Gavin and Rosie versus Henry and Harvey

In 1998, Gavin shared his children’s theater manuscript and lyrics with me called, A Lesson in the Jungle. It is a heart-warming story of how two hunters, Henry and Harvey, go to Africa to hunt animals. They don’t hurt the animals; they just want to catch them and sell them to a large zoo back home. The story goes on to tell us how the animals were afraid of the hunters and would try to hide in the jungle. How a friendly witchdoctor does some magic and frees the animals from their cages. With an ending you will have to someday read for yourself. This marvelous story is also filled with catchy lyrics.  I find myself singing to them daily. This production has been performed on stage in Europe and the United States. We want to make sure that Gavin’s stories not only get performed on stage but also get printed into books. Every child in this world should experience his amazing stories and songs!

I found out first hand, when Gavin rescued a turtle from heavy traffic, just how much he appreciates animals and what lengths he would go to save them.

(Rosie on a turtle at Como Zoo)

Numerous times last summer, Gavin would surprise me by bringing Mr. Frog into the house! I love Gavin’s enthusiasm and I was excited to be able to take this great photo.

We went to Reptile Gardens in South Dakota and Como Zoo in Minnesota. We really enjoyed the variety of animals we interacted with. Here is a photo of Gavin with alligators lurking behind him.  Yes, I know, it would have been great to see Gavin wrestle with them or better yet to have had him turn into the witchdoctor from his story, A Lesson in the Jungle, releasing them from their cages!

Perhaps, Gavin’s love of animals happened the moment he held his first monkey. I love this adorable photo of Gavin and his brother so much I have to share it with you!

(Gavin and his brother with zoo friends)

This summer, we are looking forward to searching for new nature spots to find animals to save. Remembering God decided to save Noah and his family and at least one pair of each kind of animal … we have a lot of work ahead of us. Wish us luck :)

Have a good day!

Until next time, Rosie and Gavin

On the Wing’s of Love Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

I was taking in the warmth of the sunshine cascading through the windows in the veranda when I heard the sound of the tune, “On Top of the World.”  This sound was coming from the musical, love bird figurine that is placed inside of my glass hutch for display and safe keeping. It had belonged to my parents. A keepsake they had gotten to represent their 50th anniversary of marriage. It didn’t play long; just a few seconds. But long enough to catch my attention.

The day before, I heard the tune “Anniversary Waltz” coming from a musical-photo frame of my parents. This is also displayed in another part of my home. On the outside of that frame it shows the symbol 40th anniversary. This played long enough for me to hear it and stopped.

Two days before, I was outside enjoying an unusually warm March day. I was finally going through piles of papers of my parents. I had been putting this task off for years. I thought it would help my mind set to do this task outside while breathing in the fresh spring air. It wasn’t long and an astounding moment happened.  A glorious butterfly fluttered around my head with wonderment and beauty. It stopped for awhile along side of me. My whole soul came alive. I knew instantly who the butterfly represented. It had distinctive,one of a kind, array of colors. I had never seen a butterfly like it.  It was too early in the season for a butterfly to appear but that didn’t cross my mind until I watched it disappear. I was grateful for being able to sense the warmth of that moments love.

All of these reminders of love were surrounding me not magically but spiritually. To make me aware that when I go deep into lonely thoughts of missing loved ones that I am not truly ever alone. They continue to be with me. When I forget, they make their presence known.

The butterfly symbols change, transformation and celebration. The ancient Greek word for “butterfly” is ψυχή (psȳchē), which primarily means soul or mind. Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

Stop, look, be silent and listen. Feel the presence of God and our loved ones that surround and carry us through our daily life. I hope a butterfly flutters by and visits you soon. Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  The heavenly spirit is closer than we realize; renewing,transforming and refreshing us with new life!

Happy Easter from both of us, Rosie and Gavin

Worth the Wait

June 23, 2011 found me on “pins and needles” waiting at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport yet again.  I watched people hustle and bustle with their luggage, couples strolling hand in hand, people reading newspapers and then my eye caught a sweet baby girl’s face.  Reflecting on her gracious innocence, I found myself more at ease as I waited for custom gates to open.

I watched a security guard unlock a side entrance door. I went up to him and made small talk. He told me the plane had landed; it would be another thirty minutes and the gates would open. I told him to please let a man by the name of Gavin, with a British accent, go through customs first! He winked at me and said he would see what he could do. We laughed and he disappeared through the secured door. The next thirty minutes seemed like eternity.

Viewing from afar, I believed I saw a distinguished British man as the gates finally opened. There he was.  He couldn’t see me but I could see him! He was real. He isn’t a figment of my imagination. I thanked God for safe travels and for allowing this long overdue dream reach realization. Tears cascaded down my rosy cheeks. A different security guard noticed and said, “Must be someone very special that you see coming through those gates soon.”  “Yes,someone I have waited to see for sixteen years!” But the words didn’t form; I couldn’t speak.  I just smiled at her and tried to regain my composure.  How could I possibly explain to her that the man who helped me to fight the fight to live was coming through the gates, from across the ocean, to meet me for the first time!

Two more people came through the gates and they closed. He had to be next. I told myself to take deep breaths. My heart was racing. The gates opened. There he was.  I stopped jumping and just started to purr …  Until next time … Never give up on your dreams! Rosie

Together via Skype

Gavin and I have found when life gives you lemons that making lemonade is very good advice.  You go forward even when obstacles cross your path. You find strength to persevere.  As you read in my posts, Silence Parts 1 and 2, real life intervened and Gavin didn’t arrive on America soil in 2010.  This was a major obstacle to holding author events and interviews that were scheduled.  Our plans to promote Gavin’s novels and for him to meet and speak to America somehow had to happen.  We were not going to cancel any author events, newspaper or radio interviews.  We went full steam ahead with a plan that would indeed deliver Gavin to his fans. Wheels were set in motion.

On the docket first was the radio interview.  I got to the station early. I soon discovered it wasn’t a taped broadcast but live.  A part of me wanted to run out the door and take the first flight to Sweden but running away isn’t my style. I had to conquer my fear immediately. I gathered strength from within and took many deep breaths. The announcer said, “Live in two minutes.”   Enthusiastically, I told the listening audience that I would be bringing America to Sweden; to meet author Gavin Hill in a unique format called Skype, which is a free video calling service where people communicate face-to-face via webcams.  The radio announcer was intrigued and in awe that this would be the first Skype event for our community. The live interview was a huge success.

That same afternoon the newspaper editor arrived at my home. I had a surprise for him. He had not heard the radio interview and thought he was meeting Gavin in person.  He did but in a different way.  I had Gavin waiting on Skype in Sweden. The interview was fantastic and lasted one and half hours. It was the first time for the editor to be part of a Skype experience and only the second time, Gavin and I had used Skype to communicate with each other.  Our first Skype encounter had been the previous day in our homes. It was like a fairy tale as we both were able to see each other’s face for the first time after waiting fifteen years. It was surreal.  Seeing the man of my dreams for the first time is something I will always hold deep in my heart. There was a screen between us but the eye contact was that of fireworks lighting up the sky on the 4th of July!

The day of the library Skype event arrived.  Gavin was set up in Sweden at a cinema.  I   had arranged connections at our local library.  I am not a technical person but all and all everything went off without a hitch. When the clock struck 7 p.m. central time and 2 a.m. Sweden time, Gavin appeared on the big screen in America and my heart was never so happy. Three media people were in attendance along with a room full of enthralled fans and friends. You never would have known it was the middle of the night for Gavin. He was alert and thrilled to see his American guests. Gavin is a gifted author-motivational speaker. He speaks about surviving his interesting life from childhood to adulthood, his novels, and anti-bullying issues.  The audience inter-action was tremendous. It was a night no one in attendance would soon forget.  Within days,Gavin and I were featured on two front page newspapers.  Headlines of two internet pen pals, two countries apart,hold out hope that after fifteen years of friendship they may actually one day meet face-to-face.

Many circumstances in life are difficult to understand.  Learn from them, go forward with courage,don’t give up and make them all “super calafragalisticexpealadocious” moments in time!

Until next time,   Rosie


Silence Part 2

In the silence of my misery, I must have fallen asleep. I woke up to the whistle of a female cardinal calling for her mate.  He responded back with repeated whistles whe-cheer-cheer, whe-cheer-cheer. I started to weep. How dare they sound so happy?  Didn’t they realize that my soul mate of fifteen years hadn’t arrived from across the blue?  Take your cheerfulness across town; I wanted to shout at them.  I put the pillow over my ears to drown out their repeated whistles of love.  I was feeling sorry for myself. I had to snap out of this and be positive. Hopefully he was still on his way. More importantly, I continued to pray he was safe.

I later found out that Gavin was living his own hell in not being able to land on American soil.  The airport scanning machine had not recognized his passport. He was stranded in Iceland. Customs would not let him get on his connecting flight to America. His passport had not expired but a new law required a digital chip to be embedded on passports used to enter America.  He could not take a return flight back to Sweden that evening and the airport completely closed down at six p.m.  Imagine his utter frustration and disappointment. He went searching for a hostel for the night. The only room available was with three drunken men. He didn’t dare sleep in fear of his safety since they were throwing knives back and forth.

The next morning, he was on a return flight to Stockholm with a connecting flight to Gothenburg. He was totally exhausted and starving by the time he reached home. His refrigerator was empty because he was planning on being in America for several weeks. He slept and awoke early to call the British Embassy in Stockholm.  They would arrange an emergency passport for him.

A few days later, Gavin was on a flight with the destination … America. I was flying on the clouds with him in anticipation. We were finally going to meet!

Luck was not on his side; customs in Holland refused his emergency passport. America had placed a new restriction law and no longer was accepting emergency passports. His dream since youth of coming to America had ended.

Gavin had an extremely long wait in the summer sun waiting for a return flight back to Sweden.  He was devastated and how in the world he found courage to tell me the news, I will never know. I was ready to leave for the airport when I got his call. There are no words to express the emptiness and sorrow in one’s heart when dreams unravel. The hope that gave me strength to endure each and every surgery was that promise of finally meeting and getting that long overdue hug from Gavin. Imagine hanging onto a rope for fifteen years and it finally splits in two and you fall. I was shattered. The 4th of July celebration – fireworks went on without me attending and the world around me was again silent.

Until next time … Be blessed, Rosie ღஜღ