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Beth Caldwell - The View From Here

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Does this make me look short?

Most of the time I would be ever so grateful to be one or two inches taller.

For a short time when I was 10 years old, I towered above everyone else in my class at Sixth Street School. Alas, then my growth hormones decided they had better things to do.

In my pre-teens, I stood on my tippy toes and stretched in front of my dresser mirror, hoping my shell would crack.

It was a scene to remember

There is that frozen moment in time between this second and the next when all possible scenarios play out as a movie in which I’m in a long, long hallway and being sucked toward an inevitable fate. . . .

I was on a reconnaissance mission of sorts in my garage, digging for hibernated winter coats and boots that were gaining fast appeal on cold, crisp November mornings.

Alas, I found more than I bargained for.

This and that and fat

I’m back in “Boot Camp,” where most of the food is green, protein is lean, and exercise takes a sweaty, heart-pumping front seat to an evening of good TV and a glass of wine (or two).

Leave it to me to procrastinate until just four weeks before Christmas before putting my big girl panties on. Correction. It is because I cannot get my big girl panties on without lying down on the bed and writhing akin to a spoiled child that I’m up for change.

There’s no turning back until I can see my toes again.

Life in the animal kingdom

Life is busy and there isn’t much downtime.

I used to think the busiest chunk of my life was when my kids were “littles,” but even then I found time to read a novel while they all played together at the park.

Now I can’t remember the last time I picked up a book unless it was to dust under it. There’s just no time.

Still learning about life

I just turned 56 years old. Where has the time gone? Where have I been all my life?

How did I get here?

Just like the song “7 Years” by Lucas Graham, I turned around and I was 10, chasing after crayfish shells along the creek and reading fairy tales that I believed in.

I turned around again and I was 21, and married. Married at 21?! Wow. I turned around and I was 30, with three little children, then 34 and a single parent.

Hello Me, I’m back

I’ve been away.

I’d love to say it was because I was in the places of my heart—hiking the Pacific Coast trail or the magnificent mountain territory of Wyoming, or along a highway under the clear blue skies of Iceland.

Nope. Alas, those destinations remain in my shoebox full of goals called a “bucket list.”

I’ve been away from the page because I was very unhappy—and I don’t write well at all when I am unhappy.

A part of my life had become unmanageable, like really bad hair. I left it uncombed too long, and it got matted and mouse-nested.

Chocolate happens to be the root of all good things

I’m sitting here at my writing desk looking for inspiration in the tiny ball chocolates wrapped in tinfoil that were left over from the annual Easter egg hunt held here almost a month ago.

Perhaps I should clarify and ’fess up. The chocolates weren’t exactly “leftovers.” I stashed a few (okay, maybe more) handfuls of them in the cupboard just for me—and up high enough that one had to stand on a chair to reach them.

Spring always ‘hatches’ memories of yesterday

You never really know how much poop a dog puts out until the snow melts.

And when it comes time to clean up, not even my vigorous, dive-into-anything grandchildren want to make that extra five bucks cleaning up dog poop.

It seems they’d rather have a week’s worth of extra household chores added to their list (without remuneration), or be made to eat a plate of vegetables they detest, than to spend time with a shovel and plastic bag scooping up the wet, soggy, smelly droppings of the canine.

Go figure.

I said ‘yes’ to beginning again

I’d love to say that I’ve been in a warm southern destination for the last four weeks—soaking up the sun while handsome tanned men with six packs fed me fresh cooked seafood and glasses of ice tea.

Alas, ’tis not the case.

I’ve been right here in my neck of the woods slugging along like the rest of the “northerners,” wearing my best “Spring is here!” smile in between snowfalls.

I suppose I’ve been practising what my elders used to tell us when we were young: “If you don’t have some thing good to say, don’t say anything at all.”

The weather of simply living

I’ve been on a learning curve the last two weeks; mouth mostly closed, ears open, and listening to the stories of others—and through theirs was reminded of my own.

I learned about literary boundaries, and I continue spinning a web of words in my head that will find its way out the end of my fingers and onto the page.

I don’t have cable or satellite television. I stopped that madness, as it pertained to my life at the time, in the spring of 2012.