The sun is shining—as usual on the Nature Coast of Florida. The wind has a slight chill. Thankful for a little fall weather which we rarely get on October 4, I pick up my load of writing stuff and head out the door. Where to go? I haven't been to Longleaf in a while.

A turn at the corner of Starkey Road and whatever-the-name-of-the main street onto the red brick into the village and its myriad shops, restaurants and offices. Some little apartments nestled in the trees over the shops. I would live here, right over the Italian cafe at least in the evenings during the dinner hour, the aroma of fresh Italian bread, oregano, basil, garlic wafting through the entire neighborhood. The good life!

A stop at Havana Dreamers Cafe, a little coffee shop on the corner for a big brown cup of Jazzy Java, Spirit of New Orleans cinnamon, rum, pecan with "something extra" a secret blend, I guess. Something about this delightful weather and a jazzy cup of java gets me. Makes me want to plan Thanksgiving Day, my favorite holiday.

Every time I come to this corner, they've done a little something special, the gazebo spot once again improved as if it could get any better. This place draws you in. Makes you want to live here maybe. At Christmas time, they decorate the bungalow style front porches with trees that touch the ceilings. Porches with banisters and alleys out back—you don't get that just anywhere.

So I step outside the Havana Dreamer to soak up beautiful weather. The green Adirondacks suit me fine. In a circle on tabby. (That's crushed sea shells and limestone. I've probably not used the word correctly, but it stays. I think buildings are made of tabby, which is crushed sea shells and limestone and mud and things. My guess is as good as yours.) Anyway, I'm sitting on an Adirondack with my feet in the tabby, on the ground, facing the morning sun. So comfortable. 

I told you I was reading Eugenia Price's books—all of them. In her life story, she challenged me to do something I'm not good at. Neither was she. It was a learned experience, and at my age, it is hard to break certain daily ritualistic routine habits. She was encouraged early in her Christian walk just to sit still for at least five minutes and get to the heart of God. No reading, no writing, no praying. Just sitting still in his presence. 

I wake up in the small hours of the darkness and try to pray. So you find that hard to do, too? Usually it doesn't work for me. I get two lines of petition out there and I'm out again. Not quality time. Besides something about the night is disconcerting when you suddenly are awake for no apparent reason. Getting past that to a moment of prayer is often an exercise in futility.

When you think about it, we give God such a small part of ourselves. Five minutes here, there. We're all convinced we have ADHD and we can blame our inconsistencies and carelessness on that. It's the easy way out, and oh, the going thing.

I love that my son spends time alone with the Lord. Deliberately. Planned. Premeditated. He goes to his car, where is stored his Bible, takes his lunch, and spends that hour during his work day. Having a choice, I might be downtown on Beale Street looking in all the trendy shops for something I definitely do not need.

This is a side issue. I find the contemporary church songs disgusting, especially those that entice what my husband calls "the pole dancer" to unseemly action during supposed morning worship as she gets all primed for whatever, not sure!

How did we get to this place? 

But I do love the wonderful old hymns of the faith and the Gaither music. Also the songs of Carol Cymbala and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. "In the Presence of Jehovah"—now that song will send you to your five minutes of aloneness with the Lord.

Speaking of blessings. Well, if we weren't talking about blessings, we should have been.

I just got a client to the publisher—with the last proofs of the bookblock and cover. Such a great cover. I'll share it with you soon. I edited the book and did the work to get it where it is—almost ready for the online bookstore shelves in hardcover and paperback and ebook. Made me proud. But the book is not mine. It's his, and at age seventy-six, he was happy to get there. I was impressed that he meant business. It was not just an ego thing with him. He had a plan and a purpose for his book, and now he is about to realize it.

In a couple of days, this will be one accomplishment checked off my list. I have two pending besides my own manuscripts. I have made a decision to shelve those two manuscripts until I see evidence these two clients have solid intentions of getting published.

And I will breathe a sigh of relief.
And I will not pick them up again.
And I will feel no guilt at all.
Until I know somebody is serious.

So glad that is said. Would someone please hold me to that commitment?

So much random thought today. Thanks for indulging me. There may be more of these thoughts, for October, November, and December are great writing months for me.

I did spend my five minutes silently before the Lord sitting on the Adirondack, feet in the tabby this morning. I thought of this song,

My Jesus, I love thee;
I know thou art mine.
For thee all the follies 
Of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer,
My Savior, art thou;
If ever I loved thee,
My Jesus, 'tis now.

I think it's time for a road trip. To someplace really special and conducive to good thought.

With pen and paper—

Jane Bennett Gaddy, Ph.D.