"" Writer's Wanderings: March 2005

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Feathery Welcome

It's finally spring and the birds are building their nests. I watched a little one trying to stuff long strings of curly dried grasses into the bottle birdhouse on the side of our house. We have hung birdhouses through out the yard hoping to avoid a disaster from the past.

One year, we had a lovely half-basket of artificial flowers that I hung on the door. (I was trying to keep up with all the neighbors who always seem to decorate for every season. I've quit since then.) As the weather got warmer and the time for little birds to hatch arrived, we heard little peeps coming from the front of the house. We assumed the robin that always returned to the front evergreen had hatched another brood of little robins.

Prom night arrived. Our daughter looked absolutely lovely in a beautiful lacey cream dress. Nervously we awaited the arrival of her date. The doorbell announced that he was at the front door and I eagerly opened it to greet him. The motion of the door opening spilled a brood of baby birds onto the foyer floor. Until that moment they had obviously been enjoying their comfy nest in my basket of flowers.

My daughter watched in horror and her date stood bewildered as I scurried around trying to put the birds back in the nest. After the corsage pining and picture taking, everyone decided that using the side door would be best.

The birds were there until they were able to fly. Once they abandoned the nest I took it down. It was the last time I ever hung anything on the front door in the spring no matter how good the neighbors decorations looked.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Big Table

When you have a big table in the dining room it's such a shame to let it sit half empty. When we discovered we would only be five (instead of 12) for Easter dinner, we made some phone calls. We found a couple of our friends who were going to be alone because their kids couldn't make it home. We asked them to join us. (They've done the same for us when our kids couldn't make it home.)

While I was setting the table for tomorrow, I also happened to remember a neighbor who is by himself. I thought he probably went home to his mother's but Bob called anyway. You know, those little promptings from the Lord need to be followed. It turned out he was alone and didn't hesitate to take us up on the invitation.

Our "family" dinner has grown to 9: Bob and I, two kids, a grandchild, two friends, a neighbor and Jesus. He's always invited.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A Postmortem Audience?

I've been at a writers conference for the past week. I was looking forward to sunny California but 4 out of 5 days it has rained. I think it affected my brain function. As I surveyed the list of workshops, my eyes caught one titled "Writing for the Postmortem Audience." I blinked twice and read it again but it stayed the same.

A postmortem audience? What is a postmortem audience? Is it one full of dead people? Is it an audience of coroners? Morticians? Forensic scientists? The questions bounced around in my head for the afternoon and the next day. Even though my mind was beginning to go into overload mode with all the information being crammed in, the question would still surface. What is a postmortem audience?

When the world of critiques, workshops, keynotes, and networking slowed a bit, I got out my notebook with the scheduled workshops list and looked again. Writing for the Postmortem Audience was right there. Or was it? The fog lifted a bit. I think the sun may have even peeked through for a moment. It wasn't "postmortem" it was "postmodern"!


What's a postmodern audience?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Here Come the Buzzards!

Forget the groundhogs. Here come the buzzards! While Pete and Chuck may warn us on February 2 that spring is another six weeks away, the buzzards of Hinckley, Ohio, promise us that spring is only a few days away.

Every March 15, the buzzards return to roost in Hinckley. It's a big deal--pancake breakfast, costumed buzzard watchers, lots of media coverage. The buzzards never fail to disappoint. Usually around 8 a.m. someone spots the big birds circling overhead and those of us still plagued by snow and cold give a huge sigh of relief.

Spring will come. The buzzards did.

Monday, March 14, 2005

A Groom's Surprise

Every Saturday morning that is free finds us at our favorite breakfast spot. It's kind of a retro place, New York-ish, and plays great 60s music. We are there so much, we know most of the staff by name and they know how we like our coffee and eggs.

Last Saturday, we sat in a booth behind a father and daughter who were discussing her wedding plans. Dad and Mom must have been divorced and the bride must have been on her own for a while because she was talking about what she was paying for as she described her plans. The talk moved to plans for the groom's house. She was redecorating--new carpet, drapes, etc. I'm sure there were a few things going out that he's going to miss.

Then they moved on to talking about the groom's dog. "Well," she said, "I figure that if I take him to the groomers once a month that should help with the dog hair and smell." I hope the groom isn't a big "love me, love my dog" guy. There's a big surprise awaiting him if he is.

She's young. She'll learn, I hope. Trouble is, nowadays too many newlyweds are unwilling to learn. Divorce isn't seen in the same light as generations ago. It is more an option for a new start in life--like moving on to a new job or a new house. Relationships need work as badly as a dog needs grooming. I hope they'll pay attention to the needs of their relationship at least once a month. Maybe that trip to PetSmart could be a reminder to "love smart" as well.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Laughter--Truly the Best Medicine

Well, it is confirmed. Laughter truly is the best medicine. I knew that! Now we have real proof. According to the reports on the news, researchers have found that the arteries widen when we experience laughter thereby putting our blood supply to the heart and brain at a healthier level.

Now come the complications. Does this mean that the theater will charge more for a comedy than an action movie? Will comedians demand more money? Will they have to be licensed as health care givers? Will this open the doors to a private specialty practice? Will malpractice insurance be available should they fail to treat the patient with a sense of humor?

And, what does this do for all those tort lawyers? I can see the commercials now. "If you, or someone you love, saw Vin Diesel in The Pacifier, and it failed to make you laugh, your arteries could have been seriously damaged. Call us. We can help you recover financially."

Now, that's funny.

Monday, March 07, 2005

An Imagination is a Wonderful Thing

"It's gonna be cold," I grumped when my husband suggested we purchase our single game Indians baseball tickets at the ballpark.

The temperature was only in the upper 20's although the sun promised to warm it up to the mid 30's by afternoon.

"But you'll get to see the locker room and batting cages." He was referring to the open house the Indians organization was holding to stimulate interest in a team that is already showing progress.

We arrived almost an hour early to find people already gathering on the square between Gund Arena and the Jake. Bob got a wrist band...#23. He was so proud. We opted to stand in the open square in the sun as opposed to the shaded area in front of the ticket booths. We were assured our spot in line with our wristband. A cold breeze sent us retreating to the wall of the Gund where we were out of the wind index factors.

The sun's rays warmed the wall and toasted our faces. If you closed your eyes, and forgot the heaviness of the winter clothing, you could almost hear the roar of the crowd and the crack of the bat.

Imaginations are wonderful things. They can get us through some of the awful realities of life--like facing another bout of snow. As we walked through the ballpark and viewed the snow covered field from the party suite, we listened to those auditioning to sing the national anthem. The smell of hotdogs and popcorn permeated the inside areas of the ballpark. All that was missing was hearing the popular cry, "The beer guy's here!"

I even got a souvenier. Sunday morning I awoke to find blushing red cheeks from my half hour in the sun. It's probably nothing compared to what I imagine will happen at the afternoon game we have in August...but then it's Cleveland. It could rain. I can always imagine it's snow and be thankful for the rain.
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