Helloooooooooo, and Welcome to my Safari! It’s always bliss to have you along as we explore my Untamed, Unexpected, Unforgettable world!
Today I received a note from one of the most tenacious women I have ever met. Her name is Patsy Blake. She’s been my dentist; my real estate client; and she’ll always be my friend.
An American, she moved to New Zealand to be closer to her rugby-mad boys and their families.
Faced with a recent and profound loss, Patsy tried working for a corporate group dentistry but was bored to tears.
She’s deliberately ripped herself from an easy job and chosen to work with Remote Area Health Corp (RAHC) and is headed to Galiwinku (Elcho Island) where Patsy will be fully immersed into an ancient culture where entry is granted by permit issued by the aboriginal council.
Patsy says “I am very blessed to have this opportunity to serve at this stage of my career and working 3 weeks on and 10 weeks off makes for a good mix of grit, gratitude and grace.”
Hats off to my brave, adventurous friend, who’s comfortable enough in her own skin to take on this challenging solo adventure. The three Gee’s sited by Patsy, struck me as the perfect state of being to which to aspire, and I so much wanted to share them with you.
Grit. Gratitude. Grace.
Each month, in anticipation of this newsletter, I scour various spots to find stories of animals or people that might touch you in some way. I stumbled upon this video directed by James Cameron about desert elephants of the Namib, a harsh place I remember from my youth as one untouched by God’s fingers.
It’s a long video, so put your feet up, grab your favorite beverage, and come along and watch with me as these brilliant creatures navigate the harshest of environments in order to save their species.
Winnie Winkle is a wonderful author. She’s also a walking conundrum.
Based on her fun, fantastic, high jinx series “The Record,” she is the quintessential party girl. You’ll know what I mean if you – like thousands of others – have read Boogie Beach or Pixie Prick; or you’ve hungered for more of her Bongo & Delilah Capers.
But Winnie Winkle has layers for days.
She’s highly intelligent, hugely introspective, hellofa funny, and she is one of the few people I know who always has the perfect words to impart at the perfect time. When she speaks, I listen. Closely. Thems words of wisdom.
Winnie is a girl who stirs you. And one you’ll never forget.
In her To Walk in the World, Winnie Winkle’s prose reads like poetry and it can break your heart and make you laugh so hard you break wind, all on the same page. Her introspective, beautifully written prose talks of standing on the edge, and wondering whether living beyond the boundaries is worth the cost of stepping off the abyss into the unknown.
Says Winnie of this moving, beautiful book: “When my fingers first hit the keyboard in late 2017, I had no idea the adventure ahead. This book morphed into a love letter to my mother, to myself, and to women everywhere.”
Discover what happens in this unique, insightful story about when your mind breaks and you have to learn the true meaning of living.
If she’s new to you, you’ll find this deep, wise, witty, wonderful woman named Winnie Winkle truly UNEXPECTED.
Every now and again, you meet someone who makes a marked impression. So it was when I laid eyes on Brittany, my physical therapist helping me strengthen my broken leg.
Brittany is young and beautiful with three babies, but her striking green eyes are windows into a much older soul. Brittany and I talk more than I exercise, but both body and soul are stimulated when our hour is up. Brittany is a bread winner. She works so hard. We share an interest in all things spiritual and we talked of power of positive thinking and dreambooks.
I missed her when she took a week off to take her children to a long-promised time at Disney. Delighted she was back, I asked about her trip and she started with “Well, it started off badly,” and my heart sank, but oddly, l still felt her excitement.
She continued “My car died on the way there. It’s an old car and the towing people offered me $400 for scrap metal. I had to rent a car so all my trip-savings were used up, but I dented my credit card because I couldn’t disappoint the kids.”
Brittany went on to tell me she called around, described her car and $400 was the usual response from car dealers. Then she thought of someone she’d known years ago who was in the car business and he asked her to come into the dealership. During the car-tango where salesman and manager do the financial dance, Brittany was distraught. She just couldn’t afford the perfect-for-her SUV she saw on the lot, though it was identical – down to the color of the outside and the upholstery on the inside – to the one Brittany had cut out and pasted into her dream book.
She Continued: “My friend was out of the room again carrying my last plea for no money down, and my final figure I could afford for a car, if I still wanted to feed my family.”
I began to worry about her and could feel her desperation, but the air turned lighter in a split second as she said “During my wait, I texted my boss and asked him when my contract was up. I was hoping it was soon, so I could renegotiate for a bit more money. He texted back right back: ‘Do you want a raise?’”
My heart did a summersault.
“’YES!’ I texted back and added a smiley face.” Brittany’s face was glowing. “And he said, OK! $5 per hour.”
An hourly increase that’s lifechanging for this lovely, hardworking girl who needs a car to do her job. “Then my friend came back and said ‘We can do the figure you gave me for a monthly payment and he has agreed to no money down.’”
She fairly danced around in her excitement and whipped out her phone and scrolled to a photo of her dream book. The picture of a dark silver SUV was right next to another cut-out of a pile of money. I literally got goosebumps. Happy ones.
She couldn’t wait to leave to show me her new car. I limped after her to her identical vehicle to the one in her dream book.
This encounter gave me renewed ‘krag’*to create a new dream book. One where “War Serenade” and “Zebra” are picked up by Netflix or Amazon Prime for two limited series.
Thank you, dear Brittany. You are my inspiration.
As we return to base, apropos of nothing, I leave you with divine creativity from around the world…Enjoy!
And so, my friend, I wish you grit – because there’s nothing like getting down and dirty with something you’re passionate about; I wish you gratitude, because that paves the way for you to receive more of what makes you grateful; and I wish you grace, so you never take advantage of these blessings, but rather share your positivity with decorum and humility.
I also wish you shade here in the northern hemisphere, and an extra-warm blanket for my friends south of the equator.
And as always, I wish you love,
*krag – a deliciously descriptive Afrikaans word that means drive/commitment/desire.
P.S. We’ve passed the halfway mark…Christmas will be here before you know it…and have I got a Kindle stocking stuffer for YOU! And its on pre-order on Amazon already!
Festive Fates is an anthology I am privileged to be a part of with fantastic authors in many genres all revolving around the holidays.
Next month I will share the blurb for my contribution: “Sunshine’s War.” A sister short-story to “War Serenade” – or should I say a “brother short-story.” :o)
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