Caution, random thoughts only

The late William Malinosky was one of my English teachers when I was at Fort Frances High School in the mid-1970s.
I had trouble getting going with an essay he’d assigned, and he told me to quit thinking so much and just start writing.
It worked, and even though my final mark left something to be desired, Mr. Malinosky’s advice went on to help me many times since.
By all and any definition, I have writer’s block. It feels as big as an elephant and as parched, bone-dry, and desiccated as the five mouse skeletons still clinging to old traps in the attic of my farmhouse.
Maybe the bug was passed on to me over the divider in a sneeze from Alex Cruickshank, the sports guy.
Or maybe it’s the deep freeze outside numbing my brain during the day and creeping across from the empty side of the bed to tallow my thoughts while Pete’s away at work.
One thing’s for sure. In my little corner, writer’s block will never be dissolved by watching a re-run of football on TV—on purpose. In fact, there’s more chance of an ice storm in July than in me watching sports, period (sorry, Alex, but I’m happy it worked for you).
On the other hand, Pete’s coming home tomorrow after a two-week stint and as usual, his vim will invigorate my creativity in more ways than one. While I may not be able to count on him to do dishes, he remains a fairly reliable story board.
For now, though, here’s some random thoughts I’ve jotted down from time to time just for dry spells like today:
•How many other moms and dads out there have proposed the following question?
“Do you think it ever occurs to teenagers that the day will come when they’ll know as little as their parents?”
The anonymous author of this passage must have been in the thick of living with a teenager such as mine, whose “all knowing” aura of late prompts me to ponder whence that day of reckoning will cometh.
•If there is one thing I know about myself, it’s that I can stomach the sight of just about anything—as long as it isn’t a thing that once resembled a small rodent and isn’t delivered to me from the mouth of a dog.
•If George R. Kirkpatrick was right when he said, “Nature gave a person two ends—one to sit on and one to think with,” and that “Ever since then, a person’s success or failure has been dependent on the one used most,” then why is it that even though I’ve accomplished much by always thinking, my behind always has succeeded in looking like I sit on it too much?
•Yes, you can fall up the stairs and break your toe doing it.
•While some of the pieces of charcoal along the bottom of the barbecue you’re preparing to cook on might still appear black and cold, they’re not.
(Trust me on this one. They are far too hot to pick up with your bare fingers).
•And to think that I was sure I would electrocute myself installing a “Smart Meter” box on the outside glass casing of my hydro meter (that’s why I’m in the literary field and will never make it as my husband’s apprentice).
•When I rattle on at the jaw about being unsatisfied with my looks today, may the “powers that be” remind me to take another peek at an old school photograph, where my bowl-shaped haircut, bushy unplucked eyebrows, and dark upper lip hair were the reasons why all the boys ran in the other direction.
Lastly, another Fort High English teacher of mine was Joyce Cunningham, who gave me heck once for starting a sentence with a conjunction. She told me never to use it that way again unless I was getting paid to do so.
I took that advice to heart and never forgot it—even after I was hired to write a book.
But that’s another story.

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