A long while ago, I knew a sweet couple named Ben and Tillie.  They lived in Mandeville, LA (across
Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans) and were in their seventies when I met them.  Ben had retired
years before and the two of them went everywhere and did everything together.  I never saw one
without the other.  I was especially fond of Tillie, who wasn't what you might think of as your typical
"senior citizen."  She had a very long braid, which she wound around the top of her head and a
fondness for bright, primary colors and long, dangling earrings.  They had a beautiful garden and
made weekly excursions, dropping off bouquets as "day-brighteners" to people around town--their
day-brighteners graced my desk many happy times.  For a number of reasons, they were quite an
interesting, I'd even say, extraordinary, couple.  On her 75th birthday, Ben gave Tillie a powder blue
Cadillac convertible.  I worked in Mandeville at that time and I often saw them flying around town,
Tillie at the wheel, with the top down on that Caddy, chords of classical music trailing behind, like a
sweet echo of Ben and Tillie themselves.  I like to think that they're cruising among the clouds now,
enjoying the music of the angels - and that Tillie is still wearing her bright clothes and trademark
The quotes on this page are from a book Tillie gave me the last time I saw her.  The inscription reads,
"Dearest Nancy, always enjoy the little things in life...one day you'll look back and realize they were
the big things.  With love, Tillie"  As she usually was about most things, Tillie was right about that.
The name of the book is: "Simple Abundance:  A Day Book of Comfort and Joy" by Sarah Ban
Breathnach.  The first quote reminds me so much of Ben and Tillie...wherever they went, it was a
better and happier place for them having been there.
Simple Abundance
There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.  -- Willa Cather
We have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by.
But some of them are golden only because we let them slip.  
-- J. M. Barrie
Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
-- Jane Howard
An open home, an open heart...here grows a bountiful harvest.  -- Unknown
I open the door, the guest sweeps in.  In her hands are her gifts -- the gift of
hours and far-seeing moments, the gift of mornings and evenings, the gift of
spring and summer, the gift of autumn and winter.  She must have searched
the heavens for boons so rare.  
-- Abbie Graham
I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.
-- L. M. Montgomery
Work is not always required...there is such a thing as sacred idleness,
the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.
-- George MacDonald
There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.
By being happy, we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.
-- Robert Louis Stevenson
We are here to do; and through doing, to learn; and through learning, to know;
and through knowing, to experience wonder; and through wonder, to attain wisdom;
and through wisdom, to find simplicity; and through simplicity, to give attention;
and through attention, to see what needs to be done.  
-- P. Avot
From the east comes the sun, bringing a new and unspoiled day,
It has already circled the earth and looked upon distant lands and far-away peoples.
It has passed over mountains and the waters of the seven seas,
It has shown upon laborers in the fields, into the windows of homes and shops and factories.
It comes to us, messenger of the morning, harbinger of a new day.  
-- Clinton Lee Scott
All great questions must be raised by great voices, and the greatest voice is the voice
of the people - speaking out - in prose or painting or poetry or music; speaking out in
homes and halls, streets and farms, courts and cafes - let that voice speak and the
stillness you hear will be the gratitude of mankind.
-- Robert F. Kennedy
Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the
whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.
-- C. S. Lewis
Tolerance is the best religion.  -- Victor Hugo
Nothing liberates our greatness like the desire to help, the desire to serve.
-- Marianne Williamson
Take the gentle path.  -- George Herbert