’d-love-’em-too, she explained. She’d just thought of it and trekked a couple blocks off campus to get them.  She informed me then that she also planned to take “her turn” spotting for us on the stairwell after I left.  Because even if she wasn’t going to be there next year, she was a part of us…  Hey, I even brought you guys together, her genuine smile seemed to say.

I doubt she remembers this moment in time, now.   Living letters rarely do.

But on that day, her simple thoughtfulness echoed in my heart like the sweet chapel bells on the bluff. And I clearly remember thinking over the lump in my throat… She makes me want to be more thoughtful too.

And so I purposed in my heart – right then – to begin looking for those moments. Sometimes it’s cookies.  Or a few uplifting words.  Always it’s putting yourself in another’s shoes.   Cookies… kindness… encouragement.   Gifts that stay… written on the heart.

Thanks Sharon. 
Christmas Cookies clipart

© Pam Depoyan

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“Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you.

Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit;

not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.”

~  2 Corinthians 3:3, The Message

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Patches of Godlight

We — or at least I — shall not be able to adore God on the highest occasions if we have learned no habit of doing so on the lowest.  At best, our faith and reason will tell us that He is adore-able, but we shall not have found Him so,  not “tasted and seen.”  (Similarly) any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books in astronomy.  These pure and spontaneous pleasures are “patches of Godlight.”

~  C. S. Lewis

 

Pretty flowers and leaves free flower clipart

She stood in the glow of crystal and chandeliers when a visiting  friend and I first spotted her.  A picture of elegance against the velvet-rich background of one of our town’s grandest old hotels.  She was leaning against a wall, something about the look of her making me feel as if she’d just stepped out of one of those lovely, romantic 1940’s movies… and was waiting there for her black tie-and-tails boyfriend to tip the valet and return to  their Cinderella night.

Auburn curls peeked out from under a softly flopping hat, framing one of the most beautiful faces I’d ever seen.  Startlingly so – mostly because of the wondrous smile that lit her eyes.  Like pure radiance, beaming at us in that moment as if we shared an unspoken secret and she was willing us to hug it to ourselves like treasure.

The fresh springtime of her dress…a sweet floral in soft yellows and rose — fit her like a dream.  I’d been looking for a dress like that for a wedding I was going to… but oh, could I ever look like that even if I found one?

That’s when I saw.  Eyes bright with a genuine content with life, she caught mine as I followed the crutch under her arm and looked down, saw her standing on one leg, the top of her amputated limb hidden beneath tea-length dress.  A shiver ran over me as I took that in… a mixture of empathy, sadness for whatever sorrow had been in her life…and awe. For again, her eyes and smile met mine…strong and bright and true.  And I read in them:  Life is good.  I’m happier at this moment than ever.  There is a light stronger than any of us know…if we believe.

Tdaffodil 03 clip arthat was twenty years ago.  I only saw her in that one sparkle-moment.  But her sweet image stays in my mind and heart like a wonderful character in a cherished book… one I only got a glimpse of, but longed to know more of…in her story…   And I often wonder, Lord, was that YOU I saw shining from her smile?

Pretty flowers and leaves free flower clipart

Prayerful Thought

 Lord, in the natural, this past week heavily put setback on my tongue until I felt Your hand upon my mouth… “Let not your words pronounce the Destroyer’s lies on your life.  They may seem as fact, but they are not My Truth over you.  No, Bless Me as Your Provider, Your Banner, Your Hope and Joy and I will break loose the captivity, turnaround defeat to Victory. ”

Father, thank You that Greater are You, and the Name above all Names…Jesus… in me, than he who is the world!  You ARE my Provider, Banner, Hope and Joy!   May You shine Your Glory as Your Patches of Godlight in and through me… and help me place Your Word over every temptation to murmur or complain, even in silent thought…

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© Pam Depoyan

“The words of a man’s mouth are like deep waters [copious and difficult to fathom];The fountain of [mature, godly] wisdom is like a bubbling stream [sparkling, fresh, pure, and life-giving].”

~ Proverbs 18:4, amplified

daffodil 03 clip art

Have you spotted “Patches of Godlight” this past week in a momentary encounter?

Posted in Wonder Moments | 49 Comments