The holiday weekend is over…

The Fourth of July holiday is behind us. I can already sense the sound of less traffic and a sense of calm in the air. So many tourists, intent upon squeezing every bit of seaside juice out of their time here, bring an element of intensity that feels like the city, stamping out the tranquil ambience those of us who live here, crave.

It is already hot and I am filled with heavy thoughts that make me not want to greet the day. Instead of pushing them away, I meander down to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, choose  carefully from my mug collection, and am now sipping coffee on the side porch where a breeze has miraculously found its way up to our house from the sea.

The house is still, making it easier to hear a symphony of birds tweeting from the bushes and  trees that dot our property. In an effort to clear my head and let the possibility of positive thought invade my being I hold onto a crystal given to me after a healing massage and begin to whisper…may I be happy, may I be peaceful, may I be free from suffering and then wishing the same for others that I know and love. A calm overtakes me and my early morning malaise begins to lift. The word DELIBERATE comes to mind…which to me means acting with a full consciousness…carefully considering how I CAN be rather than letting myself be pulled here or there by the whim of  another, the news, the mood of the times, whatever.

I have a favorite quote by T.S.Eliot that hangs in my office: “Human kind cannot bear very much reality.” I cannot bear the bad news coming from my children or the horror stories that permeate the media. I can however, be embellished by that which is in front of my face…the sea, the dunes, the flowers, the fresh air and revel in simple existence. It only takes being deliberate with my intentions to go from the dark to the light.

61 thoughts on “The holiday weekend is over…

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  4. Hi Joan! I have never blogged before, but here goes! Many years have passed since Blueberry Hill! Years ago, I was in the bedroom making the bed and I heard a very familiar voice across the room. I looked over to the television and there you were on Ophra. What a thrill for you. I subsequently have read all of your books and loved them all. I read portions of your weekend book to my daughter, Stephanie, over the phone while she was living in Australia. I hope the pain of your son’s divorce will lesson for you. My son has been divorced for 10 years and is doing well. It has been a struggle, but he has a beautiful 11 year old son who is the light of his life. My Mom passed away a little over a year ago and I had breast cancer. I am thankful to be cancer free and continuing this life’s journey. I am very happy for you and for all of the women you have helped along your way. I still remember the afternoon we sat around your place with the kids and ate your freshly baked brownies. I send you my fondest thoughts and blessings for the New Year!

    Bonnie

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  11. I am reading all about Joan Anderson. I am 68 years-old and very recently separated. I can’t believe this is happening to me. I am in shock and am reaching out. Someone mentioned Joan’s workshops in NJ (I live in MD), so it wouldn’t be too far to travel, maybe. I need some help and inspiration that I will get through this and have a life again. It dosen.t seel like that now. I am in despair.
    I am not computer literate. I do not know how to blog or have I ever been in a chat room. I do know how to e-mail and I hope this reaches you.
    Please e-mail me back.
    Charlene

  12. Hi Joan,
    So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing, and your son’s intended divorce. I am originally from England so will say “Keep your chin up, Joan.”
    I have just finished reading your news letter “Unfinished Thoughts.” That sounds like a future book title to me. Yes?
    I have read all of your books and treasure each one. They really speak to me, and I know, from what I have read in replies to your blog, that they speak to many women. You really do have a wonderful, chatty way of putting your thoughts together, and it feels like you are talking one-on-one with any woman who reads your material.
    I am 72 years old and giving writing a shot myself. I not only read your books, I find them great study guides for someone like myself who is learning the craft of writing. My ultimate dream is to someday be able to write like you do.
    You are so blessed to live so near to the beach. I lived in
    Stuart, Florida for 21 years, and I loved being able to go to the beach whenever I felt like it. It became too expensive to continue to live there; my husband and I now live in Thomasville, GA–a beautiful, beautiful antibellum town, but unfortunately all of three hours from the closest beach. However, we, just recently, returned from a two-week vacation on Jekyll Island, GA. It was great. We walked the beach almost every day. We are hoping to again go back this Fall; this time,though,it will only be for a week. I have always wanted to spend some time on Nantucket. Maybe some day.
    I’d love to attend one of your retreats, but financially, it is out of the question. You all sound like you have a wonderful time together, and because you seem to be such an approachable person, I am sure I would enjoy being around you too. I have been described in those terms also; I am what I am: an open book.
    I look forward to your news letters, Joan, and will now look forward to reading your blogs.
    Many blessings.
    Lilian

  13. Dear Joan,

    I read a year by the sea and was so taken by the parallel of our lives. I have felt as though my role in life is the care giver, and it has been so bitter sweet. While I have embraced the role, it has also come at a cost. I will be 50 in a few short months and because of my family history, feel I am truely on borrowed time. There is so much I still want to do, but, know that the Lord’s plan for my life is bigger than the plans I have for myself. Over the past few years I have lost my son, my mother and two brothers to cancer. My father is now battling advanced cancer as well. My oldest son is about to be married and I was asked to be the wedding coordinator for that event as well. I have made my goal in life, like so many mothers do, to do all that I am able to do for my children, aside from living their lives for them. I understand your emotions with your son’s announcement of his divorce… another one of those events we cannot control.
    I hope to attend one of your retreats soon, as I would so like to do something that would allow me to discover some of those emotions/feelings that I need to still live.

    Keep doing what you are doing, you are validating so many feelings of women who have dedicated their lives to serving others…..

  14. Dear Joan,
    Enjoying the blog, Reread your books every summer. From all the other blogs we all have the same desire. To be free of worry. I am 53 and full of worry. I too try to control every thing, it is exhausting, and now my life seems to be full of uncertainty, I am not enjoying that. Reading your books takes me to a place I want to be in. Keep writing Joan. I am a Joan Junkie!!!

  15. Joan,
    I continue to encourage you to write a book on the challenges of relationships with daughters-in-law. The recent developments in your own family bring you full circle with some of the views you have expressed in your books and newsletters. Your writing on the topic would serve many mothers of sons. Mary Ellen

  16. I send my love Joan, so glad to reconnected with you, even if only in Blog world, I send big Blog Hugs.
    I have been going thru very fast shifts along with the clearings and find myself a little wobbly but soon to be finding myself on my feet.
    I have made several bad investments, the biggest my exboyfriend, and learned so much about giving away my power.
    I always find myself coming back to this place of peace, knowing I am and will always be, know one can take that away, its up to me to make it happy.
    I still live by the coast of Miami, on a canal, and have begun many spiritual events for woman, dedicated to the womb teachings of a grandmother in columbia, whose grandaughter brings the ceremony to my home as Daughters of Gaia Ma. We get groups of 30 to 60 women, and once invited the men to find a tribe of 80.
    You can see some of this on my facebook page, Joanne Giordano Seniza. Although lately with my relationship woes, you may read alot of underlying self pity, thats partly due to the shift in hormones my thyroid removal left me with this week, because I know It was all part of the experience I had to learn about myself, I am a giver by nature and its time to receive and ask for what I want. I thank you for clearing so much, and always unconditionally loving us your children, your Mothers, our friends. I would love to have you come down here to Florida to visit my home. Love and Light, Joanne

  17. Joan- After prying ourselves away from the Cape for a much-too-short visit, I devoured A Year By The Sea on the flight home. This was our third summer visit to the Cape and we’re determined to have more permanent roots planted by this time next year. Being there feels absolutely right. Thank you for providing just a bit more courage to go for it.

    Anyway, I am also a writer and have been coaxed by my other more established writer friends to succumb to the blog trend as well. I’m almost there and am pleased to see that you’re here as well.

  18. From Joan, it’s always like a sea breeze coming in. A comfort. Troubles may assail us, but they fritter out by and by, and we are left with the pure survivor-essentials, the things she taught us in her stories : walking at the water’s edge, swimming with the seals ( or contemplating to ),the scent of summer in the air, return to honoring the self…..These we need to be reminded of gently and fervently.
    Thanks.
    Renee

  19. Understand completely. I attended a retreat 7 yrs ago, shortly after losing my mother. Would love to come to another one. I have gone thru children’s divorces, daughter with breast cancer, and on and on. Now grandchildren are adding even more. Circle of life…….

  20. A quote to inspire you…..

    “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

    -Howard Thurman

  21. Good Morning Joan and Welcome to the blog world! It sounds like you are at another “crossroads” in your life and I hope you find the encouragement and strength in this venue to see a clearer path on the next part of your journey. Particularly with your writing. I’m sure there is much within you to be shared…….don’t rush it…spend time along the beach……it will come at the right time.
    Your books came to me at a critical point in my life and I have referred to them and other authors mentioned in your books frequently since I attended one of your Weekend by the Sea retreats in Chatham (May, 2004) right before I turned 40. I keep the poster from that weekend as well as the sand and shells I brought back and my intention rock in my bedroom along with my rosary and Bible. The items from the retreat remind me that I am as unfinished as the shoreline and that I cannot control the waves that will wash over me sometimes gently and sometimes with such vicious pounding it is amazing I even survive. But I do. My rosary and Bible are part of my prayer life that helps me accept those waves as part of God’s plan and to seek His wisdom and grace as I am changed and altered by those waves.
    I also recall from the retreat the day of our personal “vision quests” when we walked back from Chatham Point—although many of us walked alone, our individual sets of footprints were pointing in the same direction….we were all journeying to our true selves…..and that continues today—I’m glad modern technology provides this venue for us to still see all the “footprints” of our fellow sisters journeying to their true selves, including yours!
    I am sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the retreat. I remember her beautifully lined wizened face and sparkling eyes. How kind and generous she was to all of your retreat participants!
    I pray for your son and hope he too, finds the right road to take at this crossroads in his life. Our love for our children and their ongoing happiness never ends or fails.

    Peace be with you,
    Susan J. Haggerty, (now of VA, a Jersey Girl always….and unfinished until the day the Lord calls me home…..)

  22. Joan, just reading your comments lift my spirit and bring me back to earth a bit after going through some painful family difficulties which cannot be resolved. After feeling much pain it is time to take care of me, time to appreciate the positive aspects of my life, time to give to myself and my friends, and my pets. This is the life I have, and so I will see the bright side of life and appreciate what I have. I’m so happy I have found you. Joan, some difficulties occur in lives of those you love. But sometimes, you have to accept what is, and be thankful for what you have today. I think I shall reread your books. I hope one day to attend one of your retreats. So, walk the beach, watch the beautiful birds and plan some good time with friends and those close to you.

  23. Dear Joan,
    You have done it again, inspired us to take care of what is important..ourselves! I am in my summer home in Spain and doing exactly what I did in Syracuse NY…work myself into such stress that I forget what is in front of me..the sea, the sun the FOOD! Let us all take time during each day to cherish what we have and what we need to make us centered. Hello to all my salty sisters!
    Love,
    Susan

  24. Hi there,

    I’m so glad you are back and I’m glad you have decided to go full speed ahead with your thoughts and emotions in a daily momentum.
    It’s me.. one of the Canadian women who thoroughly enjoyed the Women’s Way Retreat. I was there in May 2007 with my mom and 2 sisters. It was awesome. You and the rest of my supporters were with me when I tossed the bottle with copies of my marriage certificate, divorce and my letters to my significant other.. It was a moving day for me and one I will remember forever. I have many wonderful memories of that weekend and I was in awe of the stories I heard, the closeness of women being together, sharing our most innermost deep thoughts and fears. You helped us do that.
    I still look at life one day at a time.
    I’m sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. I hope to visit you again someday soon.. to attend yet another retreat.. and also sit looking out at the ocean, dunes and enjoying a nice cup of coffee.

    Chat soon,
    Celeste Landry from Alberta Canada

  25. Joan Lee do you really read all these, no guys responding, am I the first? Missed you this weekend in O. P. Had a great time ,your name came up often , alot of your old friends were there , take care of your new knee, and do what rehab your suppose to.

  26. Joan: I have been away from your books for a while, you can blame it on Claire Cook. She is another wonderful author and women that gives so much back to her readers. But now, I find myself in need of a retreat, or reinvention as Claire would describe it. After nine faithful years with an employer, exceeding all sales quotas and networking my butt off; he (yes – an unappreciative, greedy male) severed our employer-employee relationship. The story is long and I am dealing with self doubt about the entire situation. I bet you know about the “what could I have done differently” song that plays over and over in a persons head like a record with a skip in it. While my attorney looks for a way to buy out my covenant not to compete, and I send out positive thoughts to the universe I re-read A Year By The Sea. It was the first step in my personal “retreat”. I have all of your books, you autographed each one. I picked them up several years ago at your “flag ship” bookstore on the Cape, you were kind enough to sign them so I could stop by and purchase them. You have been very influential in my life over the last ten years, yet, I have never met you. I attended a Women’s Conference in So. Windsor CT last August because you were scheduled as the keynote speaker. When they announced you would not be able to attend due to your Mother’s health; I sent a prayer your way, just as I would to all of my close friends. I am happy to find your blog, it seems a very natural way for you to reach all of us. At age 50 I am feeling the pull toward change and want to go with it, but I have to rid myself of the fears associated with change (ie huge reduction in salary etc). Wish you had room in your IONA retreat!!!!! I bet it would be a big growth experience for me. Please keep blogging! Brenda

  27. Dear Joan, I can indeed feel you dismay and deep emotions at the trials that your son is experiencing. Your timely letter and blog (Iam new to blogs too) came yesterday as I wondered if I needed to re-read Yr by the Sea about caring for oneself and boundaries. My #1 daughter-in-law has generated a rift in the family as she bitterly and disrespectfully launched a barage of accusations at me about a troubling text sent from her phone, my son is now not speaking to me, and had severed relations with his father 3 years ago when his own son was born. I am stepping back as advised by many friends to let time do some healing; and to attend to my younger son living in FL who was in a near fatal car crash hit by a tractor trailer that ran a red light. This son required spinal surgery and was terminated from his job without benefit of FMLA because he’d not been there a full year.
    Yes, I too have lost much time this spring in a blur of negative emotions, struggling to find positives, birds singing, soft breezes. I am reading Louise Hay’s book “how to heal your life” and it is full of things not new to me but said at a time of need.
    I think I may definitely treat my self to a weekend by the sea, I will pray for your family at this time, and any kind and wise insights are gratefully received,
    Fondly Pat Schwimer, NYC

  28. A while back, I read your books and found myself nodding regularly. I felt that you and I understood each other. Being a psychologist (I actually went back to school and graduated with a PhD in clinical psychology at the age of 45)…so “A Walk on the Beach” about Joan Erickson also fascinated me.

    I’m glad to find you in the blog world and will also be linking you on my own blog. Taking on another new challenge, I now write a running blog, as I ran my first half-marathon this past May and am training for my first marathon coming up in October. This from a woman who could barely run for a full minute just last year.

    Perhaps we can support each other on our respective journeys…

  29. Joan and Women Readers:
    I have read each of your books, the devouring of which started me on my own path to self-inquiry. That path has led me to become a Reiki Master, and to seek something more fulfilling than what I am associated with now. Like you and thousands of others who regularly tune in for your words that will provoke them to look deeper within, we all suffer losses — daily. I’ve found through Reiki and such inner focus quests as the Samurai Game that we are most fortunate to have accepted the challenge of getting to know ourselves in the face of loss and despite it; to being present in the moment. I am hoping that sometime soon you will return to a place West of the Rockies for a retreat so that I can feel the empathy of participating with a group of women seeking to gain that incite into who we are. Alone, it is possible; but together it is nothing short of miraculous. Namaste. Delphine

  30. Dear Joan ~
    Having been thru a wicked divorce I am feeling so foggy and doubtful and worried for my 2 adult children. Your words inspired me and I know I need to learn to love myself and try to seek out the simle pleasures in life to carry on.
    Thanks for your inspiration!
    Betsy

  31. It’s been a few years now since I read A Year by the Sea. Since then I’ve read almost everything else you have written and given away many copies of your books to friends. As I push the 60 years young mark, I, like so many, strive to find a reawakened joy and purpose in life. Everything is good, but feels like it could be so much more acute. Each day is a journey to become sensitive to all that life offers. For all our differences as women, aren’t we all so much the same. Anna K. Carlsbad, CA

  32. I am so very happy to see that you have started a blog! I have read every book that you have written and your writings have inspired me to start a huge change on my life. I am separated from my marriage of 16 years and for the first time in a very long time am taking stock of what it is that I truly DO want in my life.
    Your posts came at such a synchronistic time in my life as I am also trying to live more fully in the present and to learn that I am the controler of how I view situations and how to live my life in a better, more fulfilled way every day.

    I also have to say that I was suprised how affected you were at your sons separation/divorce in your newsletter, since your first book was all about you needing the separation in your own marriage. It made me realize that we are all human and all want what we think is best for someone else…when what we only truly know is what is best for ourselves. Thank you for so much insight on this beautiful, sunny Sunday morning! You inspire more than you may think you do.

  33. Hello Joan!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! You are Heaven sent, I’m sure! I am 59yrs. old and when I discovered your book, a year by the sea, I felt that we somehow live parallel lives. The life experiences that you have sharred with your readers has opened my eyes in so many ways. I am married and we have three children, all married, eight grandchildren, a mother with dementia, and I have Lupus. I have spent most of my life, thus far taking care of everyone, but me. You have helped me realize that life is short, and I am in charge. I am responsible for how I spend my precious life. Life is a gift from God, what you do with it is your gift to Him. I’m a slow learner…
    I have realished all your books, and now am so excited to read your blogs that keep me in touch with you and your journey.

  34. Joan – Almost 7 years ago while going through my own life transitions, I was getting my Masters in Social Work, and was “required” to read your first book by my professor. It has been on my mind ever since. Since then I have recommended them over and over again to women. I recently started a facebook page “The women we were meant to be” (before life got in the way)for my friends to support, inspire, and encourage each other. While I have not had the opportunity yet to go on one of your weekends, it is on my bucket list. I realize that “life gets in the way” but I hope you truly understand what a force you have been in changing women’s lives. And a big part of that is the “human” side to your story. I’m so sorry about the loss of your mother. What a blessing that you were able to have your knee surgery and hopefully become truly active again. And while a divorce may seem devastating, it may just be the beginning of a completely, fullfilling life for your son (once the pain, hurt, etc has subsided). I recently took a midlife journey “trip” by myself through California…the first thing I saw when I pulled out of the car rental was a taxi cab with a sign, “Every Great Story Has a Beginning…”…may this be the beginning of your next great story…and your son’s 🙂

  35. This is my very first adventure into the world of “BLOG,” but when I finished reading your Unfinished Woman email – which I always anticipate and relish – I just had to find what more you had to say. At age 65, I must admit that no one else has given me any cause for jumping into this realm, but I have so enjoyed and identified with your works, and am impressed that a woman of your reknown has such a seemingly approachable side, I knew I had to let you know that in many ways you seem to write from MY heart. Thank you so very much for sharing yourself!

  36. Joan,
    This came at the right time for me. As I am kind of going through the same thing with my daughter. She is not making the most of her life and I am trying to control parts that I don’t have control of. We, as moms, always want the very best for our children and make ourselves sick when things do not work out for them and for ourselves. I have been trying to take things as they come and transition seems to be around every corner these days. That includes, job changes, marrriages, divorces, making new relationships, new friends, new homes, etc……all we can do is be there for the people we love with encouragement and support.
    Thanks again for sharing your story.

    Rita

  37. Joan,
    How appropriate that I recieved your newsletter while I was in Harwich, just having left Maureen G. So sorry to hear about your winter of discontent, but very to happy to hear of your return to the present.
    So often we do not practice what we preach! Maybe a trip out to Monomoy to repair your soul. My best to you always.
    Ann Irr Dagle

  38. Hi Joan, Remember that the sun will always rise and how important to be a witness to its arrival and to know that at some point in every day a small miracle will appear to touch your soul. It might be dew glistening on a spiderweb, the smell of rain on hot pavement, or the sound of rocks tumbling on the beach. Every day is a gift.
    I’m so happy to see that you will be going to Monhegan, one of my favorite places in the world. I just spent an idyllic week in Martinsville, ME and feel rejouvenated.
    Keep writing!! Lighthouse Marge

  39. Hi,Joan,
    It is so true that as women we want to control and fix everything. With increasing age and my husband’s illness I’ve learned that it can’t be done. I too am taking pleasure in the small blessings of the day – the coffee on the balcony, the hummingbird that visits and opening a good book. Through your books I have had the courage to take care of myself rather than be the long suffering caregiver. Though it takes tremendous organization I do travel, have dinner with friends and continue to work part time. I find that I’m rejuvenated and better able to cope with my responsibilities. Carpe Diem indeed!

    Marlene

  40. Joan,
    I have now read all your books! Last winter, I stayed for a week at Longboat Key (by myself) and they had a copy of Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh in the room. I read it and immediately started searching for other books about lifes journey. Once I found your book: A Walk by the Sea, I had to have the others. I can’t tell you how much your books have meant to me personally. Please tell me you will be coming out with another one soon!!

  41. Joan,
    So nice to read your blog. It’s actually my first. I have read all of your books and I attended a workshop last year in Hyannis. LOVED IT!!
    I have recently moved to my summer home in Dennis due to my husband’s job loss. We moved from our family home in Medfield, Ma via a 3-year stint in
    NJ. It has been a very unsettling last 3 years – I spent 6-8 weeks in Ct attending my sister and brother-in-law after a bad car accident only to come back to my daughter’s news that she and her husband of 1 year were getting a divorce. (He
    made a mistake). My head was spinning. Then my husband lost his job, we sold our condo in NJ, put our stuff in storage and moved here to the Cape. In Feb. my mother fell and broke her pelvis. Off to Ct again were I spent most of Feb, March and April. So here I was this May finally feeling like everyone was back on their feet and it was my time.

    What do I do now?? Do I find a job? What happens if I have to move off the Cape? Do I make friends here? I kept thinking why can’t I find someone like
    Joan E or Joan A? Well I didn’t find a Joan but I did find a Jackie and she pulled my into a Mah Jongg group and we play once a week.

    So for now, I’m entertaining my summer sisters, enjoying the weather, the beach, the Sundae School ice cream and the sun. At least for now it’s me time and I am making an effort to smell the roses and to enjoy the Hydrangea.

    Maybe we’ll meet someday and I’ll hold your hand as your son goes through his divorce. It was difficult for all of us, but I truly believe that things happen for a reason and I know that my daughter and you son will be better off.

    Enjoy your week.

  42. I am delighted to see that you have started a blog–one, it will undoubtedly cure your ‘writer’s block,’ and two, it will help me on my path–albeit very unfinished–through life. I have a yearning to combine my joy, my angst, my disappointments, my ambition, my loves, my ever search more self confidence into a strong colorful rope that will pull and carry me into being a woman who will live her life on purpose. I excitedly look forward to reading your insights along your life’s path.

  43. Hello Joan. I remember your first email address on webtv. It has been a long road of attained wisdom since then. I live in the midwest but am lucky enough to spend time on the cape twice a year. What a pleasure to be by the sea. I am so happy to find you have a blog. I put it on my favorites list and will visit twice a week. We are always a child until the last parent is gone. Then we are an orphan. Then we become the matriarch. It has its advantages. Soon you will begin to enjoy them. Another of lifes chapters.

  44. Joan, thank you for these wise and encouraging words. I have loved your books and hearing you in Boston last year at the American Assoc. of Orthodontists meeting. Our book club read “A Year by the Sea” and it encouraged all of us. Blessings as you begin the next 180 days with enthusiasm and vision.

  45. Hello lovely salty lady! I was wondering why I hadn’t heard from you lately, now I know why! I just finished reading your thoughts and words on how you’ve lost precious time so I had to stop and write you! Been there, done that, guess what still do that! I am woman hear me roar! Let’s take care of everyone else, let’s “fix” everyone else, oh wait what about you and me? It seems like you are now on the correct path, so as you walk by the sea remember that awesome moment, be kind to yourself. You are always in my thoughts and my prayers. Blessings, Susan (the FL salty lady)

  46. Joan,
    I have read all of your books and dream of someday attending one of your retreats. I have recommended your books to many of my clients (I’m a psychotherapist)and they have been so helpful to them. I am excited to see you have a blog and I’ll be a regular reader.

    Thank you for sharing. I so ‘get it.’

  47. I just turned 70…I am retreating for nine days in Cambria by the Sea in Central coast CA….I am staying in a friend’s two story home..I have the top floor..my husband of almost 49 years has the bottom …we meet for meals and conversation…I am rereading ‘A weekend to change your life”….I am leaving stagnation and entering wisdom…today I went to Moonstone Beach and got my intention rock…I have read all your books Joan and we have shared two of them in my book club near San Diego…blessings and love to you and yours…Char

  48. Hello Joan,
    I am reading A Year By the Sea for the first time (I have just finished the chapters in which you met and became friends with Joan E.) and felt compelled to see if you were anywhere online. So happy to find that you have just begun blogging! Welcome to the bloggy world…I do hope that you find satisfaction and connection as so many of us have.

    Since I picked up your book from the library shelf last week, it has been my favorite time of each day when I am able to lay down and read a few chapters.
    And having now learned about your other books, I am especially looking forward to getting my hands upon A Walk By the Sea. I think that one may be just what I need. I am 51, full-time caregiver to my mom who has dementia, but determined to keep myself growing and experiencing Life as much as is possible for me….and finding joy.

    Thank you for your writings and what they will, no doubt, add to my journey,

    Lesley

  49. Joan, what a sad time you have had weighing heavily on yor heart. I am glad you have the strengh to see positively, I love the discriptive writing style you share. I too enjoy my suroundings taking pleasure in the simpleness of being. I have visited Cape Cod in oct and know the calm you are describing, how lucky you are to experience it for most of the year. I wouldn’t want to visit in peak season and spoil my illusion of tranquillity, although summer is the only time many families can make it. So many people are caught up in having to be busy, if only they could slow down and access what is really important in their life. Tracey

  50. How serendipitous to find your new blog! I feel like I am starting the next ‘phase’ of my life. Just finished my 2nd master’s and am trying to get a teaching job. (very hard these days) I have a 6 yr old and an almost 2 yr old and went to the library site last week to reread your first books and there I saw in the midst of my schooling you had written 2 books! I loved your books b/c my inlaws have a place in Harwich and always felt at home in your books and am always trying to be a better person. I laughed out loud when you went to Ferretti’s, hoping to run into you one day there myself! Sad to hear about your mom and your son. Thanks for all you do, I enjoy making the journey with you!Looking forward to being on cape this weekend. Hopefully I will get a chance to walk on the beach by myself, but that is seldom the case these days!

  51. Joan. I love this post. You are so right that we have to deliberately choose to be positive and not allow ourselves to become mired down in doom and gloom. I just wrote a blog post about waking up crabby and forcing myself to find the positive. Nature almost always does it for me too. I am working on scrapbook pages of our time together on Whidbey Island…what a wonderful weekend of revelations, new friendships and permission to allow myself to “be enough”.

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