Fulfilling Things about Spring Cleaning

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“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.”~Bernard Williams

The good  news: February 25th is a special day, and it is coming up. Annually I’ve declared it as a benchmark – over the hump day of winter. Occasionally I’ve moaned and groaned about the length of winter living in the mountains but, I must confess it is a beautiful season. So far this year we’ve received just about 300 inches of snow here in the town that the locals call “The Boat.”

It’s hard to believe spring will ever come with the heaps of snow that surround me. But what’s so lovely about the next season is it arrives as “my spring of discontent.” That means I am ready to blossom, grow and step outside my boundaries which always leads to new perspectives and projects.

In a few weeks I look forward to a visit from my sonshine. He’s my mighty counselor in all things technical and digital. I have some ideas up my sleeve. Hopefully, between the two of us we can put our heads together and do a shoveling out and spring cleaning on All Things Fulfilling. I’m up for the challenge because I’ve learned with faith, all things are possible!

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See 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 and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

 

 

 

 

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Communications in a Different Era

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The first thing you can do is be right with yourself.  For me, that means spiritually and being right with God. ~ Condoleeza Rice

There is a store called A. Schwab Dry Goods Store in Memphis on Beale Street where history seems to have stayed still. It is filled with all kinds of merchandise from previous eras. Upstairs is a museum dedicated to old things such as old fashioned telephones, typewriters, 45 rpm records, roll top desks, vintage posters, evidence of the culture of the spiritual south, music history and more. A trip down the aisles of memory lane in Schawbs is fascinating but a bit sad because a little bit of evidence of racial segregration is upstairs among the artifacts.

crank telephone wooden with 2 bells signedI’m not so ancient that my life goes back to this kind of telephone, but I have lived through a variety of rotary dial and princess-style handsets, push button telephones, mobile phones and cell phone designs.

Do you remember picking up the phone and dialing 0 to ask a friendly operator about the weather forecast?  And for many, many years to make an out-of-state call you dialed O and asked the operator to place it for you. Sometimes you were even on a first name basis with the operator in your area.

I recently browsed a website called ClickAmericana.com and came across a 1972 poster from AT & T. On the poster it advises parents to teach their children an important skill – how to dial 0 on the telephone because “they’ll always have a friend.”dial-0-emergency-operator-oct-1972-1-620x918

 

It seems long gone are those days, but tomorrow’s story on All Things Fulfilling demonstrates there is still goodness in people and perhaps we judge too quickly. If we could listen with open hearts to neighbor and strangers alike, perhaps the divisions that have existed for generations would improve a little bit.

The truth of the matter is, America is not what it used to be, but there are lots of people who have old-fashioned caring values, you’ll see in tomorrow’s story.

character readings and weight signed

This blog is brought to you by

award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard.

Here is information on her publications:

Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and

short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Bringing Cheer over the Holidays

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Let’s state something up front! There is no perfect life. There just isn’t. Postings on social media might lead us to believe otherwise but, remember, we are often only seeing the good parts. During the holidays people ramp up their efforts to create images of having perfect lives and Christmases.

Everyone has struggles and things to overcome in life. But as they say, what you do with those challenges is what counts. That is why it’s important that for those who have inspirational stories to tell and feel they could write a book about it, to do so. The reason I penned a memoir in the first place was to help others who struggle with health issues understand that our attitudes profoundly affect our well-being.

I’m very proud to say that this past Christmas, thanks to the Mickey Barrows Memorial Endowed Fund which “benefits children who are confined to the hospital during the holidays,” copies of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected found their way to families through the Childrens Colorado Foundation in the Denver area. The hope for the initiative is that the book brought some smiles and cheer to faces and encouragement to teen cardiac patients who were hospitalized during the holidays. The book has won the Harvest Book Award in the young adult category and two EVVY awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.

So, for anyone who is considering writing a narrative that will bring light and love to others, here is my message: Help others to know you are never alone.

Your story matters!

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

See you back here on Monday!

 

 

Rock Solid Performance

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“Come on Dad! We’re going rock climbing!” My husband looked at my son and didn’t argue. He is always up for an athletic adventure.

“I’m coming too!” I said.

It was the day after Christmas. My son and his gal wanted to treat my husband to a new experience. Off we went to Stone Age Climbing Gym. After the three got suited up with harnesses, rope, chalk bags, belay and rappeling equipment we four stood looking straight up at the wall my husband was about to tackle. As he began his ascent, the man on belay (my son) yelled out instructions. “Go, Dad, go!” Terry look another step up.

“You are doing well!” Marc said with a grin on his face, after his father began to progress further. “Are you weary?”

“A little, mostly my forearms,” my husband yelled down.

“Then let go! I have you,” our son yelled out. I sat behind him on a bench watching my husband dangle from the rope, forty feet up in the air. In order to take a load off his legs, arms and hands he had to surrender himself from the challenge for a few minutes.  After a short break, Terry continued climbing.

“Reach higher, you are almost to the top!” Marc yelled up about 20 minutes later.

Marc turned to me and said “Mom, I’m really impressed. Dad is doing as well on his first attempt as young guys my age. There seems to be no fear of heights or falling!” It was interesting to see the role reversal between father and son. My husband has spent a lifetime coaching athletes.

Terry’s first attempt at a rock climbing experience was a great success. When I asked him if he’d like to repeat it, he said, “Only if I am with Marc.  There is a level of trust and faith in others involved in it.”

“I could see that,” I said, as I thought about my husband dangling from the rope only anchored by my son.

terry rock climbing

Trust

Come on back tomorrow, I will be sharing my own new adventure into the New Year. I’m a little apprehensive because I am not quite sure what to expect from myself. But, I’m entering this new experience with a positive outlook.

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.

 

 

As Far Away as Ever

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“Distance lends enchantment to the view.” ~ Mark Twain

Welcome back to All Things Fulfilling! I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas. Soon it will be time to ring out the old and bring in the new year.

Our family celebrated Christmas southwest style in New Mexico. It included tamales, visiting the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History (the pop-culture display was my favorite!) and the luminara festival on Christmas Eve in Old Town Albuquerque. We even experienced  a bit of our son’s world over the three day vacation by taking in a movie (Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens – what else?).

Now we have re-entered our own atmosphere of the frozen tundra of the Centennial State. While we were away we escaped the -29 degree temps which hit northwest Colorado the night after Christmas. Last night I was back in my own cozy bed and it was also a little balmier outside at -14 degrees farenheit. I still had visions of the Land of Enchantment in my head.

Below: Finally a reunion with our son, Marc. It had been a long 10 months and how I have missed seeing him!

Marc & me xmas 2015 at his place

Albq Luminarias Christmas eve resizedAbove photo: Hundreds of thousands of luminaras bedazzled Old Town Albuquerque on Christmas Eve.

The display far exceeded my expections and this one house alone had over 1200 lanterns multi-tiered all over the property. Blocks and blocks of neighborhoods were lit. We walked and walked taking in the festive atmosphere and listening to the carolers in the gazebo in Old Town Albuquerque.

albuquerque gazebo

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Above: The San Felipe de Neri Church, photo by Charles Mann. There were so many people it was

difficult to photograph it myself.

hot air ballons xmas eve Albuq.

Above: Hot air balloons on Christmas Eve all lit up. Photo credit: Terry Leonard

meghans family and ours

 Following the traditions of the Womack family, we celebrated new friends and Christmas Day with the pop of Christmas crackers, an English tradition.

marc and meghan xmas 2015

 As my grandmother used to say the moment the last Christmas gift was opened, “Well, Christmas is as far away as ever!”

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. We will be finishing up the three part interview with playright Jorge Avila. Click here to read Part I and Part II.

On Wednesday, I’ll be sharing a few images from the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History .

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

Preparing for the Coming

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“Every day is a fresh beginning, every morn is the world made new.” ~ Sarah Chauncey Woolsey

When our son was young, a few weeks before Christmas our neighbors, The Millers, arrived with a gift of a Christmas book or two from the infamous Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont. It was so very appreciated, and it was evident that a great deal of thought was put into the selection annually. It is impossible to say which book was a favorite because they were all so wonderful and some were pop-ups! The books were a gift to me too because it meant that I took time out of Christmas preparations and we spent extra time reading together.

The Legend of Befana was a book that I especially related to as a woman because Belfana spent much time readying for Christmas by sweeping and sweeping and cleaning. Here is more insight into Befana, a character in Tomie de Paola’s beloved Christmas tale.

I echo the words of Befana this time of the year. It’s “Time to Make Christmas!”Christmas sign off image prepare him room

Wishing all of our readers a Very Merry Christmas! All Things Fulfilling will resume sometime between December 28th and the New Year. 

Happy Sunday Christmas image

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

Ring in the Season

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I am thinking of Christmas bells today and how they traditionally herald in the season. There are many song lyrics sung by carolers that incorporate a story of tolling bells.
When I think of bell choirs, which are a beautiful addition to any church service, I can’t help but think of my lifelong friend Marge and her husband. Their acts of love in remembrance of their child is a lovely gesture that echos year after year in my heartstrings. Jessie suffered from a heart ailment and when she passed away as a tiny infant, the family requested that donations of kindness be given toward buying bells to build a bell choir for a church.

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On Christmas and Easter and a few other times throughout the year, Marge and her husband and their two surviving children ring the hand bells at their church in memory of Jessie and all the other children who are not here to celebrate Christmas and other holidays with their families.

Today I think of all the bell choirs who bring joy to people during the holiday season ~

“A bell’s not a bell ’til you ring it – A song’s not a song ’til you sing it – Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay – Love isn’t love ’til you give it away!”
Oscar Hammerstein II

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