Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My walk this morning was cold with crunchy frost on the path, I hurried. On my way back in the house, I closed the garage door and locked it from the inside before I took a minute to walk across the almost empty space. I lifted the corner of the old bedspread for a quick look at my secret The thrill surged through me again. The shiny bicycle is there...waiting.
For the most part, I'm not a big fan of things mechanical With a sense of resentment, I use the technology to make my life easier but I walk away from the more complicated. I prefer my manual can opener to an electric, but I depend on the microwave, computer and car.
The bicycle is different. My first gave me freedom, almost freedom to fly as I explored the city, the orange groves, the near desert on the outskirts and the parks where I honed and tested my riding skills.
My new Sun Cruiser is almost the same bike-built a lifetime later. It has fat tires, wide handlebars, three speeds and brakes that work when you push the pedal backward. Even the bell is the standard ringer that sounds ting-a-ling when you press the handle. This bike spends more time parked under cover than the first.
Commitments I've taken on as an adult keep us both more grounded. I'm not as brave either. It takes more effort to get on the bike now, more space to make a turn and I'm sure I'd break easier if I happened to fall. Those thoughts aren't enough to squelch my interest in an adventure nor the desire to fly again but they do limit the places and time I bring the beautiful cruiser out for a spin. Spring is on the way.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

In keeping with beginning a new year, I've taken down the trappings of Christmas and packed it all away, or tried to. The memories aren't packed and there will be a few unnoticed shiny reminders that show up unexpectedly over the next few weeks to bring back flashes of good times.
Christmas week, we drove north on the old Hwy 99 from Eugene to to Corvallis for an afternoon concert and to deliver grandchildren gifts. We've made the winter trip often and have occasionally seen the wild swans visiting from the north settled in the fields. never as many or as near to the road as on this trip. South of Junction City, I was thrilled to be able to see the large flock close enough to watch as they moved around. I could even see some were muddy. Impressive, beautiful birds and a very special sighting for me.
That drive north, the middle school performance, a visit with excited young people, and the drive back, after dark, through a countryside brought to life by the lighted farmhouses scattered along the road, was the real beginning of our season. We added cheerful family gatherings, time and greetings from good friends, lots of music and immense love. A wonderful way to end a year and take the beginning steps into a new one.
Now my web page has been updated with a new essay and a partial listing of upcoming events. A couple are readings of What Next, Ms. Elliott? Another pair are workshops, Wade into Writing, greared toward beginning writers of any age. That's a new project I'd like to go farther with. I've written new columns for the Creswell Chronicle, easy to read from the link on my web page, the newspaper itself or on the Chronicle web site. Between the other writing projects and normal family life, I've been working on the next novel, Marge, Back on Track and find myself almost satisfied.
Now I'm beginning to think toward other goals. Inspiration is high on my list and not terribly difficult to search out. Next weekend, I'll be attending the Writers By the Sea workshop in Yachats where I'm hoping John Reed, novelist and instructor, will help me turn the inspiration into improved story telling skills. Possibly a new direction.
One of my important goals is to keep in touch with readers during the long spell between book publications. This blog is an experiment to see if it is on interest and if it is something I can keep up. Jo- Brew www.Jo-Brew.com