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!

#bloganuary

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.

#bloganuary

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.

#bloganuary

Grateful

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.

#bloganuary

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?

#bloganuary

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.

#bloganuary

Laughing is Easy

Our prompt of the day is what makes me laugh?

I really can’t identify any specific thing but I will say that I do laugh often and a lot. I probably laugh most often at my dog, Amie, who, as most people who own dogs will tell you, will do all sorts of silly things–or at least things that look silly to me. I am sure that they make perfect sense to her.

But I am also happy to laugh if someone tells a corny joke or makes a bad pun, so long as it’s not mean-spirited or at the expense of someone.

On the weekend, as I drive around on errands and listen to some of those NPR quiz shows, some of the comedy on those, particularly “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, ” makes me laugh.

So I do laugh quite easily. Quite frankly, that’s much better than the alternatives.

#bloganuary

Bread for the Hungry is Inspiring

Our writing prompt asks us to write about someone who inspires us and why.

Believe it or not, this was a bit of a challenge. I don’t really have anyone that I think of as a mentor or a role model. I don’t look up to sports figures and I probably can’t even identify half the current movie stars. And I know I don’t know who’s current in music these days.

What I finally settled on was a story that I heard last night on NBC News. I am not sure how many of you have heard about the traffic snarl on I-95 in Virginia due to snow on Monday. People were trapped in their cars overnight, some as long as 24 hours or longer in freezing temperatures.

Clearly that’s not the inspiring part. There was a newlywed couple (and am sorry to say that at the beginning of the story I wasn’t paying much attention–all I know is that they were newlyweds and trapped in this traffic jam).

It’s what they did that’s the inspirational part. Ahead of them in the line of stopped traffic, they saw a bread truck–so they called the company. And the owner of the company authorized the driver to distribute the contents of his truck to all those around him!

There’s a cute selfie of the couple with some rolls and a loaf of bread.

That kind of thinking–I am quite sure that I never would have thought to do that–is so impressive and thoughtful.

And so that couple–whose names I don’t even know–inspires me. I hope that, perish the thought, if I am ever in such a situation, I will be able to think so creatively and to help not only myself but lots of others as well.

#bloganuary

Creative is in the Eye–and Hand–of the Beholder

Today’s writing prompt asks “what is something you wish you knew how to do?”

While there are many things that I would love to be able to do, one thing that I have tried to do and haven’t quite been able to master is knitting. I really would like to do this because many of the things that I would like to make look better if they are knitted rather than crocheted.

Clearly by that last statement you can tell that I already crochet. I can also needlepoint (talk about a lost art) and do some embroidery. So it’s not as if knitting would be a totally foreign skill to me–and yet I somehow have never quite managed to master it.

Of course, there are other things that I would like to try I well–but knitting is the one that immediately came to mind.

Maybe I just need to try again and not care as much about performance and perfection at first. We’ll see.

#bloganuary

Childhood Toy?

I mean the title of the post to be somewhat quizzical because today’s writing prompt is “what was your favorite childhood toy?”

I am lucky enough to get these prompts the evening before I write them, so I have a little time to think about them.

And while I do remember quite a bit about my childhood, I can’t say that I really remember a favorite toy, in the way that some children have favorite dolls or bears. I had a few dolls, of course, but I don’t recall being inordinately attached to them.

I was probably more fond of my collection of Matchbox cars. As a girl, I always had the nicest looking ones, because I didn’t let mine get all muddy and rusty. It’s a shame that I wasn’t more attached to those! I understand that Matchbox cars of that vintage, shall we say, are now valuable.

#bloganuary