Many folks choose their favorite spa or ocean resort to relax. I head to Springfield, Missouri, my oasis from the chaos of life.

Although there are wonderful sites in and near Springfield, (Silver Dollar City, Fantastic Caverns, Dickerson Park Zoo, etc.) my foot was still giving me trouble. (see Barefoot in Bangkok)

I spent time off my feet at the country home of my Forever Friend, Carolyn.

Simple Gifts by Alisa Jones paints a musical picture of this peaceful place.

A fifteen-minute drive from the city, the area has just enough Internet for a cell phone connection. I leave my computer and iPad at the hotel.

Before the afternoon heat sets in, I admire Carolyn’s garden.

We sit on the wraparound porch with cups of herbal tea.

 A wild turkey prances around the grounds as we catch up on family news. A doe and her fawn wander by to drink from the creek. We pour more tea and open a well-worn book—the Holy Bible.
Our shared faith is a connection stronger than any activity or hobby we have in common. We spend time in prayer and meditation, talking to our God. This never fails to leave me refreshed and renewed.

Psalm 42: “As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God.

Carolyn offers her comfortable guest bedroom, but the hotel has a swimming pool and provides my daily exercise. With each stroke, I pray for friends and family, mentally write the next chapter of my novel, or simply plan my day.

Synonyms for the word simple—unassuming, unpretentious, down-to-earth, modest, meek, and humble, describe the life my friend has carved out for herself.

But no matter how much one attempts to slow down and simplify, life and all of its uncertainties march on. Achieving the simple life is not always trouble free or effortless. My friend just recovered from a severe case of poison ivy after clearing brush. Ice storms during Springfield’s winters are treacherous.

The book Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life, encourages people to de-clutter, turn to nature, and enjoy Fika, a Swedish coffee break.

Even in the midst of our complicated lives we can create simple moments.

 Marvel at a sunset.


Talk a walk.

Hold a sleeping baby.

Psalm 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.”

Do you crave the simple life?





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