The Groom Wore Chains – Its Stahl Ave Again

English: The logo of the of Singapore.

English: The logo of the of Singapore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Singapore Sling for me-1=

Singapore Sling for me-1= (Photo credit: Sheba_Also)

This past Saturday I attended a wonderful cocktail party to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of a couple who will do the actual deed in Singapore on December 21, 2012.  Celebrations by our family for decades, certainly since the 50’s (my memory span) have centered on the the joys of marriage and self congratulatory acclaim on the longevity of said unions – for those able to claim the longevity thing that is.

Now this party was the howdeedoo of welcoming a couple into that hallowed state of union since none of us present could get to Singapore itself, and since we were unable to attend, the host and hostess decided to do a solemn ceremony honoring the young couple.  The performance of said ceremony was a surprise not only for the couple but all the attendees.

Singapore Slings, the signature libation of the evening, complete with other drinks of choice got the party started.  Hors d’oeuvres of every imaginable delicious sort were provided through out the evening and of course the cake – can’t possibly party without cake.

The poor couple must have been asked at least twenty times what a traditional Singapore wedding entailed and finally resorted to saying they would keep us informed each step of the way as it involves a number of ceremonies.  Also in attendance was my world traveling nephew who had spent most of that last two years traveling Africa with his wife who traveled to 347 cities in 30 countries on their own personal mission for Wisdom Exchange TV and here for their Ignite Excellence site.  More on that another post!

Anyway back to the solemn ceremony.  Well it wasn’t too solemn as all mock weddings should shun solemnity.  The bride to be was whisked upstairs to be dressed in style and the groom was given a bow tie and chains for his ankles. (I just need a moment here as Johnny Cash sings…I got stripes around my shoulder I got chains around my feet)…..ahh that’s better.

Dec 3 12 031My  brother dressed all preacher like sporting a carnivore bbq apron, knitted hat and other accoutrements not at all related to marital bestowment read from a book on golf as lessons for marriage.  (He himself being wed for more that 45 years can be considered an expert.)

Aside from side splitting raucous laughter and mighty cheers this event took me back half a century when mock weddings were played out at regular times on Stahl Avenue.

During the second World War my grandparents bought one of those big two story homes with large front, back and upper deck porches.  It was the central meeting point at least each Friday when all the aunts, uncles, cousins and other ne’er do wells congregated for an evening of merriment.  It was the place we each took new dates to meet all and it was the centre for mock weddings.  It became customary that my parents and uncles and aunts had to celebrate the 15th wedding anniversary and the 25th in style.

This meant using curtains, lamp shades, quilts and anything else at hand to dress the bride and groom.  My uncle Dick usually was the minister and my grandfather hauled out his shotgun to oversee events and make sure the groom did not make a run for it.  My more talented cousins danced, sang or played the violin and guitar.

As children watching adults convulsing in laughter and delighting in the jokes we all grew up with what some might consider a rather warped sense of humour.

Saturday past was not special just because of the events, the celebrations, but because for a short time during the ceremony and the cutting of the cake I thought I caught from the corner of my eye other generations long gone now swirling around the room and laughing and cheering.  For just one moment they were all with us.

Friday’s FITFS …..Linda Cassidy Lewis

FITFS

Linda Cassidy Lewis The Brevity of Roses

 Each Friday I write about somone in the blogosphere who teaches me lessons, is supportive, and like all my Following in the Footsteps heroes is someone I would like in some small way to emulate.

How do I choose my FITFS?  Selecting first, or second, or third would be nigh unto impossible.  In addition to wanting to  honor those who I admire it seemed the easiest way would be to select those who take the time to comment on my posts first.  If you have ever commented then it is quite likely that some Friday, ‘when you least expect it you’re elected’ as the song from Candid Camera goes, you will be highlighted here.

 

 

This theme takes a better defined form  each time I do it. FITFS started out as a blanket praise and is evolving into delicious declarations of each writers’strengths, my fave posts or quotes (cause fave posts are almost impossibloe to choose), and what I have learned or what has inspired me.

Linda Cassidy Lewis is a California girl originally from Indiana.  Artistically she began expressing her creativity through drawing and eventually portaits with clientele in the US, Europe, and UK.  She is the consumate artist, drawing, living art, beading, and of course that fave expression of each of us – writing.

Certainly LCL (don’t her initials even seem poetic?) is dedicated, tenacious, persistent and very talented.

It is almost impossible to choose a favorite post – there are so  many.  Her first post was I believe October 13, 2008 in which she discusses how the Ms. Perfect side of her being judges everything she writes as garbage and with she posted a quote by C. J. Sherryh; ‘It is perfectly okay to write garbage as long as you edit brilliantly.’

My fave quote by Linda herself is; ‘When  you hoard imagination it suffers a sad, lonely death, so, as an act of mercy, I write fiction.’  Bloody brilliant I say!

See this author is all about inspiration so how could my own Ms. Perfect even think of holding me back.  So far Linda  Cassidy Lewis is the Doer and I with toes in the frigid unknown seas of publication stand poised and ready to jump in, getting braver every moment by her display of bravery.

She has a number of literary projects on the go and is the published author of ‘The Brevity of Roses. and I quote from Michelle Davidson Argyle author of ‘Monarch'; Told in gorgeous poetic tones, The Brevity of Roses will take you on a journey delving into the unique characters as delicate and beautiful as a rose itself.  Lewis’real understanding of relationships is phenomenal.’

Do yourself a favor and visit the mulitalented, multifaceted gem of a writer, and please click a ‘like’ or leave a wee comment for her.  Something we all appreciate!

I am now off to the last supper for our Scots cuz who alas must depart tomorrow!

And once again in case that linky thing isn’t working or I have made a mistake, please find LCL at lindacassidylewis.com

 

Monday Mayhem or Is It?

When the Mamas and the Papas sang “Monday Monday” the Monday mornings were fine, the Monday evenings not so much.

At Psycentral.wordpress.com Dr. Gary Wood did a nice piece in January about our perception of Monday and the Monday Morning Blues and gives us a few ideas about changing it.

It’s not just Mondays that are affected by perception of course, it is very single itsy bitsy thing in our lives including ourselves.  I like to play around with thoughts of what is real and what is reality anyway, but today the thought is about Mondays because I find it just plain fascinating.

All through my career my love of Mondays was sort of an optimistic hangover from Friday afternoons?  See?  I wasn’t too crazy about Friday mornings as those were reality mornings when the reality was…hmm, I may be losing you here.  Let me try to explain from the beginning, if in fact a circle can have a beginning. (Of course it does, because we perceive it to)  Oh!  Unless you perceive it to not have a beginning, which makes me wonder if that is more a negative perception?  But is there really such a thing as a negative perception or just a different one?  Difference does not have to be negative or positive does it?  It just can be.  I think.

Back to my point.  Mondays I started the week with goals for the week ahead.  I loved that feeling of having direction and it gave me some sense of security.  And hope. And optimism.  It was wonderful.  Friday mornings alas, I had to review what I achieved and what I did not and at times felt somewhat down (never severe enough to be called disheartened).  But oh joy when Friday afternoon I took my favorite hour of the day to set goals for the next week, building on my achievements of the previous week.  It was a great time to review and plan and felt darn good.  So when everyone else left on a Friday afternoon with a big smile on their faces because it was the weekend, I too left happy to enjoy a couple of days before I could start my well planned week!

I have missed that since retiring but I have an immense satisfaction that when Monday morning rolls around I am there to teach my grandson to look forward to his day and his week.  I ask him, “Gee, I wonder what new things you will learn this week?”  And as I watch him cross the school yard weaving a wobbly adventurous path as only eight year olds can do, I notice the spring in his step and my heart does its own little song and dance of joy.

Five Minute Friday; The Gypsy Mama; Good-Bye

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.

We set a timer, throw caution to the winds and try to remember what it was like to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

Want to play Five Minute Friday? It’s easy peasy!

1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt- no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Meet & encourage someone who linked up before you.

OK, are you ready? Give us your best five minutes on:  GOOD-BYE

There are so many ways to talk about good-bye since there are so many good-byes in life;  people, situations, pets, sanity (at times) and sadly youth.  Since I prefer to look at that which is different my first thought this morning was youth/change or the lack thereof.

People talk about aging gracefully, about vibrancy, about forty being the new thirty and sixty being the new forty.  Yesterday I kept a four year old busy for the day.  Outside.  In a park.  I raced, fought with light sabers (he was Anakin and I was Luke Skywalker).  You are my son he intoned throughout the day.  And occassionally he would warn me that while he was currently Annakin he would soon be going over to the dark side and become Darth Vader.  We slid on slides and swung on swings.  Did I mention we raced? This morning my body feels like it has been hit by a truck of large proportions.

There are many things we say good-bye to as we age.  I worked for many years in Long Term Care so I knew….goodbye to independence in many things.  Good-bye to night driving vision.  Good-bye to leaping like a gazelle (I am sure I did at one time), good-bye to standing up from a seated position and being able to move immediately.  Good-bye gentle thoughts on aging gracefully.  Good-bye to firm young skin and strong limbs.

But mostly, good-bye to changeability or the ability to change with little muss or fuss.

Oops times up!

Comes That Time of Year

Comes That Time of the Year

I have been enjoying reading all the blogs on WordPress, or at least as many as I can manage, particularly those of my BB’s (blogging buddies), as most are tallying up, evaluating, assessing and reviewing all they have achieved either in life during the last twelve months or in their pledge of commitment to WordPress Postadaychallenge or Postaweekchallenge.  It is the reviewing and the assessing that helps us set our goals for the next year and gives us a sense of accomplishment for our efforts.  It’s an opportunity to perhaps brag a bit or pat ourselves on the back and I am amazed at what I have learned from my comrades-in-type and impressed that I sort of hang around with the best of the best.  Some of you have taken up the Postaday2011 Challenge Questions and I confess that I am joining the pack for no other reason than to celebrate the ‘us’ of it all.

Unlike many of you I did not reach my goal of 365, not because of writer’s block or lack of material but because the presence of mind simply wasn’t there.  It may have been because of personal upheaval (Lord knows there was lots of that this year) or just too dang tired.  Declaring there was not enough time simply didn’t cut it as proved by 5 Minute Fridays.  Five minutes is never too much to ask, and as long as it is clear it is a twelfth of the hour attempt all is forgiven.

So to recognize WordPress.com for all their support and encouragement:

1)      WHY DID YOU START THE POSTADAY/WEEK CHALLENGE?  I was new to blogging and started with WordPress at the encouragement of MB my daughter-in-law who thought my tales would be of interest to others. I chose Postaday for structure and to gain experience.

2)      DESCRIBE THE STATE OF YOUR BLOG AT THE TIME OF THE CHALLENGE.  Raw is the only word that comes to mind.  I think I started in December and posted once.  It wasn’t much and many of my first blogs did not include tags or categories.  It takes me awhile to find my way around techie things!

3)      HOW DID YOUR BLOG EVOLVE OVER THE COURSE OF THE CHALLENGE?  Well the easiest answer to that is that it grew from being tentative observations to embracing ideas, memories, and recognition of events including acknowledging others in the WP family.  Themes began to emerge which I would like to strengthen this coming year.

4)      DID YOU POST AS OFTEN AS YOU HAD HOPED?  WHY OR WHY NOT? No I sure did not.  Weekends away were skipped and in this last two weeks of the year my dedication slipped as I became preoccupied with other things.

5)      WHAT TYPE OF BLOGGING STRATEGY WORKS BEST FOR YOU?  Definitely looking at what is going on in the moment and framing it for presentation.  I have found first thing in the morning is best as my mind is fresher then.  Since my mornings have become more structured since August it would mean starting before my day begins and I have had some difficulty achieving this.

6)      IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?  I guess there is nothing as what I have learned was a part of the growth for the year.  Even the techie stuff.

7)      WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF ACCOMPLISHING THIS YEAR?  Hmm.  Definitely the enriched relationships I have developed. People in word who become part of my heart, my family.  Joss Burnel my Crowing Crone, Judith Baxter, who is growingyoungereachday my down under friend, Val Erde and Pat Cegan for inspiration and encouragement, Tricia at the domesticfringe, Elizabeth at Mirth and Motivation, Paul Johnson The Good Greatsby.

8)      NAME 3 GREAT BLOGS YOU HAVE DISCOVERED THROUGH THE CHALLENGE.  Wow keeping to 3 is very difficult but certainly Susan Castle at susanthecoach.wordpress.com whose experience and ability to succeed amazed and motivates me.  My friend Mark at redriverpak.wordpress.com whose humor and journey gives me strength and who is my idol (hmm guess that is my American Idol hehehe), and Colleen at bikecolleen.wordpress.com who seems very brave in all things.

9)      WHAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT THE CHALLENGE?  Definitely how quickly so many people/bloggers became important to me.  Many who don’t even know I exist.  I was also surprised at the wealth of knowledge out there.  If I could read fast enough I would read everyone.

10)   WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO WANT TO BLOG REGULARLY?  Do it.  Don’t think about an audience, just do it for you own self-expression.  Be sure to tag your work and reply to every comment and acknowledgement.  Also read and comment on other blogs.  You know how much work you do to post so you know that to show appreciation or recognition of others is equally important.

11)   WHAT ARE YOUR BLOGGING GOALS FOR 2012?  Do it.  Fine tune.  Organize. Read Read Read.

A little wisdom from Erma Bombeck to whose list I would only add…blog blog blog and be sincere.

If I Had My Life To Live Over

by Erma Bombeck

The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck
after she found out she had a fatal disease.

 

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s”.. More “I’m sorrys” …

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it … live it…and never give it back.

© Erma Bombeck  

Grow – For 5 Minute Friday and the Gypsy Mama

Grow – For 5 Minute Friday and the Gypsy Mama

It’s time for some Friday fun – Gypsy Mama Style!
‘For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.’
 Today’s subject?
GROW
You can grow together, grow apart, grow a garden, grow a heart.
You can grow a beard, grow a plan, grow a seed made for man.
You can grow a business from that plan and that seed made for man.
You can grow love, grow hate, just not ingrown
Grow up, grow down, grow in, grow out,
And there is you can bet….some even grow a set!
STOP!  Times up!
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!

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