One Ordinary December Day:
December 13, 2018
By Lynda McKinney Lambert
Author of Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems
This post is the ACTUAL STORY of ONE DAY in the LIFE of Pennsylvania Author, Lynda McKinney Lambert
“I did not choose a particular day for any reason. Patty Fletcher, owner of Campbell’s World challenged her writing clients on “Tell the World” what a writing life is really like. What does ONE DAY LOOK LIKE?
I ACCEPTED Patty Fletcher’s CHALLENGE. After she issued the challenge, I chose the NEXT DAY as the one I would write about.
I kept a DETAILED JOURNAL throughout the entire day of December 13, 2018. Here is MY STORY of ONE DAY.
Part 1: Morning
In a flash, I woke up at 4:30 am from my comfortable winter’s slumber.
With the temperature outside is a frisky-feeling thirty-four degrees; my body feels so good under the blankets.
Instantly, last night’s activities flashed through my thoughts. Around midnight. I turned the radio volume down to a softer level for the night. Yes, I believed it might help if I have music playing all night long. Heinrich might sleep longer if he hears the music instead of silence. Besides, I get up a couple of times in the night, so he might not hear me. I don’t want to wake him. Maybe I can get at least 2 hours of sleep before all of the work begins for the day and I am still weary from yesterday.
Despite my drowsy thoughts, I threw back the blanket, simultaneously, reached up to remove the C-Pap mask from my face. Yes, it is morning. Already. Again. This is day 4 of the new adventure.
I walked to the bathroom and looked at the clock. I can barely believe it is 4:30 am. This is terrific. He slept for four hours last night! That is progress. At that moment, my husband, Bob, woke up to see what I was doing.
I told him,
Heinrich is awake, I have to go downstairs now. Can you believe he slept for four hours last night!”
In a few minutes I took Heinrich outside in the dark. The ground has frozen again and my footsteps crunch and squeak beneath the soles of my leather duck shoes. Heinrich doesn’t like to be out when it is so cold. He sits down and looks up at me. We both change direction and amble back to the house. He walks ahead of me, arrives at the door and we step back into the warm kitchen.
After a quick check, I realize he had wet the bath towels at the bottom of his kennel. I hand the soiled towels to Bob who takes them to the basement to wash them.
“Is this too much for us to handle? I mean, do you think we should take him back to the breeder? Maybe this is going to be too much for us. What are you thinking about all of this? I mean, we are in our 70s and he is going to be a lot of work for us.”
My husband responds:
“Absolutely not! I’d never even consider taking him back. He is our child now and I’d never do such a thing to him. Do you think I’d ever give away one of our children?” I let out my breath. That is what I needed to hear. After all, most people our age would never think of buying a puppy! But we are different.
After Bob put the wet towels in the washer, he took our other dogs, 9-year-old Mitchell and 14-year-old Miss Dixie tulip outside for the first airing of this day. It is now 5:30 am. Not yet daylight,
I notice how 2-month-old Heinrich now plays vigorously with his toys. Everything is subject to shredding. Toilet paper and paper towel tubes, and empty cookie boxes are of particular interest and enjoyment. He shreds them in a few moments. After some time of the shredding game, he is tired and has to lie down for a break.
We decide to go back to bed for a little while. Heinrich settled down. He had a walk, play time, and breakfast of Puppy Chow and some Greek Yogurt. Just today, his ears came up. He is a German Shepherd and this is a special day – the day of the ears coming up. His ears are no longer in the flying nun position – now they are mature and erect.
Bob and I go back to bed for a couple of hours and we will begin anew in a couple of hours. “Ill be Home for Christmas, If Only in my dreams.” The radio station reminds me. I am speechless and tired.
Like all good German Shepherd puppies, Heinrich sounds the alarm again.
1. Remove my C-Pap mask.
2. Grab My bathrobe and slip into my house slippers.
3. Go downstairs.
4. Remove Heinrich from his kennel. He is so happy to see me again. It’s like we have been apart for days, he is so happy.
5. Put Heinrich’s new Christmas Red harness and leash on him
6. Put on my duck shoes and head for the door and the great outdoors. Again.
Our ritual has developed over the past 3 days and he has it memorized. I noticed yesterday that he does his business and then turns towards the house. His job completed, he is ready for romping and playing for the next hour or two before he collapses and succumbs to sleep again.
8:00 am. The 2 tablets of Migraine medicine I took an hour ago are doing a good job. The pain has subsided significantly and I go to my computer to begin work on a new essay. I promised Campbell’s world Blog I would have 2 articles ready this week.
One article will focus on a quote I saw on the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
“Live like someone left the gate open.”
I begin to troll around in the on-line store (HERE)
Grass-Green socks with cows! Yes!!!
A close look revealed that the quote is printed amid the many frolicking cow images on the grass green socks. I think I need to order these socks today. I’ll also order another pair of the duck shoes so Bob and I can quit sharing our single pair. It gets annoying to be constantly passing the one pair we have back and forth when we go outside. I get frustrated when they are not in sight and I have to search for them in order to take out the dogs. I blame Bob for misplacing the shoes. Regardless. I’ve never liked to share my possessions and my siblings would say, “Amen” to that.
I probably need to write an article about Senior Citizens Adopting Puppies. Well, that can be another day. Today I am writing about the “Open Gate” concept of creative expression.
The next article will focus on…what?
I am not sure. I know that the theme will come to me as I keep on writing. I’ll stay focused on being open to a new idea and I am expecting it to come to me. Intuition is an inner knowing that we all have. I’d like to say I’ve learned to trust and listen to that inner voice that guides, surprises, warns, and urges me. The inner guide is subtle and works in silence most of the time. I have to slow down, or stop completely, and wait on intuition. I have to remember to be intentional about seeking this quiet-speaking friend who loves me.
8:30 Bob comes to rescue Heinrich from his kennel while I am taking care of doling out biscuits, treats, food, and water for Mitchell and Miss Dixie Tulip. I pause to take Bob outside and show him where Heinrich likes to go for business. Shortly, Bob and Heinrich return to the house together. “He has a mind of his own, “Bob says. I notice that Heinrich has taken the lead position. He arrived at the door before Bob was there to turn the door knob.
Heinrich is now the pack leader, I surmise.
I focus and begin working in my office. It’s Thursday, December 13th, 2018 according to my computer screen.
I have a feeling this is going to be a day of many words on the paper. I just checked the Old Farmer’s Almanac on-line and read the phrase,
Finally, it is 9:00 am and the dogs are settled in. Heinrich is in his crate -falling asleep. Mitchel and Miss Dixie Tulip – in my office in their beds.
Bob is off to feed his feral cats who come to our home for shelter and food throughout the year. He pops into my office to say, “The little black and silver cat is out here.”
I do a last-minute check on the day’s new e-mails. I hope it is better than yesterday when I received 3 rejections from 3 publications, I submitted my manuscript to for my next book. I pause for a moment, and remember my core philosophy for writing and for life in general.
Every “no” I receive brings me one step closer to the next “yes.”
I whisper a prayer of thanks for the 3 rejection notices yesterday.
I say “Thanks for bringing me 3 steps closer to the next big YES!”
I allow the rejections to motivate me to keep on going. This race is a marathon, not a sprint.
Everything goes smoothly and by 10 O’clock – I’ve completed and edited my new blog post on the topic, “Live Each Day Like Someone Left the Gate Open.”
I submit it to Patty Fletcher for her blog, Campbell’s World.
You can see it on Campbell’s World here
Around 11:00 am, our granddaughter Angel dropped in for a surprise visit. She lives across the crick from us. Angel is recovering from surgery; she will stay until time to leave for her doctor’s appointment. Her 2 daughters are in school.
We sit on the sofa in our reading room and enjoy chatting together. I stop to take Heinrich outside for his outing. When I come back in, Bob takes Mitchell and Dixie outside. When the dogs are all together again, near the final minutes of Angel’s visit, Mitchell steals treats out of Heinrich’s kennel. Heinrich tries to play with Mitchell and a scuffle ensues briefly.
Heinrich returns to his kennel to solve the dispute.
Angel suggests that when Heinrich is up and out of his kennels, we should put Dixie and Mitchell in the garage for some time out. The garage is heated and that is a great idea until we can work through the conflicts with the 3 dogs being together. By the time Bob takes the 2 dogs out for another walk, Heinrich is back in his kennel and is sleeping soundly. Bob will return and put the dogs into the garage after their walk and when Heinrich wakes up, I’ll take him out to do his business and he can then have a peaceful romp through the house without being attacked by Mitchell or growled at by Miss Dixie. This will all take patience and time.
Just like creating a poem, I think. A poem can take hours, days, months, or years. Patience is required. I have it in spades! That is my secret weapon for success. Pace myself and be patient and never quit.
Some scrambled eggs and warmed up Primavera pasta hit the spot at 12:30 pm when I take a lunch break.
Here I am – writing again. Amid the nooks and crannies of a day, I write. I feel like a magician who makes remarkable things, like live rabbits and soaring doves appear, while the audience stayed focused on distractions, smoke and mirrors. They missed the magic. Writing is magic for me. I divine the elements and twirl them around like plates spinning on a long stick high above the head. Writing is performance art.
I squeeze the sentences in between many other activities. Sometimes, I can work for hours on end at my computer. That is why I get up during the night to work in the quiet. But right now, due to the dogs, another layer of planning is in place for me to write. I’ll work on this second article today and hope to get it sent off to Patty Fletcher for Campbell’s Blog.
I intend to post it on my blog tomorrow.
This spectacular juggling act is my way of life.
Tomorrow, we will go to a Christmas Party at the senior center. I have donated a signed copy of my latest book for them to give the lucky winner in the drawing that completes the event. I’ve also donated 12 pair of sterling silver and gemstone earrings which I created in my bead working studio. I am happy when I think that thirteen friends will walk away with a gift made by me tomorrow. I love to make people smile with surprises.
In some ways, tomorrow will be a trial run for we will be gone from the house for about 3 hours. I’ve spent time carefully considering a schedule for the dogs while we are away.
Part 2: Afternoon
Bob and I have walked the dogs, ate lunch, and I’ve worked on my blog post for Friday Favs on Scan.
My theme is:
Live Like Someone Left the Gate Open.
My focus is on learning to live our own creative and artistic life without imitating anyone else and not allowing anyone else to determine what our unique path is for our life.
Later, around 3 o’clock, the first blog post for Friday Favs is completed and is now in the draft folder. I will post it early in the morning before we leave for Challenges to attend the Christmas party.
I think by now you grasp the idea that throughout the day and night, walking and caring for the dogs is a priority.
At the moment, I shift my thoughts and recognize that I have such a pleasant place to work, Gratitude for this home in the country, situated on the ridge overlooking a winding creek and woods, makes me feel warm inside on a cold day. I feel a quiet joy to live here as I have for the past fifty-one years. My roots run deep in this place in western Pennsylvania.
We usually leave the radio on all day and listen to a local country station. For the past couple of weeks, country music is shuffled in with the traditional Christmas songs of the season. I like that!
When I take a break at 3:15, I think about my sister Patti. She is in the hospital in Akron, Ohio and should be in surgery right now. She began turning yellow over a week ago, and finally realized she needed to get some medical attention. Tests and scans reveal there is a tummr and more information will be forthcoming. I am praying for the entire surgical team and my only sister, Patti, and for our family.
Part 3: Evening
My sister called me after she was taken back to her room, following the surgery.
Later in the afternoon, the surgeon came to visit her.
“The bottom line is that I have pancreatic cancer,” she said.
She continued, “I’ll need surgery the beginning of January so they can go in and see what is really going on in the pancreas. I had to go for a scan on my lungs. He told me that I’ll need surgery and it will be followed by Chemo treatments. He asked me if anyone else in our family had cancer and I told him ‘Yes, I have 3 siblings, and now I am the last one of us to get cancer. I told him about Mom’s parents who died from cancer. And, our brother David who died from cancer.
I am trying to stay positive about this and keep my mind on just getting through the day. One thing at a time.
Music continues playing on the Bose Radio in the kitchen.
I feel chilly here in my office and think I need to go get a sweater.
Overall, this is a rather drab and shady-looking day outside my window.
Leaves on the Norway Maple cling to the dark charcoal-grey branches in groups.
In the evening hours, I spend some time looking at comments left on my 2 blogs and I respond to them. Comments left by readers are always welcome.
I see that some new “followers’ signed up overnight and I look at the blogs of each of them to get a feeling for who they are and what their themes are. Some are Christian writers, and that is always a welcome sight for me. I get a feeling of fellowship with them.
I decide that tomorrow, I will complete this writing. I will send it off to Patty Fletcher. I’ll also post this on my Walking By Inner Vision Blog site. This essay is an inside view of the life of one writer – me.
Many challenges in my life are too big to understand. I think about Patti and how she brings fresh flowers from her gardens every summer on my birthday. We are forever smiling in the photos of the 2 of us together. I recall how she traveled with me one summer to Austria. And, the past 2 years, how she traveled with me to see my art work in the InSights exhibition in Louisville, KY. I meditate on how glad I am we’ve had this time together to have fun walking about the city and attending the art opening and banquet the past couple of years. I am thankful for those times with her.
In the final hours of this evening, I make some hard-boiled eggs.
I call my daughter, Heidi, to let her know about Patti. I need to call others, too.
Made a phone call to my brother and sister-in-law.
By the time my day ends, I am thinking of what my next word-of-the-year might be.
Words are powerful. Words change us.
Today, I am looking forward to Christmas and our children’s visits with their families.
I wish each of you the Merriest Christmas of your lifetime.
Read my article: Live Like Someone Left the Gate Open Read it Here!