Happy Birthday, James! Here’s to Joy

This is a departure from my regular posts. Here, I write a very personal letter that I would like to share with you, one, I think, my son will be very happy to receive.

Dear Son,

Happy Birthday! I hope you are celebrating where you are, with your grandparents, your great-grandparents, and Aunt Margie and Uncle John. And of course, all our ancestors whom you have so diligently taught the gospel over these past – almost – twenty years. It shows in the amount of names I’ve been able to take or send to the temple. You honor your name, and you honor your priesthood.

And yes, we can’t forget your brother. Your life wasn’t complete here without Junior. I’m certain it would be the same there. I can just see him now, trying to set things up where there will be some sort of surprise.

younger james

Well, I have a surprise of my own. For me, this is the year of letting go. I’m letting go of my depression Letting go of my fears. Of what has held me back for all these years. And yes, my dear, I’m letting go of you.

I’m finally letting you go to do the things, whatever they may be, that you need to do. You don’t need to worry about me any longer. I am well taken care of. You knew that the day you died. I did, too. But I’ve been so caught up in grief all these years, so afraid that if I let go, I’d be letting go of love. That I’d be saying, in a way, that I loved you less.

But that’s not it at all. In fact, it’s freeing. I can grow. And so can you And isn’t that what love is all about?

And so, my son, my love, my light, I am finally saying what I should have said a long time ago.

Until we meet again,

Goodbye for now.

I love you forever,


What have you to say that you have left unsaid?

A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day

Birds! A Pocketful of Joy

Here are a couple of photos of some of the birdlife where I live.


I just took a walk one day and started shooting!


Maybe now you can see why I love this place so much. Even if you don’t like birds close by, perhaps you may at least appreciate them in nature.


Do you have a favorite way to enjoy the nature God created?
A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day

Me and My New Life… A Pocketful of Joy

Just to introduce you to me and my new life. My name is Betty Chatham Horn, and I write books. I started this blog to chronicle my book-writing journey, but it took on a life of its own. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just much different than what I originally imagined it would be.
But that’s much like my life. I had carefully laid out plans. I was going to graduate from college before I ever considered marriage. And then we would be equal partners in every way (whatever that meant).
Yeah. Right. Then I fell in love and didn’t even graduate from high school. With a 3.8 GPA. That’s what loving the wrong man will do to you. I won’t go into the details, because that was almost 40 years ago. And a lot has happened since then.
I want to talk about now. About this.


This is the view from my front window. This is what I get to wake up to every morning.
And this.


This is me in front of our new (to us) home. I fell in love with it and I still love it every day!
And then there’s this.


That’s me on my new recumbent trike! Another thing I have fallen for! They are so fun!
So, what kinds of joys do you have in your days? What makes your life new today?

A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Feb 18 2015 A Pocketful of Joy

The Bookstore

Dawn H. Miller, Copyright.
Dawn H. Miller, Copyright.

Judy could tell it was going to be another long, hot summer. And now with Roger deployed to Iraq, she was left alone once again, babies crying, toddler teething. She cracks the window to get some air, as if to breathe some life into her long, tedious day of bottles and baby wipes.

Lately she’s heard rumors that the bookstore is going to close. And she prays it isn’t so. It’s her refuge, her escape. It’s where she meets her friends, Longfellow and Keats and Hemingway and Fitsgerald.  And it’s the only place she can bring her kids and no one cares.

But babies whimper and allay her worrying for awhile.

115 words, not including title.

A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day

Songs of Joy

When I was about 12 years old, I thought I discovered a hymn. I fell in love with this piece and went around the house singing it (possibly) to distraction.

Then one day, my mother told me it didn’t bother her that I sang the song all the time, because it was one her own mother used to sing around her house all the time!

This was a grandmother whom I never knew. My siblings all knew her, but I was the baby of the family and she died before I had the chance.

After that,  I sang the hymn with abandon. Not only was I doing what I loved most, which was to sing praises to my Savior, Jesus Christ, but I felt a connection with a grandmother whom I had only previous vague reminders of at best.  And the hymn?

Blessed Assurance

Blessed Assurance

Jesus is mine!

Oh, What a foretaste

Of Glory Divine!

Heir of Salvation

Purchase of God

Born of His Spirit

Washed in His Blood!

This is my story, this is my song!

Praising my Savior all the day long!

This is my story, this is my song!

Praising my Savior all the day long!

What songs of joy do you have to sing about? What family treasures come to you through the gift of song?

A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day

Symmetrical Joy

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Symmetry.”


I like the symmetrical lines of the Veterans Memorial Library. And just in time for Presidents Day Monday! Everyone remember to fly your American Flags!

How symmetrical is your life? How are you going to honor your country this Presidents Day?

Joy at Shands

Today I went to Shands Hospital at the University of Florida (Go Gators!) for an endoscopy. Which, in and of itself is no big deal, except that we’re trying to figure out why I keep losing weight.  I may have posted before that I went from this

Betty, Mary, and Kari
Kari’s first birthday party. (my grand-niece)

to this

birthday lunch
Birthday lunch at the Mexican restaurant.wi

but we don’t know why. So Dr. Draganov has ordered a lot of tests of which we haven’t heard the results, and I will see him again in March.

But for today,  everything is normal. So there is joy at Shands, and joy in the Pocketful household.

What brought joy to your world today? How can you share that joy with someone else?

A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day

Pleased @ The Pocketful of Joy

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Proud.”

When WAS the last time someone told you they were proud of you?  I dislike the word proud. I would much rather use the word pleased. But I am going to turn this around and ask this question of you, my readers. 

Because I am always getting accolades of one sort or another. And as I appreciate everything everyone has said to me, or given me, or awarded me, I really enjoy sharing my good fortune. And even when I’m not so fortunate, I still like to let others know when they have done well.

So I am telling you now. Well done. Whatever you have done in the name of Heavenly Father, all goodness, well done. The only thing that would please me more would be for you to go out and share this with someone else. Let them hear, “Well done.”

A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day

A New Style for Joy

This is a new blog post, where I am to make a long-winded boast about how I am proud to know someone rich and famous. Well, those of you who follow me know that this is not the way my life has been. I can say that I know people who are quite unsavory and infamous. This is a story of one of those people whom I don’t know personally, but it’s riveting nonetheless.

It began just one street over from mine, as a Utah State Highway Patrol officer sat outside his home after his shift was over, finishing up his paperwork. He noticed a man in a Volkswagen Beetle broken down, and he got out to see if he could help. The man told him no, that he had things under control, so Bob Hayward got back in his car to finish his work.

That’s when he realized that the man he was talking to was none other than Ted Bundy! Just then, the VW took off, and Bob hit his lights and chased after him. They sped by my house and down through the neighborhood, and then into the next one.

But Bob knew something that Ted didn’t. The neighborhood that he went into had only one exit…the way he just went in. So he was cornered. And, of course, by then Bob had plenty of back-up.

So, that’s how they caught Ted Bundy in Salt Lake City, Utah. So, I’m basically famous!

A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day