Writing

Keep (Free) Writing

After months and months of daily writing on 750words.com, I abruptly stopped a week and a half ago. Blog ideas were coming to me and I was feeling inspired and thought my creative dryspell had gone bye bye. But it was more like that writing had helped me gain momentum and in order to keep it, I needed to keep going. An object in motion stays in motion, right? Stopping writing, the ideas began to dry up again.

So once again I’m free writing in the mornings but instead of slogging through what’s happening in my current life, I find that I’m drifting back in time, digging into old memories – some good and some not so good. In one of my AA meetings, we read a passage called Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and it’s all about staying in the day but for us writers, that’s a tough place to remain. We like to drift.

In anticipation of vacationing on Cape Cod (a place I’ve never been unless you count a rainy March weekend on Nantucket), I’ve been picking through the vacation memories of my young life when my parents would pack the station wagon with the seven of us, a tent and a mix of warm clothes and bathing suits for a week in Wells, Maine. I distinctly remember needing the warm clothes more than the bathing suits even though it was the middle of summer because the nights were very cool in this northern U.S. city. I don’t have memories of enjoying the beach but we must have.

That stream of consciousness led me to places and things I’d forgotten about as I remembered how we spent our free time on those trips. Cards, Yahtzee, truth or dare. I was the youngest of five at the time and probably no more than six with the oldest of my siblings between thirteen and fifteen so there was a wide range of experience for when someone chose truth. I did not have any secrets back then and what a nostalgic place to be. A time with no secrets, shame or regret.

So here we are, embarking on brand new memories, in a brand new place, something that doesn’t happen to me (us) often these days as quarantine has turned life upside down. What will I pack, what books will I bring and what will the car snacks be for this three plus hour ride to the Eastern seaboard? We’re leaving in a little over an hour so there’s no time to spare.

Keep writing.

Life

Life is a Mixed Bag

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Dad and me at his 80th Birthday Celebration

It’s been a while since I’ve published a blog post and even though I say “published” I may as well say attempted too. In the time of Coronavirus I may have run out of things to say. If like me, your days have turned into a perpetual Groundhog Day, you know what I’m talking about. What is there to say about the waking up, brushing teeth and doing eight other things, the same ones you did yesterday. Actually, it’s not as bad as I make it seem and one bright spot in my last month was that my dad was visiting me. He has slowed down quite a bit since turning eighty last December but I wasn’t prepared for the amount of help we would need to get around our house. He fell on his first day here and it was then I realized how fragile he’d become. But with a cane and someone’s crook of an elbow, it was manageable.

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Life

The Memories of Last April

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Curious what I was thinking about a year ago, compared to now, I took a trip to my blog history only to find it bare. I didn’t publish a single blog post last April. But what about unpublished posts? Nothing there either. I guess I could go digging through notebooks to see if I was even writing last year but I am not that organized. Without moving an inch, I remember a reliable way to capture what was going on this time a year ago: the ever reliable photo roll.

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Clearing

Skipping Through Time

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Creating my artist’s space, a week 4 Artist’s Way task

Day one of my no reading/digital media challenge, otherwise known as reading deprivation week, found me up in our loft determined to clear away the clutter that has been building over the years. This is mostly clutter of a personal nature: photos, books, cd’s and cards we’ve received through the years. After I cleared a path, I filled the top of the table space with every loose picture we have. These spanned from when I was young through high school, college, post-college, pre-husband, dating, wedding, honeymoon, baby, holidays, vacations. So many pictures.

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Life

An ordinary day

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The days that become big and important in our mind, when solemn and life-changing things happen, don’t they all start out as ordinary days? Weren’t you rushing out the door, hoping not to be late to work again, fighting with all the other commuters for your place on the road? The radio on in the background catching you up on the news of yesterday but you’re thinking of other things. I forgot my lunch. What’s for dinner? Will I see my newish boyfriend tonight?

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Musings

Dorm shopping: today vs three decades ago

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I was working on a blog post of the things I didn’t grow up with when I stumbled on a post from Real Simple called The Ultimate College Packing List – 26 Things Every College Student Needs. I passed right by it and then scrolled back up a minute later because, really, I AM interested to see how much things have changed since I went away to college 32 years ago. Let’s go through the list and compare! Continue reading “Dorm shopping: today vs three decades ago”

books

My Childhood Library

Library960The memories I keep of my hometown library surround me like a comfortable blanket. It was a place where I first found independence because when we moved from the country to the village when I was in second grade, we were less than half a mile, door to door from the library. I tried to convince my mother to let me go alone but she always made sure to send an older sibling along just in case. By fourth grade I was able to go on my own and I spent most Saturdays there.

Upon arriving at the library, I bounced up the steps, opened the heavy brown door and was greeted by the intoxicating scent of books. The librarian was at a desk, straight ahead, always busy matching up people to books. She would stop what she was doing to look up and greet me with a wide smile before returning to her pile. Although her name escapes me, she was everything you’d imagine from a small town librarian. Gray-haired, glasses that dangled from a chain, cardigan-wearing, a ready smile, eager to help.

To the left as you entered stood the card catalog unit, overstuffed with typed up index cards telling you where you could find each and every book in the library.  To the right were two long tables surrounded by comfortable chairs and window seats where the locals would congregate and catch up on out of town newspapers and periodicals. It’s where I would sit for hours as I worked on my book reports for school, sometimes joined by friends but many times contentedly alone.

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Life

Traveling with Dad

We are barely minutes into our trip and I’ve got my first dadism. Dadisms are phrases I wouldn’t expect to hear pass through anyone’s lips. Except my dad’s. The first one is pretty innocuous as he tells me he could never fly alone because my mom had been the “brains of the operation”. The second one, about 10 minutes later was about the bathroom so I’ll keep it to myself.

I have an older and younger sister so we share them via text as they come up because we have all experienced them in their varying forms. I am currently in re-entry mode so I hear them every few minutes until eventually, they become part of the background again. My older sister who has been living with him for a couple of months will only share the doozies because she’s been highly desensitized to them.

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