The Gospel Truth About Sainty Claus

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“Christmas my child is love in action.” ~ Dale Evans
Elf-on-the-Shelf-5In the Batton household, we didn’t need an elf on the shelf to remind us that “you better watch out, you better not pout. Santa Claus is coming to town.”

I can still hear the kinds of things the prominent character in my life story said some fifty years ago. When my twin and I and our two brothers got unruly around the holidays, here’s the kind of verbal warning we’d get:

Ya’ll better behave yo’selves right now. Sainty and dem reindeers don’t gotta mess with chillins who ain’t behavin’ and not listenin’ to dare mamas! Sainty Claus, why, he’ll pass ya’ll on by and go on over to somebody else’s house and drop off presents. He ain’t gonna wanta interrupt no come to Jesus meetin’ we gonna have in dis house if ya’ll don’t stop dat bickerin’ and a fightin!

I guess I better get Mr. Battoney, yo’ daddy, up on da roof to clean out dat chimbley ‘case ya’ll decide to straighten out and Sainty decide ta make an appearance!

Oh how I loved that lady!! And the richness in the way of life lessons she brought to our family life. If you would like to learn more about the gospel truth, according to Fanny, who was a miracle worker of sorts, it’s all inside the award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. 

Fanny with socks

And that’s all I’ve got for you today on All Things Fulfilling. See you tomorrow!

 

Somewhere, a Twin Out There

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“Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.” ~― José N. Harris, MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love
I’ve been feeling a little sad lately. My twin and I went to college with two other sets of twin sisters. A few weeks ago, I learned through web connections that one of the matched sets suffered the loss of her sister.  I have felt empathetic pain deep in my heart for the remaining sister as well as sorrow for the death of the other half. Life will certainly be different for the survivor and grief is handled differently by each person.  I hope the surviving sister can find solace in all the things that she finds fulfilling in her life.

According to Psychology Today, the loss of a twin is  unique grief because twins hold special love and kinship with one another. If you’ve never thought yourself as a twin, according to Julie Dillon, we all have twins out there in the world. If you share a rare bond with a friend, you know what it is like to have a kindred spirit.

For some people it may take a lifetime to find a companion who you feel an extraordinary connection with. It took three minutes for my double to appear in my life. Although we are not identical, the fraternal connection is very strong and different than the the other relationships in my life. My twin and I have laughed together, cried together, been partners in mischief, learned some hard lessons as a united team and celebrated as siblings who were born on the same day from the same mother.

twin hearts

 

I  didn’t mean to end this Friday on a “downer” but sometimes if we put voice to our emotions through writing, it helps us to feel a little better.  Anyone who has lost a very, very special friend will relate to this writing.  We are all human beings, and grief, in many forms, comes to each one of us at one time or another. It is part of the human condition and with each loss we are reminded to “treasure your relationships not your possessions.” ~ Anthony J. DeAngelo

 

See you on Monday with more happiness in my heart! I  have faith that it will be so! I promise~~

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.  For information on her publications Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart and Soul.

 

 

 

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

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As a nominee for the Versatile Blogger Award – there are 7 things I must share with my readers that you may not have known about me:

#1  When I was about 10 or 11 I did something very silly. I put a chicken leg bone in my hair to make me look like Pebbles Flintstone. Yeah, I know – hairbrained idea! But, you know, anything to make my twin sister laugh was double the fun. I hope there were many other things I did to reveal that I was just another “goofy kid” in the family.

Pebbles_Flintstone

 

#2  –  I answer to the call of

“Mommorson!”

That’s what I’ve been called by my son since he was a tween. What a kids’ definition of a mommorson is, I have no idea. But, nevertheless, I am very proud to be his “Mommorson!!”

 #3   I am the world’s worst Clarinet player – other than my twin sister. My father nearly went bankrupt having to buy so many reeds for my musical instrument. And I couldn’t keep it from squeeking.

04

 

#4  Although I have lived high up in the mountains for 44 years. My heart belongs here:

hearts-on-the-sand-beach-730x400

#5  In college (the early 1970s) I drove my car up the Long Trail (extension of the Appalachian Trail) rather than hiking it. Yeah, well, what can I say. Students get weird ideas that make parents cringe!

BATMOBILE

#6     I can walk well on stilts! I had a pair just like these that my Dad made for me.

girl on stilts

 

#7  Back in 1974 (or was it 73?) I caught me a leprechuan.

I have been with him ever since !

leprechaun trap

Now it’s time for me to pass the Versatile Blogger award on to a few more bloggers and they are Sally Edelstein, Renee Rivers and Sarah Ward.

 I follow Sally Edelstein’s blog because I like nostalgia. She writes about things baby boomers appreciate. I enjoy visiting Renee Rivers’ blog because she goes places I have never been before.  I can travel through her via my armchair. I tried following Renee on my stilts but my hands got too calloused.

And lastly Sarah Ward’s blog, Stars and Rainbows, I nominate because I like her ponderings on life and the honesty and openness with which she writes.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard and a many would say a “Versatile Blogger!”

 

 

 

 

 

Colored Me Beautifully

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Do you remember back when civilty and common courtesy ruled? Please understand I share this story as an example of those times, not for self-serving purposes. I mean that.

My mother recently went through her hope chest, and sent some wonderful things that she had been saving for me. I couldn’t believe what she held on to for so many years.

In 1974, when I was 19 years old, I had a car accident. It was nothing more than a small fender bender and I think my Dad paid for the damages out of his pocket they were so minimal. At the time I thought it was the biggest tragedy that had ever befallen me. Never did it occur to me that I had been through much worse than that and survived the experience.

My twin sister was in the passenger seat and there were no injuries other than to the spirit. I was beside myself. (You know how teenage girls tend to over react, right?) I felt awful I had damaged someone else’s car and my parent’s vehicle.

I couldn’t believe the kindness the man that I rammed into showed me. He offered to come home with me to help me tell my parents because I was such a wreck. My sister can testify that the man upheld his offer.

Furthermore, after it was all done and over, the wife of the man I rammed into sent this note to my parents to let him know their car had been repaired and all was well. No hard feelings.

note about my car accident when 19 correct position

(Truthfully, I don’t have any clue what I said or did to warrant the comments on this note.)

Today’s message on All Things Fulfilling is for all parents. I want to share what John Locke once said, “We are like cameleons, we take our color and our hue of our moral character, from those who are around us.” ~ John Locke

Paint a picture of people

Thank you, Mom & Dad. I am so glad I grew up in an era of old-fashioned civilty and you raised me to have a strong moral compass. According to Locke, your colors must have rubbed off on me.  I hope I always stay true to my values.

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, Sue Batton Leonard.

 

 

 

 

Twin Telepathy

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My thoughts are free to go anywhere, but it’s surprising how often they head in your direction. ~Author Unknown

Sue & Jan Mt Werner

A few days before Christmas I filled the teapot with water, set it on the stove to heat, picked up the phone and dialed my sister’s phone number. I turned the burner up to HI just as my sister picked up the receiver on the other end and immediately said “Hello! Hold on a minute will ya, Sue, I want to put my tea kettle on.”

“Yep,” I thought as I waited, “we’ve still got it – that twin telepathy thing.”

When she returned to the phone I said, “What a coincidence. Just this minute I put water on to heat for a cuppa, too.”

Mind you, I am in Colorado and she is in Maryland. Although in two different time zones, we were both ready for a cup of tea at the same exact time.

It often turns out that we call each other simultaneously, both feeling  like we need to have a good long visit.

“I wanted to speak with you before real the holiday confusion sets in. I have been in touch with some blasts from the past.”

“Like who? Who have you been in touch with?” Jan asked, sounding very curious, and as if she had missed out on something.

“Oh some people we knew in high school. I’ve connected through social media.”

I began to name them off. We had a great time recalling the good old days and people neither of us have been in touch with for nearly four decades!

Do you have people you would like to be back in touch with? Did you know reconnecting with old friends is good for your health? Here’s an article that will be of interest. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/staying-connected-to-the-past

What better New Year’s gift could you give a long lost friend or relative than the gift of your voice? I’ve tried to do that through a different kind of medium  – in my memoir writing!

Reconnect to a long-lost friend or acquaintence before another year goes by and you delay it. Wishing you a fulfilling year ahead with good health and lots of renewed friendships! Happy 2015!

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

 

 

12th Day of Advent: Meaning of Xmas

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“Christmas is not a time or a season, but a state of mind.” ~ Calvin Coolidge

Have you ever noticed some of life’s most meaningful conversations often come during car rides? Why is that?

A twins’ Christmastime ride in the car with their beloved Fanny leads to symptoms of the “Advent Virus” ~ feelings of hope, joy, love, peace and most of all, understanding.

christmas woodie car

For more information on ordering the award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, by Sue Batton Leonard, please go to these links.

Audio Book  http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback  http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book  http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

Holding On to Memories

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 “Memory believes before knowing remembers.” ~ William Faulkner, Light in August

“I just knew you two would always be in my life,” stated Mary Grace as my sister and I walked down Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat after having stuffed ourselves with nachos and drinks at The Cantina last Saturday evening. Mary was in the middle and linked arms with both of us. We strolled toward Wild Horse Gallery.

“Why is that?” I asked.

“I don’t know, I just had a feeling,” said Mary.

“Thank God we are both still alive and kicking!”  I thought to myself. (For the back story on that thought, follow this link https://allthingsfulfilling.com/2014/06/04/sisters-of-the-heart/ )

I admitted to Mary that I sort of felt the same way. When I moved to Colorado, I was determined to find her. Last time I had heard she was in Fort Collins and I knew her married name. But, we had only been in touch at Christmas time (by snail mail) maybe twice or three times  since  our college years in 1973 or 1974.

“Mary, you are just the same,” Jan, my twin, stated. “Don’t you just love it when you have friends you can pick up with just like that even if it’s been decades since you’ve seen them?”

That is exactly what happened when we three got together. What a fulfilling weekend I had! Between spending it with my sister and my husband celebrating our three birthdays, reconnecting with Mary – a childhood friend who was included in my memoir and I have written about her on this site, too. Then there was the icing on the cake. I learned that Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected had won two EVVY book awards. It doesn’t get much better than that!

I can’t help but bask in my memories of last weekend for just one more day. Tomorrow,  it’s time to get on with things. I have work to do to plan my East Coast book tour which begins mid-September.

For more information on the EVVY award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1rArrRG.

Pictures from my fulfilling & rewarding Birthday Weekend

Sue & Jan Mt Werner

Twins Sue & Jan atop Mt Werner, Steamboat Springs, CO   Sunset picnic and hike

sue terry jan fishcreek fallsLeft to right – Terry, Jan & Sue  Fish Creek Falls, Steamboat

sue and mary wildhorse gallery

Sue & Mary  – Read the back story using this link  –

https://allthingsfulfilling.com/?s=horse+sense

Seems fitting  the veterinarian and I are sitting outside Wildhorse Gallery

sue jan mary 3Outside Wildhorse Gallery – Sue with Mark Twain & “Huck,” Mary  & Jan

sue & jan wildhorse gallerySue & Jan – First Birthday together for more than 30 years.

sue Jan & mary2

A reunion of 3 childhood friends – Jan, Sue & Mary Grace – a  real life character in my memoir

 Above- We found Eureka: Mediterranean Street Food, to be indeed golden!

We had great salads & meatballs for our next course, and a great place to catch up.

sue & terry at Fish creek falls 2

Bye, Jan. Bye, Mary – come back soon!

Beautiful setting and beautiful birthday weekend in Steamboat

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fufilling Things in the Unexpected, an EVVY Book Award book, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1tKKiXF