A Covid 4th of July!

Since my husband and I had yesterday off for the holiday, we took a drive on the back country roads, stopped at a deli along the way for takeout sandwiches, then headed to one of our favorite parks. Our morning began early because we wanted to dodge crowds due to Covid. We were prepared, though, ready to social distance and sport our masks when necessary.

When we arrived, the park was already half full with patrons eager to enjoy this beautiful day – temperature in the mid-seventies, perfect. We pulled into a parking stall, and before enjoying lunch, we ventured onto the trails for a good walk. Surrounded by Redwoods and all that nature offers in this outdoor playground is nothing short of magical.

We embraced serenity while walking along the creek, but were saddened by the deserted camp ground. Empty sites dotted the road – the new reality. Aww, but look at the Redwoods and how tall they stood: Proud and Majestic! Soft ferns sprinkled along the trail provided visual sustenance. Oh, but if you don’t watch where you’re going, among the beauty lies something wicked: poison oak! Don’t let its radiant red bursts of color fool you! If you aren’t wise, you’ll pay the price. We gently moved past the pretty red leaves, careful not to let them reach out and grab us. Then we stumbled upon a Bay tree adorned in woodpecker art. Look closely at the trunk; isn’t the texture interesting?

The comfortable side note was that not many people were out. We donned our masks now and then when needed, but we felt safe to brave the outside world and visit this park before the holiday crowd showed up later in the afternoon. The sandwiches were delicious and time together outdoors is always special. Time for reflection and a chance to chat about life without distractions – only the trees bend to listen to our whispers, and the leaves sway in the breeze, as if to wave when we walk by. This was a wonderful prelude to our Independence Day festivities this year when things are so strange and surreal.

To celebrate today, we’ll take a walk in the cool morning before the sun warms us up. We’ll enjoy the deer as they saunter by in the neighborhood. We’ll give thanks that Covid hasn’t touched anyone we know and love. When the clock strikes five o’clock, we’ll enjoy wine on the patio and our son who lives at home will join us. I’m thankful to have at least one of my children home to hug, even if he is 6’2” and 25 years old. Then Matt will perform his grilling magic for dinner. We’ll make it a good day because we’re employed and healthy. We miss our daughter and son-in-law in TN, but thanks to Facetime, we’ll see them this afternoon. Will this July 4th be memorable? It sure will, but not in a way that was intentional. And we’ll think of those who have perished and whose families are hurting and struggling to make sense of it all.

I wish you all a Happy 4th of July, too, in spite of the pandemic we’re living in.
Love and virtual hugs,
Lauren 💗

A Turning of the Page

June 9, 2020

This past Tuesday, my husband and I
watched our daughter and fiance
exchange personally written vows
before saying, “I do.”
Their words were eloquent
and brought tears to our eyes.
The uniqueness of this ceremony
was the Zoom factor!
They have been together for 9 years
and engaged for almost 2.
Then came Covid-19 to disrupt everything.
Original plans had to be canceled,
and they decided to wait
for when large gatherings
could resume again.

After 3 months and many conversations,
they reached the same conclusion:
they just wanted to be married.
So, pressing pause for months
or even another year seemed senseless.

With the blessings of family and friends,
they pulled off a Zoom wedding
from Tennessee!
The ceremony was beautiful
and we joined in
from California
with no technological glitches.
We couldn’t be happier.
Was it ideal?
No, but they are now Mr. & Mrs.
and that’s what matters most.

When we get the green light
to throw a party, there will be
a big reception and replay
of their wedding vows.
So we can’t wait for that
exciting event!

It was refreshing to celebrate such a joyful occasion that gave us reason to “clink our glasses” and something positive to smile about.

Congratulations,
Steph and Ryan!
We love you!

To be fully seen by somebody and be loved anyhow –
this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

JUST MARRIED!
❤❤❤

Wishing you all something bright and sunshiny to celebrate in these times of uncertainty.
~Lauren 💗💗💗

Celebrating 8 years with WordPress!🎉

Image result for tea and blogging imagesWordPress tells me that it’s been 8 years since I embarked on this blogging journey. As most of you know, I created this blog around my 50th birthday after encouragement from my son (then 15 years old). Becoming a blogger never entered my mind, so it was similar to taking a step into a whole new world.

Let me tell you that it’s been such a wonderful experience, and although it’s been 8 years since inception, I didn’t become truly active until the following year. But who’s counting, right? This virtual adventure has been a “cup runneth over” experience between meeting people from all over the world, making new lovely friends, exploring art in every form, learning new styles of poetry, having the ability to share my writing, and then, of course, to receive the abundance of support throughout the years.

So, will you celebrate with me? I’d love it if you would because the more, the merrier!

And below I’m including a poem I wrote a few years back about this amazing experience…

Connections

I pondered long and hard for the answer
wondering, wavering of emotions inside
How relative time has been in this journey
this crazy, happy, emotional ride

The voices unheard, yet heard of so clearly
in universal languages for all to hear
The faces unseen, yet seen in tiny glimpses
of those who opened their windows for air

How thoughtful the praise each time I read
How warm my hopeful heart became
How humble it felt from deep within
How grateful my soul will surely remain

Lauren Scott 2015

SO HERE’S A BIG THANKS TO YOU ALL FOR YOUR LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, SUPPORT, AND ENCOURAGEMENT OVER THE YEARS!

Image result for thank you

And the journey continues…

Love, Lauren ❤❤❤
Image credit: Google

 

Accomplishments

This past Saturday was our son’s college graduation from UC Davis. He majored in Political Science and minored in Communications. We’re so proud of his accomplishments and can’t wait to see where his next adventure takes him. My husband and I are now proud parents of two UC Davis grads, and the college days have ended. 🙂

This leads me into sharing some wise quotes on chasing dreams and being true to yourself at the same time:

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Always believe in yourself and always stretch yourself beyond your limits. Your life is worth a lot more than you think because you are capable of accomplishing more than you know. You have more potential than you think, but you will never know your full potential unless you keep challenging yourself and pushing beyond your own self imposed limits.” 
~ Roy T. Bennett

“Dreams become regrets when left in the mind, never planted in the soil of action.” 
~ Auliq-Ice

“The point of dreams was never to be the affordable option, it was the one everyone else saw as a mistake and every creative person saw as an opportunity.” 
~ Anastasia Bolinder

“Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.”
~ Paulo Coelho

SO, CHEERS TO REACHING FOR THE STARS AND TOUCHING THAT FINISH LINE. BUT…CHEERS TO ALSO TRYING YOUR HARDEST, MAYBE FAILING, THEN HAVING THE COURAGE AND PERSEVERANCE TO GET BACK UP AGAIN! 🎉🎉🎉

 

The 3-Day Quote Challenge #3

Welcome to the 3rd and final day of my 3-Day Quote Challenge, which I was happy to have been nominated by Annika at annikaperry.com. Thanks again, Annika! This has been fun, but it’s also lead me to some great new quotes. Please visit Annika’s blog if you haven’t already. She’s a fabulous writer of fiction – an amazing story teller!

To the challenge…The rules are as follows:

Thank the person who nominated you.
Post a quote on 3 consecutive days.
Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

I found my quote online, which ties into this very special day, my son’s 23rd birthday…

birthday quote

Our son came into our world on 5/9/95, at 3:38 pm. We had our little girl so were elated to have a son. Before our children were born, though, we chose not to learn the gender. We loved the element of surprise and would simply be thrilled with healthy babies. With these thoughts going in, I experienced the same “high” I felt after giving birth to my daughter – a wonderful feeling unlike no other.

As to my son’s purpose, he’ll be graduating from college next month and is still working on his path in life. Many have been blessed to have realized their purpose, and for others, the search continues. This is perfectly okay because there is no time limit, although remember to enjoy the journey, also! 

Regarding birthdays, some choose to skip theirs for fear of aging. This is one aspect of life out of our control, so as I conveyed in my prior post, let’s live life to its fullest and celebrate our special days. Each birthday is another year of life, and getting to blow out candles on a festive birthday cake is not a guarantee. It’s a privilege that many people don’t experience because their lives end sooner than expected.

So, I wish my son a very Happy 23rd Birthday and am so proud of the young man he’s become. I love him and my daughter to the moon and back! And his family is beyond excited to see where his path leads him post graduation.

michael in tokyo 2017
(Photo taken in Tokyo 2017)

I hope you are inspired now to celebrate your special days, to not worry about aging, but instead, to enjoy the possibilities and gifts that each day brings…and if you haven’t figured out your purpose, yet, then keep searching…You may learn something wonderful about yourself along the way…

I’ll leave it up to anyone who would like to take on this quote challenge, instead of nominating individuals. Hope you enjoyed! Lauren ❤

 

 

 

 

 

The 3-Day Quote Challenge #2

group photos 3
Welcome to the 2nd day of my 3-Day Quote Challenge, which I’m happy to be nominated by Annika at annikaperry.com. Thanks so much, Annika! 

To the challenge…The rules are as follows:

Thank the person who nominated you.
Post a quote on 3 consecutive days.
Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

Following the events at our house this past Saturday provided inspiration for my second quote:

“Life isn’t meant to be lived perfectly…but merely to be LIVED. Boldly, wildly, beautifully, uncertainly, imperfectly, magically LIVED.” ~ Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

This quote is relevant because it ties into our celebration of my father-in-law’s 95th Birthday this past weekend. He is truly a man who has LIVED his life and still does!  He’s found love twice in a lifetime, outliving two wives (30-year marriage first then 25-year marriage), has been healthy and active in league bowling and bocce ball. He’s found great satisfaction from delivering meals on wheels, has been a member of SIRS for 30 years, has been an avid walker, and has enjoyed traveling. Not to mention, he’s been active in his church since 1967. He’s also been passionate about classical music and light opera. He loves to socialize and everyone loves him! We finally managed a group photo (above), but only after many guests had already left. 

cake time (1)

So, it’s quite apparent he’s lived life magically, and may we all do the same!

Instead of nominating individuals, I’ll leave it up to anyone who would like to take on this challenge. 🙂

 

 

If I Can Dream – The Dreaming Continues.

 

I was invited by The Bee to join her music blog party in celebrating life by sharing a song of a favorite musician who left this world too soon. https://beehalton.com/music-monday-blog-party-celebrate-your-life/everything

My older sister loved Elvis, so that’s how I learned about him and his music. On April 25, 1976, he performed at the Long Beach Arena, and my sister, her husband, my parents, and I went to the concert. I was 15 years old and truly in love with him. Who cares about a 26-year age difference. 🙂 I wasn’t one of his screaming fans, though. I simply wanted to hear him sing. I wanted to hear the depth and richness of his voice. 

I’m grateful to have seen him in concert, but remembering the songs such as, “My Way” with the opening line of, “And now the end is near” is chilling, to say the least, since he passed away a year later. He lived longer than many musicians, yet, still died way too soon. He was the King of Rock ‘n Roll, and is still a legend to this day – even 41 years after his death. 

This song that I’ve chosen, “If I Can Dream” was powerful back then, but the lyrics still resonate to present time…

“If I Can Dream”

There must be lights burning brighter somewhere
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue
If I can dream of a better land
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand
Tell me why, oh why, oh why can’t my dream come true?

There must be peace and understanding sometime
Strong winds of promise that will blow away all the doubt and fear
If I can dream of a warmer sun
Where hope keeps shining on everyone
Tell me why, oh why, oh why won’t that sun appear?

We’re lost in a cloud with too much rain
We’re trapped in a world that’s troubled with pain
But as long as a man has the strength to dream
He can redeem his soul and fly

Deep in my heart there’s a trembling question
Still I am sure that the answer’s gonna come somehow
Out there in the dark, there’s a beckoning candle
And while I can think,
While I can talk
While I can stand,
While I can walk
While I can dream,
Please let my dream come true… right now
Let it come true right now
Oh, yeah

WHATEVER WE DO IN OUR LIVES, KEEP ON DREAMIN’ – WATCHING FOR THAT BECKONING CANDLE!

Hugs, Lauren ❤❤❤

 

Scene Change, Full House, and Balloons!

Sunny California is finally sunny again with warmer temps on their way. Our son flew home on Saturday, following the end of his political science internship in DC. He wanted to be home for my birthday (Sunday), and what better gift than to have both of my children home. My excitement to see him couldn’t be put into words. Then to have the four of us together again was awesome! And the awesomeness continues for the week before he returns to college for his final quarter. Yes, then graduation in June. More celebrating! 🎉
The picture below was taken on the speaker’s balcony of the capitol.

michael on the speaker's balcony of the capitol 2018

My heart was full from all the birthday wishes from family and friends, but this year, 
I wanted a celebration with just my husband and children. It was a great family day with lots of surprises and carrot cake (my fave) to top of the day. I made my wish, so we shall see. I’m also not shy about sharing my age. I’m simply grateful to be alive to celebrate each new year.

IMG_2581                   

 

IMG_2611

Thirty-nine again!

 

 

And with the seasons changing, I wrote a sequel to my previous poem and post,
A Cup of Spring. 

Image result for spring flowers

Scene Change

Mr. Winter bows as the
curtain gently falls
His mood is melancholy
yet, he understands

Miss Spring adjusts her
petals, poised with grace,
for the welcoming applause
Hats off to her glow and
the warmth she evokes

 

I hope you’re applauding Miss Spring’s arrival, too, and I’ll end with some wise
words that you’ve probably heard before…

Life is full of give and take. Give thanks, and take nothing for granted. ❤ 🌻 🌼 ❤

Lauren Scott © 2018
Daffodil Photo: Google

 

A Valentine’s Day Wish

valentines-day tree

Candy hearts that say Be Mine
Red roses that mean forever
Fancy dinners for two in love
A night to spend together

But what about the lonely –
The broken hearts and souls?
What about the hopeless
Where life has taken its toll?

For even couples can show kindness
To those who feel unloved
Their lives are full of desolation
They long for a simple, friendly hug

So on this day where hearts abound
Give love where you find sadness
Then all of us can celebrate with
Rich emotions of gladness

Lauren Scott © 2018
Photo from Google
Happy Valentine’s Day to my Husband –
the love of my life, to my children, and
to all of my family. And I’m sending out
virtual love and hugs to You for a very
Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤

 

By the Bay

We celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary (see my prior post) on the coast and lucked out with some sunshine, even though the wind blew and it was cold. Here are some photos we took, so much beauty to take in…

on the way back roads

We took the back roads going in and loved the green hills. Those cows
were also too darn cute!

hole in the head location (1)

The view was beautiful, but the coast is rugged at this time of the year,
with winds from 40-50 mph.

in bodega bay (2)

This pier was more narrow than we thought at first. I was taking pictures
with my cell, and all I needed was to drop it in the ocean. 🙂 But I didn’t,
needless to say. While walking out to the end, we saw a sea lion, but he
disappeared before I could click (probably camera shy). Our Inn was just
across the bay. 

taken from deck at The Tides Wharf Restaurant (1)

I thought the Christmas tree made for an interesting photo, not to
mention the entire composition (from my amateur perception).

Saturday night sunset (1) 

Watching the sunset from our room…

champage surprise from the kids

…and the icing on the cake was when we were told that our son and daughter
took care of all anniversary dinner charges, along with adding a bottle of
champagne. A touching surprise, to say the least…

Overall, it was a wonderful time together. Thinking back, we wore
backpacks 
and hiking boots the last time we went away, so this
trip 
was welcomed. I hope you enjoyed the sights, and Thanks again,
for 
all of your lovely anniversary wishes!!!

“Beauty sleeps on the calm dreamy bosom of the ocean,
or lives in the dance of its wild waves.”
~T.C. Henley, “Beauty,” 1851~

~ Lauren ❤