Coffee in December…

It’s that time again when most of us wonder where the past year went and how fast it zipped by. In just a few weeks, we’ll be drinking champagne and kissing at midnight, ringing in a new year, 2023. Decades ago, these numbers sounded straight out of The Jetson’s! But before the bubbly and the kiss comes Christmas, a Christian holiday for those of you who celebrate the birth of Jesus. But another jolly soul arrives, too, Santa, so you know what we need to do…shop!!

And if you’re looking for a gift, specifically, a lovely book that can be read in one sitting or savored by reading one poem or story at a time, look no further, my book, More than Coffee, may just be the perfect choice!

To give you a little peek inside the pages, here are some wonderful reviews:

By Sally Cronin Delightful collection of prose and poetry reflecting on a life

This is a delightful collection of prose and poetry reflecting on a life tinged with sadness but also a great deal of love and humour. The author celebrates moments from her early life and marriage of over thirty years with stories that will entertain and also bring the reader’s own experiences to mind.

Sometimes it is the simplest things that evoke the warmest memories, such as a silver cutlery set, a toy frog called Sam, a yellowed kitchen chopper and the first time baking a traditional family birthday cake.

We are invited to concerts as a teenager overcomes self-doubt to solo in front of an audience of 2000 and fulfil a dream inspired by her idol Barbra Streisand. There are moments with spiders that might have you looking around your immediate surroundings, but you will also find yourself in some wonderful wilderness areas offering moments of reflection and a dip in a mountain pool.

Love is a central theme beginning with her mother and father’s love story that endured for nearly 70 years having begun in WWII with all its uncertainty and lengthy periods apart, and the author’s own fateful meeting with her husband, involving a kitchen appliance!

The loss of parents, even after a long and wonderful life, leaves a hole in our hearts. Their stories and poetry dedicated to them in this collection are heart-warming and reinforce the extent of their loving influence on the generations that followed.

The final part of the collection reflects on the changes that come when children leave the nest, and whilst this is obviously a time of sadness, there is also pride and delight as new lives are forged with future adventures to look forward to.

I enjoyed all the stories and poems in the collection and I am hard pushed to pick just one favourite but this one touched my heart.

Simple Existence

I stare at this page, milk white as the
blanketed ground in winter’s staging
where are the syllables?

I fear they have flown to faraway places,
across desert dunes and boundless oceans
and might not return so that I may tell him
(again) how irreplaceable he is.

Instead, I’ll touch his lips with mine
and steady myself in the arms of a man
who is satisfied with my simple existence.

I can highly recommend this collection to read in one sitting or to dip into when you are in need of gentle and uplifting moments.

By Jane SturgeonMore Than Coffee: So Much More Than a Memoir of Verse and Prose

I loved every word in this book. Scott’s style and loving expression took me into the heart of life and to what truly matters. Her thoughts of Wil, her father-in-law, are compassionate and delightful in equal measure. Scott’s love for her family and the life she and Matt have built for their children shine through. Belonging and Riding With The Wind are two of my favourite poems.

More Than Coffee is a delight from start to finish and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a dip into the magic of life.

By Robbie CheadleA bright ray of sunshine

This lovely book is a mix of a memoir about the author/poet’s life with some beautiful freestyle poems included after each prose section to enhance the emotion and moments shared. The memoirs are relatable and cover delightful memories of family brought back through inherited items and stories shared by family members as well as the author’s own life experiences including achievements, romance, parental love, and overcoming fears. The author’s personality and humour comes through strongly in her writing and poetry, as well as her joy and pleasure in the simple things in life.

My favourite poem in this collection and the one that summarised for me the spirit and essence of this book is Fulfilled.

Fulfilled

Let me drink from the gaze in your eyes
Eyes that have me wildly mesmerized
Mesmerized under their vivid piercing spell
Spell which only you many cast over me
Me, with a heart madly in love
Love, a whirlwind of euphoric emotions so true
True in not only our hearts, but in our minds
Minds, fully aware of their endless thoughts
Thoughts so amorous of us entwined

Now, if after reading these beautiful reviews, you find your interest is piqued, simply click on the Amazon link above, and Magic! Your copy (or copies) will be on its way! 🙂

So, I will end by saying that through the poems and stories in my book, I hope to inspire you to see the beauty around, to feel gratitude, to face challenges with verve, and to trek through that fear knowing you will find the light. I invite you to pour a cup of your favorite roast, or your preferred beverage, sink into your favorite chair, and enjoy the the rich taste while turning the pages. My wish is that you’ll find even a little nugget that resonates.

Thank you for reading, and I offer my utmost appreciation to you who have enjoyed my memories, and to those of you who have written reviews.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, MERRY CHRISTMAS,
AND HAPPY READING! ❤️🎄❤️

Cora’s Quest – A Children’s Story

Cora trots down the slippery slope. Her heart feels lonely, and her little legs feel wobbly. But it’s not like her to complain, so she scrambles on the muddy trail alone. She would love to meet some friendly critters to brighten her mood. Her body shivers and her tummy rumbles. She misses Ma and Pa so badly.

They wouldn’t leave me alone with the trees and the scary crunching of the leaves. Cora thinks to herself. And those sounds are scaring me! Owls screeching, the howling wind, and unnerving grunts and growls in the distance act like robbers, stealing her courage. Besides being afraid, I am very hungry.

Then those tummy rumbles turn into fluttering butterflies because her imagination runs wild. She senses her courage fly up into the darkening sky. The trees seem to grow taller as their twisted branches resemble long arms reaching out to grab her. “I have to stay strong like Ma and Pa taught me. My body may be small, but my strength can be just like theirs!” Cora says as she continues forward on the trail while the world around seems to close in on her.

She doesn’t understand how she became separated from Ma and Pa. One minute they were trotting down the trail together, but when she turned around to tell them that she saw a cool caterpillar, she noticed they were gone! Cora doesn’t think home is too far away but looking up at the surrounding trees makes her dizzy. And in every direction she turns her head, another trail winds its way to somewhere. Only she doesn’t know where!

“Wait, is that singing?” Cora says for all the animals in the forest to hear. She halts on the path and listens to the hopeful tune. Suddenly, she doesn’t feel afraid. “I hear happy hums, too!” She says with delight. “Maybe Ma and Pa are looking for me!”

Instead of following the trail, she paces back and forth, so excited to see her parent’s loving faces. “I think they’re coming around the bend, and when I see them, my heart will burst with joy!”

But as quickly as Cora’s fear disappears, she notices the big bush ahead shudder and the unsettling sight makes her heart skip a beat. She hopes it’s her ma and pa, and not a big, fat, furry bear claw! She feels stuck in her mucky tracks. Even if she motions them to move, her hooves won’t budge an inch. The excitement she felt before has turned into alarm because she doesn’t have a clear view of what lurks behind the shrubbery. 

Cora would feel a little better if she could still hear the singing and humming, but the music stopped when she saw the big green bush shake. “Who goes there?” She asks with a spirited voice. “Show yourself! I am not afraid of you!” Cora thought her courage had left her for good, when it had been with her all along. She just had to give it freedom to shine.

With eyes wide open, Cora watches in wonder while her ma and pa sprint out from around that same shaking bush that made fear travel from the tips of her ears to the tip of her tail. Now she understands the panic her wild imagination caused.

Ma and Pa run up to their precious little girl, loving on her with kisses galore! “We’re so sorry, Sweetheart! Pa and I were talking about the upcoming Deer Dance on Saturday, and then we realized you continued on without us. We had lost you and started to panic!”

“It’s okay, Ma, I’m a big girl so I stayed strong the whole time. Well, maybe I did get a little scared, but I kept thinking of how you and Pa taught me to be brave. And I want to grow up to be brave just like my parents!”

“Oh, Cora, your Ma and I are so proud of your bravery! Come on, let’s go home now. I think we all deserve a feast of acorns and apples!” Pa says to his courageous daughter as he lovingly nudges her to lead the way. Cora and her ma and pa trot in the opposite direction on the path, heading to their haven, while her heart pounds rapidly out of celebration.

Her family is finally together again.

~ The End ~

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites.com – All rights reserved.
Illustration: Chris Mendez
MCD – Mendez Custom Designs

One Minute of Freedom

The day I saved a spider…My daughter taught me how when she was twelve years old; her heart loved all creatures. There is much to learn from our children.

Lucky for me, the dime-sized trespasser stayed still on the floor, as if paralyzed by my enormous presence, unaware of my heart pounding erratically, ready to jump out of my chest. But I mustered up an ounce of finesse and a pound of courage. I hurried into the kitchen, pulling a tall clear glass from the cabinet, a glass that has its own place on the shelf, and one we don’t drink out of. It holds the label of spider catcher. I placed it over the spider’s body. Then I grabbed a paper plate and cut out the flat base. I slipped that piece under the glass. When I picked up the spider in its glass cage, its speedy steps just about made me fling it across the room! I didn’t want to feel eight tiny legs skitter across my hand. I managed to tamp down those goosebumps, firmly holding the paper. Then again, I never thought the day would come when I felt compassion for a spider, but I did while watching it scurry around the sides, probably fearful. If it only knew I was the good Samaritan. Stepping outside in the yard, I laid the glass on the lawn, pulling away the paper. Out scurried the arachnid – in a cartoon, it would’ve waved to me. The happy spider didn’t waste one minute of freedom. If only humans could be so wise.

Have you lived with arachnophobia? Can you relate to my fear, my pounding heart, and the courage I had to muster up to save that lucky spider? Do you also prefer arachnids to stay outside? Is there a different creepy-crawler that speeds up your heartbeat?

Lauren Scott (c)
Cute spider photo: Google
I can’t look at real spiders on the screen yet,
but I’m working on it. 🙂

Waiting to Exhale

The calendar showed October 4th, 2012. She and I sat in the sterile office surrounded by semi-gloss light blue walls, our hearts thumping, hands like ice. We waited for the man who wore a white coat to join us, hoping he would provide gentle answers to appease our questions.

The matter was serious, but when I first saw his face, I thought of Santa, stark white hair and fluffy beard, red, rosy cheeks good for pinching. The only thing missing was the apple red hat, and though he would bear dreadful news, his smile was welcoming, as if the three of us were meeting for a stroll in the park on a lovely spring afternoon.

It was amazing how a tiny scope could be guided through the mouth and throat then down the esophagus. CT scans, lab work, MRIs, and a needle too long to discuss occupied her hours for over 1,000 days. Still, we craved clarity. Our world was hazy like thick fog a driver would endure crossing the Golden Gate Bridge during summer in the wee hours of the morning.
And we waited – a necessary evil that all people grapple with too often to count the times on their hands.

Then on that autumn day came words we would have liked to have hurled back to Santa. We had hoped for gentle. Instead…
“All tests point to this auto immune disease, and there is no cause or cure,” he told us with a touch of remorse. The future would necessitate a transplant. It was not cancer, but this finding should not be shunned. She was twenty years old, like a sunflower of friendliness and optimism. He added, “Just live your life.”

I felt her physical pain rip through each atrium and ventricle – my most excruciating moments of being a parent. But her strength embraced and consoled me, her mother, of all things.
Life pulled us through each season.

The calendar now presents the year 2021: She is a lovely, young woman – a wedding band adorns her left ring finger, and geography has changed along with a new insurance card. She meets with another man who wears a similar white coat. X-rays and jabs repeat. “All of your tests are normal,” he affirms. All is normal. Words we had hoped to hear from this new expert.
“I don’t see a reason to keep you in the same box,” he confirms.

This is amazing news! But abdominal stabs and pruritus from the past were as tangible as a twisted knife to the gut. How can we negate that agony? What is the deeper meaning? Should we get the champagne flutes out, give them a quick wash? Has this nightmare finally ended? She chooses to live in the here and now.
Life continues to draw us forward to witness each sunrise and sunset,
although we are still waiting to exhale.

Lauren Scott (c) 2021

The Right Attitude

No-fear-Image

One of my new dear friends, Debby, from https://dgkayewriter.com/, wrote this to me regarding my last health update and it stuck…

“We get what we focus on, so don’t make it fear!”
~DG Kaye

This message isn’t new, but it’s so easy to allow fear to slip into our thoughts. It affects not only our reactions to stressful times, but it also affects us physically, causing anxiety and even some unwanted aches and pains. So, this was a timely reminder for me, even though I’m not truly living in fear. However, I am inviting Optimism for a long stay, and if you’re dealing with stress in any form, will you join me in this attitude adjustment? I hope you will, and Thanks, Debby! 💕

hope

And lastly, I’d like to wish you all a Fabulous Friday, and a Wonderful Weekend ahead. With love, Lauren ❤❤❤

Photos: Google

What I learned in ER

1. That life’s course can change in a heartbeat.
2. That we need to be advocates for our loved ones when it comes to medical attention.
3. That I can find calmness and strength when it’s needed.
4. That we need to have faith in medical personnel.
5. That nothing is black and white.
6. That my faith in God has waned.
7. That asking why doesn’t bring answers.
8. That all I know is that I don’t know anything.
9. That “one day at a time” is no joke.
10. That sitting in the emergency room while the power went out was beyond spooky (even though hospitals have generators). And it happened twice.
11. That I commend medical staff wholeheartedly.
12. That even though we were there from  11:30 pm to 4 am, we survived.
13. That being a parent involves much more than changing diapers.
14. That even as children grow older parenting doesn’t end.
15. That worrying does no good but manages to surface anyway.
16. That the future still remains unknown.
17. That the last time I screamed at God wasn’t the last time.
18. That the feeling of helplessness is indescribable. 
19. That since this event, time hasn’t stopped. Life goes on. We move forward.

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” 
~ Albert Camus

“Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.” 
~ Jose N. Harris

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

~ Maya Angelou

***Thanks to all who read this. Its purpose isn’t for sympathy, rather for therapeutic reasons. We all have stories of sorrow. But on the opposite end of sorrow, there is joy for many reasons, along with strength, optimism, and perseverance – the reason I ended with these great quotes. Sometimes, we just have to pour our hearts out, though, so thanks again for stopping by. And may you also find strength, optimism, and perseverance in any struggles you’re experiencing. ❤

 

 

 

Heebie Jeebies

Arachnophobia has had a grip on me since I was a young child, but I can’t recall exactly why. I only know the effects are real when spiders of all sizes have caused unwanted anxiety in my life. I’m not afraid of their bite or that they’ll hurt me, though. They indescribably creep me out with their eight legs, and if they’re hairy, the heebie jeebies escalate! 

Over the years, I’ve dealt with common house spiders like most of us do that I’m sure aren’t harmful. They have a tendency to pop out of nowhere and scare the living daylights out of me. One memorable event happened years ago that was anything but common…

I had noticed a big dark spot on the carpet while turning off the lights one night. I wondered what it was, and although I hesitated, I almost reached down to touch it. I’m ever so thankful I chose not to because I probably would’ve had a heart attack! So, I turned on the light and said a four-letter-word that caught my husband’s attention. Even though he doesn’t share my fear, he was surprised to find that big guy in our house. He also said that it looked like a California tarantula, harmless. Okay, first of all, how the heck did it get in the house? And harmless was a good thing. With a glass, he scooped it out and transported it outside where it belonged. Now, over time, my fear has calmed down. I’ve even saved a few. 

Fast forwarding now, a few nights ago, we found a big spider (uglier than normal) hanging out on the bottom of our bedroom door just as we were turning out the lights at the end of our day. Another nighttime adventure. It wasn’t a common house spider, and where the heck did it come from? Of course, I got my husband a glass again so he could place the arachnid in its proper outdoor accommodations. I could’ve done the glass thing, too, like I’ve done in the past. But…

I was so freaked out that it took me a while to finally fall asleep. My imagination fell into overtime, and my heart was beating fast. Clearly, this fear took control even though I tried deep breathing and thinking of the first happy song that came to mind…Jingle Bells. 🙂 (no explanation on that one)
In the meantime, my husband was so tired that he fell asleep seconds later. Thanks, Honey!

I finally caught some winks, but it was a toss-and-turn night where I just couldn’t erase that visual, and on our door, no less. Maybe it was another common house spider, but there was nothing common looking about this one. It also goes to show that fear becomes magnified at nighttime. When it’s dark out, when the sun isn’t shining its light and warmth, things that scare us become less controllable, less manageable.

For the days following that frightful event, the sun has been shining; it’s felt like spring even though winter needs to visit more, and I’m okay. I had a bad case of the heebie jeebies that night, which proved that even though my arachnophobia had calmed, there could be circumstances where it flares up more than I want it to. Since then, I’ve shed those heebie jeebies to the best of my ability.

Do you share this same creepy-crawly fear? 🙂
Do you have a different fear that you struggle with? 

p.s. No photos for this post, and I’m sure you understand. 🙂

 

Nonsensical Dreams (Sonnet)

Dear Friends,

This is only a practice Sonnet and for someone who writes about romance quite often (if you know me), a love Sonnet just wouldn’t work this time. So I incorporated one of my husband’s dreams and one of mine and created this. I mainly focused on Sonnet rules, rather than an enticing subject, so your feedback or critiquing is welcomed. If you notice any bloopers, don’t be shy, let me know. I’m learning, as this is a new adventure and of course, I hope this brings a smile, too!

Nonsensical Dreams (Sonnet)

Upon the hill resides a house so great,
Around each corner, hallways run for miles,
The rooms alone are like the size of lakes,
The space indeed creates a million smiles.

Inside its walls roam creatures of all kinds,
From lemurs to giraffes as tall as skies,
The scene itself completely redefines,
What should be truly isn’t all the time.

But just as quick as grins begin to form,
Fear takes their place abounding all around,
Cold sweats and shivers enter like a storm,
As spiders creep, the heart begins to pound.

Yet, as the sun begins to show its light,
Relief sets in erasing all the fright.

Lauren Scott © 2014

Fear or Fun? (Photos) :)

This is a sequel to my prior post, “Around the Bend” and again I’m sharing photos of an experience I never thought I would be brave enough to try. My husband suggested white water rafting for one of our outdoor activities last week since we were going to vacation where rivers flowed. I was apprehensive, but willing to try.

In doing research, the trip we chose was a Class 3 and it was geared for children/adults ages 6 and up. Well, if a 6 year old can do this then so can I! Fear hadn’t left me completely, though. On the contrary, it stayed with me up until we “boarded” on our raft. Through this experience I have found that anticipation is the worst. Anticipation can take over our minds and get the best of us. Once I was on the raft, paddle in hand and 110% confident in our guide, I was into it. I felt more in control and the idea became exciting rather than frightening.

So our adventure began, life jackets on, feet braced, paddles in place and on we went. We started out slowly before we hit the Class 3 rapids, which was nice and peaceful. A chance to take in the scenery. During the rapids, we all yelled either in harmony or simultaneously, and I don’t think out of fear, more like “this is so damn exciting!” 🙂

During the big rapids, our guide looked at me and said, “since you’re a rookie, Lauren, you get to ride the broncing bull.”  This meant I was to sit on the nose of the raft, hold onto the ropes and ride the rapids. I looked at him and said, “Are you serious?” He said, “Yep!” I wasn’t going to play coward, so I placed my “derriere” on the nose with my legs hanging over, held on tight and said many prayers. 🙂 When we nose-dived, my feet dipped in the water and it felt awesome. Beyond exhilarating! 

After we made it through the big rapids, we had calm water again and the opportunity to fall into the refreshing river and enjoy, which is just what my husband and I did. Actually, the other couple did the same. How can you not? A big plus was that it was almost 100 degrees outside so getting wet was welcomed. 

One thing I learned from this is not to let Fear take control because if I had, these wonderful memories might not have existed. Just so you know, nothing was allowed in the raft because everything gets wet and you’re too busy paddling to hold a camera. So these photos were professionally taken by the company photographer. My husband and I are in the back of the raft with our guide behind us.

rafting 17

rafting 18

rafting 12

rafting 15rafting 19I hope you enjoyed these photos and my story of “checking off one more item from my bucket list.” White water rafting is well worth it if you get the chance.
I’m going to end with a few powerful quotes about fear and living…

“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.” 
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

“The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.” 
― Ayn Rand

“Don’t fear death, fear the un-lived life
[Angus Tuck]”
― Natalie BabbittTuck Everlasting

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a wonderful day or evening, 
wherever you may be. ♥

 

 

 

All Over Again

Redwoods edited for blog 2013

I thought we had bid farewell
instead, while sweeping
under one of our rugs
its existence glowed
like an October prank
My sanity experienced
an immediate tug

The spirits of my shoulders
dropped with great speed
and the weight of their tears
caused my heart to sink
into a dark abyss
with rejuvenated fears

I remember being thrilled
with its absence
dancing through my days
now I look at my reflection
in the mirror and see traces
of a familiar, emotional maze

The need to blame
is so very strong
I know it’s not right
but I long for someone
to offer their hand,
catch my pleading words
as they roll from my lips
and for a face with kind eyes
to tell me this is just
a vivid nightmare,
not a rewritten script

Repeatedly, I reach for strength,
at times, feeling my fingers slipping
As I kneel, with folded hands,
my heart begs for another error
I silently pray for this presence
to stop haunting our days
and for a beautiful soul to be spared

Lauren Scott © 2013