Monday, October 17, 2011

Parasols, Prompts, and Postage Stamps

"P" is for Parasols, Prompts, and Postage Stamps

Occasionally I enjoy using sentence prompts to prime the writing pump. I like how 'you just never know' what hidden thoughts bubble up unexpectedly -- surprising me as much as anyone! So, here we go:

I never thought... I'd live to hear myself say, I don't think I'll put up a Christmas tree this year. But I did, just a few days ago. (Quick, take my temperature!) It's not a baa-humbug feeling, but I do feel a shift in my thoughts this year. For some reason it doesn't seem so important. Perhaps it's because we do have a little fig tree with twinkly white lights up all year round -- I tend to turn them on as the autumn evenings wrap their dark shawls around our homes earlier -- and so there's no fear of not having a cozy ambiance around me.

I don't really enjoy... the time of day where afternoon wanes into late afternoon-early evening. To me, it feels a little sad. Coffee shops are deserted and spoons clatter into silent heaps as customers suddenly realize they need to get home to supper and evening events. I don't feel that way during the shift from morning to afternoon, but I do at this time of day. I wonder if babies feel it too, because they often seem more out of sorts.

I have...
been missing my little purr-y Miss Kitty. At hubby's request we did not get another kitty to fill our lives; we want to do a little more travelling and so we can without fretting how Kitty will get on. Yet still, having kitties in my life has been one of the truest joys of my life. And so sometimes I feel bereft. The upside is that I get great comfort from my furry friends in bloggy-land. I ADORE my kitty bloggers as they fill a place in my heart; even through cyberspace, I feel their feline purr-fectness when I visit them! (Oh.. and the doggies I've met through my blogging friends they've add lots of fun too)

I do not like... feeling obligated. It puts me on the defensive when I think I need to oblige someone when my heart is not in it. So I try not to do that to others. I like people to have the freedom to choose based on what they consider important or necessary. And I appreciate it when people do not push me into things in return. To my way of thinking, trying to 'twist someone's arm' is neither beautiful nor loving.

I'm going to...
tell you a little story that helped me see something in a new light. A woman from North America (not sure if Canada or USA) went on a missions trip a few years ago to help orphan children in another country. One day, as she stood in the line-up for her share of the rice and beans, a local woman entreated her to leave the line and come with her - she had something to show her.

The woman replied that she's in the supper line-up and if she left then she won't get her meal. The local woman says, Come, come, you can eat tomorrow.

This response totally astounded the woman in the line -- and it gave her a view on food that she'd never seen before. In front of her was standing a woman who probably had experienced hungry days herself and yet she held her need for a meal so loosely that she could say 'you can eat tomorrow' because something else was more important right then.

I never forgot that story. There was something freeing -- as I realized how much value here in North America we place on eating our 'three squares' and can feel quite put out if we miss one of them. Makes me think of that word -- Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Just something to ponder... or is that chew, I guess!

I haven't figured out... quite how to work smarter not harder in every area in my life. But I'm delighted to remember that every failure is an opportunity to try again with experience.

A classic book I'm enjoying these days is... My Book of Flowers by Princess Grace with Gwen Robyns (1980). A delightful read as the Princess shares her joy in creating pressed flower art and shares her love of flowers, not to mention the place they have in art, literature, poetry, ballet, etc. Two of her pressed flower designs were used as postage stamps. Wouldn't they have made pretty additions to any envelope?

Wishing you a beautiful day,


  1. I really enjoyed all of your insights. Funny, I just love that shift from afternoon to evening time. I like the color of the sky and the darkness falling. But when the kids were babies, I called it 'the witching hour'. The were, as you said, very fussy at that time.

  2. Hi Debora... I love the twilight hours that come after that shift. There's just that short space between that feels lonely.. the anticipation of the day's events is done and the shift into evening isn't quite there.... mmm... tried to explain it, but it still doesn't clarify. (oh

    PS. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. " there's no fear of not having a cozy ambiance around me."

    -smile- I just love your words there. They say "it" so perfectly... Our need for soft lighting ambiance. Especially as the days/night grow colder.

    May you always have "...a little fig tree with twinkly white lights up all year round..." in your life!

    Gentle hugs,
    "October, here’s to you. Here’s to the heady aroma of the frost-kissed apples, the wine-y spell of ripened grapes, the wild-as-the-wind smell of hickory nuts and the nostalgic whiff of that first wood smoke."
    ~ Ken Weber

  4. One way to get that good cat feeling is to volunteer at a shelter. All the joy with much less responsibility -- kind of like being a grandparent!

  5. Oh and there are *too many* views shared here, in this one post... To address them all. :-)

    Like, I too dislike feeling obligated.

    But I look on pre-twilight, as cozy/comfy-ish. :-)

    Delightful post, all round, even if I can't address each and every one of our agreements (and dis-). :-)))

    Gentle hugs,
    "October, here’s to you. Here’s to the heady aroma of the frost-kissed apples, the wine-y spell of ripened grapes, the wild-as-the-wind smell of hickory nuts and the nostalgic whiff of that first wood smoke."
    ~ Ken Weber

  6. lots of insights today, change of seasons can do that to do and less sunlight to be outside makes for more thinking inside...have fun traveling with hubby.

  7. After reading this post, I feel I know you so much better, my friend.

    When I read that you don't enjoy the afternoon-early evenings, I understood.

    And I miss your Miss Kitty, also.

  8. I really enjoyed this post! I liked its randomness, its cleverness, and its honesty. The year before last I didn't put up a Christmas tree either. (Well, I put up one of those lighted palm trees indoors, but that was hardly the same thing.) I opted out because I was feeling stressed. So, I don't think it's horrible at all; there are cetainly many other facets of the season to enjoy. Also, I could relate to your feeling of sadness as afternoon wanes to night. I especially liked your detail about emptying coffee shops because that is so true and a descriptively wonderful way to engage readers. Although the arrival of evening does mean I get to go home from work, I feel its sting sharply on weekends and other days off when free time is particularly precious. And finally, I agree that feeling obligated is the worst. It seems that so much of life ends up that way if you let it. Thanks again for such a lovely, heartfelt post.

  9. Brenda,
    How do you stop feeling obligated when people make you feel that way? How do YOU handle it? That is exactly what someone does to me all the time. I always end up feeling so stupid and say such dumb things. I hate the obligated feeling.

    Loved your post!

  10. Hi Brenda, I loved your post today, it is so thoughtful and thought-provoking. I have always enjoyed that time of the afternoon because it is the time my husband comes home from work. Everything in my day is kind of centered around it. I guess too there are remnants of my childhood thinking left over as well such as "Better get all my homework done so that I can play later". :)

    I know what you mean about feelings of "obligation". I am like that too. When someone makes me feel pushed or obligated it zaps all the joy out of what I am doing. I dislike it very much when people use guilt to motivate. I'm afraid it doesn't work very well on me. Maybe for awhile, because I'm trying to be "nice" but eventually it will usually make me want to do the exact opposite.

    I am reading a delightful book right now that I am finding it hard to put down. It is a regency period book called "The Nonesuch" by Georgette Heyer. It is has some laugh out moments.

    Have a beautiful day ahead! Delisa :)

  11. I love this idea, Brenda! Here goes...

    I never thought life would be so roller-coasterish when I married a preacher!

  12. One year I didn't put up a Christmas tree, but so many people asked about it that now I feel obligated to do it. But that's ok. Once it's up, I do find that I enjoy it more than anyone else, since all the ornaments are old family pieces, it's like revisiting old and sometimes gone friends. Those are beautiful stamps. Wasn't Grace Kelly just the loveliest? I feed all the neighborhood stray cats. Last year we had over a dozen. They are too fast to catch and besides the vet told me they would probably be put to sleep if the were brought to a shelter as they are all bulging at the seams with strays now. Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing the right thing. It doesn't seem like much of a life for them. We even made a little cabin for them and the neighbors thought I was nuts when I put a heater out on the porch to keep them warm during the harshest part of winter. Sometimes it's just not easy to figure out if I'm doing the right thing for them.

  13. Hi Brenda, how lovely your postings are. I gain so much, I do hope visiting my cats gives you an injection of feline love in return. I know what you mean about the end of a day... twilight time. I love autumn but am dreading the clock change as it means I get up in the dark to go to work and then come home in the dark afterwards. No garden time. Once again, thanks for your wise words. Love Helen, Darcy and Bingley xx

  14. What a lovely conversation this posting has created. I love it! Thank you, everyone, for sharing.

    I'm hoping to response more fully to some of your comments... but think maybe a posting would be easier than trying to squeeze into this comment box.

    So watch for them....


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo