10 Best Things About Being A Writer



As a writer myself, I absolutely loved this chirpy little article about the wonders of a writing life!


10 Best Things About Being A Writer.

Ode to the Commute

100_0308I’ve done “it” three days a week at 7 a.m. for five years now and it struck me that I needed to memorialize it in some small way for all it does for me.

“It” is my drive to the college where I teach, a 20 mile trek through a countryside that displays canvases splashed with brilliant bright colors and moody dark landscapes. Sometimes the canvas is barren, sometimes laced with daisies and buttercups, now topped with snow mounds that look like giant marshmallows.  Several ponds dot the landscape that lines the highway and I delight in tracking the lifestyles of the inhabitants which include ducks, geese, turtles, Great Grey Herons and the occasional jumping fish. I take great comfort in all life rhythms and these lovely creatures so generously share theirs with me.

During most winters, the ponds don’t freeze over for long but this year, with no thaw, the ice kept the over-winter geese from their life-blood waters. Many died,  I’m told. I didn’t see any that had, but then again, I didn’t see any geese at all. This is unusual. The cycles of life and nature are not always kind.

In the fall when the hunters bows and guns flourish and their prey don’t, turkey vultures swirl about far overhead, creating a cloud that undoubtedly marks the gutted carcasses as their own.  In the summer, road kill ‘manufactured’ by us humans angers me, for this is not part of nature’s scheme. It saddens me to think about the nests and dens to which a mother or father animal will never return leaving their helpless young abandoned and hungry.

Today on my way, I saw a creature running ahead of me, straight down the entrance ramp like a horse on a race track. Fortunately this little critter ran off into the brush before finding his way into the chaos of human traffic.

An Unexpected Meeting of Heads and Hooves

As is usual on Saturday mornings, this past Saturday I went out to the barn to groom my trusted steed, Buzzy, and gab it up with my dear barn friends. It is a ‘girls-only’ time and a place filled with my favorite sights – horses – and smells – horse poop and hay.102_0727

I went about my usual routine of feeding Buzzy his grain, and moseying out to feed my favorite mule and his mini-horse harem their Ginger Snaps while Buzzy munched away. I have never found a horse who doesn’t scarf those cookies right down. It is comical how these small hooved creatures gather around me like kindergartners clamoring to be teacher’s helper for the day. And the mule goes into this euphoric state where he continues to relish the cookies’ taste by sucking on his tongue, with its pink tip protruding slightly.

Back to Buzzy: grain gone, time for a good grooming. It’s shedding time and a grooming session now means losing half a horse with all the hair that comes off. Buzzy was restless, wanting to go out and chow down on phase 2 of his morning meal: hay. I struggled to contain his exuberance and managed to finish.

Next, I spent a few moments chatting, and then, to placate my pawing horse, I decided to take him for a little stroll in hand down the lane. I unhooked him from the cross ties, and was about to connect the lead line when I truly don’t know what happened next. Something smashed into my face – his head? His leg? He was out of control, whirling, and I was catapulted across the barn where I unceremoniously landed on my ass. (Lots of cushioning there – good thing). My glasses were gone and I felt a warm, sticky liquid flowing from near my eye.

As for Buzzy, he was whirling around, wild-eyed and with the help of Linda, managed to get into a stall where he pranced and snorted.  My friends noticed that the skin above Buzz’s eye was red and puffy.  As for me, I had two cuts around my eye, one kind of deep, and I felt like I’d been hit in the head by a bus. Other miscellaneous bruises, no major damage.

Here’s what we’ve pieced together. Somehow Buzzy caught part of his eyelid on the cross-tie clasp and it cut him which threw him into desperado mode and I just happened to be in his way.

This was a good reminder of something about which experienced horse folks can become cavalier, and that is that you just never know when you’re around horses. Anything can happen at any time. Buzzy is a steady, calm horse who is not prone to major spooking or bolting. I am blessed. But over the years, we have had a few bizarre things like this happen that serve as a reminder. Yesterday’s episode could have been worse – a lot worse. Buzzy could have stepped on me, though my friends told me it was clear he was trying very hard not to. The head injury could have been serious, my eye could have been cut, and so on.

As it is, I am left with one very visible trophy of my barn episode: one very un-glamorous and obvious black eye!!

A New Kind of Prayer Ceremony

palm_tree_2Tonight is ‘palm’ night. Not palm as in the palm of hand, nor palm as in a personal digital assistant Tonight we are planning something to take the frigid edge off, and just in case you’re interested, here are the instructions:

  1. Take one household palm tree and set it on the dining room table
  2. Pretend the mounds of snow outside are really dunes of pristine white sand.
  3. Put on and listen to Beach Boys CD
  4. Cut up a coconut
  5. Cut up a pineapple
  6. Drink coconut milk
  7. Make and drink Pina coladas
  8. Eat coconut meat and fresh pineapple
  9. Run sink water and pretend it is ocean waves
  10. Go to Weather.com and check the weather for St. Croix
  11. Go take a hot and steamy shower
  12. Give up snow for Lent
  13. Pray for spring
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