Suddenly Sometimes

Ever noticed how suddenly-sometimes serendipity seems to occur most when the sun is shining and summer seeps into one’s heart, bubbles over and spills out in splashes all over the garden?  It almost feels as if this sweet summer state of mind creates a catalyst that activates a sublime sequence of inexplicable events.                

Like the time Bernadette called.  “The Town is giving away compost.  Want to go?  I’ll pick you up.”

I went.

The sight of eager townsfolk feverishly shoveling free compost, piled up in the parking lot, into bags and bins didn’t inspire me.  The stream of comings and goings to and from the main building however, was intriguing.                                                                                                        

Woo hoo! Community garage sale …     

 Bernadette laughed when I mumbled, “I’m going to look for treasures for my garden.”

IMG_20170504_182515
That’s me!

I heard “Junk Lady” as I hopped out of the vehicle.

My friends know me too well!

 

 

 

I picked up a bunch of beauties for mere coins.  Like these –

IMG_9651
A wall mirror to create the illusion of an open doorway on the fence in the backyard
IMG_9648
A toy scooter to use on the deck as a stand for a flowering potted plant.

 

 

IMG_9546
Three of five forlorn, unclaimed items remaining on the book table.  1917 publications. A century old.

 

 

 

And then I stopped in my tracks as some old books caught my eye.  

Me:  “How much?”

Bored vendor:  “How about a dollar fifty?  Fifty cents each.”

I set the coins down and scooped the volumes up, unable to believe my luck.  There were two others still  languishing on the table. 

“I have a quarter left and a TTC token,” I dared to venture.  “Would that be payment enought for those?”

Bored Vendor:  “Sure.  Someone could make use of the token.  This stuff is junk anyway!”

He was in a hurry to pack up and leave.

I handed over my last coin and the transit system token, picked up my booty and scurried away in case someone should have a sudden change of heart.

James 4:2 You do not have, because you do not ask …

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

This rollicking suddenly-sometimes ride commenced a week before, when Evelyn and I sat down to enjoy a Japanese bento box lunch, and the conversation turned to gardens.  

IMG_20170508_185927
That’s me!  The only gardener in the family, actually.

Evelyn:  “How’s your garden doing? Done planting yet?     

Me: “No.  Haven’t even started.  I haven’t had time to buy the annuals.”

Evelyn: “Have you tried Costco?”

Me:  “No.  We’re not members.”

Evelyn:  “I am. I’ll take you.”

So off we went.

Nothing caught my eye in the garden centre.

But …

On our way out, we passed the  mobile phone sales centre, and I remembered my phone.  It had been gasping at death’s door for a while. 

I paused.

Me: My phone is a bit of a dinosaur. I need a new one with a good camera, but I’m not willing to go above my present monthly payment.

Pleasant Salesguy:  No problem. How much do you pay now?

I told him.  I had an exceptionally good deal, he said.  I knew that.

Pleasant Salesguy: Are you willing to go ten dollars more a month?

Me:  No!  I don’t use my phone enough to justify a higher monthly payment.

Pleasant Salesguy:  So you want a free new phone with a great camera for the same amount that you pay now – or less – right?

Me:  I know, it sounds like awful cheek, doesn’t it?

I turned to go.

Pleasant Salesguy:  Wait, wait …

He continued to scroll down, squinting at the screen in front of him.

Evelyn assured me she wasn’t in a hurry.  I rolled my eyes and sighed.

Then –

Pleasant Salesguy: Found it! There’s a loyalty deal and you qualify …

Music to my ears …

So I get a  free phone worth $700, and my monthly payment is four dollars less than previously.   My current phone, I’m told, is worth no more than $150, brand new.

Me:  I’ve been to every mobile provider I could think of.  When I tell them what I’m looking for, they look down their nose at me like I’m cheap. Or they talk down to me like I’m someone’s grandma, shrug and turn away.  So how come you found this one for me?

Pleasant Salesguy:  Because the mall guys work on commission.  It’s not in their interest to spend time looking for deals in the customer’s favour.  I’m a paid employee of Costco.  I’m not on commission.

Me:  On a scale of 1 to 10, how would this phone rate against my old one?

Pleasant Salesguy:  It’s an 8!  What’s more, check out the camera.

Evelyn and I pose.  I click.  We look ten years younger, the lines all automatically air-brushed away.

 Me: Wow!  Wow!! What a selfie!  …

 Pleasant  Salesguy’s name is Michael Blumenfeld.

20170510_151455
Michael Blumenfeld, Sales Manager, Wirelessetc.  Superlative, swept-me-off-my-feet customer service

And that’s not all.

I asked for an upgraded phone cover and screen protector and he gave me $125 in Costco gift cards to pay for them.

Me:  How come?

Michael:  Because this is Costco!

And there’s more …

The screen protector I chose was not in stock, so Michael made a call and arranged for me to pick it up from the mall closest to my home.

I’m elated.  Quite weak at the knees, to be honest.  Evelyn’s jaw’s dropping.  We’re both bewildered by the spectacular customer service …

Daughter squeaked when I showed her my phone at the end of the day.  “Where did you get that?  I’ve wanted an LG forever!  They say it takes the best pictures.”

She almost passed out when I told her how little I was paying for it.

I couldn’t stop talking at dinner that night.  About the amazing deal.  About Michael and the unbelievable customer service.

So we all four of us marched into Costco the next weekend with Grandpa and Grandma (and their Costco card) in tow – Husband, daughters and I – waving my contract with Michael’s business card attached to it.

The service was disappointing. Lack-lustre. The two young fellows at the counter seemed to barely tolerate us.  Kind of felt like we were a nuisance.

Daughters exchanged glances and threw me a funny look. 

“So where’s the customer service you kept on about?”

We got the loyalty deal for two more phones.  Husband pays two dollars and fifty cents less than I do, because he’s the second line on my account.  Husband and Daughter also got $125 each in Costco gift cards.  ONLY because I already had my contract through Michael and requested the same deal for the rest of the family.

There was enough left over, after paying for the extras, to buy trays of flowering annuals for the garden, a set of LED walkway lights, and a rose bush for Grandma.  Compliments of Costco. All because Michael Blumenfeld never made me feel stupid, and took the time to dig out a deal that finally embraced my family as well.

Young Fellows were indifferent, when we were done, and looked relieved to see us go.

I assumed, because of my initial experience, that exceptional customer service was the norm at Costco Wirelessetc.  I understood otherwise on my second visit. It was Michael who went out of his way to make this customer’s day sparkle.

IMG_9659

Husband and Daughter had to return to the location the next day, to pick up their not-in-stock screen protectors.  

“Pick them up from your local mall?  Sorry. No way!”

“But Michael arranged for me to pick it up from …”

 “Michael is the manager, he can do these things …”

Evelyn mentioned that if she’d chosen to take me to the other Costco location she shops at, the mobile phone sales section would not have been visible from the vicinity of the garden centre. So I’d never have seen it to remember the worn out dud I had in my possession.

Such a smooth-as-silk sequence of events that led me to three valuable vintage books and a brand new top-notch cell phone.

Sweet, surreal, sublime, suddenly-sometimes serendipity …

It was not about Bernadette and free compost, or about Evelyn and the garden centre at Costco after all.  

So thankful.  For Evelyn and her Costco membership.  For Bernadette.  For Michael Blumenfeld at Wirelessetc.  And for my fabulous new phone, of course, and the old, old books …

Love how life works when one leans in and listens. 

20170531_164621
Never miss a moment. (Taken at Walmart.  Most folks are proud pose and flash their captions.)
20170518_121850
On a friend’s coffee table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20170508_183308

 

There’s more.  Lots and lots! 

Next time!

Until then,  

sincerely

 

 

20170515_142719
Parked outside the doctor’s office
Advertisements

Love Those Bhangra Boys!

 Life is full of appointments – to be kept or missed as one chooses – delicate deviations from the daily script.  Sometimes showing up in the form of inner impelling, an inaudible whisper, they urge one to reach for the moment and grab it by the horns, before it dissolves and vanishes un-met, unrecognized.

Gotta grab that camera  before the light moves on …

Rainbows on the ceiling won’t linger long , nor shadows on the carpet …

So one halts to act. Because such moments will not be put on hold. Because the tide of micro-events ebbs and swells, leaving behind the joy of happy happen-stance embraced or the tragedy of serendipity unrealized.

The timing of such things is fragile, precise and never a coincidence.

NEVER a coincidence …              

                                      ……………………………………………………………………………..                                 

I had a nagging urge one busy afternoon, to check my Facebook page. 

I’m not one of those Feverish Frenzied Facebook Fiends … honest!

 The screen on my phone opened up at a video clip on Cousin Preman’s page.

Click …

Jaunty young men with beards and bright turbans leap and prance, holding hands with a delighted woman.

A birthday Bhangra serenade!

FB_IMG_1494345124077
Maritime Bhangra Group

The woman in the motorized wheelchair beside herself with glee, claps her hands and beams.   

Her eager, electrifying enthusiasm smacked me in the face.

 Check out  the birthday Bhangra dance.   Click here …

I hit like, stabbed the comments section with a forefinger and tap-tapped:

An amazing lady, God bless her.  This resonates with my heartbeat.  I’ve lost two close friends to ALS .

Later that evening my phone went ping.

Email alert …

 A message via this blog’s address from Next Week on Thursday (Sneak Peak) (on the header menu) 

You have made such a difference in my life this afternoon (I read). Your reply to Preman started it all. I SO want to connect with you. I SO want to find out about the next Thursday. Having gone through cancer yourself, you know the deep JOY of living .

Curious, I leapt into her Facebook page.

The intro read –

I am a joyous person LIVING with ALS with my loving husband, Cameron, always at my side.

FB_IMG_1493652680807
Something about the way she smiles … (The Facebook profile picture ‘with Cameron at my side’)

I got punched in the guts.  I’ve lost two good friends to this brute, a cruel, merciless, relentless ogre that steals and destroys –

ALS.  Lou Gherig’s disease … 

 – and I’m passionate about raising awareness.

Who IS this woman?

Surprise!
Who’s that girl?

The name is Judy Starritt

Enjoying the evening
“Who me?”

                     

#3 I choose my joy!
Sky’s the limit, baby!

Codeword:  JOY!  

This says it all
Christmas lights in her yard

 A person like you and me who’s –

       (a) A once-upon-a-time high school math teacher                             

FB_IMG_1494338035175
I didn’t, actually! A Math pun from Judy’s Facebook page.

(b)  Some mother’s beloved daughter

.facebook_1495038514645
Two peas in a pod and tea for two. Judy (right) and her mama

  (c)  Her boys’ mom

Left over right
Mama, me and brother makes three … (Judy and two of her three boys)
Our sons or Charlie's angels
Brothers united, Judy’s gems. The three Starritt boys
Timothy's diapers
Comely young mother.  Judy hanging diapers out to dry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(d) Doting Grandmama and

Grandad, Grandma, Findlay and Eamon
A sampling of Starritt munchkins

(e) Adored wife of –

Drum roll … Ladeez a..a..nd  gentlemen, presenting the one, the only   …

      – Cameron Amos Starritt 

Ya …ay!

#16 My, he looks like Cam
Ta da !  Cam: “I’ll be your leprechaun and sit upon an old toadstool …”  
.facebook_1495038061829
Cameron Starritt.  That’s her man.

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many hats Judy wears.  She sparkles, she shines.  She’s extraordinary.

 A wheelchair won’t vanquish her spirit –

New transportation
Off on a summer sortie on the motor scooter
20140831_180349
Steppin’ out of the shadows (Judy, centre)

                                                                                Disease daren’t define her.

Judy:  “I have discovered I haven’t changed, just my body has changed.  I am more intensely aware of both the changes in my body and the JOY that surrounds me …”

.facebook_1495038029728
Joy for Judy: Posted on her Facebook page

Shortly after her diagnosis  in 2014, ALS awareness (literally) deluged public awareness in the form of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Judy:  “It was as if ALS suddenly came out of the closet!”

Her firefighter son took on the challenge with gusto –

Click here to watch Judy at Andrew’s side in the Hot Firefighter Ice Bucket Challenge … 

  –  as his mother prepared herself to face the inevitable new normal.

Judy: “I made up a motto for myself and shared it with others … ‘I have faith and hope, I am optimistic and I will find joy every day.’”

.facebook_1495038303049
Draped in Joy with Joey Shipley
Loved watching the ocean
And she does …

I so identify with Judy’s resolve.  When late-diagnosis breast cancer crashed-landed on me  in the summer of 2008, I determined to live each day with joy.   However many – or few – of them remained. 

Me to self:  “I won’t waste a single moment of my cancer!”  

Judy won’t waste her ALS.

Kindred spirits or what?

.facebook_1495038413022
Come on out of that shell! (Judy pounding a maritime lobster treat)

Judy: “I looked for joy – unexpected happiness – and began to find it in the most unexpected places.”

Judy: “At first I would recite this over and over in my head.  Now I just accept it because I HAVE found JOY and mentioned it is nearer than you think.”

FB_IMG_1493652523742
Joy at the window, xylophone rhapsody by Cam.
Our official onboard photo
Say, “Cheeeeez!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some snippets from e-mail newsletters to family and friends –

“If you are wondering, I did find JOY every day!  I don’t want to sound superhuman … I DO have dark moments about the future at times, but by keeping myself busy and surrounding myself with positive people that love me and knowing I have so many people out there, caring and praying for me, this journey is SO much easier.”

“Every day became a special one.  I have so many reasons to smile.”

Like them wild chicken stockin’s and a brand new volunteer-constructed ramp …

“As I started out my journey with ALS, I made up a motto that I wanted to represent what I have, what I am and what I want.  As many of you know, I composed the following –

I have hope and faith

14344254_10157375472105543_4424233400221179271_n
Judy: an infection of joy

I am optimistic

I will find JOY every day.

FB_IMG_1493652664855
And oh, she does …

 

“Just had to look out the back windows to find my joy.  I told you once that JOY is nearer than you think!!”

FB_IMG_1493652549791
Joy out the back window: Cameron and the chickens!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I will participate in the ALS walkathon.”

Since she made that last statement above, Judy has inspired three ALS Walk Strong teams to join Halifax and Virtual Walks!

Judy Starritt is probably the unofficial poster girl of the ALS Society of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (www.alsnbns.ca).

Her story is on their blog. 

Click here to read about Judy’s journey: ALS In The Words Of Judy Starrit …

I contacted Kimberly Carter at the the ALS Society  for permission to use information from their website

FB_IMG_1493652579614
With JOY in the background. Judy (left) and Kimberly Carter of the ALS Society New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (seated right)

Me to Kimberly:  Any friend of Judy is a friend of mine.

Kim’s reply:   I’m the same way, any friend of Judy’s is a friend of mine. I just love her half to pieces.

Yes, there’s certainly something about Judy …

 

 

…………………………………………………

It’s ALS Walkathon time of year again on June 10, 2017.

You’d find posted on Judy’s Facebook Page:

MAY the 4TH be with you and me and the ALS Walkathons across Canada. Today is my official starting date to promote my own team. It is called “Judy’s Joys” and Cameron and I and many more family and friends are going to walk beside me.
It is on June 10th at DeWolfe Park in Bedford. Registration is at 11 o’clock and the walk is at 12 o’clock.
To join my team, go to
www.alswalkstrong.ca

I made a donation (of course) and wrote on my page

Wish I could walk alongside you, Judy Starritt. Brave, beautiful, joyful, you inspire me … Rooting for you in memory of two close friends I’ve lost. Keep sparkling, keep being you. You go, girl … GO!

Join me in supporting ALS WalkStrong 2017.  Click here to donate/ support Judy’s team.  She calls them Judy’s Joys …

………………………………………………………..

Mum often said when I was a girl, “Laugh and the world laughs with you.  Weep and you weep alone.”

Phrased more simply:  “Who wants to be around a miserable grouch?”

Or in Judy’s words (quoting from a newletter update to her circle) –

Find YOUR joy!

You’ll find this picture in her Facebook photo gallery

.facebook_1493652824269

So her home is her haven, not a jail.  She made that choice.

.facebook_1493652741936
The Starritt summer cottage.  Idyllic.  Pastoral.

Life is her adventure.  It’s not unfair.  She made that choice too.     

FB_IMG_1494336925725
Let you love shine.  Follow your dream.  (Close up of the fabric of her caregiver’s outfit)

It helps immensely, of course, to have a wonderful man at your side.

Judy:  Thank God for big men!

The man behind my joy
The big man standing behind the JOY Christmas illumination.  The man behind her joy – literally!

 

                                             

                                                                   

                       

                                       

                                                                   ……………………………………..

Judy:  Eggs come in different shapes and sizes, but they’re all the same inside.  Just like people.

.facebook_1495038142810
From her chickens, with love

Some eggs, like some people,  have stronger shells strengthened not because of, but despite  the circumstances …

Judy wrote on her Facebook page some months back

Since my video went viral, many new and exciting things have happened to me. I tried to read every comment and some just stood out. Selina’s was one of of the them. I replied and a special friendship has developed. Is it serendipity??? Who knows? Who cares?? I delight in her words and she has opened my mind and heart to newer things.

As she has opened my heart  …

Words are powerful. Weapons of destruction or tools of hope.  It all depends on how one chooses to wield them. 

To bless or to curse …

 Judy:  “I will pray that in my lifetime, ALS will become treatable, not terminal …”

Oh, me too!  Me too …

Believers in dreams, you and I, Judy.  With faith, we’ll make them all come true.

1 Corinthians 13:12    For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I         know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood …

Through the looking glass in my garden nooks …

Judy Starrit has found her Promised Land — that place within the heart, nestled deep inside the human spirit.

IMG_3920
The Promised Land.  That’s what I named our home.

A believing heart, a humbly yielded spirit …

IMG_3923
BELIEVE in mirror letters 
IMG_3922
Sunlight reflected off mirror BELIEVE, creating an inverted splash of word on the bathroom floor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Codeword:  JOY …

Always!

So thankful for Judy’s joy.  Infectious, unforgettable lady.

To help increase ALS awareness and support Judy’s Joys at the Walkathon, please share this post.  (Scroll down and click on one of the share buttons below). Let’s see how far Judy and her cause can travel. Thank you.

Until next time,

sincerely

PS:  Three cheers for Judy’s beloved Maritime Bhangra Group.

FB_IMG_1494345156043
These Sauve sahibs jump for joy
15940869_1378265405525064_2463268761752486903_n
Hurrah, we made it! On the front cover.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judy: “Love those boys!”

Click here  and give her Bhangra Boys a thumbs up on their Facebook page. 

Oh, and if you enjoy gorgeously groan-worthy puns like these – 

FB_IMG_1494337676646

FB_IMG_1494336855371

 

 

 

 

 

 

— you must take a leisurely stroll through Judy’s Facebook page !

.facebook_1493653114933
Groan!

That Corner Chair

Ever paused to check out what folks are doing at bus stops, or observed  parents with kids in restaurants, in the park?

IMG_20161228_193837
Eyes on phone.  Caregiver of disabled children. In local mall.
IMG_20161228_193621
In the mall at Christmastime.  Not interested in atmosphere, decorations,  festive music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The forty-something-and-under phenomenon.  Hunched over phones …

Shook my head head in disbelief as I took this one –

IMG_20161228_194007
Youngster manning Salvation Army Christmas Kettle – crouched over phone and halfheartedly ringing bell with free hand.  Guess why kettle’s almost empty.
IMG_20161223_152111873
As it should be.  Smiling Kettle Person happy to pose at WalMart.  Couldn’t help emptying  my purse of all its spare change.

Times have changed. Sad.

Life’s blazing flicker moments come and go.  In plain sight.

So easy to miss …

IMG_20170315_184516

IMG_20160929_170224

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Happened to look out of window as sun rose last week.    Picked up phone and clicked.   

IMG_20170315_194042
Sunrise over neighbour’s home

Minutes later –                                                     

IMG_20170315_194029
Brighter, more gold

Stark contrast in brightness of light and sharpness of shadow.  Parable for the day –

Only a matter of time before things get brighter …      

Might have missed the golden moments in morning haste, if I hadn’t happened to look.  ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….     Objects have such power to transport me back to associated moments.

 When I look at these – 

IMG_8958
The moment I stand at this bay window, I’m back in assorted paradise climes where I found the shells and starfish
IMG_20160730_145527374
Enormous bathroom collage of shells from  shores around the world.  Daily I re-live the joy of beach-combing.  The sense of remembered joy never fades.

                                                                                                        

IMG_8961
Ah, to be a dewdrop in lush, humid rain forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then there’s Chair-In-The-Corner .

IMG_8708
Husband’s maternal grandpa’s chair.  Over a century old, from Kopay, Jaffna.  

Hansi putuwa in the vernacular.  Translated: resting chair

IMG_9001
Infant Husband with grandfather on said Corner Chair .

Miracle child, my husband.  Survived despite all odds.

IMG_9006
Cutie Pie- now mine!

Parents who dared to believe.  Mother with dogged faith –

He’s going to be okay …

IMG_20170321_084110
Husband with parents after christening at St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Borella.  (Left) Maternal grandparents, (right) Paternal grandparents
IMG_9002
“Hi there!”.  Dad, Mom and precious first born (two brothers to follow)

– and Maternal Granny who pretty much slept with head in his crib at night that first year.

Just in case …            

Grew to be strong as an ox, that babe, healthy as a horse.                     

IMG_20170321_083859
A deep, strong bond to the very end of her life. Husband and Ammamma (His mom’s mom). 

And married me …  

Testimony to power of prayer, faith,  love, positive thinking.

 

 

 

 

………………………………………………………………………………….

Visually struck by the obvious.  See how reflection in mirror changes.

Depending on where I stand,  angle I look from …

Another parable?  Sort of.

How do I perceive situations that arise?

IMG_20170127_111612
It will, but can it hold you?
IMG_20161228_185903
Need more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consider, ponder on definition of joy.  An inner grace, un-dependent on circumstances.  Ability to be thankful.  To see the glass  half full, not half empty.  To look back with gratitude.    

And embrace even the unbearable uglies …

To be able to evoke music from within –     

IMG_20170116_183038
Music from within??

IMG_20161228_195908

Determined to believe the best is yet to come.      

IMG_8971
“The best is yet to come”.  Caption on van zipping past on Saturday morning.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Thankful husband’s life was spared to marry me.  Thankful for our daughters.

IMG_9008
He and Me.  Post-cancer treatment cruise.  Sketched Antigua, West Indies. (Bears passing resemblance to Husband, None at all to me.)
IMG_9010
New York City artist.  Striking reproduction of the twins’ ‘inner essence’ 

    

 

 

 

Thankful for nine cancer-free years.       

IMG_9011
Pink ribbons for breast cancer.  Holy Spirit Dove.  Mother-in-law’s handiwork.  A gift to celebrate the end of chemo.  Always grateful for in-laws’ loving care and support.

 

 

 

 

Wordless gratitude …  

Wishing you thankful joy today.   May it sidle sweetly in and entice you to come out and play –

In spite of yourself …

IMG_20170107_150629524_HDR

IMG_20161228_183809

Until next time,   

sincerely

Faith We Follow

“There was a crash.  The knife came down, barely missed my eye. Blood everywhere…”

I can almost hear Mum’s voice.  Wish I’d paid more attention to details.

Her tales often commenced with all six of us.  img_8482

Pearl, Ruby, Peter, Dan, Beatrice, Elizabeth …  

img_8670
“All six of us” (1976).  Seated (left to right): Beatrice, Pearl, Ruby, Elizabeth.  Standing (extreme left): Peter, (extreme right): Dan, the brothers-in-law behind their wives -(Left to right: Prins, Sub, Prince, Selva)

Mum:  So all six of us climbed into Babby’s cot with the cake Alice baked.  We found it on the kitchen table.  Just as Petes lifted the bread knife and said, ‘Let’s have a piece’, the cot collapsed.  The knife came down on my forehead.  It narrowly missed my eye.”

img_20170129_172818

Alice, the family retainer who helped cook and keep house, the hapless victim of boyish pranks.

Peter and Dan – Petes and Danma to us nieces and nephews – youthful villains.

Baby Elizabeth was Baba.  Babby to the next generation.

Me: (doing mental calculation) But Mum, if Babby was say … five, and you … eight, the others would have ranged in age from eighteen and under.  How could all six of you have squeezed into a baby’s bed – with a cake and knife?

_20150710_140211
Gifted teller of jokes and stories,  writer, mimic par excellence.  Mum loved to laugh.    

 Mum’s a storyteller, not a mathematician.  It’s how she remembers …

Mum:  On Sunday evenings we had family prayers.  On our knees.  They went on forever.

Her eyes are brimming with memories …

Mum:  We quietly slipped away into the kitchen to have a feast.

Me:  All six of you …

Mum: Poor Alice.  No one listened to her protests.  The patties were for the visitors.  She made lovely patties.  We ate everything we could find and crept back to the living room, knelt down and folded our hands.

img_20150806_160207
They did!

Me: And No one noticed?

Mum:  No.  And E.T.S Aunty was so impressed by our piety,   we all got  toffees.  She said we were good children!

E.T.S Granny (always known by her initials), Grandpa’s widowed sister, frequent visitor, devout, determined lady, given to eloquent, lengthy prayers.     

img_20150801_125036
Lo-o-ong prayers

Mum:  One Sunday evening, Geo Uncle came to visit.

Me: At prayer time?

She’s chuckling …

Mum:  Petes used a coat hanger to start Uncle’s car.  We all climbed in.

Me:  All six of you …

Mum:  He drove to Geo Uncle and Malar Aunty’s house.  We ate all the goodies Malar Aunty fed us and drove back home again.

img_8674
George  (Geo Uncle, poet, man of letters) and Malar Perinpanayagam on holiday in hill country with Beatrice (Mum)  She spent a lot of time with them in their early married life.

Me:  And their eyes were closed, they were still praying?

I’m laughing with her …

 Mum:  He never knew!

Me:  And Malar Aunty?

Mum:  I don’t think she ever told him.

img_20170116_184146
Lest we forget!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Shadrach Samuel Esquire, aspiring businessman aged 32, won the hand of Miss. Mercy Newton of Chundikuli, Jaffna.  As legend has it, the friends of the sixteen-year-old bride called out over the fence as she walked past the schoolyard of the local girls’ school, on her way to church to be married.         

img_8680
Miss Mercy Newton, second daughter of Charles and Rose Newton of Chundikuli, Jaffna

Shadrach and Mercy set up home in Colombo, sleepy metropolis of colonial Ceylon.  

He founded the iconic engineering firm, Samuel Sons.  

img_8681
Samuel Sons, founded 1922.  70th anniversary commemorative mug.  Uncle Peter, an artist, designed the logo.

                                 

 

 

 

The union produced six children.

  A seventh, Mum remembers as Bertie, succumbs to an untimely demise as an infant …                                                       

img_8666
Shadrach & Mercy Samuel and offspring.  Left to right:  Ruby, Pearl (seated), Dan (seated) and Peter.  Baby Beatrice held by Dad.  (Elizabeth was born a year or two later)

Grandma Mercy died in her sleep at age 33.  Cause of death unknown.

Mum recalls asthma and a family history of heart disease  …

Rajes Aunty, seventeen-year-old bride, moved in with new husband, Thurai Perinpanayagam (Grandma Mercy’s cousin) to help take care of a brood of children, some of them almost her age. 

To this day, Rajes Aunty occupies a special place in all our hearts.

img_3722
Looking good!  Aunty Rajes Perinpanayagam celebrates 90 years (2015)  Husband and I made a detour on a summer road trip, to attend the surprise party at her son’s home in Connecticut

The siblings grew closer to one another.                         img_20150805_222918

All six of us …  

Grandpa Shadrack never recovered from his loss.  Well meaning aunties and clucking grannies suggested umpteen prospective brides to grace his hearth and mother the children.

Mum:  He always said, “There was only one woman for me.  God who took her away from me will take care of my children.”

img_20150804_223804
Grandpa’s was. (Photo of picture hanging in friend Evelyn’s home.  Painted by her niece.)

Me:  Do you remember her, Mum?

Mum:  Of course!  She was slim and pretty, darling, gentle, soft-spoken, a lady through and though. Always simply and tastefully attired. She was an artist, she painted beautifully.  I remember whenever she baked a cake, she let me stir the batter and lick the spoon.  I got a new dress every year, for my birthday.  She cut it out herself and made me turn the wheel of the sewing machine for her.  She used to call me Pambaram.

Me:  Pambaram?

Mum:  Because I was a tomboy.  I could never sit still.  It means spinning top in Tamil.  She played the piano.  On Sundays, all six of us would stand ‘round and sing hymns.

img_8660
Tomboy Beatrice.  How she was allowed to pose for a formal picture dressed like this is a mystery.

Me:  It must have been awful after she died.

Mum:   We had Daddy.  We loved him. He was strict, of course, but such a kind, generous man. He helped everyone.  Babby and I secretly called him Dixie Daddy from a song on the radio hit parade.  We giggled every time we said it.

_20150716_173652
Dixie Daddy!
img_20150729_134030
Super Daddy Samuel …

 

 

 

Me:  Did you miss having a mother, Mum?

Mum:  Of course, darling.  On the day she died, I  asked God why he took my mummy away.  I was six.  Babby was only three.  I made up my mind to eat all my vegetables and grow strong, so I would be fit and well and never die and leave my children all alone.  But we had each other, it was a happy home.

img_20170220_183655

All six of us …

img_20170220_183536
Picture of Dixie Daddy on Mum’s autograph album
img_20170220_191230
1954.  Grandpa’s signature in Mum’s album:  S.C. Samuel.  He wrote:  “Let kind thoughts, words, wishes and deeds and the spirits thereof be ours and of those around us.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Church was an important part of family life.

img_20170222_103606
St. Paul’s Milagiriya, Colombo, where the Samuel family worshiped and most of the children and grandchildren (myself included) were married.  (Mum and Dad in bridal car, Beatrice’s wedding, 1961)
img_5159
Dad at St. Paul’s after morning service on his 80th birthday (2016)

  _20150702_203343

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And faith.

img_20170220_185452
Malar Aunty wrote in Mum’s album in 1955: “Behind life’s darkest clouds, God’s love is always shining …”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

As cousins, we have childhood memories of our mothers and aunts talking for ages on the phone.  Cousin Dileeni and I often recreated these conversations – to loud applause and gales of laughter – at family-gathering kid-concerts, 

“How are you, dear?” ” Did Alice come today?”  “Can you believe the price of sugar these days?”

They couldn’t do without each other.            

img_8682
Sisters:  (Standing left to right) Pearl, Ruby, Elizabeth.  (Seated)  Beatrice

Time marched on. 

img_3470

img_3207

img_20170222_075437
Pearl and Sub (Dr & Mrs J.T. Subramaniam)
img_20170222_075328
Ruby and Prince (Dr & Mrs R.P. Rajakone)

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pearl and Ruby married their doctors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter and Dan sailed off to the United Kingdom to pursue engineering degrees.

img_20170220_184805
Dashing sportsman, artist, dreamer.  Uncle Peter (left) engineering student in  England. (1950s)
img_20170220_185103
A brilliant mind.  Uncle Dan (front left),  also engineering student, England (1950s)

   

             

img_20170220_184911
Uncle Dan never married.  There were whispers of a mysterious Swedish lady who  broke his heart.

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mum kept house for Grandpa and played doting aunty to a growing circle of adoring nieces and  nephews.

They called her Bety …

img_20170222_103358
The tribe of Samuel grandchildren at Mum and Dad’s engagement party.  Waiting to be born: Sister and Me, and Shiro (Babby’s daughter)

Tragedy struck again.  Grandpa Shadrach died unexpectedly, after routine surgery.  He was only 63.  Mum was 19 years old, Babby just 16.        

img_20170222_104859
Newspaper clipping.  Obituary notice.

Shadrach and Mercy united in death, buried side by side ….

img_5175
Together forever, Shadrach and Mercy (Anglican Section, Kanatte Cemetry, Colombo)

Mum and Babby clung to each other –

img_8663
Beatrice and Elizabeth outside Westholme, Kinross Avenue, the sprawling family home by the sea
img_8673
Babby wrote in Mum’s autograph album:  “There’s no friend like a sister, in calm or stormy weather …” (Signed: Beth)
img_20170220_183112069
Babby, an artist like her mother, probably painted this page for Mum
img_20170220_183513
Mum’s signature on her autograph album.  Her maiden name.
img_8671
Dr Elizabeth Samuel.  Congratulations!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter took over the headship of the firm.

Elizabeth attended medical school. 

Mum ran the family home for Uncle Peter, wrote wonderfully imaginative short stories that were published in the newspapers, taught Sunday School and created exquisite cakes for nieces and nephews, an abundance of relatives and friends. 

The artistic, thespian, writing/storytelling genes run strong in this family line …

 

…………………………………………………………

Grandpa was a man of faith, a praying man.

His example rubbed off.  Mum was a staunch believer in the power of prayer. 

I remember Sunday evenings with Mum at the old piano of her girlhood (now situated in her own home), singing the same beloved hymns she sang as a child.

_20150708_003525
Mum taught Sister and Me this hymn

I remember us as little girls – Sister and I – kneeling by our beds as Mum taught us to pray.  I remember Mum reading from a book of devotionals, holding hands with Dad, Sister and Me (in our tiny school uniforms) and sending us off for the day with a prayer.

Sister and I often made fun, called her Saint Beatrice.

img_20150805_174558

 

Mum learned from Grandpa Shadrach. 

They prayed, things happened …

img_20150805_223544
Hanging in our home

               

   

   I learned from Mum.  

   Much older now, I’m an ardent              believer in  the mountain-moving        power of prayer.

     Faith we follow …

img_20150719_1247162532
Worked for Grandpa.  Worked for Mum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Just dialed long distance to talk to Babby – godmother, second mum — in Bethesda, Maryland. 

The pain of missing Mum is less when she and I talk …

Babby is the only one left.  She feels it badly.

img_8683
Elizabeth (left) and Beatrice (Babby and Bety).  Mum adored her baby sister.  Babby and Mum were close, right to the end of Mum’s life.

 

Asked about the size of the cot.  Says she slept in it till she was around eight years old. 

All six of us?  

It must have been a humongous piece of baby furniture!

 

 

Called Rajes Aunty some months back, posed questions about the family tree.  She snail-mailed  handwritten details from New York – 

img_8676
Appetizer.  Found the Newton/Perinpanayagam connection.  Thank you, Rajes Aunty!

Excited, more curious than ever!

Saw a picture of an ancestor on Facebook recently.

The Perinpanayagam connection, circa 1834  …

 Fascinated.  Impelled to dig deeper into the family tree. 

Mum’s second cousin, Thavo (Geo Uncle’s nephew), e-mailed more puzzle pieces from New Zealand –

img_20170222_115511997
A snippet from a fairly lengthy document put together by Uncle Geo’s brother, Stephen Edgar R. Perinpanayagam.  

Cousin Thavo remembers the Noddy cake Mum made:  ” For my sixth birthday in 1959.  It had Noddy’s car and house and even had 2 milk bottles outside the house” …

Discovered that Grandpa Shadrach and Grandma Mercy were distant relatives.

An exhilarating peep into the past.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

It was misty this morning in Toronto. 

img_8684
View from front door

Much brighter/warmer in the land of our birth.

Alas for ugly politics, economics:  the clans are scattered worldwide.

Appetite whetted.  Must know more.

img_20161017_231704
So which came first, the chicken or the egg?
img_20170220_182937
The pictures fascinate me

 

 

 

 

 

 

These roots go deep.

img_20160325_181055365_hdr

img_20161226_174705

 _20150710_142036

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay  tuned.  More stories to come as more dots are joined.

_20150630_173220

_20150630_172053

_20150708_010343

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until then,

sincerely

PS:  If you happen to be a branch/ twig/clipping of the Samuel/ Newton/ Perinpanayagam family trees and have old pictures/information, I’d love to hear from you. 

img_20150727_184955
… grandchildren AND great grand children!

_20150708_014756

_20150704_170751

     

   

 

 

 

 

And I’d be delighted to share what I’ve gathered, with you.  

Thank you!

img_20150729_135348

All pictures in this post are clicks on Ipad and phone.

Gimme, Gimmee, Gimmeee!

Puppy adores presents.  Assumes every gift-wrapped package is for him –

img_7997
“Gimme, gimmee, gimeee ….” (Puppy and Ruwan)
img_7996
“Hey … gimme!”  (Puppy and Reshma)


img_20161205_210701
Nope!  

                 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got  caught red-handed on Christmas Eve, snooping  around tree.

img_8312
“To Pup” … gift tag and tissue flung aside.  Hole in the bag.  He found his present.
img_20161130_192224
Looks like it
img_8321
“Finally, all mine.” (Had to hide the bag till Christmas morning).
img_20161103_201626
“Don’t remember.  Never graduated !”
img_8327
 “Oh, hello Santa, it was you all the time!”
img_20170116_184628
So who killed Santa?
img_8329
Didn’t do it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guilty …

img_20161129_074829861
Not me!
img_8015
    Fine, call the cops!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puppy lives in state of constant joyous expectation.

Fabulous way to live …

img_8634
“Something yummy, for sure!” (Puppy and Friend Jim)
img_20150724_211926377_hdr2
Every moment, no matter what comes along

Living life in Puppy Mode …

Sunshine and shadow – embrace it all.

img_20170129_172923

img_7888
Me in splash of sunlight
img_8278
Christmas decorations on kitchen wall
img_8626
Ivy topiary in foyer
img_5140
Orchid on kitchen table

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life’s treasures – darkness, light; good, the bad, lovely and ugly.

Rich fodder for this writer’s pen, if nothing else …

img_20170123_071824
Driving home at dusk.  Lamplight over court.

img_8646

 

Life often presents real live parables.  Puppy is mine.

_20150709_210433

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I have dreams.

img_20150727_191324
More than one, actually
img_8610
BIG DREAMS
img_20161210_103148
Just did. 

A secret path leads to dreams.  Winds through dusty roads, up dim stairways and rugged steps, along endless corridors.  

Along the way –

  • Jeers, sceptics, wet blankets –
img_20160702_230849
Mean comments
  • Dead ends, slammed doors –
  • Grim warnings –
  • Unforseen restrictions –
  • Disappointments, endless waits –

And yet –

Impelling urges on, blazing inferno that won’t be quenched.  Lurks just beneath surface of immediate consciousness, hangs like  mist, a veil through which real world is viewed.

img_20160730_103337893
Endless
img_20160429_132341
Clinic for  weary dreamers?
img_20150726_145431
As fast or as slow as it takes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still …    

img_20160701_101556666
Yes! (Tiana’s T-shirt)
img_20160724_105803831
That’s me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see … 

Fueled by burning urge to write –

img_20161205_211719
Really do  
img_20160802_175733
At my desk
img_7183
Out on the deck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, no matter how I feel –

Must keep going –

img_8221
You want me to … what?
img_8222
Hey, it’s freezin’ out here!

                   Okay, all done, and good luck with shoveling up that poop when the snow thaws …

Never mind what they say.

One piggy, second pig, third pig …

and …

Ha! 

Nope!  Long before that …

img_20161228_192416
Okay.
img_20160519_082628
A swine state of affairs!

And now –

Don’t know.  

Won’t find out till I try … 

Finally, one sweet day –

img_8136
And it was all worth it after all …
img_20160822_114132372_hdr
Light at the end of the tunnel 

                                                            Aren’t you glad you made the climb?

Every day is Christmas for Puppy, any moment might bring gifts.

img_20160404_173338
Every day is NOT Christmas (back of scooter taxi, Colombo, Sri Lanka)
img_8303
                                                        Christmas Eve. Bone-shaped stocking – guess whose?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankful for Puppy, a parable of joy and daily expectation.

Gimme, gimmee … gimmeee!

Until next time,

sincerely

PS: The pictures in this post are all random clicks on Ipad and phone.

Toilet Paper Brides

New Year rolls in. 

Brings gifts –

img_20161228_200919
Soaring postage costs.  Not many Christmas cards last year.

 – three hundred and sixty five days untrodden, all gift-wrapped.

_20150601_100324

img_20161228_191113

img_8499

Reams of resolutions.  High hopes in spite of/ because of …

img_20161205_212815
What next? 

Then comes …

 Evening news.  Burning building collapses.

170119134921-16-tehran-iran-plasco-building-fire-0119-restricted-exlarge-169
Downtown Tehran. Authorities ignored warnings about structural weakness
170119133847-12-tehran-iran-plasco-building-fire-0119-restricted-exlarge-169
Flaming highrise falls down flat

 

 

 

 

 

Shades of 9/11 …

Pick up phone to text Neighbour–

Me:  (tap, tappity-tap) Hope your family wasn’t near the building that came down in Tehran.

Neighbour (texts):  Thank God, none of my family members was in that area.  I knew this building very well since my father used to have an office there when I was little.  My mother was working, so he would take me to his office after school.  It’s all so sad.

Me: (Tap, tap): Thank God.  Sad, yes.

Avalanche in Italy buries ski resort.  More earthquakes. Tsunami warning. Shooting in Texas mall.

img_8498

 Never ends.  So what’s changed?

 Nothing, it seems, but …

  • Must keep looking upward, focus outward, embrace light. 
img_6450
Puppy embracing light
img_8405
Dawn over neighbours’ homes
img_8480
Moonrise above next door’s roof
img_8134
Full moon at midnight through bathroom skylight
img_8417
Crescent moon and single star above neighbour’s house
img_20161226_175425
… little star

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 img_20161228_182006

– Must speak LIFE.

Proverbs 18: 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue …

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Daughters’ Christmas present hangs by writing desk.  Speaks loud and clear to Heart.  Heart leaps for joy –

img_8428
Merry Christmas Mom (that’s me!)             
img_20170116_182708
Husband’s wife.  Daughters’ mom.  ME.

– Mustimg_20170116_183143 believe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes! Just getting started …

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Inspired by Puppy’s determination to keep dreaming, believing –

img_8390
“Hey, Grams, wanna share? “
img_20161117_185756
“… it’s gonna fall!”

img_8171

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When all else fails …

img_8388
Yahoo!  Dishwasher time …

img_20161228_195111

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Box of Dreams sits by bedroom door.  Weighs a ton.

img_2644
Up to the brim.  Almost twenty years of journals
img_20161116_115018
Yes, mine.

img_20160721_115848866

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now making entries in journal number thirty six.

img_20160514_150136

img_20160901_131843966_hdr
From the wildest dreams of …

img_6834

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Been scribbling my heart out for years.

A dream catalyses the evolution of Something out of Nothing, sometimes through Unlikely Source.

Like toilet paper wedding gowns …

img_6934
Radiant Toilet Paper Brides at Rachel’s bridal shower
img_8491
You’ll never know till you try
img_20170107_144202397
Just imagine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plan for the rest of 2017:

(1) Quit skulking  in life’s undergrowth   –

img_20160726_091051119
Puppy’s arch-enemy, lying in wait

…  strive for the stars.    

(2) Look at the bigger picture –     

_20150324_191242
Sky’s the limit
img_3533
Life in miniature.  Husband peeping into giant doll house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(3)  Build more bridges (not fences) –

img_20160823_111222074
Shut out of paradise.  All fenced out

(4) Think outside the box –

img_7763
You betcha!
img_8104
Too confined
img_7734
Don’t go there! (Puppy and friend)
img_7735
Oh, come on out!
img_20161205_210758
No way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(5) Break out of the iron bars –

img_7466
“Someone lemme out!” (Puppy out of harm’s way during renovations)
img_2637
“Come on out. ” (Puppy’s sister, Jesse)
img_20150727_181452
“Can’t you see the door’s open, silly?”
img_20161230_071844021
Sometimes the keys are in plain sight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what keeps holding you back?

img_5013

img_20160825_212954288
Unlocking door. (Husband after summer concert in the park)

         

img_20161228_200904
Endless!

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(6) Wear the weight of passing years like a  million dollar diamond tiara –

 With grace and elegance …

 (6) Resurrect dead dreams –        

img_20150412_015736679
Kanatte Cemetary, Colombo, Sri Lanka
img_20160717_105258050
Dying African violet.  Nursed it back to life.
img_20161011_134110
                                                                               LEAVE OUT.  DON’T PUT  IN GARAGE     (Sign on neighbour’s lawn)

img_20161228_184250

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(7) Pray more –
_20150710_141818

img_8341
Grace before Christmas dinner

img_20161228_200138

 

_20150603_182700

img_20161226_183217

img_20161210_160011279_hdr

img_20170115_091203

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

_20150423_184229

img_20161112_163007
Puppy’s favourite pausing spot

                                                                                             Dear Me,

                                                                                             The dream finally came true ….                                                                                                                 

_20150710_143739
I still write letters

img_20160702_154458593

img_5529
Who writes letters anymore? (Street corner, Colpetty, Sri Lanka)
img_20160705_164218
Never believe that

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Philippians 3: 13 But one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead …

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Ahoy there!  All aboard …

img_5682
Wellawatte railway station, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Oh baby …

img_7836
Puppy and Rithika

img_20160820_095449

img_20161013_200119
Never too early to start

 _20150423_184824

   

img_20160829_143619
Me?  Never!

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

Some day soon.

_20150712_161045
Some day …

Thankful for dreams.  A reason to leap out of bed each morning.

Until next time,

sincerely

            

 

 

                                     

Aloha Sweet Things!

Meet  Sharyn Stone, my friend.  She and husband, Jeff, live the enviably idyllic barefoot life at Huelo Point Lookout Bed And Breakfast (www.maui-vacationrentals.com), in Maui. 

The English Duke/Earl of Somewhere-Or-Other had just honeymooned at Huelo Point with his fourth (fifth?) bride when Husband and I visited just before Christmas 2013.

Picture breathtaking, heart-stopping paradise.

sharyn-alone
Sharyn at Huelo Point Lookout, Maui, Hawaii. (Bed and breakfast owned and operated by Dr. Jeff and Sharyn Stone)

First met Sharyn on the internet (gasp!) on a writer’s website, Fanstory.com

We each discovered our Writing Twin.  (Never thought to meet one in this lifetime.)

img_20160705_164041
Not really!  Uncannily related in many ways, tho’ ..
img_20160702_230243
Same fave novels as girls, same fave plays, poems, same passion for theatre.  Incredible serendipity.
sharyn-with-dr-and-jeff
Husband with Jeff and Sharyn, Huelo Point Lookout, Maui

Sharyn is everything I’m not, the very opposite, possibly, as regards general outlook and life philosophy and yet …

We call each other Twinnie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This bio in her blog says it all –

ABOUT: SHARYN STONE

Getting older and, for the most part, having a blast!

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO LIVE YOUR DREAMS. YOU KNOW THE OLD SAYING … ‘IF NOT NOW … WHEN?’

I guess I’m all about following one’s dreams—even though, sometimes, those dreams change into others and we have to make that adaptation—but I have no intention of dying with my “music unsung”!

See what I mean?

 I’m half her height (mildly exaggerating), and  NOT a blonde bombshell– but I’ve no intention of dying with my “music unsung” either!

Sharyn posted on her Facebook page shortly after the dawn of 2017

img_8442

Old Girls Looking … What??  

That’s Sharyn all right!

Her dream’s coming true.

Tickets, anyone (click here)?

One-woman musical. A bittersweet, poignant, sometimes irreverent look into life as she’s lived it. Script, lyrics and acting by Sharyn Stone, storyteller par excellence, poet, playwright.

She sang and played for me from the show’s musical score, over the phone last month, just before Christmas.  

Almost picked up my feet and danced.

img_20150801_201651

img_20160611_203826

Had the privilege of reading an early draft.

img_8448
Reading material on endless flight en route to  Sri Lanka

_20150710_215549

_20150602_094400

 

Sparks of brilliance.  Definitely going places.

Felt it in my bones …

 

 

This is Sharyn with her adorable sidekick, Joyce Romero (82 years young) and the comment accompanying the email she sent along with the picture –

and you thought leaf blowers were for the GARDEN??? Think AGAIN TWINNIE!

_mg_4359
The wind-blown look.  Sharyn with Joyce, posing for OGLH poster (on her neighbour’s Harley).

_20150601_150607

img_20150801_191622

img_20150801_185344
That’s for sure!
IMG_20150727_185455.jpg
No way.  Not those two!
sharyn-on-bike
Old Girls, the demure version
img_20150727_191118
She most certainly is!

_20150711_170822
img_20160505_095939         Aloha, Sweet Things!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

A peep into the final scene of Old Girls (with permission, copyright Sharyn Stone):

STORYTELLER/SHARYN: What’s that old guy looking at? (Speaking to “old guy”) Yes? Do you need the machine

MIME/MALE GYM MEMBER, OLD:  No, no thank you. It’s just that … well … I’ve been watching you for months now. You’re beautiful.  And I just want to say how great it is to see Old Girls like you …     Oops – that didn’t come out right

STORYTELLER/ SHARYN: Oh, ya think?

MIME/MALE GYM MEMBER, OLD:  Old girls … like you … looking … Hot! And I don’t mean … sweaty. You are seriously … HOT. On the INSIDE.  I mean …

The message?                                                    

_20150423_183604
I’m not.

YOUTH IS A STATE OF MIND.

I agree.  One hundred percent.

img_20160617_124356505
I’d rather not know.
_20150712_161434
Go on!

_20150710_101443

Congratulations, Twinnie!  

Thrilled for you.   

Your name in lights …

_20150515_194927

                                
So here’s to all the dreamers who DARE to dream –
img_20161228_201338
img_20161029_201428
Buying coffee at  Tim Horton’s.  She let me take a picture of the caption.
img_20161017_111748
Clipping from Toronto Star
_20150601_190952
Thankful for the ability to keep dreaming in spite of naysayers, sneering sceptics.  Despite what life’s flung my way –
img_7945
Tune out the dreamkillers … and run.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
 My friend Joan Adams wrote on New Year’s day –
Dream Again
… To each one who’s forgotten to dream.
Do you remember that old suitcase
Where  dreams were hidden and no longer seen?
img_8436
Used with permission, copyright Joan Adams, another internet friend from Fanstory (who lives within visiting distance.)

img_20161228_190721

I believe.

Happy New Year!
Until next time,
sincerely
 PS: All the pictures in this post are clicks on Ipad and phone. 

If You Could Read My Mind, Love …

Such fond memories of Asterix  comic books.  

img_7717
Frolicsome adventures in Roman times.  Fun, puns and ancient history.   Brilliant.  (First publication 1959)

Action-packed illustrations on each page. (Much) Younger Me spends ages poring over each micro-interaction in every frame.

img_20160530_183107

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a look at this one below –

Take time, observe … 

img_20161117_190034

img_7716                             Asterix, the Gaul.   Assorted mirco-moments playing out at  banquet table 

This picture –

img_7399
Family-and-friends choir sings at Aunty Joyce-and-Uncle Rajan’s Golden Wedding anniversary party (Summer 2016)

– has that effect.  Urges me back.  Over and over again.  Examine every face, every expression.  Gordon Lightfoot echoes in  head (background music and all!) –

If you could read my mind love, what a tale my thoughts would tell …  

GordonLightfoot Interlochen.jpg
Gordon Lightfoot (78) , Canadian musician, singer-songwriter

Looking again.  Intently.  Face by face.  Expression by expression.

So what’s going on in the singing heads ?

Ever wondered what it would be like to pitch a tent and spend a day in someone’s mind? 

IMG_20161205_203050.jpg
Some things are better left unexplored!

 

 

 

 

 

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

What I see when eyes open each morning –

img_7680
Faintest crack of light slipping through door

img_20161103_195743

 

 

 

Light.

Husband’s up.  Light brightens, knifes through shadowed gloom.

img_7952
Bathroom light goes on
img_7499
Light will find a way

       

                       

 

 

Lurking dark recedes.

Heard someone say this recently:  “When night grows darker, light gets brighter.  It has to .”

Sets me thinking.

Light needs darkness to shine.

img_20161117_185725
Supermoon night.  Blood moon behind clouds
img_20160819_232510
Neighbour’s window
img_6562
Dawn thro’ bathroom blind 

                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

                     Darkness overthrown, must flee.

                      Power and effect of light … 

img_20160618_222340203

 

 

 

 

Notice how light plays with cloud, makes gloom slide away?

Spectacular …

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………                   img_20161205_210216                                   

                       Dazzling puddles of sunshine all over house –  

Delighted  by indoor rainbows. Heart-stopping joy-moments  in millisecond doses.

Grab I pad.  Tap, click  …   

    

                

img_20161205_125025742_hdr
Through crystal candlesticks.  Marianne smiles.
img_20160429_132054914
Bernadette’s tea towel
img_20161103_195021
… at the end of the rainbow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White light passes through clear glass prism, separates into colours.                                       

Grade 10 physics …

There’s a process to create  glorious dispersion of white light into rainbow colours  –

Parable?  Sort of …    

Realize something  –

img_20160502_204550

img_20160507_221248

LIGHT is only a prayer away.    

img_20160917_102530644

img_20160617_215606
And then …
img_20161117_185516
… comes light! (Aunty Bongo’s birthday cake)
img_8005
Puppy and Tree Angel

img_20161112_162943

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

If you could read my mind, if I could read yours ….

img_20160704_120941275_hdr
If you could read my mind, love.  What a tale ….
img_6806
Husband browsing in junk store.
img_20160530_182945
Yikes!

Better left untouched?

img_20161116_193655
Who knows?
img_20160725_221604
Perhaps …
img_20160429_142932
Big time!
img_20160803_2027050682
Only a prayer away …
img_20160801_164556
Excuses?

         

      

img_20160429_142806
Whenever you’re ready …

 

 

 

Let light shine. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

img_7912

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 Celebrating joy this Christmas season –

img_8072
Inside view of backyard
img_8071
Outside view from kitchen