On life's journey, whether traveling around the world or walking around your block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Summer's Past, and Summers Past

Flying to Belize

One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach.
One can collect only a few,
and they are more beautiful if they are few.
I usually travel during the summer, but this year I told Rob that I wanted to hang around Leaf's Lake House and relax.  I made a commitment to myself that I would spend August relaxing, reading, wRiting, and swimming.  And of course visiting Rob's mother who has been in the hospital, now in physical therapy, soon to be admitted to a nursing home.  Through it all, she keeps her sense of humor and love for God.  But now that summer is winding down, I'm feeling a little sad because I've enjoyed these past weeks so much.

The weather here in the south has been unpredictable with more rain, clouds, thunder, lightning than usual.  But each time I'd glide into the swimming pool, I would look up--eyes protected with UV sunglasses--into the cloud-filled sky to find the sun shining through, right over the pool.  Smiling, I continued lapping.  One afternoon there came a cloudburst, but no thunder and lightning.  Swimming in the rain with my sunglasses protecting my eyes from the pounding rain felt like a delightful outdoor shower.  My summer of tenacity voted me Esther Williams of Golden Hills.  Like I always say, it's never too late!  Sixty-four-year-old Diana Nyad can vouch for that! (she just completed swimming from Cuba to Florida!)

Summer is winding down, but I'm feeling invigorated as Autumn breezes slowly approach.  I will replace swimming with long walks and SaSuBe dance classes.

A Tip to all of you out there in Lady Leaf Land:  take care of your body, soul and spirit.  You'll feel--and look--much better when you do.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
We're I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
Psalm 139:17-18

I wish you smooth sailing through Fall and oceans of blessings!

Brother's house in Zion
Ahh, Zion National Park

U.S. Whitewater Center
Charlotte, NC


Friday, August 16, 2013

Lady Leaf the Traveler Is A WINNER!

Lighthouse on Tybee Island, SC

I'm thrilled to announced that I'm the winner of My Gutsy Story contest for July!  It was a close call because all five stories were inspiring and gutsy.  I want to thank all of you who voted for my story, "I Sailed the Seven Seas on a WWII ship and Lived to Tell About It."  I pray that this story will encourage readers to find faith for those forgotten dreams, whatever that dream may be.

I admit that I don't spend a lot of time marketing my book, Lady and the Sea.  I have a hard time sitting at my iMac for too long.  I was diagnosed last week with arthritis so I need to keep the old body moving as often as possible (thank the Lord for swimming and my SaSuBe class!).  So Lady has been mostly word of mouth, book signings, and speaking engagements.  I'm always delighted when someone tells me they found my book in their local book store. *smile*

Go to the link below to read my winning announcement from author Sonia Marsh.


Our road will be smooth and untroubled no matter what care life may send; 
if we travel the pathway together, and walk side by side with a friend.

I wish you smooth sailing and oceans of blessings on this rainy day in South Carolina

Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, 
binding yourselves together with peace. 
Ephesians 4:3

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Traveling to the Clubhouse Pool in Gracie-the-Golfcart

Clubhouse pool where sunshine abounds

I'm having too much fun at the pool this summer, meeting new neighbors, splashing with the kids, but most of the time I mind my own business...swim my laps, then quietly drive away in Gracie the Golf Cart.  But the day my Aunt Eunice joined me poolside was a day to be reckoned with.  I didn't have any choice; she just showed up at my front door.

   "Hey, Sha-ren!  I just got back from Florida and thought I'd stop by before I drive home to Sumter," she announced as she dropped her large satchel on my freshly swiffered floor.

   "Wow, Auntie, you look so--tan!" I said.

   "Thanks, darlin'.  I went on a long cruise with Betty White," she said, then looked me up and down.  "What are ya doin' in that bathing suit?"

 "Oh, I'm a swimmer now!  Every day.  An hour of laps," I bragged.
   Eunice picked up her satchel that looked at least fifty years old.  "I'll go change in the bedroom; I want to swim too!"

   What could I say?  She zumba-ed with me, once.  So why couldn't she swim with me, once?

   I think I looked quite matronly in my pink flowered one-piece, but I've become fearless in my sixties, not allowing a slight overgrown belly keep me from splashing my summer away.  But Aunt Eunice was downright challenging. I didn't know they made swim suits that...well...flowing.

   We arrived at the pool at eleven o'clock, early enough to pick my favorite spot in the corner next to the ladder where I can easily slide in the pool unnoticed and begin my routine.  But that wasn't good enough for Eunice.  "Let's sit right in the middle of the action.  I love making new friends," she said as she threw her towel over the lounge, then strutted her stuff over to the deep end.

   I started to warn Eunice that she was going in the deep end, but it was too late.  She jumped in, curling her plumpy body into a cannon ball.  The kids didn't see her coming, but their mothers did.  As she hit the water with the largest splash the clubhouse pool has ever witnessed, the mother of three yelled as Eunice came up for air, "Lady!  What do you think you are doing?  No diving allowed!  And you got my new summer reading book wet!"

   "Darlin', that's no dive...that's a cannon-ball!" Eunice corrected as she dog-paddled to the other end of the pool where the kids were splashing.

   "Don't worry," I apologized to the mother whom I had just met a few days before, "she'll be out of the pool in no time; she's too old to last more than ten minutes."  The mother turned and gave me a dirty look after Aunt Eunice's third cannon-ball.  In the meantime, her kids were laughing and carrying on while Eunice taught them how to cannon-ball.

   An hour later, still waiting for Aunt Eunice to slow down,  I learned a few things about getting older.  One, you can still swim, dog-paddle, and cannon ball non-stop for an hour or more.  Two, after you teach the mother's children how to maneuver a mean cannon-ball, she will be your friend forever.  Why?  Because perfectly coiffed mom didn't have to get in the pool and get her hair wet.

   Too soon, Aunt Eunice was on her way home to Sumter, but promised to return for another day of cannon-balling with her new friends.  Guess there will be a second time after all. *smile*

Aunt Eunice
Miss South Carolina 1946
(notice the resemblance)
Aunt Eunice has a blog at:  www.sharonleaf.com

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lady Traveler's Gutsy Story -- VOTE today!

WWII ship, MS Restoration
I was a volunteer for 14 months on this fine lady

I was invited to share my gutsy story, I Sailed the Seven Seas on a WWII Ship and Lived To Tell About It and it is nominated to be the July winner.  All you have to do is vote for me on the following blog:


I'm up against four other wonderful, inspiring gutsy stories so it will be a close race.  May the best story win.

Russian Jews awaiting to arrive in Haifa, Israel

I Wish You Smooth Sailing and Oceans of Blessings!

My gutsy story based on my book