Just Beam Me Anywhere

Today’s writing prompt asks what superpower we want and why.

So despite my claims of not being a Trekkie, I will make reference again to the original Star Trek series (which apparently affected me more than I realize) and say that my superpower would without a doubt be teleportation. Beam me up, Scotty .

Now, mind you, I don’t want to go to deep space. My reasons for teleporting around are much more mundane. I love to travel and see new places but I hate the actual “traveling ” part of it (and I am talking about pre-pandemic, before masks, and all the ugliness on planes, etc.) I am not even crazy about driving my own car, by myself, to get somewhere.

But in my superpower world, if I could just beam myself to the Grand Canyon for a visit and then beam myself home–well, that would be cool.

I could beam myself anywhere–places that I would never go because I couldn’t stand the long plane ride. It would be amazing.

But alas, I don’t have that superpower. So it’s wonderful that I have a fabulous imagination and that we have the internet to join us all together so we can “see” what we’ll never visit in person.


Care for the Earth

Today’s writing prompt asks about a cause we are passionate about and why.

I am old enough to remember the very first Earth Day. That means that I remember a time when things were much worse than today (no recycling, polluted rivers on fire, litter everywhere) and a time when the words “climate change ” didn’t exist in our vocabulary.

I am blessed because I was taught–both by my parents and in my school–that it was my duty to care for our planet. I still believe that and I try passionately to convince others to do the same.

All I have to do, however, is to walk outside with my dog to see that others were not raised to not throw trash out of car windows (for example). It’s astonishing what I will pick up in a given walk.

Our state even passed a bottle deposit law hoping it would keep people from throwing those little single drink liquor bottles out car windows. I can tell you that it didn’t work. I am picking up as many as ever.

Recycling is another thing that I am quite passionate about. At work, they call me the “professor ” for my esoteric recycling knowledge and information about where to recycle something. I will bring a lot of it offsite myself, just to make sure that it is done. It is combined with another trip so as not to use any extra gas.

These are just a few small ways that I try to care for the earth (in addition to gardening organically, of course).


Are Life Lessons Universal?

Today’s writing prompt is to write about a life lesson everyone should learn.

Clearly from my title, I am a bit skeptical. After all, if each of us is unique, how can there be universal life lessons?

But since life lessons seem to sound a bit like cliches, even if they happen to be personal beliefs, I will say that if I had a life lesson that I wished my younger self, some of my work colleagues over the years, and occasional friends could live by, it would be this:be yourself.

A lot of angst and heartache–nevermind problems and deception–can be avoided by just following those two simple words of advice. Do they rise to the level of a life lesson? I think so.

Further, I think it’s about as close to as universal a piece of advice that I can give.

I am just trying to imagine the world in which this is possible, starting with politicians.

I am guessing that this advice may not help them much.


Challenge or Opportunity?

Today’s writing prompt is to write about a challenge I have faced.

At first, I thought, well, I have been blessed. There haven’t really been many challenges in my life.

Then I started to think back over the posts that I have written for this writing challenge. No, these writing prompts aren’t my challenge, but in one, I believe I mentioned a few career changes. Those were probably my biggest challenges, especially this last one, believe it or not, when I went from retail gardening to office manager.

Somehow no one could get past my past life as a lawyer. I kept hearing things like “you won’t be happy,” and “once the economy improves, you will go right back to being a lawyer. “

Now I am not sure what the economy had to do with my legal practice. I was in real estate and when times were good, I did closings, and when they were not, I did foreclosure bank work. So that last argument was absurd!

And as for the “you won’t be happy ” part? I am now starting my 13th year at my office manager job. So that was just silly too!

Obviously there have been many other life and health challenges as well but I still remember the frustration of this particular job change and people’s close-mindedness. It was a huge challenge.


The Perfect Day

Today’s writing prompt is to write about my ideal day.

You can tell from the title of the post that I have changed this slightly from ideal to perfect. To me, the two words are synonymous, at least as far as this writing exercise goes.

My ideal, or perfect, day doesn’t happen in winter because it’s a lovely sunny day about 75 degrees. There’s almost no wind, only that warm soft breeze that feels like a caress on your skin.

I spend the morning in the garden. It really doesn’t matter what I am doing but what I love to do best is what I call “puttering ,” which means that I go outside with no set agenda and see what needs to be done: a little weeding here, perhaps some deadheading, tying up something perhaps–you get the idea.

I stop for lunch and take the dog on a nice walk.

After lunch, then I go to the beach with a book, find a shady spot and read for a few hours.

In the evening, after takeout (or, if we’re really dreaming, a nice meal outside at a restaurant!) since it’s possibly still light out I can walk with the dog for a final time that day.

What a perfect, relaxing day!


Emojis or No?

Today’s writing prompt asks about the emojis I like to use.

While it’s an interesting question, for those who have read this blog for the last 12 years, you know that you have never seen an emoji. So. I am afraid that I have nothing to say about this.

It may be that I write too many things for too many places to consider using emojis. It’s not that I am unfamiliar with them–as I am typing this, my tablet is suggesting all sorts of emojis to punctuate it with–and has suggested emojis for my posts for years.

And I don’t think it’s an age thing. I know lots of people older than I am who have taken to emojis quite naturally.

But when you write for a magazine and newsletters and trade publications, you don’t naturally get into the habit of punctuating your sentences with little cartoons. That’s my background, so I have not taken to emojis.


To Boldly Go…

Today’s writing prompt is the question “what does it mean to live boldly?”

Even though I am not a Trekkie, you can see that I took my title from the original Star Trek opening. It proclaimed that the people on the Starship Enterprise were boldly going where no man had gone before.

While I don’t think that you have to leave our galaxy to live boldly, I confess that I really don’t know a whole lot about this question. But then again, many people probably don’t.

In these times when it can be dangerous to leave our homes for fear of encountering deadly diseases (remember at the beginning of Covid, some people wore masks, face shields and gloves–just to grocery shop!)–living boldly might be going to the grocery store!

But I don’t think that’s the real meaning of the question. So for me, living boldly has meant moving–a lot (although not nearly so much as many people). I moved 4 times in 10 years. That sure felt like a lot to me.

It’s meant reinventing myself from musician to Shakespeare and Renaissance lit. scholar, to lawyer to gardening expert to office manager–and not losing track of who I am and what I love in the process.

So, while I have never left the galaxy, some days it certainly felt as if I had.



Our writing prompt today is to list 5 things for which we are grateful.

Most times I am writing these posts at 5:30 in the morning. I am, and always have been, a morning person. That lets me see sunrise almost every day of the year. I am always grateful for that and the beauty of nature.

This time of year, I notice that the temperature drops to its coldest point right before dawn. These next few days, not only is it going to be cold, it might be below zero. So I am always grateful for a warm home.

And while we are on the subject of happiness, was it Linus in the Peanuts strip that said “happiness is a warm puppy?” I am grateful for my dog.

But it is impossible to be grateful for the dog and not be grateful for my family as well. I don’t have a large family compared to most but I am most grateful for them.

Finally I am grateful for the love and kindness of my friends. Without them, my life would be a much darker place.

And one bonus thing that I am grateful for: from a few of the last writing prompts, it’s obvious how important both writing and gardening are in my life. I am grateful for that–that I have a life with interests that I enjoy.


Haughty No More

Today’s writing prompt is “what do people incorrectly assume about you?”

From the title of my post, you can guess that for a good portion of my life, until people got to know me, they assumed that I was some version of stuck up/conceited/haughty or some version of those things.

Actually I have pretty much always been the opposite of those things: terribly shy and a bit insecure about myself. How any of that came across as “stuck up” I have no idea.

I did ask a group that I was assigned to play some music with–the ones who said to me in amazement, “gee, we always thought you were such a snob, but you’re not like that at all!”–what had given them this idea. Believe it or not, it was because I was so quiet. They thought that I thought I was “too good ” to talk to them. In actuality, I was just shy.

So, so much for first impressions. Is there anyone you need to re-evaluate?


Writing–a “Hobby” for Life

Today’s #bloganuary prompt asks “what does my writing mean to me?”

It sounds overly dramatic, but my writing means literally everything to me. I really can’t remember a time when writing wasn’t an important part of my life.

From the time I was a very young teen–12 or 13–I began writing narrative stories. Some of these stretched hundreds of hand-written pages.

I minored in creative writing in college, with short story as the form I chose there. And I continued writing for the rest of my life. I wrote the short stories and narratives well into my 40s.

But I also was writing for work–professional articles, articles in trade publications, articles in our local newspapers about misunderstood legal topics.

Finally I changed careers and turned my “other hobby ” into a job for a time. I began to write for a local glossy magazine as their garden columnist. I started this blog. I wrote newsletters for my garden center.

And then I changed careers again–but I am still writing. This time it’s an even more frequent weekly update for my churches. And of course I still blog and write my garden column.

So writing has been a literal half-century adventure for me. Needless to say, it is one of the things that defines who I am.