You have a choice…they don’t

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As the police officer broke the window, I could see the situation was dire.  As much as I wished this were fiction, I could audibly hear the cries from the crowd and the lingering image of the tortured face in the back of the car was eerily memorable.   I have fallen victim to another barrage of Facebook videos that have struck a chord which echoes, and continues to resonate deeply, within every fibre of my being and I am currently writing this post from behind swollen eyes and continual sniffles.

Once things like these videos are seen they cannot be unseen and I will most likely have nightmares tonight.  The torture and suffering that occur are so preventable yet these tragic situations continue to unfold before the eyes of those who are stupefied and forced to take action to avert fatalities, only if they get there in time.  It’s a horrible trend that is so easily remedied, but still continues to happen.

Leaving children or pets in hot cars is inexcusable.  There are NO plausible circumstances that make this a forgivable choice.  A child or a pet does not have the capacity to voluntarily surrender their right to basic care.  They unknowingly give us their permission to nurture and protect their essential needs and wants.  It is the responsibility of the adult to put the needs of others before we consider the unencumbered ease of performing mundane tasks alone.  If speed and agility are your goals for your shopping adventure, find someone responsible to care for your children and pets while you shop.  Even if you think you will only be there “for just a second”, remember you are not the only factor in the equation of your shopping experience.

Life happens.  And while some unforeseen aspect of life is happening to you in Aisle Four of your grocery store, life is slowly being taken away from the living, breathing thing you left in your car because you were going to “be right back”.

I err on the side of caution when it comes to my dog.  She may not agree with my choice to leave her at home while I shop but at least I know she will always be there to greet me when I return home.   She does not have the aptitude to formulate the reason she is in a cool house while I shop for our basic necessities and the temperature inside my car reaches lethal levels.  

hot car

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Sure, she is disappointed when I leave.  Sure, I get the cold shoulder on my way by the window.  But I know I have done the right thing by not subjecting her to a life-threatening situation and I know the gratitude I feel seeing her happy face when I return home is enough rationale for me.   She is still conscious and thriving because I chose to “be mean” and leave her at home.

Please, please…..”be mean” to your pets.  Leave them home alone on that hot, sunny day while you pick up those one or two items that will only take you “a couple of minutes”.  Tomorrow they will not remember that you left them at home.  But tomorrow you will feel the horrible regret of leaving them in a car that reached an inner temperature of 140 degrees in 15 minutes and possibly took their life.

Children should never be left alone in a vehicle, period.  Take your child in the store with you.  Face the evil stares from people as your child throws an epic temper tantrum in the middle of the store.  Budget that extra 15 or 30 minutes it will take you to put back every item your child has mysteriously grabbed from the shelves.

Or be the parent who chooses to leave your child with somebody else while you shop.   Feel guilt free if your grocery shopping takes you an extra 15 minutes and enjoy the fact that you don’t have to keep looking outside, wondering what the temperature has risen to inside your vehicle while the life you left inside of it, the child you promised to protect and nurture, endures temperatures that are unbearable and fatal.

For the sake of your child or your pet, make the choice to leave those loved ones at home with someone else to watch them even if you know it will disappoint them.  No item in the grocery store will ever be worth the life that may have been put at risk while you shopped for it.

 

 

 

 

 

Just one drop of kindness equals a recipe for success

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Facebook is an overwhelming aspect of social media.  Timeline’s are inundated with nonsense, Farmville and game requests are sent at alarming rates and too much personal information is given away like candy at Halloween.  But every so often a little gem of humanity seeps through the cracks and makes me appreciate the sharing of information.

The video below is one of those rare gems.  I watched it twice because the message really plucked some emotional strings in the orchestra of my life.  I have always been a firm believer in treating others as you wish to be treated, in paying forward a show of altruism and allowing others to benefit from your tenderness and understanding.

Every action in life creates a ripple effect.  Whether that ripple effect is as visible to the naked eye as a drop of water in a pond, or is so infinitesimal that it is unseen by the human eye, there is always a reaction.  A little bit can go a long way and that ripple may spread further than you could ever imagine.

I hope you will take the three minutes to watch this video created by a Thai insurance company.  Its message is heart-warming, emotional and eerily accurate.  One drop of human kindness could change the tides in so many oceans.

 

Six legs, two wings and a whole lot of perspective

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Yesterday I noticed a bug on the outside of my car window.  I know that sounds like a strange opening line for a blog post but that bug, after stubbornly hanging on for the 5 kilometer ride, began to represent something much more than just a bug on my window.

I had all but written him off during the first kilometer but I became more amused as one kilometer stretched into two, then three, and his sheer determination would not allow him to let go.  Wind billowing at his wings, he held on to his place and his tenacity began to rekindle my creativity.   His utter disregard for common sense made my brain kick into writer’s mode and that bug made me realize how important it is to hold on to the things you truly want.

bug on a window

Despite the fact I had a few giggles thinking of how that little insect reminded me of Kevin Kline hanging on to the plane at the end of A Fish Called Wanda, I was reminded of an important life lesson by a 6-legged black and red bug with a stinger and an attitude – if it’s worth hanging on to, do everything in your power to make sure you don’t let it go.

This somewhat hypnotic suggestion made me want to grasp my writing a little bit tighter.  I am fervently holding onto the window that is my blog and doing everything in my power to not let this journey slip away into the chaos that is summer.

Although this season is moving at great speed, like the wind funnel swiftly rushing around the dynamic insect that held fast to my car window, my resolution to hang on to the things that are important to me is just as strong as the will of this tiny bug to hold tight to its ride.

Sometimes it is the little things that truly bring the big things into perspective.  SN

 

 

The real perception of time

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To the people who work at Shamrock Lodge, the weeks of the summer of 2015 are flying by. It seems like only a few days ago we were saying hello to the first of our summer families but that was weeks ago! We have officially begun week five of our ten week season and it has gone by in a blur.

But time is a funny thing. To us it hurtles through some time-space continuum at warp speed while to others, to children who are anticipating their days at the Shammy, time moves slower than a turtle.

Their restless nights are spent planning their days in the Kid’s Klub. Their exciting visions of their little legs on water skiis, making it around the circuit for the first time, disrupt their sleep. Their predicted screams as they skip across the lake in the tube echo in their minds. Their week of fun and games at the lodge is as tangible as the parents longing for some quiet moments while the kids are busy being entertained from morning to night.

Many lounge chairs are filled with dozing parents while their children are, not only waterskiing and tubing but, playing soccer, going on scavenger hunts, bouncing on the water trampoline, building sandcastles, playing tennis and having canoe races.

Time, from the perspective of the parents and children who have already come to the lodge and returned home, has gone by in a blur of sunshine, laughter and memories. But for those children waiting for their chance at their Shammy vacation, time seems to go by one very slow second at a time.

Ask me in forty years and I’ll tell you what happened

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When I look back at the road behind me, I am content with many of the life altering decisions I have made.  There would be nothing worse than glancing back over the history of my life through the eyes of regret.  But will I be that fortunate in another forty years to feel the same way I do after the first half of my life?  Will I take all of my knowledge, and the lessons I have learned about only living once, and disregard the opportunity to obtain the most happiness I can possibly achieve?

I don’t want to reach my ninetieth year and remember the moment that I let an opportunity for pure bliss pass me by.  I don’t want to have “what if” nagging at the  back of my mind.  I have 46 years of growth and experience under my belt and I can only hope I can wring every ounce of those two things out of me when it comes to pursuing my ultimate happiness.

wringing

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Sure, I’ve made my choices and I go through the motions of every day life but how would I feel if there were something out there that was just perfect for me and I let it pass me by?  Whether it be a job, a trip or a new love….opportunities are not presented every day.  Some of those chances are serendipity, a fortunate accident, and some are created through some mystic energy in the universe, perhaps a karma of sorts.

Regardless of the circumstance, I don’t want to regret a moment in my life where I should have taken a chance, but didn’t.   If  you ask me in forty years, I hope I am able to tell you that I followed my heart and made every moment possible by simply taking that chance on something that seemed like it was meant to be just for me.

 

 

 

Thanks WordPress….do you have any tissues?

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My third year anniversary on WordPress is rapidly approaching.  Since my timid foray into blogging, I have truly come into my own and really love this journey I am on.  I have discovered so much about myself and thrown myself into an outlet where I find I can be really honest about my feelings and opinions.

Over the course of my presence here, WordPress has made many changes and upgrades to their program.  The cause for my tears and subsequent request for tissues is the addition of “related posts” at the bottom of our existing posts.  This subtle link at the bottom of my posts has caused me to click on one of my previous posts about my mom and my tears didn’t even have the option of staying or flowing – they started at full force and kept coming.

kleenex

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Once I cleared the blurry vision and was able to control myself, I realized what a great extension to my blog that this little tear-inducing gem had become.  If readers are interested in the blog post that day, they can click on the links to previous posts they may have missed and be able to follow my earlier thought processes that may have some relevance to the entry I had recently posted.

I appreciate that WordPress is bringing my past into my present.  They are connecting the dots of my artistic as well as my emotional journey and allowing others to participate in the history of my blogging adventure as well as the most recent part of my writing experience.

Tissues are available at the door.

 

 

 

Sweet June and doing small things with great love

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A little less than a year and a half ago my life was irrevocably changed when my mom passed away.  She had been ill for a while but it was still a shock to receive the call on a Friday morning that she was gone.  As fate would have it, a small typo at the funeral home transformed an evening that could have been incredibly morose into a night of bizarre toasts that my mom would have found hilarious.  In the haze of tragedy, my family was able to find laughter.  In the wake of death, my family was still able to breathe some life.

One slight alphabetical error was a domino effect for a myriad number of things that would follow. Had the funeral director not misspelled Jane and typed June, the course of our mourning and subsequent celebration of my mother would have been profoundly altered.  You can read the original story by clicking here.  Since then there have been continual toasts to “June”.   There is a place setting for June at family meals and she is always a part of our celebrations.

Recently, I began to dabble in cake decorating again and decided that I would like to bring the old cake business back to life.  The company name I had used in the past no longer seemed to embody what it was that I was trying to represent and I struggled to come up with a new moniker for my part-time occupation.

mom's 70th bday

After sifting through photos of cakes I had done in the past, I came across this cake I made for my mom on her 70th birthday.  Without hesitation, I knew the name of my new venture would be “Sweet June”.

“In this life we cannot do great things.  We can only do small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa

 These cakes are the small things that I do with great love.  I find peace in the moments of creating special memories that help celebrate milestones.  I find joy in knowing that I was an invisible part of a happy occasion.  And I achieve the most reward, now, by knowing that my mom, Sweet June, will forever be a small part of those moments as well.