Sunday, August 7, 2011

Blessings in Brown Paper Packages

These days inspiration comes from the most surprising and unexpected sources. I continue to be amazed and if I'm honest, a little challenged sometimes by the forms it takes. How long did I ask for inspiration but looked in the usual places only to find nothing?

Now I understand that some of my disappointment and unhappiness in life was brought on by allowing a very limited view to frame my thoughts, dreams and expectations. These days, I'm going with the flow a bit more, discerning not only when something is good for me but recognizing also when something is great.

The evidence is strong: sometimes God wraps something so beautiful and life-changing in brown paper packages so that only those with an open mind for the miraculous and an open heart to welcome it into their life will recognize it.

More and more I am convinced,
good things are not kept from us - they are kept for us.
Sometimes we simply fail to see them and recognize their worth. Take another look around you and maybe you'll discover the inspiration you've been holding out for, is already within your reach.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

There are certain times in life when it's essential to dig deeper and find that something extra, just to hang on and stay in the race. For me, it was about seven years ago when I decided it was time to get back in shape and regain my fitness after my second child. He's now eleven.

Unfamiliar Territory
Never before had I stepped inside a gym. Seeking refuge inside the bathroom, I pretended to make myself look busy as I tied and re-tied my startling white, new gym shoes but in reality, I was much too intimidated to venture out because I didn't think I belonged. On the way in, I'd noticed the gym floor was saturated in testosterone and everywhere I looked perky twenty year olds wearing way too much makeup and hair product flitted about. The girls were just as bad!

Finally, after a firm pep talk I pushed myself out the door and headed for a treadmill. Seriously, how much trouble could I get in, walking? Little did I know I was being sized up like a lone baby gazelle drinking at a waterhole on the African plains. Enter Pierre the Personal Trainer – ex French Army. Ohh la la – ouch!

“Would you like me to show you a few exercises?” was his opening line. Two hours later, after what felt like a decade of squats, he chirped, “Have you had enough?” That was rhetorical, right?
The next day I could hardly walk.

Pierre called to check on me and asked if I was ready for some more pain. What sort of question was that? For a moment, I thought about faking an injury or pretending he had the wrong number, but instead the lioness stirred within me, “Bring it on!” I said, throwing down the gauntlet (and my dirty socks – it was so much more dramatic that way.)


The worst thing anyone can say to a personal trainer is “bring it on,” because they will and they'll take you on a one-way ticket to a whole new world of pain. They look like normal people but inside there’s a mean streak comparable to a 1950’s chain gang guard.

After another forty-five minute session, I wished the lioness had kept her canines clamped firmly shut! Instead of the roar of a lioness, brave and determined, a Persian kitten curled up and meowed.

“But I’ve had children, Pierre,” I whined. “My body’s a bit out of shape.”

“Then I will bend you back into shape,” he replied, like a villain with a cunning plan. I wanted to quit. It was all too hard. If I could’ve run out – stormed out – I would’ve but I had to stay because limping away wasn’t nearly as dramatic. So I stayed and conquered. I almost threw up but nevertheless I stayed and conquered. I continue to conquer today.

My point is; there are times when we must awaken the lioness within and get the job done. No more backing out, whining or complaining and no more transparent excuses or wishing things were different. Make them different. Some obstacles appear insurmountable so we hold back, intimidated unless we learn to break it down into more manageable steps. Always remember: a lioness devours her prey one mouthful at a time.

There is a time to make a commitment and follow through. It's never quick or painless and it will always cost us something but in the end, only those who finish will know how that feels.

© 2011 Philippa Vette

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Averting Disaster

As Cyclone Yasi rampaged towards the Far North Queensland coastline and thousands evacuated their homes, my phone lit up with a call from Mr P to tell me he was on his way to Townsville to be there, on the ground when Yasi hit.

Strangely, I was filled with a deep and unshakable calm. This is what he'd trained for, yet that night as I lay in bed, my mind did back flips after watching media reports. I was concerned for my sister and her family living close to the esplanade when the talk turned to how big the storm surge might be. My cousin and his family also lived in Cairns.

The next day as residents along the Far North Queensland coastline prepared for Yasi's arrival and left their homes and Mr Practical boarded a plane heading right into Yasi's path, I got in my car and took a drive to visit an old friend. This friend has been like a spiritual mama to me since I arrived in Australia, sixteen years ago. She's encouraged and supported me as I've raised our children, lost a baby during pregnancy, launched a writing business and witnessed milestones in my life. After a visit with her and her generous, heartfelt prayers, total calm once again flooded my heart and mind.

Yasi's Arrival

Cyclone Yasi bombarded the coastline as a Category 5 during the night. Winds rocketed through towns and cities like derailed freight trains. Mr P woke at 11.30pm when a water tank was hurled into the car park of his motel. The power was out. Horizontal rain slashed his window. For hours Yasi assaulted the coastline before moving inland and eventually running out of steam.
In the morning, roads were strewn with debris from trees and the rain continued. Further north in Cairns, my sister, partner and three year old son had evacuated to a friends' house further away from the sea. Tucked into the side of a hill, they were largely sheltered from the north side of Yasi. Still, with the power out and winds whipping the trees around the house, sleep escaped them. Their home and their business near the esplanade were untouched.

Back home in Brisbane, we were having a heat wave. High humidity and scorching temperatures saw the children in the swimming pool straight after school every day. Neighbourhood kids gravitated to our place at the sound of splashes and squeals coming from our backyard. Chilled slices of watermelon were enjoyed and simple, light dinners were served to combat the heat of the night.

What Lurks Beneath
Towards the end of the week, I noticed our swimming pool looking a little murky. Not happy. I like our pool to be crystal clear and sparkling. People comment on our sparkling pool. It's about thirty years old and to set it in the ground, rock had to be blasted away to make room for it. It's definitely a stayer!
I once remember our pool going green when the weather went weird and super humid. I'm not keen on a cesspool in our backyard! With the current weather conditions and all the use lately, our beloved pool was heading for a whole new shade called 'Kermit Green'! I couldn't let it happen. Not on my watch! Not with Mr P still away. Green was not cool. I had to take immediate action.
Scooping a sample into a jar, I took it along to the pool shop for analysis. "Yep, it's way out of balance," said the pool guy. A queue was quickly forming behind me with people clutching their pool samples. It wasn't just our pool. It was an epidemic!

The pool guy disappeared for a second and returned with three bags of something and a container of something else and rang up the price on the register.

"Hold on," I said with a slight quiver in my voice, "I don't know what to do with this stuff. I don't usually look after the pool - my husband does." I think I heard someone go, Tsk! I refused to look around. I went for the sympathy vote. I needed this guy's help and I didn't need heckling from the back of the room. "My husband has been called up to Townsville with Fire & Rescue to help out after the cyclone." It was like name-dropping to get a table at the best restaurant in town but I was desperate.

"Oh, he's a big guy, yep, I know him." Phew! "Okay, here's what you need to do." I scribbled down every word he said. "If you stuff it up, you'll make the pool worse." Okay, no pressure then!

I raced home and Mr Practical Jnr (aka The Teen) assisted me. The Kreepy Krawley was also out of action but the filter hummed beautifully as we dumped, sprinkled, raked and poured all the "stuff" into the pool. The lengths we go to bathe in a large, yet contained body of water.

The next morning, I opened the curtains to find the pool - sparkling. Hip, hip hooray. I didn't suck at pool maintenance! We had averted a disaster, the pool hadn't gone green and I felt very competent as a homeowner.
After a week, Mr P arrived home to squeals of delight and handstands on the sofa and then the kids greeted him! Mr P with his well-endowed practicalness, extracted some palm fronds from the Kreepy Krawley hose and once again it ticked away, diligently shimmying along the walls and floor of the pool like a little sucker fish.

See, life does go on when your 'normal' changes. Day by day, even hour by hour, you work through those things set before you and when you lay your head on the pillow, you let your mind settle on those pleasant things like mastering pool maintenance and let yourself enjoy that slightly pumped feeling you get as you cast your eye over those sparkling blue waters, knowing in essence, after such a monumental week, with a little help, you both averted a disaster.

Copyright 2011 Philippa Vette

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Christmas Light Fiasco

When I was a child growing up, my sister trained me in correct Christmas tree decorating procedures. She had a thing about the whole tree being decorated, not just the front that everyone could see. Under her guidance, I became skilled in the art of evenly distributing the ornaments around the tree – something I have passed on to my own children. These days, now that the children are older, the tree can be boxed up in the garage one moment and upright and sparkling the next.
A Big Surprise
This year while I was at work, Mr Practical and our three children (the teen, the tween and the toddler) decided to decorate the tree as a surprise for me. Usually our tree looks great. At nightfall, silver lights illuminate the branches setting every ornament ablaze. I loved to wait until the children have all gone to bed and just sit near the tree and soak up the beauty of the tree and of the season. This time, however, when I walked in to the dimly lit living room after work, I almost missed the tree.
“What do you think, Mum?” chorused the children. I spun around to glance in the direction they were pointing, to see our tree adorned in the tiniest coloured fairy lights in existence. These must’ve been the ‘low impact on the environment’ lights because their low illumination had a low impact on me! Let”s just say, when God stood at the beginning of existence and proclaimed, “Let there be Light!” there’s now way He had these lights in mind. Pitifull. (I would insert a picture here except I deleted them because the lights were so tiny they illuminated nothing.)

“Wow, you put the tree up! Did you guys do all that?” I asked, knowing it didn't look right. They nodded excitedly. “You did a great job.” I held off making a comment about the lights because that would’ve been a crushing blow but I really wanted to know why they didn’t use our usual lights.
Everyone told me which part they did. The towering teen decorated the upper branches and fixed the star on the very top – obvious, the tween dressed the lower half and Little Miss (aged 3) passed the ornaments up to her brothers. A significant role. “They wanted to do it for you as a surprise,” Mr Practical whispered, leaning over to me. Okay, let the bad attitude go about the lights. Who really cares? If they liked it the way it was, then that was good enough for me too. Right? I’ve really been working on not making an issue of small things and just letting things go. This philosophy had been working relatively well… until now.
Retreating to my bedroom to change my clothes and my attitude because those teeny tiny lights didn’t meet my expectation, Mr P followed me inside. Aware of what I might be thinking, he explained that the other lights were so tangled and not working he decided to make the executive decision to throw them out. That seemed reasonable, after all they were only lights. Stores have boxes and boxes of them this time of year. No big deal – until the next day when a disturbing thought dawned on me.

What Happened to Winnie?
When our teen was a baby, for his first Christmas we bought the cutest Winnie the Pooh commemorative lights. Every Christmas since, I’d delicately draped Winnie, Tigger and Piglet over the fake branches of our Canadian Spruce - except for this year. Winnie and friends had been discarded like common trash. I felt hollow. Despair seeped into my heart like a mudslide overtaking a primitive village (too dramatic?).
I was then confronted by another thought. What lights was I going to use to decorate the room for our pre-Christmas dinner party with friends? I had none to borrow off the tree and with only a matter of hours before our guests arrived, the transformation of our rumpus room, complete with Wii and mini pool table, wasn’t looking good. Let’s face it, the chances of Colin Cowie (Oprah’s party stylist) knocking on my door carrying an armful of crystal twinkling lights and transforming the room into a magical Christmas wonderland, were nudging zero especially since he knew nothing of my dilemma.

With time ticking on and still having food to prep and cook, a house to clean and a room to do something with, I did what any resourceful woman would do… (no, I didn’t search through the garbage to find the old lights, I wish I’d thought of that at the time… and no I didn’t sit down and cry) I jumped on Facebook.

Suggestions streamed in, even a generous gift of an entire tree-full of lights from a co-worker which would have solved the dilemma entirely except, she was still at work and then had to locate her dis-used lights somewhere in her garage. There were no guarantees and time was at a premium.

After my best delegating efforts, everyone was busy. I still needed a centrepiece for the table and in the best interest of my marriage, I knew I should take care of that, myself. If I sent Mr Practical out to buy something glittery and gorgeous, he’d come back with a shiny biscuit tin! Being so practical, he’d be thinking we could use it again afterwards. Welcome to my world.

While I was out shopping I kept an eye out for Christmas lights, just in case the others were a ‘no show’. Everywhere was sold out! I grabbed six silver votive candle holders for the centrepiece – it was either that or a big, glitzy silver kneeling reindeer, but come Boxing Day, what else could I do with a bling-bling reindeer? Now I’m thinking like you-know-who!

By three o’clock, the house was clean, the room was being set up and the food was ready to go into the oven but we still had no lights.

A Slight Detour
After a horribly humid day, (remember we’re in summer Down Under), I was finally ready to shower and get myself ready when Mr P called to say he was at the petrol station and had just realised he’d left his wallet at work. I needed to take a drive and pay for his petrol. I didn’t have time for this. My hair was feral and I was sticky from sweat.

A montage of Christmases spent with our children when they were young with our beloved Winnie and friends adorning the tree flickered through my mind. How could Mr P do that? Had it meant nothing to him because it did to me and surely that was enough reason to keep them whether they still worked or not? Enough! I didn’t have time to dwell. What would be the point of being angry and upset when our friends were coming over to celebrate one of the happiest times of the year? That, not the light issue, could have ruined the evening.

Keeping a good attitude, I paid for the petrol and was relieved his wallet had been located and kept safe at work. I decided to drive to the nearest supermarket to pick up a few last minute items. It wasn’t my usual place to shop, so it took me a little longer to find what I needed but as I came around the end of aisle seven, I discovered a tower of boxed lights! Sometimes in unusual or unfamiliar places, lie the greatest blessings.

Having not yet heard back about the ‘gift’ lighting package, I figured she was probably having difficulty locating them. Racing home just moments before a summer storm, I hurled the box of lights to Mr P and the teen to hang, then burst into the kitchen to check on the lemon and garlic chickens roasting and the crunchy dill potatoes. Suddenly I realised, I still needed to shower.

A Slight Delay
The phone rang and it was my friend who was bringing her small tribe to dinner. She informed me it was hailing at her place and could she wait until the storm passed and then drive over. Excellent. Take your time. Summer storms don’t tend to hang around too long here, no matter how fierce they look or sound. Chaos and devastation can easily pass within half an hour.

All our guests arrived safely after the storm had passed. Dinner was served and it was delicious and we had plenty of it. Because all our family live far away our surrogate Grandma (family friend) joined us and gave Little Miss a scooter. Between the main course and dessert, a race track was formed around the table. It was noisy and fun.The Christmas Spirit had arrived.

I had imagined a room twinkling with a thousand clear fairy lights but instead I got a room with two hundred flashing coloured lights. All that was missing was a disco ball and karaoke machine! It really didn’t seem to matter. We were all together to celebrate our friendship at a very special time of year. My heart was full.

That’s not quite the end of the story. The day after, what did I find on the workshop bench? Winnie and Friends tangled but not trashed. Oops! It seems they were never actually thrown out. “Someone” was actually trying to fix them. Perhaps ‘someone’ could’ve mentioned that rather important detail at the beginning. Then again I wouldn’t have had the same opportunity to practise the act of grace. I could’ve really said some hurtful words to those around me especially when things didn't go the way I'd planned. I've discovered it's nice if it all comes together, but not a tragedy if it doesn’t. Gathering with those we love, is always the most important detail.

Thank heavens for delays, detours and blessings hidden for us. When we relax a little and slow down we will find them and hear the voice of peace and goodwill to all.

©2010 Philippa Vette

This is my last blog for the year. Some exciting developments for next year. I will be sure to keep you posted. Become a fan on Facebook: Philippa Vette Inspirational Writer and follow my tweets on Twitter: Wordsmum.

I wish you much peace and joy for Christmas and a fresh determination and vision to live well and let your life be full of meaning and purpose in the coming New Year. Keep laughing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

George Clooney and Mr P

Lately, I’ve noticed a change in Mr Practical. Reading material is now being held at arm’s length but according to him, that’s not an issue, because if things are held at arm’s length, he can see them just fine. (That’s not a solution, Pumpkin - it’s denial!)

Anyway, last week on his birthday he randomly announced he was going to get his eyes checked. I congratulated him on coming to his senses and before going to our favourite Greek restaurant for a sumptuous lunch, we called in to the optometrist to make an appointment.
“When did you last have your eyes checked,” asked the mature-aged woman behind the counter.
“Ooh,” said Mr P, straining to think.
“Fourteen years ago,” I chirped. I remembered because it was just before our teen was born.
The woman raised her eyebrows and inhaled through her nostrils. I was hoping she’d unload on him and give him a quick lecture or at least make a snide comment underlining how slack that was, but instead a smile emerged and she added, “I’ll book you in for the works.” Argh, she was siding with him!

The appointment was made but instead of us heading for the door, Mr P got enthusiastic about frames and veered off to the Mens section. This man has never worn glasses. He’s big and tough with a menacing permanent frown crease set between his feathery eyebrows. He owns a t-shirt that says, WARNING: CONTAINS ATTITUDE. What he’s not, is a book worm. His reading material of choice is a trucking magazine. I’ve even found volumes of magazines containing truck and machinery for sale. We’re talking page after black and white page of classifieds. It’s any wonder we don’t have a vintage plough on our front lawn! So just the thought of Mr P wearing glasses makes my head tilt.

A Few Options
The first pair were thick, black coke-bottle rimmed frames. I turned around and just one look, made me want to smack them off his face. “No!” I said, giving him that look I give to the children sometimes when they’re contemplating over-stepping the mark. I knew he was toying with me.

The second pair were red and black striped. I shook my head. “You’re not a male hairdresser or a couture fashion designer. There’s no way you could carry that off.”

The third pair glowed green on the inside which illuminated his face. “Great if you go clubbing but again, I don’t think you can make that work for you. I can only imagine what comments the men at the station would make if you rocked up in those.” Rimless options didn’t look any good either.

Then he slipped on a pair of brushed metallic Ralph Lauren frames. “I’m thinking architect,” I said, casting a glance out the door to the other side of the mall at the red SALE signs swinging in the air conditioned breeze, over at the ladies fashion store. It was hypnotic.

He studied his new look in the mirror like a model (too weird) and then he pouted. That was too much. I knew he was just joking but the greying hair and now glasses was making me feel old-er.
Times Were Changing
We’ve been together since I was in high school and the years have flown by so fast. I’ve always thought of ageing as something people who were older than us did, but not us. We were somehow exempt. This was fast becoming a sour dose of reality.
The appointment was booked for two days time and the plan was, that I would meet him towards the end of the appointment, we’d choose a frame together and then have lunch. However, I got a text message to say it was all done and he’d brought sushi home for lunch. Home? What happened to the plan? What about my consent... I mean, opinion?

This is the man who has been known to wear slide on leather sandals with thick blue work socks and think it’s funny that I get upset about it. He cannot be trusted to choose something as visible and important as reading glass frames because as much as I love him - the man has no sense of style!

Consequently, I’ve learnt to pick my battles and negotiate. To avoid further serious ‘discussions’ on the topic, he now has a designated group of t-shirts/shorts/jeans combos that he can wear and I’m not allowed to comment. If he steps outside those parameters he’s fair game because when ‘practical’ is taken to the extreme it can be... well, a little unpleasant to the eye ie. Ugly. There I’ve said it.
The George Clooney Bit
Obviously sensing my reluctance to accept the visible signs of his changing appearance, this morning Mr P tried to help me adjust (and God bless him for trying, I say.) I opened my eyes and we lay there, face to face in bed. “Do you find George Clooney attractive?”he blurted. That was random.
I was barely awake. “What?”
“George Clooney. Do you think he’s attractive?”
“Um, yeah, I guess. I don’t swoon but...”
“I saw a picture of him the other day and I thought, “He’s a good looking bloke!”
“Your point?” Where was this going? I reached for my tea.
“He’s good looking and he’s really grey now...”
“He’s also a decade older than you..!
Mr P wouldn’t accept it. He was sure they were the same age.
“Wait... are you comparing yourself to George Clooney?”
“Yeeeah,” he admitted, breaking into a laugh. I joined in and almost tipped my tea in the bed. Nice try. He really thought he was on to something.

A Waiting Game
So, as I wait to see which frames he’s chosen, my uneasiness gently simmers. Really, it’s not about which frame he's chosen, I realize that. It’s the actual change I’m finding confronting. As his hair has become more grey and now the glasses, it’s a stark reminder that time is passing quickly. We’re still young but the lines of this playing field have gradually been moving but I’ve only really just noticed.

If anything, it’s an urgent reminder to stay connected to those we love, accept each other as we change and to support and love them no matter what. Because, while we are seeing the changes, they are living them.

As for us, Mr Practical aka The Silver Fox (as our teen calls him) and his fabulous, young-looking wife (ahem...that would be me) will still be seen stepping out on the town, cuddling up at the movies and laughing our way through the rest of our lives together. I just hope we’re doing it while he’s wearing Ralph Lauren architect-style frames not the glow-in-the-dark, boom-boom-shake-the-room ones. Either way, his love still holds my heart and that’s all the reassurance I need.

©2010 Philippa Vette

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Pie Incident

When my sister arrives in town, I like nothing better than to escape with her for a few hours to catch a movie and enjoy good food. Mr Practical is usually very accommodating as it then means he doesn't have to sit through a 'chick-flick', so everyone wins.

With our movie session time selected, all we needed to do was arrange a haircut appointment for my sister and sit in my favourite cafe and relax with a generous slice of Rustic Apple/Berry Pie with the funky lattice top. That would complete me... well, my morning at least.

I have fond memories of eating The Pie. I'm a big fan of apple and berries. They fit so nicely together - like the perfect couple that you see when you're out; just by taking one look you can already picture what their children will look like. Apple/Berry is also perfect for those occasions when you feel torn and simply can't decide whether you feel more like apple or more like berry. It can be a dilemma. This way you don't have to decide - you can have both! Perfecto.

We cruised up to the cake display cabinet and my eyes scanned each shelf. Some days they have been known not to stock The Pie and when quizzed, I was told, "It's not pie day, today." How can it not be Pie day? There is ice cream; there is cream so how can there be no Pie? The Pie is the main event. When interrogated a little further, it became apparent the staff were not willing to divulge which days were Pie days. I hate to be kept in the dark.

But there, in the left-hand corner sharing a cake stand with a pyramid of Gluten Free friands (that alone is an abomination that Rustic Pie should have to share space with anything, let alone those ‘cakes’ with no wheat) were three slices of The Pie. My heart leapt and I almost burst into song, but before I could savour even the thought of plump blackberries bursting with warm juice and tender wedges of sweet apple cocooned in a crisp, golden pastry blanket - a bombshell smashed right through my idyllic pastry world.

"I don't really feel hungry right now," said my sister. I glared at her like an eagle stares down at a little bunny from several kilometres up in the sky. "No?" I replied, trying to disguise the whimper in my voice. Was I beginning to fold on the inside already? I was more fragile than I thought.

"How about in half an hour?" she added. Argh! Compromise.

"Ok, we'll do the hair thing and come back." I blew The Pie a little kiss goodbye and promised to return without delay like a mother leaving her child for the first time but every few minutes I found myself stopping to think about The Pie.

Finally it was time. I sauntered up to the cake display cabinet like a woman with a new credit card in a designer shoe store. I was on a mission and I knew what I wanted. Then, *gasp* The Pie was GONE! Not even a crumb was left. I searched the cabinet. Maybe it had been put back in another spot. Alas, there was no evidence that The Pie had ever existed.

"Can I help you?" asked the young woman behind the counter. I glanced at the other staff. Where was the guy who usually worked the register? He'd know what had happened to The Pie. It must've been his day off because I couldn't see him out the back in the kitchen either. (Yes, I looked!)

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, opened them and said slowly, "Think very carefully before you answer because there's alot riding on what you say."

"O-kay," she replied, cautiously. Maybe she could sense (woman-to-woman) that I was teetering on the brink. Some days, circumstances are stacked in such a way that the absence of your favourite thing like The Pie can bring about a response of cataclysmic proportions. Tip: When you see it coming, know that it's a test. Tread carefully lest you have to repeat the process in order to finally pass.

"Do you have any more of the Rustic Apple/Berry Pie?" Her look said it all. Her head, cocked slightly to the side, as if I'd just told her I'd lost my cat. That only lasted for a moment. Straightening up she looked me square in the eye and informed me, "Sorry, no." Wrong answer! At that moment, I actually had a picture flash through my mind of me lying on the floor in the middle of the cafe, wailing, pummelling my fists into the floor and kicking my feet. (I've been around toddlers too much lately.) I let that whole notion pass. No way was I going there! The last thing I wanted, was to be banned from the one venue that stocked the heavenly Pie. No,this was an occasion when one was required to be very grown up, despite feeling very whiney on the inside.

I explained that I'd seen three slices in the display cabinet only half an hour ago. She empathised then said, "Yes, those people at that table bought them all." I turned to check out who would do such a thing. A retired couple, their adult daughter and grandson beamed at their pie topped with soft mounds of whipped cream and shot large chunks of it, into their mouths. That’s my Pie!

Short of crawling into the empty chair at their table and opening my mouth for the next spoonful of Pie, like the grandson (that would be wrong on so many levels,) I was going to have to suck it up and face it – I was not getting The Pie today. Life was harsh.

"You should go and ask them if they still want all their Pie. I can heat it up for you," the cafe chick suggested. Was she making fun of me? Dangerous ground you’re treading there, lady! Then she said something that really irked me. "Maybe it just wasn't meant to be." Grrrr. *strong dislike* It always sounds like a cop-out used by people who somehow don't get what they want on the first attempt.

"No, it was meant to be but sometimes other people don't play their role as they should!" I cast a serious look at my sister. She quickly offered to pay for both our orders. Forgiven. So after much inner turmoil, because it was like choosing one child over another, I settled for the Blueberry/Almond Tart which by my book was a distant cousin to the Rustic Apple/Berry pie and was still not a pie or The Pie. It was the consolation prize.

So the moral to the story is: when you see your opportunity - grab it. Don't allow distractions to cause it to slip by or you will rehearse the sequence of events over and over, salivating and crying, "Why, why, why?" There I go again!

Come on, this life is for living. Participation is the key to feeling satisfied and fulfilled. Observing life and the people who are really living it, only leaves you feeling left out and miserable. BUY THE TICKET AND TAKE THE RIDE. Seek The Pie and eat it. Always be sure to share your love, your experiences and the lessons learned with those around you, so your memories remain vivid and your heart remains full, overflowing in generosity. And on those days when someone takes your pie, be gracious and adaptable knowing with confidence that Pie Day will come around again and next time it will taste even better.

©2010 Philippa Vette