The Penderwicks at Last: a Review…sort of

The Penderwicks at Last

“And away they went. the three together, prancing, leaping, gamboling into the future.” – The Penderwicks at Last, by Jeanne Birdsall

I’ve always loved Jeanne Birdsall. She’s the reason I wanted to become an author. She created characters who feel like my friends. She built a world out of words that seems almost as real to me as reality.

The Penderwicks, a series she wrote about a family of girls and their childhood adventures, was my childhood. I remember reading The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, the third book, in one sitting, and then rereading the whole series again after I finished it. I read those books so much that the covers wore thin and my family made me new ones.

The Penderwicks book series

Those books are precious to me and yet I didn’t read this, the final book, until ten months after it released. I spent a long time thinking that maybe I was gonna hate this book, because I knew it wasn’t going to be the ending I wanted. It wouldn’t be perfect. It wouldn’t be the ending I had waited eleven years for.

I finally got around to reading it after buying it at Barnes & Noble on my brother’s birthday. It sat around on my shelf for about a month before I actually opened it. When I did, I fell in love with the Penderiwicks’ world all over again. They are all pure magic. And this one was no different. It was full of warmth, adventure, love, and laughter. The story was just what it should have been. The ending, though it wasn’t what I had wanted for so long, was perfect. It was what it needed to be.

I suppose this is less a review for The Penderwicks at Last and more of an observation of where I am right now. I’m starting college this fall, I have a job, and I can drive. I’m an adult, I guess, but I still feel like a kid.

This last book came at the perfect time for me because for me it represents transition. A transition from childhood into adulthood. Life won’t always turn out the way I once thought it would, but that’s okay. It’s actually perfect, because God is in control, looking farther down the road then I will ever see. He knows where I am, and where I need to be.

Week Two: January 13, 2019

It started snowing early Saturday morning and now the world is covered in a blanket of white as far as the eye can see. Even today little flurries will whirl around from time to time. Church was cancelled for today so my family looked up a sermon by Tony Evans and gathered around the TV to listen to it. It was nice to be all together like that.

Goals for this week:

  1. I want to do yoga every day
  2. I want to read the Bible every day and pray
  3. I want to take a walk at least once
  4. Every time I work I want to pick out an outfit for the next day the night before

I did alright with my goals last week, but I really want to do yoga more than once this week, and I think taking a walk or two would be good for me too. I find walks relaxing and they fill my lungs with fresh air.

Week One: January 6, 2019

I’m feeling refreshed today and filled. It’s a Sunday and I often feel that way on Sundays because I’m surrounded by good teaching and good people to fellowship with. There is a lot of time to meditate when in Church or just on Sundays in general. I have nothing scheduled most weeks, just family time.

Goals for this week:

1. I want to focus on meditation.

What I mean by that is that I want to read my Bible with intention every morning, spend time thinking about God and praying.

2. I want to wake up earlier and make time to breathe and come up with intentions for my day.

3. I want to practice yoga everyday.

The Endless Sky

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I’ve been going on walks every morning for the past few weeks. I take the same route through the neighborhood each time. I have thought about going down different roads and exploring a bit, but then it wouldn’t be quite so enjoyable. It is interesting and beautiful to see life in its regular rounds. I love seeing little bunnies with fluffy tails hop across my path. I say ‘hello’ every morning to the orange cat that sits on its front porch waiting to be let in.

My favorite part is the sky. It is different every morning. I love to see the clouds shift and change as the light hits them. I watch as the sky moves from the purple-blue of early morning to the blue-blue of day. There is something about the sky that makes it look endless. It is all at once a blanket covering the world and a never ending sea that is always new every day.

I have been so much happier lately and that is partially due to my walks. I get up earlier, around 6:00 or 6:30, let the dogs out, grab a drink of water, and head out. I usually feel a little sleepy. Sometimes I will listen to a podcast or maybe some music, but I like to unplug and disconnect on my walks. I want to be present and experience moments as they happen.

I think that is something I’ve learned over the past year. I need to focus on real life and not daydream or look at my phone as much as I do now. Life is flying past me and I don’t want to waste any of the time I have on this earth.

Changing

I realize everyday that I don’t really know myself very well. There is always more to learn. I’ve learned lately that I’m able to change. I’m not a stagnant being because there’s so much to learn and so much room for change.

And I am changing. Change is so weird. Sometimes it comes quickly and surprises me. Sometimes it comes slow and I’ll suddenly realize that something is different.

It was strange the day I realized that I liked change, because I used to hate it so much. I didn’t like people leaving my life. I didn’t like growing up. I figured that if everything just stayed the same then I would never have to worry about those things. Because those things were hard.

When I finally realized that change was good it was like a huge weight was lifted off me. And I felt free to live life. I felt free to really immerse myself in life, and to love things and people even though they might end up leaving, because that’s the way it is. I’m not done learning this lesson either. It keeps becoming clearer to me that life is full of change and that even though I lose things I love, I should never stop loving them all the same.

Just another thought for another day,

Claire

 

Do I Belong Here?

I don’t think I belong on this blog anymore. The girl who used to write it seems like a completely different person. It’s not that I feel much different. I don’t feel much different now than I did last year when I wrote on this blog so often. I feel older and more mature, but less wise somehow.

I feel silly. I feel like a silly seventeen year-old who doesn’t know what the heck she’s doing. I feel like sixteen year-old Claire actually knew what was up. She took life day by day. She saw the beauty in the smallest things. I want that back again.

Somehow I think I’ll never get that back.

I’ll never be the same as I was last year.

Life will never be as slow.

But who knows, it might be. And even if it’s not I’m going to change. I’m going to slow down and see the beauty in the world again.

Because I do belong on this blog. It’s mine after all. And even though I’m changing and moving in different directions, I’m still Claire. I’m still here. Life is still as beautiful as it was last summer. And God is still as good.

As for the future of this blog… I honestly don’t know. I think i’ll visit it more often though. I want to talk about things again. I want to write about the beauty in the world. I want to write little stories again.

Until next time,

Claire

Dear March and April

Dear March and April,

 

First off and I want to say, how dare you pass so quickly! I can’t believe you. Why didn’t you pass slowly as usual? No, you had to change things up this year and make these months seem super short. And you didn’t even ask me if I would mind. Do I mind, not at all, but still… the sudden change was rather unsettling.

From the very beginning I had a feeling time would be passing quickly. I mean, I went to D.C at the beginning of March, which was really fun. Seeing national landmarks and the White House and taking the subway was all very fun, but then you went and made the rest of the month a whirlwind of activity, fun, and newness. My mom left for a week, my cousins came for a week, I spent a lot of time daydreaming, and the weather grew warmer. All of this is fine and good, I only wish I’d had more time to savor it.

Then the middle of March came and things got a bit crazy. There was a little drama and a little confusion. I felt like I was pushed into a whole new world that was full of situations that I’d only ever read about. Surely, my life would never have a bit of annoying drama in it. But no, I guess not. All that came and went however, as I knew it would.

March melted into April so naturally that it wasn’t like a new month at all… until that 85 degree day, what was that about? Anyways, April came and held my hand for a while and sang me a song. It was my reward for the ridiculously busy, confusing month of March. I got a few days of hand-holding, and then it was back into the fray of ‘business as usual.’ I realized that thrift shopping is fun. That Conan Gray is awesome. And that the best things in life take a lot of work. And I’m in the middle of all that work right now. Yes, it’s hard, but I know that in the end it will be worth it.

I know you know all this already, but, March and April, I just want to thank you for being so lovely. All the sunny days, rainy afternoons, and cold morning gave me hope of a beautiful spring. All the little happy things and little hard things made me realize that my life is changing, and changing fast. All the people who have stepped into my life and all the ones who have been there for many Marches and Aprils, reminded me that love is real and it is powerful. And through all of this, I have been reminded again that God loves me very much and I am very thankful for that.

Thank you March and April, you were lovely.

Sincerely,

Claire

Happy For No Particular Reason

I am happy this afternoon. The sun is shining… well actually, it’s not. Rain is pouring from the heavens and it’s quite a bit cooler than it was yesterday. 

Though it isn’t as cheery outside as it was yesterday, that hasn’t really changed the happiness I have in my heart. I love rain after all. It makes everything so lovely and green. 😊 

Maybe that’s why I’m happy or maybe it has something to do with the fact that it’s Spring. Or maybe it’s because I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot this week and it’s only Tuesday. Or maybe it’s because I started the day off right by reading my Bible. Or maybe it’s because I just finished a cup of tea. Or maybe it’s​ because of all of those things combined, wrapped up, and sent straight to my heart to lighten it and bring it joy. 

I’m well aware of how sappy I might sound right now, but I just do not care. I give myself permission to be sappy whenever I want. 😂 

Happy Tuesday, 

~ Claire 

Hello Again 👋

I know I haven’t posted anything on this blog for a while and I might talk about that and what’s been going on in my life in a future post, but not today. Today I just want to say a quick word and leave. 

The world is beautiful today and that’s something I want to remember. The grass is very green and dotted all over with dandelions. The sky is a perfect blanket of hazy blue. The sun is a circle of bright light in the sky. Small buds are blossoming into magnificent flowers; the mint is spilling over the side of the herb bed. 

Spring is here. Life is good. I am blessed. 

~ Claire 

Carefully Written

I’m going to stop trying to write a blog post everyday. I’ve been trying for months, but have failed miserably. I struggle every day to finish what needs to get done and that doesn’t leave much time for writing. So I fail. I find, at the end of the day, that I have nothing to write about. I stopped actually trying a long time ago and now I realize why I never got back into writing every day.

I don’t have something good to write about every day. I could write everyday. I could write a blog post about some random thing or thought. I could slap together a post just long enough not to make me feel like I’m slacking. I could do that. But I don’t want to do that. I want my blog to be an overflow of what I’ve been thinking and learning about. I want my posts to be better thought out than they are now.

I really did want to make my old plan work, but I ran out of steam rather quickly. All of a sudden I felt like I had nothing to say. I felt dried up. I didn’t want to continue this blog. I think this new plan will free me to think about what I’m going to write. I want to observe and synthesize the world and my experiences and then write about them here.

Maybe someday I’ll have something to say every day. Maybe I never will. Either way, I want to be writing about my experiences and thoughts. I want to be sharing my opinions and passions.