When the dog bites

When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad.

Dear readers, thank you for visiting today. How is it I can still remember the words to a song I learned in my exuberant youth?

I think I was living in East Vancouver and in grade 3 when Mrs. Renfrew taught her class this song “My Favorite Things”. I still smile remembering her. I got two detentions the first day of school for talking, and Most Improved Student at the end of the year. She was so nice.

Of course in my mind I hear Mary Poppins singing the lyrics – Link here “caution ♥ listening to this 90 seconds could have you singing all day!”

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver-white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

The Sound of Music

It’s not only when I feel sad that I remember my favorite things.

I love the simplest pleasures of life like walking, diving into a cold lake and standing by a bonfire with a towel afterward.

I love sunflowers, and the smell of grass. I love watching the birds jump from sunflower to sunflower and the bees that loiter and gather at each.

Queen Elizabeth just passed and she certainly had the means and access to anything her heart desired. It seems to me though that she really liked the simple things of life, walking her dogs, the countryside of Scotland. Those were her highlights, and where she had some of her happiest times.

I may be weird, but I truly believe that looking up at the sky and admiring the big dipper is a pleasure.

Happiness can be felt in the small details,

It doesn’t have to be something grand or complicated.

A warm mug of hot tea with lemon on a cold winter morning is a wonderful feeling, hard to beat.

”Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Theodore Roosevelt

I left the hospital today after my second of three appointments this week feeling very joyful. It’s a nice day, I found parking easy peasy and when I got home there was a hot breakfast and hug awaiting.

Starting each day with a long hug, and ending it the same way is the best heart medicine I could prescribe.

Life is good.

May your day be filled with a few of your favourite things also. ♥ – David

Big thank you for stopping by!

Don’t need no TV, I don’t need no phone
Don’t need a speedy car to get me home
Don’t need no nothing
All I need is time for the simple life

Go get your butt out off that lazy couch
Put down the laptop and get out of the house
Don’t need no nothing
All I need is time for the simple life

I got a brand new scratch on my Cadillac
Try to call the Bodyshop but my phone is dead
Tried to email my brother but the wifi’s down
This stuff is haunting me all year round

I’m fixing one thing and another one’s coming lose
It’s making me think how much it stinks
I keep on buying new things that I can’t really use
If it just gets you annoyed then what is the point?

Casey Adams – Simple life
Posted in okanagan related, Thinking Out loud | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

It’s always Blue Skies

Thank you for visiting my blog “Life and Random Thinking” today.

Today is my 8th post in my Toastmasters challenge to do 8 posts in a month.

Thanks for hanging in there and supporting my writing and especially the encouraging comments and suggestions.

I have a few different ideas to share and hope you will like one or all of them and I am including delicious music for dessert♥ – David

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

Today I had another “procedure” as in day-surgery and stitches that will need to be in for three weeks because of the chunk removed. I have recurring struggle with skin cancer due to over thirty years of taking immuno-suppressant drugs so my kidney transplants don’t reject.

I’m happy about it.

The surgeon is always really nice, the day surgery nurse “Tammy” is always sweet and welcomes me by sight. I left the room today after multiple needles to freeze my leg, clothes soaked with blood; but I went home feeling content.

A few years back I took Headspace (a meditation app) and one of the first concepts was that the blue skies are up there, the clouds are temporary but the blue sky isn’t. Which I see and focus on is up to me. Today I admit I was gritting my teeth, and deep breathing but I knew the blue skies were still there.

Blue Sky link here

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

I have just started watching a Netflix show called “Navillera“.

The story line is “A 70-year-old with a dream and a 23-year-old with a gift lift each other out of harsh realities and rise to the challenge of becoming ballerinos.”

The average young ballet dancer quits their careers young. The concept of beginning at age 70 is inspiring.

What would I do/try if I didn’t think about my age, weight, blah blah? What could I accomplish?

At one point the “seasoned” 70 year old says “I know I am old and weak. I am willing to be defeated by reality. But I want to at least try.”

That grabbed my ears, my heart and my imagination.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A few years ago you might recall a bobsled team qualified for the 1988 Winter Olympics. The likelihood seems the same as finding a magic carpet outside my window.

quote from Wikipedia “Their “underdog” status as an unlikely competitor in a cold weather sport represented by a nation with a tropical environment quickly gained them popularity at the Games. They had little experience in the sport and had to appeal to other teams for basic equipment in order to compete; sporting camaraderie across national boundaries followed. In the third out of four runs, they lost control of the sleigh, crashed, and did not officially finish.

I have to imagine they went home with their hearts full that they tried.

Defeated by reality but riding a magic carpet regardless that they gave it their all, and I believe they were happy, joyful, exuberant in that knowledge.

I like this beautiful song and loved the Jamaican beat, lyrics and images from the Jamaican national bobsled movie.

So called “Failures” this team embraced the attempt and were living without regret because of that

My challenge of these 8 posts was to write “compelling” posts.

I don’t know if I did – only you can say if I succeeded.

I hope that every person sees the “blue skies” in their lives, that they are content enough to enjoy what life has given them but optimistic about what the days ahead might bring.

I also want to express sincere thank you to the readers that encourage me to share my thoughts. I am grateful for the friendships I didn’t expect when I started blogging many years ago.

I started blogging as way to continually learn and challenge myself – a goal I embrace for myself and I hope you do also.

I have learned and I have much more to learn and new challenges to try. I will try to embrace the joy of trying and failing as the doorway to achievement. ♥♥ David

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

Henry Ford
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Give it Up!

Thank you for visiting my blog “Life and Random Thinking” today.

Today is my 7th post in my Toastmasters challenge to do 8 posts in a month. Thanks for hanging in there and supporting my writing and especially the encouraging comments and suggestions.

Sincerely – David

A great finale to “almost” end our summer season in Penticton is the IRONMAN

In 1983, the first North American IRONMAN was born in Penticton, and that race changed the IRONMAN triathlon community forever. 

Penticton is known as one of the world’s premier triathlon host communities, a bucket list destination for IRONMAN athletes all over the world.

The 2,000 triathletes registered for this year’s race have been training and competing for this day all year or for much longer.

IRONMAN Penticton will lead athletes along a 3.8 km swim, a 180 km bike ride and a 42 km run, through Penticton and surrounding areas. 

I was up at 5:30 this morning to ride my bike down to Okanagan lake to watch the beginning of the day long event.

It was chilly this morning so had to add a windbreaker and I wished for heated gloves as my hands were freezing. Under these conditions the athletes stripped down, put on wet suits (for extra floatation mainly) and waded into the lake. In waves they headed out on the 3.8 swim and while standing in line with the wind coming down the lake from the north I wonder what they were thinking?

For some, like the oldest registered athlete 79-year-old Dick Ensselen, (Dick has competed in every edition of IRONMAN Canada except the first year the event was held in 1983) he was probably relaxed and feeling peaceful.

Others who have travelled here from all over the globe, probably not so much. Definitely excitement, and nervous about the strain they were about to physically endure by the end of the event.

That pain will dissolve into huge smiles, their aching sweaty body nearly forgotten with the relief and joy as they finally cross the finish line.

Most or many will sign up tomorrow on the first possible day to register so they can do it again next year as the race fills up – and they will cheerfully pay the full race registration fee for next year, over $2000.00.

They know a lot can happen before then but they are focused on planning to try and making sure they have that opportunity!

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Not an Ironman or Woman? Me neither but I suspect you would have an answer for me if I said –


What would you do if you knew you would not fail?”

I have done 10 kilometre races and never knew I would be able to when I started running.

I trained with a buddy for a year and half and finally could swim over a kilometre at a go and when I started I never knew I could.

Neither of those things can I do right now but I am glad I said “Yes” and did train and do those things in my life.

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(internet download)

Penticton has two lakes – one at each end. Invariably every year the age group that is the first in the lakes, and last in the lakes are the youngsters.

They don’t analyze it:

+ how cold it will feel?,

+ will there a shock to the system?

They just enthusiastically jump in and have fun, and enjoy.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

As a adult who knows better but still holds himself back – I say “Give it Up!” Don’t over think it!

The Ironman athletes have trained but some of them will fail today, but will try again I think because it’s an amazing event to be part of and because of what they experience from trying.

The possibility of failure is not an obstacle to enjoying the attempt! They don’t over think it, they gave that up!

Some athletes will have flat tires and others will have cramps, chills and you name it – but tomorrow they will gather with their fellow athletes and family wearing their medals and their shirts (maybe limping) and will do so with endless smiles on their faces, until their face muscles ache.

In the years ahead, they will always, always be proud that they tried, struggled and competed – regardless of where their standings are with the other athletes.

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Photo by Josh Willink on Pexels.com

I know, It’s a terrible comparison after talking about Ironman but it’s an applicable example regardless.

I remember being told what a terrible dancer I am and so I have always hesitated about dancing at events. I felt too self conscious, and so denied myself and my wife from the fun of dancing and singing together at events.

My wife must see how bad I dance but she laughs and smiles so I laugh and smile also when I do concede to dance. Unquestionably I have a fun time despite my apprehension and end up wishing I danced earlier.

Big plus – The music is loud enough that no one can hear me singing except me so no harm and no foul! LOL

Life has enough regrets. Give up the thinking that holds you back from what makes you happy.

Don’t hold yourself back, do what brings you joy – travel, singing in the car, challenging yourself to run, swim, unicycle, tai chi, learn a language. Avoid regrets.

Take courses like Toastmasters (or at least be a guest once to see what it’s about) but it all depends on your own goals! Link to Toastmasters.

Give Up the “adult” analysis and be instead like a child and DIVE IN focusing on the fun of doing!

What would you do if you knew you could not fail? ” – Don’t let the possibility of failure prevent you from having a full life, one without regrets. As you get older, you will realize that even if you had failed, you would have been happy you tried.

Link to the full quote here

– who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,

and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly,

so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who

neither know victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt – It’s Not the Critic Who Counts”

It really doesn’t matter if you fail.

Try to do it, even if you can fail, because you will thank yourself, and if you fail along the way, at least you tried and that’s better than never trying at all! ♥ David

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Getting to know Grandpa

My sincere thanks to you for visiting my blog today “Life and Random Thinking”.

Today is blog post #6 in my 8 post challenge before September.

I hope you like it. – David♥

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Life is inspiring.

It inspires and teaches and today while reading about farm being a metaphor – this post was created in my mind.

My grandparents on my father’s side were born in the early 1900’s and came from different Norwegian settlements in Saskatchewan. My Grandpa was born in 1914.

Times were tight, farms had big families and jobs were hard to find. These were the years that men travelled the country looking for work.

Grandpa and Grandma survived through the depression years. I asked him about their dates; he said he would save his money until he had a few dollars. When he did he would get the truck and drive to where Grandma lived so he couldtake Grandma to the movies and then they would go to a restaurant and have Denver sandwiches together. (The high life♥)

I thought that was so sweet when he told me that. I bet they were a handsome young couple.

Struggling to make ends meet, and working hard was normal for people and that’s the way it was in the 1930’s.

After they married and started their family Grandpa worked hard at home, on the job and often had his own businesses as well. Grandma was working hard also. She took care of the home, the growing family, growing vegetables, canning, cooking on a wood stove and they didn’t have all modern conveniences on the farm either. No hot tub, more like a path or a bucket in the basement when it was below 40 outside.

When I came along and got to know them as a youngster in the 60’s and 70’s – they were past those hard times but they still worked hard, grew vegetables, canned fruit and never wasted money. I met them when they had lambs and got to bottle feed them while they were still cute and cuddly.

Eventually they left Saskatchewan and moved to BC where Grandpa could grow fruit trees and go fishing in his retirement years and then I could visit them easier without travelling in the back of station wagon for two days reading Archie comics.

What I remember about Grandpa.

Grandpa had an easy chuckle and when he laughed, it was a warm honest sound. I loved hearing it.

It seems that a laugh of his was always just ready to come out, whether he was playing pool with me, on his boat fishing with me, or even as he imagined making a slingshot to shoot pine cones and scare animals out of his garden.

Grandpa had a light heart when I knew him but it came after hard times growing up.

He left me many memories.

A favorite memory is this one. After a heavy rain the ground on the farms near Prince Albert gets soft and like gumbo. If you walk in boots in the mud on the farm after it rains, after a few steps your boots have mud stuck on them, they look like snowshoes and weigh 25 pounds each.

So after it rains, you wait and wait for the ground to absorb the water and dry out. Days sometimes.

After such a rainstorm on the farm and the necessary 3 day drying out period – Grandpa invited me to go for a drive in his biggest tractor. It was tall and had huge wheels as tall as pickup truck roof or higher. Up there in his cab he could listen to the radio and see all around.

Where are you going Grandpa? – I asked.

You’ll see David, (chuckle) – Grandpa spoke and held the big steering wheel in his hands.

The tractor drove out to the road, which was a gravel side road that connected the farms and we drove down it.

A few farms down Grandpa turned and drove out onto a field where a neighbour farmer was standing beside his tractor. The farmer stood there, waved to my Grandpa and we stopped and got out.

The farmer’s tractor had sunk into the ground and was stuck. He couldn’t get out and called Grandpa for a tow.

Grandpa had a thick chain and he hooked it onto his tractor and dragged it over to the sunken one. He wrapped the thick chain around the frame of the smaller tractor and we climbed back up. Up high in the cab Grandpa started his engine.

I can’t remember if the farmer was in his tractor because my eyes were on Grandpa and watching that chain. It became tight and then the big tractor began to bounce. As the big tractor strained and bounced trying to pull on the smaller one out of the mud surprisingly Grandpa began to laugh.

Something got to give, that tractor is going to pop up or break in half! chuckle chuckle

For me it is forever in my mind how Grandpa kept his cool and didn’t sweat the small stuff per se. The tractor was going to jump but he kept the pressure on and the wheels of that big tractor bit into the ground and the bouncing was nerve-wracking up there in the cab.

Would the chain break? Would the other tractor snap in half?

Fortunately the tractor popped out free after what probably only a minute of strain, and probably this was an event that had happened dozens of times.

What happened was going to happen and he was prepared to enjoy the ride and perhaps he just loved the expression on my young face.

Wolf cub salute I am looking spiffy

I miss him and feel fortunate that he moved to BC so I could sit with him and hear his stories of life growing up.

He sincerely loved his all his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and enjoyed the simple things of life with a huge genuine sense of what was important because that’s what age teaches; perspective.

My memories of him are of his quick laugh; always at things and not at a person,

He was a man who worked long hours on his farm but knew why he worked, it was for himself and his family.

I know he must have made some mistakes, and had some regrets – he was human after all. Who in their life hasn’t ?

He might have been tough and stern on tomfoolery at times when times were stressful.

But for me as a grandson, I knew him in his later decades and I appreciated how he spoke to me and I enjoyed spending time with him.♥

He may not have known he left a legacy but he did.

Some folks might not think they’ll leave any legacy, or a good one anyway. Don’t sell yourself short. No matter the job, relationship, your IQ, your past or whatever you feel has or hasn’t defined your life, you’re a legacy.

So fix what needs fixin and just love what needs lovin.

Unknown
Ed and Emma
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Ebikes and Random Thoughts on a Thursday

Welcome back to Life and Random Thinking today.

Today is my 5th post in my 8 posts before September challenge. The challenge was to do 8 posts in a month (which I could have interpreted as being a 30 day period but I chose instead for it to mean the month of August despite starting half-way through the month of August).

I am feeling the deadline now though. – David

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Riding south along Skaha lake on the west bank old retired KVR trail

Ebikes have certainly grown in popularity since I bought mine 4 years ago. When I first rode mine, people were curious but now I think between 40-50% of bikes I see are ebikes.

I liken it to the growth of snowboards in the ski industry. At first snowboards were rare and now I think they dominate the hills.

Perhaps ebikes will dominate because of the large number of non-athletic people can benefit from riding one. Ebikes enhance the cyclist’s energy when the person peddles and some people call that “cheating”. I don’t because so many people ride more than they would if they couldn’t “cheat” so that added time adds up to more exercise and more importantly time outdoors having fun (and off the couch).

Some ebikes include a throttle so the cyclist has the option of peddling or using the throttle. I like the throttle but only use it from a stop for a second to get going from a stop because the motor doesn’t help until you start peddling.

However some ebike users use just the throttle and I dislike that. That’s not cycling to me, that’s motorcycling. Often those are also the people who are going too quickly on paths used jointly for strollers as well as cyclists. That’s dangerous for pedestrians also and I am always slow around people walking and I use my bike bells to let them know I am passing and not shock them. I don’t want ebikes to get a poor reputation because of few who think only of themselves.

I wonder if the throttles can be adjusted so you can only use them for a small time frame to prevent misuse?

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up on Munson Mountain looking down on Okanagan Lake

Heads or Tails?

Statistically I always thought that if you flip a penny a hundred times then the number of times that the penny lands on “heads” or “tails” would even out. – 50 or so each.

Is that what you think?

I think my theory must be wrong because whenever I put on a tshirt in the morning without checking the tag then INVARIABLY

– I always, always, 100% put that shirt on backwards and have to start over. How is that even possible?

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Eleanor Roosevelt

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor had a very sad start to her life including deaths of immediate family but she rose above to support her husband, and inspire millions.

She was the first First Lady of the USA –

* to hold regular press conferences, and in addition

* she wrote a daily newspaper column,

* a monthly magazine column,

* and a weekly radio show.

She was the first First Lady of the USA – married to Franklin Roosevelt (her 5th cousin) and niece of President Theodore Roosevelt.

I started to learn more about Eleanor Roosevelt and quickly have learned what an interesting person she is. It is an interesting story and I intrigued enough to want to read an indepth biography but like Mark Twain I suspect it will be a thick and lengthy read.

I think many people, not just women, would admire her accomplishments and her thinking. You can expect her to be independent thinker, and intelligent person. But still her biography will surprise you and I say that with confidence with the little I have learned so far.

She also said “Be confident, not certain.” and “. “You have to accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give.

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The best two words to know in multiple languages?

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Interacting with people today, I thought about the most effective words in my vocabulary.

I also thought about what would be the best two words to know in multiple languages – you might differ but I think “Thank You” are the two best words to know, or perhaps learn first.

Italian – Grazie

Swedish – Tack

Turkish – Teşekkürler (Tay-shake-Cue-Lure)

Spanish – Gracias

Filipino – Salamat

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Gracias for visiting today, and I hope you have a day that allows to smile.

I wish you Time and Space to enjoy your day.

Comments always appreciated and replied to♥ – David

my evening swim spot at Skaha lake – sunset a few nights ago

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Astonished in the garden

Thank you very much to my readers for visiting “Life and Random Thinking”. ♥

I continue to look for stories and thoughts to share because of the encouragement from readers such as yourself.

Today is my 4th post in my challenge to complete 8 posts before September 1.

I see many bloggers that I admire write interesting posts frequently and I hope to be like them.

I hope you like today’s story. ♥ David

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Matt wasn’t the type of person to be despondent, or at least not for long. He was cheerful by nature, and a smile came easily despite an unexpected breakup. He was a typical 24 year old who was busy with his job, taking care of the necessities of life and planning time with his girlfriend.

However, he no longer needed to plan time with his girlfriend, because he had broken up with Lisa, his friends said dumped. He was sad at first but he no longer caught himself automatically texting her or driving over to her place and was beginning to feel peace about the situation.

It was be alright he kept telling himself. “I am just 24 and it’s great to be alive after all, and he forced a breath, and sighed. He did miss having a special someone.

Matt spoke out loud to the invisible angels he believed kept him company daily. “Today I will just listen to some music, enjoy the garden.

He believed in angels, and tried to imagine them in the gardens with him, walking or floating in the peaceful surroundings, and watching over him, of course.

The rain early this morning had left the air scrubbed and clean and he listened to the next song on his playlist and laughed at loud – so apropos – Build Me Buttercup ! here to listen

He imagined his angels must have a sense of humor to be assigned to him, and this was a joke that he appreciated. Humor is healthy he thought, all those endorphins (smiling).

It’s true he said out loud, music makes me feel better and if I sing along out here, angels will forgive me! ha ha

Matt found a bench partially shaded and sat to rest his feet, and closed his eyes. He soon drifted off, and was unaware that he was asleep as he continued to tap his feet and listen to songs like the next one – Fly Me to the Moon (Frank Sinatra and Count Basie) here to listen

The sun moved slowly through the sky, and the songs continued including “God Only Knows.” by the Beach Boys.

The bench moved, and Matt opened his eyes. A lovely Asian girl sat beside him, brown twinkling eyes, blue dress and she smiled first

– and then said “This is all your fault

“Who me?” – Matt replied with a smile,

“Oh you are so guilty!” the girl said with a light smile, “what’s the big idea playing all my favorite songs – I keep walking up and down the path and singing along. But you never invited me to sit down” – pouty face with twinkling eyes.

Matt thought, thank YOU angels! –

The girl touched his arm softly “can you play my favorite song next?”

“Maybe, what is it? If I have it, I will play it but only if you sing it with me”.

“Oh that’s okay with me” – smiling, she asked ” Can you play next (click to listen) ” Fly me to the Moon”

Matt gave a big grin, “Of course, one of my absolute favorites also! ” He looked for it on his playlist.

Then bench jostled, and this woke up Matt. Matt sleepily slowly opened his eyes.

Deep sigh and exhale.

He rubbed his face. ” Ah rats, It was only a dream”.

Matt closed his eyes and ran his hands front to back through his hair stretching his shoulders in the process.

Photo by Rene Asmussen on Pexels.com

The music he had in the background when he fell asleep had stopped.

The bench moved again, and he opened his eyes and turned his head to see a familiar face, the one from his dream.

The lovely girl sat down and said “This is all your fault!” and she smiled ” you were playing all my favorite songs, but now my feet are tired.

Can I sit with you? Will you to play my favorite next? it’s ” Fly Me to the Moon”

Magically the music started and Frank Sinatra’s words began so smoothly to sing – ❤️

Fly me to the moon
Let me play up there with those stars
Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars

In other words, hold my hand
In other words, baby, kiss me
Fill my heart with song
And let me sing forever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore

In other words (in other words)
Please be true
In other words
I’m in love with you

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Unseen and unheard in the air, above and around them, the angels high-fived and winked!

They loved special assignments and this assignment was fun to organize – either an answer to a dream or an unspoken prayer. Take your pick!

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