Paper Bag Delivery

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Always remember the primary purpose of your life is living in tune with your energy pattern, find the true expression for the energy and go with the flow!”  ― Ramana Pemmaraju

So, last Wednesday I was invited out to lunch with a lady friend. I did not particularly want our time together to end. My dining companion has been a wonderful person to get to know over the past seven years. I love her spirited approach to living. At 86 years young, Nancy is moving away from Colorado to be closer to her son in California. Until now she has been a senior who has lived very independently.

She is bright, creative and her command of the English language is something I can only aspire to. She is an artist – a painter, poet, writer and a voracious learner. Despite her age, her inquisitive mind continues to ask, seek and question. I met her at church and her faith is deep.

We’ve watched Richard Schmid painting videos together, have seen the film about artist Gustav Klimt’s famous painting The Woman in Gold and other movies. We’ve had meaningful conversations traveling in the car and at various functions that we have attended together due to our common interests.

I wanted to give her a little parting gift, made from the heart  because I have so enjoyed our friendship. I delivered it to her when we had lunch together.bag

I wrote a little ditty and enclosed it in the package.It went like this:

The wind doth blow in San Francisco, you know

When you are feeling pale as heck,

Wrap these colors around your neck,

Then go out and take a short mosey

and you will feel more rosy.

I hope what I made from my heart to give to Nancy will be passed along to someone else when it’s life with her is finished. In a few weeks she will be moving along to her next destination in her life journey. But she will not be forgotten. My life has been enriched for having known her.

Here is what was inside the package.

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Look forward to seeing 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 Lessons of Heart & Soul.

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Beauty Within All Generations

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The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I recently edited a chapter of a book for an writer who is involved in a collaborative effort of publishing a Christian book. She asked me whether I was working on writing any new publications of my own.

“Yes,” I said, “Actually, I have finished writing my first piece of fiction and am hoping to have it published in the near future. First I need to have it professionally edited (yes, everyone needs editors). I have a deadline for the project but as you know as a person who is involved in an independent publishing project, funds are needed up front. Not quite sure if I can get it all together. I’d put the book in the genre of women’s fiction. It’s about relationships between friends.”

friendship-66v“I like those kinds of stories. Don’t you find that your friendships with women become more important as you age? Many of my friends I have had since I was young have become even more meaningful to me than they ever were.” she asked.

“Yes, definitely,” I said, “but I like being around with people of all ages.” Great wisdom comes from our elders and also from young children. In their naïveté they have candid and truthful things to say.

Interesting how divine life is designed, isn’t it?

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

 

Friendship and Courage

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Friends give us the courage to lift the blinds on our hearts. To open up and show what we generally keep hidden from the rest of the world.” ~ Unknown

One day, several months after Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected was published, my phone rang. It was a surprise call from one of my childhood friends.

“How did you do that?” asked the caller.

“Do what?” I asked.

“Write all that stuff about yourself.”

“I don’t know, ” I said to my friend. “I felt the need to tell the story and share it with children who are going through tough stuff in life. Besides, I felt safe. I knew that my true friends who didn’t know about my childhood medical history, wouldn’t abandon me when they knew the facts. (And believe me – to many my story came as a surprise!) True friends don’t do that.”

GS2When I spoke with the Girl Scouts this spring we talked about the importance of  including a diversity of people in our circle of friends. “People who may be different can teach us to look at things differently,” I said.

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As the eve of the Girl Scout Campfire and Reunion approaches, can’t help but think about the song we used to most frequently sing in Girl Scouts. “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.”

I look forward to making new acquaintances with others who also benefitted from the days of being a member of the Girl Scouts.

Little Things Remembered

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Last fall after I did a book signing in my hometown of Towson, Maryland. My life-long friend, Chris, handed me a handwritten missive that was so meaningful. To get a hand-penned letter in this digital age is something special to begin with. The letter contained her memories of our times spent together as children. I couldn’t believe the little things that she remembered, many were the very same memories I’d retained all those decades since my childhood.

However, there was one event that I didn’t recall at all. Here is what she said:

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“A surprise birthday party I gave YOU?” I questioned Chris after reading her words in the letter. “I don’t remember it!” My sister doesn’t either.

“What!!” said Chris, in amazement. “You’ve got to be kidding! You went to all kinds of extremes to lure me over to your parent’s house that day so you could surprise me!”

“Nope, I have no recollection at all,” I said. Obviously, the surprise birthday meant a lot more to her than it did to me.

people remembering how you made them feelThe point of this blog today is that we never know if an event or person in our lives will take up residence in our hearts and never leave us. S0, try hard to be nice to others because you never know the impact a friendship might have on your life.

This blog is brought to you  by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul, visit http://www.allthingsfulfilling.com/about-the-book/.

 

 

 

Towson, Now and Then

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Friendship is…..one of those things that give value to survival.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Today I am going to take a trip down memory lane during the 1950s and 1960s  to my native stomping grounds of  Towson, Maryland (in Baltimore County) . It’s the  home of Goucher College http://www.goucher.edu/  and Towson State College (now known as Towson University)http://www.towson.edu . Johns Hopkins University http://www.jhu.edu/ and Loyola University http://www.loyola.edu/ are  just down the road in Baltimore City.

When I was a young girl, Towson Plaza, was our shopping mecca. Stores like Tuerks (Twerks, as Fanny the stellar character in my memoir called it), Reads Drugstore and The Plaza Florest were just a few of the stores located there. Of course, S.S. Kresges (aka  Kresgeree’s according to Fanny) was the “flagship store.” It anchored all the rest of the stores and really kept the shopping center active with business.

Towson Plaza

Just down the street, within walking distance was Towson Bootery, Stebbins Anderson, Finkelstein’s and Sunny Surplus – my Dad’s favorite store! The last time I went into Sunny’s was in the mid-to-late 1970s when I took my husband-to-be there. He nearly went crazy. I wonder if it’s gone out of business?

In the early nineteen-seventies, during the years I went off to college in Vermont, progress really began to take place.Commercial real estate development changed the entire look and feel of that area of town. Evidently, it’s gone through several renovations and revitalizations since then. Here’s a photo with just one of the crown jewel stores in the “Towson Plaza” area now.

towson plaza now

 

Although I visit family in Towson now and then, its been quite a while since I have been to the “Towson Plaza” area. I bet I’d have a hard time finding my way around. I’m hoping to return to the area this fall and do a book signing of “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.”

I’ll keep you posted. It would be wonderful to see old school friends, aquaintances and people who have done business with five generations of the Batton building businesses throughout Baltimore County and beyond.   http://on.fb.me/1k1hWb5  and http://bit.ly/1u2nrdE.

 

 

 

FAQ: Identical or Fraternal

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Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief’ ~ Marco Tullius Cicero

Since my memoir was published in late March, I’ve had wonderful opportunities to do some author appearances, book readings and signings. My memoir will be read by two book clubs this summer and fall, and I am excited about that!

When the audience learns of my fragile beginnings, there is curiosity about the size difference between my sister and me. One of the most frequently asked questions from the audience has been whether as adults my twin sister and I look alike.

Today, I thought I would post this photo taken approximately  five years ago. I am with some of  my college friends. We were having a last college reunion with our dear friend Amy. She lived life so vibrantly with breast cancer until her final days of struggling came to pass. This get together was a gift of a lifetime for all of us. I’ll let you determine whether my sister and I look like twins or not. What do you think, readers?

Duxbury reunion  Carl & the girls


The one missing from the picture, our very own “Chatterbox” or “Chatter,” as we sometimes call her, had graciously hosted the reunion and it was a blast.

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. I have a THRILLING announcement and on Thursday I will post another surprise photo. I didn’t know it existed  – of my twin sister and me and our friend Mary Grace, who is one childhood friend featured in my memoir. You’ll see my twin and me as young children.

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

Story of Attachment

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“Because everything of value that we will know in this life comes from our relationships with those around us. Because there is nothing material that measures against the intangibles of love and friendship.”R.A. Salvatore, Passage to Dawn

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Medical research institutions and psychologists have put a recent emphasis on studying what love, friendships and positive living have to do with good health and the outcome of surviving illness. I am deeply interested in this subject. It is just one of the reasons I have chosen to share my experiences through this blog and in an upcoming memoir.

Here is an insightful article from the Mayo Clinic about the value of love and friendships, check it out. http://www.mayoclinic.org/friendships/art-20044860.

February is a good time to share our heartfelt sentiments, so on this day I’d like to say to all of my family and friends.  “I am grateful for the wonderful support systems I have had in my life. I believe they make such a valuable difference.”

This video is especially for my twin sister because I know she will enjoy it. Warning: Be ready to clap your hands and tap your feet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nh7YyoDD138. This video was produced by artists collaborating with one another from all over the world.

There are other important contributing factors besides love and friendship that I believe have led me to enjoy a fulfilling and vigorous life. I will relate them to my readers when my book is ready.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. The space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.