Tag Archives: South Carolina

Bloom Where You’re Planted


“Whoever would have thought I’d be planted here?”
Photo by Ellie Kuykendall

In a million years, I never thought I would be living in South Carolina. This is NOT where I wanted to spend my “golden years.” But you know, God had other plans for me. And this is where I am.

So, I was thinking the other day that I need to remember the simple phrase, “Bloom Where You’re Planted.” I remembered it while I was putting plants into the above unlikely containers. We’re used to seeing plants in pots of all descriptions: clay and plastic, bright and dull colors, large and small, patterned and plain, and hanging baskets. However, we’re not used to seeing plants in tea tins or ceramic pitchers that were designed for liquids.

And that’s like me in South Carolina. At times I feel like a flower in a pair of kid’s rain boots. Most of the time these days, though, I believe I’m exactly where I belong. Why? Because of the many blessings I’ve been given since I moved here almost four years ago.

I thought I’d be traveling the world, preferably with a husband. Neither of those retirement dreams has materialized. Maybe they still will, and maybe they won’t. How I accept the circumstances in my life is more important than the conditions in which I find myself.

Will I complain about what I don’t have, or will I be grateful for what I do have? Will I seek out new opportunities to help others, or will I isolate and feel sorry for myself? Do I do a check each day to see whether I’ve offended someone and then make amends if I need to do so? Can I look for the gifts I bring to others instead of wondering why I’m not more like so and so?

Each day is a new opportunity for me to grow, listen, change, be still, and add something to someone’s life. If I keep these things in the forefront of my mind, I’ll remember that I have done some traveling to different countries in the world. This is much more than many other people have experienced.

If I remember that I am a child of God, the negativity slips away.

And more than anything, if I continue to have faith, then I realize that God is doing for me what I cannot do for myself.

I hope you have a blessed day!

One more thing…I would love to hear about your blessings, so please feel free to leave a comment.

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What Eating Chinese Food, Gardening and Fishing Have in Common


Veggies from my 2010 garden

I found a great new Chinese/Japanese place to eat yesterday. I’d driven past it a million times, but something always kept me from stopping. Since my favorite soup/salad restaurant in the same area closed down, I thought it was time to try the Fuji Steakhouse in Spartanburg, SC.

If I had a fancy cell phone with all the whistles and bells, or if I’d thought to bring my camera, I’d be showing a picture of the most amazing plate of food I ordered. It was tofu with veggies and fried rice. Huge. Really. Beyond delicious as well.

While I was eating and reading a new book by Janet Evanovich I found at the dollar store, something occurred to me. I always eat Asian food with chopsticks. After two years in Korea and a love of far Eastern cuisine my whole life, I consider it almost a sin to eat these delicacies with a fork! As a matter of fact, I have also taught tons of people to eat with chopsticks in under two minutes. However, I digress.

What came into my thoughts was that you have to pay attention to eat this food with chopsticks. I don’t mean shoveling it in your mouth without thinking as you do when you’re eating with a fork. I mean you REALLY have to pay attention. If you don’t, you’ll not only not be able to eat anything, but you also may wind up with food all over the table and your clothes if you don’t. Real hand to mouth contact, so to speak.

I’d been working in my yard for a good part of the morning before I went out in search of the perfect meal or perfect deal. I found a pretty perfect deal, but I decided to wait.

When I’m working in the garden or fishing, I lose track of time. I am fully engaged in those particular hobbies of mine, just as I am paying exact attention when I eat Chinese food.

The Buddhists call it “mindfulness.” The new-agers call it “meditation.” Many Christians call it “prayer. It is being fully in the moment. It represents a time when we can concentrate profoundly on what we are doing, without letting the stress of our everyday lives get to us.

For me, I don’t think about what I’m going to eat, wear or if my house needs repairs. I forget painful memories, don’t worry about anyone else and feel joy and peace in every part of my being.

It is my way of communing with God, nature and my inner self. I sometimes get great revelations when I do so. I sometimes don’t.

I did forget for a moment yesterday and spilled a little food on my bright turquoise peasant shirt. I almost tripped and fell while walking down my uneven pathway while gardening today.

But I always catch fish. Come to think of it, it’s that time of year, and I need to go fishing.

One year I had the extreme pleasure of living in the mountains of Northern California. I went fishing every day there wasn’t snow on the ground. I caught tons of rainbow trout, my favorite fish. I felt awe at watching a family of ducks grow up. seeing the leaves turn their brilliant colors and looking at the reflection of the trees in the crisp, clean and cool water. That was one of the most painful years of my lives in other respects, but the fishing made the pain go away.

I hope you have hobbies or habits that do the same for you.

What will you be mindful of today?

Hey, and if you’ve read this far, how about leaving a comment! I’d surely appreciate it.

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Hello world!


Me, relaxing in Costa Rica, March, 2010

It’s time. This freelance writer has had a long dry spell, but my muse is finally working again.

You may wonder who I am and why I’m starting a blog. It’s simple.

1.  I have wisdom to share.

2. I know that my words are part of me, and I want to share them with more people.

3. I’m greedy. I’d like more writing assignments, so maybe some will read this and think – “I could use her skills on my website, my book, my articles, etc.” I’ll never know unless I ask.

A little about me:

My name is Ellie Kuykendall, and I live in my nearly perfect two-bedroom yellow house in South Carolina with my two calico kitties. It’ the first house I’ve ever owned, and I love it. I also love gardening, swimming, fishing for rainbow trout, reading, walking, eating out and going to flea markets and garage sales. But most of all I love God.

My writing experience includes articles for magazines and newspapers, contributions to books, and tons of website content. I started writing when the late 90’s boom for freelance writers hit the Internet. It was easy to get writing jobs then. People posted on places like Craigslist , and they paid anywhere from $.05 to $.50 a word.

Times have changed. Now everyone in the world wants to be a writer – we seasoned professionals call them “wannabes.” And so, the Web is filled with blogs and tweets,  updates and photos on Facebook and YouTube. Prospective employers check these sites to see if applicants are the type of people they want in their organization, folks look for high school and college classmates, and families stay in touch with their keyboards (whatever happened to the old fashioned dial phone? 🙂

So welcome to my world. You may love what I say or hate it. You may wait breathlessly each day to read my latest post or read one and wonder what turnip truck I fell out of. But one thing I promise. I will make you think, question and laugh. I’ll move you to cry, smile widely or pet your dog with gratitude. No matter how you feel when you read my writing, though, I hope you’ll share those feelings with me. And, if there’s anything I can do for you or anything you’d like to hear my opinion on, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Shalom and may the peace that passes all understanding be yours forever,

Ellie

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