Tag Archives: a hopeful world

On the Waterfront.

One of the most pleasurable activities that I like to experience is dining on the waterfront.

There is a large lake on a chain of lakes that my best friend and I enjoy going to, for not only does it have the beauty and serenity that we like, but there is also a small out-of-the-way restaurant on its shores.

It is a simple place and nothing fancy at all about it.  The white frame building is old – perhaps circa 1940s.  Behind it is a row of two buildings that house little rooms, perhaps kitchenettes for fishermen in another time.

The restaurant itself has a small bar.  Wooden tables are scattered about the two dining rooms.

Outside, there is a seating area with tables and a counter where diners can eat looking over the piers and across the great expanse of the lake.  From time to time, we spotted alligators and fishing birds.  The restaurant sort of reminds of me of Mildred’s restaurant in James M. Cain’s book, Mildred Pierce, or the restaurant in another one of his books, The Postman Always Rings Twice.  The restaurant we frequent has that cozy, post-war feel.

The menu itself is basic and reminiscent of home cooking, with offerings of simple cocktails to wet your whistle.

Our usual spot is a table for two looking out towards the water.  Sometimes we see fish jumping in arcs, playfully energetic.  Occasionally, we spot water birds darting in and out of the water, looking for a meal or just sitting on the piers, wings outstretched and drying off.

There are always some sort of boats skimming across the waters.  Some come from the homes directly across the far side of the lake, and some from any one of the another lakes in the chain.  When the boat captain ties the boat to the pier and the passengers alight, there usually is laughter and excitement as they walk down the boardwalk and into the restaurant.

Over the speakers in the ceiling, music gently plays, loud enough to hear, yet soft enough to carry on conversations without yelling across the table.

There is something calming about being near the water that takes away the stress and clamor of everyday life.  Nothing else is important but the immediate experience and the topics of conversation at the table.

Indeed, this is one of my favorite ways to spend some wonderful time on a Friday afternoon or a Saturday night.  Not only do I benefit from the atmosphere and good friendship, but it also clears my mind a bit to gather and clear my thoughts and get lost in a quiet world, with the benefit of sparking some creativity and cleansing.

It’s about peace, calm, and a sort of escapism, of course.  It is good to periodically break away from the world’s insanity.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my book, “Your Table is Ready,” and my new book coming up, “A Hopeful World,” ©2023

Word Fads.

“Words have meanings, my friend.”

Such were the words dear ol’ Paddy Fitzwilliam uttered as we walked the grounds on his estate recently near the stinkin’ pond.

“Words have meanings, Friend, and if ye do not understand, let me explain.  When I was a youngster, no higher than a faerie standing on a toadstool, my other friend of longstanding always promised to visit on his way to Skibbereen. On this road he would travel was the very same path I lived upon. He never stopped, but kept on a-travellin’ that long road.  These were the days I would make special trips to visit him in his wee village over the many years now.  The years passed, and one day I said feck him, my so-called friend is no friend. He be the kind that just talks to hear himself talk and mostly likely believes I am stupid and addle-brained enough to believe his vapid words.  Thus, be it known that I have little faith in people, and the only one I can count on is meself.  Take heart and hold these words close, for ye will find many a-people such as my former friend.”

And thus, I held ol’ Paddy Fitzwilliams’ words close to my heart, and to this day I do not believe people’s words until I see them put into action.

This brings me to another point.

These days, even in the days of old, words become fads – overused words that quickly become meaningless and nothing more than noise in the world.

There was a time, when I was young, that the word “conceited” was one such fad.

“Becky in biology class is so conceited.  She thinks she’s better than anyone.”  “Jim is a conceited jock.  He thinks he rules the football game.”

Nowadays, people banter about the word, “narcissist.”  Oh, everyone is a narcissist these days.  Did you know that?  The ex-spouses, the ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend, the boss, the weird neighbor on the corner.  Everyone is a psychologist or a psychiatrist and handing out free analyses.

Then there is the word “sustainability” and derivatives thereof.  “I take the wind train into work, because I’m all into sustainability.”  “It’s impossible to be sustainable when working in our current global climate.”  “My lifestyle is exponentially sustainable during global warming.”  And then there is this doozy I found in a news article:  “The injury was not sustainable with life,” [the fire chief] reported.

It has come to the undeniable fact that people do not use words in the proper way, that is, they throw those words around in their conversations without any understanding of their meanings or correct usage.

It’s maddening, yet hilarious in a way, too, to hear people use big words with such irresponsible abandon.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming book, “A Hopeful World” and “Aren’t They Just –!” ©2023

Twilight Bay.

In the greyish-blue twilight of a fresh early evening, Best Friend and I escaped from our home and drove a couple short miles to the old part of town.  We parked the car along the waterfront, drifted over to a bench built for two, and we snuggled in.  The heat of the day still lingered heavily in the air, yet the crisp, cool breezes off the bay and the anticipation of watching the sun dip dramatically below the horizon made us disregard that heat.

I detected that the breeze and the lateness of the day made the usually bluish-green hue of the choppy water turn a gloomy blackish-grey.  As I stared at the spot in front of me, it didn’t really look like water.  Instead, it appeared so dark as to be reminiscent of undulating tar.  The more I stared at the water, the more it became black, the more it looked like tar, the more it undulated.

Best Friend and I got up, held hands, and wandered in a westerly direction along the railing next to the bay.  Pelicans silently flew overhead and over the expanse of the bay – not one stopped on the lawn nor sidewalk to plead for a nosh, as they usually do.  Instead, that evening they were making a beeline for the ships in the harbor.  Perhaps dinner was more of a delicious guarantee on deck.

A large, fat gull sat on the railing facing the sunset, long enough for us to admire his white and grey feathers.  With a stretch of his wings and a push off the railing, he was out over the water, but not before I could snap a picture of him.

In the distance, a lone sailboat bounced in the bay.

Serenity prospered and offered to all who would take it, the pacific beauty in an otherwise insanely troubled world.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming new book, “A Hopeful World,” ©2023

Complementary Compliment.

As a rule, I quietly go about my business during the day, and being the private and unobtrusive type of person that I am, I pretty much keep to myself, yet I don’t completely shut myself off from the world around me.  I just not a forward person with an extroverted leaning when it comes to the public at large.

Sometime ago – it was in 2021, in fact – I was at the grocery store with Best Friend.  Whilst we stood in the express lane waiting to pay for our goods, a woman zipped over in a motorized cart to our place in line.  She creeped up and tapped me on the arm.  What a surprise to me, especially since it was still in the Era of Fear of COVID.  She obviously wasn’t in fear, since she wasn’t wearing a face covering.

Startled, I took a half step back, thinking she needed to get past me in the checkout line.  I smiled, and she could see my friendly smile.

This time she touched my arm.  Then she spoke.

“No, no,” she smiled.  “Don’t go.  I just wanted to say to you how nice you look.  It’s so refreshing to see someone actually dress up these days.  You look so nice.  And your companion, too.  You both look good together.”

I relaxed and smiled even broader.  “Thank you,” I replied.  It’s so nice of you to say that.  It’s nice that there are a few friendly people left in this world.”

She laughed.  “Oh, there are a few left!”  And she made a U-turn and zipped away on her motorized cart.  I watched as she happily went on her merry way, her grey-white hair neatly coiffed, blouse and pants pressed, and her black shoes polished.

How refreshing that encounter was!  It made up for the rudeness and short tempers that seem to have festered throughout society since the world went nuts in 2019 with the longest flu season in history.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from “A Hopeful World,” ©2023

About Admiration and Respect.

Over the weekend, Best Friend and I were watching a few episodes from The Colgate Comedy Hour, a variety show on television that aired between 1950-55.  It was before my time, but it still was a nice trip down Memory Lane.

In the several episodes we watched, Dean Martin sang with a small ensemble of dancers.  The dancers were dressed in the typical 1950s ladies’ fashions – petticoats, chiffon, and femininity.  Their hair was combed, and their makeup enhanced their good looks.  The songs?  They were all about love and respect and admiration, all the way through.

About halfway through a number, I commented to Best Friend as he sat watching the troupe swirling around Dean, “Look how nice this number is.  If this was today, those dancers would be half naked and the singer would be spewing ‘Imma kill you b— ‘cuz I hate yo’ face’ while lewdly grabbing his every private body part.  What a difference from then to now, wouldn’t you agree?”

Best Friend nodded in assent.

Lately, more so than ever, I have been directing my thoughts to years gone by . . . long ago years that I remember, and those long-ago years before my time that are legendary in my family lore.  Since the beginning of time, there has always existed the good and the bad, yet the chaos of now and what it promises to bring to our doorsteps is all too real.

Watching these old television programs for me is about peace, calm, and a sort of escapism, of course, from the madness of the current chaotic world.  Yes, it is good to periodically break away from the world’s insanity.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming book, “A Hopeful World,” ©2023