Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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Peaceful Focus


“Focusing is about saying No.” -Steve Jobs

Saying “No,” marks a boundary, making space for what you desire to create, and even though it hurts to reject a person or an idea, protecting that space will result in momentum toward your goal.

For example, this last year as I was teaching middle school English, I had to say “No,” to hanging out with friends on Sunday night because I had to mentally prepare to be ready to teach. In order to be focused, my No helped!

Being able to say no eliminates distractions.

-Mary Hope

Copyright 2017


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Picking Maryland Crab

We are visiting friends in Maryland right now, and they treated us is freshly boiled crab with bay spice. Here’s the process:

First cover the table with brown paper, and get the wooden hammers ready to whacking the claws:

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Dandelions & Violets Remind Me of My Grandma Winnie

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I love the cheerful “lioness” of dandelions. I know a lot of people hate the pesky flowers that voluntarily sprout in their lawns, but I grew up in the country where we did not need to pull them up; that means I like popping off their heads and blowing the wispy seedpods to spread their seeds.

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Opening Letters Written Ten Years Ago

The John Hancock Building in the Clouds

What would your “ten years younger self” say to you today? Well, I got to find out. Ten years ago I was finishing college, unmarried, full of dreams, and I had two great friends named Tiffany and Chelsea. We decided to write letters to ourselves and to each other that we would open in ten years—the date we chose was March 24th, 2017.
The letter idea came after a fun night of food at the Loring Pasta Bar in Minneapolis, and then we went to the 9th floor of the Guthrie Theatre to write letters to the person we would be in ten years… A month later we decided to write letters to each other as well to open on March 24th, 2017.


Every year or two over the last ten years, Tiff or Chels would mention “March 24th, 2017!” and we would smile and dream. Time moved faster and faster, and we arrived on the awaited date last month. We had thought we would meet in Minneapolis, but none of us lived there anymore, so we met in Chicago where two of us live, and Chelsea drove over her from Iowa to visit her Dad and us.

 


We moved on from the 9th floor of the Guthrie Theatre (“our” cool spot ten years ago) to the 96th floor of the John Hancock building (that is 87 stories taller!) At the Signature Lounge, we got a table, talked, and then pulled out our ten year old letters! Between us we had moved almost 20 times, but we all protected our letters (by keeping them with important papers). We decided to read each of the letters out loud, and the resulting inspiration, joy, and gratitude surprised me. It felt like we had church up there in that lounge. The words we had written to each other were still true–the encouragement, love, and kindness expressed through those letters was timeless.


Each of us have grown and matured, and many of our dreams that we wrote about in our letters have come to pass. We are not as starry-eyed and idealistic as we were in our twenties, but the faith we expressed in those letters is inspiring and nudges me to continue growing in my faith! We cried, hugged, and ate lots of food while talking about what we had written.

We have written new letters to open on March 24th, 2027, and who knows what will happen in THESE ten years?

~Mary Hope
P. S. The notecards I used to write my new letters are from Trees of Transition Cards:  Photo Greeting Cards
P. S. S. If you want to see more about Chicago Architecture, such as the John Hancock Building check out:

Copyright 2017


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A Study of the Transitions of Blue


The sky’s shade of blue is always transitioning; when there are clouds, the blue is mixed with white. When the skies clear, the blue is so solid and majestic. My favorite time to enjoy a solid blue sky is in the middle of winter when the blue is so deep it is the color of light blueberries. 
Another kind of blue I love is when water reflects the sky. Especially if there is a wind, the water has much more flecked and textured shade of blue. The blue is a mixture of light and dark depending on how the wind is blowing. 
On my run this morning, I get to see both kinds of blue: the textured blue of the water and the white and blue mixture of sky, and it is transferring a lot of peace to my heart. Have a great day!
-Mary Hope
Copyright 2017