A Classic Way of Life

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promoting-empathy-and-a-sense-of-community-4-638People are beginning to understand that wealth is not all about money. Real wealth means having good neighbors, living in a close-knit community, finding jobs whose real value is in the personal fulfillment it brings to us.

There is a new community in Devens, Massachusetts, called Emerson Green, whose goal is for it’s residents to “Come home to a connected, community-focused neighborhood that hearkens back to a simpler era – and looks ahead to a sustainable future, aimed at having it’s residents return to a classic way of life and a tight-knit community.” Something to really write “home” about if you are successful in finding such a place in this transient society.

Union Studios, national award-winning architects and co-developers for the project along with NOW Communities have designed the Emerson Green Project with the “right size” in mind. In other words, sustainable living. It has reused a plot of land  on the outskirts of Boston which used to be a military base. The homes, which have several different floor plan options, are as suitable for first-time home owners, families, professionals and empty-nesters alike.

Once the project is finished and people are well-established in their new community it would be fun to see if Emerson Green has met it’s the objectives of  providing a satisfying way of life which by design encourages social interaction. With our emigrating society, this is something more and more people are looking for because studies point to “social interaction” as a contributor to good health and longer living.

P.S. Having good resources such as an outstanding library helps to build great community. If you visit Union Studios website, take a few minutes to peruse information on the newly completed Tiverton Library project as well as other civic and residential projects the architectural firm has been involved with.

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

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.

 

 

Finding a Good Fit

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Religion is like a pair of shoes…..Find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.”
George Carlin

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Today on this Thirsty Thursday, one day of the week All Things FuIfilling is dedicated to good news, I’d like to share an architectural wonder that perhaps has greater meaning than what was intended by the firm who created it.

I was drawn to an article about this holy place since the building of churches goes way back to the first generation in the history of my family’s five generation construction business.

There is a house of worship designed and built by the architectural group, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, in Borgloon, Belgium that takes seeing religion from different perspectives to a whole new level.

The good news is that there are many kinds of religions throughout the world. If you live in a truly free society, individuals get to select the religion that best aligns with their own principles and values, or we can opt out of being a believer of any sort.

Images in the article I’ve linked to this website tell the rest of this story. Put your Sunday shoes on, any kind will do, and take a few minutes to enter into this unique church. View the images and you will see what I mean. To learn more about the construction of the structure, visit this website.

That’s all for today! See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. We will be sharing an upcoming educational event that is good news for independent publishers or for people who are thinking of writing their own stories of any type (faith stories, memoirs, fiction, non-fiction or creative writing through the form of poetry, song lyrics or screenwriting).

 

Insights Into the Soul

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Love unlocks doors and opens windows that were not there before. ~ Mignon McLaughlin

“There’s so much to see,” I said to my husband as we took a pace that was much too quick for both of us through the Denver Botanic Gardens. We wanted to see it all. “As much as I am enjoying the Chuhily exhibit, the structural elements and hardscapes that are incorporated into this garden are amazing. You can really see it this time of the year, without all the flowers. There is a real art to having something of interest in the garden year round  when flowers are practically non-existent or ‘bare bones.’ They’ve done an amazing job.”

“I agree,” said Terry. His father was a landscaper, and both of us have an interest and eye for design in the garden. My dad was a custom home builder so I’ve always loved architecture. I find doors and windows incorporated into any kind of structures interesting.

Today on All Things Fulfilling, travel with me through some of my favorite doors and windows that I came across in the Denver Botanic Gardens. I captured these visual images over a very fulfilling trip during the Thanksgiving weekend.

A small key opens big doors – Turkish Proverb

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Commitment opens the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the right stuff to turn our dreams into reality. ~ James Womack

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Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.~ Joseph Campbell

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There are things known and things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception – Aldous Huxley

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 All the windows of my heart I open to this day ~ John Greenleaf Whittier

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 Let there be many windows to your soul, that all the glory of the world may beautify it ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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Happiness sneaks in through a door we didn’t know we left open.” ~ Unknown

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 When one door is closed, don’t you know another is open. ~ Bob Marley

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How can I know anything about the past or the future, when the light of the Beloved shines now. ~ Rumi

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Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.  ~Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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The heart of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. ~ Audrey Hepburn

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For more insight into the soul of what makes this woman’s heart tick, check out Sue Batton Leonard’s award-winning memoir “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.” http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

Wandering Early Places of Worship

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“Ghosts wandering here and there troop home to churchyards.” ~ William Shakespeare

Today, as promised, I’d like to share more about my fulfilling travels to  St Paul’s Kent in Rockhall, Maryland. If you are ever in the area, do stop by and visit this historic Anglican Church. It was organized in 1692 after William and Mary ruled England.  The historical facts about the church are many but, here is a brief synopsis about the structures in the 19 acre churchyard.

  • The first building was 40 X 24 ft – erected by Daniel Norris (1695 – 1696)
  • The present church was constructed in 1713 at the cost of 70,000 lbs of tobacco
  • 34 pews were contained in the original structure
  • It is only one of four 18th Century churches to have a semicircular apse
  • Church walls feature Flemish bond brickwork
  • Semicircular arches are above doors and windows
  • Church remodeled in 1940 with an addition adding 23 new pews
  • The stained glass window in the chancel cost $250 back in 1864
  • The church bell was installed also in 1864 for $10
  • The Marble baptismal font was a gift by the congregation to the church in 1863
  • The Parish House, offices and classrooms were added in the later part of the 20th Century.
  • Actress Tallulah Bankhead is buried in the churchyard at St Paul’s Kent.

Although our country is relatively new compared to European history, getting out and exploring historic churches and museums in Maryland is a fascinating way to spend a beautiful fall day. Not too far from St Pauls, Kent is the African-American Schoolhouse Museum.http://bit.ly/1tFqu9R. Since I was headed north to another historic church called Shrewsbury Parish, I’ve saved that museum until I return next time to the Eastern shore of Maryland.

I hope you enjoy these images of the historic landmark church St Paul’s Kent. It is a beautiful and holy place for reflection and meditation!

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Below Photos: Another structure in the churchyard – Circa 1766 according to bricks on the side of the building. This building was inaccessible but peaking through the windows there were identical fireplaces on each side of the interior of the structure. The photo of the fireplace was taken through old windowpane.

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IMG_20141028_151351_247Happy Halloween, everybody. On Monday I will making revelations about my mother and our stop at Shrewsbury Parish – off at the beaten path of the Eastern shore of Maryland.

This blog is brought to you by http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com.For information on Sue Batton Leonard’s EVVY award-winning memoir, please visit this link http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

 

 

Windows into Our Heritage

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Don’t stumble upon your heritage. It’s there, just waiting to be discovered and explored. ~ Robbie Robertson

What a treasure the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC is. In my estimation, the building itself tells a story just as important as the paintings contained within. The Greek revival architecture is gorgeous. Walt Whitman once said “it is the noblest of Washington buildings.”  The gallery took thirty-two years to build and was one of the first public buildings in D.C. to be constructed. Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural ball was held in it in 1865.

Come along with me on a short tour. Picture taking is allowed in many parts of the building, so I captured some images with my camera for my blog readers who live too far from Washington, DC to visit this and other great American landmarks.

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Magnificent isn’t it? The three pictures above are the Kogod Courtyard -a light-filled enclosed public space within the National Portrait Gallery.

In the very near future, Experience America, an exhibit which is part of the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery, will be featured on All Things Fulfilling. A trip to our nation’s Capital is always exciting because there are so many discoveries to be made. Entering into all the museums and playing tourist in Washington, DC is like opening box after box filled with our country’s heritage. Every time I visit I discover more to explore next time.

Tomorrow, more pictures from my book signing in Towson, Maryland. This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link http://bitly.com/1rA6fdV.

Capitalizing on Historical Aspects

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History is the interpretation of the significance that the past has for us. ~Johan Huizinga

“More cities and towns ought to do this!” I stated to my sister as we walked the streets of Frederick, Maryland on Friday evening during their Harvest Fair.

“Do what?” she asked.
“Capitalize on the assets they already have – you know, put new energy into historic cities and towns rather building new. Our country’s heritage is something our citizens should to be proud of. I think this town has the right idea.” I said. “I’ve seen some interesting historical aspects that presented in a history book, I wouldn’t dream of reading about. But being immersed in it as a tourist I am drawn into it. Even that Museum of Civil War Medicine, is neat. Seeing the artifacts is better than trying to read about it.” http://www.civilwarmed.org/.

“I agree but what else do you like so much about the town?” my sister inquired.
“The architectural details of these historic buildings, the vintage clothing shops, the retro furniture in these antique shops…..the town seems to be emphasizing all that. And obviously people are interested. I mean, look at all the people. Years ago, you could have never have convinced me to stop here.”
Over the past three or so years, I have visited this town willingly and each visit only gets better. People from the greater Baltimore/Washington D.C. area seem to be flocking to this town. The streets, shops and restaurants were busy! Each time I’ve stopped, the town’s identity seems to be more clearly established as a historical landmark, thanks to grants for Main Street historic revitalization efforts. Frederick Maryland has been “deemed a masterpiece in Maryland” by the New York Times.

If you are a Civil War buff, traveling to Gettysburg or Antietam battlegrounds, make a point to stop here. And don’t miss the canal area of the city. There are special things to be found especially during the spring, summer and fall.

Enjoy these pictures from the streets of Frederick, Maryland. Tomorrow I will share a few more images!

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Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. I look forward to sharing a few more things that I found of interest.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. The award winning book is available in audio, paperback and e-book through this link. http://amzn.to/1y21igm

 

Between Spaces and Relationships

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“Irish blessing – May the memories that you hold be your precious true pot of gold.” ~ Tom Baker

My dad was a custom home builder, as was my grandfather, my great grandfather and now my two brothers and my nephew.

When I came across these vintage home pictures from the 1950s and 1960s, they stirred nostalgic feelings of an era past. The images reminded me of all the times my Dad came home with a new set of blueprints, and unrolled them on the kitchen and dining room table and explained the layout of the different styles of houses to us kids. I was always interested in seeing them and tried to envision the houses when completely constructed.

I came to know what markings were used to show where the doors and windows would be placed and whether they’d swing in or out. Other sets of plans showed where the beams and the roof trusses ran, and kitchen layouts. It makes me happy that my Dad took time to explain all that, because now I have a basic understanding of what I am seeing when I  look at a set of building renderings.

Back when I was a child then there were no CAD (computer assisted designs) or drawings. Each set of blueprints were painstakingly hand sketched using drafting tools such as protractors, rulers, t-squares, tracing paper and more. Trying to make changes to features in rooms and design was so tedious.

The reason I am sharing this information today is because many baby boomers might find fulfillment in seeing these home designs of the 1950s and 1960s.You or a neighbor may have lived in a house just like them!

Enjoy, and do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. We often dig into the archives and find things to talk about that stir fulfilling memories for other people. Whether your childhood was spent in a big home or a little home – what unites happy families are the relationships that exist between the spaces.

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vintage house2vintage house1vintage house 7This blog brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1vFJw1u

Memoirs Connect People

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Kit Cat

“Each day provides it’s own gifts.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

I am very excited! Last week I reconnected with a childhood friend who I have been out of touch with since I graduated high school in 1975. That was many,many moons ago – do the math!

Out of the blue, she connected with me through my Facebook page and said “that she had learned I had published a book and had ordered “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected” for her Nook. She had questions about a few details of our childhood in trying to recall exactly when we moved down the street to our second childhood home, built by my father. When I was an newborn we lived next door to her parents. She said, “I still remember the cat clock you had in your bedroom.” Hard to believe after all these years she’d remember, with clarity, a detail like that.

Did any of you readers have a cat clock like the one in the image?  It’s still available through the Vermont Country Store! http://bit.ly/1hVqDkQ.

Mine hung in my bedroom. It  was a gift from my maternal grandparents to my twin sister and me.  They both passed away when we were very young children, and the clock is a remaining memory that I associate with my mother’s parents. I remember laying in my bed mesmerized every night watching the cat’s glowing eyes go back and forth, along with it’s swishing tail  until I drifted off into laaa laaa land.

What I have since learned from my childhood friend, Cindy, is that her sons, Brian and Jason Lyles, are involved with a publishing endeavor also. They recently published The Lego Neighborhood Book: Build a Lego Town  which gives tools to create your favorite architectural styles in homes and buildingsHow cool is that? http://bit.ly/1hd18dm 

If I hadn’t written a memoir, who knows if Cindy and I would have ever connected again throughout our lifetime! So today’s story is all about neighborhood and community connection! See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

 

 

The Viewpoint of a Famed Writer

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The past actually happened. History is what someone took the time to write down.” ~ A. Whitney Brown

The town that fooled the British” is a tagline that St Michaels Maryland http://bit.ly/140ExHA earned during the War of 1812. As I entered through the gates of the Inn at Perry Cabin and came upon the rose gardens with a fabulous garden conservatory, my exact thoughts were “I do, indeed, feel as if I am in England.”

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 Above: Garden Conservatory on Grounds of Inn at Perry Cabin http://bit.ly/17JGjCc

Below: Entrance to Inn at Perry Cabin

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St. Michaels, named after the patron saint of mariners, is filled with seafaring history. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a popular attraction for tourists, and locals alike, who want to learn about the legacy of the town and share its place in history with children.

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Above: Building at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum http://bit.ly/11bNJu2

Below: More sites on the grounds of the Museum

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A trading post for trappers and tobacco farmers back in the mid-sixteenth century, today St. Michaels offers great recreational opportunity on the waters of the Miles River and Broad Creek, just some of the fabled places on the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay that author James Michener wrote about.http://bit.ly/140G54n.

A well-preserved vintage port, my exploration of “St. Mike’s” was fun, educational and inspirational as I took in the museum, shops, art galleries and other sites in heart of Chesapeake Bay country. Join me as I share my journey from St. Michaels to nearby Tilghman’s Island through photographs.

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Above: Entrance to Marina at St Michaels

Below: How to Read the Weather from A Stone

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Below: The very charming “Parsonage Inn” (circa 1883) http://www.parsonage-inn.com/

Love the turret uniquely placed in the center, at the heart of the structure, rather than on the corner as so  many typically  are.

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Gallery Window

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Photo above: Loved the name of this boat “Once Upon a Time.”

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Bridge Restaurant at the Bridge onto Tilghman’s Island

To read more about the history of this region of Maryland, things to see and do, and to see more pictures, follow the links I have provided throughout this article. Thanks for visiting this site. Come back tomorrow!

This blog brought to you by www.allthingsfulfilling.com and www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. A company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.