Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Thursday Thirteen

One of my favorite Rogers and Hammerstein songs comes from the musical The Sound of Music -  "Thee Are A Few of my Favorite Things".  For this week's Thursday Thirteen, in no particular order, I'll list thirteen of my favorite things.

1. Dawn.  I love to watch the sun come up, the golden rays highlighting the clouds with beautiful color.  I've been watching dawn rise since I was about seven when my grandfather, Pop, told me it was the prettiest time of day.  I hadn't ever watched the sun come up until then but once I did, I was hooked.  My desk faces out a window and most days I'm up before the sun so I can watch the first light creep into the sky.

2. Sunset.  I love watching the sun slide down into the western horizon just as much as I like to see it rise in the morning.  My Granny and Pop's porch faced west so many a fine evening we sat out on the glider to watch the sunset.  I see so many beautiful sunsets and some of the most spectacular last just a few moments.  I saw one tonight that was amazing, all pink and golden, but it faded fast.

3. Eating at traditional, non-chain restaurants.  I grew up hanging out in some family owned restaurants, first my Aunt Mackie's and later the one that my Aunt Janet and Uncle Bill ran.  My first job when I was sixteen was at a local restaurant that is long gone.   There's just something about a family owned place that says "home" to me.  Walk in and smell the coffee brewing, order something old-fashioned and comforting from the menu and go there often enought that they know your name.  My favorite now is Green Forest Family Restaurant in Neosho.

4. Cooking.  I'm the first to admit that there are many suppers that are slap dash and put together quick to feed the family but when I have the time, I love being in the kitchen.   I like cooking from scratch.  On Tuesday night, as a self-dubbed household diva goddess, I made meatloaf, mashed potatoes that began with real potatoes and baked a crumb cake.  I love doing that.   I'm happy when I'm cooking old school all the way and if I wasn't a writer, I would probably be blissfully happy cooking in my own traditional restaurant (see #3 above).

5. I like being alone.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my husband, my kids, my family.  My friends are important to me too.   But I learned early in life to be comfortable within my own skin and so I like solitary moments.  I do my best writing work when I'm alone.  During these summer months that often means I get up early or write late at night when the house is quiet and the others are asleep. 

6. I enjoy long, soaking baths in warm water with something delightful (lavender, rose, heather, or cocanut) scenting the water.  It relaxes every muscle I own and I enjoy it.   When I was a brand new mom, I treated myself to at least one a week and that helped me stay sane.   It's like a poor man's hot tub (and someday I wouldn't mind owning the real deal of that either).

7. I like driving fast when I'm alone with the music cranked up.   Okay, I have a lead foot and if I believe my dad, it's a family thing.   When I have my kids in the car, I am a very cautious driver but alone, I'm a speed demon.  I once drove from Neosho to Monett, about thirty miles or so, in less than fifteen minutes.   In my younger days I could make it to Branson in about an hour.  I loved my boyfriends who love speed (and they know who they are) and their hot rods.  

8.  I like outdoor places much more than I like malls and shopping centers.  Forget JC Penney's - give me a beautiful waterfall trickling down a steep cliff or a stroll through the autumn woods.   I'd rather sit out on my deck and enjoy the fresh air than go shopping.

9.  I like writing.  To me, writing stories and novels is like reading intensified to the ultimate.  I still love to read although my time is far more crunched than it once was but writing is not just my occupation, it's something I enjoy doing. 

10.  I like down time, something I don't get much of these days.  I like to just settle into my corner of the couch, tune in a favorite program or watch a movie and just unwind.

11.  I like hunting although I seldom get the chance to go.   I like walking through the autumn or winter woods and I like to shoot.  I'm good at it too, thanks to my dad who taught me to shoot even though I was a girl at a very early age.

12.  I like cemeteries.  They are peaceful places and the dead don't bother me at all.   Even with my fey ways, I'm not scared to walk through the neat rows and I've done so at just about every hour of the day or night.

13.  I like music, all kinds of music.  My tastes run from classic rock and roll to Glenn Miller to country twang and to folk music.  When I say folk music, I'm not talking Peter, Paul and Mary (although I like them too), I'm talking old style stuff, recorded in the field by Alan Lomax.  I also love Irish folk music - Tommy Makem, Mary O'Hara, Clancy Brothers.

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