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.

A waterfall at Woodward Park

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.

PPhotos from Woodward Park

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…

Ivy on the couch

Here is Miss Ivy on the couch on one of the pet beds with her beloved red and white curtain tie-back.

Charlie snuggled up on the couch with a blanket

Charlie loves nothing better than a soft blanket or throw to snuggle up in. Or to get underneath.

Ivy on the couch

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.

Charlie in living room

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 on the stack of quilts

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.

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22 Comments

  1. I very much enjoyed reading your story from college, and I LOVE to hear the JOY in your home today. It brings joy to me also, to hear of the happiness, that your “fur kids” bring to your life. There really is a silver lining on a grey cloud…and your lining has now turned to gold…Charlie and Ivy are a gift that is even more than priceless. They are two small miracles….sent from above…… my thoughts anyway…..Have a wonderful weekend, hugs from WI

  2. My dog sleeps on his back. I have heard that is a sign of an animal that is loveable. They feel safe with you.

  3. I used to eat lunch at a nearby park, and one day a skinny cat was there begging for food. I thought about that sweet cat all afternoon long at my desk and decided he was coming home with me that day, if I could find him. I did, and it was the beginning of a lovely relationship that lasted 12 years until he passed. His name was Little Bear because he was so HUGE that he looked like a small bear. He liked being in the same room as us. I read somewhere that’s how cats show affection – they aren’t always cuddly, but if they hang out with you in the same room, that’s love! Your description of your two fur babies trotting off to the back of the apartment after dinner is especially sweet.

  4. I loved your article, Brenda. We have seven animals, all rescues, six cats and one dog and wherever I go there are six cats and a dog following me, there’s not much room on the bed when it’s time to sleep but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  5. Your post today reminded me of all of my written stories. I took a memoir writing class and I now have 2 large binders full of my memories in story form. I like to read thru them now and then when I get nostalgic. I wrote one about the house I grew up in and the various holidays spent there. My mother loved to decorate for Christmas and even built a life size Santa and sleigh with 2 reindeer for on the flat roof of our front porch. She then built 2 tall candles, one for each side of the wide porch steps. She used stove pipe painted black on blocks of wood and my dad wired it for electricity to the light bulb on the top. I have an in color picture attached to the story. One of my stories was chosen for publication in “A Living History of Northwestern Pennsylvania, Silo-Filling Feasts and Sunday Chicken.”

    You are such an interesting person. I would like to meet you personally and talk with you.

  6. Brenda , I loved the story about Doc and didn’t want it to end. It was really good. I love your website and can’t wait to read it everyday. Thank you for being you.
    Linda G.

  7. Brenda,

    I think you incorporate all three. You reach so many with your words and help others I’m sure even if you do not realize it, I know by decorating and sharing your apartment you have inspired others, and you still do feature stories!

    Every time I hear stories of Ivy and Charlie, it makes me happy for you.

    Susan

  8. The pictures from the park are so pretty, I hope you will share more in the coming days.
    I have a dog who braces her feet against the back of the sofa just like Ivy; I sent you a photo of that once! I can’t figure out why she does that either.
    Charlie sure looks all cozy in his “blankie.” My pupsters will no doubt be snuggling into theirs soon as the weather gets colder here.

      1. I’m with Karen. I loved every single part of it! and the pictures… are icing on the cake. and the story of Doc. beautiful and touching. you made us CARE about him in just a few words.

  9. What a pretty park and it even has a waterfall! That’s a great story of Doc too! I love the picture of Charlie all snuggled in that soft blanket! Ivy sure likes to be up high on all those beautiful quilts of yours!
    Have a great day Brenda with your pet babies!

  10. I think you’ll find that, eventually, Ivy will abruptly abandon her curtain tie and attach herself to another oddball goodie!

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