Two Chairs

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Two Chairs
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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When was the last time you really talked to someone? When was the last time you spoke from your heart? When was the last time you listened from your heart?

Anyone who has ever visited our home whether it was our beach house or our primary residence would find two rocking chairs on our front porch. We like the look and we think it says “welcome come sit and chat” but for us it also meant more than that.

My husband and I started our life together 25-years ago. We started by getting to know one another by sitting on two white chairs in a beachside bar/restaurant called The Red Pump located in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea in Florida. At that time he was recently widowed and my husband had died 9 years earlier. We both had children from our deceased spouses and we were both aged 32. We had a lot to talk about.

We started our relationship by just talking and really listening. We shared our past history, we shared our heart breaks and we shared our dreams and our desire for what a happy future could like, we sat on those chairs for hours and hours. We sat there getting to know one another. I can’t remember much of last week but I can remember most all of those early long conversations.

For us two chairs represent taking the time to talk, taking the time to listen and above all else taking the time to get to know one another.

In a world that can be crazy busy and all consuming, we still believe that two chairs and the people that stop to sit in them and hold long heartfelt conversations, are two people that are choosing to spend time well spent and of immeasurable value.

Stop, sit and hold those heartfelt conversations … share … listen … it doesn’t have to be so complicated. The greatest gift we can ever give to another person is our time and our attention. The greatest gifts come from mutual sharing.

Here is to spending more time pausing for a nice long sit, genuine conversation and really talking and really listening and doing it all from the heart ….

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

New Zealand

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New Zealand
By Bernadette A. Moyer

New Zealand, 2006

We never know. We never know when we write who our words will touch. As a writer who writes about life and takes the advice of many famous writers when they state “write about what you know” and I do. Recently I read another bloggers article that touched me deeply; I felt that I could have written every single word myself. Not only did I feel this way but my son and another friend thought it was me too. Thanks Renata! Well said! We are connected because we share a life experience, we are connected because we are mothers, we are connected because we have adult children that have estranged.

A few weeks ago I received a message from a reader who lives in New Zealand and this is what she shared with me; “You’ve become like a spokesperson, an advocate, a voice for us – all over the planet. Just knowing that someone else a mother, a friend, has experienced similar and can articulate those feelings so well … I’ve appreciated very much your openness and honesty …”

We chatted more about the weather and the time difference from where I reside in the United States and where she lives in New Zealand. Our exchange left an impression how nice to be “appreciated” and so great to feel the human connection from so far away.

Given the choice I would never have estrangement in my life but sadly it is a big part of my life story and I am thankful that any good can come from it. We never know when we open up and share just where our connections will take us!

Thanks New Zealand for reading me and for writing to me … you matter to me …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

The Teller of the Story

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The Teller of the Story
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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All writers are tellers of stories. Recently a friend shared her “immigrant book” where she writes and tells about family stories that originated in Italy. Her family history and roots are important to her and she writes about them and wants to share them.

Miranda Lambert has a new song called “The Keeper of the Flame” the lyrics;

I’m the keeper of the flame
The teller of the story
Keeper of the flame
For the ones that came before me

I think that is all that we have and can truly value; our stories. I also think that is why relationships that are broken are so hard to accept because we want to share our story and we want to keep the flame going.

In 1998 my oldest daughter estranged and I am holding so many stories that I want to share with her. Funny little stories that might not mean much to most people but they are part of our history. I want to tell her about the first time she tried broccoli. She was just two years old and she took a bite while in our small Texas kitchen. She walked from one room to another chewing on it and chewing on it and chewing on it and then returned to me in our kitchen and spit it out in my hand. She tried it and really gave it a good try but just didn’t like it!

I want to tell her about how she took her Beta fish to show and tell in kindergarten. How much spunk and attitude she showed as a little girl when someone didn’t say her name correctly. And so many other little stories … stories that are lost forever if not shared and told.

Today is the anniversary of my husband late wife’s death. It was 25 years ago. She left him with pre-mature infant twins a son and a daughter. He is the “keeper of the flame” as he alone has so many little stories about their very first few days and weeks of life. How they were as infants and how he was as a first time new father.

We all share our stories partly to connect and in part to keep the story alive and remembered. Our stories are important to us as they chronicle our lives. I think most parents have vivid recall of the early years of their children’s lives. The stories help to show us how unique and special they are and we are and our stories validate our life.

When we are the witness of the life of another person we automatically become “the teller of the story” and the “keeper of the flame” for them, we are part of their story and history. Broken relationships don’t allow for the sharing and telling of the story.

When we fail to share the flame becomes much harder to keep alive and keep burning.

In history where would we be without story tellers? And without those that were willing to write about them and document them and keep them alive and burning for the next generation?

Stories should be shared as they teach us about life about ourselves and about one another.

And because Miranda Lambert says it so well, more lyrics from her song Keeper of the Flame;

I’m walking in their footsteps
I’m singing their old songs
Somebody blazed this trail
I’m treadin’ on
I’m bent, but I’m not broken
I’m stronger than I feel
I’m made of flesh and bone
Not made of steel

When I’m drowning
When I’m fighting
When I’m screaming
When I’m hiding
When I’m losing
When I’m winning
I go back to
The beginning

Keeper of the flame
The teller of the story

Share your stories, tell your stories, write your stories because in the end that is all we really have … the stories are important and so are you and all the people in them!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

The Traveling Blueberry Pie

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The Traveling Blueberry Pie, Thanks Café Hon!
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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I won! I won! I won a blueberry pie from Café Hon. Denise Whiting (the owner) was so excited when she called to tell me. It was a Facebook contest and I was the lucky “like” number to win it.

Café’ Hon is located in Baltimore City and in one of my favorite city neighborhoods Hampden. There is a real sense of community there and the houses remind me of the row houses from where I grew up In Allentown, Pennsylvania. There are lots of brick houses with large front porches. It is a community where residents walk to school to their places of worship to the grocery stores and to restaurants and small boutique businesses.

At Christmastime people from all over flock to 36th Street to view the entire street of beautifully well-lit decorated houses. The shops in the area are typically owned by individual shopkeepers, truly small unique retail and restaurants with their own unique offerings. There is a “Hon” Festival (it’s a Baltimore thing) that takes place every summer. Remember mom’s beehive hairdo, lots of that and more …

Anyway back to the pie. It was Lent and I was failing miserable at keeping with my giving up sweets and then comes this pie. So what to do with it? At first I thought about donating it to a shelter but it seemed kind of rude not to go get it and I hadn’t been in the area for a while so I wanted to revisit it. I thought about having lunch there to show my appreciation but I was alone and then thought I will wait and return with my husband. We have eaten there in the past and it was always good home style food.

Many years ago when I was a Realtor I had two neighboring properties with multi-family units inside listed and it was nice to see they had been renovated. And nice to see how clean all the streets were.

I picked up the pie myself and it was beautifully wrapped and waiting for me with my name on it. The restaurant was as welcoming and charming as I remembered. You can’t miss it as it has a big pink flamingo just outside. My husband likes their meatloaf platter and I love the French fries with gravy and the crab soup. If you are interested check them out Café Hon at 1002W. 36th Street Baltimore Maryland 21211 or by phone 410 243-1230 and website cafehon.com

So now what to do with this pie …

I decided to stop at the store and pick up some to-go containers as I was going to cut it up and share it with as many people as I could. The next day I was having lunch with a Priest friend to celebrate his 45th birthday and of course I showed up with his slice of blueberry pie. Then I dropped off a slice for an elderly female friend who doesn’t get out much and lives in a high rise. I sent my husband to work with a slice for himself and an extra piece to give to a favorite co-worker. Our son had one or two pieces and I enjoyed a slice myself. So the pie went to several locations and was enjoyed by many. It truly was a traveling pie!

Thanks Denise Whiting and Café Hon! We will be back soon for some good home style food …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Christmas Memories

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Christmas Memories
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Christmas memories, we all have them? We remember being children and the anticipation of waking up on Christmas morning and opening up all our gifts. We remember those special years when we received exactly what we asked for and other years when we were so happily surprised with others gifts that we never even thought about but turned out to be perfect.

What was your earliest Christmas morning memory? What present stands out the most? What gift did you receive that you remember so fondly and what gift did you give that was so much appreciated? Where did you go and who did you spend your time with?

What were your family traditions and what traditions have you carried on with? What are your favorite places to go and be on Christmas? And who are you spending time with that is part of not just today but the memories that you will hold onto in the future?

One of my earliest memories as a child was when I received Barbie’s pink convertible car for Christmas and another year our Uncle Michael, my father’s brother gave me and my four sisters matching quilted bath robes. Five little girls with matching quilted bathrobes. Then there was the year my mother gave us all new bicycles. I received a new 10-speed bicycle. It was All-American looking in red, white and blue and I was just a teenager and loved it.

Then came the years when I was married and my husband spoiled me and later the years with children when we spoiled them. There were the many years when we packed up the gifts and the twins and off we went to Nashville Tennessee and another holiday season when we spent Christmas in Key West, Florida.

It only takes one bad holiday with loss and grief and when after you get through it you pledge that will never happen to me again! And you do your best to plan ahead and make sure that Christmas is as special as it can be. Of course the off years make you appreciate the glowing years all the more.

Often as we age it becomes about “it is in giving that we receive” and it is about that food, clothing or gifts for kids that we donate to those less fortunate. Or that check and cash donation made out to our favorite charity to help them continue the mission of helping those that don’t have.

Christmas may be about our church or a new place of worship or that special drink and food that we enjoy to help us celebrate. It may also include that big game and sports event or a newly released movie or theater show. We celebrate. We love. We share. We enjoy. We remember. We make memories.

Merry Christmas and may you be filled with all the love and goodness this life offers and be surrounded by the people that you love most and together create fond memories for the many years to come.

God Bless Us All!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Everyone Has “A Story”

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Everyone Has “A Story”
By Bernadette A. Moyer

Everyone has a story! We all do! They say, “Writers are observers of life.” Every few months if not every month I hear from someone that thinks they want to write and they have a “story.” They have a story to share. Usually it is about something they experienced and learned from and wish to share with other people.

I think we all crave a “connection” the ability to connect to others and find common ground and share. We are all more alike than not. That is probably why I have a hard time when people do things to others that they wouldn’t want done to themselves. But that is another story.

When I am approached my answer is always the same, “just write! Jump in and start!” For most of us our “story” is already written we just need to get it down and share it. Often times the hardest part is the jumping off point and just getting started. Most often I find after starting is just flows and takes on a life of its own. It is for me, a truly organic process.

I also ask the same question, “Who is your target market audience?” If you are writing for yourself that is a diary or a journal. If you are planning to write your story and you wish to share it with an audience, who is that audience? What group of people will read your written work? What do you wish to accomplish by writing and then sharing?

Most everyone can relate to someone else and their experiences. We are not alone. There isn’t something that has happened that someone else hasn’t already experienced but the difference might be how we handled it and what we learned from it. Can we now inspire another person with our writings and our story, our life experience?

I have also heard it said that you need to have a certain amount of life experiences that most often come with age, until you really have something to write about and that is worthy of sharing. I always encouraged my kids to write. Many times they would ask me, “But what should I write about?” I always had a list that I could just rattle off things like 1) what is feels like to be a twin 2) what it feels like to know that your birth mother died and you never got to know her? 3) What you had to do to become an Eagle Scout 4) baking your first cake 5) first dates and the list goes on and on.

We all have “a story” and we all have something we can share. Stephen King wrote a book years ago titled, On Writing that I found helpful. I also used to read books about marketing your story and your book. There is no greater high for a writer than to be read, to be understood and to have that reader connect. I have often said, “That is my paycheck” when someone reads me, gets me and can connect to me from something I have written and shared.

There is a lot of healing for many people in writing, I, myself included and everyone has their own form. I think of it as an art form, the way we express ourselves and how and what we share. Just like an artist with a painting. That art makes you feel something and it is an expression from the artist. Writing to me, is that same experience. It should make you feel something.

So here is to all the writers out there that have a story to share, my advice, just write! Jump in and just get started, you never know where it will lead until you write it! Write!

http://www.bernadetteamoyer.wordpress.com and http://www.bernadetteamoyer.com
New Book! Along The Way available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

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