Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Queen of Happy Elephants

I felt guided to share this particularly interesting reading.

Every morning I pull a card from three different decks to give me something to think about during the day. I draw one card from
  • the standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck,
  • Steven Farmer’s Power Animals Oracle and
  • the Universe Has Your Back deck by Gabrielle Bernstein.
The reading the other day was quite interesting for a couple of reasons.

As I do this nearly every morning and due to the odds of the different decks, I anticipate a different card each day. But, I was surprised to pull the Queen of Wands twice in a row. And she came up reversed both times! Now, before you start saying she just stayed on the top of the deck from the day before so it’s just a repeat, I will poo-poo that notion right here and now. After each reading, I shuffle the card back into the deck before returning it to the box. Sometime in the afternoon, I will do a practice reading which means I am shuffling and cutting the deck again. After that reading, I shuffle the deck once more before returning the deck to the box. Then, I shuffle the deck 3-4 times and cut it before the reading the next morning. So, the deck was thoroughly shuffled and cut before the next day’s reading. Obviously, this Queen had something to say if she pushed her way back to the top of the deck. But what exactly? And why was she reversed both times?

In an upright position, the Queen of Wands represents the energy of someone charismatic, passionate about life and cheerful; she knows what she wants and sets out to get it. She speaks her mind, and lives her truth. The reversal would indicate her energy isn’t in full force in my life right now, but I’m possibly coming into it, stepping out of my shell a bit. The fact she came up reversed twice in a row, in spite of all the shuffling and cutting, would echo the fact she’s pushing her way into my life, if I let her. I mean, it’s not a bad lesson to learn.

Now, let’s look at the other cards.

From the Power Animals I drew Elephant. His message was “Resolve: You will overcome any obstacles.” The back of the card says to move forward without letting anything get in the way of your heart’s desire. I mean what would get in the way of an elephant? Besides, fear. My own fear. Of my goals. My own fear of being judged or others’s disapproval. I must also learn not only to speak, but live my truth. And have fun along the way! Hmm, good points, all of them.

The third card read “Happiness is my birthright.” I think that is a given even if we don’t always believe it or believe we are not worthy of it. I don’t think that the Divine Source of the Universal Gods and Goddesses really wants us to be unhappy. And if we are indeed unhappy, then we are responsible for changing our own circumstances to become happy.

Let’s piece this together: the Queen of Wands twice reversed is strongly suggesting I might not be at my best right now, that I’m not as passionate about living life as I could be, and I should take a more active role in life; while Elephant is suggesting not to let anything get in my way of my dreams and goals, to let go of fears, to live and speak my truth which reinforces the Queen about being more active and ultimately that will all lead me to my birthright, Happiness.

I’m going to take Elephant’s message about living and speaking my truth to also include writing. So, this blog will be more about my truth, which it always has been. Now, maybe I’ll go deeper into it.

So, beware! 

The Queen of Happy Elephants has spoken!

So mote it be! 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Hero or The Fool?

As an author, I try to be aware of literary themes in my Works in Progress. (One day, they’ll be finished!)

As a teacher, I also tried to teach them. One of the most common literary themes is the Hero’s Journey. 

You know the one; where after much persuasion, the usually reluctant, disbelieving Hero sets off on some apparently insurmountable quest/mission that only our Hero can solve. Along the way, our Hero ends up meeting predictable characters-the mentor who always dies leaving the Hero to go on alone; the sidekick who acts as the Hero's conscience; the antagonist who tries to stop the Hero. There might be some other colorful characters along the way. The Hero continues on to ultimately discover his or her strength was there all along, just buried deep inside, then returns home victorious, only to set off on the sequel a little while later.

Prime examples of such heroes are Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins from The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise, and, my personal favorite, Harry Potter in his series.

It’s tried and true, and it can be seen in our life as well.

After all, I’ve titled my blog, “Jeff’s Journey.” It’s my journey through my life back into myself after a surprise divorce. While I don’t see my journey as insurmountable, I see that it parallels the Hero’s Journey so often seen in literature. I was reluctantly divorced, I've met a few mentors/guides along the way who, to the best of my knowledge, haven’t died. There have been a few sidekicks along the way acting as my conscience, giving me courage to face the future as bleak as I felt it was at that moment. I've fallen into the abyss of the trials and tribulations that rose up along the way forcing me to look inward and recognize my own strength that has been there all along. So, I guess that makes me the Hero of my own journey.

I’ve also recently posted about my interest in the Tarot, where I've found a very surprising parallel.

But, first some background.

The Tarot deck is comprised of two main parts; the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. Due to their imagery, the cards in the Major Arcana represent very broad, spiritual, archetypal people and lessons we might encounter in life. The Minor Arcana may duplicate those lessons but in a more mundane, day-to-day approach. A couple of noted psychiatrists, Carl Jung among them, agreed that the images and the order of the Major cards could be interpreted to represent those archetypal moments in our life’s journey. (As a teacher, I think of the Major Arcana as my lesson’s standard of instruction-what am I supposed to learn-while the Minor Arcana cards are the goals and objectives clarifying the standard-how I am supposed to meet the standard.) 

I mean, what’s more archetypal than the Empress to represent a mother; the card depicts a woman reclining on a throne, surrounded by plants-some of which have been harvested, her gown covered in Pomegranates-the ultimate seed of fertility-making her the epitome of the ultimate mother, Mother Earth; or the Tower card-a structure being struck by lightning and people falling out of it-to represent those moments in life which shake us to our very foundation, thereby giving us the opportunity to build again, maybe firming up the foundation this time. Or, the Fool-a young person carrying his possessions in a sack tied to a stick, taking a step forward as if out to seek his fortune, accompanied by his faithful companion, a dog. The Fool is said to represent new beginnings, innocence, a journey-either physical or spiritual. 

I see comparisons between the Hero and the Fool.

I’ve gone through the Major Arcana and tried to attach the cards to people and events in my life post-divorce. While I have not been able to connect all the cards to something or someone, I feel mostly successful. (The Devil, in particular, is giving me the fits-obsession, materialism, addiction, none of those seem to resonate.) Let’s start with the obvious; my divorce. That is definitely a Tower moment-it came out of nowhere (I wasn’t expecting it, it shook me to my very core and I have rebuilt myself stronger than I was) thus setting me off on this journey. The therapists would be a combination of the Magician and the High Priestess-helping me to balance myself both spiritually and emotionally by seeking outside knowledge and guidance (Magician) and inner serenity (High Priestess). My mother is the Empress, for being there for me. The Hierophant is the legal system overseeing the divorce process. The Lovers could represent my redefining what I seek in a new relationship or those men I dated, albeit briefly, who represented that aspect of my new life.

I could go on, but twenty-two cards could get boring. But, I think you get the picture.

But, wait, indulge me one more-the Fool. 

Well, that’s me, obviously.

So, I am both the Fool and the Hero of the same journey.

My journey.

So, does this make me a heroic Fool or a foolish Hero?

Maybe it makes me me.

A little of both.


Harry Potter as the Magician
The Harry Potter Tarot

Harry Potter Tarot original artwork by Eleonore Pieper, used with permission
For more of her Harry Potter artwork and other works, please visit her page at
https://ellygator.deviantart.com/

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The GRE

No, I’m not taking a college entrance exam, I just felt it was time to check in with the Great Roommate Experiment.

It has been a little over two weeks, and things are running fairly smoothly. Fairly smoothly, for sharing living quarters with someone whose life plays like a Mexican Telenovela and I’m not tuning in to that program, let alone that channel.

I’m learning to set and reinforce my boundaries, while learning to negotiate without feeling like I’m being taken advantage of. Ah, the lessons life brings us…

(Did you notice the word 'and' in the sentence above; italics, bold and underlined?)

Plus, I’m learning to trust having someone in my space, even when I’m not there. Big steps…many steps...all at once.

Roommate: “Oh, what a lovely garden. You should grow tomatoes back here.” (Regular readers should sense my hackles rising right about now.)
Me: (taking calming breaths) “My ex and I did. It was a disaster.” 
RM: “Oh? What happened?”
Me: “They became overgrown and we couldn’t eat all the tomatoes, so we threw most of them out. It became a waste of money. Besides, I just had this all professionally landscaped.”
RM: “Oh. You should move the table under the tree, then you won’t need the umbrella.” 
Me: (deeper breaths) “You mean move the table off the smooth patio, onto the unleveled ground, in-between the plants where there is no room without tearing up the plants I just paid for?”
RM: “So, you don’t want to do it?”
Me: “I like the view of the garden from my dining room table. I designed it that way with the landscapers.”
RM: “Oh.”

In this case I had every right to set boundaries. After all, I have lived here over fifteen years, the last eight on my own. She hadn’t been here fifteen hours.

Later…
RM: “You should rent this room out after I leave. You could make about $500.00 a month.”
Me: “I’ll take that into consideration.” 
RM: “Don’t you want to make extra money? I mean, $500.00 more a month. That’s a lot.”
Me: “I said, I would think about it.”
RM: “I also have a friend who needs a place. He’s quiet, very studious and cute.”
Me: “I’ll take your ideas into consideration.”
RM: “I don’t understand you.”
Me: “You don’t have to.”

And...
RM: “You really need to go out and date more.”
Me: (Super deep calming breaths, like way down to my toes) “No.”
RM: “Why not? Don’t you want to meet someone?”
Me: “No, and I’m tired of the lies and games men play. Plus, they’re usually after only one thing anyway.”
RM: “You’re just stereotyping.”
Me: “Perhaps, I am. Yet, many stereotypes are based somewhat in truths. And have you met a man who didn’t either lie, play games or want only one thing from you?”
RM: No answer
Me: “Plus, since I just retired, I’m looking for a new passion to pursue, as well as work on myself. And I don’t want to get distracted from that which dating would do because I would start to focus on him.”

And there have been some other questions I felt were a bit too personal. 
RM: “You always take things too personal.”
Me: “Maybe because you are asking questions I feel are a bit personal and none of your business.”
RM: “I have the right to ask!”
Me: “You do indeed. You just don’t have the right to know the answer.”
RM: (Plays more intently with her phone.)

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. Is there an oracle card for that? Yes, the Bear card from the Power Animals app. I'll keep Bear in mind when I need to stand my ground.

I know this has to be preparation for something, or the Universe wouldn't have provided me with this opportunity. But, preparation for what?

I know I'm moving out of my comfort zones, or being pushed out.

I do sense change is in the air…I’m just not sure which way the wind is blowing. 









Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Hanged Horse

Coming out of the closet is never easy. We never know how we’ll be received. 

But I guess it really doesn’t matter as long as I accept myself.

And I guess it really doesn’t matter as long as I don’t give a fig what others think, which is sometimes harder to do.

Especially when you already know you’re a bit out there anyway.

So, why not not go that one step further?

Here goes. 

My interest in oracle cards has now grown to include the Tarot. 

There I’ve said it. I’ve come out of the Tarotist closet. But, I’m still a beginner. And no, I don’t see myself setting up shop as a psychic reader.

(Note: there will be more on how I came to this decision in future posts, stay tuned! But, I will say this for now, as I’ve been opening up to the guidance of the Universe, this feels very right for me. And I will say, I’ve had some interesting experiences around my new venture.)

I found a highly recommended book for beginners, began reading it and later went to a metaphysical bookstore and bought my first deck; a beginners' deck with crib notes on the cards, kind of like Cliff’s Notes Tarot Cards. One initial exercise in the book was to take the deck, look at it card by card and see what impressions, emotions or feelings I associate with the imagery on that card. I came to one particular card and a metaphysical 2x4 hit me upside the head. “Your friend needs to see this card, she needs this lesson.” Okay, okay, I thought, I’ll show it to her. When I did, she said it was exactly what she needed to hear at that moment as upsetting as it was. Hmmm, confirmation that I’m supposed to be learning the tarot to help others? And to learn to trust my intuition? Or the voices in my head? 

The author suggested an additional method to learn the cards and their associations; pull a card a day, study it, and look for ways it might apply to your life. Kind of like what I do with the oracle cards. Cool, I can do that.

So, the other day, I pulled my two cards, one from the Tarot, and the other from the Power Animals deck. I drew the Hanged Man and the Horse. When I started looking at the associations with the cards, I was blown away.

To the Native Americans, the horse meant freedom. Once they learned to accommodate the horse in their lifestyle, they became freer to move about the Plains and freer to follow the bison herds. But, freedom involves choice. Choice involves consequences which in turn involves responsibility. So, in the long run, if we learn (and are willing!) to take responsibility for the consequences of our choices, we can then assume greater freedom in our life. We can choose to move forward, change direction or simply stand still. If we are willing to accept what comes our way, regardless of the choice we make, we have stopped playing the victim card. No pun intended.

Let’s apply this to my life. I had planned to retire four years from when I did. Yet, I wasn’t happy. Had I continued working and complaining (and becoming more and more miserable), I would have been subconsciously playing the victim card, I was a victim to money, a victim of the system. I chose to retire early, and am taking responsibility for the consequence of that decision. 

The story around the Hanged Man is very paradoxical.  He has four key associations; suspension, reversing, letting go, and sacrificing. The first two are obvious; he’s being hung upside-down. In a reading, this could suggest that something might need to be suspended (put on hold) or reversed (a change of mind and/or direction.) Around his head we see a glowing light, a halo. He has sacrificed himself, yet has received divine understanding. The look on his face is not one of pain or fear, but of serenity. He understands, he has accepted the consequences of his choices. He is no longer a victim, but a martyr. He has emerged a “victor” by letting go. (Yes, I know he died in the end, which isn’t necessarily victorious, but he died for what he perceived to be the greater good.) In a reading, this might suggest that the answer to a dilemma might involve letting go or a sacrifice of some kind-maybe letting go of a perceived outcome. I'm not suggesting martyrdom, but perhaps there is an unusual solution to the dilemma. Perhaps the solution lies within the paradox of the situation, or maybe it's something way outside the box.

I feel victorious because I let go of my planned retirement date, I reversed my direction and retired early. Yes, I have had to make some small sacrifices to get by, but I don’t feel victimized by doing so. I actually feel freer.

That was the past, what about now? What is the lesson for today?

I think the similarities between both cards and the fact they turned up randomly on the same day (or was it really random?!) are reminding me to continue to let go of expectations, to accept responsibility for my choices and to continue to trust that all will turn out in the end.

But above all, to remember I am not a victim.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Comfort Zones

Comfort zones exist for two reasons:
  1. To keep us comfortable and therefore safe;
  2. To show us how we are limiting ourselves and therefore stuck.
You could say it’s a matter of perspective. We can either stay comfortable and stuck, or break them and grow through the discomfort and “stuckness.”

I was confronted by this dilemma twice just this month.

I have lived alone for nearly eight years. I have not been on a date for nearly seven years and even then I wasn’t sure some of them were actual dates in that sense of the word. I have not spent a significant amount of time with one person, other than friends, since my ex left.

I think I’ve blown my comfort zones wide open. And I’m very uncomfortable. Which might be the point.

I spent a considerable amount of time with a single gay man a couple of weeks or so ago. As we were somewhat newly acquainted, there was little we knew about each other except what we’d shared through our common interest in writing. This was an entirely different setting as it was quite removed from our normal writing sessions. Going into the day, I found myself in his head trying to figure out what he might be thinking. I realized this was a big mistake as I had to also wonder where I was at this juncture in my life. I tried grounding myself to remain in the moment by focusing on the fact we were simply two friends, one helping the other. It wasn’t easy as this was new territory for me-the being out with him, not the helping. I believe I succeeded. In staying grounded, that is. Otherwise, I might have been headed into an anxiety attack of cyclonic proportions.

A recent acquaintance found herself in a desperate situation; she was in need of a temporary place to stay.

I live alone in a four bedroom house which, post-divorce, I have spent some time and money to make mine, all mine, and I’m just not ready for someone to be in my space. 

Over the years since the divorce, several people have suggested the obvious; spare rooms equal extra money. I take it they are focused on the material situation, money equals freedom, happiness and a rainy day slush fund. They’re not taking my feelings into account. They’re thinking money, money, money. (Wasn’t there an ABBA song with this title?)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
From my perspective I see an invasion of privacy, the added responsibilities of being a landlord, a possible change to my routine, a huge adaptation to accommodating someone else’s ways of doing things, the necessity of learning to set and reinforce boundaries.

I also see a challenge. A HUGE challenge. Or growth opportunity; yeah, okay, whichever.

Yet, I began to think “What if I were to meet someone who valued me just as I am and accepted my eccentricities? What if he saw my age, not as a hindrance, but as wisdom? How could I get used to being with someone who wanted to be with me for the rest of my life, nearly twenty-four hours a day seven days a week three hundred sixty-five days a year for approximately the next thirty years?”

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I say you can, it just takes the old dog a little longer, not because of dementia or Alzheimer’s, but because change is hard and relearning years of ingrained habits is not easy. So, the older the dog, the harder it will be and the longer it may take.

What if the Universe is trying to tell me something?

I now have a temporary roommate.

Gods help me.




Yes, there is an ABBA song: "Money, Money, Money"

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Swan

Recently, I stated that I feel I’ve been repeating some topics. I mean after writing this blog for a number of years, that’s bound to happen, right? Especially, since life is simultaneously linear and spiral. 

I mean, life moves forward in time-birthdays are prime evidence of that, that’s linear. Life’s lessons often come back around to us as we move forward in time, especially if we didn't learn them the first time, and then we can take the lessons deeper when we are ready to. In teacher talk, we call this a "spiraling curriculum."

For example, we might learn about money when our parents give us an allowance, and we learn that it can bring instant gratification. "I can buy what I want to be happy, now." Through life we continue to learn the ups and downs of money. We might first run into credit issues in our early twenties or thirties. Anyway, I’m rambling from my intended post...

I’ve decided to maybe switch up some of the topics I’ve been writing about.

Also, it’s no secret I believe in synchronicities. And that they happen for a reason.

In my recent post Oracles, I talked about some decks of cards I often use to help me move forward when I get stuck on something. 

I went to one of the decks-okay, the app on my phone, Stephen Farmer’s Power Animal Oracle Cards-for some motivation. I scrolled through the face-down deck, and tapped the back of a card and it turned over, Swan. I’ve encountered Swan before, and incidentally she is the only Spirit Guide in my menagerie that a shaman saw with me. The others have all come to me on their own whether through meditations or shamanic journeying. I was grateful for the reminder of Swan’s message, closed the app and went about my day applying that message to my activities. 

The next day, I opened the app, scrolled the deck randomly and tapped the card I was drawn to. Swan, again. Hmmm...

Maybe it’s something I truly need to focus on. Or, maybe this is the message I’m supposed to share here. 

Both, probably.

Swans are beautiful and graceful birds. 

Swan reminds us to look for the beauty and grace around us. Fair enough; not many of us stop to smell the flowers, watch the grace of birds in flight, or bask in the beauty of a full moon. 

Ugly duckling or cute cygnet?
Like the story The Ugly Duckling, Swan also reminds us of the beauty and grace within us as well, reminding us we are more than what we seem to be, even to ourselves. We often don’t give ourselves credit for the internal strength we have. How many difficult situations have we faced and survived, even if we were somewhat bruised in the process without stopping to reflect on the fact we made it? How often do we focus on our negative qualities, and not accept our positive ones? How often do we accept friendly criticism, yet find sincere compliments difficult or embarrassing?

Appearances can be, and often are, deceiving. Not only physical appearances of people, but the appearance of a place, or an experience can turn out differently than expected. How many times have the most tatted, pierced people been the kindest while the prim and properly groomed ones have been the rudest and the meanest? Or the tiniest, hole-in-the-wall restaurants have had the best food? I can think of a couple of stage productions everyone raved about that I found to be quite unimpressive. Therefore, Swan also reminds us of the beauty and grace within others as well.

In Celtic symbolism, Swan can receive the energies and messages from the Great Spirit due to their great wingspan. Thus, she also represents the connection to the Great Spirit, similar to Eagle in Native American symbolism, therefore representing spiritual awakening. Other associations with Swan are transformation (the Ugly Duckling, again) and monogamy as swans mate for life and are devoted partners.

Swan's message is indeed a powerful reminder of who we, and others, truly are. Both, inside and out. But, we just need to stop and appreciate that beauty and grace.

Especially, our own.


These swans were separated due to illness and susequently reunited, such swan sweetness!



Thursday, March 22, 2018

A Purple Coffee Maker


Public transportation can provide a treasure trove of characters for writers. Over the years that I’ve ridden the busses and trains of LA’s public transportation system, quite a few have introduced themselves.

A few have even remained in my treasure chest, waiting to be integrated into a story idea.
  • The elderly lady in fur coat and the tea green colored pant suit with matching turban perching imperiously on a suitcase on Hollywood Blvd;
  • The young man gracefully combining ballet and pole dancing on the subway;
  • The rather large teenager rocking out to his favorite jam, complete with air guitar and ear buds.
I met a new one this past weekend.

I had gone out with a friend who was new to the city to teach him the ins and outs of the subway system and we decided to explore downtown LA, affectionately now known as DTLA. After an enjoyable lunch and invigorating 4 mile walk taking in many of the sights in DTLA, we decided it was time to head back to the Valley where we live. We boarded the subway at one of the DTLA stops, sitting in two seats near the middle doors of the car and began the 25 minute ride to the end of the line. A few stops later, a woman boarded our car at the forward doors. What struck me initially as she made her way down the aisle toward us, was the fact the she had not one but two shopping carts; the personal kind commonly used by people walking long distances with groceries or laundry. However, hers were small but quite full. She also had positioned a clear backpack on one of the carts. She wore a thick coat, grayish in color with a matching headband pulling her short graying hair away from her face. She was managing her possessions as best she could, pushing one cart while pulling the other, struggling to keep the backpack on the cart and not on another passenger as the train lurched along the tracks. 

While maneuvering her way through the aisle, she scanned the rear of the car hoping for a seat which would accommodate her and her belongings. Finding none to her liking, she decided to remain standing in the center of the car near us, with her luggage by her side, the backpack still perched precariously on its cart. 

I glanced at her belongings; a plastic water bottle hung from the handle of one of the carts; both of which contained several items of neatly folded and carefully stacked clothing. A large calculator sealed in a plastic bag was pressed against the side of one of the carts. At first I thought she might be homeless, with her carts and all. Yet, as she drew closer, I dismissed that judgment as her clothes were clean; her face appeared recently washed; her hair was simply and neatly pulled back from her face and none of her possessions showed any effects of having been on the street for an extended period of time. I re-assessed that she was simply traveling with a lot of items. As I observed her and her possessions, it was then I noticed something else.

Nearly everything she had was purple! The water bottle was a deep shade of eggplant. Her coat and matching headband were not gray, but a pale lavender. Many of the clothes in her carts were shades of purple from lilac and orchid to grape and plum. But what made me laugh silently to myself was the calculator; it, too, was purple! Plain, ordinary, everyday purple.

I leaned to my friend and whispered, “She must have a color fetish!” He chuckled.

As the train came to a stop, a woman seated in one of the other seats near us, disembarked and the Lady in Purple moved to take her place. She maneuvered one cart onto the seat closest to the aisle, staking claim to it, while grabbing the other one so it wouldn’t roll away, pulling it onto the single seat in front of her. Her backpack fell into the aisle near me, and I reached over to help her retrieve it.

“You must love purple,” I said to her, handing her the backpack as she sat down, her cart between us.

“A little too much,” she replied somewhat sheepishly, yet grinning.

“Have you heard of The Purple Store?” I asked.

“There’s a purple store?” She replied, her eyes widening, her grin spreading from one ear to the other, as if she’d won the lottery.

“Yes, unfortunately, it’s in Seattle,” I answered, afraid I was disappointing her of a new plum purchase. "And everything they have is purple! Even kitchen appliances!" 

She gasped! “Things for the kitchen? And it’s in Seattle? I have family all over Seattle, Bellingham, Spokane, and there’s another town, starts with a  ‘C.’ Why haven’t they told me about this?” I could picture her contacting her relatives chastising them for not providing her with this source of a new amethyst acquisition. “So, I could just Google it?” She asked, hope returning to her voice.

“Yes, I’m sure you could.”

“Oh, I’m so happy to run into you today! Thank you!” She replied, giggling like a young school girl. I smiled and returned to my seat.

As our train pulled into the final stop, I asked the Lady in Purple if she needed help taking her belongings upstairs.

“Oh, no, honey. I was just tired of standing on the platform waiting for the train; I’m taking this one back the other way.” The young school girl in her giggled again as if she was getting away with something. I smiled at her ingenuity.

She clapped her hands, giggling again, “I’m so happy to have met you! Have a nice day!”

“And you as well,” I answered, smiling.

My friend and I disembarked.

Sometimes, it takes so little to make someone’s day. In this case, a simple comment about her favorite color.

And where she could buy more of it.

Like a purple coffee maker.


I can't verify if this is still available. I believe it must be; somewhere, somehow.