Ten Things of Thankful (not sure what number) #10Thankful

I’M BACK! Lookit – my first proper blog post since arriving back in England is a Ten Things of Thankful. Which seems fitting, if I remember how to write and Do All The Things. I’m pretty sure it’s like riding a bicycle though – figure it out once when you’re a kid and there’s no traffic on the roads, then return to it as an adult and get run over by a jerk in a 4-wheel drive…no, wait…that doesn’t sound like my portion of the Blogosphere! Ha! NO JERKS ALLOWED!

(Okay, well, maybe jerks allowed sometimes, because I know *I* sure can behave like one when I’m in the wrong kind of mood, so maybe if you feel like a jerk, you just need someone to hug you extra-huge until all the assholery falls completely out of your character and you become a paragon of *twinklysparklygoodness* and light…)

So perhaps you heard I went to Murica?

Trip of a lifetimeI absolutely, completely, 100,000,000% loved it. Well – the trip yes, and all the sights and smells and tastes and sounds and SO VERY MANY FRISTS I experienced…ohmigosh you have NO IDEA! I’ll try to list a few in a moment. But the PEOPLE…oh my GOSH the people…I always knew that this tour of Murica to finally meet some of my people in Real was going to hurt like crazy because of all the goodbyes. I didn’t ever realise it was going to be this painful. I didn’t ever anticipate that I’d fly back to England feeling like my heart had been torn out of me and left on the tarmac, and that I would be walking around feeling like a missile had been shot through my chest, from the sheer agony of missing people who I’ve loved online for so long, and who have *just* been made Real to me.

I didn’t ever, ever know how much this trip would hurt, or how much it would change me, or how incredibly, unbelievably, utterly WONDERFUL it would be. And it was, so very ALL of those things. Or maybe it’s jet lag…

But here’s the thing. I’m not going to tell you all about it. Not yet. I’m still too raw and overwhelmed. I’m still at the stage where something or nothing will remind me of one of the people I met and loved, and bursting into tears. I’ve pretty much retreated to my bedroom since I’ve been back, and have been sleeping and crying and desperately messaging my Muricans to make sure I still get to be even a tiny bit still in their loop, and have been feeling like absolutely the very worst kind of shit, because I have people here who love me, too, and I’ve been pretty much self-involved and hurting since I got back. And because I’ve not wanted to share my adventures, I think I pretty much have come across as a bit of a prick. So I’m even more hiding.

Because here’s the other thing – I don’t really PLAN to tell all about my adventures. Not with blow-by-blow accounts of all the amazing, incredible times I spent with people  (and believe me, I DID!)…the whole point in my trip was to go and see those people and make ourselves Real to one another, and that was a RESOUNDING success with each and every person who was in my heart before I ever left these shores…because those times with each person are so special to me that I don’t want to share them. I left photos on instagram (did you follow?) and I know other people put some photos up, but that’s mostly enough for me. I’ll write about my experience and how it changed and affected me, but those times I spent are sacred.

That said, there’s always poetry, which (for some) gives a clearer insight into my heart than anything else I write, and I’m really glad of that.

So today I’m trying to look very hard (she said hard!) at this week and scrape together a few silver linings for you, because I’m pleased to be back in this hop, I’m delighted that this community is still so strong and cohesive and bonded, and I’m SO GLAD that I had the chance to meet a few of you, and I just do not want to let you down.

Hardwired Heart TattooThe tattoo I got of the hardwired heart, on my last weekend (thanks to Sandy), is definitely something I’m thankful for. It reminds me that when I met people, no wires were required, yet without the wires and the wonderful World Between the Wires, and all of the circumstances which led to us all being online and open to making bonds and building friendships with others. It reminds me that no matter what, those bonds are now strengthened and reinforced with the delightful additions of sense memory (yes, I think I remember every first hug) and shared realities. Each person was every bit as incredible and perfectly wonderful as they are online, only MORE SO! AND, I got to meet ‘my’ kids, and each of them was ALSO as wonderful and completely perfect as I knew they would be. And I miss them every bit as much as I miss the friends who are their parents.

I’m very thankful that my TToT crew carried on without me, because even while absent I managed to mess up some of the HTML (I think, maybe) and there was a ruckus, which got fixed very slickly, without me ever needing to do anything, so that was AWESOME! Thanks gang, for taking care of the hop so well.

I’m thankful for so many FRISTS – margaritas, fried okra, seeing gun adverts in people’s properties alongside highways, inadvertent bonding with a dog, seeing a raccoon, being close to wild lizards, learning (repeatedly) that I cannot speak Murican, Ethiopian food, seeing a cardinal, feeding alligators, Vietnamese food, Fox News, track meet, football game, soccer game, Target, Walmart, Trader Joe’s (my favourite), Kroeger, salsa dancing, thrift store shopping, a pedicure, air-conditioned everything…my mind is still in a whirl over all the new things I tried and saw.

I got given some new words, too, thanks to Sarah and Dyanne! If you have the heebie-jeebies and are creeped out by something, you have the fantods (apparently this isn’t common parlance, but rather something unique to the Summerlin clan. And now me). If you have what we English call ‘The Lurgy’ (a non-specific, heavy-headed, probably-feverish, general feeling of physical crapness) then you can be said to be feeling epizootic! Rest stops will forever more be smiley stops, and I have a feeling that there are a number of Muricans who will long remember my literal pronunciations (and confusion around) hwy, pkwy, and expwy… (for those non-Muricans, that would be ‘highway’, ‘parkway’, and ‘express way’, which WHO KNEW?!?!)

I’m thankful beyond words for the 6, the 8, the 9, the 11, the 20, and the 40 minute naps I’ve taken today. I’ve been snatching time in between patients, and between activities, and in fact just woke up and realised I was still at my computer and hadn’t finished yet. I went to see Jenny (who is still on the streets, but has a decision being made on the 14th, and PLEASE send all good vibes her way on that day, because it’s getting cold (SO cold) and rainy here, and I’m really worried for her) and she told me to sleep in tomorrow (rather than bring her tea), because I looked grey, and as though jet lag had its claws into me. It does, and I will.

I’m thankful that yesterday I got to go to a conference in London, for World Sight Day. It was a big deal, and my three colleagues and I thoroughly enjoyed it, though the sheer enormity of the problem of diabetes worldwide, and how much impact it (and its complications) have, and how much its prevalence is growing, and how on EARTH we’re going to support people to be healthy and steer clear of it (particularly in places like Africa, where there might be one ophthalmologist for 1000+ patients with sight-threatening conditions), seems insurmountable. But research is being done and initiatives carried out, and it was all as upbeat as it could be. In between falling asleep, which I did as little as possible, but it was still a really tough day.

I’m thankful for every hug and every moment of being put back together that I’ve had on this side of the pond. Goodness knows I’ve needed them – I’ve been melting into puddles of tears all week. Let’s keep blaming jet lag. In the meantime, others have written of the shenanigans which were had – check out my Precious’ post over at Sisterwives, detailing the EPIC amazingness of the SW first meet up – Staddling Jesus – The Sisterwives Do Dallas.

I’m thankful for seeing that once again, the Blogosphere is rallying around one of its own, when they are in trouble. Some of you might know my friend Lindsay, and some of you might not, but the point is that she’s stuck in an immensely tricky situation at home, and the emotional abuse she’s suffering is causing a severe deterioration in her quality of life and ability to cope. And she hasn’t the funds to get out within the timescale she’s suddenly had foisted upon her. So a fund has been set up to provide sufficient funds to get her the heck out of an incredibly toxic situation. Donate or share if you can, but just MARVEL, for a moment, that once again, the World Between the Wires, and the love and care in people’s hearts for one another, regardless of geography, is MAKING A DIFFERENCE.

Hardwired Heart

And love. Mostly this week, in whatever form it comes at me, or is shown or seen or noticed or felt or expressed, I’m thankful for love. Between me and others. Between others and others. Between anyone and anyone, because quite honestly what the world needs MORE of right now, is love. Deep, abiding, joyful, abundant, generous LOVE. It’s sometimes scary and takes you to new experiences and puts you in situations you never thought you’d be in. It takes you out of control and leaves you stranded, sometimes, wondering how on earth to get back. It makes you completely crazy (in a good way, hopefully) and is absolutely the most powerful force on earth. Tap into it. Utilise it. Because we all need to know that Love Wins, and we can all help it along, each time we choose to act lovingly towards others.

So get out there and LOVE YOUR PEOPLE.

 

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105 thoughts on “Ten Things of Thankful (not sure what number) #10Thankful

  1. So I commented here in my car and apparently my LONG comment didn’t go through…. because, PHONE DAMMIT!! UGH!!! I’m glad I came back to check. Geeez.

    Recap of the comment was something to the affect of…

    I still think of you when I am driving the kids to school, watching a game, going to the park with the TREES and sitting at my laptop… and I say to myself, “Lizzi was here. WOW. My Lizzi knows this.”

    I think about you all the time, love. Missing you, remembering our time together, and loving still the moments we shared…

    You’ll come back.

    Hold on to that hope and that goal. And try as best you can to muster the strength to manage life as you know it there. The time will come when it’s all but a distant past and your future will be new. Hold on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw some late roses yesterday and I thought of you and the time we spent at Inneswood garden, smelling all those beautiful flowers and walking and talking and having such a lovely time. And I thought about us singing. And walking and talking around your neighbourhood in the evening. And getting lost when Kristi called…

      I miss you, Kitty. I love that we have such beautiful shared memories and I so SO want to make more of them, and see Cass and Cade again and cheer on the football and the swimming, and have fun climbing trees and hanging out.

      I love that I was there, in your world, and that I can picture it now. THANK YOU for letting me be part of it, and YES, so so very much to coming back and making a new future there 🙂 I can’t wait 🙂

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  2. Welcome back, my friend. I won’t say welcome home because home is where your heart is and now your heart is breaking. I am so glad you had your first margarita, tho now I’m thirsty. I am so very happy this trip was more than you could have imagined. That the pain you feel is because it was so very real.

    I totally get not wanting to write it down and share it with the world. Because this trip was “yours” and it had such a life changing thread, it was important and it was what you needed. I do hope, though, that you journal it so that whenever you are down or your self-confidence wavers you can read how brave you are and how well loved.

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    • I journalled. It’s not finished because I’m halfway through the things I never want to forget about people and I keep crying and the skin around my eyes is already shot to pieces. But there’s that. And I will remember. And I will return. I must. I just have to figure it out.

      This trip was INCREDIBLE and I’m so so so glad I did it. My heart is shivering itself back together again to gear up for working a way back. I hope you have a margarita and toast me with it, and I hope that one day we can sit across a table from each other and raise a glass together 🙂

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  3. Welcome back to this space, Lizzi. I knew you weren’t going to write about your adventures here, and I totally get it. Sometimes you just need to let an experience be, and soak into your soul. I know mine is happier for getting to share the same space with you for a little while. And we will again!

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    • Sharing time with you was what altered my mindset, Dana. I love that. And just the other day I remembered our conversation around the lake, about the Royals. That was fun. I loved spending time with you and getting to know you In Real. And YES! We definitely will again 🙂

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    • As soon as I walked past his store, my eye was IMMEDIATELY caught by the shoes I ended up buying. We had such fun, and he and his colleagues were so lovely to me, my friend, and her daughter. I wish you had been there too – we had a real giggle. AND, through the rest of the day (because you KNOW I wore those shoes everywhere else…even to Target later) no less than seven people stopped me to ask about them, and I told them ALL about your shop. It’s amazing. I hope I can come back again…maybe next year! *crosses fingers*

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  4. Travel, laughter, friends, new experiences together leave beautiful etchings in one’s heart. So glad you have such wonderful memories of your visit. I can understand wanting to cling to time you were all together, and wanting to do it all over again.

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    • Yes. I know it would never be quite the same another time, but it would be wonderful in other ways, and it must, must happen. Everything looks to that, now. It was the best experience of my life.

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  5. It takes a beautifully intricate and artistic heart to have been touched by a trip the way you are, Lizzi. To hold it so close to your heart that you fear sharing it would take from it, means you have a passionate and loving soul…. which of course, Mathair and I already knew. 🙂 We are so happy to hear about your wonderful trip to ‘Murica and even happier to see you back on the blogosphere. Next time you’re on our side of the pond, you, me, Mathair and Bethie have got to get together and gorge on Vegan desserts and some killer wine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the idea of getting you and Beth and me together and hanging out 🙂 She’ll tell you I’m gone pretty quickly on wine tho 😉

      I’m holding the whole trip close to my heart – there are such precious moments and they’re just for me and the people I was with, but I WILL share…I just need to be less tired and overwhelmed by my return to this place. The whole re-entry is overwhelming and still so difficult. But hey, I can do tough things.

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  6. It’s good to have you back at the ol’ hop! We did it without you, but it wasn’t the same.
    I’m glad I added to your vocabulary when you were here. And I’m just glad you were here.
    And I cannot imagine how beat up you must feel after three weeks+ of travel and jet lag and having to hit the ground running once you returned home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pretty much a lot beat up! I took one day off work to recover and slept for most of it but um…I may not have been going to bed early cos I’ve been trying to keep up with my Muricans even more than usual 😦 I miss you all so so much. But I love that you added to my vocab, and I’m SO glad I was there, and thank you for making your bit of it with me so special. I loved it. Truly.

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  7. I just read all of the post and all of the comments and now I’m doing all of the crying. Jeez. I am a jerk, I know it, for bringing sad to your beautiful happiness here. I can’t believe how sad I am that we didn’t get to meet in real and that I didn’t get to meet the others at that awesome NJ meetup that was technically feasible for me, yet so impossible at the same time. My stomach is sick over it a lot. I feel kind of out of the loop now for sure. I am so happy this trip was all you hoped and tons more. Truly. I would love some happiness of that magnitude right now, but I’ll just enjoy yours a bit from way over here. So many exciting things you did and tried and so many people you got to meet! Wow. Just a huge wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The whole thing was entirely a huge wow, but there were some very sad moments, too. More heartbreak than I care to mention, and since then, more emotional stress and loss than I care to elaborate on. You know some of it, I think, but there’s always more to the story than meets the eye. You know that, too.
      And don’t fret about this time, my friend. There will be another time. You have so so much on at the moment and already are under so much pressure that it’s completely understandable that this, and the NJ trip, would have just been too much, and I don’t ever want anyone to be under that much anguish just for me. It will be easier next time, for everyone, and it will all work out okay. Who knows – I may even be past my dairy allergy by then, and able to have the hug-in-a-mug with Zilla 🙂

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  8. Beautiful! Regarding the tricky re-entry back to regular life, be gentle with yourself and do Skype. When my brother and his family moved to England for 5 years, we loved to Skype. My son and my bro’s kids would get turns visiting as well. So thrilled for you. And thanks for the song. It’s new to me and I love it!

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    • I think Skype and WhatsApp and Facebook are my saviours here – if I weren’t able to connect with my friends and to continue (as well as possible) the newly deepened friendships, I’d really, REALLY be struggling. Glad you like the song, too – it’s one of my new favourites.

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  9. I’m so happy that your trip was as wonderful as you hoped.
    My daughter spilled glitter the other day, and then it spread all over the house, as glitter is wont to do, and I thought of you.

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  10. So I can’t play the song as I’m in the beach house and it’s small and tile-y and and it’s after 1am but I had to come read. Since I saw it enter my inbox (I said enter my inbox!), I wanted to read it. And yes, the world needs more love. ‘Murica needs more you. I can’t believe we met in Real and I also can’t believe that it was meeting in Real for the FRIST time ever. So natural it is, getting these times, huh? Even Brian let us violate his space and the poor guy doesn’t even share his stuff on the wires here.

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    • *snorks* Ba-BOOM!
      The song is worth a listen when you get up – it’s a really sweet-but-awesome one. Small and tile-y sounds like not the place, forsure, and AFTER 1am!!! I hope you’re asleep by now…in my timezone. Boo 😦 Lost timezoniness makes me sad. I’m glad you think Murica needs more me. I certainly need more IT! And the world – well, I’m pretty convinced that Love Wins, and we all need more of it, however it happens.

      It felt so normal to meet you. But not. But so, because we’ve known each other (relatively speaking) forever, and shared some very deep moments in our pasts. And now in our presents. And I love, LOVE that we had all the time, and extra, thanks to Sarah, and that we had such a giggle with Brian! He’s a firecracker in Real, and such a gentleman, and a kind man – he gave me the sweetest goodbye hug when he left for work on my road-trip-away day 🙂 He was one of my amazing incredible extra surprises of the trip 😀

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  11. Yay for you being back to lead the hop. You were definitely missed (though not when we were with you in person).
    The fantods!!!! I’m so excited to have passed that on! But don’t forget, Mark Twain used it so it’s not just Summerlin-y. Though I’d love to claim it.

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  12. Pingback: Ten Things of Thankful Exclamation Point - My Virtual Vineyard

  13. and there was a ruckus, which got fixed very slickly, without me ever needing to do anything, so that was AWESOME! Thanks gang, for taking care of the hop so well.

    …and then… zoe got like made…but Kristi said, “hey you two stop it or I’ll…” and Dyanne was all, “well you’re not the boss of me!” and then….

    but, we all did well while you were off on your Walkabout.

    glad you’re back

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    • I loved it too. I was so happy to meet you and hug you, my fellow ocean-heart. Brief moments, but shining, glorious, shore-scented, BRIGHT ones. It was possibly my favourite group breakfast EVER. We had SUCH a lot of fun 🙂 ❤

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  14. Lizzi,
    You would never know by my communication skills, but I have been thinking about you all week. Hoping that you’re resting and recovering. Wonderful trips and friends you miss can make for sleepy, weepy days.
    You are such a kind and grateful soul – can’t wait until you’re back and I get to meet you, too. Xoxoxo

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    • Sleepy, weepy days is precisely what I’ve been having, and a very wise man said to me last night that tiredness is a foil, which makes sadness shine all the brighter, and he is SO right.
      I flicked back through the whatsapp pics in my phone last night, and I love that you are there amongst them, playing with us, back-and-forth, at various points. I’m so glad that even if it was through the wires, you were still part of this trip, and I SO hope (well no, I intend. Let’s put it out there in the universe – I PLAN) to meet you in future.

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  15. I loved seeing all your pics of your trip to the States and I’m soooo glad you had an amazing time! 🙂 I know how you feel about it being overwhelming (even leaving you numb!)… when we got back from our trip at the end of June I wanted to cry every day for a month. (I still do when I look at the pics.) I felt like I belonged there, and I still do. That place felt like another home. I can’t wait to read more about what you did and where you went. Love the tattoo! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • A month, huh? I guess I have three more weeks to go. I know that each time I see the pics with me and someone so close to my heart, and momentarily close In Real, I break down in tears from missing them so much. In fact, even THINKING about those pics and missing the people is causing me to well up. And yes – I completely understand you feeling like you belonged there, and as though it was another home. I feel the same way and I miss it like a constant ache. It’s the people who have such gigantic pieces of my heart, and I feel as though they’ve been left behind and I’ve come back with a crater in my chest.

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the pics, and hey, perhaps you and I will somehow find our way back. You never know.

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  16. We here at the TToT survived without you, in your absence, but glad you are back. It was a close one a few times, but this thing you started is so big and beautiful now.
    Sounds like a trip of a lifetime, or two lifetimes even.
    🙂
    Hope you can recover from the excitement and settle back in to your life, but I sense more trips will happen in future. As for this one, write what you can every week, to let us all see, but some things should be kept close to the heart. It’s just like a giant “had to be there” situation and very understandable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will write. I have so, SO much to write, but I think as these things often are with me, it’s going to be in terms of ME, filtered through the impact it had on me and the changes I’ve experienced as a result, rather than sharing precious moments which are to be cherished between the people who were in them. That said, I’m sure there will be any number of anecdotes and fun moments which I’ll share 🙂

      I’m glad the TToT survived without me. I thought it would, but also a couple of times I pinched a co-host from it, because I was busy with them in Real, so there’s that. But YAY! I’m so glad for this beautiful community and all the gorgeous bonds of friendship which go beyond geography and straight from heart to heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I can’t imagine it would be possible to tell all the stories of your trip. Some things just need to be cherished by the people who experienced them. 🙂 I am so glad I was able to be a part of your trip to Murica. It was clear to anyone with eyeballs in her head that you were having the time of your life.
    And FYI, I finished that $5 assignment. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhhhh yaknow you’re not the only one 😦 I’m so sorry. I also managed to not glitter a couple of the SW (of all people!) and tried so hard to keep track but there were people I missed 😦 I’m blaming jet-lag.

      I thought our ‘catch me, miss me’ fb conversation kept everyone entertained though, and it was lovely to meet you and walk on the beach and be In Real together. Thank you for thinking I was worth the ride 🙂 And I hope we can sing together next time! Karaoke! I won’t forget…

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  18. Wait a minute! You had never had a margarita before??? Is there not such a thing in the UK? Next time you are in ‘Merica, you must come west! I just spent the past week or two harvesting prickly pear, making prickly pear juice, then prickly pear syrup, and then canning the syrup for delicious margaritas. I’ll share 🙂

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    • Oh now THAT sounds like an offer I don’t want to turn down *HUGE grins*

      And yes, they have margaritas in the UK, but I’ve never had anyone to go drinking with, cept Vince, and it’s just not really our ‘thing’. There isn’t restaurant culture over here in the same way, and people only go out to eat on special occasions, really. I LOVED experiencing that while I was stateside. COUNT ME IN! I’ll be back 😀

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    • I love, love, LOVE that you sing it every night…and I have precious memories of M and K’s smiles as M lapped up the lullabies and K pretended to not be bothered at all, but enthusiastically asked for more. And L’Onde. And basking in the sunshine with you. And realising how very similar we are. And cooking with you…and all the things.

      I saw a kid yesterday who looked a little like K, and my heart skipped a beat and for a moment I could have been back…

      I miss you HUGE, Squishy, mine ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  19. So, Dear Cousin, at the end of the day, how are we doing over here? I know the split was not amicable at all, that whole nasty letter to the King and the ensuing war and all, but it has been a few years and I do hope that we have all been able to put all of that behind us. So, is Murica doing OK? We have tramped a bit on the King’s, and the Queen’s English, and we much prefer coffee to tea, but all in all, how are we doing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Cousin
      It delights me to inform you that not only was my time in your newfangled world perfectly cromulent, but in fact, was utterly blissful. Your people (who I now claim as my own (see Empire Rules sub-section 113a ‘stick a flag in it’)) were utterly wonderful in every single way, and they tended to my every need. Not once did anyone attempt to throw me into Boston harbor, and in fact, they even ensured I had ample supplies of tea THE ENTIRE TIME!
      I consider that all is at the very least amicable betwixt us, henceforth, and am planning a return to your golden land, as soon as possible, for it is quite likely that I may have fallen base over apex in love with the people of your country…
      (that said, I suspect this may reflect more upon the calibre of people I visited, for even whilst I holidayed, there were various alarming newsreel items about terrifying occurrences, but I think you get *those* kinds of people everywhere…they’re just armed in the US)
      All love xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • When you come back, I would love a go at you! 😉 I followed your trip and am so glad, but not surprised, that you found so much love and good times. You did indeed hang out with the highest level of lovely and awesome ladies on your first go round. Way to set the bar really high for the rest of us! Xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

        • YES for definite! I would love to meet you. That would be completely awesome. And I think I was probably a little TOO surprised at how much love and acceptance I found, and disappointed in myself at how little trust I had that anyone could really TRULY like me. I feel kind of sucky about that, but also just so, SO thankful and grateful that they liked me as much as they did. I met some truly wonderful, wonderful people, who will forever be in my heart.

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  20. Welcome back !!! I so look forward to reading all the TToT posts every week. You guys are such a great community. Sounds like you had an amazing time on this side of the pond ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have a WONDERFUL community, and the best thing is, there’s always room for more people. It’s my online Village, and everyone matters, and it’s just LOVELY.
      I had THEE BEST time on your side of the pond…I can’t begin to describe how much it changed me, in so, so many ways 🙂

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