Sunday, June 8, 2014


“Awww…are you trying to kill me?!” I asked my mom, after realizing she’d parked the car on the farthest end of an Idaho Rodeway Inn parking lot.

Turns out it was the closest spot, by the time she pulled in the night before, after visiting my brother and sister-in-law. So I had to drag my arthritic self all the way to the other end of the building.

But it wasn’t until I got to the car, aching back and all, that it occurred to me she’d inadvertently given me another writing-prompt.

“Oh yeah!!”

“Yeah! Do it!”


“I think there must be a big football game going on up there,” she said, glancing up at an open third floor window on the very end. “Doesn’t sound like his team is winning.”

I turned my head a bit to listen as I unlocked the car. It’s not uncommon for people to rent rooms for study-group cram sessions, a quiet place for writers to work, or even to have football parties.

However, my ears picked up on something Mom had missed—the lack of others raising their voices over blown calls, the sound of sports announcers play-by-play…or even the T.V. noise of a football game.

But still, there were shouts.


I held in my snicker-n-snerking—whatever it’s referred to these days—until we were in the car. 

“It wasn’t a football game,” I responded, as we pulled away from the lot. I started laughing. 

Hoo-boy! What an added memory that is to spending an afternoon with a houseful of extended family, by way of my niece’s 10th birthday. 

Boisterous relatives, laughter, shy-but-pleased smiles from the birthday-girl over gifts, grilled hot dogs, a trampoline, and six, four-legged animals was reason enough to unload my cellphone’s memory-card the night before of all the pictures I’d already taken. My nieces are a gas to be around, and I wanted proof of it all. 

The youngest is quite the ham. (She’s even made a crack about ham that was so clever, it ended up in one of my manuscripts) 

The eldest, the apple-of-her-artist-father's-eye, seems to morph into a writer whenever Auntie’s in town. No, no…I don’t dare try to steer her away from her interest in drawing. Quite the contrary! I gifted her a sketch pad and color pencils. Also…she’s way better at art than I was at her age.

But I also added a journal of sorts; a composition notebook that’s always found in the school supplies aisle of any store. And I insisted that she only write in it if she wanted to, about any old thing she wanted. 

Still, an auntie can hope. (Especially when she asked me a couple of years ago if she could be a writer, like me. Joy!)

In the meantime, I’ve secured a couple of volunteer positions that will, hopefully, encourage employment at a later time. Recycling is good for the planet. And with the added bonus that I get to work with tools—taking things apart—I get to feel productive once again! (But, ooooh…what I wouldn’t give for one of those positions to involve my love for writing!)

Ah, well, who am I to be choosy? It’s getting this hermit out of the house. And no better time than summer. This season will also be spent resembling Hoke Coburn…without the added utterances of, “Yes’m Miz Daisy.” 

What the cookies am I goin’ on about? Well, I have one relative that’s showing signs of needing companionable-assistance, and, a ‘sweet lil’ ol’ church lady’ that needs my “hep gettin’ ta th’ stow...,” as it were. Of course, as I love to drive, acting as a chauffeur won’t be an issue. 

Anywoo, I’m cautiously-optimistic about the rest of this year. My voc-rehab consultant says I’m taking steps in the right direction. Maybe if I’m really lucky, I’ll get to hear the pitter-patter of little adopted feet this time next year.

I just won’t be “renting a room at the Rodeway anytime soon.”

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