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

_20150423_190234


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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_20150610_172835IMG_20151101_231727

 

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IMG_20160101_173732


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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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IMG_20160319_103212

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sincerely

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Love Language

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Family and out-of-town cousins eager to open presents. Four grown up offspring eyeing plump stockings dangling from the mantelpiece.  IMG_4793

The Beloved (aka  _20150623_101400

) wields a mop with vigour.

Sis-in-law is puzzled. “Why is he sweeping the floor?”

“He’s mopping,” I tell her.

Sis-in-law looks around. “But the place is clean.”

“I’ll be

_20150623_142052

 

,” The Beloved announces.

Sis-in-law laughs. “  _20150617_155007

my brother-in-law sweeps while the stockings and presents are waiting.”

“He vacuumed. He’s mopping now,” I interject. “And one man’s oddness is someone else’s love language, you know!”

I’m on a roll. “  IMG_20151125_212546

.  A spotless house and  washroom is his gift of love.”

The giggles cease.

Love language, huh?  Hmm …  IMG_20151225_001929

A light bulb comes on.  I hear daughters’ voices , then mine, in my head –

“Why do you spend so much time folding napkins and arranging cutlery?  It’s just a table, Mom. Who cares?”

Who cares?  Who cares??

“I care. It’s  how I show my guests they are honoured and appreciated. It’s my gift –  IMG_20151228_095649

that only I can give  

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, and I

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giving it.

I begin to wonder.  Is love why I spend hours

– Decorating the Christmas tree

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– Creating a one-of-a-kind gift  IMG_20151214_183645308

 

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– Setting a table for my guests

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– Making my garden a

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to relax and rest in

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– Preparing for a surprise birthday party  IMG_2280

Is love why hubby vaccums and mops like crazy when

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?  Daughters and nieces squeal over sundry items in their stockings.  A   IMG_20151227_162535529

washes over me.  I

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My eyes  smile into hubby’s.

We’re the

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, darling!  I

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Some folks won’t

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.  Crazy compulsions in others’ eyes – his love language and mine.

What is your love language, Reader?  IMG_20151228_101931

, right?  So  

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Well, here’s to what’s left of

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and to dreams come true in 2016.

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and happy New Year!

PS –

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and  _20150701_153025

sincerely

 

 

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

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and it can wait.  (Unless

IMG_20150814_145326808~2, of course.) 

I can never cease to

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at all you

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who opt to

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

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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

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

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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

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 , 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

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just yet, okay?  (Muffled

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– 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

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or just

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

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and

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.”  I became

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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

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– I’ll

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and I

 

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And thus began a journey.

Dear reader,

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of my list  below –

   –  (1)  Be IMG_20150801_185557

             because

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  • (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.

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…   xx   …   xx   …

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…   xx    …   xx   …

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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 –

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 She is –

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 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 –

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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 –

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… so I won’t! 

She often said –

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 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 –

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 And –

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 For helping me to understand that to –

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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 –

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 And within me I will remain –

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 … always young.  Never too old to dream

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

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

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I miss you so much.

I’ll never stop dreaming – I promise.

 Happy Mother’s Day!

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The Moment

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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 – 

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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 .