The last couple of days, I have received text after text from friends in Alaska. They are commenting on the article I wrote for the Delta Wind, published in the Outdoor section. The article was titled When It's Time to Leave Alaska. Some people think it is hilarious, some think it is sad, one person said "thoughtful", but most told me how much they enjoyed my writing. As long as I can remember, I have sought time for myself, when I could be alone and quiet and write a story. I have journal collections like most girls have purses and shoes. I think that is why I love photography - because I have this deep desire to document and preserve emotions, feelings, and moments. My husband gets really frustrated with me and my camera, and he almost always tells me "stop wasting your time with that camera and really LIVE in the moment". He believes that the time spent photographing, is wasted time wherein I "missed" the moment that I photographed. Anyone who loves photography is laughing right now, but we all know that different people rationalize life differently. Needless to say, I could not be persuaded to ever believe that I have wasted one second on any photograph. Instead, I can review old photos and they will cause me to laugh, cry, or get anxious just like the second that I remember taking the shot. I can live those exact same emotions for years to come, just off the glancing at the photo. Well, writing has the same effect on me.
I still remember the first story I wrote when I was near 6th grade. It was about a ghost named George who haunted the old house in our back yard. The house my daddy grew up in, is on our property and is about an acre away from the back porch of the house I grew up in. My friend Cathy and I used to sneak over there and sit on the back porch. She would read and I would write about George's newest adventures. We had to sneak because of the two open wells, and the fact that the porch we sat on was very near to crashing to the ground, but obviously our parents didn't realize the lure and ability of a rickety, old, swaying porch, to stimulate the imagination. All these memories are crashing back today, as I see my article in print, and receive texts of comments. What God has just brought to mind is the realization that I have been writing since before I was in the 6th grade. I've never written professionally, but it's one hobby that has never lost its allure. That makes me wonder why I ever stopped writing and why I don't do it more. I can't really answer either of those questions. I want to say something like, "well when you get older and have kids, you run out of time," but if we are honest with ourselves we know that we do EXACTLY what we want to each and every day of our lives. Don't we? We can blame our kids, our spouse, our schedules, but the brutal truth is that we DO make time for what we want. So if I'm not writing, it's because I have chosen to spend my time on other things. Isn't there some way I can be a great mom, keep a clean house, teach homeschool, be a great daughter, sister, aunt, grand-daughter, friend, etc. and STILL find some time to write?
I remember Fall weekends, when chores were done and for some reason there was always an empty cotton trailer sitting somewhere near the house, that I could climb up on. The metal was warm from sitting in the sun, and I would lay on my back, close my eyes, and dream of stories. Some got written down and way more just got filed in memory. I want some of those days, right now, and I bet that I would be a better mom if I learn to show my kids how much fun that is. What makes YOU happy, but you stopped doing it? Take a minute and remember when it was that you stopped, and try to find time to do it again.