Sharing the Love

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  Maya Angelou
I am truly blessed to be one of a group of four friends who have known each other for a very long time. One of the four is my sister who is just over a year younger than me, close enough in age so that she thought my friends were automatically hers and just that much younger than me that I found her to be extremely annoying.  Being the slightly older, much more mature sister, I was forever telling her to “go and find your own friends!”  Being the determined, stubborn, younger sister, she finally weaseled her way in to my circle of friends for good and I am glad that she did.  Just don’t tell her I said that.

Another of the group, I have known since Grade Three when I moved to BC from Newfoundland with my gummy smile and my funny accent that she was so quick to point out.  She thought it was quite humorous when I would say things such as, “I loves that” or “I’ll have a root bear”.  My accent quickly faded but our friendship did not.  We soon became fixtures in each others lives and homes.  If I wasn’t at her house, then she was at mine and we had sleepovers all the time, even on school nights.   Our friendship started out with her laughing at me and continues with her laughing at me.  I don’t know if she just, automatically, laughs at everything that I say or if I am just really funny when I am around her.  I like to think it’s the latter.

The last to join our group was actually my sister’s friend first.  They were in Grade Nine when they met and I think the conversation went something like this: 

“Hey, you’re new here, aren’t you?”  

“Yeah, don’t you guys party around here?”

“Sure.  Why don’t you come to my house later?  It’s the one with the red picnic table in the front. Don’t mind the red picnic table.  Oh, yeah and by the way, my sister has an older boyfriend.  Cool, huh?”

At the house with the red picnic table, not only did she find the party that she was looking for but also the beginnings of a lifelong friendship.

It has been about thirty years since the days of the red picnic table and since then we have celebrated eight weddings, rejoiced at the births of nine children and two grandchildren, endured six marital break-ups and grieved the deaths of one father, two brothers and several friends.  

Between us, we have cried many tears, tears of sadness and tears of joy.  We have also consumed countless bottles of red wine and sung numerous renditions of Janice Joplin’s, Me and Bobby Magee including one that ended with a broken coffee table.  Don’t ask.

This past weekend I met up with the girls and, as always, we had a great time.  After lunch, we wandered around the quaint shops at the funky, touristy Fort Langley.  

As we tried on hats, browsed candy shops and sampled Lavender Tea, we laughed and we sang and then we laughed some more.  And then, it happened again.  It is a reoccurring phenomena.  We drew the smiles and comments from the people around us who were irresistibly drawn to the joy and laughter.  Strangers joked and laughed with us in attempt to capture the feeling for themselves and we, obligingly, shared because the happiness was only magnified as we did so.

It only seems right to share this amazing gift that we have been given and if our laughter can brighten the life of a stranger for even just a few seconds, we are more than happy to share the love.

This post is inspired by a prompt at Mama Kat’s.

July 16th – Update 

I am linking this to The Lightning and the Lightning Bug’s Dare to Share.  This week’s theme is Friendship.


You Will Know Me


You Will Know Me

Creativity is the Creator’s will for me
Throughout my world I see endless possibilities

A shining vessel perched atop the fire
To it, I will add my heart’s desire
Aromatic spices and fine cuts of meat
You will know me when you sit down to eat

A coil-ringed notebook sits waiting for words
A voice for the reticent, meant to be heard
Onto the page spills my heart and my needs
You will know me when you sit down to read

Bolts of cloth gather, longing for shape
Colours and textures into which I escape
Garments and quilts with love they’re adorned
You will know me when you feel the warmth

A dark thief lies in wait for my creative being
My eyes are a mirror, the seen keep on seeing
My limbs rendered useless, they hang in despair
You will know me when you taste my tears 

My pen as my sword, I will fight my dark lover
I will not succumb though the line I may hover
At the end of the day I plan to break free 
And then you will know me….creatively

Creativity is the Creator’s will for me
Throughout my world I see endless possibilities

This week’s prompt at Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop:

Describe yourself in five words. Choose one, and write a poem.

Grateful for Laughter and Twice-Stuffed Turkeys

Cooking has always been a passion for me.  Through my teen years I loved to cook and did a lot of it to help out my single, working mother.  Holiday dinners and cooking turkeys, though, were ultimately the responsibility of my mother even though I helped her with every step of the process.

I was around twenty when I was setting up my first household and decided that I should invite everyone over to my house for Thanksgiving dinner.  I was going to make the best Thanksgiving dinner any of us had ever had.  There would be turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and pumpkin pie from scratch.  If they did not know that my middle name was Susie, as in Homemaker, they would surely find out soon.

I made the stuffing the way my mother always had:  tear the bread, chop the onions, add the seasonings and the melted butter, and then stuff the cavity of the bird.  While chopping the onions, I had a little accident that involved my finger and the knife and had to find a band-aid to quell the flow from my bleeding digit.  No big deal, it was just one more incident in a series of kitchen mishaps that involved cuts and burns.  Carry on.  I proceeded to stuff the bird using my hands to press the moist bread mixture as far into the cavity as I could.  Next I seasoned the bird with poultry seasoning and other spices, laid sliced onions over top and put it in the roasting pan.  I stood back to admire my work, proud of my accomplishment. 

This feeling of pride was short lived because it was then that I realized that my band-aid was missing.  I did not want to consider the possibilities of where it might be and, frantically, I searched everywhere – the counter, the floor, the garbage can– but it was nowhere to be found.  I had no choice but to “unstuff” the bird.  How many of you have “unstuffed” a bird before it was cooked?  I emptied the contents of the bird’s cavern into a bowl and then moved it, piece by piece, to another bowl in an attempt to find the missing band-aid.  Did I find it?  No, but I felt fairly satisfied that it was not in the stuffing so I re-stuffed the turkey and placed it in the oven.

Before dinner, I did end up finding the elusive band-aid hiding in a corner on the floor where the baseboard and the wall met.  I can’t tell you how relieved I was because even though I went through every single piece of stuffing and was fairly satisfied that the band-aid was not there, I still had visions of someone taking a bite and getting that odd look on their face.  You know the look.  The one that says, “I am not exactly sure what I just put in my mouth combined with how am I going to get it out of here as fast as I can without anyone noticing.”

The rest of the dinner went well.  The mashed potatoes were buttery and creamy and the turkey moist and delicious.  And then there was the stuffing.  Well, the stuffing was superb, if I do say so myself, and only the beginning of what was to become known as my signature holiday dish.  Everyone loves my stuffing.  It is probably the one thing that my ex-husband misses about me so I often save some for him to send via my daughter. 

It was only after dinner when we were all sated and languishing, in that comatose state that is only brought on by eating a turkey dinner, that I decided to share the story of my twice-stuffed turkey with my guests.  We had a good laugh.  Occasionally, over the years, this story has been retold and then we laugh again.  I am grateful for this laughter.