Message in a Bottle -5

Dear Reader:

Today’s message in a bottle is all about the mystery of love and how love opens our eyes to what is most important. Enjoy!

“To Someone Beautiful and Far Away…” That’s how Swedish sailor Ake Viking started his message. Bored at sea one day in 1955, Ake penned a letter to a potential love interest, hoping the waves would take care of the rest. He asked whoever found it to “write to me, whoever you are.” He included his mailing address in Sweden. Then he slid the letter into a bottle and threw it over the side. 

Two years later, Ake returned home from another voyage to find a surprise in the mail. A letter from Paolina, a 17-year-old Italian girl in Syracuse, Sicily. She’d found Ake’s message in a bottle and taken it to a parish priest to translate.  “Last Tuesday, I found a bottle on the shore,” Paolina wrote in her reply, which one of Ake’s shipmates translated. “I am not beautiful, but it seems so miraculous that this little bottle should have traveled so far and long to reach me that I must send you an answer….” Ake and Paolina became long-distance pen pals, exchanging letters and photos over the course of a year. They wed in 1958, brought together by the currents of love.

(I think I need to start walking the beach shores more often looking for messages in a bottle…you just never know where love will find you 🙂

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


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Message in a Bottle – 4

Dear Reader:

How would it feel to actually discover one’s roots through a message in a bottle from a family member who came before you? Pretty cool, huh? Read this “message” story and see how it all came about. Enjoy!

Angela Erdmann never met her grandfather. He’d died in 1946, six years before she was born. She rarely thought of him… until the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg, Germany came calling. “It was very surprising,” Angela told The Guardian. “A man stood in front of my door and told me he had post from my grandfather.” Apparently Angela’s grandfather – Richard Platz – had thrown a bottle in the sea while on a hike in 1913. He was 20 years old at the time. Although much of the postcard in the bottle is indecipherable, Richard’s home address in Berlin was legible.

 The bottle, which had been at sea for 101 years, was found by a fisherman in the Baltic and taken to the International Maritime Museum. It was there that Angela was able to read her grandfather’s words.  “I knew very little about my grandfather, but I found out that he was a writer who was very open minded, believed in freedom and that everyone should respect each other,” she said. “It was wonderful because I could see where my roots came from.” 

So until tomorrow….time is but a blink of the eye in Your time God…thank you for helping us see the relevance of time and connections while here on earth.

“Today is my favorite day.”  Winnie the Pooh

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Message in a Bottle- 3

Dear Reader:

Today’s message in a bottle has an underlying Christmas theme about two young couples, two marriages, and a strange coincidence found in a bottle. Enjoy.

Just before Christmas 2016, Christine Cunningham walked the dunes of Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, while beachcombing for scallops and other treasures. Did she ever find something! A glass bottle in pristine condition—without a scratch or barnacle on it. She could see a rolled-up piece of paper inside. Christine’s husband, Aaron, managed to open the bottle. The letter it contained was dry and had the same typed message in three languages: “Dear finder, this message in a bottle set off in autumn 2011 on the occasion of the marriage between Christine and Nils in northern Germany on 19 August 2011.” 

Christine couldn’t believe it. Not only had the bottle traveled thousands of miles to British Columbia, but she shared the bride’s first name. Even more startling, she had married Aaron that same weekend in August 2011! What were the chances? Christine and Aaron tracked down the other Christine to Egestorf, Germany, where she runs a violin shop with her husband. The two couples became fast friends, thanks to a nudge from the ocean.

So until tomorrow…thank you Father for people who come into our lives to enrich them.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Doesn’t this picture look like the path to Halloweenville or something? It is my second driveway….after all the rain in August the mud from the yard seeped and ran over the driveway….leaving this unusual design. It is growing on me. A few witches’ hats on the fence posts and I have a cool natural Halloween design!

*You might have noticed that not much notice has been given Hurricane Florence…or as we call her “Blow Flo” and pray she becomes “Go Flo” back out to sea from whence she came. As a teacher you learn quickly not to give attention to bad makes it worse.

Time will tell but we are keeping in touch with all loved ones and celebrating life up here in the mountains together….a good place to be and great timing on Brooke’s part for the Ya gathering this year. Whatever is going to happen will happen…and we know God will be with us…however it turns out back in the lowcountry.

Satellite picture…..Flo resembles a cotton ball….let’s hope she shreds before arrival or some other natural weather “bollweevil” gets to her.

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Message in a Bottle- 2

Dear Reader:

Our second story today involves a little girl with a sweet message that ends up across the world.

In August 2015, 6-year-old Shiloé Khokhar was on vacation with her family in Bermuda when she got an idea. She’d toss a message in a bottle into the sea, like she’d seen in the movies. Shiloé placed a note in a small glass bottle, along with a pretty rock she’d found in a nearby cave. She urged whoever found the message to reach out via her father’s email address. Shiloé was convinced the bottle would make it all the way to England. “I didn’t think it was really going to go anywhere,” her father told Newsday. But go somewhere it did.

Three years later, Shiloé’s father got an email—from Morocco! The bottle had been found by fisherman Hassan Elbaz. Unable to read or write, Hassan gave the letter to his son, Ayoub, who reached out to Shiloé and her family. What amazed Ayoub most wasn’t how far the bottle has travelled, but the message it carried. In a child’s messy scrawl – poor grammar and all – Shiloé had written, “I want to wish you a happy and health life.”

So until tomorrow….isn’t it amazing how God’s messages and winks reach the person they are destined to reach….no matter the circumstance or the messenger behind the gift.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Besides the candle and pottery…these three cuties might have helped us win the game too!

Mollie’s mom Marcia is here to keep the grandchildren while Mollie is at a conference in Nantucket. Here’s to Marcia and grandparents everywhere.


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God’s “Seven Messages in a Bottle”

Dear Reader:

We have finally gotten some rain and then Friday I saw my first fall leaves of the season. Life is good. And it is about to get better…the Ya’s are heading to the mountains tomorrow….to Saluda for a stay at Brooke and Ted’s mountain home and a visit (even farther up) to Honey’s Wednesday evening. I am so excited!

This poster says it all…the mountains are calling me…in fact all of us Ya’s…we are all tired and ready for our eyes to feast on the beauty of a changing season in the mountains…our favorite. And then we get to see Honey… Wow! It just all fell into place!


There has been a lot going on the past few days…all wonderful  but busy so I was getting apprehensive about having a blog ready for the days I am gone next week. And then God stepped in to help me once again. A Guidepost publication popped up in my email and it said:

Message in a Bottle: Seven Stories of Miraculous Connection (author: Elena Tafone)

As I started reading them…they were all wonderful….7 days….Sunday to Saturday…perfect. A chill ran down my back…down to the teeniest detail…I needed seven stories and I got seven stories. I do hope you enjoy them while I am away. I promise to return with personal , funny stories galore upon my arrival home.

Isn’t there something so enticing about finding a message in a bottle? Here’s the introduction and then Story Number One!

The first recorded message in a bottle was reputedly tossed in the Mediterranean in 310 B.C., an experiment by the Greek philosopher Theophrastus. Since then, people have relied on the ocean’s waves to carry their words near and far. Sometimes with a little help from beyond the sea…

Steve Leidel found the bottle in April of 2005. It had once held vanilla extract. But when Steve fished it from a lake in central Wisconsin, it held a letter. “My name is Josh Baker,” the note read. “I’m 10. If you find this, put it on the news.” It was dated April 16, 1995. That wasn’t the only amazing part. Josh Baker? Steve knew that name. In fact, everyone in White Lake, Wisconsin knew that name. Josh had been somewhat of a hometown celebrity.

At 18, he’d become a Marine. While he was in Iraq, the whole town rallied behind him, sending him letters and care packages. Everyone was overjoyed when he returned home. Just months after his homecoming, though, Josh was killed in a car crash. The entire town was devastated. Then the bottle resurfaced. “He wanted us to find this,” Steve told CBS News. Josh’s message did end up on the news, just like his 10-year-old self had wanted. More importantly, it was a sign of comfort to his mother. As she said, “When that message came – and I don’t care how hokey it sounds, this is the truth – that was Josh saying, ‘Snap out of it. Mom. I’m here. I’m OK.’” 


So until tomorrow….Thank you God for taking care of our every need!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*I took this picture Friday afternoon….as I looked out my “office” bedroom window… I saw the new fall leaves right after our first rain in a quite awhile and I was overjoyed!

This photo filled me with joy….I was outside (right after a short shower) rain was still dripping from the flowers….I caught this raindrop right before it fell off the sunflower. Amazing….awesome!

Well one thing I did predict right…that by the second game of the Clemson season my fingernails would look like they were bitten by some crazy rabbit….and last night’s game was a nail-biter. *Mary…it was the Clemson candle burning and my Honey purple/orange pottery that took Clemson over the top. No doubt! 🙂

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A God’s Wink at Chic Fil-A

Dear Reader:

Thursday morning I had a call from Brooke and she said that she had just experienced a wonderful random act of kindness that she wanted to tell me about. But it wasn’t just random…it was, also, intentional…and that made it even better!

Brooke had a dental appointment earlier in the week at MUSC in downtown Charleston. It was a long procedure and then, to top it off, the trip back from Charleston to Walterboro is a long one too. She started thinking about something she could pick up for her and her husband, Ted, to eat when she got home.

Then she remembered the Chic-Fil-A on Savannah Highway…the road she took to return to Walterboro. She would pick up a sandwich for both of them.

When she pulled into Chic-Fil-A parking lot it was packed…but the pick up window line was even longer. She sighed and found a parking place and walked in. After waiting awhile it was her turn at the counter and she placed the order.

The cashier gave Brooke her total and Brooke immediately started going through her cards to pull out her credit card. Murphy’s Law at its best (or worst) she found every card…but her credit card. Brooke felt her face turning red since she was holding up a very long, rather impatient line of people behind her.

Frantically she searched again…and then remembered she had left the card in the car earlier. Completely embarrassed by now…she told the young girl that she was sorry….just cancel the order…her credit card was somewhere else and not on her at the moment.

To make things worse…as she glanced around she recognized someone she knew…not well particularly…but enough so the thought of her standing behind her listening to the conversation turned her face red again.

All Brooke wanted to do was get out of there as fast as possible…but suddenly the young girl was waving her over to the side while someone else waited on the next customer. She assured Brooke this type of thing happened occasionally and that it was “okay…they had it.”

At first Brooke was puzzled and the girl repeated that she was to take her food order with her, don’t worry about it…they ‘had it’ and have a good day!

The story did make my day…and it made me want a Chic-Fil-A sandwich for lunch. I thanked Brooke for the story and told her I was going to give  Chic-Fil-A my business as soon as I hung up because of her story.

I drove around our Summerville Chic-Fil-A and gave a young girl my order. I then told her quickly why I had chosen them for lunch Thursday. “I am going to tell this story to my manager” she remarked excitedly.

By the time I got to the window she must have told the manager the story (over the walkie-talkie)…because when I went to hand over some cash….I was told to keep it… the employee said that the manager said to tell me he loves a good story. I owe you one Brooke! The power of a story….it will get you a free chic-fil-a sandwich…and drink!

So until tomorrow…”You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*I ate my sandwich on the way to Mt. Pleasant where I was spending the night so I could attend the Grandparents Breakfast with Eva Cate at her school. Eva Cate’s best friend, Lily’s grandmother, Lori, lives right up the street from John and Mandy so she picked Eva Cate and myself up for the breakfast.

It ended up with over 400 grandparents showing up so things got a little chaotic…but having more than less is always a good thing with parent and grandparent participation in schools. Lori and I had fun, got our pictures made with our grand-daughters, got to meet their teacher and got a pretty card from each girl. But mainly we showed up…and isn’t that the most important thing in life? Showing up?



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Another Day…Another Chance at Life

Dear Reader:

I fell asleep early Wednesday night and slept through the whole night. These days a good night’s rest is such a wonderful gift! (The latest medications I am on have me bouncing from the bedroom to the bathroom a lot some nights.)

I felt so rested when I woke up and even though the sun wasn’t officially up yet I came to the computer and started thinking about the day ahead and how fortunate I am to be living this day and every day.

I think back on conversations from earlier in the week, shared moments of laughter with friends and strangers alike. Isn’t a smile and a laugh a priceless treasure…making contact with another human being for a fraction of a second before we both go our different ways?

It was while I was turning on the computer that the very first rays of the sun peeked over the horizon. A touch of pink to announce the new day. I thought back over all the Race for the Cure mementos I recently shared and suddenly realized that every year we walked the Race for the Cure…the real “pink”  in the fight against breast cancer was the pink of a new day’s dawning…the pink assuring us of life for another day.

The promise of another day…that no matter what occurs…life will go on…sometimes in other forms…but it never ceases to exist. For example…look at ‘Little Red” who is quietly but steadily growing. Coming from the original seed of “Big Red” …a part of a whole yet a new, individual component of life. It is really mind-boggling when we think about the secrets of life and how they go on and on and on.

I love this excerpt from Anam Cara.….John O’Donohue

May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams,

Possibilities and promises.

May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.

May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.

May your soul calm, console and renew you.

Don’t we love days that fulfill us and leave us with a sense of being in the day…of truly living it…not just observing it? This is my daily goal each morning….a silent prayer to let me “feel” the day, to absorb the sun’s rays, to touch the beauty before me, to listen to the sounds around me…to become one with life’s offerings bestowed upon me.

So until tomorrow….(Excerpt from a prayer by Joyce Rupp)

Teach us how to enjoy being. Encourage us to be present to the gifts that are ours. May we be more fully aware of what we see, taste, touch, hear, and smell. May this awareness of our senses sharpen our perception of our everyday treasures and lead us to greater joy and gratitude.

Life is meant to be celebrated, enjoyed, delighted in, and embraced in all its mystery. Guide us to our inner child. Draw us to your playground of creation, God of life, so that we will live more fully.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Another God Wink….yesterday I had just gotten out of the shower and was staring at the instruction sheet on what to put on my boo boo owie …and how to bandage it, etc. I had been given a free sample ointment to use until my other ointment from the upstate pharmacy arrived. It was then the doorbell rang. It was Fed Ex bringing me my foot ointment. I had just ordered it yesterday afternoon.

Wow! Now that is impressive. I got it faster than I probably would have going to a pharmacy right here in town! God is good!

When I saw this picture yesterday I had to laugh since we were just talking about our impatient waiting for autumn. But not all of us….our wonderful retired mountain gal, Sis Kinney, said she loves summer…even when she lived in the hot, humid lowcountry with us she never tired of it. So God might not be able to please all the people all the time…but then there is always a “Sis Kinney” who loves the hot, humid, buggy season of summer. 🙂

  • Oh my! Little Rabbit (on the first of the month) has brought me the best “mojo” for September to last a lifetime. After running errands yesterday…I pulled in and lo and behold Georgia Dupree was dropping something off on my door handle. All these surcies are unbelievable but the best part was catching up with her and her grandchildren. Thank you Georgia so much….can hardly wait to add some flowers when I get back later today.


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