Friday’s Super Short Stories!

Moments of pure joy fill the heart with golden rays of sunshine and memories of the warmth of the rays keep you smiling when it rains.

Graduation time for many, may wonderful adventures be ahead, as their mountain awaits them! What advice would  you give to a graduate?

Succulent sweet strawberries for strawberry shortcake, summer has begun!

 

 

Friday’s Super Short Stories!

Some things we clutch so tightly onto, not realizing the treasure that awaits us, if we would only let go.

It only takes a spark to start a dream, and then it can travel through your heart like a train, building up excitement the closer you get to its destination.

For my 3rd “story”, I thought I would do something that I hadn’t done for a little bit. I will give the beginning of the story and then you , my wonderful readers, can join in with adding onto it. Exercise your creativity and have fun, this isn’t a test, no chance of wrong answers. Add your thoughts to the story below.

“Are you scared?”

“No, I just have this terrified look on my face because I am having fun, what do you think?  I believe you should go first!”

 

Make A Difference!

After last night’s more serious post, there was a song that came to my mind, that I wanted to share with all of you. I can’t help but smile when I listen to this song and watch the video. I think it spreads a great message! It is a song by Chris De Burgh, I have really been enjoying his music thanks to a friend who brought his music to my attention.

The song is called “Read My Name”. It’s talking about making a difference in the world and how every child is special! Its not your color, or your background that makes you special, its just YOU simply being YOU! There  is no one else exactly like you and that is  something to celebrate. We may not all end up making big names for ourselves, becoming famous and known world wide, but there is still so much difference that we can make in the lives of others! We can make a difference every day just by spreading kindness, joy and love!  I love the smiles in the faces of these children on this video clip,  you can feel their joy for life.

Why as adults does it seem that the unbridled joy we had when we were young becomes more contained? More pushed down inside of us. We get weighed down with problems and forget how we still have an inner child that wants let out. An inner child that has unbridled joy and wants to let it go and make others smile!  We still need to keep our candle burning and let our light shine, lighting up the darkness!

Let the joy spread in your heart today, let it be contagious!

I hope you enjoy this song. I was introduced to Chris De Burgh’s music by a friend and I am so glad that I was, for I have been enjoying his music very much!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Melody

He looked at his watch, she should be coming soon. She was always on time and he always looked forward to every visit  from her.  It was by far his favorite time of day when she would appear beside him with her sweet smile and spunk.

Henry enjoyed living at the “Golden Acres” retirement home.  The staff were very friendly and he had made good friends, but nothing quite compared to the days that Gia would come to see him.  He had no family to visit him, so the days could get long at times. He was so thankful at how the elementary school nearby had an after school program for their students to visit the residents. His friends enjoyed it too, the children added sunshine to their days.

Gia was such a sweet, spirited girl. She loved to talk, but she did enjoy listening to Henry’s stories too and loved to ask questions!  Intently she would listen, as he would share not only about his day, but about stories from his past.  He would watch as her hazel eyes would grow big in amazement at some of the stories that he would share with her.  He did enjoy teasing and would sometimes embellish the stories a bit just to see her mouth open wide into a big  O shape. She then would see the gleam in his eyes and would giggle as she realized that he was pulling one over on her, sometimes causing her cheeks to get as red as her hair.

The sound of approaching footsteps made Henry turn his head. The children were coming and Gia was leading the line.

“Henry, oh Henry, do I have a story to tell you!” Gia squealed.

She plopped herself down in the chair in front of him, her cheeks were flushed with excitement.

He got such a delight out of listening to her stories. The sound of her voice was like a sweet melody, filling his heart with joy.  Sometimes she would tell him what crazy Tommy did in class that day, or how her teacher told her to be quiet. How the teacher didn’t understand nuffin, that sometimes she just had to talk or she would explode.

Henry couldn’t hold back his laughter as he watched the emotions splash across Gia’s face as she told her story. She waved her hands in the air as she was explaining her frustration with her teacher. She had got in trouble again for talking.

“Then my teacher made me wait another forever 5 minutes after recess had already started! It was awful, I was dying !  I just had to tell Abby what Mikey had told me. He likes her he weally does! He wanted to meet her at the merry-go-round, but cause of teacher he had to wait, wondering if Abby would come.”

Henry’s eyes sparkled as Gia paused to take a breath. “Oh dear, poor Mikey. What happened?”

Gia smiled and said, ” I ran fast, when teacher said I could go. Abby was swinging and I pulled her arm saying we had to go. She wasn’t too happy with me at first, but when I told her about Mikey she got happy and ran to the Merry-go-round. We had fun going round and round but guess what, guess what Henry!”

Gia’s eyes once more got wide as she started to explain. Then she bounced out of her seat because of  laughing so hard.

“Oh Henry it was so funny!”  Gia sputtered out.

“What is it, tell me please, what happened?” Henry asked.

Seeing Henry’s eagerness to know made Gia start laughing again. Once she got control of herself she continued with her story.

“Well Henry had a present for Abby, it was in his pocket and it jumped out! It jumped out and landed on Abby, Henry!”

“What did? What was his present?”  Henry asked.

Henry’s eyes danced with amusement as he watched Gia throw her hands up in the air and shout, ” It was a FROG!”

“Oh Henry, Abby squealed and Mikey’s face got all red, Abby don’t like frogs, but I do, I like frogs Henry, do you like frogs?”

Before Henry could answer, Gia continued. “Abby ran fast to the teacher and me and Mikey we played with the frog. It was a cute frog, but teacher didn’t let Mikey take it back inside with him, he had to let it go. Mikey and me played with it a little after school until we got picked up.”

Ending her story Gia took another breath and said, ” Oh Henry I have something for you before I forget”, and she reached down to pick up her backpack.

Henry put his hands to his face and said, ” Oh No,  its not a frog is it!”

Gia dissolved in giggles, “Oh Henry, you funny, its no frog! Here you go, and Gia placed it in his hands.

“I hope you like it, I drew it just for you.  I gotta go now  Mom will be waiting. Bye bye friend!”  With those words she gave him a quick hug and he watched as she skipped down the hall.

Henry’s eyes glistened as  he then looked at the little card that Gia had placed in his hand. On it was a drawing of Gia and him holding hands and scrawled beneath the picture were the words. “Thanks for being my fun friend. I like you. Happy Valentine’s Day Henry! Your friend, Gia.”

Henry smiled and thought how this may be one of the most special Valentines that he had ever received  and his heart was full.

 

 

 

 

 

When Sorrow brings Joy

“When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.”

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”

These quotes are taken from beautiful poetic essays by Kahlil Gibran. It is from his book called “The Prophet”, a book that I am presently reading.  The book was recommended to me by a friend and I am recommending it to all of you!

When I first read the 2 quotes that I included in here I had to stop and think for a little.

I thought back on some of the times where I have had the greatest sorrows in my life, and sure enough, out of those times, have come some of my greatest joys.

Due to sharing some of my sorrows with another, a friendship was formed, one that  has brought me great joy.

Due to a loved one going through a very difficult time our bond has grown closer, which again has brought sweet joy. I savor the moments more with them now and my ears are better at listening when their heart speaks.

I think of the time that I left a large piece of my heart behind locked doors. I heard the metallic clank as they went shut, there was no part of me that wanted to leave the building but I had to. Within 15 minutes of leaving, my husband and I stopped to meet a friend who had told us to call her before we left and she would be there for us. Her arms were there to catch me as I wanted to fall.

The sweetness of that moment can’t be measured. Knowing she took the time to be there for us in person meant so much. The depth of her love brought a shining light to our sorrow.

I think of another time that my heart was literally breaking. I had shed so many tears and felt so confused. Then within an hour and a half I got online, kind of still in a daze, when I read something that a friend had sent. My eyes got teary again, but this time it was with tears of laughter!  I can still feel the relief that just bubbled out of me by having something to laugh at. That bubble would not have been as great without the sorrow that had come before.

I think of the tender look of love on my husband’s face and how my heart felt the lump in his throat. He squeezed my hand as I laid on a hospital bed not knowing exactly what was wrong. The warmth of his love, though not spoken in words filled my heart with precious joy.

This isn’t some new startling revelation of how sorrow can bring joy, but I believe it is easy for us to forget. No one wants to go through deep sorrow, but sometimes it is good to just spend time reflecting on what joys have come out of our sorrows. Sometimes there are things that may stand out to us more as we look back, compared to before.  Looking back can be a great reminder to all of us at how sorrow and joy really are intertwined.

 

 

 

 

Special Sounds

Relaxing piano music is playing and my Sheltie has her head on my one foot as I rub her back with my other foot. The vanilla candle is  burning and filling the house with its pleasant aroma.

I think back to growing up and hearing my Mom play the piano. It was a peaceful sound to me, made my heart smile. I remember hearing my Dad sing when we would go on road trips, which would again fill my heart with peace and happiness. I remember us singing around a campfire as a family and the contentment it would bring.

I remember my husband reading poetry to me when we were dating. Reading it as we sat in the woods. His voice filled me with joy and a peace that all was right with my world.

I remember the voice of my husband reciting his wedding vows to me and how it touched my heart so deeply that when it came time for me to speak, my words slipped down my cheeks. A lump was in my throat, but I did feel a heartwarming peace.

I remember many more years later, the sound of my husband’s heart beating as we held each other close when both our hearts were breaking. When we didn’t know what the next day would hold, but we knew that we would hold onto each other.

I remember after a scary C-section, due to the heart rate of my baby dropping dangerously low, the sound of my precious baby crying and the peace that immediately came to my heart, for my child was alive!

I remember the sound of laughter, something that my life has been full of since I been little. The sound of laughter that can bring happiness to the heart and just be plain fun!

The sound of birds singing and leaves crunching, the sound of the waves. So many sounds that can bring peace. What are some of your favorite and sentimental sounds?

Spreading the Light

Yesterday I posted about a tragic shooting that happened at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.  11 innocent lives were lost.  I asked the question of why it is so hard for people in the world to be kind! Why do we have so much hate and prejudice against others who are different from us?

Tonight I wanted to show a short video clip of children being kind to their classmates. I have always believed that we can learn a lot from children and this is just one of the many ways.

Spread the light of kindness and love!

 

This next video clip I thought was an excellent way to spend your birthday! And really an excellent way to spend any day! Spread smiles!

 

 

Feeling Blessed!

I found the perfect job! It doesn’t pay in money, but the rewards are even greater. I get paid in smiles, hugs and fun comments and questions.

This month I have visited 2 Elementary schools, sharing stories from “The Odessa Chronicles”.  The book of stories for all ages that Colin and I wrote together. A book that shares the crazy adventures of 4 best friends who happen to be a Barn Owl, a Tabby Cat, a magical Jackalope and a man-servant.

This past Monday I spent all day at the one school and my heart was full when I came home. It is hard to put into words the joy I feel at seeing a sparkle in a child’s eye and knowing that their sparkle and smile are because of stories that I helped to write! I usually have enough time with each class to share 3 stories from the book and in between take their comments and questions. I thought it would be fun to share some of their comments and questions with you, my wonderful followers. I do believe they will bring a smile to your face, just like mine.

I had just finished reading the story called “The Hole”, which revolves around a mysterious hole that Dewey the cat found.  I asked the children what they thought made the hole and hands went up immediately.  “A hedgehog”, “A porcupine”, “A shovel!”
“I think it was a lizard”, “Maybe a deer?” “A squirrel”, “I think it was a tiger!” At times I do find it a little hard to stay composed as I listen to their answers and think of a response.

I like to watch the faces of the children as I read the stories. I can see their eyes grow wide as Dewey the cat is flying in the air and I see them laugh,  giving their classmate a nudge when one of the characters in the story has a joke played on them. It’s  also fun to see them pick up on some clues of what may be coming later in the story.

The “Roof Top Incident” story has been a popular one.  In the story the man-servant gets stuck up on the roof. How does he get down? Once again guesses are called out. The most popular one being that he went down the chimney.  Or perhaps he jumped to the tree next to the farmhouse and then climbed down the tree. Maybe Odessa the Barn Owl, picks him up and flies him down to the ground.

Their questions can be just as entertaining.

“Which character is your favorite?”
“What was your inspiration for writing the book?”
“Did you and Colin write stories that you scrapped and didn’t use?”
 
“How long did it take you guys to write the book?”
“Did you write all the stories on paper?”
“Are there any stories where the one character goes on an adventure all by themselves?”
“Why do the characters have the names that they have?”
“Where does Colin live?” followed by “Wow! That’s really really far away!” when I told them Canada!
“Who made the really pretty picture of Odessa on the cover?”

Will this book have one of those cool medals on its cover, you know the medals that really great books receive?”

 “Does your book have any errors in it, for I found an error before in a book I read, the character’s name was misspelled.

Have I mentioned that sometimes I don’t know how to reply to their questions?

“Where is the man-servant, you need one, for he takes care of everyone.”  This was in response to the stuffed Odessa, Jaxon and Dewey that I bring along with me. My sister surprised me with them and they have been  wonderful to have. The children love seeing them and taking turns to hold them.  Unfortunately it has not been real easy to find a stuffed man-servant, but now after this little girl pointed out how I need one, I am on the search for one once again!

Their comments make me laugh and they melt my heart.

One little boy came up to me at the end saying, “I really didn’t want you to stop reading, I was so caught up in the story.”  A little girl,  whose smile I can still see gave me a hug as she told me how much she loved the stories that I read, that they were so funny and that she really, really hopes her Mommy buys her the book.

I think of the little boy who came up to me as I was talking to someone else.  He  just threw  his arms around my waist giving me a hug, not saying a word but wearing a big smile.

When I finished reading to one class a girl came up to me and gave me a note. She had written me a thank you note as I was reading! It was so sweet.

I have also been delighted by the comments of the teachers and the librarians that listen to me as well, while I read to the children. One admitted that she didn’t expect to enjoy the stories as much as she did, but that she was caught up in them too. Another one compared them to Winnie-The-Pooh and friends! That comment  really warmed my heart for as a lot of you readers know, I love Winnie-the-Pooh!

I am going to a preschool tomorrow and am waiting for 3 other schools to get back to me. I don’t know how many other schools and public libraries will let me come, but its an adventure that I am very much enjoying!

There is a Pooh Bear quote that I feel pretty much sums up how Colin and I felt when writing the “The Odessa Chronicles”.  We had no idea of what kind of responses we would receive, of where things might lead. We only knew one thing, that we were having fun!

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If you would like to know more about “The Odessa Chronicles” and why it is creating excitement, feel free to click on the book cover in the right margin.

 

 

 

Sunday’s Sunny Smiles!

Happy Sunday! It has been raining cats and dogs here once again, but my thoughts are with others down South who are preparing for a hurricane. Prayers for all those who are in the path of the hurricane.

The sun may be hard to see for a lot of us along the East Coast in the States , but smiles can spread sunshine and smiles can be shared in any kind of weather!

What is a way that you have spread sunshine? Share below an example of something you have done or said that has made someone smile.  Or feel free to share a quote,  or a picture that you know will bring some smiles. Keep spreading the joy and helping the “storm clouds” in life be covered by the sun!

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