A Special Christmas Gift (And Why No One Ever Sees Photos Of My Beloved Gardener)

Hello dear friend,

Okay, alright, first things first. Why am I writing about this? Who gives a wit, Raquel?

No, wait.

Allow me to set the stage for this post. To tackle things head-on, I've constantly ripped the bandage off and got straight to the matter, which on that score most definitely carries signs of my American blood. Furthermore, if I'm about allowing others to (know my cat), how else would I do this as an author? The best bloggers globally (which there aren't many nowadays) are personal and admirable, yes? Yes, I know this factually. Why? Because I have read blogs for over a decade and understand what compels my investment into a blogger. In a minor way, I'm like cousin Eddie in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation; once I like you and get to know you on a personal level Clark, I'll become committed.

Do you recall Frank (Clark's boss) never even knew Clark's name until the last scene in the movie)? So Eddie went and kidnapped Clark's boss, Frank. Did he appeal to him after that? Yes. Why? Because he understood him personally after being in his home and hearing his story. It was sort of A Christmas Carol Scrooge moment, funny of course, but the meaning was Eddie had heart, and after that, Frank cared for Clark. Well, look, it's not Steel Magnolia, but you get the point. Errr...

I'm attempting to explain how if you don't know someone's story or who they are, you won't have an attachment or care about them, but when you do, you will change. Someone call the presses; I just brought this post around to a groundbreaking story and plotline summary. Hehe...

Now, back to ripping off the bandage and sharing things about my life and others that are personal. I want you to know many things about me and those I love because that will connect you and me. Hence see the previous paragraph about National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. I've read particular blogs for a long time because I know that person or feel as I do anyway. For example, think about Ree Drummond at The Pioneer Woman. She brings you into her world and lets you know about her family. According to any article written about her, Ree is relatable, down to earth, and everyone's favourite redhead. Why? For all of the reasons, I've said in prior paragraphs.

(For the record, I've gotten the permission to write about everyone on this here ol' blog). For those I haven't, I use their name initials. I have written about a few and used their names; however, lately, I've tried to avoid writing about folks of which I'm not too fond. I've done that because I don't want to give them attention based on the way I felt about them at one time. I've grown, okay. That's what I'm trying to say. I no longer have the necessary energy to prattle on about what drives me mad about folks that have their own life debacles to work through.

Furthermore, those things that once stuck in my craw are no longer there; distant memories. Good luck to them. Also, because I've imprinted new beliefs about my self-concept and because my mindset changed, this happens, and it's delightful. I'm the champion of my life and no longer feel the desire to look to my right or left.

High oh, the heart of the matter about my dearly beloved Jeffrey Shawn, and why he doesn't like his photo taken, is because he feels very uncomfortable. Since our marriage and dating combined, we have had one picture together. I have a few from his days before we were a couple, and I've snapped a few at family gatherings, with the distinct insistence 'not to post them anywhere.' One might think that Jeffrey has insecurities about his physical appearance (like many folks who have had internal trauma about weight). However, this isn't the issue with my gardener. He's also been extremely fit and well in the confines of "normal", as when we met, he was perfectly physically fit and absolutely adorable. However, JS still refuses in having his photo. The picture above was snapped to show me how smart he looked in the newsboy hat I collected for him as a gift. As I suspected, he's quite the dapper fella. The truth behind this hat is that I had never physically met Jeffrey at the time of this photo. We had only spoken a few times on Facebook messenger. It was an innocent friendship; he had no clue I had left my marriage and planned to present my ill-suited ex-mate with divorce papers. That shows only talking to Jeffrey a few times, all innocent conversations; I knew he was my twin flame straightaway. (It was questions such as what's your favourite cake, which we both agree on, we neither one like cake) but do love cheesecake pie. I won't give any more away on that score as I'm writing our love story, and it's a book of entirety about him and me. You will "love" it.

Jeffrey Shawn is such a bright and clever lad, and he's quite the comedic. I think I've spoken about Jeffreys career before; he's a landscaper for high profile celebrities in the Tampa, Florida area. He's such a charmer that the celebrities adore him. So, all in all, his mysterious and discreet nature continues to serve him well, most notably in his line of business where stars are notorious for discretionary measures. They enjoy being plastered over a seaside postcard and appreciate private residential surroundings. Home is these high profile celebrities haven after all, and a gardener (all be it, most wouldn't know this) can become quite cosy with their gardeners. It's as accurate as the stories you've heard, similar to the nanny and star. But, oh my, how compelling, yet I digress.

I know Jeffrey will come round to be comfortable having his photo taken. Still, as with everyone, we are all learning and growing. Most importantly, when things begin to change in oneself, it's because we have learned to fall more in love with ourselves. At the heart of this post, it's remembering we are all on individual voyages. We must be gentle with others as they come more into themselves. May we continue to guide our personal sleighs of becoming the best version of ourselves. It can be a beautiful gift; we can freely give this season that costs nothing and overflows with peace.

Thank you for our little chats. I love your calls ever so much, and please know it means the world to me. Cheers.

I'll see you tomorrow; I have all sorts of fun things to share about our little storybook.

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx 


  1. As I was reading about you and JS, a book came to mind. Have you ever heard of "Cottesbrooke: An English Kitchen Garden"? I think perhaps you both might find it aspects of it interesting. And yes, he does indeed look dapper in the hat. I don't like my photograph taken either:-)

    1. I've never heard of it, but I'm heading over to pick it up; it sounds wonderful. Perhaps no photos taken is typical among many folks.


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