Mussels, A Muse & Moods in a Fog

Foggy weather

Last evening we went with neighbors out for dinner.  The restaurant buzzed with activity and the hum of friendly chatter.  Its ambience of good cheer was the perfect antidote to a week of dreary skies, bad news, and January moods.  All wrapped up in a fog that reminded me of a foggy, rainy day and night in Bar Harbor, Maine and San Francisco every time I’ve been there. 

All week long I’d been trying to come up with a decent topic for today’s post.  My recalcitrant muse was being as cranky as the weather and wouldn’t come sit on my shoulder, no matter what rewards I offered.  So, while I can’t attest to my companions’ moods for the week, I was definitely ready to get out of the house and enjoy the wonderful fare at the restaurant we chose. 

Maybe I’d find my topic there. 

We all agreed that some interesting appetizers were what we needed first.  That’s where the mussels came in.  While we waited for our appetizers, we ordered three different ones—all to share, we reminisced about lazy summer days, warm evenings when we sat together and watched the moon rise above the lake. 

The fresh, steamed mussels were exquisite. Tasting savory with a sauce of tomato, garlic, fennel, white wine, cream, and hints of lemon and parsley.  Yum. Yum.  Let’s hear it for Molly Malone Mussels. Needless to say, our entrees had much to live up to—and they did.  A perfect dining experience to chase away the moodiness a dreary winter week produced. 

This morning in church a young family sat in front of us.  As I listened to the homily, my eyes drifted to the mother who was holding the youngest, I’d guess a boy about 3 years old.  The priest’s message didn’t mean much to the youngster but instead of getting antsy and cranky, he reached up with a dimpled hand and turned his mother’s face toward him.  Then he kissed her and laid his head on her shoulder. 

Charming scene.  One that caused me to remember long ago times when my sons did similar things to me.  I hope that young mother remembers these days as all too soon children grow up and the innocence so apparent in the scene I witnessed this morning can’t be recaptured though the love remains.  So another musing. 

On the way home from church the sun emerged.  For about an hour.  Now the dreary skies have returned.  But I have the memories of mussels, the beauty of a winter fog and the magic of a little boy’s expression of love to feed my creative muse. 

And my blog topic bloomed. 

I expect she won’t be so cranky this coming week.  What do you think?

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6 Comments on “Mussels, A Muse & Moods in a Fog”

  1. Nancy Kaye Says:

    Very good. We need to look for things to cheer us up in January. Sandy and I were saying that January seems way too long.

  2. caseyclifford Says:

    Let’s hope so. One more full week and January’s done! 🙂

  3. Edie Says:

    Beautiful blog. Love the stories about the mussels and the little boy. I don’t believe in muses. I think my inspirations and ideas come from within. Some weeks they come harder than others, and weather does make a difference. I know I’m happier and have more energy when it’s sunny out.

  4. Casey, I think your muse should be in high spirits this week. 😉 I’ve never tried mussels, but I have to say, those sounded tasty!

    The little boy kissing his mother reminded me of my own girls, who hug and kiss me constantly. Great post! 🙂

  5. caseyclifford Says:


    My “muse” is what’s inside of me that pushes my need to write and fuels my ideas. But I like to refer to it as a muse then I can lay crankiness on her and not myself. 🙂

    This week’s weather isn’t looking too sunny. Guess I’ll be reading lots of contest entries.

  6. caseyclifford Says:


    Thanks for stopping by. I’ll never forget that mental picture of the little boy’s hand on his mother’s cheek. Made me zip right to memories of times when my sons and grandsons did this. Oh, they still do, but it’s different when they are adults and not so needy.

    I do hope your prediction for this week rings true. :-0

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