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Those who know me know I often speak about having a dream, or “bucket” list items, to live fully and with intention. A hot air balloon ride, a swim with the dolphins, traveling to see tulips bloom in Holland in the spring, seeing the pyramids in Egypt, seeing the Aurora Borealis….the list is so long for many of us. But what if thinking of our “bucket list” isn’t quite the way to do it? What if there is another way to enjoy those breathtaking and precious moments our lives?

I am reading a book right now called “Driving Miss Norma” by Ramie Liddle and Tim Bauerschmidt. This book is about a 90 something year old woman finding out she has cancer after having just lost her husband. Instead of going through palliative treatments designed to extend her life just a little bit, she and her family decided to take an RV trip throughout the United States and to “live” while she was dying, creating memories of new experiences and moments of joy. I thought the book would be about fulfilling those life-long dreams, or “bucket list” items before “Miss Norma” passes away, but I was wrong. Totally and completely wrong.

The book passages say, “Norma could not find the words to create a bucket list, although at first that is what we were hoping for. If, for no other reason, it would have helped with planning. “Oh, I don’t know,” she would say over and over again, and it became clear very early in our preparations that we were not going to get a list out of her. Sometimes I felt frustrated that she would not participate much in the planning. Was it her age? I wondered. Was her brain unable to retrieve language easily? Was she simply not used to dreaming or being asked her opinion about things? But I soon grew to appreciate the opportunities her reticence to make a list gave us. With out one, we could really go with the flow. There was so much to see and do, and more than anything Norma just wanted to enjoy life. A bucket list would be much too limiting. This trip was not about checking off predetermined items. As we had quickly learned from those first delayed plans at the Mackinac Bridge and our experiences at roadside attractions, this trip was about living in the present moment, embracing whatever came our way. There would be no regrets and no need to race against time.”

Such beautiful words. Such wisdom. After contemplating two opposite approaches to living fully (the “bucket list” vs. “going with the flow”), I have decided that either approach works, depending on our own individual personalities. Neither is wrong. Neither is right. I guess it all comes down to HOW one can live one’s life fully and how one can embrace whatever comes our way. For some it comes down to the bucket list, and for others it is living in the present moment, wherever the wind blows us with spontaneity.

Life is good; find a way to embrace whatever comes your way any way you can. No regrets. Carpe diem, friends…


Today, I wanted to share something that I read which inspired me, especially during this difficult time for our country and world during the pandemic.

“Rather than focusing on the obstacle in your path, focus on the bridge over the obstacle.”
-Mary Lou Retton, Olympic Gymnastic Gold medalist, who also won two silver medals and two bronze medals in 1984

Life is good; find that bridge somehow somewhere today. Carpe Diem, friends.


Photo by Javier Camacho on

Wondering when cruising will resume? This re-posted article below outlines the latest restart dates/updates of several cruise lines as of May 18, 2021. Looking forward to the cruise industry starting up again. Best wishes for smooth sailing to all!

“Great people are not affected by each puff of wind that blows ill. Like great ships, they sail serenely on, in a calm sea or a great tempest.”
-George Washington

Hoping this last year will be only a “puff of wind that blows ill” for all in the travel industry.

Life is good; carpe diem, friends….start making your plans for that bucket list travel now.


Photo by RODNAE Productions on

“An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great.”

-Paul Coelho

Something to keep in mind today if you encounter adversity, especially during this pandemic.

Life is good; carpe diem, friends…


Photo by Any Lane on

Thinking of how difficult a time of year the holiday season is for those who have lost someone this year or in years past or when we think about family far away during the pandemic and remembered something that Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote.

“I am part of all that I have met.” -Alfred Lord Tennyson

Yes, I am a part of all that I have met, but they are also a part of ME. They live on and are with me in the lessons they taught, the smiles we shared, the love they have given, the cookies we have baked, the traditions we have shared, the laughter we have shared, and the bread we have broken together in times past. May happy memories surround you this season like a soft, warm blanket on a cold night.

May you find peace, love, and happiness this holiday season and always. My wish for you is that you can create new memories with those that you love this year, even though this holiday season is a bit different during the pandemic.

Life is good; carpe diem, friends………


photo: dreamstime

My late father-in-law, like his father before him, always had the cleanest windows out of anyone I had ever met, other than my husband’s Uncle and Aunt (whom I consider MY Uncle and Aunt as well). They have always had a real knack for sparkling clean windows. I, on the other hand, have ALWAYS had streaks in my windows. They area and were always mostly clean, not sparkling, but they always had and will always have streaks. I read extensively about the subject to see what goes wrong, and my late father-in-law even tried to show me how it’s done as well. Streaks remain.

Today I am washing my windows, which is one of my least favorite chores, as the weather here in Florida has turned ever so slightly cooler. I have decided to break the daunting task into smaller chunks, washing only the windows on one side of the house, the south side, today. Tomorrow I will do another side of the house, which will leave me plenty of time to enjoy the day with the beauty that unfolds with it. Armed with a spot of Dawn detergent with my cleaning solution, which is the trick of the professionals I am told, I set out to clean. As I worked, I was reminded of a passage in a book I read recently that described how we “visit” the deceased by doing the things that remind us of them.

“We will meet the ones we can no longer touch when we put ourselves in situations where their souls once flourished. Our loved ones live where they have always lived, and it is there that we will find them…………Simply put, we find our deceased loved ones by entering into life in the way… that was most distinctive to them….If your mother had a gift for hospitality, you will meet her when you are hospitable; if your friend had a passion for justice, you will meet him when you give yourself over to the quest for justice; if your aunt had a great zest for life, for meals with her family, and for laughter in the house, you will meet her when you have a zest for life, eat with your family, and have laughter in your house.”

-from “The Holy Longing” by Ronald Rolheiser

Certainly my father-in-law is alive in my heart, and I feel like I am “meeting” him while I work. I see his smile, the Irish glimmer in his eye, his endless energy, and his larger-than-life gestures. I am also reminded of my own dear deceased father, who told me to “quit (MY) bellyachin” and that I would be finished already if I spent half the energy on the task than I did “bellyachin’ ” whenever I set out to do a chore I didn’t care to do. I saw his wry smile and sparkle in his eyes when he told me this, and certainly I “meet” him today in my heart as well. I meet my father again today when I laugh to myself, reminiscent of the laughter he and I always shared when he pointed out the “holidays” (or spots I missed when painting), while I see the “holidays” on my “clean” windows today. I honor both my father and father-in-law by participating in a day of honest work through my own hands, something both families value.

photo: dreamstime

My windows may not be free of streaks, nor will they ever be, but the task was a little easier today surrounded by the love in my heart of those that had gone before me. Maybe Snow White’s friends, the Seven Dwarves, had it right. They understood the importance of” whistling while you work.”

“Just whistle while you work
And cheerfully together we can tidy up the place
So hum a merry tune
It won’t take long when there’s a song to help you set the pace
And as you sweep the room
Imagine that the broom
Is someone that you love and soon you’ll find you’re dancing to the tune
When hearts are high the time will fly so whistle while you work….”

-from the song “Whistle While You Work” by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey

So clean those windows or do that chore you’ve been putting off, armed with a song in your heart, and “quit your bellyachin'”. Streaks are okay. I am of the opinion that leaving the windows, like the world, better than I found it is quite okay.

Life is good; carpe diem, friends………….


“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

― C.S. Lewis, “The Magician’s Nephew”

Life is good; recognize today that you see things differently than others and embrace your perspective today along with the perspective of those around you. Sometimes it seems as though we live in a “house of mirrors” where life can look so very different from different angles .

Carpe diem, friends………….