What’s that you said?

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Clark and I were out for dinner with some good friends this week at a wonderfully quaint Italian restaurant in the city.  We had never been there before.  Our friends had and it was one of their favorites.  With good reason.  It was charming and the food was amazing.

It was located on a street lined with hip bars, mom and pop stores and other trendy eateries.   It was in a section of the city that had a specific neighborhood feel to it.  The bars were filled with young patrons.   The trendy restaurants were packed with hungry diners.

We pulled up to our destination.  I loved the looks of it!  We handed the valet our keys and headed into the restaurant.

As we rushed out of the cold and in through a large door to the warmth, we were hit with the wonderful aroma that is so common to many Italian restaurants.  The smell of garlic, freshly baked bread and Italian food wafted through the air.  The sounds of ol’ Blue Eyes or some other familiar crooner could be faintly heard over discreetly hidden speakers.  It mingled with the loud voices and conversations that filled the room.  The place was packed.  Pretty much every table was filled and there were people waiting for their names to be called for their reservations.

Viaggio9As the guys walked in behind us, my girlfriend and I were already busy checking out the room for the best possible table to sit at.  She and I have been known to point out a table to the maître d’ that we’d like to dine at.  Our hubbies (and kids) have gotten used to this.  They know that we are  particular about where we want to sit.

We followed the hostess to a lovely table that was in the middle of the room.  As we got closer, I realized that my girlfriend and I were going to have to squeeze ourselves between the chairs of the surrounding tables to get to our seats.  This concerned me.  I was wearing my new cape-like poncho!  It was fur-trimmed.  The fur added so much to it ~ but it also made it bulky.  Especially for squeezing in between chairs of busy restaurants.

The hostess politely offered to take our wraps and hang them up for us.  How sweet! Tragedy avoided!  I handed my fancy new cape to her and did my best not to bump anyone’s chair surrounding me as I slipped into my seat.  It was easy to get around Clark’s seat because he was not in it yet.  He was already in the bathroom for what would be his first of many trips there.

I was so pleased as I looked over the great menu.  So many great choices.  I looked around the room.  I loved this place!  It was crowded.  It was bustling!! It was hip and cozy.

whisperingIt was also very loud. I looked up and noticed that Clark thought it was loud, too.  So did our friends.  I could tell by the way everyone craned their necks in and turned their ear towards the conversation.   Didn’t our parents do this?  Wasn’t this a sign that your hearing was not as sharp as it once was?  I tried not to think about that.  I just craned my neck in the direction of whoever was talking and tried to catch a word here and there.

The busy server made his way to the table.  I craned my ear up towards him as he quickly went over the specials. What was that?  What did he say?  I smiled and nodded and decided just to order off the menu instead. I had asked him a few questions, tried my best to lip read his answers and made my selection.

We ordered some wine and settled into the rhythm of the place.  I liked it here!

A little while later I could see our food coming.  We were getting hungry!   Our waiter set the tray down next to our table.  He started passing out the dishes.  He put mine in front of me.  Looking down at it, my eyebrows furrowed together.   Good grief, what was that?   It was huge! My girlfriend said it resembled a family size meatloaf.  Right there on my plate sat dinner for six.

Our waiter then put her meal in front of her.  It was gargantuan, as well.  I pointed my ear towards her as she explained to him that he had made a mistake.  She told him she did not order that.  He assured her that she did.

Clark’s meal was next.  Why, his meal was nothing like ours!  It was not supersized.  His meal was the size of a hockey puck. It was small and compact.  He looked at me from across the table and said something.  I craned my ear towards him.  I thought I heard the word tasty.  I smiled and nodded at him.

There was lots of laughter at our table during the meal.  There were lengthy, animated conversations.  Some of it I caught.  Some, I did not.  It made me think of dinners out with Clark’s parents before they surrendered to hearing aids.   You just knew they did not know what was being said because they just sat there and nodded.  Now I was the one nodding.  And Clark was nodding.

When did restaurants get so loud?  Do the modern design trends and open layouts amplify the noise?  Are there any restaurants out there anymore where you can have a conversation without being forced to shout? Do Restauranteurs intentionally create an atmosphere that is “high energy”  and loud because it lends a certain appeal and brings in more traffic?

Or, is it simply that we are aging.  We are becoming our parents.  What once used to be a commentary from the older generation about how loud “this or that” restaurant is, is now becoming my generation’s mantra.

After we were done with our meals,  we sat and enjoyed each others company in the overly loud, wonderful space.   It was good to be out with these dear friends.  Nodding and grinning.  And if I was honest,  I’d have to admit that the loud atmosphere did add to the spirited energy level of the evening.

What a great night!

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Moved by Music

sheet-musicI talked to one of my very good friends yesterday for the first time in a few years.  Circumstances and life had managed to squeeze between us.  I had been thinking about her so much the past few months.  Wondering how she and her hubs were doing and knowing that I should pick up the phone to reconnect.

She beat me to it.

I was scheduled to go in late for work yesterday.  I had an hour or so before I had to leave when the phone rang.  I looked at the caller i.d. and could not believe who it was.  My heart jumped a little and I smiled.   I answered and we talked until the moment I had to walk out for work.  It was as if not a day had gone by since the last time we talked.  We picked up right where we left off.  True friendships never die.

Her hubby is a total music guru.  Music pumps through his veins.  He was born of parents who had it in their soul and were “in the biz”…so to say.   He is artistic and soulful.  I connect with him on this level.  Passion for music is a common bond that he and I share.

I grew up in your typical 60’s/70’s colonial style home.  It was decorated n Harvest Gold and Avocado green hues!  It had a dining room which was connected to the kitchen –  which in turn, led to a living room.

Back then living rooms were large.  The largest room in the home.  And they were used.  Not just for holidays, but year round.  When company came over.  To sit in after supper.  For privacy when boyfriends came over.  A place to be when listening to or playing music.

My love for music started at a young age.  It was always the backdrop in my home.  My parents had an old, wooden consul stereo that stood in the65magnavox001_zpsc995c740 corner of our dining room.  It looked like a piece of furniture.  Like a dresser, sort of.  The top lifted up and you’d place the album onto a turntable.  The speakers were built into the front of it.

Back then you’d spin vinyl records.  33’s.   They were large.  And thin.  And came in cool looking album covers with a cool picture on the front.  Usually a picture of the artist who had recorded the songs.  Or a band.  Or some creative image relating to the album title.

My parents had loads of these.  I loved those albums.  My sisters and I would flip through them and look at the covers.  Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore, Tommy Dorsey, Peggy Lee, Doris Day.  And of course, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

wcMy mom owned one from Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.  It had a picture of a girl in a wedding dress made out of whipped cream on the cover. His music was loud and brassy and jazzy.  I Loved it.

Often, after supper, my dad would disappear into the living room to listen to his music.  He especially loved the 40’s pre and post war genre’s.  The haunting melodies telling a tale of someone shipping off to some war and someone being left behind to wait.

He had lots of records.  He saved them all.  In the evenings, you could find him stooping over the vinyls – choosing which to play.  He’d put it on the stereo and his face would light up.  He knew all the words by heart.  And, he’d sing them.  Enthusiastically.  Usually with his hand over his heart.  Putting on a big show for us girls.

on-the-beat-records-london-03During my teens,  my weekends would be filled with trips to the record store.  They were once a semi-hangout for teenagers, a place to escape parents, burn allowances and absorb the latest trends in fashion as well as music.

You’d walk in – loud music playing over the store system.  The end caps smartly displayed the new album releases.  The employees always had the allure of being cool and hip ~ veritable music authority’s on all genre’s of music.

I loved those stores – the scent of plastic wrap & laminated cardboard, the posters hanging from the rafters, the sounds and the people.  I never got tired of the endless browsing.

These days?  If you re lucky enough to find a record store,  know that it is fast becoming a temple of nostalgia for shoppers old enough to remember “Frampton Comes Alive!’’

I love how music can take you back in time instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment.

I have come to believe that there are two kinds of people in this world.  Those who are moved by music ~ and those who are not.  I’m lucky enough to have inherited a great passion for music – probably from my Dad.  Or, maybe I was born with it in my soul.  I tend to bond more closely with friends who also have a passion for music.  There is a truth behind your actions and emotions when surrounded by the music you love.

My dad was moved by music.  I am moved by music.   It is a wonderful and most treasured gift that I will never take for granted.

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Be Strong…

It’s like a breath of fresh air.  Out of tragedy comes a tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.  After what could only be described as an emotional week, because of the government shutdown, isn’t it nice to see our country pull together and act united?!  The way it is meant to be.  The way it should be.

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The Boston Red Sox honor victims and first responders of the Boston Marathon bombing with emotional pregame tribute.

It has been 173 days since the bombings shook this city and the Red Sox have kept the victims close to their hearts every day. ‘B Strong’ patches are sewn on their jerseys, while the same stickers adorn the walls of virtually every locker inside the clubhouse.

what’s your muse telling you?

beach-readsOne of my dear friends won a writing contest.  An actual contest for showcasing her fabulous and gifted work.  As a result, she has been printed.  No, wait.  Not printed.  Published.  What an honor! Congratulations to her!!

Lesley is an inspiration to me.  She is a gifted writer.  She writes in a way that is mesmerizing.  You start reading her words and you can not stop.  Her writing is like a good,  gooey romance novel.  Only better.  Or, a good mystery novel when you get to the part where they are finally going to reveal who did it. It’s hard to put her writing down.

This is exciting!  I can say I actually know someone who has been published.  Well, I actually know 2 people who have been published.  My cousin Matt wrote a book.  I was thrilled for him the day his boxes of printed books arrived at his home.  He snapped a picture of himself standing over the opened box.  Or, maybe it was just a picture of the box.  Side flaps peeled back.  There they were.  All stacked up.  Beautiful and new.  He had followed his muse and he was looking at the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

A muse?~ you ask.  When I use that word I mean some kind of spirit that dumps creative inspiration into the mind.  The source of an artist’s inspiration.  A prompt.  Kudos to Lesley and to my cousin, Matt, for following their Muse.’

So how is following your muse different from following your heart or the secret wishes of things you’d like to do in your life?

After my dad passed away, my mom and I got close.  She started to visit me more often.  She comes for long weekends.  We spend time shopping or going to movies or going out to lunch.  And traveling.

I remember vividly a conversation I had with her one day while we were making dinner.  We talked about regrets.  She told me she was sad that she had not traveled more in her life.  That there were places in the world that she wanted to see.  Italy.  She wanted to go to Italy.   My dad was not a traveler.  Therefor, my mom did not travel.  She felt it was too late.

c1dd542c8dab1157e9fa2cb2af367a3fThe week after she and I had that conversation, I was with a group of friends at a meeting.  Out of the blue, one of them said to me that she was traveling to Italy in the fall.  She was going on one of those organized bus tours and they had a few spots left.  Would I be interested in going with her?  I smiled to myself and thought, wow, what bizarre timing for that offer to be given to me.  Fate?  Absolutely!  Wasn’t I just discussing this with my mom?

At that point in my life I had never traveled out of the country before.  I rushed home and phoned my mom.  (Well, first I called my Hubs and told him about this great chance!!   I had shared with him ~ and he knew of my mom’s dreams of traveling.   He encouraged me to go on a trip with her.  “Maybe she’d like to visit Michigan or Wisconsin with you!!”  Ha!  I had bigger plans!!)

I told my mom about my girlfriend’s fall plans and about this great opportunity.  Within hours we were scheduled for what would end up being the first of many trips together.  Overseas, no less!

That day, my mom grabbed on to an opportunity and it opened up an entire new world to her.  Like her daughter ~ me ~ she has a passion for traveling and embraces it whenever the chance arises.

My mom and I are close.  We’ve grown closer through our travels.  We have a wonderful relationship.  Somewhere along the way it changed from mother/daughter to a sincere friendship. Oh, I still look up to her with the respect a parent deserves.  But, we can sit and visit, whether on the phone or in person, and talk for hours like two little old ladies.  There is true joy in visiting with her.  We laugh together.  A lot.

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I regret I did not do that!?   We all have regrets.  The beauty of these missed opportunities is that it is never too late to do something you have secretly wished of doing.  To follow a dream.  To right a wrong.

What’s your “muse” saying to you?  When was the last time you sat down and thought about what you really love in life?  Are you where you want to be?  If not, What are you waiting for?

On a side note ~ I find it oddly comforting that today of all days I think about my friendship with my mom, the travels we have shared and the close bond that has formed since my dad has died ~  I find it strangely wonderful because it was 15 years ago today that my dad passed away. (15 years!  How can that be?  I miss him so much. )  I know he’d get a kick out of knowing that her travel horizons have broadened so widely.

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you look beautiful

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Does this make me look fat?

A timeless question ~ handed down from generation to generation.  My hubs would say, “a loaded question.”  He has gotten wise over the years.  Regardless of how something looks on me, he tells me it looks “Great!”  Which is a bunch of hogwash.  I could be wearing a potato sack and he’d say “You look great!!”  If I want a real opinion, I ask one of my boys.  They are brutally honest. Ouch.  

And, if we are honest with ourselves, we know that when we ask that question, we already know the answer. Speaking strictly for myself, I’m not realllly asking if something looks ok on me.  But rather ~ can you tell that I am taking small, short breaths because I am squeezed into this pair of jeans?

I’ve noticed that time-honored question seems to have morphed into a plethora of 21st century questions. Where does it end?  Does this bracelet make my butt look big?   Does this car I’m riding in make my profile look large? 

Retailers long ago cashed in on our insecurities and ridiculous need to fit in and look perfect.  Our mothers were brainwashed into thinking they needed to wear girdles.  The girdles of yesteryear were updated and given a new look.  They are now called Spanx.  Anyone who has ever tried to fit their body into a pair of these know that they squeeze you with the force of a vise grip.

s_MLM_v_O_f_2635813590_042012I bought a pair for a wedding I was going to a few years ago.  I was excited at how slim they were going to make me look!!  I mean, I did not want to upstage the bride or anything,  but the printing on the package guaranteed a smooth and slender fit for any female of any size. I felt like I had won the lottery!  I did not have to diet.  I could just wear Spanx!  I was excited at the prospect of eating a piece of bread!  That carb filled goodie was about to do battle with my new Spanx ~ game on!

I rushed home with my new purchase.  I was anxious to see my transformation in the mirror.  I had never really been “skinny” before.  I was excited!  Clark was really going to be blown away when he saw how slim I looked.  He might not even recognize me!

I went up to my bedroom to try them on.  I think I took the stairs two at a time because I was so excited!  I opened the package and took out the Spanx.  Hmmmm.  I just stared at them.  *blink*   Oh, surely this was a mistake.  How was I suppose to fit my body into something that looked like it might fit on my arm.  I decided to lock my door.  I could not take a chance on Clark walking in on this.

I thought to myself, they must be made of some kind of super stretchy material that gives when you put them on. WRONG.  I struggled and wiggled and I think I started to sweat.  It was a chore.  I got them up to my thighs and noticed that all of the “extra me” was working its way up with the Spanx.  Good Grief. At that rate, yes, I would look smooth ~  but I would also look like I was wearing an intertube around my waist.

I felt deflated.  Let down.  I eventually got them on.  It was like my body was in a sausage casing.  They were hot.  I got nervous at the thought of having to go to the bathroom during the reception and struggling to get them back on.  I felt my feet start to swell.  This was not good.  I mentally pictured myself walking up the aisle in the church to be seated in my new and slimming look!  I was walking in a mechanical way.  I looked like a smooth robot.  Forget it.  Off they came.  I was not going to live through a night of torture just to look lump-free.  I mean, I think my friends accept me lumps and all.   Afterall, they’re all lumpy, too.

How many times have we heard it? ~ Beauty is skin deep~  Go easy on yourself.  Be the best you that you can be.  Our real beauty comes from within.

So, next time someone asks you if what they are wearing makes them look fat, answer them honestly.  “You are beautiful.” Love is love.  Does it really matter if  our posteriors look big at this moment in time in those jeans?  Not really.

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sidetracked

k1000-thumbnailI’ve had such good intentions of sitting down this past week to write some new posts.  I’ve had a summer filled with adventures!  Lots of new things to tell and share.  As always, Clark has provided me with endless amounts of material.  (Love that man!  Thanks, Clark!!)

I wrote a brief quip about my travels being over and kids back at school.  I told all of you how I finally had free time to compose some fab stories!! I sat down and started to write.  Then, quickly got sidetracked looking at my vacation photo’s.

If you’ll remember, I told you in one of my first posts about my love of photography.  If you did not read that post, I also mentioned it in my bio on my “about” page.  If you didn’t catch it there, either ~ well, I’m telling you now.  I LOVE photography.  I mean, like….LOOOOVEEE!!

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As I clicked through the images and shots I had taken all summer, I started to think to myself what an utter shame it was that most of my photo’s were only displayed on sofa side tables, stuck in corners or hanging on wall arrangements.  (Altho, I do like to think that my gallery wall is museum quality, but don’t we all?)

I forgot about the new post I was suppose to be writing.  I started to look around for venues and formats to showcase my photo’s.  Then it hit me. WordPress!  How brilliant!  Why had I not thought of this before?  I could start a photo blog.  It could be a companion blog to Twenty Thirteen.  Yes!  Oh, I know every Tom, Dick and Harry think that they are the next Ansel Adams.  My judgement was not clouded, tho.  I knew I’d never be the next Annie Leibovitz.  Still, this blog thing takes a hold of you and quickly becomes an obsession.

So, what was supposed to be my time for writing new posts for Twenty Thirteen quickly turned into time spent starting my new and totally fabulous photo journal!!  Go take a peek!  All you have to do is click the camera image I have posted on the side of my home page.  Subscribe if you’d like!

Now that I have it all set up, I can concentrate of posts over here.   New posts coming soon!!

oh, how i’ve missed my writing…..

The Dog days of summer are over….

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College kids have returned to campuses near and far and are hard at work studying for a bright future….

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Vacation and travels have come to an end…..

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The house has calmed down.  My schedule is free.  Look for new posts coming soon!!

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on the sidewalk where i live

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It’s hard to get back up on that horse again once you’ve fallen off.  On my most recent visit to my oncologist, I was told cardio is non-negotiable. The hiatus that I had been on for the past 9 months came to an abrupt halt.  OK!  I was physically and mentally ready to get back into my old routine.

The route I walk takes me through wooded areas as well as suburban neighborhoods.  It is the best of both worlds.  Sometimes I walk with my friend Bonnie.  Often I walk alone.  It’s my time to reflect.  And pray.  It’s my time to think about what I have accomplished in the past week and about the future goals I have set for myself.

I walked out my front door this morning for my walk and looked down onto the sidewalk I was on.  And just like that, it set off flashbacks from my youth.

We did not have sidewalks in my hometown.  At least not in my neighborhood or the ones around me.  We lived in wooded neighborhoods.  Most houses sat on large parcels of land.  An acre or so.  There were not many fences. One backyard led into the next. There were clothes lines hanging between trees and fresh laundry on the lines.  It was a different day an age.  As kids, we would walk out our front door and be gone all day long until dinner.  There was no Nintendo or Xbox.  There were no Computers or Cell phones.  There was no such thing as Cable TV.  There were no indoor malls.

On holidays and special occasions, my family would drive to Chicago to visit my Mom’s side of the family.  We’d drive past neighborhoods lined up one after the other.  Looking out the window of our wood-paneled station wagon, I thought it was odd that all the houses looked exactly the same.  And they were so close to one another.  But they had sidewalks.  To me, that looked cool.

I loved those trips.  For as far back as I can remember, I wanted to live in a big city.  The city looked so different from where we lived.  There were smoke stacks on factories that we’d pass along the highway to our destination.  White smoke billowed out the tops.  The traffic was busy and fast paced.  And loud.  You’d see the outlines of the buildings as you got closer.  And then, you’d be upon them.  They were amazing to me.  Just Beautiful. It was exciting and it pulled on my heartstrings.  I could imagine myself living in one of those tall buildings.  I wanted to work in a city like Chicago.  And live there.

I thought back on that time ~ and my dreams ~  and continued to walk.  As I rounded the side street of my neighborhood,  I came upon the little lake.  It’s  really a retention pond. It leads into the bordering neighborhood.  The pond is big.   It’s lined with weeping willow trees.  The full, sagging  branches hang low. They sway lightly back and forth in the wind.  You can hear the rustling of the lower leaves as they brush against the grass below them.  I love that sound.  It’s quiet and peaceful.

There was a home were I grew up that had two giant Willow Trees in the front yard.  To me, they were the most beautiful trees around.  How lucky those people were to have them in their own front yard.  I admired the beauty of those trees every time we drove past them.  I remember thinking often that when I grew up, I’d have one!

I continued past the pond and onto the back roads and eventually into the next neighborhood.  Back up onto the sidewalk again.  I looked around as I walked.   Things had changed so much since I grew up.  I passed up fancy swing sets that had forts attached to them.  Most of the homes had underground sprinkler systems.  Homes had built-in swimming pools in the back yards.  There were expensive cars in the driveways.

Two little girls rode passed me on their fancy bikes.  I thought back to the bikes we rode in the 70’s.  Schwinn’s.  With banana seats.  Wicker baskets on the front.  We’d clip cards into the spokes with clothespins.  Loud!

I thought about our swing sets.  They were made of simple metal frames.  They held 2 swings and a bar you could hang upside down on.  And a somewhat flimsy, metal slide was attached to the side.  If you would swing too high, the two front legs of the set would come off the ground.  That was always a little scary and a little exciting!  There were a few times the entire set tipped over. That’s when your parents would coming running out and yell at you.  Fun over!

I saw a sprinkler on a lawn I was coming up to.  It was the old-fashioned kind my dad had.  It was long.  And had one bar with holes running along the top of it.  It went to and fro slowly.   This was the kind we ran through as kids.  We had no pool in our yard.  Hardly anyone did back then.  On hot days we’d get our towels out.  Lay on them in the yard.  Right on top of the grass.  Sometimes on the driveway.  We’d run through the sprinklers when we got hot. By the end of the day the grass was all matted down from trampling on it ~ and partly muddy where the ground was saturated with water.  Ahh, good times!

Sprinkler smallI looked up as I got closer to the sprinkler.  There was a man standing next to it.  He was inspecting the circumference and range of the water.  His hands were on his hips.  He looked very serious.  Every time the sprinkler bar pointed away from him, he stepped up to it, bent over and adjusted the placement a few inches to the left or right.  Just like me dad used to do.  I said good morning as I walked past and wondered if those few inches really made that much difference.

I circled all the roads of my usual path.  Passing up groups of walkers.  An occasional runner.  And, kids on bikes.  I walked along the wooded road.  It runs along a huge lake.  With lots of trees that house lots of birds.  I could hear them singing to one another.  I could hear the wind rustling the leaves on the trees.  An occasional car would pass me up.  It was good to be back in my routine.  This was one of my favorite parts of the day.  Walking.

I circled around and came back to the spot where I cut through into my neighborhood along the pond.  As I walked past the weeping willow trees again, I heard a faint voice in the distance.  Mom. Hey mom!!…Mom, wait up…..  I turned around and in the distance I could see my son Brian hustling towards me.  He had a fishing hat on.  He was carrying a pole in one hand.  He called out to me again and waved.  I started towards him.  He knew this was the path I come back through to get home.  Hey!  I was keeping an eye out for you.  I just started fishing.  Want to hang out for a while?  Did I want to hang out for a while?  *Jackpot!!*  Of course I did!!!

I took a shaded seat under the tree.  Brian stood on the bank and fished.

We talked about his week.  What was going on with his friends.  What he had planned for the next few weeks.  He was going to be headed back to college soon.  I was going to miss him.

As he talked to me,  my mind drifted a little.  I thought about my hometown. And my childhood.  About growing up in a time that was simple.  Is “more” really better?  Ask any child and the answer will be yes.  Ask any adult and the answer will be no.

I looked around myself.  A warm feeling came over me.  There was no other place on earth I’d rather be at that moment, than exactly where I was.  I thought back on some of those things that caught my interest when I was young.  About the things that fascinated me and the things I found beauty in.

As I sat there, I thought how interesting it was that I had indeed settled  in a big city.  My home on the outskirts ~ in a beautiful suburb.    Living in a wonderful neighborhood ~ with sidewalks!  And I looked up over my head….. and wouldn’t you know, I was sitting under a weeping willow tree.

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writer’s block

writers-block-1024x768This past week I realized that too much time has gone by since my last blog post.  It was time to sit down and write.

Writing seems to come naturally to me when I am under stress or pressure.  Or in the midst of some kind of major issue or drama in my life.  Ideas and thoughts pop into my head and I feel an uncontrollable need to jot them down.  Immediately.  I will drop everything I am doing and go to my PC.  My fingers tend to have a mind of their own.  The words flow from my mind through my hands and onto a white screen.

But right now I am not under stress or pressure.  The harder I try to come up with a topic, the bigger my writers block becomes.  Writers block ?? ~ Already?

A few weeks ago I told Bruce that I thought I needed a writing desk.  I thought it would be a smart purchase!  Yes, every great writer needs a place to compose their great fictional works.  OK, so I have only been a writer for a few months.  But I could get up early in the morning, start a pot of coffee and sit in my new makeshift office.  Beautiful!

Thinking back now, I probably should have just ordered one from online when I was in my online shopping mode.  That phase has now passed.  The urgent need I felt for a desk no longer feels so urgent.

So I hunker down at the kitchen table where I always tend to go to when I have something pressing I feel the need to share with the world.  When I don’t have a particular idea or theme to write about, I tend to get easily distracted.  I’ll see something from the corner of my eye out the window.  Oh, look at that beautiful red Cardinal!  Didn’t I just read this week that seeing one in flight was good luck?  Then I will notice Joe and Dee’s house right beyond the tree where I saw the cardinal.  Hmmm, I wonder how those two are doing?  Didn’t Joe tell Bruce and I that he was retiring this spring? 

Back to my blog.  I look down at the white screen in front of me.  I’m itching to write.  I feel at home behind my keyboard when composing my thoughts.  It’s a peace and a comfort to me.  It’s a sense of accomplishment.  I’ve always wanted to write a book.  Have always been told I should write a book.  Friends have told me, “I’d buy your book!”

That could be fun!  I could have a book signing!  I can imagine myself sitting behind a little desk.   Hidden behind my little pile of books.  Pen clenched in my sweaty hands.  Smiling brightly at every would-be buyer who strolled past.  It would be like having one of my party’s where I naively decided not to put an RSVP on the invite.  What if nobody showed up??  {How terrifying}

Oh ~ Back to my blog.  Still a white page in front of me.  For now, Im stuck.

So why the writers block all of a sudden?  I have read that it is the censor in our brain.  Our self-critic.  Sometimes that censor is bigger than we are. It says to us,  you have nothing that anyone really wants to read about right now.  I’ve also read that some of the greatest writers in literature – Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway – were tormented by momentary lapses in their ability to produce text.  If it can happen to them, of course it is going to happen to me!  Relief!  It is temporary!

10082454-FB~Girl-in-a-Flower-Print-Dress-High-Heels-Headscarf-and-Sunglasses-Steps-out-of-a-Convertible-Car-PostersMy new strategy….I will start to carry a notepad with me.  How many times have I been stopped at a red light or been driving in my car when a great idea has hit me?  Oh!  I need to remember this so I can write about it when I get home!!  By the time I finally did get home, all I remembered was that I had a great idea. So now I will jot down the idea at the red light.

This new strategy of mine was a smashing success!  I’d sit at the stop light and jot down all of my fabulous ideas.  I probably looked like someone very important to everyone around me.  I had pen and paper in hand!  I had big sunglasses on!  Next time I’d wear a fancy scarf!  HONK HONK!  Sheeesh, who’s honking?  In my rush to look up from paper to rear view mirror, I knocked my sunglasses sideways on my face.  Who knew red lights were so short?  Who knew there were so many people out there in such a hurry to get to where they are going? {Aha! An Idea! Must write about Road Rage!}

Bruce told me my best writing was when I did not have to try to think of a topic.  He told me it was not something that could be forced.  He was right.  When I am inspired by someone or something, I sit down and it is like my hands have a mind of their own.  I can finish a post in about 15 minutes.  And I am usually pleased with the outcome.

I wonder tho ~ was my writing just a venue that helped to keep my mind occupied the past months during a disastrous time in my life?  Now that my storm has passed, I’ve slowly gotten back into my old routine. Writing has taken a back seat again.  It was a productive way to deal with tragedy.  One door was closed, a window was opened.

And you know what?  I love looking out this window.  Who knew I’d feel so at home and love what I was seeing?  I like what I can see on the horizon in the far off distance.  It’s fresh and it’s new.  It  keeps me on my toes.  So for now, I wait.  I wait for the next idea to hit me.  And it will.  I may be in the line at the grocery store or I may be on one of my long walks, but it will come to me.  It always does.