Not surprisingly, my thoughts this week have been on friends. Life long, stand-by-you kind, even when-you-are-an-idiot kind (as is bound to happen …Friendships
We are more intertwined than we know
“Friendship … is born at the moment whenone man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves …Friendship
When Judith and I FaceTime during her beach days if we even, in the course of an hour mention the W word Daisy shows up, leash in mouth. I think she is like our iPhones -all we have to do is think the word and there she is. I do love that dog
Originally posted on A World Apart: “Ain’t but three things in this world that’s worth a solitary dimeBut old dogs and children and watermelon wine” …Old Dogs and Children
JB’s philosophy of ‘I choose how I will spend the rest of my life’ is always a warming hug whenever I visit. Choosing. It may be the best part of life. The choices may not sometimes be all that palatable, and sometimes consists solely of chosen attitude. How lucky we are to ‘choose’. Mandela chose a positive attitude in his years of prison, Hawking chose to move beyond physical restraints. Choosing is not wishing. I wish I were free. I wish I were rich. It is choosing a course of action, an attitude. A dear friend believes you don’t spend your time wishing but you play the hand you are dealt. That is not giving in to the hand or being happy with what you have. It is choosing. And choosing leads to action. That trip JB chose to take even when her plans fell apart and she would suddenly be doing it alone. She sold her house and made the move of a lifetime. A Septuagenarian Adventure. That’s my friend. An adventurer. Stroll around her blog and bask in the Tuscan sun, the New Zealand countryside, and the dance in the sea of her most treasured thing – words. Books, stories, poems. My friend. My treasure.
On turning the calendar card I was confronted with this –
The wording on the card reads –
“The Italian enthusiasm for cycling come to the fore every spring during the Giro d’Italia, a three-week-long road race across some of the peninsula’s most challenging terrain. Thrills, hills, and spills aside, two-wheeled vehicles are an integral part of Italian culture and an uplifting fixture of daily life”
I was immediately transported back to my brief sojourn in Florence in 2013. Can it really be six years ago?
On October 23, 2013, I recorded Day 16 in Florence and noted that the World Road Cycling Championship had just been raced in and around Florence. Cycling memorabilia was on display and for sale everywhere one looked. I succumbed and purchased two little battery operated bicycles with pedalling cyclists whizzing around the footpaths. If you are interested, click here for that post.
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You know how your day can start out as one thing and end up as something else? How things can change on a dime? Or is the phrase, turn on a dime? What does a dime have to do with change, blessings, or mixed anything?
Before I tell you about today I have to talk about yesterday. I mean they are connected although today’s events can stand alone. But, yesterday morning I attended my nephew’s wedding. It was held in an old heritage church and followed by a catered picnic luncheon for about a hundred people. Perfect size for the church and the celebration. Perfect combination of tradition and casual. It has to be the most delightful wedding I have ever attended (or hosted). The weather cooperated and those two hardworking deserving people, now man and wife, who have earned every moment of happiness are off on a wonderful honeymoon.
The word ‘quaint’ comes to mind and reminds me of comfort, simplicity and hard work. The entire village is a working village as things were in 1914 with a fire hall, blacksmith, and shops. The grounds, green and lush, made me think of weddings of long ago, before the invention of glitter and glam. A Piper piped the guests into the church and out again. The groom and his best man wore kilts. There was absolutely everything. Minus the modern attire it very well could have been a wedding from a hundred years ago.
Then that same evening, following the festivities I traveled to a nearby town where I attended yet another feast to celebrate our 48th nursing anniversary. We graduated in 1969 but went into residence in 1966. In those days nursing students lived at the hospitals. It was an incredibly intense education and applied labor. And of course the system no longer exists having gone the way of the dinosaur. Education by immersion.
Oh yeah, the dinner –
Now how can you go wrong dining at a Wine Den. We had a separate section that gave us plenty of time to circulate and chat for a lovely few hours.
Now-a-days we all live within a few hours of each other, but over the years there were travels to the states, Calcutta, and New Zealand and heaven only knows were else.
Well all this chatter is about my blessings in the last 24. Nothing ‘mixed’ about them yet.
This morning I awoke thinking I would spend the whole day writing. In a serious fashion, you understand. That means closing the door, taking the computer off the internet to avoid temptation, putting my phone in another room, and hunkering down for the duration. I imagined my great joy and well earned weariness by the end of the day. I quickly rose excited about the day ahead.
Darn. Then I remembered I had to go to the pharmacy and pick up a prescription. Perfect. Do it early before crowds start crowding. Off I went. Wonderful expedient success and the most cheerful pharmacist I have ever met. Here she is on a Sunday morning away from her husband and young family, at work. And happy! She cheered everyone up and told me, ‘I love my job and people’. And it showed.
So very cheerily and medication in hand I thought, well before I go home I should just pop into the grocery store next door. I have to tell you, I LOVE CHILI or chili con carne as they used to call it. I put lots of vegetables for nutrition with a pork/beef combination and make it very spicy. (You can imagine not everyone loves my chili but what counts is that I do.) And I make enough for about 12 meals which I freeze. I could eat it every day. Okay I do eat it every day. That’s just how I am.
So I shop, because this is Autumn (chili season), even though the temp today is going to be 27C or 80.6 degrees F. I choose to ignore that.
Beef, pork, onion, green pepper, celery, kidney beans, tomato paste and sauce and lots of spice. Well when I get home I can’t start to write yet. I find myself chopping, cooking, mixing.
Even though my plans changed I still counted the day as one big blessing.
Then: my stirring spoon slipped in the pot and my good yellow top was covered in sauce. ( Don’t even ask why I would not have changed. The fact is the weekend had gone so well I thought I could cook all dressed up.) I ran to the bathroom sink to immediately rinse out my top, threw on one I should have been wearing, and returned to the kitchen. my stir spoon with a plastic handle had fallen to the stove top and I snapped it up only to discover it was on a hot part of the burner and I ended up holding a hot spoon with melted hot plastic in my palm. Which I dropped immediately making even more of a mess.
I cleaned up my hand, applied some Flamazine which helped, but I still have blisters on my palm (no I will not show a photo.)
So a top I hope can be saved, as yellow is my favorite color, and multiple burns, but the chili is done, in containers with some in the fridge and some in the freezer, and no I have not started writing yet.
Mixed Blessings but all in all an excellent weekend.
Poems speak to one in many ways; rhythm, meaning, metaphor, reality. They can be soft and soothing, or hard and brutal, warm or cold, nurturing or ball busting.
Joss Burnel, an expat living and writing in Cuenca, Equador, has written many a poetic word.
One in particular caught my eye yesterday and moved my spirit.
Now I can explain about my Thursday evening meetings with my international group of three, in which every possible topic is discussed including what we are writing, and reading, and commenting on the world at large. We started as bloggers six or seven years ago, then emailing, and now using Skype world wide.
Me in South Western, Ontario, Canada, Joss in Cuenca, Equador, and Judith Baxter in Wellington, New Zealand.
I am the one in the white robe stoically fighting a cold. (and if you think it did not take a considerable degree of bravery to post such a photo, you would be wrong. I swear I do look better most days. Honest..) Judith is beside me and Joss above.
OH! Back to the poem. It perfectly reflects my thoughts this week and with Joss’ permission I present it to you now. (Highlighting is mine)
When you let go
of the fear,
the worry and
When you stop
and sorry train…
When you accept
that what is
done is done,
When you live
this day in
as the only
matters – that
When you allow
self to be
Then, the beauty
of today finds you
and brings you
Then your breath
to be deep
and to resonate
to relax and
let go of terror…
here is the truth
Then you know
that there is
life beyond the
worry and anxiety,
filled with beauty
and that, truly,
all is well
and grace beyond
~Joss Burnel / 2012