Trees of Transition

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


How Does Generosity Make You Feel?

My forehead tensed up as I saw the homeless man alongside of the road where I was going to have to stop at a stoplight. My mind raced. I sized up the older man clothed in a big jacket against the Minnesota cold holding a cardboard sign. I looked over at him as I pulled to a stop. He didn’t even look at me.

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Book Review: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand


What happens when you connect a Pakistani lady with a proper English Major? There’s some chaos, lots of sweetness, and people learn more about cross-cultural communication.

I pulled Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand: A Novel by Helen Simonson off the lending library in our apartment complex and enjoyed reading it in small portions each night! This light fiction book combines charming English countryside with a dash of drama and the conflict that happens when people are learning how to understand each other across cultures.

Mrs. Ali and Major Pettigrew lived in the same town for years, but didn’t get to know each other until they both had lost spouses and now the Major suddenly lost his brother. Mrs. Ali can relate to him with his grappling with loss, and she even loves books as much or even more than he does.

They start to fall in love, but the other people in the town and even the Major’s only son aren’t so sure.

Add in the Major’s obsession about a pair of Churchill shooting guns that were his father’s and had passed down to his brother and himself, and now that his brother has passed, he wants to reunite the guns. He has to navigate different family member’s opinions…and then all of these threads of story unite into a sweet tale.

I wasn’t completely sold on this book when I started reading it, but Helen Simonson pulled me into the countryside, empathizing with the characters, and made me feel in the middle of the story. She even made me laugh with a ridiculous fight scene, and she wraps up the story in a satisfying way. If you want a light book that deals with the issues of real life, check out Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand: A Novel. I stayed up late reading a few nights, and I’m still getting up a few times a night with a baby! Find a copy for yourself here:

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand: A Novel

~Mary Hope


Copyright 2018

P.S. Thank you for stopping by! I insert affiliate links, such as from  Amazon, into my posts to share interesting books and products. If you buy something or start a registry, I receive income (at no extra cost to you!), for which I am thankful. So…..

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card/notecard/art shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

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Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope

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We Sold Our House!! (Good-bye Musings About 1064 Windsor Drive)

This morning my husband called me to say, “Everything is going through,” that means, our house is sold!! The relief that we won’t have to pay a mortgage payment and a rent payment in a couple days is still settling in…

What have we learned from this experience?

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Buttery Dutch Apple Pie 🥧

Things are changing around here…we finally sold our house in Illinois, so that means we can return our borrowed couch to Stephen’s cousin and bring the rest of our furniture back to our apartment! To thank said cousin for letting us use his couch, I whipped up an apple pie for him (and one for us.)

With life whizzing past, it helps to just sit down with a piece of pie and savor the spicy apple-ness. Pie helps transitions become sweeter. Apple pie just brings comfort. Enjoy! Continue reading


Celebrating Five Years of Blogging!

Stephen and Mary.6.23.18

Our wonderful sister-in-law, Lindsey of Triple Lux Photography, took this photo of Stephen and me this summer!

I knew there was something special about today’s date: August 7th… but I didn’t figure out what it was until WordPress reminded me of it: Today is my 5th Blogaversary! I’ve had this blog for five whole years already. Thank you for reading, commenting, sharing, and growing with me.

Five years ago I had just went through my first serious breakup, and I needed something new in my life, so I finally just launched my blog. This blog is a place where I share thoughts and advice on transitioning well through life, and I have had SO MANY wonderful (and some painful) transitions through these five years:

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What Can Be Done to Make Momma Happy?

My son was looking at my copy of this book a few weeks ago…he wanted to chew the corners.

As a child, when my Mom was happy, I knew it—her face relaxed, she smiled, and she talked a lot more; I could relax then. When she was perturbed, I got nervous and scared. At breakfast, I remember looking at my Mom’s face to see how she was doing that day.

A mother at peace is like a bright lighthouse shining across the waves. What makes mothers happy? Is there a secret to staying peaceful? I don’t think there’s just one secret, there’s actually a bunch of habits mothers can do to grow peace in their hearts, which comes out of their eyes, into their children, and everyone who walks by.

A book that has helped me grow in peace and confidence as a Mom is The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity by Dr. Meg Meeker. Dr. Meeker, as a pediatrician, has met hundreds of moms and has distilled traits she has seen in happy mothers. Continue reading

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The Transition of Spring

A few weeks ago my sister and I, with our kids, explored a botanical garden in Illinois, and here are a few of the first flowers blooming there! The weather was nice and warm (I didn’t bring a sweater for myself), but then part way through our visit, the wind changed, and the temperature Continue reading