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Sidey threw us a curveball this weekend.  Not content to give us a weekend “Theme,” she conjured up a challenge for all who chose to participate.  We are, in her words, “to CREATE an award specifically for ONE blogger. For something you think of as a blogging achievement. An exclusive award, given only once to one person.”

I don’t know about the rest of you, but this is an extraordinarily difficult challenge for me.  I have so much to say about so many of my blogging friends, who populate my blogroll – as well as a few others who I have not yet added there (due to laziness).  Each of the bloggers on my roll have contributed something to my life: knowledge, laughter, wisdom, beauty, philosophy, cranky wit, esoterica, questions, and answers.  As far as daily reading projects go, being a “blogular” (that’s a blog regular), surfing the blogosphere can yield some of the best reading available anywhere, and send you scurrying to find even more.

The fact that I am going to single out one blogger, in answer to this challenge, does in no way, shape, or form say that I have only one favorite.  I chose this blogger, because on a regular basis, she delivers on every single one of the aspects of good blogging (in my opinion) mentioned above.  With this blog I have:  received knowledge; been made to laugh out loud; been on the receiving end of her wisdom (well beyond her years); experienced extraordinary beauty in spirit, word, and deed; ruminated over her philosophies; grinned over her (sometimes) cranky wit; marveled at her ability to magically connect divergent, esoteric items and create a cohesive whole; pondered the questions she asks; and discovered some answers to other questions that sometimes cloud up my mirror.

This blogger and I met in a unique way.  I discovered her blog by accident through the wonderful blogs of two other fantastic bloggers, Nancy Hatch of “Spirit Lights the Way,” and Cindy Taylor of “The Only Cin.”  Reading one or two of her comments intrigued me, and somewhere along the line I found out that she is a diehard Paul Newman fan.  It so happened that I had lived  several years in the town in Connecticut where PN and his wife, Joanne Woodward lived, along with their children, and were more or less “fixtures” in town.  I was in high school with one of his sons, and our houses were less than two miles apart.  Hubs took a dance class with the wonderful and down-to-earth Joanne, and Paul was often seen in and around town.  He drove his motorcycle around town, and even wearing a helmet, his piercing blue eyes were detectable behind the dark glass of the shield.  He was shy, quiet, kind, and enjoyed living in Westport, because for most of the year, the townspeople left him alone.  Summers were different, because Westport became a “summer-house” town, and for three months of every year we were invaded by wild and crazy “summer people,” who had not a clue about how to behave!  But I digress. . .

My award winner expressed an interest in a copy of a photo my brother had taken of Mr. Newman when he ran into him in Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Shop.  Paul liked ice cream, and my brother ran into him there more than once.  Learning of my photo, my award-winning blogger asked to have a copy – or perhaps I offered to send her one – and my steady readership of her remarkable blog began.

To end your suspense (assuming that you have not read ahead) I am naming my blog-prize the “Complete Package (batteries included) Excellence-in-Blogging Award,” and it goes to none other than the remarkable “Kate Shrewsday.” My dear friends and fellow bloggers – you are all extraordinary, and I really did consider creating a different award for each of you, because you all deserve one – if only for putting up with and encouraging me for nigh unto two years!  But time is of the essence – at least mine is these days – and there is not enough of it to do any of you justice.  Not, of course, that this award does Kate any true justice, either.  My fondest hope is that it will at the very least encourage a larger readership for this great blogger!

So, dear Kate, please accept this award from “Reflections From a Cloudy Mirror.”  This is one of my reflections that is crystal clear!  Thank you for being the extraordinary writer you are, and for sharing so much of yourself with the rest of us who are fortunate enough to get to know you through your exquisite writing.

I wish you, Kate, and all of my Gentle Readers, enough. . .

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