Five Minute Friday: Season

This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Season. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:

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I’m an Ohioan. All my life I’ve resided within a thirty mile radius of metropolis Ohio, but enough on the outskirts to enjoy small town Ohio life. One reason I’ve chosen to keep my feet firmly planted in Ohio soil is my love for the variation of seasons. (Family is the first reason why I’ve stayed close to home weather in no way trumps family.)

Every few months in Ohio we experience the miracle of the changing seasons. And, if we’re extra lucky sometimes we experience all four seasons in a week. Okay, that was sarcastic.

But I truly have grown to love the way the ice melts and brings forth flowers, the way that the trees shed their leaves as the morning frosts make an appearance, and the way it cannot be winter in Ohio without a few snow storms and the cancellation of school as a result. The different seasons are all beautiful in their own unique way promising something that the others cannot.

Today, I look at the calendar and see that it is December fifth and  that we have yet to experience a flurry or any evidence that winter is on its way. Over the past week temperatures have been all over the place: Low 40’s with frigid wind; high 50’s with sunshine. Ohio weather is bipolar if nothing else.

Despite the unpredictable conditions Ohio still promises an impending winter. I am looking forward to the first snowfall, but I would be fine with a winter much milder than those of the past few years.

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Joy

This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Joy. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:

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Amidst the chaos that has been my life lately joy has found a place in the form of one of my favorite events of the year. Being a native of Circleville, Ohio, it is a known fact that the third week of October is nearly a religious holiday. Folks travel back home from wherever life may have led them. The Circleville Pumpkin Show is the Greatest Free Show on Earth and one of the largest social gatherings one can be a part of.

The streets are shutdown as vendors make their way to the center of town. Spectators line the paved streets as the parades march through to the familiar tunes of hometown bands. The smell of deep fried batter and pumpkin spices fill the crisp fall air. Everything about this week is reminiscent of my childhood and after the past couple of weeks this has been a welcomed scene.

Another joy in my life this week has been the company of my mother-in-law. It’s been a great time having her visit during the Pumpkin Show. I really enjoy seeing her initial reactions to everything Pumpkin.

This week joy has come in the form of pumpkins, cider, coffee, and family time.

Where have you found joy this week?

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Escape to a Local Coffee Shop

Since I began my writing journey over ten months ago I’ve developed some habits and discovered some favorite locations for writing. After a couple of months it became obvious that if I was going to work on an extended project (like the novel I am currently working on) then it would be imperative to find a location outside of the home where I could escape on a regular basis. I was in need of a writing venue where I wasn’t distracted by dirty floors or piles of clothes that needed to be washed. Naturally, my need for a writing hub led me to my favorite locally owned coffee shop, Scioto Valley Coffee.

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Scioto Valley Coffee is a small-town coffee shop nestled on the outskirts of my hometown between a traffic light and railroad tracks. The view from the front window is rather scenic and has been helpful in the formation of some ideas in my novel. For the past couple of months I’ve spent my Saturday mornings in the shop typing away while sipping a Scioto Valley Mocha. Something about the mocha is fuel for my writing. I can walk in with absolutely no clue what to write that day and leave after two hours having drafted over fifteen pages.

The atmosphere lends itself well to creativity. One thing that is important when seeking out a regular writing location is the ability that you have as a writer to truly focus on the job at hand: writing. If the music is too loud or the decorations too in-your-face it becomes easy to lose momentum and waste time daydreaming or focusing elsewhere. Scioto Valley is not a distracted environment. During my many trips to the coffee shop I’ve had pleasant encounters with the baristas and been able to quickly get into my writing once I’ve found a seat. The tables and chairs are comfortable and conducive to writing. My table of choice is a high-top in front of the large front window. The location and luxury of the seats may seem trivial, but if you are going to spend extended time working anywhere you want to know that the furniture is not going to be detrimental to the task.

One more thing that stands out to me about Scioto Valley is the staff. Each time I’ve gone in to Scioto Valley the staff has been kind and even some of them have learned my order due to my predictability. They kindly bring me an ice water after I’ve finished my mocha. Otherwise, I’m left alone to get to work and that’s something I appreciate. It’s difficult to write in a proper restaurant because the waitresses quite often break the train of thought to check in on me. Also, in a restaurant the waitresses also like to see quick turnover of tables in order to make tips. At Scioto Valley I have never gotten the impression that my lingering presence has been a nuisance to the staff and I appreciate that.

So whether or not you write in Circleville, Ohio, like I do it is important to find a place you can go to outside of the home to write. It’s okay to write occasionally at home, but there are times where a trip to write away from home is necessary. Changing the scenery is a great motivation during writer’s block and can be inspirational for details in your writing.

If you are ever in the area I recommend Scioto Valley Coffee, and of course the Scioto Valley Mocha.

Snow, Snuggles, and Lessons

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As a lifetime resident of central Ohio I have grown up accustomed to the delightful gift of SNOW DAYS that occur a few times every winter. You will never hear this teacher complain about an un-scheduled day at home. However, one thing I have not come to expect due to my experience is the SNOW WEEK. Never in my recollection have I missed a total of five consecutive days of school due to weather. Tomorrow may be a first in the records for many central Ohio residents. And like I said…you won’t hear me complaining.

Monday was technically President’s Day and school was not scheduled, but by mid-morning on Monday the fluffy flakes began to fall on our small town and I was trapped indoors all day. The snow did not let up on Tuesday or Wednesday landing nearly a foot of snow in total over those three days. Today the extremely low temperatures and wind chill landed nearly all of central/south central Ohio on a school cancellation. And the future looks bleak, my friends. According to some forecasts tomorrow looks to be just as bad as today if not worse. This really may be a 0 day work week.

On the bright side I have had an extremely productive week on the home front. I conquered several tasks on my to-do list and cooked healthy homemade meals every night all while tending to my precious two year-old flu victim.

As my sick toddler sleeps away her bug I can’t help reflecting on the positivity that this week has brought me. Before she was infected with the flu I made many fun memories with my Princess that may not have happened had I been working this week. She has a knack for cooking and art so we spent many of our house-ridden days baking cupcakes (in our “bakery” as she calls the kitchen). One afternoon as I sat grading some projects she sat beside me insisting that she do her “school work” which was her drawing shapes and letters in her own notebook. After bath time when she was beginning to show signs of illness we set her bedroom up like a store and she “bought” the outfit she wanted to wear using some play money and placed them in a shopping cart before putting them on. It’s times like these where I can’t help, but stop whatever I am doing and soak up as much as I can from those adorable moments.

This week has truly been about spending time with my favorite little person. In my first post I mentioned that I learn more from my daughter than I could hope to teach her and that is exactly true. She has taught me to prioritize and love in a totally new way that is unlike marriage love. Life’s little lessons have been sent through such a smart and angelic child and I feel completely blessed to be her mother.

All of these good moments and fun times have culminated today. I’ve done all I can to help her feel comfortable and better as she battles a fight with the flu. From rubbing her back as she vomits to letting her lay on me for hours on end I have done my best to help her get over this nasty sickness. As much as I hate watching her feel so miserable I’ve truly loved the snuggle time I have gotten with my baby today. She is usually a very active girl, but it is nice to have a day to slow down and cuddle. (And maybe not leave the living room couch) 🙂

As the fever is coming down and the energy is re-entering her small body I am so grateful for so many things. I am thankful for her health, her BIG heart, and life’s little lessons. It’s so easy to get caught up in my own life and all of the many things I do, but I’m learning to stop…slow down…and make more MEMORIES.