In The Nut Aisle

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There is the occasional time when discouragement slithers in under the guise of common sense, and hisses, “Sorry babe, it ain’t ever gonna happen!”

Such a weight of deflated dreams descended on me for no particular reason last week, right in the middle of  grocery day.  Feeling grim and bereft, I tossed items into a supermarket cart, and wandered around until I found myself looking at this enormous fabric creature perched on a stack of plastic storage bins –

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Smile …

 It  didn’t belong where I found it.  Someone had set it down there,  just in time for me and my mood.  The red heart and goofy smile felt like a love letter of reassurance. My spirits rose.  Cart and I continued on and rounded a corner.  The caption on an outsize shirt shouted  –

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The load of doubt dissolved and I smiled in spite of myself. How could I help it when the very space around me seemed to conspire in my favour?  [My friend, Rosalyne, calls this phenomenon Universal Synchronicity.)

It’s amazing how a single special moment can

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My mum used to say, 

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Look at this –

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Never too old …

Radical, thrilling!

IMG_20151217_095934that


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I wouldn’t be able to bear it.


I took this picture last week – 

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, chuckling at memories of a friend who once told me her family tree was composed entirely of fruits and nuts!  I grinned and remembered a recent moment at the bulk food store, when I unintentionally eavesdropped on a brief conversation.

“Could you tell me where the hazelnuts are?” a man asked.

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, sir. In the nut aisle,” the assistant replied. 

My mind boggled as I began to visualize the faces I’d find on the shelves of the nut aisle.  

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Who??

 Pretty much anyone who thinks

Normal is boring!
Normal is boring!

  , I suppose, and that would include me, for sure!


There are three kinds of people in this world –

(1) The IMG_20160318_112602706_HDR(2) The non-dreamer

and

(3) The dream-killer

  • The dreamer – that’s you (if you’re a nut!)
  • The non-dreamer – the one who  regrets his inability to dream big crazy dreams, and might enjoy living vicariously through you
  • The dream-killer — the practical, down-to-earth sort of person who feels duty-bound to tell you that it’s time to grow up and stop wasting your time.

Here’s the deal – _20150709_210453

Of courseIMG_20160306_194453

and believes in the dream.

Dear fellow nut, do you know you have a

_20150601_161507

IMG_20150829_141934

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 Of course,

_20150710_101223

so _20150513_184057

and 

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Above all IMG_20160223_113111

_20150423_190234


So …_20150428_144734

_20150618_150842

_20150623_101344

At the end of life’s journey, I want to be able to say,
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_20150709_222614

Well –

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_20150610_172835IMG_20151101_231727

 

IMG_20151020_122322

IMG_20151101_231402

IMG_20160101_173732


_20150621_145229

, but big or small

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A toast to all the dreaming nuts (and fruits) out there –

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IMG_20160319_103212

_20150324_184251

 

sincerely

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Two Slices Of Rainbow

Rush hour traffic on Friday morning. A chopped-off bar of colour appears ahead, directly above the steering wheel.

Sketch by Selina, 2016 F
Sketch by Selina,  February 2016

A sideways glance at my passenger. “Look at the gorgeous bit of rainbow!”

No response from Daughter.  I turn into the bus station, and …

Gasp!

An equal-opposite matching wedge in pastel colours. The slices cling to the sky, like two pillars on either side of the building.

Sketch by Selina,
Sketch by Selina, February 2016

Enchanting. Delighted …

“Look, another piece. Heaven is smiling!

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!  It’s going to be special!”

Daughter throws a puzzled look and hops out of the car. “Bye, Mom.”

Kids …

I park some feet away, remove sunglasses, raise camera-phone to click. No rainbow.

Huh?

Disappointed. Turn key in the ignition, put sunglasses back on and …  my chunks of rainbow are back!

Huh?

Lower the glasses to the tip of my nose. Rainbow-chunks disappear. Realization dawns. These stumps of rainbow are only visible through tinted glasses.   Daughter never saw them.  She must have thought I was nuts.  

I’ve just seen beauty un-visible to the naked eye.  Life’s like that sometimes, isn’t it?

I drive home realizing that

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because Inner Me wears tinted lenses born from the dark seasons she’s lived through.

I suppose the soul-sunglasses are to blame for how my eyes perceive  things. Like last week, when I was in the mall minding my business. I had this serious urge to step into Hallmark Cards and …

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Three ceramic ornaments in different spots — two below eye level and half turned away from where I stood — held hands and stood up to shout with one voice –

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IMG_20160211_190359

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Message for the day?

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 – honest! I’m

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and

IMG_20160204_101547

IMG_20160111_170103

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that IMG_20160123_201754

and IMG_20160114_150918

is now!

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to convince me and

IMG_20160213_090851

IMG_20160211_190544


I took this picture some months back.

_20150526_134922

How I laughed.  That’s me.  I can’t help it!


IMG_20150403_075051990

IMG_20150403_075247336

IMG_20160204_191305

IMG_20160123_195759

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sincerely

P.S.  Keep the sunglasses on!


 

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imageIMG_20160212_113900


This post is dedicated to my friend Marietta with my thanks for the pictures she took and shared with me.  I’ve used one of them in this piece.  All the other photos are digital moments captured on my phone.

The Famous Grouse

 

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–  me again!  It’s been a while …

 Something’s changed.  I can’t put a finger on it.  Words like these –

_20150621_143956

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 bring on a  half-guilty sigh.   I’ve wondered why.

 There was once a time when

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would have been a sublime goal and aspiration. Not anymore.

 Lately, I find myself planning a

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 meal and

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   I’ve grown weary of keeping the home_20150620_120107

, often reminding myself that

_20150710_162708

and it can wait.  (Unless

IMG_20150814_145326808~2, of course.) 

I can never cease to

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at all you

_20150702_193843

who opt to

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to the exclusion of all else.  My family and home have been

_20150716_180041

of my life, and  I’ve cherished my role as

IMG_20150801_183607, and yet if felt like something was missing.  I seemed to be approaching

_20150716_201952, sort of

_20150716_202123

, you know .   I began to wonder if I needed to 

_20150713_200324

of the icing on the cake of my life – something that would make me come alive.

 I  voiced  my thoughts one evening at the dinner table.

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 ,” I announced.

 Parents often assume their

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and disinterested  in general.  To my amazement and delight, mine were listening..

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,” I went on. “I love words .  I

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 with them all over again when I wake up each morning. If I could

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with my words, and everyday for the rest of my life, then I think I’d be fulfilling my purpose. 

“So do it!” they said.

I was taken aback.  “Do what?” 

“If you have a 

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, Mom,  it won’t just dissolve and

_20150612_111052

 , right? 

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. It’s

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So why not start a blog?” they said.

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,” I squeaked.

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 and

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with the internet.”

 

_20150710_164512 with you,” they said.   “We’ll help you find  your feet.  We’ll sort of be your

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We’ll teach you how to navigate the social media stuff … and stuff.

But you’ll have to_20150612_105139

–  the bulk of it, anyway, because

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So why not

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?”

“But

_20150716_202656 ,” I mumbled.

“Oh,

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, Mom?  Okay, how badly do you want to

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?

“Really badly …”

So

 

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for it, Mom!  But don’t

_20150612_105108

just yet, okay?  (Muffled

_20150612_105554

– the cheeky things!)

“What do I blog about?” I ventured.

“You always have

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. Mom.  Write about your

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, about

_20150612_105707

or just

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,” they said.  “Use the pictures you keep taking.  And whatever you do, Mom, don’t

_20150606_221741 

and

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.”  I became

_20150621_120412

Suddenly, I was

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“Okay,” I said.  “I

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there’s aIMG_20150724_205245373_HDR

for everything, and

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From now on I’m going in

_20150701_140553

 

– I’ll

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and I

 

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And thus began a journey.

Dear reader,

IMG_20150815_004331

of my list  below –

   –  (1)  Be IMG_20150801_185557

             because

IMG_20150815_005528

  • (2)  _20150709_221852

 

  • (3) IMG_20150814_230618

     –  (4) 

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(four times over, and then some more)

  –  (5)  _20150712_162605

 – (6) IMG_20150716_122030891_HDR

  • (7) 

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                                                                             …   xx   …   xx   …

 

 There’s_20150503_132608

 in the dream department.

_20150618_160922

…   xx   …   xx   …

_20150324_191928

…   xx    …   xx   …

_20150710_172854

IMG_20150801_201006

Brake For Butterflies!

Oh

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 there!

_20150617_165802

                                                                                                                     !           

It’s me again … 

I’m in the parking lot with a cartful of groceries when I see this bumper sticker  –

_20150618_151816

I whip out my phone and click.  (How could I not? 🙂 )

Okay –

_20150620_120905

_20150620_121715

                                                                                                           wondering where this is going, right?

 I jotted down some thoughts to share.   

Yes! 

_20150620_121325

I resort to  paper and pen.  (If you’re under thirty, don’t judge those of us who do –

_20150620_121017

_20150620_121101

                                                                                                            )

_20150620_120421

… got distracted!  Sorry, where was I? Oh, butterflies …

 

                                        I

_20150618_162230 

to

_20150618_161758

at myself.  I asked – 

Is it possible to

_20150615_171707

   and still

_20150618_160524

 from life’s knocks?

How can you

_20150623_101616 , no matter what the circumstances?

 How do you measure

_20150428_141718                                                                                                                          ?

_20150620_135758

anyway? 

I know I’ll never be the

_20150620_121419  , a _20150615_173042

_20150620_115759 , or a 

_20150603_181325

.  Who cares if I’m not

_20150617_160457

 and

_20150615_172206

?  I don’t yearn to

_20150617_154345

 at the best restaurants, nor do I  seek

_20150618_161028

all the time. 

This I know, however.  Each new day is a 

_20150620_121309

  – not just the

_20150620_121837

 –  but every moment of my life,

_20150623_101502 

.  Of course,

_20150618_162256

bonus.

How wonderful not to always have to

_20150617_154946

.  I’m happy as I am, though. 

_20150708_010017(1)

or not, I don’t

_20150716_171739

than I have.  I  know I’ll never be

_20150617_154611 , but I can be a

_20150620_122034

.  I can make

_20150614_142155

to be

_20150601_092442

 – because this is how I feel inside.

 So what sort of 

_20150617_144617

 brake for butterflies?

I’d like to think a butterfly-braker is someone who could live as if every single day is a

_20150620_120841

, who understands that simple things are of

_20150617_142857

 

 .  If you are

_20150620_120754

 –  and we all do from time to time,  because often

_20150619_113311

                                                                                                                   –

_20150615_171322

 the precious things.  

Love, faith, family, friends

_20150620_121158

 and if these things are yours,

_20150610_183158

 Are some words hard to say?

  • I’m sorry. 
  • I need you
  • I miss you
  • I love you 

Say them as often as the need arises.  And then some more.

_20150620_132410

 can turn an entire situation around.

 Do you really believe that success can be measured by the

_20150617_160053

 piled up in a bank account?

How could you ever know

_20150618_162125

 the glittering façade of a life that looks 

_20150618_162136

              on the outside?

_20150603_184346

_20150613_220607

So

IMG_20150720_180339

_20150716_201526_20150716_202419

_20150314_151016

_20150610_172522(1)

  .  Be

_20150618_160626

to be turned

_20150618_161937

by unexpected serendipity.

Tell yourself each morning that

_20150513_184316

 

It’s not all about possessing stacks and

_20150617_165911

of stuff, you know.

Take a minute to

_20150618_161740 and breathe slowly.  Just think –

_20150618_162145

and

_20150618_162311Only once.  But …

You can make the choice to feel young for as long as you live and be

_20150618_162516

with each passing day.

Age is only a number, I tell myself.  What counts is how I feel inside, right?

 

_20150620_122901

 _20150617_160441

You have only one life to live.

_20150615_172714

 it with all  your might!  

Brake for butterflies.

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Dance under the stars. 

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Hold hands.  Smile a lot.

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_20150526_181712

IMG_20150720_174930_20150601_190952

And always remember … you’re never too old to dream!

Someone To Believe

_20150313_191740

 “There’s no emergency contact in your file, ma’am.  Could I have a relative’s name?”

 “I’m the only one left. They’re all gone.”

 All gone?

I’m at the local hospital for my annual mammogram and bone density test.

(Oh, by the way

_20150515_194237

… I’m a grateful breast cancer survivor.  Seven years.)

The perplexed secretary persists. “How about a friend?”

“All gone,” the old lady replies.  I exhale when she adds, “I can give you my husband’s name and number.”

The secretary is as relieved as I am.

I find a seat and await my turn. The words scream in my head –

 All gone … the only one left …

 How awful. 

What happens when the husband goes? 

Has she outlived her children? 

Did she have any? 

Not one friend?

Awful.  Awful. Just awful.

I lean back and close my eyes for a moment.   Faces come crowding into my mind.  My heart swells with gratitude. 

The random digital clicks on my mobile phone provide me with a gallery of pictures that inspire the ramblings on this blog.

This one

_20150515_193502

reminds me to  be thankful for the people in my life who might think I’m a little weird, sometimes outright crazy, but still believe in me. 

They root for me.  They encourage me to

_20150513_182754

 They cheer –

_20150506_123957


_20150515_193004

 

– and shower me with

_20150506_123837

when yet another door seems to slam in my face.  They give me a reason to hang on, keep dreaming.

I am thankful for those who believe that

_20150513_182725

 

This is my prayer for you, reader – and for myself, of course!

_20150515_193438

 Because

_20150513_184125

                                                                                                                                      Amen.

So

_20150515_193655

Just think –

_20150417_191816

Because it’s 

_20150526_134909

                                                                                                                                   you know!

 

Behind The Dreamer …

_20150506_134302Behind the dreamer – no matter how old – there’s often a mother who cheers and dreams alongside.  Sometimes  the embers of the dream might only remain alive  because of her. 

Such a mother makes you feel –

_20150506_130144

 She is –

_20150506_125747

 by everything thing you do, no matter how trivial.  She may well be your most ardent and only fan!

That was my mother. 

Mum taught me that –

_20150506_124846

So, if someone  asks

_20150503_130934 I might evade the question – be honest, who hasn’t? – but I’d never lie. 

I know Mum would say –

_20150506_124401

… so I won’t! 

She often said –

_20150506_124610

 On March 28th, 2015 – just weeks ago – my mum’s earthly journey was done.

It’s Mother’s Day today. 

This deluge of mobile-phone digital moments is for you, Mum.   Every picture on this page was taken because it reminded me of who I am, and what I’ve become because of you.

Thank you for teaching me that –

_20150506_145730

 And –

_20150417_191909

 For helping me to understand that to –

_20150410_123806

a dream might require a touch of the –

IMG_20150409_081248654 You showed me that –IMG_20150325_213110812 So I must –

_20150428_145350 always.

 Thanks to you, I will –

_20150417_191954

 And within me I will remain –

_20150417_191844

 … always young.  Never too old to dream

You’ve said, over the years, in many different ways –

_20150423_183143

 Thank you, Mum.   Thank you for the power of your words. 

_20150509_090140

I miss you so much.

I’ll never stop dreaming – I promise.

 Happy Mother’s Day!

_20150423_185556

 

 

 

That Second Moment

_20150313_191959 

“Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!” 

Hug. Hug.  Kiss. Kiss.

My two daughters look quite pleased with themselves.  (I don’t  crave the usual mother-ish offerings, and I’m inconveniently allergic to perfume – they find me difficult to shop for, they say.)

A recycled paper gift bag and smiles.   A swirl of tissue paper falls back to reveal a plaque. 

This one –

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! Lots of love xxx

 A single word – BELIEVE. 

 There’s something familiar about the picture … Continue reading “That Second Moment”

The Moment

_20150313_192549

There are moments in life when the universe comes to a shuddering halt, stands on tiptoe and holds its breath.

They are either good or bad moments.

My moment came one Christmas eve, when a friend rang the doorbell and thrust a package into my hand with a wide smile and a cheerful ‘Merry Christmas’. 

From a swathe of tissue paper I extricated a small plaque with two words on it –

Dream Big 

Here it is – 

IMG_5138
Merry Christmas, Love Maureen

A spine-tingling moment of eureka … 

From then on, similar phrases leap at me wherever I go.  They squawk, they screech and scream!

They hurl themselves  from random objects, plaques on walls, store shelves, fridge magnets, billboards, songs playing on the car radio.   

I recently got myself a real phone, so I’m able to digitally immortalize  these moments.

Like this one – IMG_20141220_173116873

Look at this  –  IMG_20141220_173311571

See the words in small print at the lower right hand corner? 

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

I think I’m finally beginning to get it. 

Now is the time 

NOW IS THE TIME .