Retire to the Pink Palace!

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The most valuable antiques are dear old friends.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

To my  twin sister and our closest girlfriends – you know who you are:

pink trailerWhen we’re real old ladies (I’m talkin’ real old – retired from retirement) instead of going to the nursing home we can fill a trailer park with these little gems and ramble around inside them wondering how we got there.

We’ll drink cherry colas or brown cows (root beer floats) all day long from the soda fountain ( spiked if you’d prefer). Or better yet, sloe gin fizzes! Let’s horde stashes of turkish taffy, jujubees, pixie sticks…pick your passion, maybe an O’Henry or two.

We’ll put on our red Wax Lips and walk around the neighborhood lookin’ all pretty, visiting from house to house. Let’s fill our mouths with pink Bazooka Joe and blow bubbles and we’ll crack our gum in public as loud as we want to.

We’ll put speakers outside the Pink Palace and blare “You’ve Got a Friend,” and “Sweet Baby James” from our record players and dance till we drop.

We’ve learned from experience it gets mighty cold in the mountains so we’d better make sure the Pink Palace is well insulated and has a woodstove. The one with the best memory among us will have to be the Creosote Captain, lest we stoke too big a flame and start a chimney fire.

Dig out your flannel Lanz night gowns, girls, and your L.L. Bean hiking boots and down vests from the hope chest. Or we can always relocate south and hang out in our bikinis- now thats the beginnings of a vintage comedy act.

What do  you say, girls? Shall we start planning now?

P.S. Happy Belated Valentines Day to you and your spouses!

Valentines 2016 with Lessons of Heart & Soul image Terrys

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

 

 

 

 

Reaching for Heaven

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“We shape our dwellings, and afterwards, our dwellings shape us.” – Winston Churchill

Building custom homes and places of faith have been projects that my family’s 100+ year old construction company has been involved with through the decades.

This fall in keeping with work of the men in the family who came before him, my youngest brother Scott soared up toward heaven to inspect the steeple at St. Johns Church in Reisterstown, Maryland in order to assess the necessary restoration project of Batton Builders. Interestingly, the church was built in 1816 and then destroyed by fire on Christmas Day and only the steeple and cornerstone of the church survived. The ediface was rebuilt in 1869.  The History of St. John’s Church, Western Run Parish from 1800-2000 by Margaret Worrall details the history of this church.

Since I wrote about the family building business in Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, today on All Things Fulfilling I thought I’d share with our readers these photos of a church restoration Batton Builders has recently been involved with. What a magnificent structure!

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St Johns

 Thankfully there is no fear of heights in the family.

scottSee you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Families in Shipping and Commerce

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“Great people have great values and great ethics.” ~ Jeffrey Gitomer

I recently revisited a National Historic site that I remember from my childhood.  It’s just a couple of miles from where I grew up in Towson, Maryland.

Hampton Mansion, tagged as a “Palace in the Wilderness,” at one time equaled half the area of present day Baltimore. The site tells a story of early settlers, the Ridgely family, prominent Marylander’s who were colonial merchants in iron production, shipping and commerce. Ridgely’s iron was said to be “the most profitable exports in the mid-Atlantic colonies.” Read more about this tale of an industrious family who helped fuel a new nation.

The artifacts, beautiful gardens, parterres and vistas, the Georgian mansion, stables and workers quarters for the indentured servants are all evidence of a powerful businessman, who was said to be “genteel” kept “the best table in America” and was “very kind to his servants”. Written entries in journals evidence the care that was taken make Christmas gift lists for all the domestic help of the estate.

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Home Grown Pleasures

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It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” – Lewis Grizzard

“Come, you’ve got to see this,” said my father before I’d even set my baggage down for my annual visit.”

What is it that’s so urgent? I thought. I ‘d expect an impatience in my mother but not my father. He is the more serene in personality of the two.

“You’ve got to see my heirloom tomatoes. Your brother Scott gave me jillions of seeds of all kinds.” My dad gave me a tour of his garden, with plants in all stages of development.


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Keep it in the Family

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A Real Peach of a Community

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We can never get a re-creation of community and heal our society without giving our citizens a sense of belonging.Patch Adams

What makes a great community? As an outsider, I’ve noticed things the 2014 Winner of the Coolest Small Town in America, Berlin, Maryland has in common with Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the town I’ve called home for the past seven years.These elements are what, in my opinion, helps a community to thrive.

  • Cohesion between a strong Main Street Association and the local Council on the Arts
  • People who are forward-thinkers, not afraid of change but respect the past.
  • A strong volunteer base who want to contribute to building a town that others will envy.
  • Leaders who understand the history behind the community and what makes it unique.

Berlin, Maryland “Historically Charming & Artistically Alive & Eternally Young” has been the location site of two movies, which no doubt has helped bring notariety to the community. Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere was filmed there in 1998 and contributed 27.5 million dollars to the local economy. In 2001 Berlin was transformed into a town at the turn of the century with dirt roads, period costumes and horses and carriages for the film Tuck Everlasting. Actors Sissy Spacek, Ben Kingsley and William Hurt starred in the fictional film.

Movie producers as well as the audiences were captivated by the Victorian town center, the tree-lined streets and historic homes and museums in this small town in “Chesapeake Country.”

Want to know more about what makes a great community? Read this article,  and visit the Berlin, Maryland website. Also scroll back to the two previous day’s blogs to see more pictures. Every business in Berlin is worthy of mention on All Things Fulfilling. Due to lack of space, only a small number are featured. Each makes this community a fulfilling destination that reminds us of what it was like to live in charming small town America.

If you are a baby boomer, you’ll appreciate the lyrics of this 1972 song which you’ll probably remember from the crossroads of your life. Listen in as you scroll through these images!

 

Berlin Peach grocery signed

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storefront signed

Berlin house with fan window signed

berlin grey house withflowers signed

Atlantic hotel dining room signed

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Street &Trees in Berlin signed

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20150808_112127 Yarn shop 2 Jans signed

 Thanks to my twin sister Jan for the photo contributions to this blog. It was wonderful to have an early celebration of our birthday by painting the town together.

Yarn shop looking out Jans signed

 

Yarn shop 3 inside Jan signed

 

 

Globe Theatre signed

Join me tomorrow as I celebrate a special segment of local artists in the place I’ve resided for the past seven years. They make up in part what is unique about the town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

The Art of Antiquity

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Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. ~ Lionel Hampton

Today we will continue our trip down Main Street in Berlin Maryland through images. The biggest treasures you will find in visiting each of the well-organized and well-displayed antiquities stores in the Antiques Capitol of the Eastern Shore on the Chesapeake will be your own recollections and reflections that will be stirred up. Most likely flashbacks will be associated with your childhood if you are a baby boomer.

Besides being The Coolest Small Town in America, Berlin has been the location for several movies. More about that in tomorrow’s blog along with information about why the town has earned a great reputation. We will be discussing some common elements between Berlin, Maryland and the town that I’ve called home for the past seven years, Steamboat Springs, Colorado. These characteristics help a community’s vitality and a community becomes notable for it’s uniqueness.

If you really want to step back in time, listen to the You Tube video as you scroll through these images. Thanks to all the businesses in Berlin who allowed me to take interior photographs. These pictures were captured at the following antique shops: Town Center Antiques, Uptown Antiques, Culver’s Antiques, Stuarts Antiques or Pitts Street Antiques.

IMG_20150728_095842_941 typewriter autogr

IMG_20150728_095523_236 statue pirategirl autog

IMG_20150728_095935_388 antique toys autog

IMG_20150728_095850_861 Gum ball autog

IMG_20150728_100446_025 pin curler autog

IMG_20150728_101438_936 telephone signed

 

antique globes lights signed

 

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Amusement ride signed

Rest on Sunday

Hope you had a grand time, and we will see you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling when we finish up this three -part blog series on the community of  Berlin, Maryland.

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Artistic Whimsy and Ingenuity

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What’s life without whimsy? ~ Dr Sheldon Cooper – The Big Bang Theory

I like the concept of taking old things that some people might consider to be passe´and bringing them back through the process of “upcycling.” The artistic ingenuity that goes into reusing and redesigning found old items into something unique strikes my interest. Not to even mention that fewer items are now being sent to landfills.

In my own home, I like the juxtaposition between old and new. Over the years I’ve incorporated some antiques into my home décor.  It allows for variety and one’s own personality and unique preferences to really shine through. Each person’s interpretation of what makes a home comfortable and attractive is different. And I find it fulfilling to see how people artistically embellish their living environments, rather than using “cookie cutter” interior decorating style.

A few artists at Art in the Park in Steamboat Springs exhibited “upcycled” work that I particularly enjoyed. Chelles Painted Décor by Michelle Welch was one artist whose work struck a chord within me for her book night lights and other home accessories which had colorful glass plates incorporated into their design.  Her booth space was particularly attractive and showcased her crafts well. There was a lot of thought put into her set-up. Here are a few images.Visit her Facebook page!

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Up-Cycled Antiques had a great assortment of wind chimes made with old kitchen utensils. Their whimsical approach to art made me smile. After all, life shouldn’t be taken too serious. It spoils all the fun! Here are a few images  I captured and you can visit their Facebook Page or their etsy.com site to see more of their creations.

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That’s all for today, folks. We will be here again tomorrow and I hope you’ll check in on us!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Featured Artist: Julie Leidel

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“Art without provocation does not exist.” ~ Gilbert & George

Julie Leidel artist photo  sues photo creditIf you like the Arts & Crafts movement, you’ll love the work of Julie Leidel who in her artist statement states that she attributes discovering the work of artists such as Mucha, Toulouse-Lautrec, Wright, Morris and Stickley for awakening her art direction and stylistic preferences.

It was a pleasure to meet this talented woman at Arts in the Park in Steamboat Springs, Colorado last weekend. I was immediately drawn to her work after first seeing some images from her motto series, which she says “is about paying homage to the great leaders and founders of the Art & Crafts movement.”

As I wandered further into her display space, I saw her Colorado and National Poster series which appears to be at the heart of The Bungalow Craft, her business. Her art posters of places worthy of distinction, she says, “were inspired by the WPA National Parks posters of the 1930s.” They are wonderful! Characteristics of the art nouveau and art deco genre are so apparent in her work. Julie Leidel’s work would beautifully compliment homes of people who wish to unite interior and exterior elements that are reflective of the mission style.

My only regret is that I didn’t have more time to spend with this artist to speak with her about her love of an art style that she says has been “like a muse on her shoulder for the past seven years.”

For more information on the art work of Julie Leidel, please visit thebungalowcraft.com.

Julie Leidel  Seek Out adage  sue photo credit

Julie Leidel sing exuberantly  sue photo credit

Julie Leidel  Frank Lloyd Wright adage  with  photo credit

There were many very talented artists at Arts in the Park again this year. For some, it was their debut in this Colorado venue. Over the next couple of days I will be sharing images and information about a few more artists that struck a chord in my heart for their creative ingenuity.

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart and Soul.

 

The First Nostalgist

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Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days. ~ Doug Larson

There is an interesting article in the New York Times about nostalgia and the value of it. 

According to the article being nostalgic used to be associated with “physical or mental maladies.” However, researchers have found that nostalgia, more often than not, is associated with fulfilling feelings rather than bad. Nostalgia gives us a sense of rootedness and continuity in our lives.

And according to Dr. Sedikides, a psychologist, there is a difference between homesickness and nostalgia. He says one of the first nostalgists was Odysseus, “an itinerant who used memories of his family and home to get through hard times.”

Last week, I had a wonderful couple of days in Park City, Utah with my husband. While he attended a conference I traveled around the area. I came across memorabilia that although much of it was Western in nature, and I am an East Coast gal, it gave me warm feelings of this homeland called “The United States of America.”

I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane. I shot these photos at Pinto Pony Designs in Heber City and Park City Clothing Company. Park City Clothing Company is another outstanding shop that is fun to poke around in. I love the Coca-Cola memorabilia. The store is in the heart of historic downtown in Park City.

Thank you to both places for letting me capture these images for our readers of AllThingsFulfilling.com

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Above photo – My twin sister and I had a Kat Kat Clock identical to the black one hanging in our bedroom when we were children. Talk about bring back memories!

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nostalgia 3 signedThis blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.