Let the creative juices flow

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I have a strong penchant for all things creative and I’ve dabbled in many of them.  Since I was a young child, I could always find ways to express myself artistically.  When I was still in single digits I would spend hours at a time at our summer cottage painting birds on old cedar shingles.  I was no Rembrandt but I must say they were pretty good.  My parents were slightly concerned that I was not spending more time outside until they came to the realization that I never complained that I was bored and they didn’t have to find things for me to do.

Exploring that creativity was like opening the door to a new world.  My affection for writing began at the tender age of eleven and that passion has always been my true  love.  Being able to paint my images with words gave me more freedom because the images came from my head and they were an original creation, not an imitation of anything else.

The poetry continued through high school but the writer in me found great competition with the sketch artist lurking in the shadows.  I would spend hours, most often during class, sketching and shading a large collection of pencil drawings and thus continued my artistic journey.  Oil painting, photography, wood carving, sewing and cake decorating are all part of my creative arsenal and I enjoy being able to dive into the bag and pull out a different weapon when the mood strikes.

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Tonight, once again, I get to trade idioms for icing and decorate a going away cake for a friend.  I used to make wedding cakes as a side business and loved it.  It was three hours of being able to lose myself in a process that would begin with a blank canvas and turn into something beautiful.  The cake above was a cake I made for my mom on her 65th birthday.  Everything on the cake was made by hand and all edible.

Perhaps my love of words stands above the rest because words are forever.  Cakes will be eaten, pencil and colors may fade, but words and phrases are always readily available and they do not need a time or a place to be written.  They linger in the recesses of my brain and stand ready and waiting, longing for the chance to be freed.

Though we have many loves throughout our lives, we always remember our first true love.  While the writer in me may step aside to allow the myriad of other hobbies to bubble to the surface, those words will wait for me because they know my heart belongs to them.

Family and friends aside, is writing your true love or do you share a passion for something else?

Two kisses

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In the wee hours of the morning,

her visits often happen then,

the charge in the air is palpable

and sleep is still in my head.

Her message hangs heavily in the air,

the words are always the same.

“Two kisses I will give you,

to help get you through your day.

 One kiss is to give you courage,

to help you save the world.

The other kiss is to help protect you

from the curve balls that life will hurl”.

Her words soothe me and give me peace

in the last moments of my sleep.

And on my cheeks, as I face the world,

two kisses I shall keep.

~~

This was the poem in my head at 4:00 am.  I will be forever grateful for those kisses.  I miss you mom.

(image credit: santabanta.com)

Old habits die hard….or get hit by lightning

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Last night we had a pretty epic lightning storm.  It didn’t hit as close to home as the bolt that struck a tree at the resort in late June but the pyrotechnic show was phenomenal.

As kids during any great thunderstorm, my brother and I would turn our couch to face out the picture window to watch the display in the sky.  While I could count the high number of my friends who I knew were shuddering under their beds, my brother and I were face to face with the awesome display of nature and the power of a storm.

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(image credit: National Geographic)

Last night I felt just like that kid again.  I propped myself up on my couch, faced out the window with a glass of wine in my hand and watched in awe as arcs of light graced the sky.  And although my brother wasn’t on the same couch, he was watching the storm through a different window.  Some things will never change.

 

Getting into trouble at school

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Last night was my nephew’s graduation from Grade 8.  Like every other family, we collected en masse in the auditorium and slowly felt the oxygen leaving the room as the number of attendees multiplied exponentially.  The ceremonies were late in getting started and after the first tapping of a finger on the microphone the noise of the audience was dulled and the festivities began.

The first thing that struck me about the celebration was the overwhelming difference from my grade 8 graduation to last night.  The girls looked like they were dressed for the red carpet and the boys were dressed to the nines.  Back in 19(illegible numbers) at my grade 8 grad, I recall wearing something that could have passed as a hand-me-down for Holly Hobby, minus the apron, and the boys wore jeans, running shoes, short-sleeved white dress shirts and clip-on ties.

The program for the evening kept to the letter of the printed description, minus the timing.  As speech tumbled into speech, I made the mistake of leaning over to my brother and whispering something about the extended ceremony and the fact that the grad class may miss their boat cruise after the graduation.  It was at that precise moment that my brother chose to whisper a response that not only shocked me, but made me start to giggle.  Now, when you are in the middle of an important rite of passage for a 14-year-old, giggling during the ceremony is frowned upon.

I did my utmost to stifle the laughter but that only made it worse and a small snort escaped.  This sent my brother into fits of silent, but convulsive laughter as well and we slowly lost control.  Tears streamed down our faces as we sought some sort of relief from our fits of hysterics but, every time we looked at each other, the inaudible giggles were compounded by more tears and several sideways glances from those sitting around us, including my sister-in-law.

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My younger nephew, who was sitting beside me, leaned over to quietly ask what was so funny.  I could only respond with a wave of my hand and more fits of silent laughter while trying to catch my breath.  Thankfully a somber moment in the ceremony grabbed our attention the restrained giggling came to an end.  I wiped the moisture from my cheeks and eyes and avoided looking in my brother’s general direction for the duration of the grad ceremony.

My nephew graduated with Honors and his class quickly exited the hallowed halls of their alma mater to board the steamship that was waiting for their arrival.  Like ants leaving a picnic, the cars sequentially left the parking lot and the evening came to an end.  I got in my car, a few chuckles escaping as I recalled the fun I had with my big brother, and heard the distinctly familiar ring of my cell phone.

My first words were, “I’m still laughing”, and I could hear that familiar sound on the other end of the phone.  We laughed again for another five minutes and I had to pull the car over because I couldn’t see well enough to drive!  That is certainly one graduation I will never forget – and when my younger nephew goes through the same ceremony, I’ll make sure my brother and I are not sitting beside each other!

(image credit)

 

 

 

100 word song – Can’t keep

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It feels like I’ve spent my life on the beach,

one tiny grain of sand among millions,

a nameless, faceless granule of existence.

The force of the water beckons and I sit motionless,

idly waiting for the tide to take me,

wanting to feel that rush of adrenaline,

but I never take that step closer to the shoreline.

I can’t keep hiding in plain sight,

simply watching the sun set over the horizon of my opportunity.

I can’t keep waiting for that water to reach me.

The only obstacle holding me back from adventure,

my biggest stumbling block

is myself.

~~

Written for the 100-Word Song Challenge at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog.  Click here to check out the challenge and join in the fun!

(image credit)

Comfortably caged

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She sits in her cage,

singing because she finds joy,

she finds happiness in her solitude.

There is peace in her time alone.

Alone will never mean lonely,

and song is her companion.

She sings the notes

as they fill her heart.

~~

gargle164

Written for the Gargleblaster Challenge:

And so we turn to this week’s ultimate question. There are a million reasons a caged bird might sing, both literally and figuratively. Maya Angelou gave us one in her beloved poem. That leaves at least 999,999 for everyone else to explore. Tell us:

Why does the caged bird sing?

Give us your answer in 42 words, but be creative. Don’t go where we expect you to. Don’t write down the first thing that comes to mind. Think, craft, edit, and craft some more. Give us your very best.

Smelling the lilacs while my head’s in the clouds

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I have my window wide open today smelling the lovely fragrant scent of the lilac blossoms in my yard combined with the pungent odor of my freshly cut lawn.  For me, those smells are the perfect storm of essences and I could sit peacefully and inhale those fragrances all day.

I poured a glass of wine and sat on my deck with my feet up.  The sky wanted to participate in the sensory overload and this is what I got to see in different parts of the sky today.

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Early morning walk with my puppy dog.

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Interesting patterns during my drive.

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A closer look at the different textures.

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A deeper blue sky in the afternoon.

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A lovely way to end the day.

I hope you enjoyed your Saturday as much as I did.

100 Word Song – Passionate kisses

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Passionate kisses,

lingering in your memory,

long after lips reluctantly parted,

long after skin had grazed skin,

long after the hand had caressed your cheek.

Passionate kisses,

leaving subtle images in your mind,

bookmarking the first page of romance in your story,

creating a smile that will give away your wish-filled thoughts,

leaving the rest of the pages open to be written.

Passionate kisses

that were the beginning of a wistful romance.

Kisses that would dapple the remaining chapters

of a grand story of love with their depth of emotion.

Passionate kisses

that would tell a tale like no other.

~~

Written for the 100 Word Song Challenge at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog.

Making sense of scents

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Growing up, the smell of bacon always made me recall the nights my father insisted we have Liver and Onions for dinner.  My mother would try to mask the smell with bacon to fool us into a false sense of security but we were on to her very early.  It wasn’t until many years later that I learned to associate that smoky smell with far more pleasant and savory tastes.

It made me ponder how a single smell can elicit such powerful memories.  The olfactory bulb switches on at a moment’s notice when a familiar scent touches an odor memory that has been etched into our brain.  Smells are one of the best ways to reconnect with our past.  During the cold January nights when I am forced to stand outside because my dog has yet to learn how to use the toilet, the smell of that bitter, cold winter air takes me back to the ski hills at Alpine in Collingwood.  I’ve lived in Muskoka for most of my life and experienced some extremely biting temperatures but, still, the memory that is brought to life is that of being a kid at a familiar cabin on a busy ski hill.

My mother’s purse, laden with the essence of Spearmint gum, the fragrance of a certain perfume or the whiff of something as simple as a laundry detergent has the power to create such sentimentality.  We are transported back to a glimpse of something from our past that has left such a lasting impression.  It may not even be a conscious memory but something about that lingering scent brings to mind a time that has long since passed.

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(image credit)

I was given a bottle of white wine recently that I haven’t tasted in years.  When I opened the bottle and that first aroma hit my nasal passages I was immediately transported to an apartment that I haven’t seen in decades.  The scent of that Verdicchio took me back and the flood of nostalgia overwhelmed me.

Smells, feelings and memories become so intimately and easily intertwined that a person can be overcome with emotion.  Odoriferous messages flood the senses.  Good or bad, we are ferried to an alternate dimension of our own reality and held as a captive of our experiences. For the past few wedding seasons I was a cake maker.  I loved the artistry that I was able to create but, better than that, I loved the smell of the cake baking.  The aromatic smell of chocolate cake will always be the smell that reminds me of my house.  And though I don’t create those cakes anymore the smell of unscheduled cupcake baking sessions transports me to a happy place.

Of all of the senses that I am blessed with, smell seems to be the front-runner when it comes to reliving a sense of the past.

What smell takes you back in time?