Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.

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Patterns from Looking Up

Ceilings–here’s one that is old and one that is new–sometimes have such intricate patterns. A coworker has been bringing in flowers to brighten up our area, and they have made me so happy this week! The flowers against the new drop ceiling made a peaceful pattern to enjoy this week.

Have a peaceful Friday.

-Mary Hope

Copyright 2016


Mrs. Holverson’s Fresh Strawberry Pie

Twenty years ago, when I was a teenager, Mrs. Holverson served this pie at a pool party birthday celebration for her daughter, Amy. I loved the pie, so I asked how she made it. She gave me enough directions to know how to make it; I wrote it down in a little cookbook, and I pulled it out when I had a lot of strawberries yesterday. This pie still is amazing!
One more funny thing about that pool party: Mrs. Holverson let all of us girls know that if we wanted to pick strawberries, we could. So for the second half of the party, instead of playing in the pool, I picked a whole flat of strawberries, and then made pie when I got home!

The Recipe:

1 baked 9″ pie shell
4 cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup crushed strawberries
2/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 Tblsp. cornstarch
1 Tblsp. lemon juice
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Two Tips: How to Find Lively, Interesting Writers on WordPress


Did you know you can watch the feed of what is getting published right now on WordPress? It’s under the “What’s Hot” section and the tab is called “Latest.” Did you know that each day there are several fellow bloggers who have the top blog on WordPress? We choose the top blog by reading it the most, but WordPress shows it to us. These two features have lead me to many intriguing bloggers and blog posts.

To find this fountain of interesting information, go to the WP Admin page, and look toward the bottom for the “What’s Hot” section. There you will see the tabs of top blog, top posts, and latest (blog posts being published).

Where do your readers come from? I have a few friends and family reading my blog, but many of those of you who post, like, and read my blog are people I have never met. I’ve connected with you through finding your blog under a certain tag, seeing an interesting comment you’ve posted, or I’ve found you through the WordPress “Latest” feed.

Be wise about what you click on because there are people who are posting degrading material, so a good rule of thumb for me is “Would I like to show this to my Mom?” If a post’s title makes you curious or hopeful, or hungry, click away.

Also, you might come across sad or desperate posts…there is so much life happening in each writer who blogs here. I’ve read posts written after break-ups or when very depressed. I try to post something hopeful on their wall, if they allow it.

Here are some examples of some what I found over the last week:

Friday, 3/6 I met: A Woman Blessed

The blog, A Woman Blessed, has beautiful, hopeful thoughts even though the author is passing through a very hard time over the past few months after her husband passing away.

Monday, 3/9 I came across: Girl Meets Herself

She has a lively way with words that make you interested and want to read more of her writing.

You can also see great posts by looking at the Top Posts of the day. Today one of the top posts is called “387 hours” (See: Baby Pragel).

A Mom with a tender little girl shared her joy that her daughter, beating the odds, has lived that many hours.

Wednesday, 3/11 This top post blogger drew me in: Blaise Foret

His unpacking of unhealthy religion helped me understand deeper some of the experiences I have gone through. Fear-driven organizations damage people. His most recent blog post is full of hope in the midst of him telling his tough story.

The top posts tend to be very emotional and inspiring or at least thought-provoking.

The latest posts show you who is publishing posts right now. I’ve come across writers who just started their blogs, so it has been neat to encourage them or follow them.

I hope you find some new friends, deeper inspiration, and encouragement from looking occasionally at the “Latest” tab; it’s like going on a miniature adventure!


~M. H. Campbell

Copyright 2015






Jess Gelso Andres Reminder…Missing Her Laugh…


This week a person I worked with on her writing reminded me of my friend Jess. Jess passed away in November of 2013, and the piece I wrote about her has been read by people all over the world (find it here: Writing that piece about her helped me process the suddenness of her passing. I now need to process a bit more of missing Jess.
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Friendship Failure? Part 2: God Even Uses Fortune Cookies!


Last night I opened the fortune cookies my parents and I had received at a Chinese restaurant earlier that day, and God used those silly slips of paper to encourage me! It’s time to strengthen the friendships I have and make more. There might even be some spicy conversations!

By M. H. Campbell

Copyright 2015


Friendship Failure…or Just a Transition? Part 1


Are you a failure if the person you had your first deep friendship with seems to be ending or just be surface-level now? Many people first experience this during high school or college time, but I’m wrestling with it now. My heart has been struggling with it for a while, but the answer is getting clearer this week: No, I am not a failure in friendship—it is just a transition time.

This is a transition time in this friendship. We’ve both changed a lot since college, and sometimes those changes cause people to part ways. I don’t know what will happen with this relationship; I have sadness mixed with hope.

One stressor that hurt our friendship was my desire to be in charge of the relationship. A few years ago I was just starting to learn about my control issues. (When you are learning about how to deal with control, there will be some relationships that are damaged; I wish it wasn’t the case, but this is how it happened for me.) Part of what hurts me is that I didn’t know I was hurting her at the time; she did not choose to tell me until months later. I wish she could have been more honest with me; that is part of what stings. I forgive her.

My control issues damaged this friendship, but the experience exposed them as well. I do not want to lose more loving friends, so the pain of a hurt friendship has taught me that control is not worth it. I’m learning to trust people deeper, thus freeing them to be themselves. I don’t have to try to control them to protect myself; I may get hurt this way, but the peace of letting people be who they are is so worth it.

The pain kept surfacing when I would reach out to this friend and hardly get a response. In order to heal, this week I’ve had to decide to let just relax and let this friend be where she is at. A friendship grows because two people are watering it, and if this friend is too busy or doesn’t want to be friends anymore, I can let her choose that. I can let her be who she is now, and I will be who I am. I can reach out once in a while, but let her choose if she wants to go deeper again or not.

When I realized that she had been one of my closest friends, but that may have not been the case on her part–that hurt. I can feel the pain, process it, and so it won’t bubble up every time I think of her. I can let go of the pain, forgive myself for damaging the friendship, but also realize we both have a choice here. I would love to be friends with her like we used to be, but she doesn’t seem to want to, so I can let her go! I can enjoy the memories of all the fun we had together.

The healing is sinking deeper. There are many other wonderful people who DO want to be my friends; she was my first deeper friend, but she is far from my last.

By M. H. Campbell

Copyright 2015

P.S. See Part 2 for a fun encouragement that came after I wrote this yesterday!


Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!


This is the Thanksgiving centerpiece I designed for our table. 🙂
I’m thankful for flowers, family, and friends (including those of you reading this.)

By M. H. Campbell Copyright 2014

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Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

Mary’s Version:

6 cups chicken broth
The peel off of half a lemon-cut into about four strips
1 Tblsp. lime zest
1/4 c. lime juice (one lime’s worth)
3 Tblsp. fresh ginger, peeled and cut into tiny cubes

1 1/2 c. cooked chicken
10 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced

1 (13 oz.) can coconut milk
2 Tblsp. fish sauce
1 Tblsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt–add more if needed

Chopped cilantro and cooked rice to serve along side the soup

Bring the broth to a boil and add the lemon, lime zest, lime juice, and ginger, and summer for 10 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Add the chicken and mushrooms and continue simmering for 25 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil, remove the lemon peel, and then serve with rice, topped with cilantro.

Serves 4.

Created October 23rd, 2014 roughly based off of recipe by Long Grain on


Photo by M. H. Campbell at the start of soup preparation.

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Coffee Shop Quartet of Conversations

It amazes me what connections happen if you’re open and just start conversations! Last week I walked into a local coffee shop, ordered a mulled cider with whipped cream, and found a satisfying corner in which to read and write. I made great progress reading a helpful book called The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People, then a stylish gal sat down on the couch across from me.

When she tried to figure out where the plug was for her phone in a case with 1/2-inch rivets, I helped her, and then we started talking about her phone case. That conversation led to talking about why she was here: to surprise her sister because it was Canadian Thanksgiving last weekend.

This lady with 4-inch heels, Tamara, loves horses, her five sisters, and knows over five languages. After a while, a guy with a cane who had lost his hearing aides came and sat down in our cove. He introduced himself as Peter, and we all talked about the weather.

Finally, Tamara’s brother-in-law came back and surprised his wife and daughter with their aunt! We all introduced ourselves and talked a bit.
The family eventually moved where there was more space, Peter told me about how going into the military is a good career choice, and then he had to get home, so my cove cleared out. Tamara came back to get her studded phone and said good-bye.

I’m so thankful we started talking! The care and life of the conversations just kept growing as more people arrived. A seventy-year old man grinned at the one-year old niece, and she laughed back. The sisters hugged and were so happy to be together.

The generations need to interact because it reminds us where we have been or where we are going. The smiles, stories, and hugs release life, and so now I’m more open and eager to have this kind of inter-generational experience again! All you need to do is find a corner in a coffee shop and start a conversation…