Saturday, March 10, 2012

Today feels like just one big HUG - A Postcard from Paradise

Ever had a day
when you feel you are hugged
and the day still young?

Have you ever had a day when you feel like you are being hugged and the hugs just keep on coming?  That is my day today.  It's 3:08 p.m. and much of the afternoon is still ahead of me.  I'm not greedy though.  If it all ends now, I will have the memory of a morning full of hugs and a bounty of goodness to share here with you.

This morning Facebook announced via Turlock City News  of a new Dollar Store opening on the east side of town.  I love this part of town.  It's just east of one of the high schools and is like a little neighborhood.  So, my friend Marie and I hurried over and fell in love.  Small. Tidy. Well organized. Friendly staff.  I took several photos as a visual reminder of why I need to get over there and enjoy this place for basic essentials and surprises.

After leaving Dollar Store, Marie and I stopped in at Lulu's. I've been hearing about this place for five weeks now, ever since starting my Conversational Spanish class. The teacher and several of the students hang out over there so with my Starbucks finished, and the Dollar Store behind us, it was time to discover if this place really DID have a reputation to live up to. All I can say is - YES!! The patty melt and fries weren't greasy and the decor was fun and colorful. The place felt totally inviting and definitely rates a return visit.

This says exactly how I am feeling today. 
 Even the ceiling was fun to lean back and enjoy.

The tables were pretty pastels and roomy and the booth tables were movable so people of different sizes could adjust the table to their comfort levels. 
 And what would a good soda and ice cream shop be without a selection of old fashion candy?

And so ended my morning, or so I thought.  The mail came and went and I was tucking in with a copy of Shashi Tharoor's "Bookless in Baghdad" (one of my Dollar Store treasures).  Don must have heard something or someone at the front door because the next thing I knew, he was handing me a package over my shoulder.  From AUSTRALIA??!!

So, with restrained excitement and a huge dollop of curiosity, I carefully opened the package and recorded all of its unfolding drama.

First to emerge was a lovely note from Lee-Ann Hamilton.  Lee-Ann and I met in a chocolate swap back in the early days of my blogging (sometime late in 2006) and we have been fast blogging friends ever since.
Next to emerge was a long  and narrow box all wrapped up in pretty in pink tissue paper.  A snip here and a snip there to gently remove the tape securing the ribbon and what should appear but . . .

 . . . a pretty little bookmark - a soft pink ribbon adorned with shiny little buckle and pearl encrusted gold cross.  I caught my breath.  I actually could not breathe for a moment.

I now have it hard at work folded into the pages of Bookless in Baghdad.  It is such a feminine bookmark to hold the place of the musings of Tharoor but somehow very appropriate.  Just as the cross is a holy and sacred thing to me, so are books and the value they hold for us.  Thank you Lee-Ann.  Your discerning eye at the thrift store in Australia has made this California girl very happy and feeling very hugged at the end of a very huggable day.

For more Postcards from Paradise, please click HERE.


Janet said...

You had quite a day! It's nice when days flow along with such ease.

I lost track of Lee Ann. Would you mind sending me her blog link. I'd like to pop in and say "hello"

Ginny said...

The bookmark is so beautiful and feminine!! And Lulu's, wow! I love the decor and everything about it!! Wish I could go there. I HATE restaurants where I can't get out of the booth, and believe me this has happened to me more than once...between my bad knees and being fat and all, I feel like a beached whale! So yeah to movable tables at booths!

Jeanie said...

Annie -- that's a FABULOUS day! Love that shop, and what a beautiful gift. Oh, indeed! And to add to that, the reprint of your blog post -- I think you are on a roll! And I love it!

Meri said...

It's the small moments that thrill us, all in all. That and friends. True glimpses of paradise.

deb did it said...

Holy Wow!~ Now I feel as if I have been hugged! What an uplifting post!

rebecca said...

i love finding you here so filled with joy! it is lovely to be remembered by a friend and to find you living in gratitude each unfolding moment.

Irene said...

I love reading about your day of hugs, a treat from a friend and exploring a new store.

Pear tree cottage! said...

Annie, Yes sending a gift is like "a hug" so dear blogger friend it was a joy to send you a simple hug! from across the deep blue sea!


Bimbimbie said...

Oh you're back on your train Annie!

Sounds like you had one hug of a day :) loved that little bird saying, well spotted! Hope you are enjoying your time back on campus with your project. Smiles*!*

Laura said...

sounds like a truly wonderful day.

Sandy said...

What a wonderful post!!! And those treasures you received are beautiful.

Love the photos of where you ate also.