EASTER HOPE IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC

Hope is what we hold onto when life gets out of kilter and we're battling worry and concern. Viktor Frankl and Easter both teach us something about hope in dark times.

WHEN HOPE IS ALL WE HAVE

I read Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning" last year and the predominant thought that I came away with was that Hope is what helps us hold on through unimaginable hardships. Hope is the light that shines at the end of the tunnel. Hope is what we hold onto when we don't understand what is going on around us. And Hope is what we need to hold onto while we stay safe at home and ride our way through this pandemic.

Most of us have never lived through a time like this (and hopefully we won't have to ever again) so we fluctuate from highs to lows, look desperately for answers, and wonder when it will ever end. What carries me through all this uncertainty is Hope - because it's always positive, it's something to believe in, and it helps me know that this too shall pass.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. Martin Luther King Jnr #lifequotes

EASTER IS ALL ABOUT HOPE

Easter is another reminder of Hope. The whole message of Easter hope is summed up in a Youtube video that I watch every year - it reminds me that on Friday when all hope seems lost, it's not the end because Sunday is coming. Even in the darkest hours there is hope for a better tomorrow. I've shared a snippet of the video here and you can watch it in full if you're interested HERE.



Throughout history people have survived and even thrived in times of immense loss and suffering that would be the undoing of most of us. There have been numerous Facebook posts reminding us of Anne Frank, the deprivations of war (both on the battlefields and for those who remained at home), prison camps, torture, persecution, plagues, pandemics, and more. What we're putting up with right  now pales into insignificance in the face of what others have endured.

WHAT HAPPENED TO EASTER THIS YEAR?

So Easter this year was a bit of a non-event for most of us. Our traditions took a hit - no family visits, no church, no vacations, no trips away. We all bunkered down and ate the Easter eggs we'd hoped to share with our kids and grandkids. It all seemed to be a bit sad and lonely at the time, but in the grand scheme of things it's only for now - there is hope that it will be a distant memory soon and Easter next year will be back with all its joys and celebrations.

I saw a quote that reminded me that the first Easter was a time where believers waited in their homes not knowing what the future held. Their wait was rewarded and they celebrated together when the dark days were gone. We're doing that too - the hope is that good times will come again and life will return to normal - it might be a new normal, but it will be good again - we'll beat this virus and come out rejoicing with our families and friends.

This year we might get the closest taste we have had yet to what that first Easter was like. #Eastequotes

EASTER REMINDS US TO HOPE

So, Easter has been a reminder to keep hoping for a better tomorrow. It might be difficult and frustrating right now, but good things are coming. Sometimes we have to go through struggles - life isn't a bowl of cherries all the time - but we know that the bad times don't last forever. Hope is what reminds us that there will be new and wonderful things in our future. We choose our attitude now - we choose to be positive, kind, generous, compliant with the new rules, proactive, and hopeful for what will eventually come. By doing that, we come out better and brighter - rather than bitter and resentful, selfish or defeated.

My hope is that we're all holding onto Hope, that we know these inconveniences are for a short time (in the grand scheme of things) and that good times are coming..... Sunday is coming.....life will go back to normal again.....and this will all be a memory and a part of history that we were privileged to live through.

Mourn what's lost but celebrate what remains - Marc Middleton - #quotesdisappointment

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

How are you coping with life in isolation? Are you looking for the positives and holding onto hope, or is it all becoming too hard? Look after yourself, be kind to yourself and to others, seek help if you need it, and we'll come out the other side of this better, stronger, and wiser. 

RELATED POSTS


Hope is what we hold onto when life gets out of kilter and we're battling worry and concern. Viktor Frankl and Easter both teach us something about hope in dark times.
Hope is what we hold onto when life gets out of kilter and we're battling worry and concern. Viktor Frankl and Easter both teach us something about hope in dark times.

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Even if we have to look really hard, there are always more reasons to hope than to fear. #upbeatquotes

55 comments

  1. Great post, Leanne! Our church has been live-streaming everything so that's made this a lot easier!

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    1. It's great that we have that Rita - but I'm starting to really miss the human contact that a "real" Sunday service brings with it. I think my social side is starting to feel the absence of people in my life.

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  2. Hi Leanne, Your post is a wonderful reminder about the importance of “Hope.” You are right on how humankind has endured immense grief, loss and hardships. My husband and I had the opportunity to visit Europe for our 25th Anniversary, many moons ago. I will never forget the feeling of entering churches and other structures thousands of years old. I felt at peace knowing how life will continue to go on despite exceptional challenges.

    I extra love “...celebrate what remains.” Despite some ups and downs each day, I do count my blessings. My husband and I are on Day 27 of no friends, family, stores, contact except for Video chat/Zoom. I feel like I am giving you the countdown each week, Leanne. 🙂 We do a lot of laughing and goofing around on our chats. I don’t want the children to feel uncomfortable and sad. My husband and I shed a few tears afterwards.

    A great post, Leanne! You are right on how all of this is temporary. Thank you for the reminder on self care. You be kind to yourself, too, Leanne. Take care and stay well. xx

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    1. Hi Erica - I feel the same way about video chatting - I love it and it's a great consolation prize, but it doesn't replace the spontaneity of a casual family gathering. I think Easter is really reminding me of the human need for touch and hugs and being together. But.....this will pass, I'll get over my funk, and hope springs eternal.

      I think I'm struggling a bit with the fact that we're just finishing Week 3 of Captivity - as I call it - and there might be months more of it to go. It does my head in even thinking about it so I probably need to write myself another post on living in the moment as a way of coping with the stress of not being in control! Happy Easter and God bless you and your family - your friendship has been an absolute blessing to me xx

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    2. Thank you, Leanne, Tears and no words to fully describe the feelings. I popped outside a few minutes ago to listen and be part of the love conveyed to all the health care providers at the hospital. In our community it happens at 7pm every night. We live five minutes away from one of the hospitals in Victoria. I could feel the genuine, unselfish, heartfelt outpouring of love. I truly believe the human race is full of such good and "we will come out the other side of this better, stronger and wiser." xx

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    3. I believe that too Erica - I just hope that we can maintain it. Part of me wonders how long we can maintain selfless-ness for in such a "Me" centred world? Fingers crossed we're better than I give the world credit for :)

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  3. Thank you for the wonderful post.

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    1. My pleasure Leonora - it's been a great reminder to myself - that this won't last forever - something I really need atm while we have a family-less Easter :(

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  4. I love how you preach to yourself when you start to feel down - it's true that we have a great Hope, and that is something we must remind ourselves of in the darkest days. Xox

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    1. I need to remind myself that there's a bigger picture and that the inconveniences and upsets I'm facing are small in comparison to what's been suffered in days gone by. Easter is a great reminder of that - and that there's always hope for a better tomorrow. (I still miss my family though!) xx

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  5. Thank you for a wonderful post, Leanne. After a nice soaking rain overnight, the sun is coming out on this Easter Sunday morning. The air is fresh, the birds are singing as I type, my husband and kids and I are together, and, despite the circumstances, we do recognize the gift of time -- to refocus and think and hope. Yes, this is more like what that first Easter must have been like. Blessings to you and yours.

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    1. Hi Laura - yes I feel like we've been pared back to what's really important over the last few weeks. Missing my adult kids and grandgirls makes me realize what a big part of my mind they take up - I'm grateful they're well and happy (and probably missing me a lot less than I miss them!) I'll be glad when they free up local travel again. Happy Easter to you and your family xx

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  6. Nothing lasts forever. Setbacks are only opportunities for us to introspect and look ahead with hopes of a better days for all us.
    Wish you and family a Happy Easter.

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    1. Happy Easter to you and yours too Pradeep - and yes, you're so right about things only being temporary and it's been a good time to look inwards and to see what matters and what doesn't.

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  7. Happy Easter, Leanne. This is so true - Easter does remind us.
    I especially love the quote "We must accept infinite disappointment but never lose infinite hope".
    Sending warm hugs to you!

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    1. Hi Donna - virtually hugging you right back! And yes, I'm definitely holding on to the hope that this is over sooner than they're predicting. It's a LONG time to do virtual human contact and I really miss my kids and grandgirls as time goes by. Happy Easter xx

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  8. I'm struggling with future stuff so am holding on to hope. We've never really had any family related Easter traditions so it hasn't been too much of an issue, but let's say that I'm not going to complain about having to go to Sydney again I am missing being able to see my parents and given that they refuse to even consider any technology we can't even do the zoom thing.

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    1. It's interesting the different things that affect each of us Jo - for some it's missing work, others family, others friends, and others miss the beauty businesses they frequent! I'll just be happy when we're allowed to travel again and I can actually hug my kids and grandgirls - the rest is irrelevant atm.

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  9. What a beautiful post, Leanne. Easter does remind us to hope. For us, it is spring, so the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and the world seems hopeful. Trying to concentrate on one day at a time will get us through this crisis. I'm so glad we can communicate electronically, although nothing will replace real human interaction.

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    1. I fell into the trap of looking ahead at the uncertain end date Laurie and that got me a bit down in the dumps. Choosing instead to focus on what I have rather than what I'm missing helps me stay brighter and more positive. And I'm certainly holding onto hope - especially the hope that this won't go on for several more months!

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  10. Leanne,

    Thank you for reminding me of Easter Hope. Easter represents hope in the best way. Right now we're living in tough times but this too shall pass!

    Warmly,
    Allison

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    1. Hi Allison - it was a good reminder for me too - that others have put up with terrible stuff and this is small in comparison - still sucky though and I'll be glad when it finally comes to an end.

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  11. I'm actually really busy and having a good time - when at home. When I get out to the shops, I find it overwhelmingly sad. But we're playing lots of Badminton and now Finska so there's plenty of physical activity (along with the running after my daughter on her bike rides round the neighbourhood). But all we can do is all we can do, so we march on with that. #MLSTL

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    1. I think that's the secret Lydia - focus on what is working and what feels good and put the rest to the back of our minds. We can't change the situation atm, so finding ways to make it more pleasant is definitely the key.

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  12. Hi Leanne I agree that there is always Hope and Easter is a wonderful example that even though we experience dark times, the light will come back into our life. I've been very fortunate that I am enjoying my time in isolation. I'm someone who is self motivated so I've been able to keep myself busy. I miss my grandsons but FaceTime is not a bad second prize. If it was 50 years ago, we didn't even have a telephone so I'm grateful for the technology we have and the ability to stay in touch. Miss the hugst though. Very timely post and thanks for sharing another #MLSTL party with me. Sharing on SM. Take care, BBB xx

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    1. Hi Sue - I'm pretty much the same - but definitely missing the kids and grandgirls. Easter brought that home to me even more, but it was also a great reminder of those who have suffered much more than the inconveniences we have atm. It all comes back to choosing our attitude and response - staying positive and focusing on the good stuff - thank heavens for the internet!

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  13. Hi Leanne, I agree hope helps us get through tough times. I've been very fortunate that I have self-discipline and self-motivation so I made minor adjustments to my activities and carry on the best I can. The fair spring weather and my walks outdoors have also helped tremendously. Take care. #MLSTL

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    1. The weather here has been lovely too Natalie and that definitely helps - getting outdoors into mellow weather is a joy. I'm finding that 90% of this is a breeze for me, but the other 10% hits me occasionally - especially missing the human contact - it makes me grateful that I at least have my husband at home for company.

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  14. Hi Leanne, lovely words. We wouldn't treasure the good times if we never had bad times. The challenges in our lives help us to grow stronger. I'm enjoying time at home with my family. We played board games, I baked more, went for walks together and we chatted more. I'm really enjoying the slower pace at the moment. The only thing that's difficult is knowing I can't visit my family who live just one hour away, in another state, because the border is closed.

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    1. Our kids and grandgirls are 2 hours away and in the same State, but they've closed us down into "zones" and there are roadblock checks - it feels like a military operation at times! So, I'm resigned to not seeing them until they relax the restrictions - and that's the tough part - missing birthdays and a nephew's cancelled wedding. But this too shall pass and the good times will come again.

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  15. I do agree with you Leanne that we must hold on to hope to get us through this pandemic. I’d find it intolerable being without hope. I am loving life in isolation. #MLSTL Sharing

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    1. Welcome to the world of retirement Jennifer - I suspect you might not want to go back to work after all this is finished! Living on your own terms and at your own pace is a gift that covid gave a lot of us. I just wish we could do it with the family!

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  16. I especially liked your statement that this Easter was probably the closest one we've had to feeling as the disciples felt as that first Easter dawned. We will get through this. Meanwhile, I rather like a good excuse to stay home more. I'm communicating more with distant family than usual, and that's a good thing. It seems I stay busier than usual since this started.

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    1. I think the uncertainty and disappointment would certainly be a common feeling from the early church days to now Barb. I too am enjoying being home and the world moving at a slower pace - and I'm very grateful for the internet and free video chats - they've been a nice consolation prize in amongst the sadness of not seeing family.

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  17. I deliberately stopped counting the days...which have turned into weeks...because that meant I was focussing on an end I have no control over. Instead I am doing my utmost to accept day to day. That for a planner and a look-ahead type person is a BIG change. Today has been one of those as I learn to shop using gloves, and be a planner of what I am buying before I get there and home again. I have to stop (haven't quite yet) looking at the schooling of kids at home arguments as I am "still the principal at heart". Nevertheless, I do see that people in general are behaving in a respectful way and whilst we have only done a couple of face times with one family, phone calls and texts are sufficing. I learned, back in 2015-2017 that I had to 'let go' of what was in terms of the physical connections with our family and it has, to a certain extent helped me now. It doesn't mean I don't miss them but things have changed. Denyse #mlstl

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    1. You're so right about not looking too far forward Denyse - it was the thought of 6 months of lockdown that started doing my head in over Easter - not being able to see the family for so long - and the fact that it's only been a few weeks and seems like months! I've always been a shopping list person, and I'm very grateful that 90% of what I buy is still there in abundance (and we have plenty of toilet paper!)
      The funny thing is that I don't see the kids more than once a month, so it's only one or two visits we've missed out on - but it seems like more because the restrictions are in place - the choice has been taken away and that's what really sucks for me. Still this won't last forever and we'll all be more appreciative of each other when it's all a memory.

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  18. Thanks so much for sharing this. Jesus is our hope. I just did a blog post of how we celebrated Easter this year. We still celebrated our risen savior no matter what!

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    1. Hi Amy - yes I enjoyed your post and all those family photos. I was quite envious that you got to be with your kids and grandkids while we're restricted by lockdown from visiting ours. I'll certainly be enjoying the hugs when we're allowed to have them again.

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  19. Thanks Leanne for this hope-filled post. I'm keeping a gratitude journal during this challenging time. It helps me list all those small and large things I'm thankful for and think more positively. This Pandemic is an opportunity for all of us to slow down, be mindful of our thoughts and feelings, and look for healthy ways to nurture ourselves and the planet. Thanks for hosting #MLSTL.

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    1. Hi Nancy - I love that you're keeping a gratitude journal - it's a great way to remember the positives and not get caught up in what we don't have atm. I'm also enjoying the quiet and that there are less people out and about. I'm also enjoying that people are smiling and waving and interacting more - which is really encouraging.

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  20. Hi Leanne, thanks for your encouraging words. We all need a reminder that these days will not last forever, and our patience, compliance, and endurance will be rewarded with the 'new normal'. I agree that that foundation is hope and for me, faith. Life is tough right now, but life is always good. Shared on SM

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    1. Hi Candi - I think we're doing it pretty easy in comparison to some of the suffering that has been endured through history, but it still feels hard at times. I think when I look at the things I'm missing I tend to get more "down" but when I choose to focus on the good stuff, it doesn't really seem too bad at all....and it WILL end eventually!

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  21. I cannot tell you how happy I was to see this post yesterday. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it - it was a pleasure to write and a great reminder to myself to hold onto the hope that this isn't going to last forever and one day we'll be back with our extended families and appreciating them even more.

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  22. I love the quote mourn your loss but celebrate what remains. We have had beautiful weather and I have been able to spend time in the garden. It is a time to take pleasure in small things.

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    1. Hi Anne - yes the small things have become more lovely haven't they? My husband and I went out and had a takeaway coffee on the beach yesterday - the first bought coffee in weeks and it was delightful and such a nice change of scenery - small pleasures!

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  23. Easter was strange for us as well, but not in a bad way. Of course we were home alone, but managed to have a nice day. I cooked some favorite foods and a yummy carrot cake. We zoomed with the kids and then with my siblings. I am managing to stay hopefull, even though we are told we will likely have at least another month of lockdown. We'll try to make the best of it. Stay well!

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    1. We've been told we might have another 6 months of lockdown Michele - that was what really did my head in. I don't think it will be that long - I assume they're working on worst case scenario and letting us have things sooner, rather than breaking promises. Easter was nice for us too - but just not the same as it would have been with the kids and grandgirls and all the other little traditions.

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  24. Yes, Leanne, hope is a saving virtue. It's what keeps us going when things are difficult. I appreciate the reminder that "Throughout history people have survived and even thrived in times of immense loss and suffering that would be the undoing of most of us." My father in law was a prisoner of war in a Japanese prison camp for three years. Yet he survived. He came home, married, had children, and experienced much joy. Yes, he had lasting marks from his suffering, but he lived a remarkable, full life. I feel bad for my grandson who is a senior and won't get to experience all the traditional graduation celebrations. I feel for my daughter who didn't get a proper wedding ceremony. I sometimes even feel sorry for myself that I don't get to hug my grandchildren for a time. But the truth is none of this is life or death. We are staying in and missing out, because the the same cannot be said for failing to contain the spread of this nasty virus. I do have hope that the gatherings and physical closeness will return. For now, I am deeply grateful for the blessings I do have. Take care of yourself. Stay safe. And hang on to your hope! #MLSTL

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    1. Hi Christie - it would be really hard for those who are finishing high school, or attending university, or graduating to not know what the months ahead hold. My son commented that he was grateful our grandgirls are young enough to not be affected by missing 6 months of school. Our nephew had to cancel his wedding - which was a blow for them and for the extended family, then Easter was a non-event.....but it's not a prisoner of war camp, or a concentration camp, or a death sentence (for most of us) so we need to keep things in perspective and I hold hope that we'll come out of it all better than when we started - at least we should appreciate what we have more! I hope your daughter gets to have a big celebration when this is all behind us (and you share lots of pictures on your blog!)

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  25. Without hope in something, what have we got? It's hard at times living like this but I'm settling in OK. Today it's raining and I can't go for a bike ride or a walk so I'm enjoying catching up with blog reading and sharing. Take care x Shared for #mlstl

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    1. Hi Deb - you'd be missing your girls too I'm sure - the distance thing is hard, and so are the restrictions, but we'll get through it and hopefully we'll all be hugging grandkids before too much longer. We've had a very pleasant Autumn so far and I'm hoping it lasts for a few more weeks - those daily walks are a godsend!

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  26. Yes, the message of Easter came through even more strongly this year. While we are locked down and safe, I couldn't but be very disturbed by the many migrant workers and poor in our country who are very badly hit by this. While I have been trying to do my bit, it seems like such a drop in the ocean. If anything, I hope that this time has taught us all to value what we often so take for granted - including the service and sacrifice of others. Take care and keep safe, Leanne.

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    1. Hi Corinne - I hadn't realized about the migrant workers in India until I read your post - very sad for them indeed. We have backpackers who are caught up in lost work and no air travel home, but their situation is a lot better than what you described. I think we'll definitely not be taking anything for granted for a long time when we get some of our "normal" lives back again.

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  27. Leanne, thank you for the message of HOPE. The video says it all. We will be featuring your post on the next Blogger's Pit Stop.
    Kathleen

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Thanks so much for your comment - it's where the connection begins.