Cherished Blogfest: My Most Cherished Gifts

On one of my most recent blog posts,  a fellow blogger commented that she was struck by the numerous “soul-enhancing relationships” that she observed in my words and photos.

Her comment stayed with me. It was absolutely true.

My life is overflowing with ‘soul enhancing’ relationships. It’s the reason that I retired early (so that I could spend long stretches of quality time with family and friends).

The long-running Mastercard commercials remind us of the ‘priceless moments’ that money cannot buy. Our lives are filled with these moments. It is our job to recognize and treasure them.

The following is a sampling of photos taken during the last two+ years since I have been retired. To me, they effectively help to capture my most cherished gifts.

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*My apologies to family and friends who do not appear in this photo sample. To Richard’s chagrin, I have just made a vow to take more photos!

Being blessed with such rich and meaningful relationships, how could I possibly want for more?

I am deeply aware of the exquisite and delicate nature of these gifts. They are gifts that can never be ‘possessed’ but must be actively nurtured, cared for and appreciated. I wholeheartedly, and gratefully, accept this responsibility.

Thank you to the initiators of ‘Cherished Blogfest‘ for providing the platform, and the inspiration, for this post. I encourage you to visit the CBF site to check out further posts on this theme.  If you would like to add your own ‘Cherished’ post, this Blogfest has now been extended until Sunday, October 22. You still have time to join in!

Oh, and if you haven’t watched much television since 1997, here is one of my favourite segments of the Mastercard ‘Priceless’ commercials.






42 Replies to “Cherished Blogfest: My Most Cherished Gifts”

    1. Thanks, Ally – Going through the photos that I have taken just since retirement was an incredible reminder of how full my life is, and how blessed I am with amazing relationships. It also made me grateful for my ability to be able to travel the distance needed to connect face-to-face with those that I love (and for them to do the same with me)!

    1. Hi, Kate – I am often (justly) accused of taking many, many photographs. Several recent events in my life have inspired me to take even more. (Insert Richard’s worried face here).

  1. Early on in the Voyage, hubs and I actually sat down to discuss and make a list of what we TRULY value, with the intent of aligning our daily lives with those values. At first, we put the obligatory “family” on our list – but then said, “Wait…it’s more than just ‘familiy’ and ‘friends.’ It needed to be about the intention of caring for and cultivating those relationships that lift us up, that give meaning to our days…that are soul enhancing. It was easy to see from your photos, Donna, that your life is very rich indeed! ~ Lynn
    Lynn recently posted…Before You Take the Retirement Leap – 10 Questions to ConsiderMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much for the inspiration, Lynn. Prior to your comment, I had never heard the term “soul enhancing relationships”. It is now a regular part of my vocabulary! The ‘intention of caring for and cultivating relationships that give our lives meaning’ should be a part of our everyday lives, at every stage of life!

    1. Hi, Karen – Thank you so much for stopping by. I greatly appreciate it. I also appreciate the endorsement that ‘one can never take too many photos’. I am building up this case for my husband (who thinks that I sometimes lag behind because of this)!

    1. Thanks, Fran – Digital photos make it so easy for us to document so many events in our lives. Reviewing the photos for this post reminded me how incredibly fortunate I am. It also reminded me of how much I document for Richard as well. (He made repeated requests for other photos that he would like ‘us’ to add!:) )Thanks for reading and commenting!

    1. Hi, Anabel – Thank you for your kind words.
      You still have three full days left for this year’s Cherished Blogfest. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Donna, your photos are perfect symbols of cherished relationships. I go through my dropbox cloud daily looking for blog post ideas or images for something and stop to look at some of the family photos. And also what Janis said 🙂

    1. Thanks, Terri – I am greatly looking forward to our upcoming get-together. There is so much to share, and to learn from each other!

    1. Thanks, Natalie – Being born into an amazing family, marrying into another amazing family, being at several right places at the right time…as well as luck and good fortune have also played their part! 🙂 Thanks for reading, and for following!

    1. Hi, Allie – I ‘borrowed’ that phrase from Lynn at ‘An Encore Voyage’. (Although she should now consider it ‘stolen’)! :} Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. The view from Donna’s SPAM folder: such beautiful pictures! You certainly can lay claim to wonderful, heartfelt memories. And while I’m at it, I’m pretty sure you will never get your luggage confused with anyone else’s at the airport. 😉

    Seriously, love the sentiment here, Donna.

    1. Hi, Marty – You must confess what you have done to be promptly abolished to the WordPress Spam folder every single time!
      That bright green luggage belongs to my girlfriend. Mine is plain black. Yes, it gets confused at the airport quite often! 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words on the sentiment. I greatly appreciate it.

  4. I love your post because it speaks to what is really the most cherished by the human race – the love and friendship of others. We all have our keepsake mementos that are held close and cherished, but they tend to come from the kindness of family and friends. Thanks for sharing your family and friends during the Cherished Blogfest. I hope to join you in the retirement world in a couple of years so that I can also draw myself closer to the wonderful people in my life. Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Hi, Mary – Thanks so much for stopping by. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. Enjoy your final years of work — that was also one of my favorite, memorable times of life (other than retirement itself 🙂 )

    1. Thanks, Liesbet – I love ‘Cherished Blogfest’. It is a great reminder to reflect on who/what is most valuable to us.
      Thanks for commenting. Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

  5. Donna, one of the great gifts of stepping away from full time work is time. The important thing about having time is to allot as you wish is the opportunity to re-evaluate what is truly important in life. As your photos show, for many of us, spending time with family and friends turns out to be at the top of the list of what really matters.

    Dr Sock recently posted…One Small ActionMy Profile

  6. Your photos say it all – happy smiles by people who are glad to be together.
    The MasterCard *priceless* commercials used to be among my favourites. It is true that there are moments that are priceless beyond any measurement of value. The memories we create with cherished family and friends rank at the top of those moments.
    Joanne Sisco recently posted…Leaving a LegacyMy Profile

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