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What is YOUR Joy to the World? :: And Meet the Garden Gnome

seattle children

There is a very special story behind this tree.

For me the story really started years ago when I first moved into this neighborhood. (This tree is right down the street from me). Not too long after moving into my house, I faced the dissolution of my first marriage. That’s legalese for “my ex-husband ran off with another woman” which you should know turned out to be an excellent thing for both of us (seriously). It opened the door for me to truly find my soul mate and experience a whole new level of joy in life.

But for a few weeks in the midst of it all while I was coming to terms with going a whole new direction in life, and while the scarlet letter D was being etched into my forehead, I had some low moments. I would regularly walk the neighborhood, especially at night, when no one could see me crying. And then I would come to this tree. And it was like temporarily my weight was lifted and my heart was soothed. And I felt JOY. This heavily decorated tree, shining bright, gave me hope that life would still be good, and that people would still be kind, and that everything was truly going to be okay. Really (?!) you ask. Yes, really!

The people who live in this home decorate this tree and their home and their yard for every single holiday, as far as I can tell. It is kind of flabbergasting. And not in the “that’s so tacky” kind of way – but in an extraordinarily joyful way! I don’t know them, but I imagine them to be the loveliest of people – giving the gift of celebration to the whole neighborhood at every turn. Valentines Day, 4th of July, Memorial Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas {and I’m pretty sure there are some others in there that I missed}. I really think it is a beautiful gift!

This is one of the major ways that these people put JOY out into the world! They may not even understand the impact of their gift – in fact, I am sure they don’t!

Anyhow, back to present – of course my soul sweetie and I celebrated Halloween this year with our little peanut who just turned 16 months, and part of our celebration included walking down the street to celebrate in the JOY of the Pumpkin Tree. For weeks now, every time we even drive by it we have to slow down and open all the windows in the car to soak in the pumpkinness of it all. Needless to say, our little guy was totally enthralled! He wanted to walk up to the house (I’m sure to meet the amazing owners and say thank you), and we could see them inside smiling as we took photographs of their beautiful gift.

In what ways, big or small, do you give the gift of JOY to the world? {And be generous with yourself, I know you do! And perhaps like the owners of the Pumpkin Tree you are not even aware of the impact! Isn’t that a fun thought?!}

seattle children
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Speaking of our little peanut. here he is on Halloween, disguised as our very own Garden Gnome discovering himself in the mirror. If you can’t tell, he got super excited! {He did not recognize himself under that little gnome hat, which he amazingly left on all evening!!}

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