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?

A celebration of a life

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Yesterday was a beautiful day.  The sun was shining as a light breeze tickled the newly formed Spring leaves and collectively we gathered to share stories and memories of my mother.  The service was just as she would have wanted.  There were funny recollections, there were heart-warming memories and 18 butterflies took flight as we all remembered her kind spirit and loving heart.

The tablecloths were a lovely shade of pink, arrangements of brilliantly colored flowers were on each table and the atmosphere was anything but morose.  It truly was a celebration of life.

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My mom did not want a somber occasion to be the last tribute to her life.  She didn’t want those she knew crying because she was gone but, instead, she wanted people to remember all of the good moments they had with her when they were in her presence.  And that is exactly is what we did.

There was no rushed planning of funeral arrangements and hastily written eulogies.  We allowed ourselves time to grieve in our own way and spent two months putting a great deal of effort into a truly personal send-off, one my mom would have loved.  Sure, there were tears, but the majority of the time was spent sharing happy stories of a woman who genuinely affected people in such a positive way.  We were able to overcome the initial raw pain of loss and gave ourselves permission to really enjoy the memories and pay tribute to her in a way that she deserved.

Mere words can only scratch the surface of how many lives my mother touched with her smile, her generosity and her love.  She will be missed every day but her memory will live on in each of the smiles of those who take time to remember her.

Today, the loss is so much more real because now there is no distraction to take away from the reality that she is gone.  We must now hold dear to the multitude of moments she left an imprint on our hearts and use those moments to heal the scars created on our hearts when she left.

 

 

 

Follow my heartbeat

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There is only one way to go, and that is forward.  Everything else in my earthly path of existence seems to disagree, but I forge ahead, ignoring any warning signs.

Life is a contradiction in terms.

I pick and choose my meanings.

~~ Written for the Gargleblaster #162.

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Which way to go?

Give us your answer in 42 words. 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.

Feng Shui or other motivational tools

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I am admittedly in a slump.  Usually I have to fight off the writing demons in my brain and ask them to speak one at a time. Lately it seems they have staged a coup and the only sound seeping from my cranium is crickets.

Sometimes I see brief snapshots of what those writing demons look like, laid back in the lounge at the back of my brain, crushed velvet smoking jackets on and snifters of Remy XO in their greedy little fists.  Those bastards didn’t even invite me to the party!

Little do they know that after my mom’s service on Wednesday, I am cleaning house.  Those reclining leather loungers are gone and in their place will be some relatively uncomfortable and completely motionless wooden chairs.  The smoking jackets are going to Salvation Army and that Remy XO is mine!

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I have the movers ready to help with the refurnishing and a yard-sale is being planned for the ornate wall decorations they seem to have collected over the years.  Hopefully the extreme measures will help and the fruits of my labor will be rewarded with words.  If not, I know a cheap writing team that may be available next week.  They were pretty good for a while but they’re so damned stubborn sometimes!!

Long weekends are only long when you have to work them

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There is a slight buzz across the Canadian provinces and it has nothing to do with Black Flies.  The Victoria Day Long Weekend is upon us and, for those who are fortunate enough to have Monday off, that means a three-day weekend.  The multi-lane highways that allow travelers to reach our vacation destinations in Muskoka are already becoming congested and the stress levels of those trapped in their cars in slow-moving traffic is escalating exponentially.

They’re coming.  The locals feel the change in atmosphere like a phantom pain in a missing appendage.  We sometimes wake in the early hours of Friday morning in a cold sweat, knowing what is in store but never fully prepared.  Although we survive this phenomenon every year we are never able to control the urge to flee and hibernate until November.

When faced with the promise of a three-day weekend, historically, I would be overjoyed.  Now the long weekends have the reverse effect on me.  I work in hospitality so those three precious days are a thing of the past.  What began as joyous memories of lounging in the sun without a care in the world slowly evolved into feeling like I am in a constantly moving rocking chair – it gives me something to do for three days, but it gets me nowhere.

Long weekends, for those of us on the job, become extremely long.  We awake on Friday morning to the guarantee that our work day has just been multiplied by 1 1/2 times its normal duration and will continue as such until the small reprieve we get with a regular work day on Tuesday.

Long weekends, for those who have clawed their way through traffic to arrive in the sanctity of Muskoka feel the time slipping away as soon as they step out of their cars.  What they had anticipated would be three days of recharging their batteries becomes a blur of time and, before they even realize what happened, they are getting back into that vehicular jungle to fight for their place in the highway hierarchy on the way back to the city.

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(image credit: citynews.ca)

Whichever side you are on this weekend – take some time to enjoy it.  At least it’s not snowing!!