Be grateful for whoever comes - each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

- Rumi

You can be surprised by the cost of gasoline. You can be surprised by an old friend you find on Facebook. You can be surprised by how smoothly your day went or surprised that your drunk Uncle Al didn't do the "pull my finger" trick at Thanksgiving dinner this year.               

You can be surprised by the weather, by the news, by your child's grades, by the results of your physical exam. You can be surprised by a birthday party, a stroke of good luck or how old your high school classmates looked at the reunion.                              

A true surprise can bowl you over. Take your breath away. Shock you and shake you up.   Can knock you to the ground or send you sailing among the stars. Control freaks, of course, don't like surprises. Many of us don't like them because they mess with our routines and regimens. They remind us that we're not in charge.              

There are, of course, delightful surprises and dreadful surprises. Surprises for the body, the mind and the heart. Surprises that can bring you to tears of sorrow or tears of bliss. So many surprises in this life; so little time.

A genuine surprise, however, is one life's greatest reminders that we do not know it all. Cannot know it all. Will never know it all. An authentic surprise is an in-your-face reminder that there is far more going on in this life than we can ever imagine. Almost anything is possible. Almost anything. And that's a good sign.


A huge, 250 + or - year old red oak tree had to be taken down in the yard at Hanger Hall.  Root rot.  Ida Jolly Crawley, a fine artist who owned Hanger Hall from 1919-1946, called the Hall the House of Pan.  She was convinced that the house (like Pan) attracted the Muses - art and music.  So, Howard contacted Jack Bailey, a wood carver who goes toJubilee! and engaged him to carve a life-sized figure of Pan out of the 15 foot section of the tree that the tree removers left.  The carving which should take several months in in progress.  Howard is thrilled!