Simple Things

I admit to being “high maintenance” in many ways.  I MUST have my kitchen counters cleaned each night before I go to bed.  I must have my favorite coffee creamer.  I only wear MaryKay.  I have “my” scent at Bath and Bodyworks and I will NEVER run out of it.   I like a schedule-a predictable one.  I don’t do camping, for any reason, ever.  I don’t like to sweat. 

But there are so many simple, little things that give me pleasure.  Little things like:

Bazooka Bubble Gum

PaperMate Sharp Writer Pencils


Taking pictures

My kids laughing

The cat purring away in my arms

My red robe- fleece inside, quilted,  jersey knit outside

Sitting by the Lake, or ocean, or river, or stream- it’s the sound of the water




Brie- baked to a golden brown inside of crescent rolls or puff pastry

Dove Dark Chocolate Raspberry

A good glass of white merlot on occasion

Crunchy Cheetos

The smell of April Fresh Downy fabric softener

Silk pillow cases

A bubble bath

and, somewhere along the way, high maintenance melts into simplicity and the two melt together into Just Me.

Visit Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop ,where you can find inspiration for your own Simple Things.


Security Blankets and Chips

Have I ever mentioned that sometimes, life is just so much larger than me?  Sometimes, life gangs up on me and several days attack me at once, and I long for “home”.  And, for this kind of attack, I want the pier at North Avenue Beach; the pier where so much of my life has been sorted out and pondered and mulled over and settled. 

I need to just “be”,  and I need to just “be” at “home”.

Sometimes I just want to “go home”, in much the same way that a hurt child just wants his or her Mommy.  Most of the time Mommy can’t really repair the damage.  However, Mommies, in general, do possess an amazing ability to heal by their mere presence.  And, today, I need a little “presence”. 

Today, I need the calm and peace I have found on the pier; the peace of the waves gently slapping the pier or the gulls flapping in the air. 

I need the fishy smell of the Lake combined with the muddled scent of diesel from nearby Lake Shore Drive; the silence of the pier in contrast to the clamor of the city; the familiarity of Lincoln Park and the cool sand under my feet.  I want a little traffic to contend with in order to get my mind off of reality.  And, today, I’ll take it with one of those little individual bottles of wine, you know the cute ones in the four pack?  Heck, maybe today I want all four of them, but then I’d get a headache, and that’s no fun either.  So, I’d settle for two to sip through the confusion and the not knowing and the deciding.  Wow, so much to decide, so little to actually DO.  

I want to watch the sun go down over the city, and just “be”. 

But today I find myself on Rocky Top with no wine, no Lake, and certainly no pier!  Like a child, I just “wanna go home!”  Sigh.  What to do?  I gather my thoughts, like tattered bits of tarp that rode out the storm, and scrape myself into my favorite chair, with my favorite journal and my favorite chips.

Chips?  made with genuine Open Pit BBQ Sauce

Yes, chips.  And a beer too!  Shhhh!  Don’t tell.  I drink beer so infrequently that one is all I can ever drink, unless I want to feel loopy, which I don’t.  As I crunch through most of a bag of Jay’s (purchased on my last trip home) I am slowly lulled into some sense of peace.  There’s a security blanket kind of warmth and comfort in even this piece of “home”. 

I bask in it, and crunch away.

It’s The Little Things

Some days are just a bit much and I feel as though I am one of those drink boxes that has been sucked dry.  Not merely emptied, but vacuum packed, totally compressed, nothing left to give, used up.  Dry.  Exhausted.  Done.  Spent.

Sometimes, when life threatens to overtake what remaining sanity I have left, I focus on the little things.  Those microcosms of life that remain, for the most part, unchanged.  The little things that offer some portion of comfort or security, that tie me to past memories of happier, or at least less stressful times.  Some say they are my adult version of a security blanket.  I say, they are Just Me.  So, what are the Little Things?

Last night, it was my PaperMate Sharpwriter Pencil. 

Not the new “clicky” ones with the same size lead ( I know they SAY it’s the same, but it is NOT– it doesn’t sliiiiiiiiide across my paper in the correct, smooth, non-squeaky manner), And those “nouveau” colorful barrels and deceivingly narrower grip??  Really?  No thanks.  It might be more “aesthetically pleasing and popular”, but it just doesn’t “feel” right in my hand.

The Perfect Writing Instrument

No, I mean the “old school”, yellow (think #2 pencil), twist-the-end-to-advance-the-lead so you get JUST the right amount kind.  Oh, and the pink eraser on the end!  Don’t forget the pink on top!

I have no idea what it is about these pencils.  I first discovered them in high school in a creative writing class.  I have had a serious addiction ever since.  They come in packs of 3, 6 and 12.  I, of course, always buy the 12 pack!  I mean, you need one, or three, in your purse, desk, car, brief case, kitchen, bed side table, piano bench, computer desk, and , well, you get the picture.  These are not refillable which some would see as a negative quality.  I say this is a bonus!  Why?  Well, since I am Just Me, I tend to lose, misplace, relocate things all the time.  So, it would not be in my best interest to own a “nice” pencil since that would only add to my stress level when it was “relocated” without a forwarding address.  If it turns up missing, I’m out, roughly 77 cents, a loss I can reluctantly live with. 

Pencils provide flexibility.  When I write with a pencil, I am free to explore and change my mind, revise my thoughts.  It’s a fluid process.  I can grow there.

But, boy, put something in ink- wow!  You’re committed baby!  Don’t get me wrong-there are places for ink.  I’m not completely against the idea, but being able to change, there’s comfort there.   It doesn’t seem so blastedly FINAL.

So, there I was,  all relaxed, with my faithful, trusty pencil and my journal, but that’s a “Little Thing” for another day.