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Strangers in Paradise, Regretful Giving, Life's Purpose is Not Happiness

Strangers in Paradise, Regretful Giving, Life's Purpose is Not Happiness

Good Morning from Prince Edward Island

Spring has sprung! Whooohooo!

Put the kettle on.

Thank you for choosing to share your time with me. I am sure countless things beckon your time, so thank you, I really mean it.  I trust our tea time together will be worthwhile.

March and April on Prince Edward Island are usually months of hope and frustration with weather teasing us with its unpredictability. We dream of colours to come.

Spring, with that nameless pathos in the air which dwells with all things fair, spring with her golden sands and silver rain, is with us once again. - Henry Timrod

Usually, when I write, I put wireless headphones on, and listen to music that doesn’t interrupt my thinking but encourages it along one way or another. When you listen to music, the brain releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which makes you feel good, and reduces stress and anxiety. I find classical or easy listening music to do exactly that.

When I begin writing, I don’t know where I will go with words. I start with a blank page, then I go about seeking internally or externally to find one thread to start pulling on to see what unravels and if what looks hopeful and an encouraging journey, I will be inspired to start.

Here we go...

A month ago, in advance of the deep spring cleaning ritual, I did a purge of books, cd’s, cassette tapes recordings and took them for a drive to the local missions store. I thought why not put the items out into the universe for energized consumption and hope they do some good!  

Have you ever thrown or given something away, only to regret it.

Last week, I headed back to find a few of those regrets.  Books that I let go. Lo and behold not one speck of the 100 books, tapes, etc., were on the shelves or the warehouse. WOW….I certainly hope they made it to their rightful place with fair exchange being shared with the organization that does good for others.

My disappointment was short lived after I bought a couple of great books for two dollars. LOL, just living up to the character associated with my Scot name.

I was reminded of my experience this morning after reading this cute story, “My Sketchbooks in a Stranger’s Hands” By Sarah Williamson, author, illustrator and art director in the Times Opinion section.

Strangers make such a difference in the world. When you think of it, we are all strangers to most. We all can make a difference.

There was a period in my life where a complete pivot was in order career wise and where I wanted to live. 

Little money and no real plans I headed back to Prince Edward Island from Alberta.

Fortunately, a friend was running a pizza place and asked if I wanted to learn how to make pizza. I was homeless, 18, broke and hungry, yes was the answer.

I was taught to put ingredients together such as flour, water, yeast, salt, cheese, tomato sauce, pepperoni, etc. to make a pizza.

One night, handing a pizza "I" made to a customer, he opened the lid to the box, starred, smelled and smiled...looked me in the eye and with great appreciation the "stranger" said, “THANK YOU!”

Appreciation was what the doctor ordered! 

I fell into the food business and worked hard to get good at it. Still trying to improve at it after all these years. (Why do I hear Paul Simon singing in my head, Still Crazy After all These Years. LOL)

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.” — Andrew Carnegie

Yesterday, I enjoyed reading “The Purpose Of Life Is Not Happiness: It’s Usefulness” by Darius Foroux, As you plan your weekend, and your week ahead perhaps this article will inspire to think what good can you do for self-care, family, friends, or even strangers with the 168 hours of time the next seven days gifts you.

Happiness doesn’t arise from making everything in our lives perfect. It comes from embracing life as it is and finding small moments of gratitude, joy, kindness, beauty, and human connection within it. By truly being present for those moments and being grateful for them, we find so much joy and the resilience to weather life’s storms. ~ Nataly Kogan

Why music affects your productivity” written by Mayo Oshin is an informative article about the science of how music affects your productivity, and how to use it to your advantage.

When I started to write this morning, I was still in a nocturnal frame of mind, so I listened to Fauré: Nocturnes by Eric Le Sage. His enthusiasm and energy should be listened to here.

Near the completion of today’s muse, I listened with great joy to the rhythm and great musicianship on an album called 4 Wheel Drive by Nils Landgren.

I loved his covers of Another Day in Paradise, Maybe I’m Amazed, and If You Love Somebody Set Them Free Listen Here

Have a happy weekend and fruitful days ahead during the 13th week of the year.

With love from Prince Edward Island. 



ps. Don’t just count the days, make the days count, too! Say, thank you to someone who otherwise might not hear that often enough, you never know what that might do. 

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life. — Henry David Thoreau


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Paula Mueda - March 27, 2019

Your blog today was particularly inspiring. How hard it is to let go of our possessions, even though we may not be using them anymore. Kudos to you for giving away some of your old “stuff,” for now it is new stuff to someone else who will have a period of time to enjoy the items!

Lots of rain here in the San Francisco Bay area. It could be gloomy, but I find it refreshing.

A blessed week to you, Bruce.

Omer Richard - March 25, 2019

Thank you for the wonderful article.
I would like to share with you one of my go to music for reading “Arcangelo Corelli” (1653-1713) here is a link to have a listen

Thank you!!


MURDOCK MORRISON - March 24, 2019

Yes Bruce – Spring has sprung and it feels so good even with the cold chills that you sometimes get early on a walk in the morning. Love the pizza story and all the references to music that you found pleasing but especially the happiness in knowing that your books , though gone, are not gone as you have given them a life somewhere and with someone. From 18 years old to the time in your life now, you have accomplished a great deal and there is a peacefulness in knowing that things do work out for the better. Have a great week Bruce-Murdock

Betty Morgan - March 24, 2019

Here it is nearly 3:30 am and I woke up thinking about what I would have for supper for my son and daughter in law tonight. I asked them to come over as I am at their house so often and feel I must reciprocate now and then.
They love my seafood casserole so that is what I make. It isn’t easy for me to whip up the energy, but as you say,
making someone happy with food is so easy when you just point yourself toward the ingredients and get them out on the counter. One step at a time…Then put them in the casserole dishes. I make two. One for them to take home.
I have timbales made. I have my mother’s ancient timbale iron and a Fry Daddy. I think I will warm them up a bit and put the seafood in them to jazz up the plating. The filling for the lemon meringue pie is waiting for me to cook the shell. When I got the recipe out I was amazed at the ragged and stained condition of the page. Memories.
So now back to bed after reading with and agreeing, as usual, with your comments and thoughts. The greatest happiness is doing for others and often that happiness is a meal with family around the table. I hope they will be pleased. First, I have to find something to make a week salad. My days of growing lettuce are far back there in
the days when we had 15 acres of strawberries and had 14 loaves of bread in the oven. (I used 48 oz juice cans and
saved the ones with the smooth sides. I don’t think they are made any more. The pilot light on my gas stove was just the right temp for leavening.

Lots of stories of my long life. I should be writing them down, but I am afraid to find out if people can read cursive writing any more!!!

Delbert Crocker - March 24, 2019

Hi Bruce, Thanks for sharing an uplifting message. Thanking a stranger you meet in any setting does a world of good and lifts that person’s spirits for the rest of the day. Delbert C.

Barbara Heldridge - March 23, 2019

Your post toda

y was particularly uplifting. Thank you so much for helping a stranger get in gear on a dreary clouded Saturday.

Tania Kennific - March 23, 2019

Your post reminded me of a Saturday afternoon in one of local grocery shops that also has a cafe, that I go to with my husband. We pick up our groceries, and enjoy a casual lunch. On that day, I stopped to thank the women who made the fabulous pizza. I recognized how hard they worked standing on their feet in front of a hot oven, making a variety of pizza’s that made everyone else’s day a little easier, and certainly tastier. They rewarded me with not only a happier afternoon out, but a hug as well. A restaurant and food provider is so much more than its menu. It is a place of respite, celebration, peace, and certainly at Island Preserves – beauty! ( though I know there is plenty of hard graft to create that island of happiness for us). Thank you and your staff for creating a little paradise, in a gorgeous setting. It is so much more than just a meal for us.

Brenda Powell - March 23, 2019

Hi Bruce, I enjoyed reading your blog, it had lots of great thoughts and great quotes. It made me smile. We are so lucky to have you in PEI, you have done so well, I think you are amazing. Cheers for an awesome Spring. Brenda :)

Sue Skeffington - March 23, 2019

Thanks again Bruce.
Not long ago I was at the Superstore here in London ON and I’ve seen this employee a number of times straightening and filling the shelves in the pharmacy. I said to her you do a wonderful job of making these shelves look so wonderful. That simpe acknowledgement of her work she was so overwhelmed that a stranger actually stopped and thanked her for work. She told me it made her day! She was quite emotional at the exchange.
I felt so good after knowing I made a difference in someone’s day. Sue

George Read - March 23, 2019

All very put! Seldom do our plans for the day, turn out the way they are planned, often with better results, George

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