Who Are You?

Sitting at my desk, I have a view of our street. I casually keep tabs on the neighbors as they come and go. Occasionally a stranger comes up our cul de sac street. I wonder, who are you and why are you here?

So, one day I am in my usual position when a car scoots up the road, but there is a problem right in front of our house. The road is coated with a layer of sleet and snow, plus there is a slight incline as one gets to the end of the cul de sac. That incline was too much for this car.

The back tires spun rapidly but went no where. The driver backed up a few feet. Tried the approach again. Same result. Now the driver, (a young girl wearing tennis shoes with no socks), gets out and examines the snow situation in front of her tires. No, the snow is not deep enough to stop her, so she gets back in the car to repeat her previous actions. Would you be surprised to learn that the car still did not move?

Now she has a brilliant idea of taking the floor mats out and placing them in front of the front tires. The back tires continue to spin, she moves forward an inch. Time to reassess. She hops out once again and this time puts the floor mats in front of the back tires. Once she is back in the car, she steps on the gas. There is a slight moment of hesitation, then the tires grab onto the mats and she moves forward.

She pulls into my driveway, backs out to head back down the street. She stops to collect her floor mats (which are covered in snow by now), and scoots down the street to disappear from my view.

So I am left wondering . . .

  • Why did you come up our street?
  • Where were you going?
  • Why didn’t you just back down the street?
  • Who are you?

I suppose these are questions that will never have answers.

Thoughts from a Bathroom Door

You just never know where you might find your next slice of life. Sometimes they blow in and land on you. Sometimes they crawl up from underground and invade your space. They even startle you as you calmly are eating lunch. As the title stated, you might find a slice hanging on the back of a bathroom door.

It was lunchtime, my husband and I were hungry, so we began the search for some place to eat. We were in Kansas, where the road was long and not very populated. Finally, a small town appeared and as we drove through we spotted a coffee shop advertising sandwiches. We stopped.

The menu was written on a board over the counter. The daily special was blank. I inquired if there was a special for the day.

The owner said, “Monday comes with it’s own set of troubles, we don’t need to add to it by having a special.” Interesting attitude I thought.

So we chose something from the menu. I went to the restroom to wash my hands and discovered a new way of looking at things.

photo 1 (16) photo 2 (17)

Once lunch was over and we were back in the car, the lists I had just read pushed me to think of creating a few phrases that were just for me.

Savor the sights around you.
Enjoy the company of the one(s) you are with today.
Relish relationships.
Dream big.
Bask in the delight of others.
Share a smile.
Make a discovery.

What thoughts would you add? You just never know where you will find a slice! 🙂


Plant Envy?

One evening I was checking the progress of my tomatoes in my minuscule garden plot when a spot of red appeared through the feathery ferns of the asparagus. My heart beat a little faster. My mind already planning when and how to eat the juicy tomato as my hands eagerly reached through the greenery that tickled my hands. Oh yes, it was a tomato that had developed all on its own while hidden by the asparagus. It was ripe and just ready to be picked. So I did.

A hidden tomatoe!

A hidden tomatoe!

Then I wondered if there were any more. Gently my hand separated the fern fronds. My eyes scanning and seeking a bit of red. Ah ha! Red! But as I moved aside the green, this red was simply a red berry produced by the asparagus.

The asparagus wants to get attention too.

The asparagus wants to get attention too.

I thought that perhaps the asparagus was jealous of all the attention the tomatoes have been getting, so it decided to produce its own version of  a round red fruit. However, I have investigated and discovered that the female plant produces this berry as a seed. The plant’s yield will be reduced due to the energy put into developing the seed. Therefore, I must get out there and pluck the seeds so I will be sure to have lots of asparagus next spring. No plant envy here.

Still waiting on the ones front and center to begin the process of turning red.

Still waiting on the ones front and center to begin the process of turning red.

A Mystery

I don’t normally use the front door or sidewalk to get in and out of my house, so I usually don’t pay a lot of attention to the front landscaping bed. This area has mostly perennial plants, which allows it to maintain the same look year after year.

The Polar Vortex of this past winter was not kind to the ground cover in this bed. The low growing greenery did not survive. My husband dug out the old and dead (which included a mass of tangled roots) and planted new vinca ground cover. Slowly the vinca will fill in the space and we will be happy once again.

However, the other day I walked by and a small grayish rock caught my eye. Where did this come from? How did it get there? I found my husband and questioned him on his knowledge of this rock. He had noticed it too, but had no clue where it came from either.


We know it was not there when he replaced the ground cover earlier this spring. There are no rocks in this bed except for the large ornamental rock. Could this be a chip off of that rock?

This rock has been living in this bed for ten years. It's been all alone.

This rock has been living in this bed for ten years. It’s been all alone.

Did it somehow manage to break away from the big rock and roll down to this location? Did some animal carry it here and drop it? So many questions and no real answers.

See the little rock by the sidewalk? Where did it come from?

See the little rock by the sidewalk? Where did it come from?

I’m thinking this is a mystery that won’t be solved. I guess I will have to make up a story to explain this. Any ideas?


A shadow flits across the yard, catching my eye as I sit at my desk working, but also viewing the street. I’ve been waiting for these shadows to appear. They are the bluebirds who come to feast on the holly berries on the shrubs right outside my window.

A maple stands in the center of the yard. A river birch anchors a corner of the yard next to the house. Bare branches beckon the bluebirds to come, observe, and plot their attack on the bushes.

Horizontal blinds cover the double window. The slats interfere with my vision so I raise the blinds all the way to the top. Screens blur my view on the lower half of the window, but the top half is clear. My camera sits on the desk, waiting for the fluttering activity to begin.

Prior to raising the blinds, birds were flitting and flying back and forth. Quick motions difficult to capture through the blinds. Patiently I continue to work, looking up to see if I can spot the bluebirds. I work all afternoon. Not. One. Bird. Appears. Slowly I lower the blinds, as dusk begins to descend. No photo today.

I wonder if the birds saw something in my window that scared them away. Perhaps the window reflection was too bright. I just know I was sorely disappointed not to capture an image.

Days later, I was once again working at my desk. One bluebird sat in the river birch pondering the berries below. Stealthily, I crept to the window. Placed the camera in between the slats, zoomed the lens of my camera, snap, snap. I caught him, this time. I wish the colors were brighter, but I am happy to have this image. I will keep trying to get the next best shot.

bluebird 1

bluebird 2

How Did It Know?

How do branches know where to grow? This is the question that puzzled me one day as I observed a tree in my backyard.


It is a river birch tree set in the corner near the house. There are three trunks, two that grow straight and tall, but this one came close to the roof and as it grew it shifted. It continued to shift until it passed the corner of the roof, then it continued on its straight and narrow path. It never touched the house with the trunk. How did it know to be slightly out of reach of the roof? Why didn’t it grow and hit the roof?

This got me to looking as I walked along my usual road.

Why did this trunk all of a sudden bend to the right, there was not a single thing around it. Why did it do this?


Like a snake it slithered up from the trunk. It found its way around this object from man. It continued to wind and creep its way to the top of the pole. How did it know that it could grow all around and continue?



Branches reach out to hug some unseen presence while the trunk of its neighbor zigzags its way, creating a dance as it moves up.


A friend sent me a photo of a tree she walks by. She said this tree is navigating life as it twists and turns. How does it know when to twist?

raegan tree

A Sign #14


Are you thinking “What is this all about?” That’s exactly what I thought the first time I encountered this sign.

It is sitting on the guest registration desk of a motel where I stay at when I work with one school district. The first time I was startled by the message. Have you ever planned to clean fish in a motel room? I can honestly say I have never had even the slightest desire to clean a fish, let alone in a motel room.  What prompted this motel to plant this thought in the guest’s head?

Obviously I was unaware of the landscape in the surrounding area. When it was revealed to me that there was a lake nearby I started to grasp the meaning and purpose of this sign. So what you are telling me is that this is a lake that has fish in it. Apparently it is used by fishermen who do not live nearby. These fishing folk must find lodging because they fish for more than a single day.

Now I see the reason for this sign. Once the fish are caught, they must be cleaned. But do it elsewhere this motel says. The maid does not want to find fish guts in the trash tomorrow.

This leads me to question the fishermen. What do you do to keep the fish fresh? There are no refrigerators in the room. Are you draining the ice machine for your cooler? How long can you keep them that way? Doesn’t the room reek of fish? Why do you think I would want to breathe fish after you leave?

So thank you management for preventing this problem. I have never had a hint of fish in any of the rooms I have occupied. I hope this sign was a result of being proactive and not reactive.

Coloring Trees

Red has found the tip-top

It holds onto the leaves

Calling to its friends

“Come join us

As we slip down these limbs

Spreading our color as we go!”

Green jumps into the pool of red.

Leaves have a party painting the maple crimson.

Evolution of a Field

I don’t know what prompted me to take this picture, but I’m glad I did as a drama (not really sure if that’s the correct word here, but you can be the judge) took place over time.

This is the field at the end of my walk. As I approached it this spring day, I thought how pastoral this scene was. A quick snap of the picture with my phone preserved this as a moment I might use for a slice one day.

Several weeks later I was shocked to discover my pastoral scene had been plowed under.

Questions ran through my mind as I surveyed the new landscape. What happened to the cows? What does this farmer have in mind for this field now? Will he plant something? We left for a couple of weeks, but when we returned a few of my questions were answered.

So it is to be corn in the field. We leave again for a few weeks, but when I return to check on the field, it saddens me.

It was too early to have harvested the corn. I believe the drought took this farmer’s hopes of an income from him. I did find it interesting that the geese decided this was the perfect place to spend a night. There were many asleep in the field and a few were having an early breakfast, munching on fallen corn. I had never seen geese in this area before or since.

A few days ago I rode by on my bike, of course the phone was with me once again.

The stubby stalks have been replaced by the grass. I wonder is it only a matter of time until the cows return? What changes have occurred in a few short months! (Now you can decide, was it a drama? :-] )

Noticing is key to writing. In the past the evolution of this field would have received a passing glance from me. “Oh, something’s different,” I would muse to myself. But I wouldn’t know specifically what was different. Being a writer changes how I look at the world. What will I notice next?