"Where there is great love, there are always miracles." - Willa Cather
Last month Jim and I joined our dear friends Judy and Michael in Las Cruces, New Mexico for a long-awaited golf vacation. After we ordered dinner the first night, Judy's cell phone rang. She found out her brother died earlier that day while hiking in the Galapagos Islands. A collective chill ran down our spines as we noticed a sign in the parking lot with the name of the restaurant: My Brother's Place.
Don had his first heart attack at 43, followed by two quadruple bypasses over the next 20 years. Health issues forced him to retire early from his medical practice. Since he felt he was living on borrowed time, he vowed to make the most of every day. He said yes to everything that sounded like fun.
He was devoted to Michele, his wife of 48 years, and enjoyed spending time with family and friends. She remembered the many trips they took together, and the books he would read and discuss. His interest in other cultures, people and ideas make him a more interesting person.
Fly fishing was his greatest passion, with travel a close second. When he died at 70, he was doing what he loved.
Don's memorial service had yet to be scheduled, but over the next several days, Judy honored his memory in conversation, laughter and tears. She reminisced about a recent trip she took with Don and his long-time fishing guide on the Blackfoot River in Montana. Once Don asked Judy to knit a scarf for him. She did it within a month of his request, and now she's glad she didn't wait.
Don's final years can be a lesson to us all, whether we expect our remaining time to be measured in decades, years or months. Are we sharing our passions? Do we live our lives doing what we truly love, and allow others to share the experience?
Don't wait. Do it now.
When Angie was 18, her boyfriend John took her to a romantic mesa overlooking Albuquerque. As luck would have it, when it was time to leave, the car was stuck in the sand. They walked to the nearest house and asked to use the phone to call for a ride. When Angie got home at 3:00 a.m., her father was furious. He forbade her from seeing this young man again.
Nearly 50 years later, Angie's brother, Bart, who still lives in Albuquerque, heard John was in town visiting family. Bart called John to catch up and asked where he was currently living. John said he had recently moved to Colorado Springs to help care for his mother after retiring from the Navy and selling real estate.
"What a coincidence," Bart said. "Angie lives in Colorado Springs and recently retired from selling real estate, too." John promised to give Angie a call.
In the intervening years, they'd married other people, had children, and then divorced. Now they have a second chance together.
Angie and John found they were still crazy about each other after all these years. He still makes her laugh. She enjoys spending time with him.
Fringe Ticklers - Back by Popular Demand!
The inventory of Fringe Ticklers has been replenished. They were backordered last month, but now you won't have to wait to get your piece of heaven on a stick.
In case you missed the introduction, a Fringe Tickler is a chopstick with 12-inch fringe attached. It feels absolutely heavenly on your bare skin. Whether you use it as the finale to a sensual massage or present it as a stand-alone treat, your sweetheart will thank you for it.
I bought one of these last October, and quickly realized one was not enough. One for each hand would double the pleasure. After I made another one for us, I decided to make them for you, too.
Fringe Ticklers are $12 each or 2 for $20. Allow 2 weeks for delivery. See what the Ticklers look like and order yours at Fringe Ticklers.
Celebrating with Food
Perhaps I should have given you the oyster tasting recipe for Valentine's Day, but first I wanted to surprise my husband with it. It was such a hit that I served it again when we had dinner guests.
- Oyster Tasting
If you use artichoke hearts in the oyster tasting, you'll have plenty left over for a quiche.
- Smoked Salmon and Artichoke Quiche with Potato Crust
When Jim and I were inn-sitting in Costa Rica, I was always looking for ways to use papayas. These tacos are good with or without chicken.
- Papaya, Sweet Potato and Chicken Tacos
Don't throw those papaya seeds away. They have a peppery flavor. This salad dressing recipe makes enough that you'll be able to share it with several friends. It will keep for about a week.
- Papaya Seed Salad Dressing
Until Next Time
If you enjoyed this free newsletter, please forward it to friends. I care about people and how they celebrate. If you have any stories you'd like to share, please send them to me at email@example.com.
Wishing you a life of romantic adventure,
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