The Friendship Adventure

There is a wonderful reward to blogging that has been mentioned by many, but I will say it again. It is the friendships that come out out of it! How you can connect with others whose face you may not see. I have enjoyed so much getting to know people from around the world!

What does this little introduction have to do with my adventure yesterday that I promised to tell you all about?  Here is a clue.

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This is  lovely Gina, from the “Singledust” blog. https://alifelesslivedblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/17/the-highline-nyc/

She lives in Malaysia, but no, my husband and I did not hop a plane to Malaysia yesterday! Now if we would have had a spaceship where we could have just zoomed across the sky at high power than perhaps that would have been possible.

I met Gina on here over a year ago and was drawn to her sweet nature, her gentleness just came through in her writing and her positive spirit. Even though she had been through much loss, her joyful outlook on life inspired me. It was fun to chat together through our blogs and through emails. I never dreamed that I would actually get to meet her, for Malaysia is just a tad far away.

Well earlier this month she had told me in an email how she was coming to America to visit her sister and that she was also going to Washington D.C. When I heard that my heart jumped, we are only about 2 hours drive from D.C., we wouldn’t need a spaceship or a plane to get there! All I needed was a willing and capable driver, for I do not like city driving, especially in a city like D.C. My dear husband was more than happy to be my chauffeur, after all he wanted to make sure I got there safely. As well as him knowing what this visit meant to me.

We had planned on meeting for lunch at Mama Ayesha’s restaurant. When I walked in our eyes met and she quickly stood up to embrace me a warm hug. It felt so good and we just were in awe that we really were sitting at a table talking. That we weren’t  behind a computer screen.

My husband soon came to join us, he had dropped me off and went to try to find a parking space which ended up being a couple blocks away.  He  had to walk in the cold, windy  weather but he of course was smiling when he came in.

The food was delicious and the conversation was great, as we shared about ourselves with each other and talked about our different cultures. Gina also surprised us with gifts from Malayasia.

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A beautiful table scarf or can be hung on the wall, a fan made from the bark of one of their native trees which she gave me the name of, but I can’t remember. I should have written it down. Also one of their special lanterns that they use, plus a keychain of one of their exotic birds and she gave my husband a special key chain as well . She also included special pencils as she told me to keep writing.  Her thoughtfulness touched our hearts.

We weren’t ready to leave after lunch, so we looked around for things to do. Unfortunately with the government shutdown a lot of places were closed, like the Smithsonian.  We did find that the Shakespeare Library museum was open and it was very interesting.  It holds the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s writings. Any Shakespeare fans out there?  I was one of the few who really enjoyed Shakespeare in High School when we studied his plays.

It did not just have to do with Shakespeare though. It  also had things from the British Colonial times in the museum and talked about the different foods that were made back then and the background stories of some of the first chefs. How one slave rose to be a prominent chef, he had worked for President George Washington.

We saw a well known portrait painting of Shakespeare, only it wasn’t Shakespeare! Yes, for a number of years the painting was wrongly portrayed! It was actually the portrait of  the governor of Virginia.  How would you like your portrait in later years to become known as the portrait of someone famous? Who would you like to be identified as?

We also got to see the inside of a Folger’s theater.  It was very nice, but we were not allowed to take pictures, as a play was being rehearsed while we were in there.

Did you know that Henry Folger got the idea about making coffee during the gold rush days? So many people were coming from all over to try and find gold and he thought that he would serve them coffee.  It turns out that he made a lot more “gold” in his Folger’s Coffee, than many ever made who tried to find gold.

After hearing that story and walking back into  the windy, cold air again we all thought that a coffee and gelato shop sounded like  perfect as a place to warm up, and to enjoy more conversation. I should clarify that me and Gina thought coffee sounded good, my husband is not a coffee drinker, but he did like the gelato.  Henry Folger would not have made money off of him back in the gold rush days.

We found it interesting as Gina talked about how she couldn’t understand seeing people drinking cold drinks. Especially when they walked outside in the cold weather. In Malaysia they basically only drink warm and hot drinks. No ice water, but hot water. It may sound strange to you, but it just shows how its all about the culture you are brought up in. We are all different and we can learn so much from each other.

In Malaysia its very rare for anyone to retire at 65, they work well into their 70’s and part time jobs are very hard to find, everything is full time. In the jungles of Malaysia you really can get lost. They say if you are not used to being in a jungle to not go in without a guide. Its not just in movies that it looks confusing and people get lost, it really happens. She said there have been many that sadly have not found their way out because of becoming so disoriented and people have had to go in and find them, and some have been found too late.

I always thought it would be fun to explore a jungle, but I will definitely make sure to have a guide if I ever have that opportunity. For I can easily get lost in a simple parking lot! Believe me, I am directionally challenged!

We also saw what Malaysian’s money looks like. We Americans are boring, we just have simple green bills. While Malyaisan bills are purple, pink and light blue. They even have flowers on them and a silky feel to them as well. I know money is money, but I do find it interesting to see money from other Countries.

Too soon the time came that we had to part ways, but I am so very thankful for the opportunity that we had to meet. Once again we embraced in a tender hug good bye and our hearts were warmed. Warmed at the blessing of friendship and how priceless it is. Warmed at the thought of how a simple blogging site like WordPress can bring together people of different races, and different faiths, from all different places. How we can form a bond through words typed on a screen.

I feel blessed and can’t wait for the opportunity to meet more bloggers. To not just have a virtual coffee chat, but a real one. Oh what an adventure blogging has turned out to be!

Thank you Gina for your friendship, for being so dear!

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Surprise!

We woke up to the beauty of white snow everywhere but not as much as what they were calling for which I am very happy about! It didn’t snow throughout the night and we didn’t get the ice expected. I am all smiles for that means that I get to go on my adventure today! Where to?? Well that is the surprise for you all. My husband has surprised me with adventures before, but this time I know where we are going, for I was the one to suggest it and he happily went along with it. He is so sweet!

So, where do you think we are headed? I know, there are only about a gazillion choices to choose from, but go ahead and take a guess at what adventure is planned. I know very well that many of you have quite the imagination!

I will be back tonight or tomorrow with a post and pictures about our adventure. Until then I wish you all a HAPPY SUNDAY whether you are adventuring with a nap on the couch or going out and about, whichever it is, ENJOY, I know I will! 🙂

Time to Nap!

This afternoon I felt sleepy, and dozed off for a little in the recliner. I may be older, but I still like my naps, just like I did when I was little.

My hubby has had times where a nap is needed as well!

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Our Yorkie thinks nap times are  wonderful too!

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Our Sheltie loves naptime in her bed and she does have a bigger bed, a nice new one, but she prefers this one that she barely fits in anymore.

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She loves napping in the shade of our tree too, though right now this

grass is covered by snow as it is presently falling.

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Yes, people and animals alike love to have good naps! Our ferrets sleep alot too, though in this shot he is wide awake for he wanted to say HI!

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Hope you enjoyed these pictures and if they make you feel a little sleepy, then stretch out and take a little nap. Or you might be ready to go to bed for a much longer nap depending what part of the world you are in. As for Lily, she’s ready for bed. Sweet Dreams and Good Night! 🙂

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Let Us Run…

Today I want to share a post that I posted back in 2017, I don’t think I have posted it since then.  I hope my followers who have been with me for a while now don’t mind seeing it again and I hope my new followers since then can be touched by it. Perhaps there is someone out there whose heart needs these words today.

This poem came to my mind yesterday when I was reading another blog post about how we can get caught up with emotion when writing emotional pieces. How those emotions can help us write better as we let them bleed out on the paper.

I don’t consider myself a poet by any means, but this poem that I am going to share came out of a time when my heart was full of deep emotion.

My heart poured it out on a night when it was breaking. Breaking because the prognosis was not looking good for a good friend of ours, cancer was going to win.  The tears fell as I didn’t know what to say. What could I speak  to my very precious friend;  his wife. How could I encourage her? I felt that I had no words.

 

Come Away With Me My Friend (Let Us Run To The Ocean)

Come away with me my friend

***

Let us run to the ocean,

Where you can let the pain in your heart

Be overpowered by the roar of the waves.

Let us go where you can shout ”Why?” to the sky,

And scream as loud as you need.

Where you can fall to your knees on the soft sand.

***

Let us run to the ocean,

Where I can hold you tight, and let you cry.

Where you can let your shoulders sag.

Where you can let your tears fall,

To be carried away by the waves.

Lean on me. Let me be your strength.

***

Let us run to the ocean.

Oh, my dear friend… let us just go!

You need not think about the future.

Let us walk along the water’s edge.

Remember when we were young?

Our lives were so carefree

***

Let us stand in the water.

Let the waves splash your face,

And gently wash away your tears.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let us go where the waves go on forever.

Life can be hard my very special friend.

***

But let us run to the ocean.

Life we cannot always understand.

Things happen that cannot be explained.

But the waves will go on forever

Through night and day; Through rain or shine,

As will my love for you.

***

Let us go to the ocean my dear friend.

We will face the rolling waves together,

And if you slip… I will be there to catch you.

If you feel you are losing your way…

I will be there to guide you.

***

Let us talk in silence,

For our love does not need words.

We have a special friendship.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let the waves mesmerize you.

Let the ocean’s rhythm soothe your soul.

***

Let us go to the ocean, my friend.

Go where no words are needed.

Where we will let the waves speak.

Let us go the ocean my friend.

Let us go… and be as one,

For I will never let you fight this on your own.

***

Come away with me my friend.

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If you enjoyed this poem, you can find it in Colin’s book of poetry , “Just Thinking.” The book is available through  Amazon, Friesen Press, and all other online book retailers. He helped me fine tune this poem into what it is and I was very touched when he asked me if he could include it in his book. Your heart will be touched by his poems as well, as he simply speaks from his heart.

The Unplanned Adventure

Dawn was breaking and Erin was up getting a good, early start to her day. A cup of  hot chaomile tea she held in her hands , as she sat on her couch dreaming about the ocean.

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She remembered the beauty of the sky when watching the sun rise and the 2 little visitors that joined her on the beach that morning back on that beautiful summer day. What do sea gulls think about she had wondered,  as she watched them.

It was nice to think back to the summertime as the cold winds blew, a snow storm was coming the forecasters said and it could be a BIG ONE.  Finishing her cup of tea, she stretched and got up to start her day.

To get her blood flowing she pulled out her jump rope. She recalled her younger years when she jumped rope with her friends and they chanted all those crazy rhymes as they jumped. “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around, Teddy Bear Teddy Bear touch the ground…”  She was pretty fast as her friends turned the rope, but there were the times when the rope would trip her up. She kept jumping rope as she got older. It could be good mental exercise as well sometimes, depending what she was thinking about while she jumped.

Later that afternoon she was reading a very interesting autobiography, when she heard a knock on the door. Who could that be? She wasn’t expecting anyone.

Going to the door, she peeked out the window, to her delight she saw her friend Jan standing there.

“HI Jan!, what a nice surprise!”  Erin said.

“HI! I thought I would come and see if you wanted to take a little walk with me. With the storm coming, we may be shut in for awhile, so I thought it would be good to enjoy some fresh air. ”

Erin shivered, as she felt the breeze that blew in the door with Jan. Closing the door as she ushered Jan in she gave her a strange look.

“You want to walk in this cold weather? ” , she asked.

“We won’t go far, I promise, I just drove by a little place the other day that I would like to explore and thought it would be much more fun to go exploring with you.” Jan said, as she smiled.

Erin laughed. Jan always was up for adventure and Erin usually couldn’t say no to going along. You never knew what may happen when you were with Jan.

“Well can we go out for some Latte’s when we get back?”  Erin asked.

“Sure, it will be my treat!”, Jan replied.

“Well I won’t say No to that. Let’s go.”,  Erin grabbed her coat and gloves out of the closet and out the door they went.

They caught each other up on their lives during the past week as they rode in the car.

After traveling for about a half hour and going back some winding roads Jan pulled off on the side of the road and parked.

“Here we are,” she said.

Erin looked around and at first she just saw a lot of trees, but then she did see some trails leading to who knows where. She looked at Jan and asked, “Let me guess, you want to take one of these trails and see where it goes?”

“Yes!” Jan said brightly.

“Well you lead the way, I gotta start walking before my face gets numb. ”

Jan laughed, ” Its not that cold, run a little, that will warm you up.”

Erin gave her a look, ” You know I don’t run, unless I am running for my life and well if that happens, its likely that it won’t end well!”

Jan shook her head at her as she started talking about the joy that you can feel when you run.

They walked and they talked and Erin soon did forget about the chill in the air, she was warming up.

“Oh look Jan, up ahead, there is a fork in the trail. which way should we go?”

“Hmm…thought Jan, you pick!”

“Okay, lets go right. Hopefully there are no bears this way.”

“Erin!”

“Well you never know! Remember that last adventure we went on, and…”

Jan interrupted, “don’t remind me!”

Erin laughed, “You do realize I will never forget!” and Jan sighed as they turned right and continued to follow the trail.

Will they meet a bear, or perhaps something else is waiting for them down the trail? One will have to wait and see. 🙂

 

Tuesday’s Thoughts!

We had a small snowfall over the weekend, just enough to make it look pretty. We are supposed to be getting more this coming weekend, which could come with ice and could be a lot more than just a few inches. I been saying that I am ready for a big snowstorm, but this coming weekend we do have plans to go away. Oh well, I don’t have much control over the weather so as the saying goes, ” what will be, will be!”  May you be able to smile this week, even when things don’t go as you planned! That’s why there is always Plan B and C!

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My Challenge to You!

I was talking to my niece today and I thought of something.  I know i have alluded to this subject in other posts, but I feel its worth mentioning again.  I asked my niece what she had been up to today and she said she was writing a letter!  Yes, my jaw may have dropped, for today that seems like such a lost art. I told her how wonderful that was, and how its rare to hear of today and she agreed.

I remember the joy of running to the mailbox when I was younger waiting for a letter from a pen pal that I had. Then I remember the eagerness of waiting for letters from friends when we had to move. They were special. Just like the letters from my siblings when they went to college and I was still at home.  Letters from my parents meant so much when I lived far away from them.

There is just something special about a letter that you can hold as you read it and fold it and then open it and read it over again and then tuck it in your cedar chest perhaps.

My husband and I gave the post office lots of business when we were dating. We lived over 500 miles apart, and with no computer, no cell phone to text, the only option was to write a letter. Yes, we talked on the phone as well, but those long distance bills soon got pretty high! I still remember the phone bill coming and my Dad basically turning it over to me, for my calls to a certain guy in the state of Indiana made up pretty much of the bill. Oh yes, the days of being tangled in a phone cord. That doesn’t happen today either, as many phones now are cordless or people have no land lines at all!

Looking forward to the mail coming when we were dating was a daily occurrence! Cards and letters flew. Sometimes I would get creative with the letters and write in a circles so you had to keep turning the letter in order to read it. I probably wouldn’t have the patience to do that now.  I think there was a letter written on toilet paper before as well, though you have to be really careful that you don’t poke holes in it as you write. I remember writing backwards as well, but not for the whole letter for that took time to do. Can’t write as quickly when you are concentrating on spelling the word backwards.

No matter what, one thing remained the same about all the letters and cards I sent or received, they were special! Special because of who they were for or special because of who they were from.

My challenge to you, that I pass down from my niece is to write a letter or send a card to someone this coming week. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, you don’t have to write backwards! It doesn’t have to be long, what counts is that you took the time to let someone know that you were thinking about them.  What matters, is that I bet the person who gets your letter/card will be smiling for the rest of that day. Smiling because it is a rare expression of friendship in today’s world. Let’s do our part to bring it back this week! Who can you surprise with smiles in their mailbox, not their inbox. 🙂

Spreading Smiles!

Happy Saturday! I am happy to share some  smiles with all of you today. I have a picture that I was given permission to share on here.

Meet Benjamin. One of “The Odessa Chronicles” youngest fans, and oh so very sweet! He has  been such a delight to know.  He has made Colin and I smile so many times with his enthusiasm for our book, “The Odessa Chronicles”,  and he happily shares the stories with his friends  too!

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His favorite character is Jaxon. Jaxon was thrilled to hear that! Dewey, heard it and just went back to sleep. Odessa rolled her eyes.  They all have had their turn though of being in the spotlight as  someone’s favorite. When I share stories either at schools or libraries, all 3 get mentioned as being someone’s favorite. I am glad to say that the man-servant does get mentioned as well by the children. They enjoy how cunning he can be at times, and his big heart. For who would take care of Jaxon, Odessa and Dewey they say, if it wasn’t for him! Especially Dewey! Poor cat would be lost without someone to wait on him hand and foot!

Benjamin’s Grandma, who is a wonderfully sweet lady, says that Jaxon is always with Benjamin! She sent Colin and I this picture and his smile melted our hearts. This is why we wrote the book, to spread smiles!

 

And if you are new to my blog and wondering what ” The Odessa chronicles” is about, here is an excerpt of a story from Colin’s blog, that he shared a few months ago. I hope it brings a smile to your heart. If it piques your interest, click on the picture of the cover of the book in the right hand margin.  The link will provide you with more information.

Our friends live on Moonbeam Farm. Joshua, who is known better as the “man-servant”, retired to the farm, not knowing what guests would be there to meet him. Odessa, (the Barn Owl), Dewey, ( the Cat), and Jaxon (the Jackalope). They all have very distinct personalities and become the best of friends having all kinds of crazy adventures.

In this excerpt, there has been a woman visiting the farm, and they all have grown to like her very much.  Her name is Florence, and she has a special connection to Moonbeam Farm, for it used to belong to her Grandparents. Being that everyone likes her they have made the decision to give her the ability that will allow her to communicate with all of them. All they have to do is ask her if she would like that and then Jaxon will work his magic.

Florence

The next time that Florence visited, the man-servant called everybody over. “Florence,” he said, “the four of us here had a discussion about you, and we would like to tell you what we decided.”

“Oh dear,” said Florence, “I hope it is going to be good news, because I have a question for you guys.”

The man-servant became thoughtful. “Okay, Florence, as a matter of courtesy, why don’t you ask your question first?”

She was obviously thinking about the best way to present her question. The man-servant, Dewey, Jaxon, and Odessa were all looking at her and waiting. Suddenly, she said, “Well … I’ve really enjoyed coming here, and we all seem to be getting along really well, and so … I was wondering if …”

There was total silence.

Odessa looked at the man-servant. “What’s your problem? Can’t you see that she is having difficulties? Encourage her! She is one of your species … in case you had not noticed.”

The man-servant turned to Florence. “Please continue. We have thoroughly enjoyed your visits. What’s on your mind?”

Florence looked around the room for a few moments, and then looked at Dewey, Jaxon, Odessa, and finally the man-servant. “Could I live here? You’re not using my old bedroom for anything, and I would love to use it again. I wouldn’t be here too much, because my work takes me away for weeks at a time, but it would be lovely to stay with you all when I am back in the area, and I could help out with the costs of running this farm.”

The man-servant looked at her. “It’s a nice idea, Florence, and we would all love to have you live here, but there is a major problem. We will be leaving Moonbeam Farm before the end of this year.”

Florence was saddened by the news. “Why would you want to leave here?” she asked.

“We don’t have a choice, as far as I can tell,” said the man-servant. “The farm is being purchased by the town, and then demolished in preparation for a road that is planned to come through here.”

“Joshua,” she said, “that does surprise me, but I think that I may be able to assist with resolving that problem. Would you like me to get involved?”

Odessa, Dewey, and Jaxon had all moved in a little closer, and waited for the man-servant’s response. He didn’t say anything. Odessa jumped up onto the man-servant’s shoulder and shouted into his right ear, “Why aren’t you answering? Here you have a female human who obviously knows what she is talking about … and you sit there pondering something or other! Tell her, ‘Yes! Please get involved!’”

Florence had watched Odessa’s performance. “My word, Joshua,” she said, “Odessa certainly gave you a good talking to!”

The man-servant looked at Florence. “Yes, she certainly did. She wanted to know why I didn’t say ‘yes please’ to your offer.”

Florence looked at the man-servant. “Well … why didn’t you?”

*the rest of the story and many more can be found in “The Odessa’s Chronicles”, and yes this isn’t the first time or the last time where Odessa gets baffled by something the man-servant does say, or as in this case what he doesn’t say! It can be hard work figuring him out! 🙂 *