To All the Cats

To all the cats we’ve loved before
you beautify our wall decor
both with us and long gone
our love goes on and on
to all the cats we’ve loved before.

Our cat wall includes several images of Maisie and Vivian, our grandkitties Moochie, Ginger and Joey, as well as Padmé, Smoki, Sandy, Mitzi, and Timmy.

Missing from collection: Puff, Jinx and Tiger. Sorry, my kitties, I couldn’t find any photos of you!

Happy Sunday, everyone,
and Happy Thanksgiving
to my Canadian friends and followers! 

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

The Heart is a Lonely HunterThis is one of my favourite books of all time. Though I read it in my twenties, it has always stayed with me.

I was delighted when my husband Paul bought a copy recently and read it. I was equally delighted that he enjoyed it as much as I did!

A small sampling of reviews:

“Besides telling a good story, the author has peopled it with a small group of characters so powerfully drawn as to linger long in memory.” – Philadelphia Inquirer

“To me the most impressive aspect of ‘The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter’ is the astonishing humanity that enables a white writer, for the first time in Southern fiction, to handle Negro characters with as much ease and justice as those of her own race.” – Richard Wright New Republic

“The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter has remarkable power, sweep and certainty . . . Her art suggests a Van Gogh painting peopled with Faulkner figures.” – The New York Times Book Review

Carson McCullers (1917-1967) was the author of numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Member of the Wedding, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and Clock Without Hands. Born in Columbus, Georgia, on February 19, 1917, she became a promising pianist and enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York when she was seventeen, but lacking money for tuition, she never attended classes. Instead she studied writing at Columbia University, which ultimately led to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, the novel that made her an overnight literary sensation at the age of twenty-three. On September 29, 1967, at age fifty, she died in Nyack, New York, where she is buried.

What novel have you read that stayed with you for many years?

Where Once They Lived: The Beothuk of Perry’s Point

This past summer, Perry’s Point here in Newtown, Newfoundland & Labrador received a new addition. A project of the Cape Freels Development Association, this information display is a reminder and a history lesson to all about the first people who inhabited this area: the Beothuks.

I will let the display speak for itself.
Please read to learn more about this fascinating First Nation.

Thank you to the Cape Freels Association, Winston Perry, and to anyone else involved in this worthy initiative.

As it happened, earlier this year I read The Last Beothuk, the newest release by local author Gary Collins. I wholly recommend this historical novel to anyone interested in learning more about the way of life of these indigenous people and what ultimately became of them.

Inspired by True Events:

“Long after Demasduit’s skull has been stolen from her grave, and years after Shanawdithit has died, one Beothuk and his family survive.
Bursting out of the pages of Newfoundland history appears Kop, the last true Beothuk.
When all the other members of his tribe are exterminated by the Europeans, Kop seeks revenge against the Unwanted Ones.
Hidden among the Bear Clan of the Mi’kmaq, the Beothuk strikes back.
Follow Kop on his trail of defiance against the European marauders upon his Island. See what becomes of a man who has nothing to lose or live for.
Stay with him on a hundred trails and sit with him across the smoke of a hundred campfires. You will not only weep for the last Beothuk—you will cheer him on as he pushes back against the Unwanted Ones.”

Friday Fiction: The Test

I wish I could say I wrote this lovely piece, but I found it shared on Karen Lang’s blog, Healing Your Life.

Stepping into the unknown, takes courage and strength to move out of our comfort zone. But sometimes we can be left believing it was not worth it;  Be patient. In time, you will discover, you receive exactly what you need.

The Test

John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn’t, the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind.

In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner’s name, Miss Holly Maynell. With time and effort he located her address. She lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond.

The two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn’t matter what she looked like. When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting – 7.00 p.m. at the Grand Central Station in New York.

“You’ll recognize me,” she wrote, “by the red rose I’ll be wearing on my lapel.” So at 7.00 p.m. he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he’d never seen.

Mr Blanchard describes the scene: “A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim in a green suit. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved, a small provocative smile curved her lips. “Going my way, sailor?” she murmured.

Almost uncontrollably, I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Holly Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly inspired me.

And there she stood. Her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her.

This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever by grateful. I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. “I’m Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?” The woman’s face broadened into a tolerant smile. “I don’t know what this is about, son,” she answered, “but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!”

~ Paulo Coelho

Jennifer’s Friday Fiction

Neighbours

The old adage “good fences make good neighbours” is a wise one, and it is usually true.

And yet, some neighbours don’t have any.
The fences we had once upon a time are long gone,
with only rolling lawns between us now.

And more pleasant neighbours you would never find. W and M are the coolest folks.
(That’s our house in the background, and W’s new bird-house in the foreground.)

Grandma M’s pot will soon be overflowing!

…and those bloomers will be blooming.

Good one, W and M. Let’s just hope Maisie and Vivian don’t drive away your new feathered tenants – or worse!

All of this neighbourly talk brings this timely quote to mind:

Whether the borders that divide us are picket fences or national boundaries, we are all neighbors in a global community.
– Jimmy Carter

Blogger Bouquet #53

wordpress blogger bouquet

I was pleased this month to discover Milly Schmidt and her blog, The Cat’s Write.

A writer and a cat person – could I have picked a better blogger to follow?

From her About page:

“I’m a writer, blogger and crazy cat lady living in the New England, Australia. Some bloggers mistakenly think I’m from the New England in the US, but I really don’t mind, any way to bond is fine by me!

I’m currently working on my first crime novel, When She Goes, a psychological thriller set in rural NSW. When not writing or blogging, I work in the human resources sector and I have a Bachelor of Criminology from the University of New England. I am also a member of the New England Writers’ Centre and the Australian Crime Writers Association.”

I’m sharing a post where Milly tells about an exceptionally mean rejection letter she received for an article she submitted to one of her favourite online writing magazines. That same article that was criticized, 9 reasons why you should self-publish, went on to become one of the most popular she has ever written.

The Subjective Nature of the Creative World

Comments are closed here but you can leave a comment on the blogger’s page.

Have an inspired weekend, everyone.

Forever in my Heart

My dad in his younger days. Always missed and forever in my heart.

 “That’s my father.”  … Seemingly an innocent and offhand remark made by the youngest of his three children, those three little words meant much more to our dad. I know it made him feel proud and happy to be that father, that figure of authority and loving protector of his family.
It was a responsibility he took seriously, a role that only he could execute with his unique brand of friendship, understanding and humour…” 

~ excerpt from That’s My Father, 03/21/13

I’m thinking of relatives and friends who lost their fathers very recently.
My heart goes out to them today.

   Wishing all the wonderful dads
a Happy Father’s Day
❤ ❤ ❤

Book Review – Encounters: Relationships in Conflict

I’ve been reading various collections of short stories lately, the latest of which was written by Fred H. Rohn.
Encounters: Relationships in Conflict is a unique, insightful and entertaining read.

The preface alone is a treat, where Rohn explains how he came to create this collection from accumulated notes and short stories over the years, and how each of them exhibit relationships and the “conflict between people resulting from differing perceptions, often between men and women and between different generations.”

In his preface, he also sets forth the belief that creativity does not have to end as you age, and that many seniors like himself are productive in a variety of artistic and creative endeavors. After all, they’ve lived through some pretty tough experiences which, I surmise, affords them a better grasp and understanding of the human condition. Reading this book only further convinces me of that!

As I began each short story selection, I found myself immediately engaged by the author’s sublime writing style and smooth but compelling narrative and voice. Each piece has its own charm, but I do have my favourites. The Piano Recital, Reunion Deals, Jennifer (!), Doc Brunner (that one brought a tear) and Harry particularly resonated with me, while others, such as The Old Man, made me chuckle.

This book offers clever insight to young readers and familiar life experiences for older readers. I highly recommend this lovely collection.

Review has been published on Amazon.ca and Goodreads.

Readers: do you enjoy short story collections?
Do you have any recommendations for a short fiction fan?

Blogger Bouquet #52

wordpress blogger bouquetMiriam – aka Delphini510 – is a blogger I haven’t been following all that long, and yet she quickly became a favourite.

Her blog is My Window: Sharing my thoughts, poems, travel and art. It was chiefly her poetry that caught my attention.

From Miriam’s About page:

“It is a long way from a little island in North Sea to the British shores but I did it albeit in a circuitous route. Much will be revealed as I go along. I tried my hand at many things but the Arts have always been my love. From tender years books were never far from my side.”

Check out this beautiful, heartfelt poem by Miriam. It was difficult to choose just one!

Sorrow and Strength

Comments are closed here but you can leave a comment on the blogger’s page.

Have an inspired weekend, everyone.

Beach Love

Lumsden Beach, Newfoundland and Labrador

Lumsden Beach in April

“There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” – Sarah Kay, American poet

I love this sandy beach! Arguably the best of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador, Lumsden Beach is just a ten-minute drive away from us here on the Kittiwake Coast.
So whenever the desire arises to walk a sandy shore that’s over a mile long, this breathtaking spot is our place to go.

Yes, we recently enjoyed a fun week on Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana with its crowds of happy tourists, its tropical climate and endless sunshine, but this beach is an introvert’s dream. Even in the dead of summer, it’s never crowded. Heaven on earth!

Is there a favourite beach near where you live? Share in the comments below.

Photos taken on April 25th, 2018