UPDATE: 2018 April
When I wrote this post two years ago, my world was on the verge of change. Today, I'm on the other side of it.
Both my parents passed away, and I'm adjusting to life as a baby-boomer orphan. . I'm now sorting through my own treasures as JM and I rightsize, build a first-floor living home, and sell our beloved home of two decades. Getting used to being the 'senior' member in the family orbit, including four more sweet little ones as our Millennials move into adulthood, is a huge mental adjustment for me.
The beach is still my happy place. (In fact, we recently spent a week at the North Carolina shore.)
Social media continues to challenge in this age of privacy concerns and virtual tricksters.
Life has its bumps, but it's all good. Can't complain. Beyond grateful to YOU for sticking with me and following my journey -:D.
Hub and I are just back from 1,000-mile road trip for a family wedding. Walks along the Connecticut coast, where I played in the waters as a child, brought back memories and lifted my spirits. Join me in my happy place for a relaxing beach stroll and video.
Then please pop over to my guest post on Anne R. Allen's blog about 11 tips to gently build your online social community. Anne's is one of "Writers' Digest" top 101 websites for writers, so I'm doing the happy dance to guest for her.
My Happy Place: Beach Walking
Have you ever had a stretch in life that's both hectic an joyous?
I'm just back from a wedding in Connecticut, followed by a stop in Pennsylvania for more family visits, that was exactly that. Slept in 4 different places in 12 days, often waking up and forgetting where I was.
The wedding ceremony and reception were perfection. Bride and groom glowed. My sister, now 6 months cancer-free after 16 weeks of chemo, was radiant and such an incredible blessing to us. My Niecelette Flower Girls were sweetest of all, imho.
However, helping our nonagenarian dad decide what to do with Mama's belongings was draining.
Mama was a true collector, and tons of her treasures had been stacked in the basement for decades. My sibs and I were determined to tame the the chaos and toss, donate or salvage.
I plucked a piggy bank Mama let me play with as a child from from a pile destined for the dump. I remember being tempted to drop coins into Mr. Piggy, but I never wanted to smash him open to retrieve my money. Now Mr. Piggy basks in his new home in North Carolina. I pass him every day and smile at the memories he brings.
Notice the seashell next to Mr. Piggy? The ocean has always been my happy place. It settles me somehow. Puts life in perspective and helps me see the possibilities. That's why I took time to wander the Connecticut shore, where I played as a child. As with Mr. Piggy, it brings so many wonderful memories.
Best, immersion in that coastal setting brought ideas for my next Sweet T Tale ( though it's set on North Carolina's shore). Ocean strolls, no matter where, steer me into my writerly groove.
Please join me for a stroll along the Connecticut side of Long Island Sound that's guaranteed to bring a breath of fresh air and a smile HERE:
btw….April is still chilly in New England, so bring a warm jacket for those shore breezes.
Yippy - Doing a Happy Dance and Guest Post
I'm over the moon to be guesting on Anne R. Allen's blog this week. In addition to penning her RomCom novels, Anne offers awesome tips for writers on her award-winning blog.
You'll learn how to be R*A*R*E with unwritten ‘rules’ of building a virtual community. Whether you’re an author, blogger, or just curious about social media, being R*A*R*E helps you safely establish or strengthen online connections.
There's also a juicy resource list from wise social media gurus (of course, Anne is one of them!) who offer more insights.
Have a look around. Like what you see?
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4/17/2016 01:12:58 pm
Hi Cat! Loved hearing about your trip! You took beautiful photos and made a great video!
4/17/2016 05:33:56 pm
Rosie, I loved having you along on my virtual stroll. It's easier to sort through memories with company like yours, too. It's hard to let things go sometimes. You will enjoy meeting Anne and her books.
4/17/2016 01:15:41 pm
I forgot to say congratulations to your sister! I bet being there at the wedding was a real joy!
4/17/2016 05:36:45 pm
Thanks for your kind wishes. You know, Rosie, it was an especially joyful wedding because my sister was there, healthy and cancer-free. I had to wipe away tears when she danced with her son, the groom, because last year at this time...well, don't even want to think about that!
4/17/2016 02:31:53 pm
Thank you for sharing your treasured experiences and the memories evoked, Cat. Your relaxed writing style is evident and your posts introduce us to elements of sounds, sights and smells that have influenced you since childhood.
4/17/2016 05:41:07 pm
Your kind words mean a ton, Eiry. Love sharing my part of the world and memories with readers like you. Being RARE and staying on top of technology is an absolute necessity and will always keep us on our toes. Say hi to Anne when you head over. She's a super writer and blogger!
4/17/2016 08:40:02 pm
4/19/2016 09:42:13 am
Hmmmm. You have me thinking about a story line there, Debra. Definitely how sisters can be close and have such different personalities. Good catch.
I loved seeing the pics from the wedding. Glad you enjoyed the family time and were able to take some time out to reconnect with nature. Always hard going through passed loved ones belongings. It sounds like you have been through every emotion out there on this trip of yours.
4/19/2016 09:39:38 am
Lovely having you along on my virtual trip, Corrina. Yes, it was dreadfully hard sifting through those old memories. The entire trip was a time of extreme ups and downs, so that beach walk truly helped settle me.
I really enjoyed this blog cat! Not only did I feel like I was walking along the beaches of Connecticut, they gave us a little glimpse into your past through the piggy bank. Like you I also have certain things that will spark the creativity when it comes to writing. Once you figure out what that spark is, you gotta hold onto it.
4/25/2016 01:21:17 pm
Carmela, we'll find that spark and hold on. I am always suprised how little things creep in that being memories and inspiration.
4/27/2016 03:09:41 pm
Walking on the beach always inspires me too. I just don't live near one any more :( Have fun with the new ideas for your WIP.
4/27/2016 03:39:39 pm
Aw, I don't live on the beach any more, either, Catherine@ Story Snug. Such a treat when I finally get to the shore. Thanks for hopping and stopping.
5/5/2016 05:29:40 pm
I share your love for the beach. Nothing like the majestic sea to put things in perspective. I'm so happy you were able to save Mr. Piggy which seems to conjure up fond memories of your mother. I have a few items from my grandparents and great grandparents that bring a smile to my face. Thank you for sharing your journey!
5/6/2016 09:26:17 am
Stacie, it's so important to find our special happy place, and we head toward the same beachy destinations. I'm glad you have special treasures that remind you of your grands. Funny, how those little things bring back a ton of memories after a single look.
4/7/2018 02:50:14 pm
Love seeing your beach post again. After our cold winter, I'm ready to come back to the beach!
4/6/2018 01:10:51 pm
I am beginning to go thru "stuff", the accumulations of life, preparing for a move in the next few months too, and enjoy all of your posts, gathering tips and inspiration for myself. Loved the idea of taking photos of some of the more memorable treasures! I too, have an old piggy bank. It is all glass, a gift from my Mother, and stained on the inside with a coppery sheen and glow from years of holding pennies. Some things we simply cannot part with. Very best wishes and happiness in your new home!
4/25/2018 03:20:51 pm
James, your piggy bank sounds charming! I'm glad it brings you happy memories. It's not easy to go through stuff and hard to start, but there is momentum and satisfaction once started. Good luck to you with your move!
4/12/2018 12:02:20 am
Thanks Cat, really enjoyed a stroll along the beach with you. I too, often believe there is nothing better than breathing in that fresh salt air to help with inspiration, other than my country walks of course where I breathe in the eucalyptus. Good to know two years on you have worked through the changes in your life. Love the gorgeous flower girls, I bet they have grown up so much since this pic was taken.
4/25/2018 03:22:48 pm
You are perfect company for a beachy stroll, Sandra! Alas, no eucalyptus on my shore, so I'll imagine some from your country walks, Yes, the little flower girls are now both school age but still sweet. They do grow up fast!
4/22/2018 01:43:14 pm
Hi Cat! What a fab video!!! I live about 20 min from the beach , but it looks and feels just a little different down here in Florida. I did grow up with my summers in Nova Scotia though and your beach seems so familiar to my childhood one- thanks for the flashback in time. Glad you got through the sorting of your moms treasures- always a difficult and heart melting task. Also, do they make those flower girl dresses in grown up sizes....would love one to wear in my faerie garden, lol🧚🏻♀️
4/25/2018 03:25:12 pm
Tracy, what a wonderful idea to find a grown-up version of the flower girl gowns! They are magical....gowns and girls -:D. Our north Atlantic beaches sound much the same....a bit rocky and cool but also enchanting. Thanks for visiting!
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