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BS: Happiest Moment in Time

Ebbie 02 Aug 09 - 11:35 AM
Amos 02 Aug 09 - 12:35 PM
VirginiaTam 02 Aug 09 - 12:55 PM
Rapparee 02 Aug 09 - 01:01 PM
Leadbelly 02 Aug 09 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,Peace 02 Aug 09 - 01:52 PM
gnu 02 Aug 09 - 02:04 PM
Ebbie 02 Aug 09 - 03:10 PM
Bill D 02 Aug 09 - 03:20 PM
VirginiaTam 02 Aug 09 - 03:46 PM
Peace 02 Aug 09 - 04:00 PM
Ebbie 02 Aug 09 - 04:10 PM
Rapparee 02 Aug 09 - 04:19 PM
VirginiaTam 02 Aug 09 - 04:25 PM
Amos 02 Aug 09 - 04:46 PM
VirginiaTam 02 Aug 09 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Girochaser 03 Aug 09 - 06:26 AM
Micca 03 Aug 09 - 08:31 AM
topical tom 03 Aug 09 - 10:07 AM
Amos 03 Aug 09 - 10:43 AM
Ebbie 03 Aug 09 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,John MacKenzie 03 Aug 09 - 11:37 AM
Amos 03 Aug 09 - 12:01 PM
frogprince 03 Aug 09 - 03:36 PM
VirginiaTam 03 Aug 09 - 03:48 PM
Amos 03 Aug 09 - 05:23 PM
kendall 03 Aug 09 - 07:28 PM
Andy Jackson 04 Aug 09 - 06:03 AM
alanabit 05 Aug 09 - 05:37 AM
Smokey. 05 Aug 09 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,Neil D 05 Aug 09 - 01:23 PM
ClaireBear 05 Aug 09 - 03:32 PM
Catherine Jayne 05 Aug 09 - 03:49 PM
Smokey. 05 Aug 09 - 04:06 PM
alanabit 05 Aug 09 - 04:22 PM
Amergin 05 Aug 09 - 04:31 PM
Dorothy Parshall 05 Aug 09 - 06:47 PM
frogprince 05 Aug 09 - 07:14 PM
Little Hawk 05 Aug 09 - 09:29 PM
alanabit 06 Aug 09 - 05:02 AM
Amos 06 Aug 09 - 04:29 PM
Ebbie 06 Aug 09 - 05:08 PM
Little Hawk 06 Aug 09 - 10:16 PM
Little Hawk 06 Aug 09 - 10:31 PM
Ebbie 06 Aug 09 - 10:32 PM
Little Hawk 06 Aug 09 - 10:35 PM
Ebbie 07 Aug 09 - 12:12 AM
Little Hawk 07 Aug 09 - 01:37 AM
Peace 07 Aug 09 - 01:43 AM
Ebbie 07 Aug 09 - 01:55 AM
alanabit 07 Aug 09 - 03:34 AM
Jeri 07 Aug 09 - 09:24 AM
Dorothy Parshall 07 Aug 09 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Lilyfestre 07 Aug 09 - 03:03 PM
Micca 07 Aug 09 - 05:37 PM
alanabit 25 Apr 10 - 03:06 AM
Ebbie 25 Apr 10 - 12:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Apr 10 - 01:22 PM
Ebbie 25 Apr 10 - 02:22 PM
Ed T 26 Apr 10 - 12:36 PM
kendall 26 Apr 10 - 01:49 PM
Greyeyes 26 Apr 10 - 01:58 PM
Ed T 26 Apr 10 - 02:39 PM
KT 26 Apr 10 - 04:21 PM
Ebbie 26 Apr 10 - 05:00 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Apr 10 - 08:00 PM
kendall 26 Apr 10 - 08:02 PM
KT 26 Apr 10 - 11:09 PM
Micca 27 Apr 10 - 04:32 AM
kendall 27 Apr 10 - 07:51 PM
KT 28 Apr 10 - 03:14 AM
Micca 28 Apr 10 - 04:42 AM
Donuel 28 Apr 10 - 10:03 AM
Ebbie 28 Apr 10 - 11:09 AM
kendall 28 Apr 10 - 01:11 PM
JennyO 28 Apr 10 - 11:18 PM
kendall 29 Apr 10 - 07:50 AM
Neighmond 30 Apr 10 - 04:46 AM
LadyJean 30 Apr 10 - 11:45 PM
Big Mick 03 Jun 10 - 02:27 PM
kendall 03 Jun 10 - 05:08 PM
gnu 03 Jun 10 - 05:19 PM
Ebbie 03 Jun 10 - 08:52 PM

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Subject: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 11:35 AM

Rereading the 2004 thread [The One Place...} cause me to ruminate.

I think that I am by inclination and habit a happy person (I've tried both happy and sad and, believe me, - happy is better!) but human beings are complex and contradictory beings and I suspect that most of us are not totally at peace, not normally totally happy, rarely supremely content.

Reading that thread of resonating, permeating beauty reminds me of moments when I have been totally happy.

When I was a kid we lived on a farm in the country, the nearest neighbors a mile away and from perhaps age 8 to age 13, on hot summer nights - or even nights when no rain was promised - my brothers and I would take our bedrolls into the large backyard and make our beds under the stars. Five lumpy bedrolls scattered across the yard, the grove of oak trees rustling in the background.

I would keep my eyes open as long as I could, gazing on the dense Milky Way - haven't seen that in years and years - hanging high above me. Nights in western Oregon even in summer normally get almost chilly and the slight breeze on my face and arms would eventually die down so that the dew would settle in my hair and on my mother-made heavy comforters and by morning I was snuggled deep into the covers.

Early in the morning when it was just breaking dawn the oldest of my brothers would wake us and we dressed inside our bedrolls and then we'd brave the chill in the new world outside and follow him across the fields to bring the milch cows down from the 'first' pasture, our bare feet 'breaking' the dew-laden short grasses. Looking back at our footprints I could see our progress in the dew.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Amos
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 12:35 PM

Whew, that is a beautiful moment in time.

Two come, standing in the rain on a small farm outside of Montelimar in the Drome valley, facing the clouds on a warm summer afternoon and hollering with delight as I traced the rain across the countryside seeing it connect everyone in a common experience. Maybe you woulda had to have been there.

Another moment I have never forgotten was in a storm off the coast of Greece in the middle of the night, full of doubt about changing course in the face of a running sea. I relieved the helmsman and took the moment, and as we swung up the face of one wave, we turned onto our new course before the next one could take us broadside. In the actual event it went off without a hitch, a steep lean and nothing more. Having saved the entire ship and crew from an imagined nightmare (but one with real possibilities) was a really delightful moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 12:55 PM

I was ten years old
On a deep dark blue summer night
Spinning around in circles until dizzy
Flopping out on the cool damp grass
Looking at the whirling stars
Feeling like I was
Falling slowly up into the sky

the universe and me were never more perfect than in that moment


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 01:01 PM

We were doing night firing in Basic Training. When you'd finished shooting, you were to roll over on your back.

Now, nearly all of the guys were from big cities -- Chicago, St. Louie, places like that. And we were out in the boonies of the Ozarks and the Milky Way that moonless night looked like a bucket of paint flung across the sky.

"What's THAT?" "Oh My God!" and other exclamations punctuated the night.

Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Leadbelly
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 01:30 PM

Wonderful, Virginia!


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 01:52 PM

Eb, that is a beautiful piece of writing.

Amos, great moment. Have you ever wondered how fast you were thinking? I figure you were processing lots of data simultaneously. Even faster than a Mac.

If I correctly picture what you wrote, you had to pull a 180 in heavy seas. Screw up the timing and you'll be turned over by the following wave and maybe sink, in a raging storm. WHAT WERE YOU DOING THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE? You folks that go to sea are crazy as all get out--no offence meant.

Special moments. One that comes to mind . . .


"Daddy, what's GST?" The Canadian 'Goods and Services Tax' was descended on the Canadian people by a government short of long-term cash. The country was in serious debt and Ottawa needed money. As with most Canadians, 7% of the cost of your purchase on most items (excepting food and a few other things) is added to your bill. In provinces that already had a sales tax, well, the scenario was short of a nightmare but flirting with that edge which if you know where it is means you already went over. I was an average Canuck. So, how does one explain the GST to a little girl who's not yet four years old?

"Well, let me see. If you buy a chocolate bar which costs a dollar, the government (I made a few remarks about governments that you need not read about) adds 7% to that price. So now the chocolate bar costs you $1.07." I figured I was in for an hour of 'what the hell is seven percent other than the concentration Sherlock Holmes used' kinda questions. She said, "So, if I buy four chocolate bars at a dollar each it will really cost me $4.28, right?" I now understand the British term, gobsmacked. Thanks to that little girl I was 'inspired' to finish something I'd been thinking of--on and off--for about two decades.

Take a paper and pencil and across the top of a square with six columns write the following:

Number   Subtract (-)   Divide (/)   Add (+) Multiply (X) STA,

the STA standing for Square 10 ahead.

If I start with the number 1, the square will have the following, figured this way. (It's a bit complicated, but bear with me.) Under the column marked number, I place the digit 1. Under the column marked subtract I put the number zero because 1 - 1 = 0. Next under the column marked divide, I place the result of 1/1 which is one. Next I add 1 + 1 and get 2 which I put under the column marked add. Next I multiply 1 x 1 and get 1. That goes under the column marked Multiply. The result then reading left to right is 121. That is the resuly of 11 x 11. I then proceeded to do the number 3. The result was 169. DING. That took 20 years on on and off thinking. It took my daughter to get the brain going. I'll do the number 7 because it presents a problem.

7 - 7 = 0.
7 / 7 = 1.
7 + 7 = 14.
7 x 7 = 49.

the result reading left to right is 0 1 14 49. So how the heck is this gonna predict 17 x 17?

I went right to left and did the following (after using pen and paper to multiply 17 x 17. The answer is 289. How to get 289 out of
0 1 14 49. I don't doubt you are ahead of where I was at this point, but just in case. leave the 9 on the number 49. Move the 4 to the left and add it to the four there. That's 8. Move the 1 from 14 to the left and add it to the 1 that's there. Bingo. 289.

I eventually did all the number to 101, and certain difficulties present themselves along the way, but they are all solvable (sp?). Many of life's problems are like that. Now, I will spend the next 20 years trying to figure out what it's good for. It's nice to have a hobby.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: gnu
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 02:04 PM

Ebbie... that could make a lad cry. Beautiful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 03:10 PM

Wow, what a wealth of happiness we have! Keep 'em coming.

Amos, you mentioned "...standing in the rain on a small farm outside of Montelimar in the Drome valley, facing the clouds on a warm summer afternoon and hollering with delight as I traced the rain across the countryside seeing it connect everyone in a common experience."

I've seen something of the sort in Virginia, watching rain come marching across a cornfield in an almost solid phalanx, ground dry in front, ground puddling behind it. You can hear the patter of the rain on the tall, dry stalks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 03:20 PM

Camped in a state park, a couple hours West of Denver, in Aug. 1975...about 7000 ft., totally clear night. Head sticking out of the little tent, looking at stars, when...'whoosh'...then 17 ...more. We had managed to be there at the height of the Perseid meteor showers. It went on till I fell asleep.


.......................................................................................

But, one that comes to mind is 1945, on Airline Highway outside New Orleans. My father had a new job there, and my parents had rented a 'tourist cabin' while they looked for a regular house. I guess we stayed there 2-3 weeks. There was not much to do for little kids (I was 6, my brother 2½). For some reason I couldn't get to sleep and was cold & hungry & cranky.
   The cabin had a rocking chair and I remember my mother setting me in it, tucking a quilt in around me and making me hot cocoa. I was totally at peace and felt 'safe & special' as I sipped and rocked.


I'll think on others.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 03:46 PM

BTW- I should say thanks to Ebbie for reminding me of perfect moments.

Thank you.

Oh and Ebbie, thanks also for the reminding me of the smell of rain on the dusty earth in Virginia. Delicious!

Here's another one.

Sitting on my front porch in a broken rocking chair on the sunny morning after an horrific thunderstorm. Dazzled by the rain drops on every needle and leaf in the pine forest surrounding me. Then mesmerized as a little breeze startles through, throwing water like a big green dog shaking off after a swim.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Peace
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 04:00 PM

Man, there's stories here. What a beauty of a thread.

I used to like climbing trees when I was much younger: no tree too formidable--for youth are indestructable. I held to that notion for a few years until the day I fell about six feet from the climbee. Seems I'd got too close to a red-winged blackbird's nest and the mother was very unhappy about that. I have wondered about 'what it takes' to battle something 250 times your weight. Still amazes me. It was also the reminder that some trees NEED gear to be climbed, a safety belt being one of 'em.

Thinking of it now, I guess that it's the incredible feats of courage in animals and people that amaze me. The Spartans at Thermopylae, the rescue personnel at 9/11 in NYC, the tiny little gal was something to behold, although I beheld very little of her, such was my haste to find another tree and get the heck out of her way, which seemed to be anywhere she decided it was.

I love the posts being put on this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 04:10 PM

I'd buy it in book form.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 04:19 PM

Then there was October 6, 1973, when I walked down the aisle with a wife on my arm. The music was from "The Royal Fireworks Suite" and we both felt so, so Baroque (and broke!) and happy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 04:25 PM

Ahh Bruce... Now you've done it. Between 9 years and 16 years (yes I said 16) I was always climbing the trees in my back yard.

Lying in the arms of the flowering cherry that gave me access to the roof of the house and away from my younger siblings. Shaking pink blossoms down on the baby brother making a snow storm for him to play in. And the big maple where I could hide high up in that ball of green and silver leaves and scream blue bloody murder releasing the frustrations of having to ride herd on that pack of brats.

I still wish I could climb trees to this day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Amos
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 04:46 PM

In our house in Maine, there was an ancient pine growing right next to the porch, such that, when adolescence began to grip my fevered mind, I could slip out my bedroom window and clamber down that tree to escape the parental domain and wander the island with my peers under the moonlight, staring down the surf on the south shore, or paddling around the cove at midnight in a borrowed skiff.

Those were really happy, careless times, before I owned anything, or sold myself to anyone.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 04:59 PM

Wow Amos a real life Swallows and Amazons moment there.

Paddling my Uncle Oscar's jon boat across the Chickahominy River early in the morning when steams and mists are all over it. Sitting there under the cypress trees, bumpin against the cypress knees, waiting for the sun to get up high enough to glint off the kitchen window of Aunt Dot's cottage.

Rowing back across the silent sparkling water, whiffing the smell of coffee and bacon as I drudged back up to house in dew wet sneakers.

My god! What I wouldn't give to go back there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: GUEST,Girochaser
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 06:26 AM

Apart from finding out that we were going to have children and actually having them, too obvious I think.
Well if I can think about it I think my time in the army just passing basic training in August 1996. 10 weeks of sheer concentration but great fun. From the initial collection at the train station to the first raised voice. Meeting and accepting everyone from everywhere, knowing they were there for the same reason that you were. The beastings at PT. The march to the NAAFI on the evening to get a sweetie and some toiletries, the smoking shelter and even the drill. It was all magical and so envigorating and gave me a sense of belonging. After we did our pass out parade it was home for the weekend and then off to phase two training. I had no expectations about it and left a much stronger and independant person. The feeling of achievement marching off the drill square was immense following the band in my uniform was amazing. Even now I still look back on it and smile. For all it was hard, it wasnt really as bullshitty as I imagined. Thankfully
Dylan


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Micca
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 08:31 AM

That moment, sitting on the floor of the goods lift in the University building in mid August that was empty of students and almost empty of staff, when I realised that the baby ,just delivered moments before, into my waiting hands was breathing and had a steady heartbeat and all the myriad things that COULD go wrong HADN'T and the Mother and baby were fine and we had got away with the most amazing bit of Luck. Punctuated with the arrival of the doctor and nurse and he asking if I wanted to carry on and cut the chord!!The combination of release of tension and feeling of relief and the expression of joy on the mothers face is indescribable. I wouldn't have called the King my cousin!


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: topical tom
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 10:07 AM

My happiest moment in time? I have been especially fortunate to enjoy many but I guess the happiest would be when I was a young boy of 10 years or so.I remember on a Saturday night listening to the WWVA Jamboree on the radio. I then went outside on that cold clear Winter evening and looked up to admire the canopy of stars in all their wondrous glory.The Milky Way stretched across the heavens and a full moon lightened the countryside.Snow glistened on the ground and on the roof of the house.At that moment I was in awe of Nature's beauty and at peace with the world as I have rarely been since.No hint of mortality or worry entered my mind.Ah, the innocence and beauty of childhood (for most of us).


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Amos
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 10:43 AM

ANother, and I think perhaps actually my happiest moment in time; after hours of sheer-pain labor my wife was trundled off for a C-section, and when Barky was plucked out and cleaned off, the attending nurse wrapped her in a blanket, put a wool cap on her, and laid her into my arms. Until now, this child had largely been little more than a condition my wife and I were experiencing, "being pregnant". Suddenly, this condition had erupted into a full-blown human being who laid there andlooked at me with wide blue eyes of complete, tranquil attention, ready for anything, unafraid, benevolent, and almost mystically serene.

I had done Lamaze, I had read the books, I had contemplated this being coming towards us for the last nine months. But that morning when our eyes met for the first time, the unniverse cracked open at the edges and the Mississippi came sweeping in, and washed me away in a power of emotion I had not known I could experience or sustain. I was reduced to nearly babbling.

But happy? I should say!! In a way I had never before dreamed of, and have never felt as fully since, even though she has woven through all my happy moments from then to now.

You are the Angel of my Heart
(Bruce Murdoch)



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 11:21 AM

sniff


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: GUEST,John MacKenzie
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 11:37 AM

The day, about 3 years ago, when we paid off our mortgage on the house.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Amos
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 12:01 PM

VT:

I would simply add that the Med in full temper is no lake, and the rocky edges of the channel up to Kerkyra are no island. But, I must add in fair disclosure that I have never read S&A. For some reason it did not appear in my childhood library in the States.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: frogprince
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 03:36 PM

Minnesota, about 1954: My father and I strolled through a field, I'm not even sure now what crop, in pheasant season. He had his Marlin 12 gauge pump and I had a single shot .410. At one point we came to the fencerow at the end of the field. Without a word said, he leaned the shotgun on the fence and laid down in the tall grass. I followed suit, and we both dozed off for at least a few minutes. It was the only time I ever knew Dad to do anything like that.

Arkansas, 1969, finishing college after a Navy Hitch: A roommate and I were driving around, with the girls we were dating, in my old Buick. Someone suggested we go out to Cabin Creek. We parked awhile in virtual pitch darkness. There must have been a mass hatching of fireflies just then; the whole creekbed area was full of absolutely countless glimmers. I relived the scene as part of a dream once a few years afterward.
                           Dean


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 03:48 PM

Amos I didn't read Swallows and Amazons until I moved to the UK. My partner's copy.

It was just that feel, "exhilaration" I picked up from your piece. And it reminded me of rowing on the Chickahominy when I was 13 -14. That delicious freedom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Amos
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 05:23 PM

Now that I can fully relate to. That exhileration was with me the first day out of harbor on my first ship, and almost every day until I turned it over. The coffee at dawn on deep ocean, on the flying bridge in a good ship is unlike any other hour in the world.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: kendall
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 07:28 PM

Other than the birth of my 3 girls which is in a unique category, I'd probably say, meeting the Patons in 1973.They were royalty in my mind, and they still are.
A few years later, Gordon Bok, who introduced me to them, told me that they wanted to record me. One of the high points of my life was when Lights Along The Shore,FSI57, was released.
I've had many highs in my life but those are among the very highest peaks.

And of course, meeting and becoming close friends with Gordon was a happy time too. In fact we were both quite happy last evening! Jacqui too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 06:03 AM

Mid 80's, watching the dawn come up, in the company of good friends on the gate at the main campsite Sidmouth. Ahhhh


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: alanabit
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 05:37 AM

I am going to find something to add to this lovely thread over the next day or two. Till then I am going to refresh it, so that one of the most positive threads, which I have seen here for ages, does not disappear prematurely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Smokey.
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 12:48 PM

Last Thursday I held my new-born son; it's hard to think of much else at the moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:23 PM

My wife and I had just finished a romantic candlelit dinner in a quaint little resto half way up Mont Saint-Anne. Outside the window next to our table, we looked down on the city of Quebec, 19 clicks up the St. Lawrence. The 3 levels of the city were all lit up and looking very much like a large ocean liner as seen from a distance. Then, as we finished our wine fireworks started going off over the city, a special show just for us. It was a beautiful moment containing all the elements of happiness, fine food, scenery, the serendipity of the fireworks and the company of the only person I would want to spend that and all other moments in time with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: ClaireBear
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 03:32 PM

It was just 10 years ago -- early August 1999. My husband and I were in the midst of a long-anticipated trip to England. We'd just done a wonderful but hectic week at Sidmouth, spent a night at the Red Lion Inn (inside the stone circle) at Avebury, and parted company with our traveling companions, a dear English-American friend and his somewhat less dear girlfriend whose eccentricities had limited our enjoyment of the trip somewhat.

We'd thus snuck off, a day before we'd planned, to Kelmscot, Oxfordshire, a village which William Morris considered his heart's home and in whose churchyard he is buried. The afternoon before, I'd plucked wildflowers, woven them into a wreath and placed them on his grave. We'd then had an excellent dinner, with a glass or two of equally excellent local sloe wine, and gone upstairs to the room we'd booked at The Plough, the charming village pub and which had graciously taken us on a day early. The following morning being a "fresh" (moist) one, my husband (who hates rain) suggested that we spend the day doing the bookstore circuit -- a favorite activity of ours -- in nearly Oxford, but I demurred, wanting instead to experience the tiny remote village, the lovely inn, and all that history, rain or no. So off he went.

Left entirely on my own for the first time in ten days, I set off over the fields and soon found myself walking the Thames Path. The stiles over which I clambered, the berries and ferns, the birds foraging in the grass across the Thames, the wildfowl in the river: these were the flowers in the garden through which I rambled. Every inch of the green landscape, sprinkled with clinging raindrops that sparkled in the transient rays of the sun, was its own masterpiece.

The occasional passing narrowboat hardly disturbed my solitude, nor did the swan counters I met to whom I reported my cygnet sightings. I paused for a half-hour at a lock-keeper's cottage, watching with interest as the narrowboats negotiated the lock. I arrived at last at Radcot, where I stood gazing at the moving water from "the oldest bridge on the Thames" (circa 1200) before heading back to Kelmscot and another glass of sloe wine. (Had I only kept walking upon returning there, I could have had a pint in The Trout at Lechlade, but this was before my Mudcat days, so I knew not my ignorance).

There you have it, a happiest moment – in fact, a whole happiest three hours. The idyll continued into the following day, when we explored Kelmscott Manor (where Morris, his wife, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti lived together in, I think, rather less bliss than mine in visiting there) during the near-total solar eclipse (total in Cornwall and France, some will recall); visited the Great Coxwell tithe barn, which Morris believed the most beautiful building in England; and finally toured Buscot Park, a National Trust house where Edward Burne-Jones' wonderful Briar Rose triptych is installed. But those are a glorious memory of a different kind.

Thanks for the three hours I've spent recollecting -- more happy moments.

Claire


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 03:49 PM

Congratulations on the birth of your son Smokey.

By far the happiest moment for me has to be the first time I held each of my children for the first time. I was overwhelmed by emotions and love that I didn't know existed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Smokey.
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 04:06 PM

Thank you CJ, that seems to be how it is - just when I thought I'd seen and done everything :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: alanabit
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 04:22 PM

There is nothing that comes close to it, is there?


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Amergin
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 04:31 PM

The first time i ever stood on a stage....

The first time I ever went to sea....

The first time I laid a girl....

The day my daughter was born...nearly five years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 06:47 PM

The moment I held my grandson, only two hours after he was born.

The expression on his face when he was surprised by horticultural mist rising around him - perplexed but interested, followed by "Oh this is OK!" at one year of age.

The beautiful smile on a friend's face after I referred to him, affectionately as "doofus". "Oh, doofus is it?" Wish I had a photo. Never did a 60 year old look more like a four year old given a gift of great worth!

Receiving a response to a message, from someone with whom I had no contact in 35 years. It started, "Dorothy! How wonderful!!" And began the transformation of my self concept and, hence, my life.

And a million moments in the natural world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: frogprince
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 07:14 PM

No children of my own. But, thirty years ago, I was interning as pastor of a small church just above Minnesota in Canada. A local couple, not members of the church, asked me to be present for the home birth of their child. All went well. Within a few minutes after the actual "arrival", someone asked me to step out to their pump and get a bucket of water. I found myself out there singing the old traditional doxology, at about the top of my lungs.

And a small moment, but one that brought tears to my eyes. A lady of mudcat, at the time providing day care for her little niece, told me that, as soon as the child awoke, she was going to start teaching her a little children's song I wrote.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 09:29 PM

Why not right now? ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: alanabit
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 05:02 AM

Why not indeed LH? Just two nights ago I was cycling through our nature reserve. There was a full moon up and Jupiter too. I could take in the magic of the shimmer on the Rhine. The moonlight spangled the lake and I rode around it again just to take more of it in.
Most of space is just that - dark, cold emptiness. We get to live on this gorgeous island of life. Mustn't grumble, must we?


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Amos
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 04:29 PM

LH:

See? There ya go again... :D



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 05:08 PM

Little Hawk, I certainly don't disagree with you. There are many good things about right now, right this minute, but I think we are talking not about pleasure, per se, but about happiness. If you wish to detail what gives you happiness *right now*, I'd love to hear it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 10:16 PM

Well, Ebbie, what I was thinking is....the only time one can experience happiness is in the present. And that's now. ;-) One always experiences it now. There's no getting away from that. Now is the only time we EVER experience...

One can also choose to be unhappy now. So I was figuring, why not choose to be happy? And why not right now?

One could theoretically decide to be happy tomorrow...instead of now. But when tomorrow arrived, it would still be now. ;-)

Anything could give me happiness now...if I chose to relate to it in that way. Some things would no doubt be a lot easier than others, but it would still be up to me. There are millions of things I could decide to be happy about now...just by focusing on them in that fashion. I am happy, for instance, that I know a lot of good stuff about guitars and enjoy playing them. Just one example.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 10:31 PM

And now I am happy because I'm thinking about dachshunds! They are so cute and amusing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 10:32 PM

Go fish. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 10:35 PM

Yes ma'am! ;-D


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 12:12 AM

pah :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 01:37 AM

It's still now. Isn't that just the weirdest thing?


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Peace
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 01:43 AM

It was . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 01:55 AM

A moment ago. right


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 03:34 AM

Not here it ain't. It's tomorrow for all of you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 09:24 AM

Not one moment I can pin down.

Being small enough to sit in my daddy's lap on Sunday mornings and 'reading' the newspaper with him.
Exploring the creek in back of the house and the land along it. Swimming in the back yard in April when that creek flooded. (My parents were not happy.)
Ice skating parties on the creek when the neighbors came over and we had hot chocolate with marshmallows to defrost.
Fishing with my dad and catching a carp which didn't survive and, according to what he told me was an old American Indian tradition, burying it under a young tree to fertilize it.
Halloween nights, running wild through the woods, not to mention the populated areas of the neighborhood.
Summers at the pool: volleyball and swimming after dark. I would have grown gills if I'd figured out how.
Riding horses.
Fox Hollow Folk Festival. Every one of them, all the time spent there. At least the parts I can remember, because I had a Good Time.
A late night cabin at the Getaway and laughing until I got a cramp in my face.
A garden in Toronto in July of 2002.
Somebody unexpectedly taking hold of my hand and leaving me with a disproportionate surge of joy.
Dinners and gardens and stories, new friends, other people's families, sharing confidences and feeling like I matter, and laughing.

Some last longer than others, but it's getting to be longer between times of real happiness and they don't last as long. Mostly they feel like reminders of what I can't have. These days, the times feel like crumbs, little pieces of what fell off somebody else's cake. A hug here, a few words, a song, a sunny day and a vague memory that there used to be somebody I could share this stuff with. Too much looking backward, I think. Then again, maybe this is how a life winds down. I don't know. I never grew this old before. For now, there is music and color and feathered jewels that don't worry about how their lives are so short. There are words and songs and sunny days, and there are these memories.

From Northbound 35 by Jeffrey Foucault:
Mustang horses, champagne glasses
Anything frail anything wild
It's the price of living motion
What's beautiful is broken
And grace is just the measure of a fall

It's just flashes that we own
Little snapshots
Made from breath and from bone
And out on the darkling plain alone
They light up the sky


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 02:56 PM

"Some last longer than others, but it's getting to be longer between times of real happiness and they don't last as long. Mostly they feel like reminders of what I can't have. These days, the times feel like crumbs, little pieces of what fell off somebody else's cake. A hug here, a few words, a song, a sunny day and a vague memory that there used to be somebody I could share this stuff with. Too much looking backward, I think. Then again, maybe this is how a life winds down. I don't know. I never grew this old before."

Oh dear! I was there for awhile though I did not realize it as well as you do. But now, I know why I am still here; still giving and receiving great pleasure and happiness; As happy as I have ever been in my life. Giving, sharing, receiving, loving, living each day to the utmost. Just around the next turn of the road, something new and interesting; dear long time friends; dear new friends; so many special people, so much good music and wonderful musicians. Life is full of joy, peace, calm, happiness. It has been a long intricate journey to this place. I gave myself much sorrow and experienced much joy and happiness. Now I can choose (usually) to let go of the pain and flourish in the joy, at last believing that I am appreciated &/or loved by many people. It is the believing that is difficult, yes?


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: GUEST,Lilyfestre
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 03:03 PM

Sometimes the happiest moments for me are when I can be at home with my husband doing whatever it is that we find interesting at that time. Falling into my own bed sometimes brings about a great sense of happiness too.

   Now, given that, there are plenty of other happiest moments...but for now, given my current situation, the two above rank pretty high.

I love reading what has been written and will be back to post something else in more detail as time allows.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Micca
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 05:37 PM

Jeri, for some reason your posting reminded me very strongly of This Poem by G.K.Chesterton


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: alanabit
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 03:06 AM

Reading back over Jeri's and Dorothy's posts, I was reminded of something I have long believed: You are happy when you delight in what you have and you are unhappy when you mourn for what you can not have.
A lot of the happiest people I know are gardeners. They embrace the circle of life and death with optimism and without regret. I'm still working on it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 12:24 PM

"You are happy when you delight in what you have and you are unhappy when you mourn for what you can not have." alanabit

That is probably true but memory itself is such a potent force. Contrary to what I understood Little Hawk to be saying, my experience has been that when I go back and relive a happy moment of then it makes me happy now. And not in a morbid way. The happiness spills over and makes better whatever and wherever I am.

One blazingly happy moment was when I stood in the hospital corridor around the corner from the delivery room where my daughter was giving birth to twins.

A nurse hurries out, a bundle in her arms, and stops in front of 'Grandma'. She pulls back the coverlet and there with a little blue cap on his tiny head is my grandson. His face is wizened and old but alert, even astonished, and his eyes look like Billy Joel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 01:22 PM

Can you have Moments that aren't in Time?


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 02:22 PM

Tell us about them, Kevin?


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ed T
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 12:36 PM

Since happiness is realative, my happiest moment in time was when I realized that that moment was my happiest moment in time...for so far, that is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: kendall
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 01:49 PM

The first time I met Utah Phillips face to face and he yelled KENDALL! and gave me a bear hug.

There are certain people who always make me glad to be around when they enter a room. I won't name names, but they know who they are.

Being nominated for a grammy was certainly a happy making moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Greyeyes
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 01:58 PM

Probably a bit off topic but I love this passage from Gibbon.
"If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world, during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus. The vast extent of the Roman empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of virtue and wisdom. The armies were restrained by the firm but gentle hand of four successive emperors, whose characters and authority commanded involuntary respect. The forms of the civil administration were carefully preserved by Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the Antonines, who delighted in the image of liberty, and were pleased with considering themselves as the accountable ministers of the laws."
Edward Gibbon: The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ed T
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 02:39 PM

"We were so happy. We knew we were saved."

Quote from a personm who experienced the liberation of Holland...WW2.

The liberation of a people or nation from tyrany must rank high?

http://www2.canada.com/courierislander/news/story.html?id=60c48f58-add0-4ddb-b2a3-d7a419127545


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: KT
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 04:21 PM

How did I miss this thread the first time around?   Reading it and all of the beautiful, wondrous moments being recollected here is enough to make me happy right now.

I have so many of my own-I'll collect my thoughts and post later.

But this does make me think - Shouldn't we all author our own "My Happiest Moments" - put them in some book form and leave them to our children, grandchildren, dear friends? What a treasured gift that would be!

KT


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 05:00 PM

Wow, KT. Yes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 08:00 PM

Terrific idea, KT! I shall have to try to find time for that. In fact, I shall open a happiness file right now! Just to remind me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: kendall
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 08:02 PM

KT I've been meaning to do this for some time now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: KT
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 11:09 PM

Well, Eb, Dorothy, Kendall, and anyone - no time like the present to start jotting them down! I keep a gratitude journal and there's plenty in there to start with - Just need to elaborate and refine, and put into a book with a new title - hmmm.... Let's get writing, gang!
KT


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Micca
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 04:32 AM

On reflection, it is amazing how many of the happiest moments of the last 10 years includes folks I met and know from on Mudcat!!!
I have noticed something else too, It usually cannot be "planned" for!!! the best and happiest times grow naturally from events and situations, spontaneously.
A small example
I was visiting friends and was due to travel early next day, The person I was staying with and I were going to have a meal and a quiet evening, we decided almost by accident to include another friend, and 2 more called to say goodbyes and decided to join us, and out of this grew an evening of music and singing (as the Irish so eloquently state "drink was taken") and laughing that was just perfect, everything just clicked together and we all went away from that happy and knowing we had shared something special, A truly Golden evening, remembered with a warm glow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: kendall
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 07:51 PM

Micca, truer words were never spoken.
Last Monday our friend Gordon Bok came for dinner and a lay over after a gig in Mass. We had a couple of "hair of the dog" that really didn't bite anyone and a jolly good time with just the three of us. He even asked Jacqui if he might sing with her. Always the gentleman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: KT
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 03:14 AM

But Micca, was there synchronized dry land swimming?

Kendall, bring that guy back up here. And that gal, too!


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Micca
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 04:42 AM

KT, an evening would not be complete without "Dry-land synchronised swimming"


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Donuel
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 10:03 AM

I would have to say the happiest moment in time is the present one. If it is not particularly happy then the next happiest moment is the best one.

On a clear extra crisp spring day like today everything I see is as though I am a camera. Afterall a camera is only a tool to teach you how to see more deeply. I watch the dog run through tall grass and pause in a clearing to strike a pose of a majestic appreciation for the wind, meadows, sky, and only when the wind changes and goes under her thick shiney coat does she break the pose and take a grass bath wiggling on her back.
I watch a woman trying to back into a narrow parking space at the recreationcenter with one hand while clinging to her cell phone. Six attempts going back and forth is not enough to line up correctly, all the while tenaciously gripping the phone toher ear.
The new yellow green of the trees is a refreshing mint to my eyes when I notice one tree that last year bore unusual tiny yellow orange fruit but now looks dead and naked without a single leaf. Perhaps last winter was too much for this non native tree.

These moments are not the ones we ever mention to others but just the collection of moments that we can feel deeply about when we see as if we were looking through a camera.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 11:09 AM

Well put, Donuel. Those moments of epiphany are glorious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: kendall
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 01:11 PM

It was cold and wet here all morning but now the sun is out and all is well and beautiful


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: JennyO
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 11:18 PM

I seem to have been having more than my share of happy moments lately, and most of them have had something to do with my lovely new husband, Rob. We were married on Sunday at a folk festival, and you can't get better than that!

For the last few months I have been imagining what it would be like, getting married at this festival - at St Albans in NSW. It couldn't have been more perfect. The celebrant was a friend of mine, Judy Pinder, who was also performing at the festival. My favourite band, and my good friends, the Wheeze and Suck Band provided the music - they even learnt a couple of new songs just for us! Another friend, Jenny Lees, sang a song she had written for me, a lot of friends decorated the area, and I only saw it decorated just before I walked down the aisle, my long time friend Arch Bishop cooked a BBQ, my son gave me away, my daughter and freda underhill were my bridesmaids and my grandson was the pageboy. Black Joak Morris, the local Morris side, helped in all kinds of ways, including putting up a giant tarp for the reception. Rob hasn't known them long, but they have become good friends to both of us now. The reception turned into a session that went on into the early hours of the morning - as I hoped it would. The reality was even better than what I imagined it could be.

Out of all this, the most moving moment for me was when the Wheeze and Suck Band started to play a song we had asked them to learn - a lovely violin piece called Ciel D'Automne, which had become one of OUR songs, then I walked down the aisle to their version of Mingulay, which is beautiful. When I reached the front, there was another moment, when I looked around and saw all my best friends standing around me, and my beautiful Rob smiling at me. I'm experiencing it again now, just describing it!

And while I was typing, there was another moment when Rob put on Eddi Reader singing "My love is like a red red rose" - another one of OUR songs! Yes, the moments are coming thick and fast these days!


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: kendall
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 07:50 AM

Jacqui and I married on the banks of the Housatonic river in Connecticut by none other than Sandy Paton, then at the Getaway Mick Lane sang a song he made for us. That's hard to top.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Neighmond
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 04:46 AM

One of my very earliest memories was sitting next to my Grandpa in his old truck one Christmas eve. I was just the right height to have the heat from the registers blow right in my face, and had my hands on the gearshift feeling the motor as it ran. He was going slow, trying to see the road, because it was snowing, and still dark, or got dark already, and we were on some county road in the middle of nowhere. It could have been scary, but I was with Grandpa. When he got quiet and concentrated on the road, I listened to the radio, and when Paul Harvey came on with his daily program, and for some reason it was soothing. From that time hearing him on the radio always made me think of my grandpa and his old truck. Twenty-eight plus years later and I can still smell the cab of the truck and remember the way the snow looked like stars flying past, the dash lights reflected off of grandpa's glasses, and the gearshift felt under my hands.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: LadyJean
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 11:45 PM

I was 9. I'd just finished third grade, which was miserable. I had not yet caught the truly impressive case of chickenpox that would make that summer so memorable, or started the new school that would turn me into the recluse I am today.
I had a gray and white long haired male cat, who was my best friend int he world. He weighed over 30 pounds. He was a good natured, affectionate feline, and as far as I was concerned the greatest cat in the world.
In June, I entered him in a pet show sponsored by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I think they didn't notice the other cats. Because he was named Grand Champion. I still have the trophy and ribbon somewhere. Coming home that night, I felt like a queen, and the next day I brought in the paper, and saw the cat and I on the front page. I don't think the cat cared. But it was a pretty glorious day for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 02:27 PM

Actually, Kendall, that would be one of my happiest moments as well. I have many, but as you know, when you put a lot into a moment, you are always fearful as to whether it will mean as much to those around you as it does to you. I tried very hard, in writing those words, to capture the love you and jacqui had, as well as the influences in your lives, and yet let it have a bit of Mick in there too. I makes me happier than I can tell you to know that you and your lovely bride were touched by it. I only sing that now when it is requested by the folks I wrote it for. I hope all is well with you.

Much love,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: kendall
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 05:08 PM

I'm honored my friend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: gnu
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 05:19 PM

Awww guys... sniff


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Subject: RE: BS: Happiest Moment in Time
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 08:52 PM

Well, then, I'll chime in here too. That song, Mick and Kendall and Jacqui, and the occasion were perfect together. I've never been a crying person but it seems that the older I get the more often I tear up- or maybe it is just that I am more aware that, on occasion, tears are brilliantly appropriate. That was one of those.


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