Adrift

Relaxed

Relaxed

I can hear the water as it tickles the bottom of the boat; a comforting sound.  The sky is a bright blue with snippets of white puffy clouds and the sun is hovering around its 4 pm eastern position on this lovely day.

My book is splayed open in my right hand for ease in reading and the beach towel rolled up at the end of the boat seat provides an agreeable resting place for my head.  The late hour of the day allows me to lounge on the metal seat without burning my legs.

Floating aimlessly behind my house, I can hear faint sounds of my younger brother and sister playing with our German Shepard, Yahtzee.

I am 13 and I am in my favorite place, doing my favorite thing in peace and relative quiet.  Adrift and loving it.

Adrift

Weekly Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections

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This week the challenge was, “tell us how you fell in love with books and writing”

As for exactly when my love affair with books and writing started, I don’t remember.  My earliest memories have me snuggled up in the lap of whatever adult I could cajole into reading to me.  Thankfully, I was surrounded by them.  I was also the firstborn child and first grandchild, so yes, they were quite willing.

The first thing I remember reading myself were the old “Dick and Jane” primers.  One of my other early favorites was Amelia Bedelia which I loved to hear my granny read because she was very dramatic and made me feel like I knew the characters personally.  Curious George and the man with the yellow hat took me on many adventures and Dr Seuss always made me smile.

When my brother, my sister and I were still quite young, my mother made what, in my opinion, was a glorious decision.  She signed us up to receive Childcraft books!  Oh, the thrill!  They were to arrive monthly and at the end of our subscription, we would own a full set.  We already received Highlights magazine, so the trips to the post office were going to become twice as exciting.

As I grew, it was Charlotte’s Web, all the Judy Blume books, Little Women, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, then Anne of Green Gables, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.  There was Watership Down, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Gulliver’s Travels and The Outsiders.  Although I wasn’t as enamored with it then as I am now, I read the Bible frequently also.  The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson were two books that touched my life deeply.

Reading was my favorite pastime and I was often called bookworm by my brother and sister who didn’t share my passion.  My love for the written word inspired me to write as well.  I still have the first story I remember writing; it was a short story about a family during colonial times and I believe it was an assignment for what was then called Social Studies.

I always kept a diary and keep a journal to this day.  As life moved on, I failed to record as much and couldn’t seem to find the time to write, but it was always there, bubbling beneath the surface.  I think we are all born with gifts and callings and it is our role as parents to encourage those gifts.  As individuals, when they begin to resonate within us, we should introduce them to this world and practice them to perfection.

My writing resumed its former importance when my children arrived and I felt compelled to leave a record of things; something they could refer back to and remember me by.  I treasure a book of poetry left to me by my mother.  It shares a part of her that most didn’t know and when I read a selection, it is her voice I still hear.  It brings me comfort, so I feel I can leave something similar for them.

Blogging began for me a little more than a year ago and originally was born out of a desire to become a better writer with the end goal of published inspirational fiction.  As I see how much I have learned and grown in the past year, I am content to continue to stay on the same course until I am ready for bigger things.  Maybe it will only serve as a journal of sorts for my children, but if I can occasionally even touch one person with my writing, by either causing them to think or reflect, or maybe feel better than they did before reading it, I will have accomplished something.  To touch a life, even in a small way, really is a big thing.

Lastly, writing is just something I have to do.  It doesn’t appear to be a choice.  Sometimes it may seem buried in the chaos of this life, but there are days that I must write, or I feel like I will burst.  I truly feel like reading and writing are both absolutes for me; they have been and will be a part of my life forever.

Reading is my favorite

Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series

Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love to read.  When I was a child reading was my favorite pastime.  Where I read was important too.  Depending on where we lived, or whose house I was visiting, I had my favorite spots.

While at home, I loved to paddle our little jon boat (flat bottomed boat with 3 bench seats) out and tie it to a big inner tube in the middle of the man-made lake (called “the rockpit”) that we lived in front of.  I would lie out there, not a care in the world and let myself be transported to another time and place.  I could read until dark or whenever mom called me in for dinner.  If I was inside, I was most likely on my bed, but it had to be made.  I don’t like to read in messy areas.

At Granny’s my preferred spot was outside in front of her house perched in the middle of a big, old ficus tree.  I would take a grape soda and some cookies out there and settle in for the long haul.   In later years when she moved, I made a cozy spot in her spare room/office, and often when I was younger I would make a fort over her desk and chair with sheets and blankets and use a flashlight to read by.  My surroundings have always been an important part of the equation when I want to read or think.

Whether it was Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, The Hobbit or Anne of Green Gables and Judy Blume boxed sets, I was captivated (unless of course, the reading was a ruse and I was actually eavesdropping on adult conversations which I enjoyed immensely).To this day, if I see a young girl with a book in hand, it brings back such warm memories.  I feel happy for them that they have discovered the joy of reading.  It can fill up lonely hours or make good use of time that you would spend waiting (at the dentist, doctor, hair dresser…I could go on and on ) and chase away boredom rather quickly.

My reading habits have changed somewhat over the years; sometimes I read more than a book a week, sometimes I go for a time without finishing one, but I still like the quiet. I like to read my bible first thing in the morning before the sun or anyone else is up; just me, my cup of coffee and God.

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