COFFEE AND A CHAT (Loosely based on Ritu Bhathal’s Chai and a Chat on “But I Smile Anyway”

A blogger from the UK whom I have been following for a few years now is Ritu Bhathal of “But I Smile Anyway.”  Since our blogging friendship began, I have seen her, as a self-described “working mum of two” and an amateur blogger,  become the 2019 recipient of the Annual Blogger Bash award, a published poet (Her Poetic Rituals is a treasured collection of her poetry, reviewed earlier on PWR, that I refuse to part with.), and who is about to morph into a published novelist soon.

Her friendly greeting, “Hey there peeps…” opens many of her posts. (I am embarrassed to admit I asked her what “peeps” were, thinking of those lovely pastel-colored “peeps” that adorned my Easter baskets as a child. She kindly informed me that was blog-speak, English-speak for “people.”) Not too long ago, she began the Monday post “Chai and a Chat” which is an amazingly creative catch-up on her fascinating life and what she has been up to.  It has photographs (a skill I am desperate to learn), colorful, attractive avatars, and a friendly style of addressing her “peeps” and followers. I especially look forward to “Chai and a Chat,” so today, since I did not nake a Sunday (Evening) Post, a la “Brainfluff,” I will offer this catch-up, “Coffee and a Chat” on a Wednesday as a one-time tribute to Ritu’s exceptional blog.

“If we were sipping coffee together… (her standard opening, only “Chai” instead of “Coffee”–you know how the English love their tea!)

“I would tell you…” this was a wacky wonderful week! Since last Sunday my life has turned around, my depression over retirement has lifted, and “Happy Days Are Here Again”!

My friend, Sue’s BD was on the 30th, which gave me the occasion to make a birthday basket, something I love to do, and then Monday I visited her at her home to have her sign an article she had published in an inspirational magazine, which I found copies of at my church library while working with the 5th graders in the library area–we had a photoshoot, and it was professionally done by the two attendees with my iPad

That Thursday, I traveled to the city of Pasadena, Texas, about thirty miles from Lil’ Ole” Alvin to meet one of my former students for lunch and explored the city I had last visited for their Strawberry Festival back in the ’60s. Talk about changes!  I had a wonderful time, and I got to see her spacious little rent house (old houses have big rooms!) and visit with Lilliann, her three-month-old daughter.

Tuesday brought a trip to the ear doctor, where all the news was good, and Wednesday brought a much needed visit from my grandson, who gave me the “shove” I needed to hit “send” on an email asking for my job at the university back.  Yes, after one semester, I’m coming out of retirement, encouraged by my program chair’s reply that started with Five “Yesses” and many exclamation marks. I am so excited and happy I can hardly stand being in the same room with myself!

July Fourth I held my own Readathon (see earlier post) and had a slow-paced, packed-full-of-reading-and-Netflix-viewing weekend.  The fifth brought visits to two friends to deliver BD cakes, and… (Have another cup a coffee! …

When Sunday came again, another former student and her husband came from Seabrook, Texas (again 30 miles away) to have homestyle, slow-cooker pulled pork BBQ and/or beef BBQ (I have two slow cookers) and a light Cool-Whip, pudding, strawberries and graham crackers refrigerator dessert. Later I delivered some BBQ to Deb Nance of “Readerbuzz,” and we talked books, The Texas Book Festival coming up in October and all things “bookish” in her 1900s restored home. What a lovely visit!

Monday, this week, I took care of two doctor’s tests and discovered a great reflexology studio that made my feet, shoulders, and neck feel re-born.  I shall definitely go back after school and its tension starts up again. Tuesday brought another doctor’s appointment, adventuring with My Better Half, and a visit from my friend Nazia and her son Anas and his Cousin Zeenia. The kids painted and autographed rocks and added them to my flower beds. J.D. and Barbara stopped by to pick up a casserole and to bring me chips to try with the batch of salsa I had made over the weekend. He will be 89 next birthday (He says he thinks he’ll skip 89 and go straight to 90; he’d get more attention that way; and Barbara (who shares a birthday month with me in November) says instead of being 86, she thinks she’ll start saying she’s 68, an idea I love because it would mean in November, I’d be turning 57!

Today, Wednesday, I went early to a local church to make pb&j sandwiches for a local trailer park (They deliver sack lunches there every Wednesday, and leftovers go to hotels and homeless areas where people are grateful for a sandwich, chips, and cookies. Since there were plenty of volunteers (another church-camp group brought kids in to take over our duties), I met My Better Half at the R.A.T Pack (Reading All Together) at our Senior Center to discuss What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon. The discussion was as good as the chicken salad, and there were wonderful sugar cookies the discussion leader brought. After the meeting, I went across the street to the Alvin Museum where I meet an archivist I had subscribed to when her publication, “Beautiful Downtown Alvin” was a newsletter and has since become one of the benefits of membership in the Alvin Museum Society. She was a lovely woman and another “kindred spirit.”

It has been a wacky, wonderful week and a half, and I am looking forward to more adventures, more interesting visits from interesting friends and more chances to catch up with my blogs.  You can be sure coffee will be involved in all these activities!


Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

4 thoughts on “COFFEE AND A CHAT (Loosely based on Ritu Bhathal’s Chai and a Chat on “But I Smile Anyway””

  1. Sounds like a very busy and wonderful week. I am going to check out Chai and a Chat. I know much has happened in your life since this post, I am reading it a month after it was posted. Didn’t you post about going back to work?

    Liked by 1 person

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