When I was first attending college, I couldn’t decide which I wanted to be: a social worker or an interior designer. Yes, there is a vast difference between the two professions.
I was always interested in interior design because I loved decorating. I’m not sure where I got that interest from because growing up there were no decorated rooms in our home.
At one point when I was a teen I had a social worker. I recall being very impressed with the pretty dark haired young woman who came to visit me. She seemed so caring and competent.
She made quite an impression on me.
Then, a few years in, I went back to what I had been interested in all my life really. I applied to journalism school. I don’t know why I didn’t hone in on that profession from the beginning.
I’d been writing stories since I was in grade school. My stories back then were fun and silly and made the other children laugh.
I was one of those kids that stood out from the bunch. I didn’t really fit in. I didn’t have whatever it was those other children had that attracted other children to them. I couldn’t seem to run across the playground with abandon, screaming and doing what kids do.
I was a quiet child. I observed. And I made up stories to amuse myself.
In college I knew I didn’t want to be a newspaper reporter, or an anchor on the TV news. I didn’t want to report what happened everyday. I wanted to choose a subject, hone in on it and write articles that told a story.
I soon learned that these were called feature articles.
I dug around in the closet this morning until I found the duffel bag with my printed articles inside. I was looking for one of the first feature articles I ever wrote.
Now realize that in those days, you didn’t identify yourself as a participant in the story. That was just what we were taught. I didn’t adhere to that long because I was often in the story myself, and that made it awkward to write about myself.
Here is the article, which I’ve copied. It is one of my shorter features.
Doc Celebrates 75th Birthday
He was sitting on a bucket he used for a tackle box at the side of the road. In one hand he held a fishing rod. His other hand, the thumb extended, was pointing toward the lake. He was waiting for a ride.
A car pulled off the road and stopped. He loaded his equipment and got in.
“They call me Doc,” he said.
Headed toward Lake Thunderbird, his fishing equipment rattling in the back seat, Doc talked of the past.
“Today’s my 75th birthday,” he said, running a trembly hand over his leathery face.
Doc talked of his wife, who died two years ago. He also spoke of his son, who entered the hospital today for heart surgery.
He talked of being a baker for 50 years. He told me what it’s like now, after he has retired, to have so much time on his hands.
Just short of a bridge crossing the lake, the car stopped and Doc got out. His traditional fishing spot is there on the bridge above the water. Doc and the driver said goodbye. He limped onto the bridge. He’d had several strokes, and it was hard for him to get around.
That afternoon the driver, birthday cake in hand, arrived at Doc’s house, an old house with a couch on the porch. Doc didn’t know anyone would be spending his birthday with him. He had cooked himself a coconut pie.
After the candles had been blown out, Doc began to talk of the past again. He told of being a heavyweight boxer. He was known as “Little Doc” then.
But now, he’s 75 and spends his time fishing, talking to the two small birds he keeps in a cage in his bedroom. And remembering.
“I don’t have any time but leisure time – so I fish,” Doc said.
So he hitches out to the lake on nice days, to do just that. And though he didn’t catch anything Wednesday, it was okay. It was still a lucky day, for Doc and his new friend.
A photographer came out and took Doc’s photo. I don’t think I ever saw Doc again. But sometimes I think about him. I know he’s long dead by now. Maybe his son as well.
So from that day forward, feature articles were what I wrote.
Sometimes you know what you want to be “when you grow up.” Sometimes you struggle finding your place. And sometimes you stumble right into where you need to be.
I went through all of those phases.
Today I’m still writing. I never could have imagined back then, before the advent of computers that didn’t take up most of the space on a desk, that there would be something called blogging.
But that’s where I landed in this later phase of my life. As the saying goes – bloom where you are planted. I’m quite happy with my little plot in the garden of life.
A few pet pics for you…
Here is Miss Ivy on the couch on one of the pet beds with her beloved red and white curtain tie-back.
Charlie loves nothing better than a soft blanket or throw to snuggle up in. Or to get underneath.
I have no idea why Ivy likes to sleep on her back with her back feet against the couch, but that’s how she often sleeps. She’s a silly little thing.
I forgot, THE ONE TIME I FORGOT, to put the toilet lid down, Ivy went to town. I entered the bathroom to find water all over the floor. Ivy had been scooping it out.
I thought cats kind of did their own thing. But when I finish washing the supper dishes and start back to the bedroom to prepare for my shower, both Ivy and Charlie are right behind me.
They know I will shower and then settle into bed to read.
Charlie slowly walks up the pet steps at the foot of my bed. He’s not a pup anymore and can’t race up them as he once did.
Ivy runs up the steps across the bed to her favorite bedroom spot. Which is the stack of quilts on the left side of my bed.
Wherever I go, these two aren’t far behind.
Nature photos from Woodward Park, Tulsa, Oklahoma.