I’ve had the privilege to work with a lot of fantastic people over the years, cultivating friendships outside of the office with many. One of the people I feel most blessed to have been given the opportunity to get to know is Yvonne. There are so many qualities about Yvonne – her sense of style, her attention to detail, her work ethic, her generosity – that I look to as examples of how I’d like to be in my own life. Her choice of this lovely thistle brooch – “A thistle for a MacNeil; it just seems right to me!” – speaks to all of that and more. It’s a piece she received from a relative of her husband’s, Ralphie. Yvonne writes: “Ralphie was a lovely and generous woman. She would be very pleased to know her little pin was part of something so wonderful as your wedding bouquet!” I’m honoured to have her – and Yvonne – be part of my day in this way!
Flower of Scotland July 18, 2010
A few weeks ago, I posted about the wonderful memories I have of the love of family and friends I experienced in the home of Margie & Stanley Beaton in South West Mabou. Lo and behold, a parcel arrived in the mail the other day from the lovely couple!
The thistle is considered the Flower of Scotland; for some, its sharp thorns are seen as representing the ‘prickly determination’ of the Scots, while others see it as a symbol of nobility of character. Both interpretations are apt in my mind and are great symbols to have in my bridal bouquet.
Moran taing, Margie & Stanley!
My Dad & stepmom are part of a group of friends & family commonly known to us as ‘The Cabin Crew.’ Most of these folks own property along the same stretch of the Bras d’Or Lakes, though some just come to hang out there. It’s a fabulous little piece of heaven on earth – because of the view and because of the people. Friends who are there to help each other out, support each other when needed, and just to enjoy life with. Here are a few of the treasures the girls from the cabin crew sent along for the bouquet: as Maureen put it, they’re pieces that don’t have a story yet. I’m happy to have them start their tale with me.
Past, Present & Future July 17, 2010
One of the few regrets I have in life is that I didn’t keep in better touch with some of the fabulous people who have passed through my life. So I’m always thankful when the internet – whether through Facebook, Twitter or projects like this – bring me back into touch with them, however briefly and remotely.
I was touched to receive a package in the mail from an old high school chum, Sarah. As thoughtful as ever, she shared a “small bit of bling” that found her at a flea market in Cape Breton. Sarah says the brooch, with its three little flowers, “immediately made me think ‘past, present, and future’.” I agree, there is no more fitting sentiment for our wedding day. Thank you, Sarah – and I hope we reunite in person one of these days!
Daydream Believer July 16, 2010
There are a few things I made a point of doing before I left Toronto – and I’m happy to say one of those was a long-overdue reunion with a great gal who went to camp with Alex & me all those years ago. Janna is from Newfoundland, one of our little group of five Shads who called Atlantic Canada home. She’s a peaceful soul who always brings a smile to my face; when we met for breakfast that day, it was like only 14 days had passed since we’d last seen each other, not 14 years. It’s a great memory, one I hope doesn’t take another 14 years to repeat!
Janna sent a lovely note with her offering for my bouquet; it tells the story so well, I’m going to share it with you. Here’s an abridged version of Janna’s tale:
Born and bred in Newfoundland, I’ve always been a keen beachcomber – head down, eyes sweeping ahead of my feet for any little treasure … When I moved to Toronto, I took my beachcombing ways to city streets and always managed to stumble on little forgotten treasures – wishing coins, lucky pennies, errant earrings, subway tokens, costume jewelery – odds and ends that remind me of my rambling adventures in the Big Smoke. Consider this a token of your time in Toronto, too!
Janna, your purple heart – with it’s hints of Toronto and Newfoundland – is a perfect reflection of your generous, adventuring nature & will take a special place in my bouquet!
Tosha’s Treasure July 15, 2010
I met Tosha while doing a freelance CBC piece on the wedding industry in the Maritimes. She was the person advertising locally as a wedding planner whose online presence gave me the best vibe – and she delivered! We got along so well chatting after our interview was over that I booked her to help with our big day – because with 250 guests for an outdoor wedding, big is definitely the right way to describe our day! She’s been a great help already, even though we’re technically paying her for day-of services. The other day she even popped by my office to drop off a brooch for the bouquet. This little blue flower stands for so much – new friends, new ideas and – maybe best of all – less stress!
From Cape Breton to Toronto and back again July 14, 2010
Two months before our wedding day, on May 31 2010, my friend Andrea sat down in Toronto to write me a note. As she always does, she brought a smile to my face – and even a tear to my eye!
Andrea and I met when I moved to Toronto and began working at CBC Radio Syndication. She is a bright light in a sometimes dark place – and her happy smile and early morning enthusiasm made me hope I was half as cheerful to folks when I worked the same crack-of-dawn hours.
Andrea sent along two brooches – one, a lovely pink & black ‘Sex in the City’ bauble, reminds me of the fun adventures shared in the Big Smoke. The second speaks to our other shared (in an odd, never-there-at-the-same-time) experience – working at CBC Radio in Sydney, Cape Breton.
You see, the summer I spent in Toronto, Andrea spent in Sydney. I filled her head full of tidbits about the folks there before she left, and when she returned, she caught me up on what was new at home. She tells me she bought the second brooch she sent “in a massive building next to a giant fiddle” – yes, Andrea, I know that building well! – while looking for a keepsake of her time in Cape Breton. She picked up two brooches that day – and now one of them has returned East, to be part of my bouquet.
I love this line of Andrea’s note about the brooches:
“I’m forced … to miss the wedding, but know that my very best wishes – and brooch (seriously, it’s the one that isn’t missing a stone) – are with you. It comes from home via a friend grateful to spend some time there.”
Thanks, cupcake. I’m happy to have helped you with your summer adventure to Cape Breton, and to share that additional bond with you. Miss you!