Real Life Sucks

The shadows catch my eye.  Long stooped frame with  cane, smaller figure keeping step.

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Walk with me

His steps falter, hers are spry.  She must have been a pretty woman in her youth.

Pause at traffic lights.  His shadow falls over hers, covers it.  Now they are one.

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Rosalyne and me standing behind them

Symbolic.  

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Young love –  Viking lass and her beau! 
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Can it last?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my perfect world –

Daughters: “What planet are you living on, Mom?” (Eye roll!)

Planet Naive?  

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He and me 

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Still grappling with a sense of let-down over the Brangelina breakup.  Can’t think why.

Real life sucks. (Borrowing Daughters’ phraseology.) 

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What happened to  till death do us part ?

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All by myself

Aunty Joyce and Uncle Rajan celebrated fifty years this past summer, Husband’s parents mark sixty next year.   

There has to be hope.

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The royal wave. (Rajan and Joyce, 50 years)  
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The In-Laws: Merlin the Magician and Vampire Girl ( Wimsy and Devi, coming on 60 years)
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Always hopeful Puppy.  The crumb will fall. .

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

Change of subject.  A well placed seat on a porch/ in a garden corner, is a beckoning invitation.

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Gunther-and-Mary’s backyard
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Patriotic front porch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slideshow – more leafy corners and slivers of heaven –

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An old chair in a green nook makes a marvelous stage for a potted plant. These dilapidated abandoned treasures found a home in my Eden –

Love how chairs add charm and character to a space (indoors or out).  Couldn’t love this one, though –

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See through pink plastic – yikes!

When I can’t sleep  I re-live  lovely moments.

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Like these –

  • Time spent with kindred spirits –                                                     
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Rosalyne and me at Word On The Street, downtown Toronto

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  • Rainbows in hosepipe mist and around the house –
  •  Puppy discovers playground –
  • Swathes of morning sunlight –
  •  Dreamin’ ‘n’ dancin’ to the crooning of Six Feet Up

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    Six Feet Up at Fairmount MacDonald.  Music from five decades ago for Golden Wedding Anniversary
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Six Feet Up.  Baby Boomers  – Kevin, Gail and Bruce.  Vocals and wind instruments.  Irresistible toe-tapping nostalgia
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Fifty years.  Rajan and Joyce.  “May I have this dance for the rest of my life?”
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That’s Husband and me!
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Just you and me
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Mine!

 

 

 

 

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

Saw this van parked on Next Door’s driveway. 

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Bringing dreams home.  A sign for things to come?

Yes, please!  

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Thankful for –

(1) Dental care and the fresh feel of just-cleaned teeth –

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Thank you, Suzanne Garfinkle, dental hygienist since Daughters were tots

(2) Good neighbours

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Glen and Dianne – court garage sale organizers
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Court BFFs. Sepideh (left), with Jinoos and young Sahand setting up shop in Jinoos’ driveway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Ever wondered about the faces behind the names defacing public property?

Romance, art or vandalism ?

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So who is Leyla?
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Who?

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

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Bottoms up! (Thank goodness those weeding days are done)

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

 Memo to self for this week-

 Hold that tongue, watch what you say. 

    Easier said than done.

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Wise monkeys.  Tisha (left) and daughters

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Shh! In a neighbour’s garden
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I am?

Until next time,

sincerely

PS: Dad and Mum made it to fifty years too.

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Prins and Beatrice – RIP Mum.  Miss you still.

Sharing is great, please do.  Like this page and follow to receive future posts.

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The pictures are all moments captured on my phone and Ipad.

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Shopping with Mom
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Husband and Puppy.  A quiet ramble.
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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

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 Of course,

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so _20150513_184057

and 

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Above all IMG_20160223_113111

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So …_20150428_144734

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

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, but big or small

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

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sincerely

Synchro … what??

 

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“It’s weird, Rosie. I walked into Winners and the shelves came alive.  As if the display had been contrived just for me. The words were flying out from everywhere. Odd thing is, I hadn’t planned to go there. Just felt an overwhelming urge as I drove by, so I popped in.”

I show pictures –IMG_20160117_150601

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There was more.


I met Rosalyn two years ago, on Fanstory,  a website for writers.   Turned out she lived round the corner, not in Alaska, Australia or … Timbuctoo!

We meet at Tim Hortons

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 to talk about writing and … our dreams. The more we talk, the less unattainable they seem.

Rosalyn scrolls through the pictures on my phone. I chatter on –

“The same thing happened when I visited my cousin in Ohio over the Thanksgiving weekend. We went on an unplanned shopping trip and – oh, my goodness! – the place was alive with … dreams, Rosie.  Look!”

More pictures –

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“It’s called universal synchronicity,” Rosalyn volunteered.

“Synchro … what?”

“That’s what my son says it is. It means the universe is trying to tell you something.”

“The universe? You mean God?”

“Whatever you like to call it. Something’s trying to communicate with you.”

“To encourage me to keep dreaming?”

“I guess so.  Yes!”

“A man almost collided into my shopping cart last week. My eyes popped out of my head when the lettering on his T-shirt began to screech!”

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Rosalyn grins. “You got a picture?”

“I chased him down the Walmart parking lot and asked it I could. Told him the words were significant. Said I wasn’t a crazy woman!”

She chuckles. “You dared?”

“He obliged.  I had to record the moment. This stuff has been happening a lot lately.”

I flash more pictures –

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My words trip over one another. “I’ve caught more than a thousand moments  on my phone, Rosie.  Look at what I saw last Saturday, on a shelf at Winners.  It had no business there – ladies’ section, face up – staring at me … ”

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“It kind of grew and screamed … honest!  I was rushing past, not really looking.”  I barely pause for breath.  “I found a belated Christmas present in my mailbox some days back. From a friend I haven’t met in ages. I almost jumped out of my skin when I opened the package and  saw the words on the picture frame.”

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A dream come true!

Rosalyn, bless her, is never sceptical. 

“I had to see someone on Saturday. When I drove into the parking lot of her building, something grew out of the corner of my eye. It filled my line of vision.

Rosalyn looks amused. “You took a picture, of course.”

“Of course!”

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“It was parked at the far end. There was absolutely no reason for me to notice it.”

“And then I had this compelling to drop in at Indigo Books.  I hadn’t been there  in ages.  This  paper weight jumped up the moment I walked in –

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The words seemed to be on every item that caught my eye. Suddenly, I heard a child’s voice mumbling, ‘Dream bigger, darling’.  I got goose bumps.  The kid was reading out loud.  He held a pencil case in his hands, the words were etched on it.  It felt pleasant, you know, and kind of weird!”

It’s snowing outside. The medium white hot chocolate is warm in my hands. I take a deep breath and sigh. “I’m excited, Rosie!”

“Me too,” Rosalyn replies.  “This synchronicity thing has been happening to me too!”


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sincerely


This post is dedicated to my friends – Rosalyn (who’s such a wonderful listener), Alice (who delighted me with the unexpected gift) and Karen (who dropped it off in my mailbox).  With my love and thanks.


 

One Thousand Things

I went moon-chasing last week.  I made a dash around the neighbourhood, trying to capture the fascination of a

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through my camera.  She sailed into the

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, an ice-queen in a shroud of wispy cloud-cobwebs.  I inhaled my soul-food for the day.  


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 .”  My friend Bev presses a book into my hands, some months ago, in the summer… 

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 by

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http://www.aholyexperience.com   http://www.facebook.com/onethousandgifts

I

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 I am  captivated.  So commences a dazzling new journey.  A journey to finding thankfulness in all things.  Finding

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in the mundane, the difficult, the tragic.  Being thankful no matter what.  Intentional thankfulness.

My smartphone and

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never stray from my side.  I have to catch the joy-moments coming out of nowhere in a series of joy-gifts I never saw as gifts before.   Like these …

.

Africa-shaped puddle
Africa-shaped puddle
Supermarket shadow
Supermarket shadow
Rosy dawn skies
Rosy dawn skies
Rainbows on floor tiles
Rainbows on floor tiles
  • Sun-splash on gum day
    Sun-splash on glum day
  • Puppy in wee-hour glow
    Puppy in wee-hour glow
light 'n' shadow on kitchen wall
Light ‘n’ shadow on kitchen wall
Microwave reflection
Microwave reflection
Tawny tree upside down
Tawny tree upside down
  • Sky-in-the-parking-lot
    Sky-in-the-parking-lot

    There’sIMG_20150814_224957

The list goes on.  And on.  Pausing to discover the fragrance welling out of intentional thankfulness.  My lungs filled with joy. 

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Ann Voskamp (just Ann with no e she calls herself) – The Farmer’s wife,  mother of six – writes (paraphrased) –

Thankfulness releases joy, which releases miracles …

It feels as if

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have come to reside in my heart. 

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I began to change.  This is the

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Thankful for the ugly, the lovely. The precious, the un-pretty.  The simple, the complex,  the

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And all the in between, mundane stuff.  Intentional thankfulness that generates sublime joy.  Surely this is

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, the daily

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 I went to the bookstore to buy a copy of One Thousand Gifts for my aunt. 

 “Funny,” the girl behind the counter said. “Lately, there’s been a rush of people coming for the book.  There aren’t too many left.”

All IMG_20151029_175957I replied, “That’s probably everyone I know coming to get one.  I haven’t been able to stop talking about it.”

 “I’ve heard it’s good,” she replied.

Bless you, my dear.  It is!


 If my family think I’m bananas, they

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, you know.  So I try to

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because I  choose to

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that

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and

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 .  I

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 .  It’s

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!   I sigh over pretty puddles and go

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And that’s why I went moon-chasing last week.

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Is this 

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?  Quite possible!  IMG_20151102_220835

IMG_20151101_231436   Something happened.  It’s unleashed the

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They don’t seem all that far-fetched anymore.   I understand that

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Me?  (Smiling!)

                             


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, Reader.  May you find gifts in the ordinary things.

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Here’s to

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sincerely

Shadow Woman

 She wore a

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 and

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outfit, loads of

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jewellery and

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 , her

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teased and sprayed. 

She has

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.  She is

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  …  “

IMG_20151008_175447 lady,” I chirped.  “You look

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.  Just

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.”

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,” she cooed.  “

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for keeping

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Have you

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?”   I gave her a hug. “

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, Cherie.”

 She has

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of

IMG_20150925_202257black-and-white movie

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. The  pouty

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-type

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of

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.  It’s

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on a

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evening in the summer. This is my friend Cherie. She turns eighty next year.

Eighty!

 “You have to be friendly with your mirror,”

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, tapping on the restaurant table with pearl-tipped fingers.

 Her voice was silver-screen husky.

 

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to say,

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 is full of

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,” he snorted. “ It’s a

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.  Before you

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 it’s

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, and taken

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.  And

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?

_20150619_112752.  Do you like what you see?  You stare and say, ‘What have you done to me?’”

Her

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 , resumed his perusal of the menu.  Not in a

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today!  He’s a

IMG_20150928_184535, but a bit of a

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sometimes.

She was more than

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He couldn’t

_20150701_144738her

_20150630_173341.  “

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_20150716_173152

. That is why you have to be friendly, so you are comfortable with what you see.  See?”

He rolled his eyes and began, in

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French, to discuss

IMG_20151008_165436 with the waiter –

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I remembered my find that morning.  The blue card tucked into the door of the  ladies’ room in a Montreal public building.  Here it is –

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, it declared.  You are magnificent…

An advertising gimmick, with the name and address of a professional photographer on the reverse.

My initial reaction: I am?

I looked at Cherie.

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.  She lives it.  This is exactly how she feels  inside –

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. (

_20150716_201911 !)

“Cherie,

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,” I gushed.  “Just look at

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like this!  I

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_20150716_134911

You have a

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presence.

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, you know. It makes you

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younger than you are.”

 She grew

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. “

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.   You can’t

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.  That’s exactly what life is.

_20150423_185733

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, I thought I would be young

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Didn’t we all?


_20150708_014011we were young and in love?”  She smiled at Daniel.  He grunted. 

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 It’s

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, and you’re living with

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, you know, by the map of time on my person.”  She touched her cheek. You can’t

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the lines away  like

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with a

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. When age hits,

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.  There’s no annual

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or

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to protect you from the inevitable. ” 

 “So

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 the secret  to staying

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 and beautiful, Cherie?”

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.  So does youth.  There are

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 …”

 “Tell me.” 

She took

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out of her

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(My friend  has an incurable

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.)

“The

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never lasts long and

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 don’t work,

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this is what 

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You’ve

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 aware.  Learn  

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IMG_20151008_170034 to

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 .”

Smoke signals and drowning –  what a

_20150620_144406

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way  of putting it …

 She reached for a

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 of

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. “We can all feel like

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,” she said.

 “We can?”

“Yes!

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 with the passage of time, my dear.”   She looked down at the

IMG_20150829_095926 on her dessert plate and grinned.  “It can be delicious!

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.  Find

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_20150513_183856

IMG_20150815_005339

_20150610_185239

_20150610_185226

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reality.

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 dry up and shrivel away,

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have to. I refuse to turn into a

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.  I will not fade away into a

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.  That would be a

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, I think!

Yes, Cherie, it would …

It’s

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IMG_20150921_181458,” she cooed.  “You can do it.”

“Come on Cherie, it’s 

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.” 

IMG_20151008_174614dear, you can

_20150614_122012

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!”

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.   Tell me how.  I

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a

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 journey into time.” 

She took a sip of water.  “

_20150617_141838

_20150624_190458

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approach it.  

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.  If you are

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, tell yourself, ‘

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IMG_20151023_174027

, but if you

IMG_20151008_175041

IMG_20150911_090240553

 .  Remember,

_20150503_131334

on the stage of your life. It’s up to me to make

IMG_20151008_165700

years the best

IMG_20150903_174930

You have to experience the

IMG_20151008_164040

of living in

IMG_20151008_172412

IMG_20150821_193946

and

IMG_20150821_194005

, do your best to

IMG_20151008_165543the rickety mindset.  Make it

IMG_20151008_165151

IMG_20150821_201338

 to waste on such things. You have to discipline your mind.  It’s like

_20150716_202226

_20150506_125218

Savour them all. 

IMG_20150930_190457

.  There’s a right way and a

_20150702_223412

to approach life. 

IMG_20151025_200133

You make the 

IMG_20150925_181055

_20150513_182932

.”

“Really?”

She was emphatic. “Really! 

IMG_20150927_005018

 , but certainly better. 

_20150701_183016

 are the full-blown ones, darling.”

 I have

IMG_20151008_175502

I

_20150428_143647

of her

IMG_20151016_183853

optimism.  This woman is a

IMG_20150821_201536

_20150428_143951

.  My

_20150704_234528I

IMG_20150930_173424

_20150428_144613

.  I’m

_20150618_162405

Cherie resumed her monologue. “

IMG_20151002_190217

,

IMG_20150920_110555

Don’t dwell on the

IMG_20151008_171625

IMG_20150918_165332906

_20150609_233653

IMG_20150920_105342.  Put your

IMG_20150917_190535

IMG_20150917_190615

Make an effort to

IMG_20150919_092755

IMG_20150919_092823

IMG_20150821_194125

IMG_20150919_092810

 if you have to!”

 Dance? Yes! Maybe not on the table, though …

” Oh, and

IMG_20150821_194058

IMG_20150821_194248

 ?” I quipped.

 She laughed.  

IMG_20151008_185957

faith. 

 

IMG_20150821_205240

 I

IMG_20150923_193652211

_20150613_145350

.  I

IMG_3913

_20150702_203356

_20150628_234055.” Her hand went to her heart.  “

IMG_20150925_204945

, you know. Right here.”

 This is

_20150614_121859

 There’s

IMG_20150921_195242

in her words … 

IMG_20151006_223839, Cherie!” I applauded.  ” It’s simply

IMG_20150920_125003

 , you know. You

IMG_20151008_192216

!”

IMG_20150903_180818

She purred.  ” 

IMG_20150903_181043

!”  (IMG_20150801_200453

 – honest!)

“My goodness, Cherie, you’ve

IMG_20150903_181007

,” I protested.

IMG_20150801_195450

for saying that! 

IMG_20150930_180704

the numbers. You make

_20150614_142155

to

IMG_20150826_183419

your body’s age.

IMG_20151008_193507

and live there!

IMG_20150918_165015737

in advance for

IMG_20151002_185107

IMG_20150821_204718

 the way you hope.   Life

IMG_20150821_194849

 …”

 IMG_20150925_203019

, can it ever?

IMG_20150911_220319

 the half of it, Cherie …

“ No matter what, choose to believe that

IMG_20150821_200946

.  Choose to

IMG_20150821_205827

_20150603_182516

IMG_20150911_210147

 comes at the 

IMG_20150911_210327

IMG_20150821_194942

IMG_20150821_195057

IMG_20150821_195151

IMG_20151002_164235has the right to do that.

IMG_20150903_173405

IMG_20150821_195400

IMG_20150929_131845

IMG_20150821_200127

 that your body may be going  

IMG_20150901_185840

, but never let it

IMG_20150827_224607

or

IMG_20150801_205110

IMG_20150930_190425

, but 

IMG_20150930_180648

, okay darling?”

IMG_20150930_185939

             …

_20150628_234042

 ,” she went on. “ I

_20150526_181811

Actually,

IMG_20150903_174333

IMG_20150930_175259

IMG_20150918_165135637

IMG_20150719_124734445~2

IMG_20150729_134226


 

       IMG_20150921_182824 . Suddenly I want to pick up my feet and

_20150624_180000

. I feel like

_20150619_180818

a

IMG_20150926_091715

IMG_20150917_185530

 down the aisles.

  “You can’t

_20150701_162428

_20150629_003053

 like you, Cherie,” I said. “And

_20150614_123313

 – every single one.” 

“Oh,

_20150614_121512, I’m not

IMG_20150929_131641

,” she replied. “I have my

IMG_20151025_222824

moments.

_20150716_175328

 might fluctuate.”

 “Cherie, no one is perfect …”

” 

IMG_20150801_201507

,” she beamed.  “Once you alter your way of thinking, you find you’re

IMG_20150821_181347

IMG_20151008_175356

 can be wonderful.  I aim to

IMG_20150801_195949

 who never grew old!” 

This

IMG_20151008_174630

 . The power of positive aging.  Could this be

IMG_20151008_193609

 The

IMG_20151008_172327

of

_20150615_171626

IMG_20150926_093212

 . This is

IMG_20151002_164938

to combat the effects of the saggy

IMG_20150919_093259

and  the

IMG_20150826_183804

Flaunt the smile, wear the

_20150624_193016

with grace!

IMG_20151025_220739

IMG_20150801_202032

, so  when the time comes,

IMG_20150926_232716(

_20150702_204107

)


 

  I looked at my list of

IMG_20150926_091542

(1) IMG_20150926_091454

 (2) IMG_20150926_091524

IMG_20150814_221541

 I grabbed a pen and wrote another list –

IMG_20151012_134846

_20150428_143027

_20150513_184343

_20150701_134804 Keep IMG_20150920_105310

IMG_20150925_203713Do it!

_20150701_144411

_20150417_191756

IMG_20150925_210404from within.

Write more

IMG_20151008_165850

IMG_20150911_221402

IMG_20150509_154338

IMG_20150911_221423           


 

IMG_20151023_173525

_20150324_185100

_20150513_182906

Hang on to the

_20150702_205228

_20150513_100917

IMG_20150815_005929

.  Have

_20150702_204710

.  This is where you begin _20150701_155304

IMG_20150902_181555

 And

_20150324_185245

IMG_20150930_190721

_20150324_191242IMG_20150801_202250

_20150530_102512–  a

_20150629_220456

_20150610_173054

IMG_20150926_093032

_20150716_200214


 

IMG_20150821_194356

IMG_20151012_094214 

 May

_20150506_145536 IMG_20150815_013248

IMG_20151002_170518             


                       

            

IMG_20150925_213321

IMG_20150824_181827

IMG_20150801_203957

IMG_20150821_181950

IMG_20151016_184223

I’m

_20150701_155238

IMG_20150727_192635

 
sincerely


 

 

 

 

All the pictures in this post are digital moments captured on the author’s smartphone.

 

Good Morning Gorgeous!

IMG_20150903_184245

Selina.  This is my blog.

_20150710_131328

_20150710_144413

_20150711_171135 you might find

IMG_20150822_211411

                


                                                              

 

_20150709_080216

.  I am 

_20150701_163504

committed to being

IMG_20150801_202457

 and

IMG_20150801_122557

to my

IMG_20150815_001039

 and two

IMG_20150821_221746

IMG_20150810_184831

though, the

_20150617_152708

_20150617_160114

  makes me  feel sort of like

IMG_20150829_095905during

IMG_20150827_173702

IMG_20150902_112932

  I mean?  (Of course, you do!)  I’d love to take an occasional

_20150701_135202

to be

_20150621_120557

 Words –

IMG_20150827_180657

_20150621_121035

IMG_20150827_173732 –  seem to

_20150618_150805

 in my head the moment I try to 

IMG_20150814_172118

 to

IMG_20150821_222811

 or think of 

_20150701_162507

 to indulge in whatever.

_20150706_232241

…    

_20150702_202712,” my mother would say. 

IMG_20150827_173608

, I do.  And yet,                                                                        _20150601_152024

 you know, still the

_20150618_160559 inside,

IMG_20150801_205048

, or

IMG_20150801_205517

to the poetry of the universe.

_20150716_134601

!   Once in a

IMG_20150827_174556

in the midst of

IMG_20150906_145601

 of crazy

IMG_20150906_145445

IMG_20150814_224759

 (when I’m absolutely certain

IMG_20150903_194401

),

IMG_20150805_224343

If these are the best

IMG_20150903_174930

, where am I headed? The daunting questions crowd in till there’s