Community of Blessings

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Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world… It is a sign that we don’t need a lot of money to be happy–in fact, the opposite.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth

Last summer I mentioned to my mother and sister the fact that the harvest season does not seem to be as decorated in the West as in the East. “Perhaps that’s because Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, the place of the landing of the Pilgrims, is geographically closer, so the season of fall is more celebrated. But, I really don’t know what it is,” I admitted.

On Sunday I arrived at the doors of my church and found it beautifully decorated for the fall season. The blessings of community and sermons of life lessons, relevant to today’s world, are always inside these church doors.

IMG_20151011_084245_836 Reflections last week from the Rev. Tim Selby included the question “And How Are the Children?”  Unfortunately in this day and age with all of the incidents in schools we can’t confidently answer “All are safely gathered in.”IMG_20151011_084455_846

By the end of the sermon each and everyone of us hoped our prayers would be heard as we sang the closing hymn “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

If you wish to hear the words of the message, keep your eye on the church website where recordings of each Sunday’s lessons are always posted.

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

Mr. Rockwell’s Narratives

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How will I be remembered? As a technician or artist? As a humorist or a visionary? ~Norman Rockwell

Last week, my television was tuned in more than usual. I was interested in watching the Pope speak at the various different venues. It was such a privilege for the American people to have someone of his stature visit our country.
Did you see the photo op taken at the United Nations in front of the Norman Rockwell image called “Golden Rule?” The U.N. is a very appropriate place to have the image hanging because it could not be more symbolic of America’s melting pot of citizens.  On All Things Fulfilling we featured a blog about Rockwell’s “Golden Rule” back in September 2013. It was a very well read article. Go back and read it if you missed it.

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On Friday, the same day the Pope appeared at the United Nations, I came across an interesting article from the Berkshire Eagle about the Norman Rockwell Museum. Some changes are about to take place in the way that the artist’s work will be exhibited. The images will be thematically organized to better tell the story of America. It’s a terrific idea in my opinion! If ever there was an artist whose work tells a narrative, it is Mr. Rockwell’s!

The last time I visited the Rockwell collection was about 25 years ago when it was housed in an old church in Arlington, Vermont. I enjoyed seeing each of the iconic Americana images, however, the lighting and organization of the paintings did not do it justice. Now there is a beautiful structure in Stockbridge, Massachusetts housing the entire collection with a skilled curator at the helm. If you are ever in the area do not miss it! Check out the information on the museum.

This blog is brought to you by the 2014 EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories, Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Cultivating Interests

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The only real fire to cultivate is the fire inside of you. Nothing external will cultivate it.

Sitting and reading a book of history has never been my cup of tea. But visiting the space where history took place is a different story. It brings an historical era alive.

This summer I revisited a place that I never tire of -Ladew Gardens in “hunt country” of Monkton, Maryland. Home to the first American to create garden rooms, Henry S. Ladew,( 1887 – 1976) his creative garden spirit is still alive. To read more about the life of Henry S Ladew and his stunning gardens, see this publication.

Beautiful topiaries, strategically-placed antique garden hardscape,beautiful ponds and fountains make the place a real sanctuary for gardeners and non-gardeners alike who have a fine appreciation of beautiful spaces in nature. New to the property since my last visit is a butterfly pavilion which is manned by volunteers who explain the process from caterpillar to  chrysalis to hatching of butterflies and their purpose in nature. To read more about this natural phenomenon, visit this article.

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The Garden Cafe, Ladew’s residence, art studio and library are open to the public. The spaces are where educational, scientific and cultural pursuits flourish for the public benefit. On Sept 27th at 10pm CNN will feature a story about these historic gardens on Mike Rowe’s show called “Dirty Jobs.”IMG_20150908_114020_578

As a garden enthusiast, my visit to Ladew was as fulfilling as the first time I walked the 22 acres of grounds.

IMG_20150908_113427_260This blog is brought to you by the EVVY 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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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

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Atlantic hotel dining room 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.

Berlin. Maryland, that is.

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Happy Monday! Glad you are with us!

Today, we are taking an on-line road trip to  Berlin, Maryland. Join me over the next few days as we take our journey down memory lane on All Things Fulfilling. America’s Coolest Small Town is indeed “historically charming & artistically alive & eternally young.”  I love this community which is only seven miles from the natural beauty of Assateague National Seashore.

Don’t forget to turn on the modern-day record player by listening to the music from this You Tube audio as you scroll through these images. 

 

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IMG_20150728_094943_369 Bungalow Love autogra

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blacksmith restaurant signed

 

IMG_20150728_110050_772 red door autog

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I wish I could feature an individual story on every business in Berlin because they all contribute to the overall good feelings that I got when I walked the charming streets. Do return tomorrow there will be a myriad of images that will illicit memories from the past. Hopefully the pictures will stir up thoughts of only the good times in your life.

Thi blog is brought to you by the author of the three time award-winning book 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.

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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.

 

Nearly Losing All Sensibility

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Only when you see through the eyes of the horse, can you lead the dance of the mind. ~ Pete Spates

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I walked into Pinto Pony Designs in Heber City, Utah and what did I find? A shop infused with color that made me smile. Not to mention layers of wonderful gift items and home decor accessories. It’s a delightful store with a warm and friendly owner named Kris.

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Oh, how I could have lost all sensibility in that place! But since I saw no sign that said “Your husband called and said it’s ok to buy anything you want,” I practiced the ultimate in self-control. I wanted to be able to look in the mirror and still like myself.

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So today, on All Things Fulfilling, I share these images with you. Ladies and Gents, if you are ever in the area of Heber City, Utah do stop by the Pinto Pony! You’ll have a wonderful time browsing and buying because it is bursting at the seams with all good things! Ask about their interior design services while you are in the store.

Painted pony 3 signed

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pinto pony rooster signed

pinto pony headboard signed
That is all from All Things Fulfilling today! Return tomorrow. You’ll see more photos from this shop that might stir some memories of growing up in the U.S.A. This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

 

Park City By Night

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“For me, cinema is not a slice of life, it is a piece of cake.” ~  Albert Hitchcock

Last week I went along for the ride to Park City, Utah where my husband was attending a USSA Conference. Not my first visit to the area, and hopefully not my last. I so enjoy everything about this town that is home to the Sundance Film Festival every winter.

Just as we exited the highway, there was large construction sight.  Upon investigation I learned it’s soon to be the campus of Park City Film Studios and the town will become an even larger mecca for filmmakers. Refreshing to see the film industry spreading it’s wings to places beyond all things Hollywood! Albuquerque, New Mexico is another place that has been making capital investments in facilities for the art of filmmaking. Perhaps the growing independent film industry can be credited for that.

One evening after my husband’s conference we roamed Park City’s historic downtown. Today on All Things Fulfilling I share these images with you. Enjoy your trip to historic downtown Park City – a place that used to be merely a mining town.

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Historic PC3 signed

Next week  I’ll be featuring the Kimball Art Center on All Things Fulfilling. But tomorrow it is Thirsty Thursday, the day of the week dedicated to good news.

Kimball art center

KAC exhibit signThis 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, Sue Batton Leonard.

Here are the answers to the Where is this Place? contest –

Ediface #1           Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Ediface #2  –    A few blocks from Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah

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Do You Have the Answer?

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When we can’t piece together the puzzle of our own lives, remember the best view of a puzzle is from above. Let Him help put you together.” ~ Terri Guillemets

Did you see the images of the two churches posted on yesterday’s blog called Where is this Place? If not, scroll down to view them or follow this link.

Today, I’ll share a few more pictures to help in your quest to solve the puzzle. The images from Edifice #1 are all taken from the exterior surrounds of the structure, except for one. The grounds are beautiful, immaculate and a very peaceful place to visit. Where is it?

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All of the images of Ediface #2 (below) were taken inside the structure. Although the exterior of the building is impressive, more stunning are the interior colors, the icons, the painted ceilings and walls.  The interior is as awesome  as some of the greatest cathedrals of Europe.

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If you know where these two churches are located, hurry and comment on this blog. The first person to correctly identify the names of these places of worship wins a complimentary copy of my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. The answers will be revealed tomorrow morning on All Things Fulfilling.