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Archive for September, 2011

Book Club Sisters

September 18, 2011 2 comments

Sunday afternoon. Sitting in a circle of women. Talking about homelessness, forgiveness, prejudice and other bits of life. No, it’s not a group therapy session. There’s no overpriced, vaguely helpful psychologist asking, “So, how did that make you feel?” Just a group of ladies with at least one other thing in common: books. I like my book club meetings. Even though I enjoy reading, sometimes I need a bit of a push. A deadline. Sunday, 18th of September, at 3:30 pm. Having finished the assigned book over a week ago, I was ready for the discussion.

Our book: Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. What’s interesting about book clubs, for the uninitiated, is the interaction among members. Twelve women read one book and how many perspectives do you think surface? Of course, that’s the fun of it. A couple of us had a challenge getting into the book. Frankly, halfway through the first chapter I already thought I wouldn’t finish the book. I haven’t missed a book club meeting yet, so I had a sick day coming. Things picked up in the second chapter. From then on I enjoyed a story about an unusual friendship and a role model. A true story that has been around for a while (2006), Same Kind of Different as Me, motivates its readers to look inside themselves and identify the gifts we can use to help others. These gifts need not be extraordinary. Debbie Hall’s gifts of charity and hospitality shone through the book (a true story). She made a difference in one man’s life and ultimately left a love-inspired legacy to her family and community.

I have been trying to decide how to pass this book on so that the next reader might enjoy and be inspired by it as much as I have been, but why stop at just one person? If you’re looking for a read that won’t waste your time, load Same Kind of Different as Me onto your Kindle or Nook (or grab the good old-fashioned paper version) and settle into your favorite reading spot. Beware: you’ll want to discuss those Reader’s Guide questions with someone.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Faces

September 17, 2011 13 comments

It is the common wonder of all men, how among so many millions of faces, there should be none alike. ~Thomas Browne, Religio Medici

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When you need quiet time, where do you go?

September 15, 2011 4 comments

“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly. . . spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.” – Susan Taylor

When I need quiet time, I go to my mental medicine cabinet. What’s available? Do I have time for a drive to clear my head? Can I escape to the ocean to sink my feet in the pink sand? Sometimes a simple walk down a quiet path is enough to restore peacefulness.

In those moments when I need quiet time now! even before I reach for my keys or lace up a pair of sneakers, I just sit, breathe and listen. . .

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Textured

September 12, 2011 14 comments

I pass this heart that’s embedded in the pavement on my way to and from my car. It’s my “street heart”.

Septembrance

September 10, 2011 Leave a comment

September 11 is a kind of Remembrance Day. We remember the fallen. We remember everyone who lost someone or something on that day. People went to work and lost their lives. Families lost loved ones. We lost a bit of innocence.

I will always remember that morning. Before then I had no knowledge of terms such as Al Qaeda, bin Laden, weapons of mass destruction, and little knowledge of terms like terrorism-—words now firmly entrenched in our mental dictionaries. At work hundreds of miles and half an ocean away from New York City I had been busy clacking away on my computer while participating on and off in morning conversations that float over partitions that separate office workers. Most of it useless chit-chat with the occasional work-related information flung in for good measure. Then during a lull, we could hear—and pretend not to be listening to—snippets of a coworker’s anxious telephone conversation.

A plane hit the tower?

Heads popped up over the petition, now unabashedly waiting for information to be relayed from the telephone source to our coworker. A radio was tuned to a local station for the news and computer searches generated additional information.
We all have memories of that day, some as personal as being covered in the dust that fell while escaping the City (http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20110909/NEWS/709099997) while others gleaned knowledge from journalists at the scene.

Ten years later, wandering through the quiet beauty of the Botanical Gardens in Bermuda, 772 miles from the World Trade Center site, visitors encounter a Memorial linking the tragedy in the United States with the people of Bermuda. Bearing a piece of the Twin Towers (the diamond in the center of the cross), the spot reminds residents and visitors of those precious souls, including two Bermudians, who lost their lives in the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack:

*Rhondelle Tankard, 31

*Boyd Gatton, 38

September 11 Memorial

The Memorial, dedicated on 11 September 2007, by Gregory Slayton, former United States Consul to Bermuda, and his wife, Marina Slayton, reaffirms the bond that links Bermuda, the United States and the United Kingdom. “Bonds of love and sacrifice, honor and courage, democracy and civilization.”

Memorial Plaque

Never Forget

Their names will never be forgotten.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Path(2)

September 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Thought this photo might give the eerie impression of having been there. Shot a few months after the Asian tsunami in Sri Lanka. Never saw anything like this before . . .

End of Summer – First Swim

September 5, 2011 2 comments

As much as I like a long weekend, I usually anticipate Labor Day weekend with a measure of sadness. It unofficially marks the rapidly approaching end of summer. It’s when I get desperate because, although I live only five minutes from some beautiful beaches, typically by Labor Day, I haven’t spent time on any of them. Most weekends I have every intention of spending part of Sunday at the beach. So what happens? I get caught up in this or that. Sometimes, get this, it’s just too hot. Too hot for the beach! By Tuesday of the week, I wish I had made the effort. I do this dance between intention and lack of effort all summer.

Intentions count in your actions. (Abu Bakr)

Which brings me back to Labor Day. I just can’t allow Labor Day to pass without dipping my bathing suit in crystal clear water on a bright, sunny day. So today, Hubby and I took the plunge. Grabbed a couple of towels, ripped the tags off my unworn bathing suit and hit the beach. Despite the choppy surf resulting from Katia in the Atlantic Ocean, the beach was comfortably crowded with enough space in the sand to find a spot without sitting on someone else’s blanket. The lifeguards had posted red flags on the beach as a warning that rough surf and rip tide conditions existed.

Dangerous surf conditions

True, the waves were larger than normal for this beach, but it didn’t stop the sand castle competion the day before.

Heard of a beached whale? This is a cool beach lion.

Sand figure

Sand character

Or the volley ball games. The view in the cove was spectacular. Parents and kids were enjoying the calmer waters of the cove. Just my speed because I can’t really swim despite formal swimming lessons at our town’s pool when I was a kid. Water higher than my chest makes me nervous, but I ventured in anyway. The water felt refreshing, the air smelled salty, and the sand squished between my toes. When my shriveled fingers and rumbling tummy told me it was time to get out of the water, we headed home for supper

Even out of the water there’s fun to be had for the creative ones!

First swim of the season—Labor Day weekend. Better than nothing.