Gratitude & Rejoicing

Another week has passed and what a week it has been! Let me begin with saying that the solitary life in the Shire has had a much deeper effect on me than I thought. I’ve written about how much I love my hermit life up here, but never was it clearer to me than last Tuesday when I went to Lisbon and spent the day in the office there. Oh. My. Goodness! First of all, this was the very first time to meet a lot of new faces, and caught up with familiar ones I haven’t seen in ages. I have never experienced the office this full before, which gave everyone an inkling of what it was like to work there during pre-pandemic times. I wasn’t the only one who found the situation disconcerting, but it was fun for a day.

The next highlight of the week was the glorious arrival of my boxes from Berlin! My daughter mailed me nine boxes total, but they arrived in two batches, both in pouring rain! I figured out that the safest way to get deliveries is to include the GPS coordinates in my address. DHL in particular has a penchant for claiming they never found me, so I wanted no excuses this time. The delivery fellow and I had a good laugh when I complained that he forgot my large order sunshine. It was like having an early Christmas, with Cherry and I eagerly opening the boxes to see what beloved treasures we would find. Her favourite pillow and blankets arrived, as did my winter clothes and ample supply of sheets and towels. It is incredibly comforting to be surrounded by familiar items that reflect more of my personality in the home. Cherry was so excited she didn’t know where to start her inspection or where to sit. In the end, she decided to follow me around and plop down wherever I was.

Remember when I wrote last week that I wasn’t going to make too much of a fuss this year about the Christmas decorations? Well, I put together my Advent decoration for this year using ferns and apples and of course a frog, what else? As it turns out, the universe had other plans for me. When I opened my Berlin boxes, my daughter had added a few of my favourite filipino Christmas decorations before the whole lot went to storage, and a festive table cloth to go with it. And today, more Christmas decorations landed in the house as unexpected blessings. So now I can go all out and trim those branches to decorate! Thank you G & F!

And now for the big news! Click HERE to read and celebrate with me! I am thrilled to announce that Sunset Shadows is alive and well, and back on track. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to the Marie Balustrade feed so you can receive more excerpts from the book. Cover reveal will be mid-December and I am thrilled to announce that my daughter is designing the cover this time, using one of my photographs. It is so exciting to see it all come together. All the mistakes made with the first book were hard lessons learned and will definitely be avoided this time around.

So although Thanksgiving is not my holiday to celebrate, I still have plenty to be grateful for, especially this year. Finding my way back to my creative side has turned my life around completely, and it feels wonderful!

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