Archive for the ‘Spring’ Tag

Sometimes it’s the small things



Gone, the last of winter’s final blast

of cold bitter winds and snows now passed,

I look out my window and see the sun

and welcome the warmer days to come

 my heart is joyful for what is new,

 the air, fresh and sweet with fragrant blooms

the smallest pleasures are the most enjoyed;

a splash of color in a small bouquet,

and scented candle to brighten my day,

 a time to plan, and a time to plant,

to usher in a new season this way.


Joyce E. Mannhalter May, 2019

I have two of the most thoughtful, loving daughters anyone could wish for. They have cried and laughed with me, loved me through the worst of times, supported me, and helped me adjust and get settled in a new place after my move last year. When I recently had a birthday my youngest girl brought me this little bouquet. We went out to dinner as a family that night and I was so thankful and grateful for all the ways God has provided for me and blessed me with good kids and grandkids. They are not perfect and I was not a perfect mom. No one is. But to see how they have turned out I am confident I did a few things right.

As Mother’s Day approaches I hope and pray for all the mothers, young and old out there that God will pour out His blessings and riches on all, for there is no greater calling or responsibility than being a mother. I pray they have guidance, wisdom, courage and strength.

Wishing you all a happy spring and a happy Mother’s Day out there to all moms, grandmothers , young and old.


A New Spring

So happy to see

birds returning to my tree,

and squirrels too, at play.

Spring has come. I feel so blessed

to just be here, and be free.


Joyce E. Mannhalter

In true Tanka form I welcome a new season, a new spring. The cold winter months might be gone for a season, but often there is another one or two big snowstorms that hit before really warm temperatures announce it summer.

It has been a long, dry season in my writing too, not because I did not want to post or write, but other things and obligations took precedence over that. During that period it was a time of self-reflection and I needed to prioritize what was most important at the time. It was a time of growth too, both spiritually and in learning how to become more self-sufficient as I am now single again. I am so grateful and thankful for the way God has revealed His plan and purpose in my life and shown me how much more I need to trust Him.

“Casting all your care upon Him; for he careth for you.” I Peter 5:7 KJV

A Happy Spring to all,


Bare and beautiful

Clustered branches on trees still bare

of the season’s foliage stripped and spare

but for stick figures on a tangled mass of limbs

looking undressed where none can hide.

The morning light and heat from the sun

warms what was clothed under a wintry sky.


Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

I took this shot early in the morning about a couple of weeks ago in my back yard when the sun was just coming up. Cropping and cutting out a part of the houses in the picture helped to give it more emphasis on only the trees and the sky. We now have new buds and small leaves forming on the same trees because of our much warmer weather.

Posted March 27, 2017 by Joyce in My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry, Seasons, Spring

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Emerging spring



A new day’s dawn wakes from its sleep,

pink and orange hued clouds streak across the sky.

A burst of color that slowly wanes

emerges into the sun, now brighter and more blue.

Tiny buds and blooms, and grass that now turns green

shows the promise of new life

where frolicking squirrels, and little birds

all busy with work and play

rebuild their nest and tend their young.

A new season, fresh and fragrant spring

has arrived and pushed away the winter blues.


Joyce E. Johnson (2017)





Posted March 21, 2017 by Joyce in My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry, Seasons, Spring

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Profusion in pink


Profusion in pink,

and trees, their limbs full and green 

shelter birds that sing.


The sun is shining.

May comes, and with it new life,

expectancy, hope.


Is it the season,

or the newness of things fresh?

Spring; I savor all. 


Joyce E. Johnson © 2016

Securing my own ‘nest’



Spring brings everyone outdoors once warm weather hits like a brilliant sun on a clear blue sky. Everything seems new again; blooms with delicate petals opening like arms raised to the sky in praise. Grass and trees with new buds so small it is hard to see with the naked eye, but slowly we begin to see new growth and even the birds and small game come out to celebrate the new season.

This squirrel nest is in our neighbor’s tree which hangs its low branches over the fence and into our yard, so from our back yard swing I am able to see the trees as they turn green in the spring, or yellow gold in autumn.

I have watched and wondered about whether the nest might get knocked out by a strong chinook wind, or blowing snow storm. When I saw no activity near it I even wondered if it was abandoned. But, one recent morning I noticed a squirrel climbing out of it as it hopped down onto the branches below.

Our dog, Maggie loves to go after the squirrels in our yard who are plentiful anymore, often hurrying along on the top of the fence racing to the end before she can lunge at them, but they know she is not fast enough or large enough to gain advantage over them so they tease her, screeching, twitching and snapping their tails as if slapping at her. They seem carefree, unafraid of anything happening around them. I watch them, and think, what if we could have that same feeling of unconcern in our world and take each day without anxiety, or stress.

Life can be unpredictable, never certain. We face the realities of our times, and the circumstances in which we find ourselves in, and our world can seem in jeopardy of falling apart. It can be our home, our comfort zone, or our very life that can hang in the balance because there is no monopoly on our tomorrows, only a down payment on our todays. What we put into our ‘todays’ can affect what we leave behind. A legacy that defines us, like a footprint left in this world where we’ve walked can make a difference. Recent events, terrorist attacks, political upheaval, the election woes with its unpredictable outcome, whatever it is, catastrophic storms or events can bring down our nest, our world. A strong wind can shake us, upset our nest, but a storm we have no control over can destroy us.

There is much said about securing our borders, our transportation systems, our investments, economy.” but, it is my own ‘nest,’ my own foundation that I am more focused on building and securing. Sure, I will make my mark, vote my choice, express my voice, but all else I leave in God’s hands where I can trust His judgement, His control, not that of a campaigning candidate, or world leader.


Joyce E. Johnson (2016) 



Welcome April


After all the snow

The sun shines; it’s warming up

And that is no joke 🙂


Joyce E. Johnson © 2016 

The sun wants to shine


The sun wants to shine,

trees impatient to turn green

wait their time; snowflakes

fall unhurried to the ground,

and declare, “This day is mine.”


Joyce E. Johnson © 2016

Posted March 23, 2016 by Joyce in My Writings, Poems, poetry, Tanka poetry

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Still a flower in bloom

photo (2)

The sun smiles upon

a flower and it opens;

God smiles upon us,

and it shows how great His love

For a flower still to bloom


Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

Life found where we least expect it


Nature won’t give up

on what it breathes life into;

but comes back, stronger


One and a half years after the disastrous flood of September 2013 in our town in northern Colorado we have amazing sights that surprise us like this old cracked tree stump that was surrounded by destroyed trees and washed out trails, roads and demolished buildings. But, last summer while on the walking trail we spotted this old tree stump cut down where others had been trimmed or uprooted from the flood, many that literally floated down the raging river during the flood. Thinking the tender green shoots were growing up from the ground near it, I decided to get a closer look at it and found that they were actually growing from out of the cracks or crevices in the stump. I was glad I had my camera along.

I was immediately reminded of a favorite scripture in Job 14: 7 of the Old Testament that says, “At least there is hope for a tree; if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.” (NIV) And I thought about how often I had given up on dreams or things in my life because I felt as if they were ‘dead in the water’, like the trees that washed away in the flood, or having been cut down of ever producing any life or fruit again. But, God’s word is true. It is the same promise for today as it was in the days of Job, and there is the faith and hope that new life, new growth can begin again and we will bear new fruit.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)



Not the bloom I sought,

And too much of what I’ve seen.

Spring: It has arrived.


Joyce E. Johnson, 2013

Spring Roses

Garden fresh bright red

Roses fill my crystal vase

Bringing spring indoors


Joyce E. Johnson, 2013

Sunny Days

I can hardly wait

For bright sunny days to come

To plant my spring blooms


Joyce E. Johnson


When I look out my window

And I see fresh snow

I wonder when, and where is spring.

But, to every season

And for all, I know

There is a right time

For all that blooms has yet to open.

Maybe not now: they are but buds,

But nurtured they will grow,

And with that they promise

That spring is here,

The season will blossom,

And the time is right

For my lilies to bloom.


Joyce E. Johnson – 2013

Garage Sales

I love Spring. It is my second favorite season of the year when I begin hearing the birds sing and chirp, and flitter from tree to tree, all so they can pick their place to nest, and gather all they need to make it feel like ‘home.’ But, we humans are a fickle lot, some of us cleaning out our nests of things we no longer want, or need, or maybe adding to it more things we want, or cannot do without.

The warm weather brings out the shopper in all of us. Marketing and selling opportunities are abundant with the many available second hand thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales popping up all over town. The offerings are as diverse, and as plentiful as the customers looking for (more) stuff.

I’m cruising down the street when I notice the neon colored signs with arrows pointing in every direction tacked to posts, pickets, or trees. I slow my speed, careful to not miss it, and soon see rows of parked cars along the curbs. Found it.  Wow! They must have some really good stuff to draw a crowd like that. The driveway is loaded with stuff, and people. Finding a small place to park is difficult, but I manage to squeeze into an opening that seems only big enough for a motorcycle.

Hitting the flea markets, garage sales or antique malls can certainly get the adrenaline going. What is it about ‘old stuff’ that some call, “junk,” but fanatical collectors might call, “artifacts from a historical era?” Depending on the seller advertising their wares it can be a creative or enterprising ploy to grab the attention of just the right customer wanting what is offered at a bargain price. Whatever way the stuff is advertised those “Collectors’ pieces,” “treasures of heirloom quality,” “antiques,” or “cast offs” from another person’s attic or basement can usually get the attention of a potential customer, like myself. That ‘thing’ stuffed in a box, laid out on a table or leaning up against a tree is the ‘thing’ that a shopper cannot refuse at a price too good to pass up.

Whatever one calls it, it lures the seeker, or the hunter in all of us. Women, especially love searching for the allusive “treasures” that another person does not want,  uses, or needs. It is interesting to observe people at garage sales when they find just what  they are looking for, or something they cannot resist.

Where else can one go to find a whole box full of useable canning jars with a new box of lids thrown in to the mix. All they need now is a bushel of tomatoes. “Wonderful! I needed more jars.”

Another woman who loves to sew and do quilting finds a pile of fabric scraps, buttons, and notions. “Look at the colors, and textures of fabric here. This will make a great quilt!”

An for the young collectors?  A little boy spots an assortment of McDonald’s Happy Meal toys tossed into a bin of whirring, whirling, spinning, pinging, dinging objects, and is as happy as a kid in a candy store.  “Mom, look what I found in that box over there. My favorite transformers. Their just fifty cents each. Wow!”

I’ve been on the lookout for some artsy, decorative pieces, lately. Oh, this is nice. A black marble vase. To hold a bouquet of silk blooms, maybe? But where will I put it? Wherever. There will be a place. Never mind what I told my husband about his flea market obsession, “If there is a place to put it, it should be kept in its place. If it, you don’t want to clean, then it I don’t want seen.” I’ll find a place somewhere, amidst my “collection” of other things.”

I find myself thinking, as I examine what I think is a good deal. Then I stand there for what seems like and hour quietly arguing with my sense of reasoning that I really don’t need this, but think I want it. It’s a bargain and too good to pass up. If I grow tired of it I will just sell it at my garage sale, or place it into a box for charity.

I walk around slowly surveying every table and box, taking out things, examining things, putting things back. Then I see more boxes on the edge of the driveway. Books of all kinds and genres. Hardback novels, paperbacks, recipe books, reference books. All kinds. A few classics thrown in. Got that one. Don’t want that one. And then I see it. What I have been looking for, forever. Feeling good about defending my reasons to stop and shop at another garage sale. A classic first edition copy of Dr. Zhivago, one of my favorites, in pristine condition.

I knew I needed to stop at this one. What a find! Now, what else am I needing, or looking for? Sound familiar? Yep. It is the season of the ‘garage sale syndrome.’ We all get it sometime or other. Like a virus or bug that does not shake off easily.

Posted April 13, 2012 by Joyce in Spring, Uncategorized, Writing

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