To You Josie and our promise:


I’m officially old in calendar years, but I feel in my prime, somewhere in my beginning forties where I had a sufficient background on which to stand firm and build more height in my thinking.

This is the front of my jacket and at the end of this quagmire, is a photo of the back of my jacket. Why am I talking about birthdays, being old, feeling quit positive about building thinking for the future? Why make such a big deal over the jacket front and back? The answer is quit simple. When you have writers block you take a desperate leap. I promised my lifelong friend I would do some writing by Sunday or else. Or else what? I would break my promise. I never make promises because I refuse to break them. I am oh so very careful not to make even myself a promise. How would anyone know I broke a promise to myself? Me, I would know.

The jacket you see before you holds bits and pieces of my life. Remember, it’s my birthday and I get the top billing. One gold and white porcelain pin has my first initial painted on it in 24K gold. What a big deal when I was presented with this pin.

It was my tenth birthday and I was having a party in our backyard with all of my friends. One little beige box stood out from all of the rest. The card said, Happy Birthday to my best friend. Signed, Guess Who? Dear Best Friend, I wrote many times in my head to thank you, but, who are you?

The two teddy bear gold scatter pins belonged to my mother. I lost time for a time after they became mine and drove myself nuts trying to find them. Whew. There they are forever! Perhaps.

The cow pins remind me of my cow collection. The cows in my collection are mostly cow creamers. You fill the cavity with cream and hold the cow by its tail, tip and pour the cream into coffee or tea. The big earthquake in ’94 wiped out my collection and now I have only a few unbroken ones to remind me of my now non-existent cow creamers collection.

I notice that several of the pins I fashioned myself. I pinned them on the jacket for safekeeping. I have made a few more and must find them in drawers about and pin them on the jacket. I really did think I was finished with Jacket pinning and collecting. But as I now see it, not yet!

I remember being pinned in College. It was a marvelous catch to have someone’s pin on your shirt, blouse, sweater, apron, or on your evening gown. I nick named it a badge of courage, which to me it did so indicate, and it certainly gave you the security that someone cared for you. His pin announced that there was no doubt about it! She’s mine!

There is a pin that says: Good Morning Class. I Love You! This pin is very important because I always loved my classes, and each year brought new challenges. Whatever came into my doors, I began to love. Individually some were harder to love, but as the days rolled by and the class began to formulate, I loved them all and I love them still.

There is a panda bear pin from China and a lady pin from France. I have travel pins from many places, but I have them on a vest. We were on a rather intriguing cruise with many and varied stops. I started with an empty vest, wore it to dinner, and asked our dinner partners to remember the emptiness of the vest. On the last evening of our voyage, I wore the vest full of pins I collected at every stop. There was quite a bit of excitement at the presentation. I’ll find it and tack it on to the end of this post. I do not promise, but I will…

I hope to be adding more pins on both back and front of jacket, plus the arms. I will also add to the travel pins.


If you ask, I will continue to post the progress on the jackets




18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brad
    Sep 16, 2015 @ 18:34:39

    Really nice Mom


  2. Brad
    Sep 16, 2015 @ 18:36:04

    forward to your Birthday Party Mom!:)


  3. Dina
    Sep 16, 2015 @ 18:46:48

    It’s truly amazing how many stories your pins tell! Don’t forget that we have one that hangs in Carly’s closet. Happy Birthday dear mother. xoxo


  4. Reene
    Sep 16, 2015 @ 21:48:41

    happy birthday–and many more—health and happiness in the coming year–it is so good to have you for a friend–R


  5. Sheila Clapkin
    Sep 16, 2015 @ 22:11:28

    R. I just wrote out a reply, but it is gone. It is good to have you for a friend as well and I thank you for reading my blogs and commenting. I hope you and Stan are well.
    Stay that way. See you soon.


  6. jacks140
    Sep 17, 2015 @ 04:51:30

    Good job on the pins but where are all the rocks you have collected? Happy birthday to a wonderful woman. John and Jackie Salisbury


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Sep 17, 2015 @ 13:06:38

      John and Jackie,
      I have all of the rocks from everywhere. They are placed in the front of the house. I just returned from taking photos of them to send separately. I have the green jade rock you found for me upstairs on the bookshelf. Two grandsons? Isn’t that grand. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. am thrilled. Photos coming along.
      Love and best to you, Sheila


  7. Sheryl
    Sep 17, 2015 @ 18:37:29

    Happy Birthday! I enjoyed this post–and never would have guessed that it was a product of a desperate leap because you had writer’s block if you hadn’t told us. You have a wonderful way with words that makes even little things like the story you cow pins–and the cow creamers that no longer exist–a compelling story.


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Sep 18, 2015 @ 10:11:12

      Thank you Sheryl for the Birthday wish. Looks like a good year. I do get writers block and do some of my best thinking when I am desperate. Not really desperate, but so to speak. Thank you for reading and telling me you enjoyed the story. Loving your blog.


  8. sheri
    Sep 19, 2015 @ 09:39:41

    Happy Birthday! Love the story.


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Sep 19, 2015 @ 11:23:04

      Oh my dear Sheri, Thank you for reading and loving the story. Would you like to have the denim vest ?
      YOurs. Share . Great collection. Need to add a few more, well more than a few.


  9. Nuala ryan
    Sep 19, 2015 @ 16:35:14

    Happy Birthday, dear friend.
    Yes, you are a lover. How blessed am I that we met late in life!
    Your writing reveals a forever young, colorful, playful, brilliant woman

    I celebrate you.


  10. Nina Shashkoff
    Aug 24, 2016 @ 05:15:20

    Hi Sheila!
    I enjoyed reading your story. You always know just what to say – to inspire :). I must have a hundred pins lying around my dresser drawers and jewelry boxes – I need to create one of my own jackets. I will have to share a photo with you – It is incredible how life can even be rolled up into a simple presentation of our many collected pins!
    Thank you so much for sending the autographed copies of your published books. I feel so honoured to know and to have been mentored by such a warm, caring, and giving teacher!!!! Miss you! Always in my prayers! xoxo, Nina


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Aug 24, 2016 @ 11:48:21

      I am going to wait and think about how your pin jacket is coming along. I originally got the idea from a student at Calvert named Heather. I collected pins on a cruise and had everyone looking on to see how he collection was progressing. I dd not know at the time how much it has meant to me.
      I have several vests, but have stopped with the project. Your turn. So happy books arrived and you are happy to have them. Let us keep in contact with our Bling, books, stories and the life we share.


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