Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

"What do you wish to share?" Good question for this week's wishing. I want to share a revelation I had on Sunday while I sat waiting at work for someone, anyone to arrive. It rained and was cold and windy, and no one came to the model home where I work as a greeter. It was silent, snug and comfortable and I had lots of time to think.

I want to share what I have come to realize from wishing with you each week. I realize that I can't expect more without being totally aware of all I have and be completely in the moment of expressing my gratitude for it all.

How can I have more when I don't acknowledge its existence in the now and be thankful for all I have. So, I started my Cosmic "THANK YOU!!!!!" and came home that evening and made Michael sit while I carefully and with intention thanked him for all that he has provided and brought to my life. For all that he has made possible.

For the dreams that he's made come true. For the work he does every day to support us while I still work to find my way to contribute. For the love, friendship, and laughter he brings to my days.

I sat and ticked off all the things that are part of my life that, at one time, where nothing than a hope, a wish, a prayer, a plea...and now they are here. I need to shout thank you!

So, I share that I woke up and got it. And, I look forward to seeing where my wishes take me next. But not before I say thank you to all of you for being part of my Ah-HA moment.

I share how much this weekly ritual has come to mean to me. And, how grateful I am to be part of your wishing with you. Thank you Jamie...for all that you share...I hope to return the favor. But for today-I wish to express gratitude as much as I wish my wish.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Is Grateful

Monday, September 28, 2009

Five Little Words & Me

Oh, that Joanna Jenkins! She's always getting me into some mischief or trouble. As a fellow word-smith, she and I have discovered the fun of spurring each other on and I have to say, I love it. So thanks girl for sending me five words that I'm to use to weave as part of the telling of myself to you.

As part of this exercise, I'm to offer to send five words to five readers who might like to play along. So, if you want me to do that, just let me know. And, now to the words:

Gracious: As in "Gracious, me!" which I actually say quite a bit when I'm surprised or don't know quite what to say. I suppose it's as close to the Southern, "Well, bless your heart!" Which can be used when you're being sincere or you're being snotty. I love things that work like that.

Okay, Gracious...when I think of the word, three women come to mind immediately. My friend Jackie Cavanaugh; my sister-in-law Linda; and my friend Eileen Mross. I'm lucky to have met lots of gracious women and men. But, the word reflects how I see these women most particularly.

I attempt to be gracious. Admittedly, I'm often more like a bull in a china shop, but I'm working continually on the gracious part.

Fascinate: I try to do that with every story I tell, everything I write. I try to look at the world that the most fascinating thing ever. I definitely look at people that way. I still maintain that there's not a spirit among us who doesn't have a story that would fascinate any of us. However, most of them, unfortunately, are not asked to tell their story. Want to be fascinated? Go ask someone to tell you a story from their life.

Husband: Why do we have so many sit-coms and commercials that bash husbands and make them look stupid and trivial? Why is that humorous? Don't answer; it's another, "Why is the sky blue," question. Open-ended with no good answer.

I often wonder why so many women marry a man and begin working immediately to turn him into a science project. If you need a hobby, get one; don't marry one! But, if you really feel that disdain for your spouse, it says way more about you and your poor choices than it ever could about the science proj, er, husband!

I have had two excellent husbands. Both have brought a depth and richness to my life that I would not have had otherwise. To both of them I am grateful. I think most of us have the husband we grow up with and then the husband we grow old with...a very rare few of us have one mate who fills both roles.

To my Beloved Michael, my husband- I love you and you've given me the life I dreamed. To my former husband, Doog, you are loved for all you brought to my life and our continued friendship.

Inspiration: This is a word we over use and never really consider its true meaning, so I'm going to give you the definition here: A divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him to receive and communicate sacred revelation. Or: The act of drawing breathe in.

We all must have a situation or an individual who truly does this for us. Each of us needs to find that spark of divine awareness. For me, it was my father, Jimmy.

And, on many levels and many occasions, it's all of you that I've encountered in the blogging community. Go breathe in something or someone who amazes you; try to get a deep breath of it every day!

Perhaps all of us would be agents of inspiration if we remembered that we are the face, voice, hands, and touch of Spirit to any situation, creature, and each person we encounter. Yeah...that would be a really good thing to remember and react accordingly. What do you draw into your life, your world, you awareness? How are you inspired? Do you act to inspire others?

Confidence: I wish I had more of it. What things could I accomplish if I had a deeper well of this virtue? Would I talk myself out of less? Would I try a bit harder and work a bit longer at getting what I know should be mine?

Would I hold my head higher? Be kinder to myself and my short comings? More at ease in my own skin?


As I've grown older, I've learned that often confidence see-saws with caring...but not in the way you might think. I think your confidence goes up when how much you care what others think of you goes down. Coupled with how much you begin caring more about what you think of yourself.

So, I'm going to continue working on that balancing act. Care to join me on the Teeter Tooter?

Those are my five and of them I think, inspiration is my favorite word. What say you?

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Adores Words

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Silent Sermon Sunday

"Be still and know that I am God."
~ Psalm 46:10

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Friday, September 25, 2009

If You're Hiking This Weekend...

...I'm thinking this would be good to know: Click on the picture to make it easier to read.

You know me; I'm always looking for ways to help. Have a good, safe, fun weekend.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Helps

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

I'm later than usual today because the fact of the matter is, I wasn't going to wish. At all. Nothing for me. My head's too jammed up with stuff and I can't concentrate. So, I was going to make the rounds and wish for you and with you, but nothing for me today.

I considered the question: What luxury do you wish for? And thought, there isn't a luxury item I am wishing for. None. So, I was sitting there clipping coupons to save some pain caused by my grocery bill, (this need to eat is so very annoying,) and my spirit whispered, "Girl, you are so lying. You know you're lusting like crazy over a luxury item. You know you are! Admit it! Go on!!! Say it!"

So, I've been forced to the wishing late and don't even know that any of our circle will see it to help, but I have to let it out because it's needling me! For the love of gawd, ALL RIGHT! Busted. Yes, I have one. Here it is:

I so want this Dooney & Bourke Lucy bag. OH- HOW I WANT IT! I WANT IT! WANT IT! WANT!! IT!!!

Why are their handbags so flippin' expensive? Can you think of one Human Being in the world more perfectly suited to carry that bag? Can you? Neither can I!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Adores Scotties

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Are You For Real???!!!

It goes like this:

"Doctor's office, can I help you?"
"Yes, I have a medical emergency and I wonder if the doctor has time to see me today!?"
"An emergency? Can you please calm down and explain so I can help you?"
"Yes, but this is pretty serious and I need to talk with her as soon as possible."
"I understand but you'll have to give me some information....what is your concern?"
"Well, I was watching television this morning and was made aware, thank gawd, that I have a serious medical condition that I should ask the Doctor about. Brooke Shields told me that I have hypotrichosis!!!"
"Excuse me, what did you say you have?"
"Hypotrichosis; I have skimpy eyelashes and I need to see her right away. This is serious! They have a new drug out for it called Latisse and I should come in to get started on it ASAP!"
"You are an idiot. However, I can fit you in our schedule on Wednesday, 2014. Does that work for you?!"

That should be the answer, but it won't be because we've all lost our minds.

Are you freaking kidding me?! Now we have this to worry about? Really? REALLY???? Can we be so flipping vain and foolish that we can afford to worry about this? Is it really a quality of life issue? When there are so many people struggling every day with true life threatening issues, diseases, emotional concerns? Eye-lashes...we are now worried about eye lashes.


Look, let me just say, I am a huge believer in better living through chemicals! If there is a medication that is safe and will help improve the quality of your life, for all that's holy at least give it a try! But, really, are your eye lashes and the luxurious nature of them really keeping you up at night and feeling less than your best? Really? Because if that's your only concern? I want your efffin' life!!!!!

Stop!! Take a look! This is a spirit who is in real need. This is an individual who needs more than they have. These are eyelashes that we should be concerned about. For the love of all that's holy!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Rants

Monday, September 21, 2009

Julia Cameron Has Ruined My Life!

My life is in shambles. The only good thing about that is I finally have someone to blame for this fact. Instead of always living with Catholic Girl Responsibility of being the one who is in charge of life choices and decisions...

I can now blame someone else and there are very few who will argue with me. I'm sure by her bank account and its massive size, there are many, many, many like me who have been sucked into her web and have had havoc wrecked on them in the bargain.

And to think I paid money for this! Beware of this woman...

...Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way.

I'm about to start my sixth week of this saga and journey. I will not bore you with the sordid details. Let's just say, when I picked the book up, I knew who I was; fairly certain was I of my abilities and direction.

Now, none of that is true for me. And, I seem to be getting more lost than found.

I would like to tell you that I highly recommend this book, but I'd be lying and you know I can't do that.

Instead, I give you this warning: Do not read this book if you are happy with who you are and your talents. Do not read this book if you are one of the few blessed with the smugness of thinking you're all that plus a bag of chips.

Do not read this book if you're not willing to question most of what you thought about yourself.

And for the love of all that's holy, Do NOT read this book if you're not willing to consider that more might be out there for you than you had been willing to hope.

If you don't heed my advice, I do promise that Ms. Cameron will make you miserable and ruin your life, too.

The only bright spot in this nighmare is that I actually got a two-fer when I said yes to this group. Not only do I have Ms. Cameron to blame, I can also blame Kavindra of A Clear Path To Happy; it was she and her Kali loving ways that sucked me in.

And, I'm fairly certain that Ms. Cameron is the 21st century face of Kali the goddess who tears things up so they can be put back together to be the best ever.

They say in order to learn, you must be willing to forget everything you thought you knew. Holy crap, I hope I'm learning now. Either that or I've become the village idiot for nothing.

Do I know you?

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka The Woman Who Does Not Know

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Silent Sermon Sunday

"Loving God, you who are full of compassion, teach me to be like you."
~ Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Glimpse of Livy's Day

I am a thief. Admitted. So bust me. Yep, some days when I write this blog I just snatch the entire idea from someone else. (Well not really, but some days getting a blog out is a lot easier especially when you have great material sent right to your in-box!) Even this title today, isn't one I conjured. I read it and thought, "Too perfect! Can't improve on it so I'm using it just the way I got it." So there you have it. I stole it from my beloved niece, Laura, who sent me a slew of the latest pictures of Olivia.

It's been awhile since you've seen her, so I thought this would be a wonderful way to kick off the weekend. Actually, to my mind, perhaps one of the finest ways. Enjoy my Baby Girl's baby with me, won't you? Remember to click on the pictures so you can see them large and in charge.

What a confident little thing this Miss is becoming. Fabulous in pink and with an entire ribbon in her hair. Definitely she's developing her Mom's sense of style and flair! All girl here, yet with a look that says, "I can roll with the big boys, too!"

A little one who finds excitement in all places. And possibility waiting to have fun with the most mundane. Holding on tightly in new circumstances as she learns her way around.

And stretching out to fill the space and take charge within short order! "Look at me, I'm now the CEO of The Laundry Basket!" And, she's a multi-tasking mogul as she takes a moment to look directly at the camera for her publicity shot. Next, corporate take over...

...the bath tub! And, "I am so peering at you...soon I'll figure out the trick to getting over the side of this whenever I feel like it! So you better be ready!" What I love about this one, is her look of complete concentration. You can actually hear her little wheels grinding away as she takes in all the data from this experience.

I ask you, who wouldn't feel comfortable in a wet situation when you have your big pink duck there to act as your body guard? And I sit back and think, the stuff we have for our kids today; a bath tub inside of a bath tub. Makes sense...

Of all the pictures Laura sent to share Livy in her day, this one is my favorite. I can't exactly say why...but perhaps it's the quality of her expression. The far away, contemplative look in her eyes.

I think it resonates with me because when I look at it, I see wisdom and depth even though this spirit is so young, so new. I can see a child who is confident and feels safe because she is surrounded by love and lead by example of love and good cheer.

I like it because I see the same sort of placid good nature that was so evident in Laura at this early age. And, like the woman Laura is now, I hold hope that Livy too, has the gift of finding, "The Possible & Good" in every day.

And if I really did have a magic wand I'd wave it over this little girl's head while I wished with all of my might....

"Littlest Girl, my hope for you is that like your Mama, The Daughter of My Heart, you grow into a woman who truly does expect the best in any situation and person; who rolls with disappointment when you run into it. And regardless, to your core you believe that life is wonderful and even if you don't find your heart's desire today...tomorrow is just around the corner and who knows what wonderful things that may bring." So mote it be with a flourish of my wand!

Here's to my darling girls, Laura & Livy. I love you both so very, very much.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Great Aunt Hol

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

"How do you wish to stretch?"

That's the Wishcasting question for the week. Y'all know that's not me in the picture. I found her sitting on the Internet looking all peaceful and very focused and limber. The image just spoke to me.

I want to stretch the notion of Myself. Stretch past my self-limiting thoughts. My fears of, "You can't do that, are you crazy?!" Don't'll fail. No one will care what you think do, say... I want to stop twisting my spirit into a psychic pretzel, and instead reach and stretch for the heavens.

Yeah, I want to stretch past all of that old thought, internal chatter and noise.

And, I want to stretch every dollar that my husband works so hard for these days, especially since I've still not found a way to contribute to that burden. I can at least contribute by finding ways to make things stretch as much as possible here on the home front.

Finally, I want to stretch my desire to be shed of this excess weight even further than I think it's possible. Right now, I'm meeting with some success, and I don't want to give up. So help me stretch into my authentic shape and help me stretch my patience with the process. Because trust me, it will take perseverance and patience.

It'll be divine to walk around in my true form instead of stretching further into stretch pants. I'm worth all that though, don't you think?

Here's to stretching yourself into your authentic life...come on just a little further; I know you can do it! Reach for it!!

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Little Eye Spys Something...

I am so grateful for my little makes it possible for me to capture images and remember things the way my eye sees them. Maybe not the way a good photographer would capture things for you to enjoy. But, I have my own fun.

I thought you might like to see a couple more pictures of our days at Lake Erie. Make sure you click on the picture so it gets big and you can enjoy the detail.

I love Fiona's ears...especially when she is surveying her domain and is on high alert. In the evening after a busy day, her left ear falls over. I guess it takes a lot of energy to hold them erect!

My salty sea dog, Rory, really liked those dead fish...

The lake area is already busy rushing head-long toward Autumn...

Some of the locals headed to the beach...

I believe in truth in advertising. I did eat here...and well, short answer is yes.

There are many ethnic neighborhoods and we came across this Russian Orthodox Church high on a hill. They immigrated over in the 1800's and brought their faith with them. Interesting to think that for 70 years it was all but lost during the Communist movement in their home land. This so reminded me of my time in St. Petersburg.

The shore side had many hidden moments that required I find the beauty in the unfamiliar. It was not the ocean. Yes, it was beautiful regardless.

I learned new how during the war of 1812, the men of Erie with Commodore Perry built ships and then sank them in the lake to keep the British from getting them and using them against the Americans. Imagine spending months building something only to sink it to a watery end to wait to be resurrected when needed. Good words to live by: Don't give up the ship!

The Niagara is being renewed. She's a beauty. Coming from Tall Ship territory in Baltimore, I really enjoyed seeing this one being worked on. Lovingly restored...

Some days, the water was glass and the trees still green, but they won't be long. The leaves were beginning to swirl down, down, down...

The wash of the water soothed me...

The sunset thrilled me. Humbled me. Made me grateful.

Here's to small, meaningful moments for all of us.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Silent Sermon Sunday

"Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Namaste' Till Next Time,
The cloister of Salisbury Cathedral, England
Courtesy of the Internet

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Of This And That

I have bits of stuff to share and wanted to catch up on my info snippets.

This book, I've not yet read, but I love this particular Buddhist teacher. Today, I show it because of the title which fits with this quote I came across recently; I think it's worth remembering:

"Mend the parts of the world that are within your reach."
~ Clarrisa Pinkola Estes'

I like it because I often struggle with how one gets started to do good, the trying to make a difference. Every problem or cause seems to be so much bigger than my ability to effectively impact. However, I can certainly begin with Estes' wise advice. And, so long as I know where I am...well, I believe I can make a difference. I am here. I'll reach for those parts where I am.

Next bit: here's a picture of my friend, Mark Pemburn. He has a wonderful way about him. Kind and gentle. Loves to laugh and finds humor in most situations. He's helped me through many a rough emotional spot by sharing his very considered, humble views on lots of topics. But, mostly by sharing his time and being completely present to a spirit in their time of need.

He's married to the most amazing woman. Leanne is strong, proud, brave, true, gentle, intelligent, engaging. And when I think of Earth Mother, she immediately comes to mind. I love these people greatly.

Recently, Mark decided to begin blogging. I can't recommend it enough. He'll be covering lots of issues; I promise you all will make you think. He's a great thinker and a solid, clear writer. I believe you'll enjoy your time with him at Clear And Obscure. Please tell him I sent you over when you go to visit.

He has no idea I've done this today, so leave him a comment and cheer on a new blogger whose work will be a great addition to our world here.

Okay, so you all know that I covet some recognition, just as we all do. And, some of these awards, I really think are adorable. Like this one. I truly have always found it fanciful, colorful, and charming. Thanks to Joanna Jenkins of The Fifty Factor I can now display this cutey on my blog.

The Splash Award
Is given to alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive, and inspiring blogs.

So I want to pass this one along to Ribbon at Fragment Treasures Memories and Liz of The Fragrant Muse because I learn from these women and I love visiting with them as I take away a lot to ponder and consider. Thank you both for your lovely work on your blogs.

Joanna, thanks for thinking my blog is the sort that qualifies for this adorable badge!

And, finally after the emotional day we all had yesterday, Rory wants you to remember:

Be kind to yourself today. Rest, eat well and enjoy your weekend.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Friday, September 11, 2009

Because I Remember

This morning, I was awakened by the sounds of heavy equipment working on the road. In a lull between men shouting and the metal clang of the dump truck, I heard the train rumble by and blow its whistle as it chugged along. Just after that, I heard a small plane on its landing approach a quick five minutes from my house at Arnold Palmer Airport.

Instead of being annoyed or bothered by the clamor, I whispered, "Thank you God & Goddess for these sounds. Thank you."

Because I remember living just 45 minutes up the road from D.C. where panic screamed in the streets as the Pentagon was hit by a jet. I remember the phone lines going down in the national emergency and being cut off from my friends and family. I remember wondering what the hell was going on. I remember not being able to call to check on people, but being amazed that thanks to the Internet, friends in Russia and Scotland were sending frantic emails to hear if I was all right. How the world had changed so quickly...

I remember how completely overwhelming the silence of the following days was as planes, for the first time in our history, were grounded. No distant noise of jets and things flying high over my head. I didn't even know until it was silenced, how much air traffic is simply part of the white noise, the symphony of living in a modern age. But, the silence was deafening. Eerie. Foreboding.

Now, I live about 35 minutes away from Shanksville, PA. It's absolutely in the middle of nowhere on the road to nothing. When friends and family visit, we take them to see the crater created when United Flight 93 was driven into the ground like an arrow by brave Americans determined to prevent further damage to their country. Who refused to let their impending doom be meaningless.

Their final resting place is in a field near farms- an all American landscape. Beautiful. Always reverently silent and always you can hear the sound of the wind in your ears as you take in, or try to take in, the sacred atmosphere of heroism. The truth that Human Beings are capable of such glorious acts of selflessness and love. Patriotism. I prefer to remember these acts; these images.

I remember being in class a day after these horrors. Wondering how many of my kids would show up. Being so awed when all of them arrived. College kids eyes wide, heads shaking with disbelief and sadness. Tears. With a large majority of them being from New York and the surrounding areas, trying to determine if their fathers, mothers, family, many of whom worked in the Twin Towers were alive, missing...dead. I remember being one of the few adults who could be there for them as they waited and wondered. I remember hugging all 45 of them as they filed out at the end of the class with a word of encouragement to each. I remember how quietly the world moved along in those few days immediately following.

I remember when the New York skyline looked like this. A sparkling jewel. And, I ache each time I see a movie that captured, without realizing the implication, these twin industrial constellations as a background in a scene. The electric firmament is forever changed. The World Trade Center is no more; existing now only on celluloid.

But, I remember. My son remembers and so now serves our country as an Airman. And, all in America remember in their way. Because, to not remember would mean it was for nothing. And that...that would be a shame.

So, I remember and that's all I can do as I hold hope and work for better and more for all of us. For we are Citizens of The World. And, what happened here in our United States on 9/11/01 did not happen only to happened to all. Because we are all, the profane and the sacred, connected as Human Beings.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Remembers

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Slowly I Turn...Step By Step...Inch By Inch...

"So, I'm thinking," he says, "The weather today isn't that great and we're not that far away from it. How would you like to drive up to see Niagra Falls?" "Oh wow," says I, "I didn't know we were that close to it." "Well, we're about as far a drive to it as we are to Erie from home, so what do you think?"

Absolutely! I've never been. So, into the truck the four of us go. Puppies quickly laying down as they can tell we're going to be awhile. How they know this, I don't know. A couple of hours later, the sun breaks through and we're there walking about with the other tourists seeing an amazing site.

75,000 gallons a second! That's what slams over the falls. The roar of it all but drowns out the sound of talking. People from all over the world, speaking all sorts of languages, linger at the rail standing in awe of the power. You just don't get to see that every day, you know? This is Horse Shoe Falls from the American side. If you click on any of these pictures, it will take you to full size so you can see detail.

We watched as a bunch of visitors got ready to go on the Maid of The Mist as they've done for years and years. The only indicator of current times is that they no longer give you slickers to they give you a yellow baggie with a hood to drop down over your body. Eww. So not appealing to me. And so not like you see in those great movies from the 30's! I had a blast standing on the edge watching the boat bob closer and closer and then sharply turning.

The Scotties were rock stars and may have been photographed more than the falls! We were asked repeatedly and of course we always agreed. A man from Germany spent a good five minutes capturing them. Children asking to pet them. People stopping to ask about them or share their love of their Scottie with us. I was proud of them as they took it all in stride. Fiona is not much for being touched by those she doesn't know, but she let the children pet her. Rory never met a person he didn't like so he was always up for the lovin'!

The noise may have been a wee bit intense for the dogs...they seemed to be a bit overwhelmed and excited at various stages of our time there. But, as long as 'Dad' was there, nothing too much to worry about.

Michael knows that I didn't have the opportunity to travel much as a child. And, a great many of the touristy things that everyone else takes for granted, I haven't experienced. I love that if he has a chance to show it to me, he does. I wouldn't see these wonderful things if he didn't make them possible. Thank you, so much!

The American falls is impressive, but not as much as I would have been able to see had I been standing just across in Canada. Unfortunately, since it was a spur of the moment thought, Michael and I didn't have our passports so we couldn't cross over to see. Truly, Canada does have a better view of all of the falls so we'll have to go back and do that one day.

What I didn't know is that there are some lovely, less powerful parts to the falls...places and spots of some truly beautiful scenery. Calmer. More quiet. Picturesque.

Stone bridges in the mist to walk across and watch as the waters swirl rapidly in anticipation of the ride over the edge...

Quiet swirling pools where you can take a minute to cool your feet and relax a bit till you trek to the next sight. So long as you're a bird, that is...

And, if you go, don't forget to look down at your feet. It's so easy to get absorbed in the powerful show out in front, that you could miss some pretty nice things, just at the edge of the unknown.

When you go to someplace new, always remember to look up and look down. A word of advice from the new kid.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Erie But Beautiful

This hubby of mine. He's the very best. With the season coming to its 'official' close, a short time back, I mentioned that another summer had slipped by without a visit to the ocean. In other words, an incomplete summer, sigh. Especially if you grow up in Baltimore, you just have to go, "downey oshun, Hon!" But, the Atlantic is a far stretch from me these days.

Well, Michael surprised me by setting up a few days away. But, not just any place; he decided we'd go to the next closest body of big water in one day's drive. So, he made plans for us to go to Erie, PA and visit the great Erie Lake.

The whole way up to our adventure, I was wondering if it could even measure up to the Atlantic. I mean, I know they call it a Great Lake, but can a lake even come close to an ocean for majesty and the ability to awe? After all, it's only a lake.

We get there, the four of us, yes four because he further delighted me by making a reservation where Fiona and Rory were welcome, and set out to find the big water. A short drive later, we're parked for a stroll along the edge of the 'lake.'

Can I tell you? The warm wind was blowing white caps across the face, and while they weren't the waves I am used to, the spray off the storm jetties was pretty impressive!

The next day we set off for Presque Isle, which is a long sliver of land that is a state park. It's home to the numerous beaches everyone uses to visit with this Lake. This time of year, the season being over, it's returned to the gulls, wild life and the trees to enjoy. Very few people around meant that we could let Rory & Fiona have some freedom and enjoy the smells and the beach. It was their first time seeing water like this. Intrepid Fiona got in and splashed about, but Rory wasn't at all trusting enough to try. He preferred to investigate the shore line.

Unlike the Atlantic Ocean beaches, where shells abound, this is rock and drift wood and really interesting bits of flotsam that washes up and sits undisturbed. The locals look for sea glass along the edge. Lake Erie is the final resting place of more ship wrecks than all of the Great Lakes, and the sea glass is the remains of the hopes of those on board. Odd, when you consider that you're excited to find a bit of history which marks the watery end of Human Beings.

Occasionally, you'll come across a fish out of water. Poor thing. No reason to throw it back, it's already turned an odd color. Trust me, this was the cutest of the dead fish that made me go, "Eww!" While the same dead thing made Rory go, "Ohhh!" as he investigated them too closely making Michael and me shout simultaneously, "Leave it!!!"

We all sat and watched the lake flat and placid, seeming a sheet of glass. We wondered how vast this body of water is even though it is one of the smallest of those Great Lakes. It fills the horizon and my eyes and mind couldn't tell the difference between this wet horizon and the one I've fondly watched along the Atlantic. Except, this water is not salty like the sea and it was so clear.

Our pack enjoyed some bonding time, just the four of us. Closing our eyes, relaxing. Sniffing the air. Being quiet and hearing the gathered gulls call and challenge each other on the storm breaks.

And at the end of our day, the sun set over the water, which is something beautiful you can't see over the Atlantic Ocean where the sun starts each day.

I'm reminded that this world is full of opportunities to learn new things of beauty and new ways of seeing them. And, while they may not compare with your old haunts, your old stomping grounds, you can still be impressed when you encounter them. You can learn to love something new and look forward to your next encounter with it.

You can expand your sense of wonder as you exclaim, "Damn!," the first time you're awed by the glimpse of a new place and way. It is Erie and beautiful. Thank you Michael, for making it possible to slip away with you- my love, and our Scotties. It was exactly what my spirit needed and even better than I hoped! Like my life, you made my summer complete.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
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