Christmas Creeping In

Merry Christmas Week! 🎁🎄

Clan Campbell is definitely operating on the “Twelve Days of Christmas” scenario this year: Christmas is creeping softly and quietly into our homes and hearts, instead of landing with a splash of decorating splendor all in one day. Frankly, the idea of advance prep and making the season begin with Christmas Day and skip along through the next couple of weeks in acts of mercy and little kindnesses is charmingly appealing to me just now. Continue reading “Christmas Creeping In”

The Secret Things

“When the USAF moves the date of your daughter’s fiancĂ©’s assignment to a week BEFORE the wedding, what do you do? Why, move the wedding up three weeks, of course!  ‱ “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.” Psalms 126:3

“Q7. What are the decrees of God? A. The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.” #rejoiceinthelordalways “

Continue reading “The Secret Things”

Where Victor Hugo Walked

Many of you know that we have been able to visit our daughter, Meg, and her husband at their home in Germany this summer.

Because we stayed with them in their spacious and lovely home, we were able to travel to many different cities, and even countries, as they were 30 minutes from several Castles, an hour from Luxembourg and France,  and just a few hours from Switzerland, Belgium and many parts of Germany.

Here at the end of our journey, I am going to tell it to you as I read CS Lewis’s  “Space Trilogy” for the first time: back to front!

We are well into our last weekend here, so the first thing I will tell you is about Friday in what is now one of my favorite cities: Koblenz.

30 minutes from their home is Koblenz-Altstadt (Olde Towne), at the confluence of those two magnificent and historic rivers, the Rhein (Rhine) and the Mösel (Moselle)!

Victor Hugo, author of “Les MisĂ©rables”, wrote so lovingly of this area, and its thousands of years of history is overwhelming, like a tympani drum beating incessantly.

After a quick lunch at the house, we made the beautiful drive to Koblenz (in 2 cars- not too many SUVs over here) and found an underground parking garage with two matchbox car-sized spaces next to each other!


I am getting used to popping out of some underground parking lot into a beautiful, historic an interesting place,   but I was not prepared for what I saw in Koblenz!

Right in front of us was a square, in the middle of which was a beautiful fountain in the shape of a sculptured column 10 meters high or so. The bottom of it was a pool, of course, but at the base of the column was a boat with amazing figures in it. Above that were carved scenes from Roman,  medieval and early modern times! Exquisite.

The next Square was home to a church and school of beautiful construction, with a large statue of Joseph MĂŒller in the middle. It was surrounded by lovely shops, and one side was the Altstadt Hotel and CafĂ©. We noted that and pressed up the hill, stopping and the Oxford Shop, full of beautiful classic clothes and accessories. We enjoyed looking at all of the Oxford paraphernalia and the old maps of the school, and Aaron left with a Campbell plaid umbrella worthy of his recent promotion.

Walking along the Moselle (Mösel) River, we reached the “Deutsches Eck” – the German Corner. This glorious spot is the beautiful confluence of the Moselle with the Mighty Rhine (Rhein), with river cruise boats, sidewalk CafĂ©s and a cable car across the Rhine to the Burg (Fortress).

Atop a base of immense proportions, straddling the confluence peninsula, was a statue of Kaiser Wilhelm on horseback that can only be described as, well, HUGE.

Did I mention that the horse had wings?

Another hour of strolling, talking to locals and to each other, some amazing gelato, and tea on the hotel patio, then we headed back.

Ute, their landlady, had accompanied us to Koblenz and was a sublime guide. She agreed to come for dinner, also.  Meg quickly put together an impromptu dinner party. When Ute returned, she brought boxes of letters and pictures of her family members, mostly from World War II Germany.

After a lovely dinner, with Meg’s delicious Spicy Alfredo Chicken and a salad with CĂąprese topping, we sat in the living room and talked and listened to those tales from the other side of the Maginot Line.

Some had fought on the Eastern Front and were Russian POWs, not released until 1954. Another was injured, taken to hospital and able to run away and escape the dreadful Nazi regime for a time.

As so often happened during this trip, we left with a more complex understanding and appreciation for those whom God had placed in our path.

In the coming weeks I will bring you tales from Frankfurt to France, from Munich to Metz, from Lauterbrunnen to Luxembourg.

My favorite place?
Meg’s kitchen table.

With kindest regards,


Mother’s Day + Free Shipping! Check out my favorite new blog!

Tread lightly up these ancient steps and enter the beautiful, artistic world of curated small shops of South Carolina and beyond.

Ivy & Branch is a terrific new South Carolina Artist and Artisan feature blog just launched by my savvy young friend Maris Mabry! Maris highlights local businesses: storefront, cottage and online shops and artists near her home in Upcountry South Carolina.

This “Mother” print might be perfect for Mother’s Day …or just because she’s all that! On Etsy here.







Free shipping through Mother’s Day (May 14, 2017) with the coupon code found in the Grace Under Pressure segment of the latest post on the fabulous Ivy & Branch! (Look carefully for the code – hint: caption)

Trivia: both my Etsy shop and that of my daughter, now living in Germany, have been featured.

Meg’s “Courage, Dear Heart” was used for a print to raise funds to put on the World Premiere of the stage version of C. S. Lewis’s “Prince Caspian”!

So, hop to it if you want free shipping before Mother’s Day on gifts for Mothers, Dads and Grads!

With kindest regards,


10 Verses from Robert Browning to Give Depth to Your Day

This week, while visiting my mother-in-law, she happened to have a medical appointment. I drove her in, for the comfort and the company, and so overheard her, when spelling the name of her doctor to the receptionist, mention the name of a certain poem which contained it.

I had never heard of it, and while she continued to check in I looked it up. It was lovely, and the meter, analyzed below in the comments by Martin Garrett,  commanded me as I read the poem aloud to her as we waited.

Continue reading “10 Verses from Robert Browning to Give Depth to Your Day”

The One Thing Worth Doing…Badly.

Love something – music, art, writing, gardening? Then DO IT.

Even if you do it badly.

Do life. Even if you do it badly.

The things worth doing in life – the beautiful, good and true which enrich it – are worth doing for the beauty, the serenity, the heavenly-ness which they bring to our lives and to the lives of others, even if you are, well, never very, very good. Continue reading “The One Thing Worth Doing…Badly.”

2 Thoughts on Work and Worth

Rainbow Row“, just completed! Prints available on Etsy.

Je travaille…. non! ????? {I am (not) working!}

Lettering and painting and for filling Etsy orders might be “work”, because I sometimes get paid for it, but that does not make cleaning, cooking, shopping, counseling, hostessing, reading/researching and gardening…

…any less “work”.

Nor less pleasurable. Continue reading “2 Thoughts on Work and Worth”