Serendipitous Lace

I saw a woodchuck!

Odd that I almost missed him, mistaking him for a greyish/brown shopping bag stuck on a tree branch and blowing in the wimd.  I was driving into the local mall and taking the back road, nestled between a parking lot and a stretch of overgrown grass and saplings.  My mind was busy with the zillion of quick stops I had to make in the next hour.  No time for detours.

As I drove towards my parking destination, I saw – from a distance – what my mind registered as a bit of trash trapped on a tree branch.  I wondered quickly to myself if mall maintenance would clean that up or if it would be stuck there indefinitely.  But, to my surprise and delight, as I drew closer, I saw that the alleged trash was, in fact, a treasure.  A large woodchuck was balancing himself on the branch and taking in an afternoon snack of leaves.  I saw his white teeth glistening beneath beady black eyes as his front paws simultaneously held tight to the branch and shoveled the greenery into his mouth.

I was stunned and stopped the car when I realized the charm of God’s creation I had witnessed, in the throes of a busy bee schedule of running here, there, and everywhere.  I’d go no further till I could take a closer look.  I had my camera in my purse – yes!  I’d take a photo!  My errands would have to wait – the power of nature’s serenity beckoned and I must answer the call to a moment of retreat and reflection on a sight rarely seen in overdeveloped suburbia.  I looked to be sure no other car was coming behind me, put mine in reverse, and slowly backed up to the tree.

Alas, too late.  The moment had passed, and I missed it.  My woodchuck was gone – obviously he had shimmied down the tree and disappeared into the tall grass.  I scolded myself for assuming the average when the extraordinary had been before me.  The reprimand was well deserved.  How quick I can be to dismiss treasure-trove moments of those things that are lovely, admirable, cheerful, and encouraging – those things God allows to daily drip into my day – forfeiting such gifts for the urgency of “to do” llists.  My woodchuck opportunity had passed, and I didn’t seize the moment swiftly enough to make the most of stydying this elusive little bit of wildlife.

I wasn’t looking for him.  So I missed him.

Looking for the “LACE” in the little things God places in our paths.

 LOOK for the L.A.C.E. – as Trish at the Lily Rose Cottage might say.  Oh, but what I might have gained had I been maintaining a sense of delightful expectancy of the Lovely, Admirable, Cheerful, and Encouraging!  I might have assumed the extraordinary and stopped the car in the choicest moment, recognizing my serendipitous appointment to spy on his snack time, privileged to be able to share a moment in his life – as all humans are when nature comes out of hiding to remind us of simple joys and small pleasures.

Lesson learned.

Today I shall seek to apply said lesson to fresh opportunities – looking for lace.  Perhaps, I might close out this blog, grab a cup of green tea, and roost, for a time on my love seat by the window, contemplating the sparrows that flit among the branches of the great fir tree in the front yard.  Should I tarry long enough, who can say what treasures I may own from momentary meditations.

Sounds like a plan.

Joy to you in all good things and beauty . . . Miss Kathy
This is a debut post I am sharing with Trish at Lily Rose Cottage on L.A.C.E. Wednesday.

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at and blogs at


  1. Hello Kathy,
    thank you for joining LACE this week – it’s a pleasure to meet you!
    I love your story of how you nearly missed the ‘woodchuck moment’ because you weren’t looking for him.
    How typical that is for me too!
    That’s why I try to live more deliberately these days and slow down and seek out the hidden treasures of each new day!
    And yes-you are so right!
    I do say ‘look for the lace’!
    You never know where it’s going turn up lol!
    We don’t have woodchucks in Australia ( as far as I know) but they sound like delightful little creatures 🙂
    You have a very lovely blog, my friend.
    blessings in Christ..Trish

  2. Hi Kathy,
    I know what you mean about missing the moments. At least you got to see the woodchuck and not just a piece of rubbish.
    Thanks for visiting me and leaving a comment.
    btw I’m Trish’s sister
    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

  3. Hi again Kathy,
    I read your post ‘I remember Mamma’ and I found myself wishing I could have met her. Your loving words made her, and you,so real to me.Thank you for suggesting I visit you (and your mum).
    I do appreciate the time I have to share my life and home with my Mum. I love watching my children and their children and one of their children’s children interact with her.We are blessed indeed…
    Thank you again…
    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

  4. Hi Kathy,
    I have to confess that I really have no idea how to get the knitting girl on to your blog for you.
    Trish did that for me…
    she guides me through all the bits and pieces of blogging.
    I do take notes—but I get them mixed-up at times.
    I’m not very computer savvy, but I have fun with Trish’s help.
    Trish said she would be in touch with you and and tell you where and how she got the little vintage knitting girl.

  5. I am so busy with all of the beautiful end of the year happenings and our Vivaldi performance. Nevertheless, I will look for the woodchucks in my path. Actually, Michael saw your woodchuck or his sibling in the same area.

  6. Hi Ms. Ross. What a lovely post to come across. I spotted a woodchuck in our neighbors yard the other day and immediately grabbed my nature loving 3 year old daughter. She instantly needed more after 10 minutes of woodchuck watching so I googled woodchuck as she sifted through google images. She happened to click the pic affiliated with your post and I have been waiting for time to read it! I’m so glad that I bookmarked this as we are Christians and DO make a point to appreciate God’s special provisions, whether it’s a beautiful cloud or a bee on a flower and so on. I disagree, though, about your disappointment in not capturing a picture because you weren’t exactly taking time to seek out what you ended up spotting. Sometimes I reach for my camera and instantly change my mind. some things you want to watch and store in your mind. Capturing photos is something I love but I’m finding more and more that I would rather capture the moment and enjoy it than let the lens do it. The moment with you seeing that woodchuck was yours, God telling you to stop a minute. What a treasure, much better than a photo!!

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