Tuesday, May 5, 2015

not the life I had imagined . . .

In 1982, Steve and I were chosen to participate in a Life Planning Seminar through his company.


One of the exercises asked us to close our eyes and picture ourselves in retirement - both Steve and I imagined ourselves walking on a beach.


As I was dusting the guest room this morning, I read the quote on this notebook and realized that I am not living the life I imagined.


This little blurb sits on the sidebar of my blog and yes, I did imagine myself living in a cottage by the sea, but our lives are so much more.


The idea of Steve becoming a full time artist was nowhere on the radar.


He never dreamed that anyone would pay money for his art


or that anything he painted would end up on a bottle of wine.


I had no idea that I would ever write a blog or that I would become friends with fellow bloggers.


Who would have predicted that I would share teaching lessons with Anita of Castles Crowns and Cottages,


 visit antique shops with Patty of Patty's Pretty Things or


that Bobbie of Cottleston Pie would drop by the house for a visit.


I never imagined that I would become a photographer


 always carrying my camera and/or iPhone to capture a special moment.


I find myself creating vignettes around the house


and posting pictures on Instagram -


definitely not in my earlier dreams.


We are now in our retirement years, walking along the beach and


 this precious little one walks/runs along side us.


This is not the life I had imagined,


it's better!

73 comments:

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

What a wonderful and beautiful life you and Steve have. He is a terrific artist and you are the best vignette blooger and decorater.. You guys are living the good life. Your have a beautiful beach cottage, gardens and of course Lulu. You have it all and that is great. Enjoy life.
Hope your hands are feeling much better as we miss your posts.
Mary

Daphne Bryson said...

Good Morning Carol, How marvellous to be living a life in retirement, which is so much more than you ever expected... you truly have a wonderful life. Steve is a wonderful artist and what a thrill it must be to have one of his paintings displayed on Californian wine bottles.... you must feel so proud.
I find life is full of twists and turns, and as a rule, nothing turns out quite the way we expect it to.
I do hope you are feeling a little better. Take care of yourself.
Best Wishes as always.
Daphne

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a lovely post! I'm very happy for you and Steve and your sweet canine.

FlowerLady

Jewels said...

Do any of us? Wonderful yours is such a positive path :)

Jessica@CapeofDreams said...

Life will never cease to amaze and surprise. I'm happy for you living your dream, even if you weren't aware it was your dream. I feel the same way.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

SHEER POETRY.....oh I don't know where to begin Carol, but let me start here:

1. I am living the life I imagined, and like you, more.
2. My dreams are not done yet, the "final frontier" being that I want to be a good - NO, GREAT writer. I have a way to go.
3. To imagine that yes, I'd be corresponding with YOU or others who have been so generous with their time, energy and ideas and to share them privately. To talk to people on the phone, people I've never meet, but whose hearts have melded with mine, thanks to this expression of ideas and heart: BLOGGING,
4. I never imagined I'd too write a blog that lasted for seven years, and had brought me so much joy.
5. I never imagined I'd quit like I did, but am COMING BACK.
6. lastly, I never imagined I'd wake up this morning to see my photo and mention of my blog and myself....but you are such a talented teacher, a generous friend, and your shares with me so far are being put to great use.

THANK YOU! Much love, Anita

Laurie said...

How wonderful that you get to live beyond the edges of what you imagined. Sometimes I think about the answer to a question asked of me as a senior in high school. The question was, "What do you plan to be, after graduation?" My answer...."HAPPY". Ha! And, I am.

Dawn said...

Perfect :)

Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG said...

How wonderful that you can say your life is BETTER than you dreamed! I too dream of a life on the beach, but most days I feel we will never get there...being happy where we are now is most important to me...right now

Stacey said...

I'm so glad! Now think back to that last little bit of time teaching. Do you miss it? Only for a split second...right?

Thanks for sharing your beautiful life with us.

JoAnne said...

We so often forget to count our blessings and think about all of the good things in our lives. You and Steve do have a wonderful life - thank you for reminding me to think of all the good in mine, too!

Anne Davis said...

Sooo inspiring! 8 years ago my mom sent me a long-term horoscope for my sign and it said that over the next 10 years I would be networking like crazy and meeting people from all around the world. Living in my tiny corner of the world I thought "yeah, like THAT's going to happen" and I forgot all about it. I found that horoscope on the weekend when I was cleaning out my desk and laughed when I read it. Thanks to starting up my blog 5 years ago, I do network like crazy and I have met people from all over the world and become friends with them. I have high hopes for all my dreams now because you never know how things are going to come to you, but the most surprising and amazing things can happen in ways you never ever anticipated! xox

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I love that your life is even better then you dreamed!

Susie said...

Carol, I love your blog...don't ever stop. I would love to see an exhibition of your husband's art. I think he's awesome. You take amazing photos to show us all your beautiful vignettes around your home. Love it. xoxo,Susie

bobbie said...

A beautiful post, Carol ~ a lovely reminder to enjoy life as it is, not as we 'want' it to be.

It's all good ~

Hugs ~

Claudia E said...

What a sweet post, I so love reading your blog.

Laurel Stephens said...

So happy for you, Carol! You deserve all of it!

HEATHER GRAHAM said...

Sweet! You are living a wonderful life... everyone should, but we get so distracted, and lost along the way. I love that you've found your forever home that makes you happy! Enjoy every minute!

20 North Ora said...

How precious. I think we are all living a much more blessed life than we ever imagined! Thanks for reminding me how many things I have to be thankful for!

Judy

Sea Cottage said...

Love this Inspiring post!

Down by the sea said...

So happy for you that your life is so much better than you imagined. I too appreciate so many similar things to you in my life! Sarah x

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

A dream come true and then some. What an inspiring post, Carol. You are truly blessed to be living the life you always dreamed about and more!!

podso said...

You are a great example of one who lives life to the fullest.

Kim said...

Can't ask for any better than that, Carol!! Fabulous!! 💜

Lowcarb team member said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lowcarb team member said...

What a lovely post ... we never really know where life will take us.

It is what we do with each minute that counts.

All the best Jan

fiona anderson said...

Beautiful post.............I haven't quite got to the bit that I imagined.............but maybe someday.

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Yes I agree, what a beautiful post. So glad you are both living the dream! I love looking at your beach photos! Enjoy!

Luanne @ Our Cozy Creative Life said...

Amazing post! I have the same quote on a sign displayed on my mantle. It's inspiring to know that you can be blessed with so much more than you can imagine. Enjoy each day, Luanne

Jasper's Cottage said...

What an inspiring post! It's good that our dreams can go far beyond our imagination.

Jeanna said...

This is a great blessing. I am sure you and Steve have worked very hard and more than deserve this life you lead. Being happy is most important and it shows in your beautiful photos and inspiring blog posts.

I've told you before that I always leave this blog with a smile on my face. Thanks for another opportunity to do so!

Kelly said...

I'm so happy for you that your retirement years have been golden. It certainly looks golden to me! Your beach pics are beautiful.

Vicky Hunt said...

Oh Carol, I just loved this post! You truly live life to the fullest and appreciate every part of it...the big things and the small ones. I pray my hubby and I live to have a long and enjoyable retirement. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and heart. I was touched and inspired!

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Beautiful post Carol, you are very inspirational.
xoxo,
Vera

Gypsy Heart said...

Beautiful photos of a beautiful life! You are truly blessed!

xo
Pat

Consider It All Joy said...

Many cannot say the words you have shared here but for those who can, WOW!! I Love hearing people who are blessed acknowledge that and live gratefully in that blessing! That is what you do, honored to know you! Many more blessings to you, Cindy

Patty Antle said...

This is a lovely post, Carol. I feel honored to have met you in person. What a fun day it was and it will stay in my memory as one of my favorite ones!

My Garden Diaries said...

Gosh....what can I say but....PURE AWESOME!!!!! Every single bit of it Carol!!! Here is to the good life.. Happy day you! Nicole xoxo oh and the wine bottle....perfection!!!

Kathy said...

Carol, this is a beautiful post!!

Pondside said...

Sometimes the dreams come true in ways we couldn't have imagined. That's when it's time to do as you have done, and acknowledge that blessing and continue to live fully!!!

Botanic Bleu said...

Carol,
Loved reading about your better-than-planned life. May it continue to be so,

Judith

http://deezie-sunshinedeezines.blogspot.com/ said...

Beautiful Words!! Its nice to hear when someone is loving their life!!

Sherry @ Thrift My House said...

Carol, I love this post! You are such am inspiration and I'm so glad to be a part of your blog family.

Daytona Damsel said...

Beautiful post Carol. You have a lovely home, husband, fur baby and life. Enjoy every moment.

Debbie

Connie said...

Dear Sweet Carol, I am overjoyed and so happy for you and Steve. The same here, we always dreamed of a little place in the country, a place to grow a garden, park all of our extra stuff (boat, motor home, smoker), have a shop and art room . . . life is good. When I saw the title of your post, I was afraid it was bad news . . . I am so very happy that this post was all good . . . very good!
Happy Mother's Day!
Connie :)

Cynthia said...

I love reading about your life. You're so happy and filled with joy. I'm so impressed that Steve didn't plan on his art and has become such a talent. His work is truly beauty. A wine label how neat is that. Your photography is amazing. So happy you saw life and grabbed it. Happy Mothers day

Cindy

Pamela Gordon said...

Wow. Love this post Carol. Your life is really amazing and you live in such a beautiful part of our world. You are blessed indeed! Happy Mother's Day to you. Pam

Melanie said...

What a beautiful post...and a beautiful life! You are a blessed woman. Thank you for sharing your life through your blog with us. I am so glad to have you as blogging friend. xoxo

chateau chic said...

So so wonderful that you are living the life you imagined and much more. For many that's not the case as life takes them in such different twists and turns than they ever imagined. It's great to see you and Steve using your creativity, talents, and wonderful spirits to touch the lives of so many around you!
Mary Alice

Junkchiccottage said...

Beautiful Carol. It makes my heart sing to know you can live an even better life than you imagine in retirement years. So special. Love that both of you are living your dreams out loud. So sweet.
Kris

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Carol, this is beautiful!! It is such a blessing that you both are living out the life of your dreams. Love your photos of a beautiful life more then you could have ever imagined. You are an inspiration!!
Hugs for a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day.
CM

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

You have made a wonderful life for yourselves and deserve to spend many years doing what you love. Long ago, I learned "if you think it...ink it" to make what you want come true. Looks like it worked out well for you.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

That was a very interesting post and it gave me to think... I don't believe my life is anything I would have imagined either!

Renee said...

Isn't it great when your life turns out even better than you imagined. :) Love your pictures.

Canadian Chickadee said...

So glad that things have turned out so well for you and Steve, and that you are enjoying your retirement. May the fun (and games!) continue, so that we can share them with you. All the best, xoxoxo

Jen Ham said...

Ah...what an incredibly heartfelt, loving post. So lovely, Carol! xo Jen

Palomasea said...

Carol, your post gave me goosebumps....
I think that when we are open to blessings, synchronicity, and opportunity, the Universe begins to open some magical doors...
Wishing you and Steve tremendous happiness!
xoxo,
~ Irina

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

What a great post and I'm so glad your dream life is better that you had imagined. Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Blondie's Journal said...

You have nailed it, Carol...you make us all want to re-think our dreams. Life changes as do the rewards. I am elated for the accomplishments you and your talented husband have achieved.

Jane x

Jen @ The Light Laughed said...

Life has a way of giving you more then you ever dreamed of...what a talented couple you both are.

Jen

Cathy, 1929 Charmer Cottage said...

Cannot be better than living better than the life you dreamed! I feel the same right now, I am the happiest and the most content I've ever felt in my life. My illness was the moment I reflected on my life, what I had and how to appreciate life more. Happy Mother's Day!

handmade by amalia said...

What is life without a surprise or two! And to have a life that exceeds your dreams! I'm so happy for you.
Amalia
xo

Chel @ Sweetbriar Dreams said...

Much more perfect that anyone can imagine. You chased your dreams and both of you have been rewarded magnificently for it! Well done xx

My Little Home and Garden said...

How wonderful! I think I need to sit down and think more about what the life is that I imagine for myself. I enjoyed your post very much, Carol. (I hope your hand is healing well.)

Karen

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

How wonderful!! I'm so happy that things are better then you imaged they would be!! Your beach shots are so beautiful!! Happy Mothers Day!

Carla from The River said...

LOVE THIS! :-)
I always love your IG shots. I enjoy your POSITIVE outlook on life in your writing.
Thank you for sharing from the heart.
Carla

Art and Sand said...

Your comments do not come up in my emails and I just happened to notice that you had made several. I apologize for not responding.

Our beach is not considered to be one of the prettiest beaches, but we love it.

Rue said...

This was such a great post, Carol. It definitely put a smile on my face this morning and I'm so happy for you both :)

xo

Sweet Auburn Life said...

Well I'm so glad your 'retirement' is all you imagined and more. I hope I'm lucky enough to say the same when my time comes.

Carla said...

Great post. Glad to hear your retirement is even better than you imagined.
Hope I'm so lucky when the time comes

Jeanette@Creating A Life said...

This is such a sweet post, Carol. So happy to hear this time in your lives is all you hoped for, and more.

Art @ Home said...

Very inspiring post, Carol. Thank-you. I really needed it because it's encouraged me. I feel like we're approaching a crossroads of sorts…..

CatieAn said...

such a wonderful post and inspiration for others. I know the feeling well. We both are in awe of what retirement has brought us but in the end it is all the hard work and preparation that comes before those quiet walks in the world you love most.