You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘rainbows’ tag.

This time of year, I feel a little like Dorothy living in Kansas at the beginning of the Wizard of Oz. My dreams may be in living color, but the reality of wintertime in Iowa is cold, black and white.

Yellow - Brick Road

Starting in November, the vibrant greens, pinks, blues purples, and yellows of summer, and the brilliant reds and oranges of autumn are gradually replaced by a monochromatic palette of browns, grays, blacks, and whites. By the time January rolls around, the view outside my window is white, white and more white. Winter snow, fog, ice, and overcast skies dominate the landscape until late February – if we’re lucky, late April if we’re not.

From camera December 2015 011.jpg

A friend of mine who’s an artist has tried to convince me that there are subtle shades of pink, blue and lavender lurking behind the obvious in my all-white, wintertime world. But hard as I try to see past the stark glare and focus on the subtle intricacies of white, I still miss color.

From camera December 2015 025

 

I survive wintertime by surrounding myself with colorful images – bright foods, cheery Christmas and Valentine decorations, perky clothes, jewelry and hats, and photo collages from summertime vacation and events. I keep watch for the occasional breathtaking sunrise or sunset. And I write.

Pictures from phone 9Sept2015 006

Like Dorothy, I dream of far off places. I imagine colorful characters and places and things. I type black words on a white screen and with those words, create worlds where it’s springtime, where flowers are blooming and the sunshine is golden and warm.

Ely - roses

 

 

Like Dorothy, I love my family. I choose to live where it’s cold and white for several months of the year because there’s no place like home. But in my mind’s eye, I’ll take some color, please. True colors – bright, vivid pinks, blues, and purples to start. Green and yellow sound just peachy, too – don’t you think?

From camera December 2015 007

 

 

So until springtime comes, happy winter to all – you can find me and my imagination hanging somewhere over the rainbow, at least until May.

Sporing - bluebells

My books aren’t written about the most earth-shattering events. When you read one of my books, you can be fairly certain that the world isn’t going to end in 24 hours. Life as we know it isn’t going to cease to exist. Murders – at least of anyone you dearly love – aren’t likely and extreme violence is rare. But my characters do learn and grow from the world around them, be it a sleepy little town in the heartland where everybody knows way too much about everybody else, the coldest place in the USA, or a quaint village in Scotland or Denmark. My characters are smart, savvy, and intuitive, They know how to figure things out and make the best of a bad situation. Sometimes it takes them awhile, but in the end, there’s always an ah-ha moment, a reawakening, an eyes-open-wide experience when they finally get it.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]  Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]

Last night, I spoke about my latest books, Thistle Down and Wild Rose, at the library in Hudson, Iowa, where my husband is a pastor. We had only a small crowd, but my photo journey of Scotland on the big screen was well received, the caramel shortbread disappeared very quickly, and I sold 7 books. More importantly, it was good for me to get my slides and my impressions of Scotland organized in to a nice presentation, since my next two books will be set in Tobermory (Blue Belle) and on the Isle of Skye (Shy Violet). If anyone wants a speaker for their library or group, let me know! I’m all set now, as well as being inspired to start working on my Wildflowers of Scotland novels again.

Here’s part of what I spoke about – lessons learned while traveling in Scotland:

1. Don’t stay inside and miss out just because it’s raining a little.

Image

I’m not recommending that you venture out in a hurricane to see what’s up or become a storm chaser in tornado alley, or go looking for your cows in the middle of a raging blizzard, but so many people miss out on so many opportunities because it’s a little windy or overcast or too hot outside. The day we had designated for golfing St. Andrews, visiting the beautiful gardens on nearby Cambo Estates, and hiking down to the sea on the garden path, was alternately drizzly, and downright sopping wet. Between the 7th and 8th holes of the famous golf course, my husband was so wet that he ducked into the men’s room at the clubhouse, took off his shirt, and crouched under the hand dryer to take the chill off. Would he have missed the probably once in a lifetime chance to golf St. Andrews so he could stay warm and cozy? No way.

Image

Mark’s sister, Becky and I donned floppy hats and vinyl rain gear, shielded our cameras with a sheet of plastic and slipped at slid over the muddy paths that wound through the walled garden and down to the sea at Cambo Estates.

191 Scotland - Cambo gardensSea2

Were we sorry? No. In fact, here’s another lesson learned.

Image

2. Colors are brighter on cloudy days and raindrops on roses are one of my favorite things.

Image

3. When your life appears to be crumbling around you and everything’s in ruins, there’s still beauty to be found. (On the beach at St. Andrews.)

203 Scotland St. Andrews

4. When everything around you feels sad and gray, add a splash of color to the mix and everything will look brighter.

173 Scotland House Blue Door

5. Keep looking up! There’s always a rainbow after the storm.

135 Scotland - Rainbow 5

6. Even the most nondescript things in life look better if you plant a few flowers.

166 Scotland Window boxes

7. Find balance wherever you can. It helps.

205 Scotland - House1

8.  Be thankful for what you have.

209 Scotland - Street in Luss

While I was oohing and aahing over their little stone cottages and thinking they were like something straight out of the pages of a story book, the Scots were loving the photos of my Victorian B&B and saying it looked straight from the pages of a fairy tale.

169 Scotland -- B&B

9. Never judge a book by it’s cover, or a house by it’s formidable exterior. There’s probably something nice and cozy waiting for you inside.

171 Scotland - KirktonBarns.Parlor

10. No matter how impossible the path ahead looks, there is always a way through the mountains – or over whatever’s blocking your way .

199 Scotland - Mountains  195 Scotland Moat  91 Fence - ladder

11. Bloom where you’re planted.

201 Scotland -- Fence

12. Sometimes you have to dig your heels in and be tenacious. If you think you can do it, you probably can.

197 Scotland - Flowers in Stone

13. The road may seem narrow, but there’s always enough room to get where you need to go – somehow.

207 Scotland - Street in Tarbet

14. Pay attention to the little details. All information is useful, and bound to come in handy one day.

13 Scotland - Band in Kilts

15. Keep looking up. (This one bears repeating.) Often, what you see will point you in the direction you need to go.

217 Scotland - Celtic Cross1

Long ago, as 2008 was turning to 2009, I wrote a piece on the color rose for a group at Gather.com called Rainbow Connections.

IMG_8828IMG_8691EntrywayIMG_9272

The group was born out of my love for rainbows and each week, I explored the nuances and associations  of a different color. I didn’t know Wild Rose of Scotland back then, but recently, as I reread what I’d written about the Rose, I felt like I was getting to know Rose – the color, the character, and the flower – in a whole new light.

Wild Rose promo

If you’re as intrigued by Rose as I am, you can see more of her in Wild Rose, the first of my Wildflowers of Scotland novels.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]

Rose… a name, a flower, a color, or none of the above.

Wild Rose - tag line

Rose means different things to different people.

DR Wine

Grandma’s fluffy slippers… Pretty, little cookies…

Food - cookies

Cheeks pink fresh from the cold…

Victoria Gloria

Parades and petals… A bride’s bouquet… A hat, a favorite bathrobe… A silky comforter… Rose fills us with an effervescent glow…

Rose - houses

Rose gives us a sense of well-being…

Rose - needlepoint

Maybe we are looking at the world through rose-colored glasses…

Cal - Rachel SS

Maybe we just like the color rose.

Photo 39

Whatever the reason, whatever the season…

Rose - ornanment

Rose makes us feel better…

Zion - Hollyhocks

It cheers us up, gives us a sense of direction…

Coleus 2

It fills us with radiance…

Rose - stained glass

Rose comforts us.

Rose - rose

Rose makes us whole again… ..

Photo50

Whether “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”…

Rose - nativity

Or, a Rose by any other name…

Rose - vase

What does Rose mean to you?

IMG_8704

Here’s to a Wild Rose… available now through Second Wind Publishing.

Rose - curtains

Stormy Weather…

https://i2.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d673/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

I might as well be a lightening rod, the way it follows me around.

https://i1.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d670/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Tornadoes on my tail,

https://i0.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d669/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Thunderheads billowing overhead,

https://i2.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d686/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Raindrops splattering here, there, and everywhere

https://i0.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d650/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Torrential downpours –

https://i0.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d651/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

dampening my spirits, and my sock, and my shoes,

https://i1.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d652/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Hailstones conking me on the head.

https://i0.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d654/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

The only good thing that comes of all this stormy weather is…

https://i1.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d663/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

The rainbows.

https://i1.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d660/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Inside.

https://i1.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d656/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d667/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Outside.

https://i2.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d655/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Everywhere I look.

https://i0.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d658/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

I have a rainbow connection.

https://i1.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d659/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

I am caught up in rainbows.

https://i0.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d665/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

They call out to me.

https://i2.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d657/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Beckon to me.

https://i2.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d664/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

They are me.

https://i0.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d666/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d649/d437/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

In this year’s Christmas letter, I said,  “I am now a published author of two books, Night and Day, and Stormy Weather – a most wonderful happening, squeezed in between daily stresses that do not go away simply because something extraordinary has happened.”

Being published is certainly a dream come true for me. I’ve signed more than 800 copies of Night and Day – To dreams come true,  Sherrie Hansen (with a flourish under my name).

So why is it, when our dreams finally come true… when we finally find the pot of gold at the rainbow… the experience often isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

As a single woman, I was convinced that when I met Mr. Right, all my problems would mysteriously vanish.  I would lose all the weight that I had gained over the years because I had no one to hold me, no one to be with. My financial woes would disappear, my sorrows would simply go away, and my frustrations would evaporate, so wrought with great joy and extraordinary sex my life would be.

As all of you old married couples tried to tell me, being part of a couple comes with its own set of challenges, and that’s not even taking step-children into account!

When the economy is in a down cycle, I console myself with dreams that this or that politician or promise or occurrence or happening will make everything all better again. My troubles will all fly-away, and I’ll be in the money again. Then, everything will be wonderful.

As a yet-to-be published author, I told myself much the same little white lies. Being published was all I needed to make me happy. If I only had the affirmation of knowing my work was worthy of publication, I would be satisfied. All I needed is to hear is that someone likes my book, and then everything would be okay.

Don’t get me wrong – being published is a wonderful feeling. Hearing from readers who like my books and can’t wait to read more is a joyful, unparalleled thing.

So why is it that this year, of all years, I have a royal case of the holiday blues?

Perhaps it is because my back is out, I’m estranged from my 19 year old step-son, and I’m still faced with frustrating circumstances on a near daily basis as I struggle to juggle a time-consuming business, family, friends, husband, church, and now, a blossoming writing career with it’s own set of demands. Perhaps it’s because I’m in my 50’s and my body, both physically and emotionally, is changing, falling apart, failing me.

Perhaps it’s because I’m still deluding myself, thinking that any one occurrence can make me happy.

Perhaps its because I keep forgetting to count my many blessings, name them one by one…   Perhaps it’s because I am a blue belle living in a blue house, when I should be out painting the town pink, or green or yellow or even purple, looking up, seeing rainbows.

The pot of gold may be ever elusive, but the rainbows, ah, the rainbows… the rainbows always keep me looking up.

What about you? Have you ever achieved a goal, then found it less than satisfying? Are you singing the blues this Christmas or swinging from a chandelier as you ring in the New Year? Have you found the secret of happiness? Contentment in any circumstance? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

The author is in, and signing copies of her latest release. Keep looking up!  Sherrie Hansen (with a flourish under my name.)

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,079 other followers

PLUM TART IRIS – New Release

Seaside Daisy

NEW RELEASE!

Daybreak (Sequel to Night & Day)

Night and Day

Golden Rod

Sweet William

Shy Violet

Blue Belle

Wild Rose

Thistle Down

Love Notes

Stormy Weather

Water Lily

Merry Go Round

%d bloggers like this: