Friday, February 26, 2010

A House by the Ocean

Today's Write4Ten is to describe our ideal house. Mine is a fantasy, but what a fantasy. Dream along with me,

I love the water. I don't especially care to be in the water, rather near on it or near it. I love boating. An ideal day for me would be to pack a picnic lunch, get into (someone else's) boat and spend the day on the lake or the canal. It is so peaceful,

My favorite vacation is a beach vacation. When we go to the beach, I get up early in the morning, pack my beach bag, lather my body with sunscreen, grab my chair and umbrella and head for the water. I sit all morning, revelling in the peaceful slapping of the waves on the shore. I sometimes read. More often, I reflect on the beauty around me, pray and nap. There is no more peaceful place on earth for me.

So, it stands to reason that my ideal home would be one by the water. A cabin on a lake would do, but since this is a fantasy home, why not reach for the stars? It sits on a little bluff, overlooking the azure beauty of the ocean. It is glass all around. Everywhere I turn, I can see the sand, sky and ocean. It, of course, has a deck off my bedroom so that I can walk out the sliding glass doors anytime and hear the roar of the surf while watching the waves come in.

Except for the bedrooms, the floor plan is completely open. The kitchen bar looks into the great room which is the center of all activity. The furniture is comfy and invites leisurely conversation and enjoyment.

It is a home of great joy and comfort. A place where friends can gather and enjoy the beauty of life Oh yes, and it comes with a housekeeper.

Ah Sweet Childhood

The topic for Thursday's Write4Ten is a favorite childhood memory. I have many, but have chosen to write about one in particular that happened when I was six years old.

Although my biological father was never a part of my life and my wonderful step father didn't come into the picture until I was nine years old, I was a very loved and, I must say, indulged little girl. My mother and I lived in a house with my two single aunts and my grandmother. My married uncles all lived in the same town and I was the only grandchild for many years.

I think their mantra was, "It takes a family to raise a child." Needless to say, I was pretty well the center of attention. Even after the uncles had children of their own, they still involved themselves in raising me.

My Aunt Myrle and Uncle Howard didn't have their first child until I was nine years old which gave them lots of time to spend with me. They often took me on outings and overnights, just having fun time together.

I was a pretty girly little girl. I loved my dolls, paper dolls, dress ups and nice clothes. All things feminine appealed to me. I remember so clearly my sixth birthday. I don't know what day of the week it was, or what time of the day that the doorbell rang. My grandmother, as was usual, sent me to answer the door. Standing in front of me was a florist delivery person with a wonderful basket of flowers. They were white chrysanthemums. The card in the basket was for me. "Happy Birthday! Love, Uncle Howard and Aunt Myrle."

I just turned 65 this month and have had many wonderful gifts over the years. Yet, none will ever top that basket of flowers when I turned six.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday's Topic

Today's Write4Ten is to write about a favorite song. I love music and have many favorite songs. There are hymns that I've loved since childhood. Everyone knows that It is Well With My Soul is to be sung at my funeral. There are marches, sonatas, show tunes, all of them some of my favorites. That being said, Jim and I do have a song which we consider our song.

I guess I was a Four Seasons fan from their very first recording. They just had that sound. And so it was, that during our courting days, they came out with what became our song. You're Just Too Good to Be True sort of embodied everything that I saw happening in my life at that tie.

I had known Jim since I was nine years old. He was my neighbor, my brother's best friend, the grocery clerk, the brother of my best friend's boyfriend. He was a lot of things to me, but I never, never envisioned that he would become my boyfriend, fiance and finally, husband. Falling in love with Jim as he was falling in love with me was, in the words of Frankie Valli et al, just Too Good To Be True.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Most Embarrassing Moment

To talk about my most embarrassing moment, I need to set a little background. I attended, and graduated from, the smallest school district in Pennsylvania. Up until 1960, our old school buildings didn't have a gymnasium. Hence, no physical education for elementary students. At grade seven, everyone trekked to the community center which had a gym.

The "club" was the center of all activity in our community. All our basketball games, school dances and other school activities took place there. Being in seventh grade and being able to go to the club for gym was something to look forward to.

Our gym teacher, Mr. Hofer, was my idol. Actually, I think he was the idol of most of the school, girls and boys alike. When he spoke, everyone quaked in their boots. He never called us by our first names, just our last names. When he said, "Huston" let me tell you, I paid attention.

Okay, so to the embarrassment. It was winter. We were in the gym at the club playing basketball, which is what we did most every gym class except for the odd day when we would play volleyball. I told you we were the smallest school district, right? But I digress.

In those days, girls basketball was played on half court. The guards for your team and the forwards for the opposing team never crossed the center line. I was a guard. A sportsperson I'm not and no one ever thought of allowing me to shoot for a basket. So, I am wearing my grey corduroy pants and my favorite pink and grey flannel shirt. I'm at the line and my bra strap broke on both ends and fell on the ground.

What do I do? Mr. Hofer is standing with his back to me and didn't see my pain so I just turn around and run toward the basket hoping no one will see it or mention it. When to my deep consternation I hear, from the voice of my idol, "Someone seems to have lost something." With all eyes on me, I walked over to the center line, my face a beautiful scarlet, picked up the offending strap and put it in my pocket.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I've accepted a challenge to join a group of bloggers in writing for ten minutes every day. Each day the topic will be chosen by another person. My biggest challenge in this will be the discipline of writing every day and then, of course, finding something to write about on a specific topic.

Today's assignment is to write about something you always been AFRAID to do. What is it? Why are you afraid? Are you considering doing it?

Here goes!
It's interesting to me that people who don't know me see me as a very confident, self assured person. I guess that is the persona I've developed. I do seem to accomplish what I set out to do, I can talk a good story, so I do seem to be confident,
But that's not really me. Inside, much of the time, I'm still that skinny little girl who was afraid no one would ever like her. Over the years, with the help of Jesus, I've conquered many of those very real childhood fears, but deep inside, some of them still rise up and taunt me.
So, to the subject at hand. I love to write. I like to think I have a talent for writing, but I have never really put it to the test. I write my blog, I write letters and snippets of this and that, but to really try my hand at writing, to really dig deep and see if I can do it...that I've never done.
When I retired my brother-in-law challenged me to write a book about the town in which we grew up. He and I talked for hours about the characters who would be part of the book. I thought it should be patterned after Bailey White's, Mama Makes Up Her Mind. I even started one of the essays, but that is as far as it got. I have it saved on this very computer and have gone back to look at it a few times over the past five years, but I'm afraid. There I've said it. I'm afraid.
This exercise has challenged me in more ways than to write for ten. I am seriously considering opening another blog and beginning to post the essays for my book.
The biggest fear in all of this is that, perhaps, I really can't write and no one will like it. That's why I am shaking right now. That is why I feel nervous as I read the comments on my original blog. What if I really, really can't do it?
The timer on the stove is buzzing. WHEW!