History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Memoir and Reflections, RIP, Spotlight Saturday

Love and Despair

Canada has lost two icons, in the last two weeks. This is my tribute to them both: Lois and Jonathan.

Lois Lilienstein, dies at age 78

Sharon, Lois, and Bram were a part of my childhood.

Sure, I wasn’t a huge fan of the giant, silent elephant, but I did watch the three performers and I liked their songs.

Somewhere in between Polka Dot Door and Today’s Special.

The Elephant Show was full of skits and songs and it was always there, seemingly just there, in the background of my early years.

It was comforting like home.

The theme song is unforgettable for anyone who has ever heard it.

“Love you in the morning and in the afternoon. Love you in the evening and underneath the moon.”

The folky sounding music they sang together made them some of the best children’s performers around. They volunteered for certain children’s events, such as appearing where I saw them, met them, and had my photo taken with them.

I was a teenager by this time, but my brother and I had both received kidney transplants at Sick Children’s Hospital in downtown Toronto.

We were at a celebratory event, one afternoon, in the hospital’s main atrium. We posed with Sharon, Lois, and Bram by the cake.

Then, as I grew, I’d long since outgrown kid’s shows and soon what became important to me was what made me proud to be Canadian, with the development of my love for my country’s literary history.

I was shocked, last week, when I first read, in my news feed for Facebook…
Jonathan Crombie, dies at age 48

This was the last thing I was expecting.

There’s always a certain obvious morbidity in my mind, as one celebrity dies and I already start thinking, I wonder who the next one will be to pass away.

Jonathan Crombie was only forty-eight and died, a few days before the official announcement, from a brain hemorrhage.

Right away I felt a sickening feeling inside.

He was Gilbert Blythe. He “was” the role. He WAS that character.

I knew the PBS mini series before I really read the books. It all came to life for me, on screen, with the descriptive video I received in the mail in the late nineties.

Most girls had their prince charming, Disney prince of their choice. I had Gil. He was what an ideal male would be. He became the ideal for me.

Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe always reminded me of my grandparents, right from the first time I became truly aware of their love story.

I never thought I would be writing about why this character means to me what he does, not for this reason. I had assumed it would come up eventually, here or somewhere else, but that I would talk about the significance of Anne and Gilbert or Gil himself, as an upbeat writing on my favourite literature.

I didn’t think, couldn’t predict I would be writing about what Jonathan’s role as Gil meant to me, not as a tribute to the life lived by the man behind the beloved Canadian literary character, at the time of his premature death.

But here we are.

I don’t know exactly what Jonathan felt about his time playing Gilbert. I would assume he realized what that role meant to people like me. I read he would often answer to “Gil”, but whether or not this is true I can not say.

I do know he played the role of Gilbert for all three movies. He started as a fairly young guy in the eighties.

He was the son of David Crombie, Mayor of Toronto, long before Ford would make the position famous for so many other things.

Jonathan performed on the stage, Shakespearean roles, at the Stratford Festival Theatre.

I wish I could have seen him in that role, as a bit of a variation from Montgomery’s character. Just a small variation of course.

Jonathan would return, years after his original debut as Gil, when the third Anne film was made, at the start of this new century.

It was a bit of a shock, to me in that moment, when I first saw him again. He was older, obviously, his voice having changed a fair bit from what I’d known it to sound like.

He pulled off a whole new, more serious role this time, going off to perform medical officer duty in a retelling, of sorts, of a story from World War I and I was newly impressed by where he would take that character.

It was a bit of a stretch from Montgomery’s original writing, but I wouldn’t read more of the books until several years later.

Of course, none of this would have happened if it weren’t for L.M.’s brilliant creation of the great love story of Gilbert and Anne, but Jonathan brought the character to life in ways I will never forget.

It was the way Crombie pulled off the deep and unwavering devotion and dedication to Anne and his pure love for her. I envied it. I only dreamt that anyone, in my real life, could or would ever love me like that.

Even as an old-fashioned story, theirs is a fictional love story that didn’t have lots of drama and back-and-forth, at least not for him. He played always his part, Gilbert Blythe, the cool, calm, and collected gentleman. The chivalrous doctor that once was a love-sick schoolboy.

Nothing, betrayed in that character, seemed to react. They took a sombre period in Canada’s history, now one hundred years ago, and they portrayed it, both Jonathan and Megan, and the rest of the cast, with grace and dignity, feeling and heart.

The tragic romance of doing the hard thing, the spectre of having to be separated, all coming alive from the pages of any history book I’ve ever read. A fictional story that I could, so easily, picture in real life.

Of course, I knew it to be a work of fiction, but Jonathan made me feel it in every line he spoke as Gilbert.

I wanted to include my favourite moment from his performance in Anne: The Continuing Story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr20pRzTiTc

I will return to this story, again and again, to always see him in this greatest of great roles.

Watching the above clip of their reunion always did bring tears to my eyes, caused the all-too familiar butterflies in my stomach when I immediately went to watch on hearing the sad news, caused my heart to race like always, and will forevermore stir a deep feeling of nostalgia that can hardly be explained through words.

It is why I believe in the art of a fictional performance, when in spite of all the silliness of what acting often is, sometimes an actor gets it right. Sometimes it isn’t silly or frivolous. It means something.

And so I dare to be so bold as to use a line from Montgomery’s books and from the films themselves, not in an attempt to be over-dramatic for the sake of it.

Anne Shirley said it first. I say it now.

I didn’t know him. I never had the chance to meet him in person, but I would have liked to tell him all this, if I had.

“In the depths of despair.”

His passing has caused a strange empty feeling in me since I heard he was gone for real.

From what I read, his organs were donated. This only makes me love him even more.

How many people get to mean the things he’s meant to people like me and to give others a second chance at life through the sudden end of his own?

RIP Jonathan, Gil.

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Bucket List, Fiction Friday, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Special Occasions, TGIF, Writing

Announcing My Second Chance

“Would fishing be fun if the fish jumped out of the ocean and smacked you in the face?”

I don’t think so.

In fact, that sounds like a nightmare I had once.

:-)

If fishing is thought, by some to be boring, this would be the opposite.

Downright frightening, in other words, but I like this writer’s post because it makes some true points on the subjects of balance, perspective, and when enough is enough in the life of an author.

Please shut up: why self-promotion as an author doesn’t work.

Now, while I think having a catchy title or opening line, like I made sure to include at the start of this post can work to grab the reader’s attention, I can’t say I haven’t been told to “please shut up” a time or two.

Okay okay, so it may not have been to my face every time, but I can guarantee it was being said under the breath.

I post on this blog, at a minimum, once a week. I post on Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis.

I want to share something. I want to express myself.

Both true and anyone who does that doesn’t always know, for the sake of all others, when enough’s enough.

I am proud to announce something today, but apparently I couldn’t just do it, without prefacing my announcement without my special brand of hyper-awareness of my self-promotion, and that it isn’t my goal to be pushy.

Because, as the blog post I linked above says (just in case you didn’t read it), nobody is going to buy a book, just because my story is in it.

Well, not only because they follow me on Twitter, have liked me on Facebook, and I don’t even have Instagram or Tumblr anyway.

I know that by opening myself up like this, I am risking vulnerability, and I’ not sure how I completely feel about it.

Sure, if E.L. James can handle it, so can I, right?

;-)

Others may have an opinion of my story. Along with the good there inevitably could and will come the bad.

I wanted to share my good news with you here. That’s all I have control over.

I am bad at self-promotion.

Oh sure, I do it, but not because I live to promote.
I am one blog, in a galaxy of millions, and I wanted to announce that I have written a short story: One Last Kiss.

It is coming out, in June, assuming all goes as planned.

Okay, so I have a hard time believing it’s really happening because things like this don’t happen to me. Well, rarely if ever, but there’s always got to be a first for everything, right?

If you were to ask anyone who believes in the power of positive thinking, they’d say I need to scrap talk and thinking like that because no good can come of it.

So I choose to believe in this and to be excited.

I can’t see the cover, but the day the email was sent out to everyone of us, included in this anthology, the one in which the cover image was first revealed to us, I admit I couldn’t stop smiling.

I wanted someone to describe it to me, where exactly everything was, and where my name appeared. I gobbled up every single detail I could, so I could picture things exactly in my mind’s eye, the most powerful tool at my disposal.

Now I can finally share it with the rest of the world, or with my little piece of the world anyway, because I was told the Queen is much too busy with her birthday celebrations to offer me her opinion.

:-)

Right, well I never promised a humour anthology.

http://romanceanthologieshfbooks.blogspot.co.uk

The one to organize all this made the official announcement, over on her own blog, this past Sunday:

Author Hazel Robinson’s Blog – After The Scars Cover Reveal

This title fits perfectly because this was, indeed, my second chance, in a lot of ways.

More to come, but check out the Facebook page:

The Second Chances Anthology

I should be featured, with a short bio and synopsis of my story, on the page in May sometime.

Finally, I just wanted to share the GoodReads link. I can’t believe I am on GoodReads!

After The Scars – The Second Chances Anthology

Speaking of…I’m off to shout this from the rooftops.

Feel free to tell me to shut up: in your head, under your breath, or even out loud if you really deem it necessary.

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Lara Fabian – I Will Love Again (slow version)

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Book Reviews, Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Happy Hump Day, History, Interviews, Kerry's Causes, This Day In Literature

Worth the Climb: Blog Tour and My Interview With Audrey J. Snyder

Today I am participating in a blog tour for author Audrey J. Snyder and her inspirational memoir:

Worth The Climb.

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I got to ask Audrey ten questions about her life and her story.

For a review you can check out the previous stop on the blog tour:

Book Review – Audrey Snyder’s Worth the Climb,

over on The Meaning of Me.

To win a copy of the book:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/81bd98925/

First, let’s hear what this book is all about.

MEMOIR SYNOPSIS

Raised by a grandmother who believed the only available professional jobs for a Black American women in the 1960’s were nursing and teaching. Audrey Snyder grew up feeling restricted in her own home. Audrey, however, had inherited the grit and determination of her great Cherokee grandmother, who had accomplished the impossible by traveling, unescorted over 1300 miles in a covered wagon filled with orphaned Cherokee children.
Worth the Climb tells Audrey’s remarkable story of struggle and success in corporate America. Leaving home at a young age, Audrey moved from secretary to prominent business success in the face of racism and discrimination.
Throughout her 40- year struggle, Audrey pushed away anger, bitterness, and despair, clinging instead to excellence, perseverance, and the need to open doors for Black Americans who would follow.
Worth the Climb is a must read for anyone looking to move forward in spite of pitfalls and disappointments.

***

K: Did you always think about or wish to write a book, or is this something more recent?

A: When I started writing this book, it was in the form of a Diary to my mother who died when I was four years old. I wanted her to know what I did with my life. I knew we would meet in the afterlife and I planned to give my diary to her. For years, I would write down my thoughts. One day I started reading my diary from start to finish and realized I was experiencing similar circumstances that many of my minority peers and friends had been talking about. Talking with my relatives and elders in the family, I learned about the struggles they had gone through. Realizing that things really hadn’t changed much for minorities. With the encouragement o family and friends, it was then that I decided I needed to tell my story. Others needed to know what was happening to minorities in the corporate environment.

K: What was the process of compiling all your memories for this book, physically writing it – what was that like for you?

A: When I first started writing, it was a pleasure to write because it was going to be a diary of my accomplishments. When I started the diary, I would come home each day and write what had happened that day. However, as I was writing, some of the obstacles I faced while trying to advance in the corporate world began to become daily struggles. What started out, as a happy daily occurrence was becoming a way to express my anger. At one point, I had to put the diary down because the anger was becoming overwhelming and I wasn’t sure at the time how to deal with it. When I started to have some small successes, I again picked up my diary and continued with the process of writing about my experiences. A friend recommended a book coach to help me get my diary into a manuscript format and ready for print. We worked for about a year meeting often to review and discuss situations making the book ready for publication.

K: You include inspirational quotes at the end of each of your chapters. I really enjoyed this part.
Which of these would you say is your favourite and why?

A: It is difficult to pick one but if I have to choose, it would be the quote by Les Brown. “Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality. This quote is important to me because it gave me the freedom to set my own rules for success. I didn’t have to worry about those that tried to stop me. I only needed
prove I was qualified and capable for the position or status I was seeking. My success was not about what others thought of me, but of what I thought of myself and what I could achieve.

K: Which qualities did you make use of, going from your marriage to your career, and what lessons do you believe you feel you most transferred to your children throughout all those years?

A: This is an easy one to answer. It would be determination and perseverance. I refused to accept no. I was determined to have what I was entitled to. I set goals and tackled them one step at a time. My children have also shown their success in their adult lives by utilizing these two characteristics along with hard work. My son is an educator and has been awarded “Teacher of the Year” and my daughter has worked at a job with a disability that no one said she could do for 16 years now. Forty-four years of marriage required perseverance and determination for success.

K: Where do you think women, and more specifically women of colour, but really all minorities stand in the corporate world and then in society as a whole?

A: Women of color are still behind white men and white women in the corporate world. Women of color are often offered positions in secondary management roles. There are a few women of color that have been allowed to have the title of “Vice President”, but they are far and few. Most women of color are allowed to obtain higher positions in the areas of Human Resource or Training. In society, women of color are playing a more relevant role if you look at Congress and the role that women are playing as Mayors. Women also are very relevant in our elections. More women of color are on national networks than ever before. Women of color are also organizing and networking to make sure they are being heard.

K: What do you think other minority groups, such as people with disabilities, must do to be proactive in striving for more acceptance and rights that so many other black women fought for?

A: There are two things one must do to be proactive.

                 They are Education and Networking. I mentioned earlier

                that my daughter has a disability. I learned all I could

                about her disability and then all I could about her rights

                as a disabled citizen. I used the Internet to find out who

                I needed to talk with. I also networked with many groups

                and organizations to learn how others handled their

                experiences. I continually asked questions and when I

                get answers, I don’t always accept them at face value.

                Often times I need to research and continue to learn.

                 I make use of many social networks because many things

                today are still about “Who you Know”. I find these groups

                to be creative and encouraging.

 

K: Do you consider yourself an inspiration? Why or why not?

A: Yes, I do consider myself an inspiration. My entire career has

                         been to always reach back and bring someone up the corporate

                        ladder with me. I have mentored many employees in the

                        various positions that I’ve held. I currently teach as an

                        Adjunct Professor and with each class, I make sure to

                        always give encouraging advice to my students.

                        Whether at home or out with the public, I always make

                        sure that I am setting an example that others can follow

                        through my mannerisms, my speech or my actions.

 

K: Do you think any minority has the obligation to become an inspiration or do you even think its an appropriate title? Why or why not?

A: I don’t think the title “Inspiration” is the right title. I think we all        have an obligation to set an example for others to follow. It

should not be limited to minorities. I believe everyone should be a living example. However, I do believe that since opportunities for minorities are limited, I think that when we do get opportunities, it is our responsibility to make the most of that opportunity so that other minorities can also have that same chance. What I heard most often and still hear today is “The last time I hired a minority, it didn’t work out so I don’t want to take a chance again.” That’s judging the entire race instead of the individual. You don’t hear that same claim when white employees don’t do well.

K: “Each one, teach one.”
This is a line from the book. What did that concept mean to you throughout your journey?

A: This phrase was and is vital to our success. When I say our, I mean anyone in a struggle to succeed. It is not limited to minorities but it came from the days of slaves when they were teaching each other to survive and to read. I believe as they believed that it is our responsibility to teach others what we learn and pass that on to those that come after us. We must reach out or reach back and touch someone in need of guidance, knowledge, encouragement, etc. We must pass on our experiences through deeds, actions, writing, etc. We must not get to the top without reaching back or reaching out and teaching someone else.

K: What do you hope people will take away from reading “Worth the Climb”?

A: The purpose of my book is to help that person who has been blocked from reaching the next step to their success. My book talks about some strategies that I used when blocked from reaching the next level on my ladder of success. It details the obstacles that blocked me and why I chose to go after the success I deserved. I want others to know that you can achieve your goals if you develop a strategy. I hope that some of my strategies can serve as an example for a resolution to a problem others might encounter. I want others to not let anger deter them. I want others to continue to persevere and stay determined and encouraged that they can achieve if they believe they can.

***

To purchase a copy of the book, go here:

Worth the Climb by Audrey Snyder on Amazon

wpid-book-cover2-2015-04-22-03-56.jpg

For more information on Audrey, her books, her career, or to contact her you can check her out

Here,

on her website and on Twitter,

@AudreySnyderaj

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BIO

Audrey Jane Snyder is retired after working in the corporate environment for 40+ years in the fields of human resource management and customer service.
She has also been an independent consultant specializing in on-line web based training of interpersonal skills for first line managers.
Audrey holds a BA in Business Communications and a Masters in Training and Development. Audrey is a member of Western Pennsylvania Initiative, Greater Pittsburgh Area Communications and National Black Public Relations Society, Inc. and PennWriters Inc., The Pittsburgh East Writer’s Group.
Audrey has also served on the board of Family Resources, Inc. Audrey has spoken as an expert at Budget Financial Seminars and recently was Keynote Speaker on Courageous Leadership- Owning your Own Success at the National Black MBA Gala. Audrey is currently an Adjunct Professor at DeVry University.
Audrey was born and raised in the Pittsburgh, PA area lives with her husband of 44 years. She has two adult children and two grandchildren.
This is her first book which one finalist position at the Pittsburgh Author Zone Awards.

Thanks for this interview, Audrey, and good luck with the book and the rest of the tour.

Blog tour arranged by:

http://www.starryknightwordslayers.com

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, Memoir Monday

Nature and Nurture: Bloodroots and Blood Ties #1000Speak

SPLASH!

As the dog ran out on the flimsy dock that jutted out into the pond, my cousin stealthily followed, attempting to play with her.

Suddenly, the joke was on him.

Before he knew it he was in the water, eight feet deep, soaked to the bone.

***

Earth Day is coming up and I already wrote the perfect piece, but I’ve already used it as my first #1000Speak post on compassion.

Planting the Seeds of Compassion – My feature on the dynamic duo who are Wildlife Gardening (native plant experts)

Oh well.

I am nothing if not adaptable.

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I spent my Sunday with family. I am lucky to be born into a rather nurturing one at that. Not only are they all caring and considerate people, but they show that care to all living things they encounter.

This particular Sunday I spent walking through the woods, on the land next to where my cousin and his wife live, with them, my aunt and uncle and their two dogs, my parents, and my other uncle who was visiting from Germany.

I needed an afternoon outdoors, in nature, to clear the cobwebs from my head. It was a particularly rough week for technology. It was nice to “accidentally” leave my phone at home and just experience the natural world with some excellent company.

One of the dogs approached our group, as we stood and waited for my cousin to return in dry clothes, and a smell pierced our nostrils.

The dog had obviously been rolling in something.

My uncle, creative as he is, referred to the smell as “putrefying flesh”.

This is nature, people, at its most raw, putrid, and pure.

***

My mom is the kind of nurturing mother so many children would do anything for.

She’s the kind of woman to talk all big and tough about not taking in an animal one minute. The next, she’s going above and beyond.

A few years before our eventual, eventful, and fragrant nature walk, we were out on the deck when we heard a noise coming from somewhere nearby in the trees.

It was the sound of some poor creature and my mom went to discover what was making such a mournful screeching.

Baby squirrels. Their mother, sadly, had been found as road kill just down the highway. These tiny babies were orphaned and without their mother they would surely starve to death.

My mom couldn’t just sit back and let that happen.

She took the little things and cleaned them up. Again with the beautiful yet yucky reality of nature.

If the squirrels stood any chance of survival, she was their best bet.

For the following days, my mom kept them in a shoebox, fed them with a syringe, and hoped for the best.

Unfortunately, the one did not last long at all, but its sibling began to grow from the nourishment my mom offered it. It became our little pet. We would open the shoebox and immediately it would claw its way out and onto our lap.

It would crawl up my arm and nestle itself on my shoulder and against the warmth of my neck.

This wasn’t the first time my mom would take in newborn and abandoned animals. She had a natural gift for nurturing them and nursing them to health.

Of course, sometimes all the loving care and nurture in the world aren’t enough.

This second squirrel passed away shortly after.

Raccoons that became my mom’s friends, even when they grew big and were on their own. She would sometimes hear a scratching at her window, someone wanting to say hello.

My mom’s favourite form of exercise has always been gardening. We always had plentiful flowerbeds and gardens and my mom was always out there, working to make our yard beautiful.

***

Now, as our group walked through the woods, the dogs weren’t the only ones pummelled by all the different scents in the air.

Nature was all around us. The numerous branches and twigs crunched and cracked underfoot.

The sun was warm at first, but the wind was persistent.

The dogs ran about and we talked and walked. My cousin and his wife, my aunt, and my mother in particular, they discussed the many different plants and flowers and vegetation we passed.

I just listened to the shared knowledge of the native plants and things, between them.

Trilliums were just starting to bud.

Deer tracks could be seen.

Bloodroot. This one was new to me. A flower that bleeds all over you when examined.

The roots of all the trees growing in the woods and the flowers that give my mother and the others so much joy. You can’t help feeling inspired when you hear how they talk, so lovingly, about these natural wonders.

A red and grey feather. The twittery call of a favourite bird of my aunt could be heard in the distance. Wood peckers. A crow attacking a hawk.

Caw-cky. cocky.

Nature is all around us. It’s out there, if we choose to immerse ourselves in it, taking it in, in all its splendour.

These people are at the root of my growth as a person. These roots go deep. I couldn’t ask for a more nurturing bunch of people to call my family.

Happy Earth Day everyone. I hope you find people, animals, and other growing and living things to nurture and be nurtured by and that the roots are deep and healthy.

Nurture or nature?

I say: why must we choose just one?

#1000Speak on Twitter

April is the month of nurturing.
Stop and smell the bloodroot and the trilliums.

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Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, SoCS, Writing

SoCS: Let Them Eat Cake

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***

The initial idea would have been to write about world peace. Honestly, who doesn’t want that?

If I could say anything really stirring on that goal I would have said it a long time ago, not waiting for a blogging prompt to say my piece.

Then there’s my love of cake. I love a big, delicious piece of cake, but then something else popped into my mind.

In fact, it’s always in there somewhere, so it just pushed a lot of other stuff in there out of the way and made itself at home, front and center.

When I was in the eighth grade I started writing a diary. Well truthfully, I called it a log, not wanting to call it a diary because I felt the word was becoming a cliche of sorts for young girls.

I wanted somewhere to write down my thoughts, somewhere with a name as different as I felt.

Silly of me. It was a diary.

:-)

From there, the idea sprung up in my mind, that I would write my autobiography.

What did a fourteen-year-old have to put into an autobiography anyway?

Well, I had just been through a year or more of illness, medications, missed school, and surgeries. I wanted to call it The Year and a Half From Hell.

This was back in 1998 and just barely was I using a computer at all.

I started writing it and I did this in braille, using the old, heavy-duty Perkins Brailler.

I soon had pages and pages of braille, a towering pile of pages filled with row after row of raised dots, telling my story, but only I could read it, with maybe the exception of my brother or maybe my mother.

Then, just as suddenly as the idea came to me, it faded. I ran out of steam, but the dream never left my mind entirely.

I didn’t know where to go from there.

Now that I have this blog, I wonder if my long harboured dream of writing, what I now call my memoir, if that is less necessary.

I now have a place where I can write, in a broken up manner, when I feel inspired.

The problem is that I didn’t know how to downsize something so integral to my life, into a book.

I didn’t know what to say and what to leave out.

Also, I have decided to scrap Year and a Half From Hell, in favour of a title that takes me back to that cliche question.

Piece of Cake:
It’s a phrase meaning a task that’s thought to be simple or easy to accomplish. No problem at all.

Of course that year I spent in hospital and attached to dialysis machines was anything but simple or easy, but I would have no idea as that fourteen-year-old girl, just how much harder the following years would be after the idea for a memoir first occurred to me.

I think it sums up the sort of sense of humour I possess. I am not overly funny in any real ha ha sense of the word.

:-)

I am more dry, ironic, witty sense of humour girl.

Both titles felt authentic to me, even if one is a highly repeated, widely overused cliche from way back.

I like it and, besides, it makes me think of that sweet sweet piece of cake I so often deny myself.

I would have used it as reward for all that hell I’d been through, and have done at times, but all in moderation.

Besides, those two things don’t go together for someone who was put on steroid medication from age twelve onward.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, I am just as sweet as any cake.

:-)

Plus, I don’t like pie, so Easy As Pie was never a possible title for any autobiography or memoir of mine.

***

That was my offering for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/04/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-1815/

I was sorry to hear that this weekly blogging prompt almost came to a halt, so soon after I came across it.

Would have been a real shame, but I would have understood if the blogger herself, in charge of SoCS, if she needed the break.

Thanks for keeping it going. It has come to mean something to my blogging schedule and to myself.

I may even take a stab at the Wednesday prompt next.

Note:
If you read the title of this post and expected me to write about Marie-Antoinette, sorry to disappoint. Perhaps I will work it into a future post on this subject, but for now…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_them_eat_cake

As for that pesky world peace question, I’m open to a discussion, if anybody has any ideas or suggestions.

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Blogging, Fiction Friday, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, TGIF

Orphaned: My Latest Guest Post

Okay, so I am back after a bit of mid-week/mid-month computer woes.

(More to come on that soon.)

In the meantime…

For this week’s Fiction Friday I am sharing my latest guest post, where I write about my three favourite fictional characters and why they have impacted my life so much.

Orphaned: A Guest Post By Kerry Kijewski

So check out my post at:

Kevin’s blog, New Uthor Online,

and for more of this writer/blogger’s work and for another worthy cause as well.

Kevin has recently put out, along with several other writers, a charity anthology:

Anthology to raise money for Guide Dogs.

A worthy cause, in my opinion.

Thanks Kevin, for hosting me, and good luck with the anthology.

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Blogging, History, Memoir and Reflections, Special Occasions

Milestones and Siblings

I’ve reached 1000 followers on this blog.

Yeah yeah. I know. Most bloggers, including me, say that they don’t care about that.

They care a little. I care a little.

For years nobody was reading anything I wrote. Now some are, at least some of that 1000 are.

Then April 10th was International Siblings Day and I did not write a tribute or message about my siblings on the day, but I have been thinking about siblings, thinking a lot.

I spent the day yesterday with my siblings, my father with some of his, and my niece and nephew…well, I watched them play for hours.

The fact that siblings grow up, move away, and grow apart is hard for me to accept sometimes.

I watched my siblings, my father and uncles, and my niece and nephews. I thought about how deserving of that relationship my other nephew is.

I thought about how siblings can be far far apart physically, but still remain close, or living nearby and as far apart emotionally as possible.

Or distance can keep them apart and things are just never the same.

My father’s half-brother is visiting from Germany.

The “half” part matters little. The connection is not half anything.

I watch them and I think again about siblings.

Circumstances keep siblings apart and it takes effort to come back together again.

I had forgotten what he was like, since I saw him five years ago.

Things started to come back to me, about how generous he was in hosting us, when visiting Germany in the late 90s.

He is outgoing and friendly and fun.

The language barrier gets in the way some, but he speaks enough English to get by.

It is too bad he is the one who speaks English. Languages have never been my thing, but it makes you want to conquer that obstacle.

The brothers are off to visit their sister.

Life is unpredictable.

It’s hard for me to grasp the fact that they all had a whole lifetime before I ever existed. I can’t fathom that and it makes me wistful.

From Germany to southwestern Ontario, to near to Canada’s capital, Ottawa.

Time and space can separate those connected by blood, but those gaps must be bridged. Time doesn’t slow down for anyone.

On visiting my aunt last month I felt this most acutely. She is my connection to her mother, my oma, and meeting her, ten years into my own life and fifty or so into hers was a blessing in my life.

As time flies by, opportunities slip past, past me and past them. We all know that.

I didn’t want to leave her that March day and now the siblings pose, arms around each other, holding on tight to whatever time they have left.

But they never know when that time together might run out, for any of them.

I wish I could slow this process down, for them and for myself too. I wish I could freeze it in still.

No language barrier can get in the way of love and family.

I watch the newest generation and it seems like they have all the time in the world, all the time to learn and grow and be siblings.

I think of my 1000 blog followers and what importance that holds, the milestones that mean the most. I think of the importance siblings have in my life.

It helps me to keep life in perspective and to remember what’s truly important to me.

I would be nowhere and nothing without my siblings. I love to see all the siblings around me. I want us all to make time for each other, to appreciate one another, and to never forget that we started out together, we know each other like no one else does or ever will.

Yet sibling relationships are all different. Some take time to grow.

It’s a unique and special connection that a sister or a brother has or is to the others.

All the realities of growing up and drifting apart don’t matter, they won’t matter in the end, when the end comes.

He brings my niece and nephews gifts from Germany, my uncle does. He toasts me, our beer bottles clinking and I’m glad he’s here.

I am lucky to have him and the others in my life, in my family, forever and no matter where we all live, where we all go, might end up at.

Hope everyone can have a day like I had, parents and siblings, aunt and uncles, niece and nephews. Gather family around and don’t let them go.

Not everyone can say they’ve had a day like I’ve just had, but make the effort. You won’t regret that you did.

Special thank you to every one of my blog followers. You read my words and I thank you for that.

Thank you to my siblings, for all the support you’ve shown for this blog and for me.

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