Day 3: I’m Thankful For. . .

I’m thankful for writing websites that keep me writing, if not every day (like I’m supposed to), then at least every day that I have the mental energy to write. Timothy Pike, host of Dream, Play, Write, has asked the question again of where I would like to write. This is my answer to that question.

I have been blessed to visit so many different places, each one with a different lure to my soul. When I got to take a [military] dependent’s tour of Paris, France, the opulence of flowers nearly drowned me in the visual sensations. Betty (my hotel roommate) and I took the metro to the downtown marketplace where we bought souvenirs that French people would buy, not the standard touristy stuff. I observed the French method of punishment for petty  theft: public shame. The man had to sit in a chalk square on the sidewalk for the entire day. Inside the square was a written procamation describing his offense. He sat forlornly, head bowed over his bent knees. The responses of the passersby were many and varied.

The Eiffel Tower, when standing under it, looks like the bottom of the spaceship in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The artists square was semi-dark at night, and full of life. I was so excited that my rate of speech was probably about fifty miles per minute. My travel mates were constantly asking me to repeat myself because they couldn’t understand supersonic speech. When at last my charcoal portrait was done, everyone said it was beautiful and looked just like me, except my eyes were big. (In reality, my eyes are small and narrow). But I loved it. No one in my family liked it. They said it didn’t look like me at all. I threw it away.

The Netherlands (Holland) was a land of stories and fables. We toured the famous Tulip Festival in March. See pictures below. Then we toured the Miniature City (called the Maduradam). It was a complete city with real-world architecture, including mechanical figures such as the changing of the guard at the palace, an airport, a canal with a boat that caught on fire, and a fire boat that came and put it out. Nothing was taller than two feet. How amazing that anyone could create something so small, yet so elaborate. I could stay in Holland and be happy (just not close to Amsterdam).

A swan on the river that runs through the middle of the garden.

A swan on the river that runs through the middle of the garden.

The Tulip Festival in Holland 1

The Tulip Festival in Holland 3

Or I could live in Germany, with its volksmarches, ornamental wood carvings, friendly people and food so palatable it would make Twiggy not care about her weight. (Okay, I’ve dated myself. How many of you readers/bloggers know who Twiggy is/was?) Germany: the land of castles, damsels in distress, knights in shining armor, mystical shadowed mountains that keep their white winter caps all year long.

Wurzburg Castle, Wurzburg, Germany

Wurzburg Castle, Wurzburg, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle a hand-carved wooden picture

Where would I like to live, or write? Maybe in the mountains, or maybe by the ocean. I’ll take any place that’s peaceful and serene, with lots of wildlife, color, and ambience.

I am thankful for the ability to string words together, and express my feelings in a way that touches other people. There are many writers out there more eloquent than I, and who use words with far more finesse, but I’m still learning. I’m only 62, and I’ve only recently discovered the tools that will help me become a better writer.

OMG Moments

To me, OMG stands for Oh, My Goodness!.  My husband and I became full-time RV’ers seventeen years ago. We had a tw0-weekend yard sale, packed up the stuff we wanted to keep for later years to give to the kids in boxes, and took it to a relative’s house. We are at that house now, opening boxes that have been in a storage shed, going through things, and throwing much of it away.

But then there are those treasures. You know, the photographs you never wrote on the back of, but they bring back fond memories. There is a box with the set of dishes my my parents got for me to take to business school (44 years ago). There are handmade curtains I can no longer use, afghans I had made, gifts that had been given to us, keepsakes from long ago travels.

Memory Lane is such a sweet place. I love my life now but reading back over signatures from my JUNIOR HIGH autograph pages, and my senior memories book and yearbook bring tears of joy as I look back in time. Not all of my school days were happy ones; in fact many were not, but they helped mold and make me who and what I am today. I am grateful and wistful. Some things are wonderful, sweet memories, and others are reminders that I’m glad to be the age I am now.

If you are one of those many people who have been bullied in school, take heart. It’s tough; it’s cruel; but it is training ground for who you want to be. It isn’t easy to ignore the hurts and frustrations, but please, for your own sake, do try. Ignore the taunting. Ten years from now they won’t remember why they picked on you. The bullies will have moved away, or you will, and life will go on, and you will have grown more confident and bolder from the experience. You will learn where your strengths are and they will guide you to fulfillment. My favorite phrase in the Bible is “it came to pass,” because that means it didn’t come to stay. Life is a journey with valleys and mountains, sunshine and rain. We need them all. Keep pressing forward. Never give up your dreams. You’ll be glad you did some day. I know from experience.

 

Lights of Christmas at night

Lights of Christmas at night