A road paved with smiles

I am off on an adventure today. Heading west to The Haven on Gabriola Island for a one week course, Come Alive and then, Easter in Vancouver with my daughters — I am stoked!

Ellie is coming along on this journey. She’s all dolled up with a new do (her spring shave down) and is lookin’ real purdee. I’m not sure who is most excited, me about spending a weekend with my daughters or my eldest daughter Alexis about getting to see her Ellie for a few days!

Yesterday, in preparation for my journey, I got new tires, an oil and filter change and just a general tune-up of my car. And yes, I realize I did literally leave it to the last day — it was all in my plan. (wink, wink)

When I went to the tire/tune up store (Lionel at Ok Tire on Richmond Road really rocks!) I took Ellie with me because I knew my car would be a couple of hours and one of my favourite coffee places is just a 20 minute walk away from the shop.

Ellie was a big hit. She pranced into the store, all proud of her new do and pink ribbon tied to her collar. (okay so maybe she feels a bit self-conscious about the pink bow but it’s really cute!) Lionel who owns and manages the store has a 14 year-old Dalmatian/Border Collie cross and was immediately on side with Ellie’s wish to be pet and oohed and aahed over. Another man in the store shared his stories of his dog, Jethro, who went to doggie heaven several years ago. We chatted and laughed and everyone was smiling when we left.

Which brings me to one of the greatest lessons on making a difference in the world.

Take a dog with you where ever you go. They’re real ice breakers!

While sitting in the warm afternoon sun on the patio of the coffee shop Ellie and I walked to, a mother walked by with her two twin daughters. “Can they pet your dog?” she asked.

Ellie was most obliging.

The twins laughed and giggled, never once letting go of the stuffed toy gopher they held between her. I joked and told them that Ellie really likes gophers. One of the twins eyes widened. “My name’s Ella!” she exclaimed.

“Ellie’s named after Ella Fitzgerald,” I told her (like I thought a four year-old would know the great Ella!)

The mother smiled and Ella looked at me with a somewhat confused expression on her face.

“Do you sing?” I asked.

“Oh yes!” she replied and promptly burst into a verse of one of my favourites, “Inch by inch. Row by row.”

The entire patio stopped for a collective moment to smile and wonder at the joy of this small child singing in the afternoon sun.

Such innocence. Such beauty. Such natural joy.

Now those are differences the world could use more of!

As you travel through your day today, watch for moments where you can sing in the sunshine, or the rain. And let lose. Be silly. Be funny. Be full of joy! Share a smile or many!

I know I’ll be travelling down that long ribbon of road, heading west, and singing my heart out. Me and Ellie-mcgee. “Cause freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.’ And we’ve all got everything to gain by living life large, being the difference we want to see in the world.

Have a great one!

14 thoughts on “A road paved with smiles”

  1. Good Morning Louise,

    I so adore you. I remember admiring your heartfelt stories for the coaches at Choices.
    Today when you mentioned the ‘Haven’….I thought…finally someone else I know is familiar with that retreat. I love their gentle approach….and than you mentioned your dog. Our dog is named Abigail Fitzgerald. Too funny!!
    Safe travels Louise.


    1. Thanks so much Laurie!!! And thank you for visiting me here. Look forward to sharing stories of the Haven when I return. Hugs, love and beans. love that your dog and ellie share part of a name. — give Abigail a pet from me and a sniff from Ellie! 🙂


    1. It’s one of the many things that makes her so beautiful Lisa! 🙂 Arrived safe and sound in Vancouver. A lovely day planned with my daughter and then tomorrow I’m off to Gabriola Island.


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