I spotted this abandoned boat yesterday morning, moored on a small creek in Westport, CT. A name displayed on the bow was carefully written in simple block letters…GLORIA. Captivating in its stillness with not a soul in sight, it instilled a feeling of both peace and melancholy. Returning home I researched to discover the boat was owned by a gentleman who lived his entire life in Westport and worked as an oyster fisherman aboard the vessel. The boat was both his work and home, when weather permitted. “Gloria” was the name of an old girlfriend who clearly left a mark on his heart. He passed away recently yet the barge remains, a testament to earlier days and a time long gone. This past Christmas, an unknown angel strung festive lights on the boat in memory of the late fisherman. It must have been a beautiful sight. I wonder if Gloria ever knew she was his muse?
Spare (Defined) “Not currently in use; in reserve”
Glancing in the window of a recently closed children’s consignment shop, I spotted this tiny, orange sweater hanging forlornly in the now abandoned store front. I pondered why this one vibrant item adorned with teddy bears, remained. Perhaps a testament to a dream that was not to be or more simply that the sweater was left in haste? I like to interpret it as a statement of fortitude left behind from the proprietor. A symbol that whatever the future brings, he or she will survive. I shall leave the interpretation to you gentle readers, but this melancholy image brought to mind the word spare for this week’s challenge.
I love this dreamy throwback photograph, taken on the outer banks of North Carolina circa 1960. My beautiful mother in law Mary (on the right), adored this summer refuge where her parents owned a home. She is pictured here with her best friend Dottie. When I look at their carefree expressions I can almost feel the warm breeze and the lazy days of summers past. I love her retro swimsuit too which she sewed by hand. She left us two years ago after a brief illness. At her memorial service, I met a lovely older couple who spoke of Mary (as we all did) with love and adoration. As we reminisced I couldn’t stop staring at the elegantly dressed woman who seemed so hauntingly familiar. As I held out my hand, she introduced herself as Dottie…
“What was any art but a mold in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself — life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.” Willa Cather
The instructions were simple, even for a first grader.
“Write one nice thing about your classmate on his/her paper plate.” The plates were distributed to the children on the last day of school to take home as a memento of the year.
This simple but lovely exercise always touched me, particularly the heartfelt but honest sentiments scrawled by the children. One phrase that appears several times for my son was “You are so nice to me!”
I loved that compliment. So easy to do and clearly too so very much appreciated. After all, who doesn’t like to hear something positive about yourself?
I found this paper plate tucked away in a closet yesterday and thought it perfect for this week’s challenge. Find something positive in someone today, even if you have to dig a little. You may receive the compliment in return. Full circle.