Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Treasured Path.....


For a few glory filled days last week, one of my daughters and her children spent a few days with me on the beautiful emerald coast of the Florida panhandle. We stayed in a European designed enclave where every little winding street holds a surprise! One of our mornings on a walk, we saw this beautiful house in the picture above.  The soft yellow door caught my eye, but it was the cross on the entrance that captured my  focus and my camera! In their own way, in their own style, the homeowners were sharing their faith! May we be so bold!

I can not know for certain where you are in life, but nobody has a perfect life for long.  We all encounter setbacks and stopping points.  These are the times when God steps in and often embraces us with the certainty that HIS love is real and His plan is for good! Amazing LOVE wrapped just for each of us individually.  There are many wonderful days in our lives and there are days filled with adversity! Yes, there is a treasured path for each of us!

God often allows adversity in our lives for a way of advancing the gospel.....each trial, each blessing.  In Philippians 1: 12-26, Paul, the great apostle, encouraged his brothers and sisters even WHILE he was in prison, reminding them that being there actually served to advance the gospel to the whole palace guard!!! When we see people hurting and suffering, perhaps not only our offer to assist but to pray can be a priceless gift! What a glory to see God's hand move!!!! Before He laid the foundations of the world He thought of you and of the days you would live on earth! He planned the people and the places He would give to you. Nothing, my friend can separate you from the love God has for you!  Nothing!

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Attributes of God: Day 3


God is Faithful

Constant, loyal, reliable, steadfast, unwavering, devoted, true, dependable.

Deuteronomy 7: 9
Psalm 33: 4
Psalm 89: 8
Psalm 119: 90
Psalm 145:13
Psalm 146: 5-8
II Timothy 2: 13

"Now I saw Heaven opened, and behold a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True and in righteousness He judges and makes war."  Revelation 19:11



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Attributes of God: Day 2

GOD is SOVEREIGN

Holding the position of ruler, royal, reigning; independent of all others; above or superior to all others; controls everything, can do anything.

I Chronicles 29: 10-13
II Chronicles 20: 6
Job 42: 2
Psalm 33: 10-11
Psalm 93
Isaiah 40:10
Romans 8: 28 

"Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the grown apart from your Father's will.  But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."  Matthew 10: 29-31





Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Attributes Of God: Day 1

GOD is SUPREME

Highest in rank, power, authority; superior, highest in degree; utmost.

Deuteronomy 10: 14-17
Nehemiah 9:6
Job 11:7-9
Isaiah 44:6-8
Acts 17:24-28
Colossians 1:15-18
Jude 24-25
Revelation 4:8

Psalm 95: 3-7
"For The Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods.  In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also.  The sea is His, for He made it. And His hands formed the dry land.  Oh come let us worship and bow down Let us kneel before The Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture.  And the sheep of His hand."


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter Warmth......in my Home.....Come on In!



The winter months can become long and cold in certain parts of the world.   I love the winter season because it is a season of rest in some ways and for me always one of renewal both spiritually and physically.  It's a time to put away things from the holidays and the last year and start a new and fresh year.  Over the last few months of the last year, it seems I finally finished some of the transformations in my soft furnishings in our home.  The long awaited chairs that I had hoped to transform in white finally happened. When we moved into our home seven years ago, we were living between two houses so little by little, I tried to piece together what I would bring from one house to another but I never seemed to get it right in terms of the look I wanted and the comfort necessary.  I do not like overly formal rooms but think about comfort first.  I have always craved a slow pace of life and through life's changes it seemed we were never living in the same house for long or forever.  The seven years we have lived in this home have been full of happiness and family gatherings and making memories. I love living near the ocean but I think it's really water that I crave....any water.  A lake view and a river access would do as long as it's brimmed with greenery, wildlife, fish and birds and oh yes.....flowers. Lots of beautiful flowers!

Have you ever thought about how your home reflects who you are? I love color but in my home, I have taken out a lot of the color and made the neutrals prominent.  My color comes from the people who come into my home to curl up on the sofa, with a cup of tea on the table and view through to the dining room and kitchen of the grass on the lawn outside.  I hear the colorful voices of my family in the walls and in the rooms where they have been. I hear my husbands voice and enjoy the contentment of a happy life and home build with him. I love my home when it is filled with the love of my colorful family!!!!

All of our children are artist..... of a sort.  One has a professional position as an artist and the others have art talents well enough to be professionals, even though their degrees were acquired in other fields.  Our son is a musician which is a beautiful artistic gift, for with music one is never alone!  When our children were young, our home was centered around them, not the furniture. Most of our money went to family needs!  My husband built a small round table with two chairs when our oldest daughter was about 15 months and for years as the other children were born, we would sit at that little table and color and draw and work puzzles.  We had tea parties and cupcake parties.  Later it also served as a gift shop table when they were old enough to create their own play.  Allowing children to develop creatively is one of the best gifts a parent can give.  When mine were young, instead of printed coloring books, I often gave them plain paper and crayons and they created their own pictures.  I believe those crayons and paper have returned to me over and over again in admiration as I have admired something one of my girls or son created.  Yes, they all love color and art and their homes are filled with many of their own personal creations.  We visited art museums and historic homes every summer it seemed but we also camped in the open forests and hiked and admired God's creative canvas in the world of color! We took them down every road imaginable and crossed the road!

Where are you in your life?  Are you at a crossroads?  In many ways, we will be given crossroads until we take our last breath.  Crossroads and waiting to cross the road to new adventures, new places, new waters are always ahead for us.  God is always alive, changing us into the people we should be for His Honor and for His Glory.  He leads us and He guides us as His redeemed people when we know and love Him!  Our lives are sometimes a palate of neutrals but more often they are like holding a large canvas with a collage of colors ranging from blues to grays to green to bright yellow!  Always with a vision that was ordained for each one of us individually before we were ever born.  

In the warmth of the winter months may your home be filled with the warmth of color and if you are so fortunate........some refreshing water from the Master Artist above! Have a beautiful day my friend!

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.  He  makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside the still waters."  Psalm 23:1-2





Thursday, October 23, 2014

Happy Anniversary Sara and Steven......



In the south, Mississippi is known as the Land of Cotton!  Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that can be twisted or spun into yarn or thread!  Cotton breathes!  What an amazing and beautiful backdrop a field of High Cotton created naturally for my son, Steven and his Bride, Sara two years ago this weekend!  Their wedding was planned just like they wanted it and their unique and artistic approach to life took center stage! It was perfect! The ceremony and the vows were full of beauty and even required an antique handkerchief when Sara's heart was touched by the words of the officiant. That memory is just one of the many special moments of their weekend. The music was all their favorites.....played by talented friends.  God gave them a beautiful fall afternoon surrounded by their families and friends in a setting, only He could design!   It is surreal that they have already been married two years  and are now living and working and enjoying life in California!  I wish them joy, love, patience, tenderness, goodness, good health and happiness all the days of their marriage!  Happy Anniversary, Sara and Steven!  You are so loved!!!!
Did you know 215 pairs of jeans are made from 1 bale of cotton?
Seems very fitting for them and their friends!  


Sunday, October 19, 2014

From Generation to Generation......

Throughout England, in the countryside, the villages, and the cities you will find beautiful Parish churches where families continue worship!  Though the number is much smaller now in modern times (just like in America) with worshipers, there are still a remnant of Believers who gather to worship on Sundays and holidays.  These Believers who gather, believe the Word found in the Bible in Joel 1:3 "Tell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, And their children another generation."  The knowledge of God is to be passed from generation to generation by instructing our children in the nature, character, and ways of God.  Thus trained, a deeper understanding of God's current move throughout the world and in their own personal lives comes ALIVE.  "Children are a heritage of the Lord!"  Psalm 127:3 These precious gifts are ours for such a short time and even shorter, the time we have to teach them! It is similar as a skilled teacher as on the university level. While in the university a professor teaches the next generation of students all he knows about science and biology as they hope to become doctors and nurses. In a similar way in early childhood, mothers and fathers are quietly teaching their Christian faith to children around the dinner table and perhaps taking them on walks through the woods and teaching one on one about nature and about the goodness of the living God!  This is what Christian parents know about God that "His ways are higher than ours". This is the way our children learn about God.  We teach them how God has taught us to trust Him in the ways of life.  We pray with our children and they learn prayer as a way of life by our example.  We set aside time to talk with our children as we walk by the way, as we ride in the car, or just set on the side of their bed with them at bedtime.  We calm their fears, we hug them, we pray with them and we share stories of our own lives,  we share laughter and we point them to the protective Hands of God.  We share how loving and caring for children honors God.  

My husband and I are in the Psalm 128 period of our married life.  We have been so blessed and now are seeing the labor of our hands and we are happy and humbled to see these truths in our children's lives.  We are now seeing our children's children and nothing gives us more joy than to see the next generation receiving what our own children have learned from our home and passing on in theirs.  There is no guarantee this will happen.  It is truly a work of grace when it does.  It has nothing to do really with us.....our role as parents and grandparents is to pass on the legacy of faith and continue to pray in building God's Kingdom.  Yes, to love and care for children, is one of the principal ways that we honor God and share in helping to build His Kingdom here on earth and into Eternity.  I am so thankful that God gave me the opportunity to share and to continue to share in this high calling of motherhood!  You see, when God gets a hold of the heart of parents, His nurturing heart in parents flows to the children.  Growing up is not something that He leaves to chance.  It is passed on from generation to generation.  God entrusts children to parents, allowing His own nurturing heart to flow through them to the children.  On this beautiful Sunday perhaps it is a good day for all of us to remember in a new and fresh way the importance of caring for children and grandchildren.  Everyday is a gift!!!!!
 This beautiful Parish church is in Stratford Upon Avon
This beautiful Church in Stratford Upon Avon is where William Shakespeare is buried.
Beautiful Parish Churches are at the Center of almost every town throughout Europe!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Details of Life....


There is so much to love and appreciate about the little details of life! So many of the things I enjoy in our home are gifts from my grandmother or little antique "finds" I cherish today. Decades ago I used to dream about my own home one day!  I inherited a true love of old things from one of my grandmothers.  She cherished her family.......but more importantly she cherished her own heritage and passed this on with stories and pictures to us.  The legacy of her labor of love in weaving these stories continues as I work to make my life one of value and of beauty and comfort for those who come into my home!  Our lives should be about keeping connected to family and friends that we love and LOVE being with.

My heart overflows with JOY when I can make someone else's sweeter and easier.  My small table is set above ready for a afternoon of good conversation, listening, and laughing!  Yes, lots of laughing!  Perhaps you enjoy sending a note of encouragement or a small gift just to let another know they are important in your life.  I know I truly love sending something through the mail that I hope will bring blessing to another!  It's a legacy we all can leave long after we are gone!  Fill someone's life with JOY and I promise your own will be more beautiful than you ever imagined!  Have a marvelous day!



Monday, September 8, 2014

Comfort.....

Recently, I gave one of my daughter's a beautiful book I have enjoyed entitled, INTERIOR WISDOM.  In reading it, one is reminded that a home reflects the state of the hearts who dwell there. I found it very inspiring and the photographs are beautiful! Our homes should be functional but they should also restore us from the trials of the day!  A calming home is a real gift!





I enjoy beautiful surroundings whether it be outdoors in nature or the comforts of home! I think most of us do enjoy our homes. Today, with all the amenities we have within in homes, we could live near someone, physically, for a long time and not truly know them even as our neighbors. People stay inside their homes so much now and social media makes it even more isolating for many. It's easy to become invisible to one another, less sensitive to those around us. My hope is that I never become that sort of person because when one does, they lose so much of the beautiful life that God intends for us to all enjoy! The Bible has many lessons about helping your family, your friends, and your neighbors. Seeing the invisible is the key to victorious praying and living. In our homes, we can be a blessing to others through prayer. God's simple call to pray for others is found in Jeremiah 33:3 where his instructions say, "Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." God will reveal through our calling out in prayer answers for our own personal needs and those around us who He desires us to be available for in friendship.

Lately, we have been very busy with the necessities of life. We are fortunate to be able to help our children in moving or relocating which three of them have accomplished over the summer months. Our help hasn't been so much physically with them as offering emotional support and praying for their transitions. Also we have continued to help my husbands mother in her transition from her home to assisted living. As I think about how rapidly life changes, the comfort found in our home is really a good investment today. Eating properly, exercise, and rest continue to be the comforts I cherish in my own personal life. Rest is something I want to focus more on because proper rest makes a person easier to "get along with" and more who God intended us to be. Times of refreshing are meant to be a gift from above! Acts 3:19 "....times of refreshing may come from the presence of The Lord." This calling to Him and being refreshed in Him is such a comforting place to dwell! So....look around your home, take note and clear away the distractions and make your home the sanctuary where the spirit of The Living God may dwell! It doesn't have to look like the beautiful bedrooms above, but seek to make your bedroom a place for rest! You will be surprised at what God will do! Take comfort in HIM! Have a blessed and beautiful Monday!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Thoughts on Leadership

Recently, I found a beautiful book entitled. To Bless the Space Between Us by John O'Donohue.  It is a book of blessings filled with poems which encourage and bless.  In it, I found a wonderful reminder about the honor of leadership.  Oh how we need good leaders!  Perhaps you are a leader and need a reminder of how a leader is able to bring blessing to others!  Maybe you lead from a table in a board room which is honorable but,  I think many of us lead from our homes around our kitchen table. May God bless you and encourage as you seek to become all HE has ordained for you whether at home or in an office!  Be blessed my friend!



FOR A LEADER 

May you have the grace and wisdom
To act kindly, learning
To distinguish between what is
Personal and what is not 

May you be hospitable to criticism.

May you never put yourself at the center of things.

May you act not from arrogance but out of service. 

May you work on yourself, 
Building up and refining the ways of your mind.

May those who work for you know 
You see and respect them.

May you learn to cultivate the art of presence
In order to engage with those who meet you.

When someone fails or disappoints you,
May the graciousness with with you engage 
Be their stairway to renewal and refinement.

May you treasure the gifts of the mind
Through reading and creative thinking
So that you continue as a servant of the frontier 
Where the new will draw its enrichment from the old, 
And you never become a functionary. 

May you have a mind that loves frontiers 
So that you can evoke the bright fields 
That lie beyond the view of the regular eye.

May you have good friends
To mirror your blind spots.

May leadership be for you 
A true adventure of growth.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thoughts on the Feminine Woman.......

I feel truly blessed that the good Lord saw fit to give me the gift of mothering four  daughters and one son.   These  sweet gifts are grown AND are now, 39, 37, 34, 31, and 28.  Each one continues to hold a special place in my heart and soul.  Daily, even though my time now with them is limited [because they are living their lives with their wonderful families].  I continue to pray for them and think of them.  What mother doesn't think of her child daily and it doesn't soften with the passing of time or distance.  It changes, but in a good way!  I am extremely proud of each one.  My husband and I together balanced rearing them throughout childhood and into adulthood.  Then we let go..........

As I think of our daughters, I think of their femininity and the lovely qualities that have emerged from their lives and the women they are and continue to become today.   How did and how does this happen?  Our investments in our children as their parents began with one decision. We desired TO BE with them as much as possible when they were growing up.  These daily acts of providing for their physical, emotional, spiritual and educational needs contributed to the whole and wonderful people they have become.  Other people invested in them as well to make them whole.  There is so much I could say about parenting, but I was thinking this morning about the beauty of a woman who is feminine.  Yes, I was a mother who taught my girls the beauty of being feminine. 

One of my most favorite books and one which was made years ago into a film is REBECCA!  There is a quote about REBECCA, the person,  who is mysterious and actually never seen in the book and film, only described as "The most beautiful creature ever seen".  Of course, this description was of her physical beauty.  As I think about beauty, I think of what it means in relation to being feminine.  There are all sorts of role models.....so, we have to be careful in where we look when we look for the woman we hope to become.  It is wise to think deeply about whose ideals you follow.  It is true, we must all choose our own paths.....this is good and this right and if you prayerfully ask for guidance for help in making wise choices, God will give it to you and me. 

By nature, I am a feminine woman.  I enjoy spending some time each day in quietness reading  and listening to God's words from the Bible. I talk with HIM in prayer and give HIM my burdens and my prayer request for my family and for others who have asked me to pray for them.  This helps me to empty myself of me......such a renewing action I am thankful to experience each day. I don't want to be the center of my life because GOD is the center of my life.  I have learned over many years that emptying ones self before God gives a JOY that radiates from the soul.   No amount of beauty cream, exercise, health food,  job, or education can provide what God wants us to have as a free gift! Trust me, I have learned this the hard way sometimes! :) We must choose wisely who we follow and how we lIve and love. Our faces will soften, our voices will soften, and our expectations will soften.  You can be a strong and feminine woman without being forceful and harsh.....qualities which are not feminine and just plainly not attractive in a woman.

In the Proverbs, in chapter thirty one, there is a beautiful passage about a virtuous wife.  I wish all young women could read this. It begins by asking a thoughtful question...."Who can find a virtuous wife?  For her worth is far above rubies."  It goes on and on about this industrious woman. She gives without expectation to the needy.  Her tongue is kind. Her children rise up and bless her.  Strength and honor are her clothing.   This beautiful woman has the feminine qualities as a mother,  I pray, continue to develop throughout the lives of my own daughters and.......even more importantly...... I pray they teach them to their own daughters so that the legacy of womanhood lives on as God intended.  It gives us something to think about......doesn't it?  Everyday, my friend, is a beautiful gift!  May you enjoy yours! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Restorative Friendship......

Beautiful words inspire me!  I love words! I find reading the words that others have written soothing and often beautiful.  Actions though always speak much louder than words.  I hope over the next three years to build a lovely new home with my husband for the next decade of our lives and beyond. Below is a small rendering of what I am hoping we can do!  I want our home to be a place where others know they are loved and welcomed.  I want our home to be a place where others are restored and loved fully.....sort of a place for restorative friendships!  Waiting is the hard part.....but it will be worth it!  There is a time and season for everything in life!


Restorative Friendship:  this kind of loving restorative friendship is rare but it is the kind of friend we all should strive to be.  In the film, Chocolat, an outsider enters a beautiful French village and opens a shop with her meager funds. She wasn't a religious person so she was gossiped about in the little village where church was more of a ritual and a social event. I find her situation so sad mainly because my faith is so important in my own life. We must be about the business in our faith of loving others....truly! In life, talk does little to refresh one's spirit. Unconditional love seems to be the answer. Her little shop became a haven for the unloved and wounded in spirit.  She used the resources that she had, though meager, to accept, love, and repair what had been broken in others.  It worked!  The entire little village was changed because of her choice to act instead of just talk.  Oh, how I pray we can leave our own selves for a short while and act on behalf of those who are hurting.  If we could.........the world would be a more wonderful place! Love someone today without any expectations and trust God's power to change the situation!  Everyday is a gift!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Becoming a LADY



When I was growing up, we spent a great deal of time at both of our grandmother's homes  I understand now that I am older exactly why!  My mother was quiet young when we were born and  sadly I know now, we were not all that treasured.  It's okay and there were blessings everyday because I learned so much from  the time I spent with my grandmothers.  I learned from my paternal grandmother how loving a mother could be to her child.  From my maternal grandmother I learned the values of an education and a university degree.  I also was taught by this same grandmother how to be a lady. She had high expectations for us and daily instilled them in us.

Thinking about this now, I understand that becoming a lady is a learning process just like being a gentleman.  These qualities are taught, over and over again by parents who desire this for their child or children.  You could say, a mom and a dad just have to STICK with the hard lessons of  teaching manners, respect for others, respect for nature, love of our nation, and respect for God.  These qualities are fading today  and sadly fading even among adults.  Elegance defines a true lady and this usually appears quiet fast when you meet a lady because she rarely speaks negatively of others.  Her integrity is apparent.  Her relationships are personal and private and she speaks of her interest, rather than people.  A lady always shines! Always!

Manners are so closely connected to our actions.  My advice for the day.......... Be genuine, be real, be loving, be kind and........always be a little mysterious! Yes, mysterious....that for sure is the mark of an elegant and beautiful lady!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Living Room



Living Rooms are the home's most public room and the place where you and your family are most comfortable.  In the past, many homes had a formal living room and a more informal family room.  Today, this trend has changed and instead of two rooms the one living room is larger.  I still have a small living room, which is peaceful and enjoyable to use with a wide opening so it's feel is not so formal.  It's decor is very French....of course! 

In our main living room, the furnishings are larger and the room is used for many different activities. Separate spaces are used for reading, writing, watching television, and just relaxing.  It is linked in style to the more Formal sitting room but more spacious and not as many antiques. Homes are more inviting when they are uncluttered. When someone visits me, I want the focus to be on our time together not on all the collections or decor  found in my home. 

One of my favorite designers, Josephine Ryan, has a lovely book I have mentioned before called simply, FRENCH  HOME.  In the book, she shares many photographs of  her simple style and gives wonderful advice on how to pull a room together.   I have always said and she says this as well, invest in one good piece and build your room around it.  In the photo above, the French chair and ottoman were purchased eighteen years ago and still looks good.  I have never changed the fabric. A quality piece of furniture always is a good idea! 

In my home, I want people to sense that The Lord is welcome in my home.  JEHOVAH NISSI, which means The Lord our Banner.  His is the standard I hope to live by and be filled with.  It is His cause and His Victory for which I live!  

Psalm 20:5. "We will sing for joy over your victory,  and in the name of our God we will set up our banners, may The Lord fulfill all your petitions."  Yes, May JEHOVAH NISSI be welcome and may our home be a beautiful place for prayer and for TRUTH!  Have a beautiful Sunday! 


Monday, July 21, 2014

Stourhead: The Home and Gardens

 The Palladian Mansion
 The View of the estate from the entrance


Stourhead Landscape Gardens 

 The Palladian Bridge
 
 The Gothic Cottage

England is a living piece of art and an old, old country filled to the brim with beauty!  Just a little over three years ago, I visited England for the first time and have been back each year since, for a total of three times. I feel blessed that my wonderful son in law, Philip, has such a rich British heritage and many of the places I have visited, he has driven me....very patiently as I asked him to stop so I could snap a photo! He drove on tiny one lane roads to show me villages that are in fairytales....or so it seems.  There is still so much I hope to still see and experience in other visits. One of my favorite experiences in my travels there has been visiting homes and gardens of The National Trust of England.  The National Trust is a registered charity and is independent of the British government and was founded in 1895 to preserve places of historic interest or natural beauty permanently for the benefit of the nation.  The national trust relies on the generosity of its supporters, through membership subscriptions, gifts, legacies and the contribution of many thousands of volunteers. There are over 300 historic houses and gardens.

I was invited by my daughter's husbands grandparents, who are British citizens and hold a membership in The National Trust to tour the beautiful Stourhead Landscape Gardens.  I was enthralled by its beauty, a true paradise!  We visited on a beautiful spring day and walked the gardens around the beautiful clear lake which is tastefully surrounded by classical and Gothic buildings set against wooded slopes.  From the beginning, I was in love! It is such a well designed landscape garden full of formal and native plantings and well maintained today as a park like setting around a fourteen acre lake. It's hard to believe that it was one man's vision.

The entire Stourhead estate consist of 2,650 acres at the source of the River Stour near Mere, Wiltshire, England. On our visit, we arrived by car and the winding roads which take you to the entrance seem to have a way of drawing visitors in..... immediately!  The vast beauty of the setting and the landscape attracts visitors daily.  This past Spring when I visited England again, I wanted to visit the beautiful Palladian mansion on this visit as well as the gardens. I was not disappointed!  The history of Stourhead manor house is just as interesting as the gardens. The original estate is 800 years old and passed from the original family, the Barons of Stourton, to Sir Thomas Meres in 1714 and he sold it to Henry Hoare i in 1717.  The original manor house was demolished and new house was build in 1725.  Over the next 200 years the Hoare family collected many heirlooms, a library of books, and an art collection.  In 1902 the house was gutted by fire but many of the collections were saved.  The house was rebuilt but in 1946 the only remaining son gave the home to the National Trust. On our visit, the house seemed neglected and in need of paint and restoration in comparision to other National Trust homes I had visited, but still the beauty of its setting and the beautiful antiques were interesting. Once I understood about the loss due to the fire and the early death of the last owner, I understood more and appreciated its place in the history of Stourhead and Wiltshire.  On the day of our visit, volunteers were cataloging the antique books in the library. They wore gloves in order to preserve the delicate papers of the volumes and volumes of books.  It was as though they understood they were being entrusted with a valuable piece of history. They spoke quietly among each other with their findings as we watched in awe. These volunteers are another resource that makes England so very special. British people love their country and their heritage in honored by one another and those of us who appreciate the joy of visiting.

These beautiful estates scattered all over England are well worth a visit if you plan a trip abroad. The city of London is beautiful and rich in history and modern as well however..... it's in getting out to the countryside that one truly sees England and its history. It is beautiful. indeed!!!

If you've seen the 2005 period film Pride and Prejudice then you've seen some of Stourhead.  The Temple of Apollo which stands high on a hill at the western end of the garden is where Mr. Darcy declares his love for Lizzy.  The Palladian Bridge is where Lizzie runs in the scene hoping to run away from her fear that she is falling in love with Mr. Darcy.  

Stourhead is to be enjoyed over and over again!
 The Temple of Apollo
 Beautiful hybrid rhododendrons fill the landscape planted in the
20th Century!
 The gorgeous 14 acre lake!