Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

December 4, 2012 Leave a comment


Carved Door

Hello there, readers–

For those who come only infrequently to Claudsy’s Blog, I’ll bet you thought I’d forgotten you, left you out in the cold, or slipped away without leaving a forwarding address.


What I did was get a website where everything I do can come together in one place. Meena Rose and I now collaborate on a website labeled Two Voices, One Song.

Over there you’ll find  Claudsy’s Blog, Claudsy’s Calliope, and much more. The rooms there are spacious and attractive. We can branch out into fiction, reviews, profiles, inspiration pieces, poetry, travel, etc. It’s like a department store for readers.

Why did we do this? We both felt the need to expand and test our wings in other skies. We also had some fun doing it.

Right now we’re coming out of NaNoWriMo. For those who’ve never done it or seen the insanity it brings, know this; very little else gets accomplished during November. Couple NaNo with the November PAD Chapbook Challenge over at Poetic Asides and you have manic novel writing episodes leavened with poetry created to someone else’s tune.

We’ve moved into the bigger holiday season, which means we’ll be posting more regularly than during November but not as often as in months previously.

There are also other reasons for the slowdown. We’ve both got major projects in the works right now and the push is on.

We so enjoy having friends and neighbors drop in for a look-see. Please come whenever you like, stay as long as you like, leave us a note if we’re not home to let us know you popped in for a visit. We certainly don’t mind. We do return the favor and visits.

Now you know why you see nothing new here. Several of you have stopped by to see me here and found me gone. I hope you’ll move your viewing pleasure to the new digs. I’ve missed seeing all of you. I think you’ll like what you see there as much or more than what I presented here. Try it. You may really like it.

The address is:  You can’t miss it. It’s the big place on the corner of Dreams and Motivation.

A bientot,



Observations From the Edge of the Road

January 15, 2011 2 comments

Any description of travel through the Gulf Coast states requires commentary on the physical state of said locales.


 The coastal edges of Texas exhibit damage left behind from Ike’s rampage. Galveston Island continues to reel from the blow it suffered. Many of the signs are subtle ones.

 For example, the small businesses that remain boarded up and unsafe, the large Victorian homes in the historical district spray-painted with warnings to stay out because of unsafe conditions, the house on stilts that stares out to sea with its tattered and disintegrating American flag that persists in waving all tell stories worth hearing.

 These are far more telling than the large hotel at the north east and of the sea wall that’s undergoing extensive renovation and stability. These tell of personal struggles of the smaller less obvious sufferer. These tell a story of their own of pressures brought to bear that may break the bearer of that stress.

 After all, Ike blasted across the island in September, 2008. Two-plus years later, some owners of the businesses and homes requiring less to repair are still either unable to get back on their feet, or perhaps have given up on that dream of renovation.


 Everyone should remember Katrina and its destruction. Evidence of the lasting changes stand for witnessing today. Small affected towns work with tireless determination to rebuild communities. The state has what appear to be major projects of infrastructure rebuilding to do, as well.

 The report we received from residents of New Orleans tells of progress with rebuilding efforts but leaves behind much distressing news of crime rates rising to rates above acceptability. No current authority measures seem to curb these rising rates—according to some who live there.

 Those amenities most taken for granted, such as parking spaces, have come to a point of competitive prices to provide safe parking for the car owner. $28-30 per day/night is a common rate for secured parking per car. With a shrunken job market adding continuing stress, The Big Easy may need the distraction of February’s Mardi Gras this year.

 During our drive along the gulf shore only one mention was made about the Gulf Oil Spill. We were cautioned by locals about going to certain areas because of the spill. Travel to those areas was discouraged. However, Jo found only one small blob of crude on the beach and that was at Pass Christian, Mississippi.


 A small plantation reproduction greeted us at the Mississippi state line. I’ve been to many visitors’ centers but never one more entertaining, informative, and impressive as this one.

 The grounds sprouted colonnaded pavilions for picnics. The main building had more than adequate visitor appeal with a fire burning in the fireplace and rocking chairs waiting to be used. Of course, the elaborate Mardi Gras costumes with capes, headdresses and crowns on display didn’t hurt the eye, either.

The coastline, however, tugged at the heartstrings, showing less completed reconstruction from storm and oil than Louisiana.

This impression remained along Hwy. 90 that skirts the shoreline.Pristine white beaches lure the beachcomber to stretch legs and vision. Believe it or not, periodically a few yards from the highway out on the sand, a large concrete square squatted—alone and looking out of place. In the center of the square is a manhole cover.

 These, it was explained, are clean-out drains for the huge purge water pipes that remove storm water from those areas below sea level. The incongruity of their appearance confused this visitor for certain.


Gulfport crews work to build new sections of sea wall and boardwalk along the highway. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such white sand beaches. They almost blind the unprotected eyes when the sun’s out. Unfortunately for us, only oyster shells dotted that brilliant expanse.


The boardwalk on the Gulf side runs from Biloxi to Ocean Springs. Eyes scanning the beach and water to the right miss the antebellum homes on the other. They don’t see the empty lots that have only foundations left. The sculptures carved on the standing remains of snapped-off palms and live oaks recede unnoticed by many, which is a pity.


Stationed life-saving shallow boats wait for use along areas of beach. Sand fences try to contain the blowing white powder, but sometimes only manage to diffuse the sweep of sand toward the opposite side of the road.


At Pass Christian on Market St. a shrimping fleet dries its nets, the boats wait for their next wave rum. Just south of Ocean Springs is Gulf Islands National Wildlife Refuge. The forests border the road in pine, palms, cypress, hickory, and heavy underbrush.


None of that shoreline appeared affected by the oil spill, but we didn’t take the time to wade out into the bordering vegetation.


Though we saw all of these reminders of destructions and rebuilding, we did have a marvelous adventure throughout the Gulf States. The differences between regions that share so much titillate the mind and demands clarification of those differences.


Bayous run from Texas to Florida. Cattle anchor both ends of that corridor. Rice fields share the land with alligators while pride of heritage flies on flagpoles throughout–from Goliad to the heart of the Confederacy, from military monuments to battleship masts.


For all the peculiarities of individual states, the south shares too much similarity to every come apart for long. Any visitor who spends time along that highway system will come away with an appreciation of that solidarity. 

When you make your visit there, or if you already live there, take the time to look for all those things that make the South itself. You might be surprised at the things you find.


Until next time, a bientot, 


Quick Travel Update

December 22, 2010 1 comment

Much of our trip so far has been flying by the seat of our pants, as much because of weather as anything else. That comes with the joy of winter travel, regardless of area of the country.

Would we take this step again and jumped on this roller coaster of an adventure? Yep, we’re gluttons for punishment. Tackling occurring bugs as they arise keeps us hopping, and working around obstacles keeps us on our toes. Isn’t that what keeps a person young, if not in body than in mind?

We made it from Safford, Az, across New Mexico on I-10 to Las Cruces, and then to El Paso, TX. We did take one detour to Hatch, New Mexico for roasted chilis. We moved on from El Paso to Monahan, TX for a break. We left Monahan (wasn’t that Quincy’s friend?) and made our way east along the I-20.

And yes, we’re moving right along. There’s a reason for all this quick dash and slap ground. Have you looked at the California weather lately? We’ve got that huge storm front coming behind us pushing us to move east as quickly as possible. Of course, it also has to do with the fact that we’re having a hard time finding acceptable campground accommodations. I’ve explained all of that on the update for the Calliope blog today. I have yet to post on any of the blogs or the website today. I’ll do that when I leave here.

We’ve seen some heartbreaking things on this trip. Really! So much is changing in places one doesn’t expect. We’ve learned so much as well.

We’re learning about our expectations of life as well as our understanding of how life works. We’re seeing the differences between people and places in a new way. All of that is culminating in our own changes in thought and philosophy.

We’ve had disappointments and delights along the way. And yes, Kate, we did have a desert bunny come to investigate our camp one night. I couldn’t see him, of course, even with bright moonlight, but Jo was kind enough to describe him and tell me what he was doing.

We listened to roadrunners laugh maniacally just before coyotes sounded off, gambil quail blather to each other in the scrub, and wild ducks make their way around desert lakes. It’s been sometimes peaceful and sometimes frustrating, but always different.

We’ll be moving on to Weatherford, TX today. We’re going to camp there for a few days before going to Ft. Worth to see friends. Then we’ll move down to Houston and camp around the Huntsville area where there’s plenty to do and people to see.

I hope to get online again in a few days.
Take care all and God bless. Knowing you’re all here as support has been such a blessing to us on this sojourn.

A bientot,


Categories: Uncategorized

Dessert or Desert–That is the Question

December 20, 2010 1 comment

Desert tenting is different from that regular green grass variety. We managed to find a great state park campground in Safford, AZ which also holds a small lake with resident ducks and much bird life.

Facilities stand ready with showers, los banos, and grills. The intrepid camper, however, must have ready an instinct for safety. When in the desert, opportunities for disaster abound. Drink enough water. This is especially necessary for those on medications or for those who aren’t eating the same way as at home. The body requires ample amounts of water to stay healthy.

Mosquitos abound year-round near any body of water. Take repellent and use liberally.

Try  not to breathe in lots of dust. That really isn’t healthy for anyone.

Always have a jacket/sweater ready for those late night jaunts to the los banos to flush out all of that water you’ve been drinking. Also, keep a flashlight handy.

Pitch your tent as close as possible to those los banos, too.

Shake out all shoes, clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, etc. before putting on or around your body. The insect life tends toward the venomous and love finding new quarters in nooks and crannies otherwise occupied by people. In the summer the same rule applies for those of the slithering persuasion.

That’s your crash course in desert tenting for now. It can be fun, though in the winter, the dark lasts far longer than the light hours and is really dark unless there’s a full moon.

Take lots of light sources for night-time activities. You’ll need them.

Take care, people. I hope to post again within a week–probably from Texas. I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season.

God bless. A bientot,


Categories: Uncategorized

Review: No Girls Allowed

September 9, 2010 3 comments

A Must For Tweens 

In “No Girls Allowed,” author Jayce O’Neal presents boys with a thoughtful and comprehensive devotional. This book of life lessons in 241 pages has something for all boys, regardless of personal circumstance.

Each two page lesson, with its two pages of puzzle and exercises, shows a relatable present-day situation. O’Neal explores a person’s possible choices of behavior based on that situation. He explains the consequences to each behavior in real terms. The language O’Neal uses pulls the reader in and engages the person’s own sense of right and wrong. In this way, boys are allowed the information they can use for future choices. They’re also shown how to make those choices.

These life lessons range from handling a bully situation, through making the right types of friends, to treating other people with respect and everything in between. This book can make an impact on lives. I’d recommend it for all boys from ages 8-14. It reads quickly and is easily understood. The puzzles are fun and useful. The quotes and Bible passages only reinforce O‘Neal‘s examples. Illustrator Arrolynn Weiderhold gives the graphics here a marvelous reveal. I give this work 5 gold stars.

For details on this book, go to:

For a preview please go to:

**I received this book free from the publisher, Tyndale Media Center. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements in Advertising.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Review: “The Boy Who Changed the World”

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Norman Borlaug was a farmer’s son living in Iowa. He wonders about hungry people and if his father’s corn could feed them. That question takes him into a life’s work developing the grain to new heights. It also leads him to an employer named Henry Wallace.

The story moves backward through time from student to teacher and back to student. If goes from Norman back to Henry Wallace, back to George Carver who was a student of Henry’s father. From there it moves from George back to his adoptive father, Moses.

Andrews brings the thread of time and lineage to a tentative halt here. Tentative only because there is no real beginning to history.

The sense of history and hint of things not revealed encourages the reader to learn more about these people of the past. It presents the understanding that  six degrees of separation operates in the most unusual places.

This wonderful book, illustrated by Philip Hurst, gives readers, pause for thought at the connectedness of ourselves with the world and how we impact it each day with our choices. I would definitely recommend this book for any reader.

For details on this book, go to:

To see a preview, go to:

**I received this ARC free from the publisher through book reviewers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements in Advertising.”

Review: “One Hand, Two Hands”

September 7, 2010 2 comments

This book catalogs the many uses for our hands. Who else would have thought of that?

Max Lucado does it again. He’s brought such a simple thing as a child’s hands into the roll of man character and managed to bring an excitement to children at the same time.

The rhythm and pacing of this book puts a mental song into the reader’s head that’s hard to push aside when the pages end. The rhyme doesn’t need to be close to keep the reader turning the pages, either.

Children reading this book will fall in love with the illustrations provided by Gaby Hansen. The scenes sing their own melody that will delight everyone. Colorful and full of movement, the illustrations enliven the song-filled words to make this a marvelous reading experience.

For the read-aloud crowd, this story will enchant and provide a wonderful interactive time between parent and child. It has the potential for becoming a game played at bedtime or throughout the day while the child is using hands that have so much potential.

I will be recommending this book to all of my friends with small children. It packs tons of fun into a small package of delight. I give it five stars for play and influence.

You can find details at:

For a preview of this book, go to:

**I received this book free from the publisher through book reviewers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements in Advertising.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Who Said Chickens Weren’t Entertaining?

August 16, 2010 3 comments

Red ones, striped (barred) ones, white ones, you name it–chickens abound. And raising chickens for whatever reason is a hoot and a lot of hard work. I’m not talking commercial chicken growers here. I’m talking about the backyard farmer.



You betcha there’s work. You must  house them securely so that other wildlife eats your egg producers or their product. There’s all sorts of fencing considerations for security, especially if skunks inhabit the area. Did you know skunks can squeeze through chain-link fencing? Trust me, they can. But then, so can rabbits.

Feeding can be messy, dusty, expensive and yet simple. I know. Contradictions galore.

Commercial chicken feed is pricey, but necessary. It can be augmented, however, by feeding penned chickens greens of all types but noxious ones or allowing them to free-range in the yard.

Free-ranging isn’t possible in some areas due to predation. If the grower builds a big enough enclosure or a portable ranging pen, both chicken diet and health are improved.

Then you have clean-up duties. Every few days the straw in coop and enclosure must be raked out and fresh added. Of course, this does contribute to that wonderful compost pile that one builds adjacent. Best fertilizer in the world if used sparingly.

Play Time


Now the one thing that most people without chickens, and even some with the little beasties, don’t know is that chickens are God’s little comics.

When we lived in Arizona, we ran several breeds on our small place, The doubled fencing towered over the enclosure with a full covering of chicken wire to prevent one of our wee birds from constantly escaping.

You see, Red thought she was a pigeon. She’d seen herself in a mirror, evidently, and recognized her true heritage. That bird could fly, let me tell ya.

Their coop had nesting boxes, waterers and feeders, two small windows, a man door, and one roof vent skylight as used on RVs. It was ramped for easy access. And it had electricity, too.

Those birds had it made. Most people don’t get babied as much as they did. My sister’s late husband decided that they needed some form of shady spot to get out of the blistering Arizona sun. He was right. That coop got very hot in the afternoon, even with windows and vent. They didn’t need to be stressed anymore than was absolutely necessary.

So, Rich went down there with six big square straw bales and a large panel of sunshade material. (We’d just finished putting sunshade in front of the solarium’s window wall and had some left over.) In a matter of minutes one large U-shape took form. The first row of bales formed the shape. The sunshade was secured to those bales to form a shaded resting area beneath and between, and the last three bales were placed atop the first three for added security.

The girls had perching room and a shaded area that allowed fresh air flow and comfort for dust baths.

It wasn’t long before Rich, my sister and I were sitting down at the enclosure in lawn chairs watching the girls. Yes, they had discovered that sunshade will move with weight applied. They would perch themselves at the open edge of the sunshade and proceed to swing. The first one taught the next, and the next taught her bunk mate, and on and on.

Always Coming Attractions


When he saw this, Rich said something to the effect that they were obviously bored and might need gym equipment inside the enclosure. Sis and I looked at each other like the man had lost his mind. We were all for making the birds comfy, but building gym equipment seemed to be taking the situation a bit too far.

We talked him out of putting in a large ball for them to play with. Such items could encourage pecking, which in turn could cause said ball to either deflate to a point where they could pick it apart and swallow some of it, or explode and kill them all from fright. Not likely to explode but still possible.

Diets Come and Go


Now, I grew up on farms where we always had chickens, so I knew that kitchen scraps were okay for the birds as long as we never had meat scraps mixed in. Our girls waited each day for whatever treats we would bring them to add to the bland, not-so-enticing chicken mash that filled their trays.

The first few times we took the scrap bucket down to the girls they weren’t quite sure what to make of it. It didn’t take long for them to get the idea. From then on they anticipated our arrival with enthusiasm.

We watched them from our lawn chairs as they enjoyed their treats. They knew what tomatoes were because we lobbed unusable ones from the garden into the pen each day. (Caveat: Never give chickens anything with garlic or onion in it. It ruins the eggs.)

Jello, however, is permissible and encouraged from our viewpoint. The first time one of the girls grabbed hold of that puddle of brightly colored treat, we began laughing.

Smears of cold jello ran across the poor thing’s face. She blinked furiously at this new sensation and tried desperately to remove its presence from her beak. And no, it wasn’t doing her any harm. It was cold. They weren’t used to that or the texture of the jello.

As seemingly distressed as this chicken was, though, she wasn’t willing to share this unusual vittle with the others. Homemade gravy with a side of biscuits made its way into the bucket occasionally. It produced much the same effect as the jello.

Some things occasioned an impromptu game of keep-away, like clumps of withered grapes or wrinkled cherry tomatoes. One chicken would snag the cluster of fruit and begin running. Others would see the scurrying coop-mate with her prize and take off after her. The event usually ended in a tug-o-war between the one with and those without until a spectator rushed in while the combatants were focused on each other to pluck a fruit from the cluster and swallow it before a protest could be sounded.

The best afternoon of all, though, was the day that Red discovered how to slurp spaghetti. She got one end of a noodle in her beak and partially down her throat. Beyond that we couldn’t figure out how she managed to do something human kids have done for generations. She slurped that noodle down her throat as fast as any five-year-old. She looked around to see if anyone had noticed and seeing everyone occupied with their own treats, proceeded to take up another noodle.

It took weeks for others to catch on to what Red was doing, but finally an entire handful of chickens had begun the ritual of spaghetti slurping. I will say, however, that their slurping was much quieter than that of humans. They don’t go in for sound effects so much.

There you have it. Chicken humor on the half shell. That wasn’t all the humor they provided, but that’s for another time.

Enjoy the comics around you, regardless of size or shape.

A bientot,





Categories: Uncategorized

Navigating The South-Personal History Counts

August 15, 2010 4 comments

The cultural differences between far North frontier country and Southern deep roots would throw anybody into shock.

The precipitator of this condition of shock may lie in the fact that many in the North tend to categorize the South. Some dismiss those of the South as the eccentric cousins who aren’t discussed in polite society all that often. After all, they say, Southerners are the ones who brought about that wicked Civil War and all, don’t you know.

Believe it or not, there are those that still think that way. Aside from that, according to others, Southerners are known to be just a hair short on the mental acuity scale. Otherwise they would be out in the world far more and be recognized for their entrepreneurial acumen and social hipness.

Sarcastic? Me? Never!

Reality Check

I can tell you two things for certain sure. I grew up with half my family from the South where I spent as much time as possible, and I lived in the western part of the South for more years than I care to count.

‘Course, living there cured me of one thing–smoking. Couldn’t do it anymore. Didn’t need to be doing it in the first place. Found a way to get rid of the habit for good, and I’ve never been more glad about anything in my life.

Childhood Memories

Because of  my age I remember how the older South used to function. I remember the time before the Civil Rights Movement. I remember watching an older black gentleman step off the sidewalk so that my mother, grandmother, and I could walk past him as he tipped his hat to us. I also remember crying because I thought I’d done something wrong that made him not want to be on the same street as me.

My mother, of course, explained the situation to me right there on the sidewalk. I got indignant (I was very good then at doing indignant) and demanded my grandmother explain why her people would ever do such a thing. All of which upset her no end, as you can imagine. I was very young at the time, challenging an elder about social etiquette. And I did apologize later.

Things settled down a bit during the rest of the visit, but I’ve always been able to close my eyes and see that episode behind the lids anytime I wanted. It was a great social leveler for me.

Farm Living

What else do I remember? I remember catching Grandaddy and my little brother one afternoon, down feeding the hogs (my grandparents were farmers–what were known as sharecroppers, actually.) Indignation swarmed up my backside that afternoon, too.

They were sitting in the back of the big cargo wagon that was heaped with little bitty watermelons about the size of half a soccer ball. Grandaddy would cut a melon in half, hand one half to my brother while keeping one for himself. Each of them would scoop out the heart of the melon, eat it, and then throw the rest to the hogs across the fence before moving on to the next melon.

Now, I knew how those little melons tasted. They were like watermelon flavored honey in a bowl, and I wanted my fair share. Well, wouldn’t you know that the good-old-boys party was just wrapping up when I arrived. I only got the one little melon. –Not that I could have stuffed more than one down my gullet anyway.–

Ever Ride A Cow?

There was a neighbor boy named Hunter who lived down the lane. He used a big Black Angus bull for a horse and rode that animal everywhere. My brother wanted to be just like Hunter, running through the woods barefoot, shooting his .22 and generally running wild.

To that end little bro decided one day, while we were helping my aunt milk the cows, that he wanted to ride one of them. Now, my aunt was raised on a farm and knew how a farm and its animals operated. And she had a really good suspicion what would happen if bro rode milk cow.

She couldn’t talk him out of it, though, so when all the milk was secured and the cows were ready to go back out into the pasture, she asked him which cow he fancied. Being the adventurer that he was, he chose the big Guernsey. Well, my aunt got the cow out into the barn’s center, made sure of  the halter rope, and told him to hop right up there on the cow.

I have to admit, he did pretty good. He managed to last almost the entire 8 seconds before hitting the ground with a whoosh. He was a bit stunned. After all, Hunter made it look so easy. But then, Hunter wasn’t trying to ride a milk cow that had never held a rider before. Hurt? Nah, bro wasn’t hurt, except for his pride.

I confess. I laughed my tail off. My good aunt didn’t, bless her heart. That was the last I ever saw of that cow, though.

High Times

I remember an ice storm at Thanksgiving one year, which forced us to drive home in it on less-than-new tires and seeing my dad white-knuckled at the wheel, knowing he was silently praying that we made it home one state away before we got killed. I do believe Mom was praying just as hard as Dad.

Personally, I was enjoying the fairy castle quality the ice gave all the trees and undergrowth. I’d never seen the effects of an ice storms before. All these years later, I’ve seen too many years of destruction from Nature’s Ice Queen.

There were so many times back then when fun was had by simply playing Red Rover in my grandparents front yard. Or standing in the stripping shed during our autumn visits, stripping tobacco to put in the drying barns. That time was filled with country music blaring from the radio, listening to my grandmother and aunts relate family history and community news in soft twang that amuses so many not of the South, and just spending time together.

The one thing that the south will never be short of is family solidarity. A family member might bring the wrath of the family down on his/her head by shaming the family name, but before that any member will fight to the death for any other member of that family.

The South is hot, sticky, contrary sometimes, and solidly itself. It doesn’t claim to be anything else and never will. If you want proof of that, go down to South America and into Brazil’s interior and visit the city that our South built from the ashes of the Civil War. They still Fly the Confederate flag as their own.,9171,965976,00.html

Betcha didn’t know that, huh?

‘Til next time, have a great day, y’all. Catch the last of those lightning bugs and enjoy the homemade ice cream. I’ll have the peach, please.

A bientot,


Chasing Photos And Capturing Life Along The Way

August 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Since my sister upped her status to professional photographer in the last month, I’ve been on several photo shoots with her, whether assignment or freelance. I have to say she’s good. She has a wonderful eye for perspective and subject.

What I’ve witnessed during these past weeks has been an entirely new passion in her life and a boost for my own along the way.

She fires up in the morning with ideas for new possibilities, new environments for a look-see and pic potential. I rise with a question mark attached to consciousness. Where will she go today or is she staying put long enough to process those pics taken during the last burst of photo fever?

Watching her has become a new hobby for me. I see a blossoming of new potential for her as well as for her passion. Each petal that expands from the center of her desire flashes new color, new awareness of what could be, what will be, what has already developed. The scent of this blossom is one of freedom from fear; the fear of failure, of making a mistake, of falling flat on one’s face in front of friends and family.

I doubt seriously if any creative individual can embrace the inner creative drive if fear erects bars to prevent movement outward. Otherwise, no writer would ever submit a manuscript to a publisher. No painter would ever allow an outsider to see a new canvas. No musician would ever play in front of another person.

Instead, all of that pent-up creativity would wither and die unread, unseen, unheard by any but the fearful creator.

I believe that everyone has a creative side–a side that longs to be out there for all to witness. The crafter who makes odd gifts for those in the family does so for personal reasons as well as creative ones. They want to share what they enjoy, even if the receiver sticks it in a closet to be pondered later.

The scrapbooker labors over page after page of diverse memories with whatever accoutrements seem appropriate in an attempt to produce something that will keep those memories alive in some tangible form long after the event took place. Those scrapbooks become the modern version of home movies to be shared with family, friends, and neighbors. A great deal of thought and work goes into a well-crafted scrapbook. I salute those who have the patience for such projects.

Whether the garage band ever makes the big time or only plays for the local nursing home on Saturday afternoons, the members of the band can applaud themselves for using their freedom of musical expression to create a meaningful experience for someone else.

For that’s what creativity is really all about. It’s about allowing self-expression of a passion from deep within while sharing it with someone else. If that sharing takes place after we pass on, someone will still read the diary, see the scrapbook, look at the music and wonder about the creator and the product. How better to get the attention of the ones left behind?

Sounds like a form of immortality, doesn’t it. And I suppose that in a way that’s true. I still have small pieces created by grandparent and parent, which I will never surrender. Those precious gifts always trigger my mind to produce mental pictures of the givers and strike up memories of times spent with them.

Perhaps that’s why my sister feels compelled to take photos of the surrounding natural world. If her business takes off, that’s great. But the end result is the creation of a pleasurable memento of a worthwhile experience, which will continue to stand as the primary function of the act of taking the photo.

She will always be able to remember the day of the purple sunset before the aurora borealis. She will always carry the memory of sable bunnies and whitetail deer. The waterfalls and lakes will always call her back to view their beauty because she has captured their essence in pixels.

I have watched  her allow her muse free reign and enjoyed the view. Now she understands why I write, why the hours are never long enough, and why I never get bored with it. She only had an inkling before. Now she has the full picture and it’s changed both of us. We can share our passions, collaborate, and make plans for later.

“Never is a day so full that another small pleasure cannot find a home in my heart.” I don’t remember who said that, but it’s true.

Here’s hoping your pleasures can be shared. A bientot,


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