Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday!

Thought for the day: Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.

Have you ever noticed that Wednesdays don't get much love? A Wednesday is what one of my friends would call, "a red-headed step-child." It certainly doesn't get revered like a weekend day, but then again, it doesn't get maligned like poor Monday, either. But I'll bet you never heard anyone say, "Thank God it's Wednesday!" Face it. Wednesday doesn't get much attention at all.

At the very best, some people call it "Hump Day", and depending on your perspective, that might not be all bad. But at least for this day, for this week, I'm declaring today Wonderful Wednesday. You hearby have permission, nay, an imperative to squeeze every bit of enjoyment out of this day as you possibly can. Come to think of it, that wouldn't be a bad way to approach every day, would it?
I was planning to write about the joys of growing older today. Really! There ARE some! There are many things for which I can be grateful. (Like I'm very grateful that wrinkles don't hurt.) But, alas and alack, that dear lady Linda Grimes beat me to the punch today with her blog. Great minds think alike, eh?

So, instead, I'll tell you a couple stories. The first is the tale of what has to be one of the luckiest young men in the world. While hiking in Utah in 2005, the then 21-year-old got caught in an avalanche. No, no, wait! That's not the lucky part. Here it comes: would you believe this young man RODE the avalanche an amazing 1000 feet down a ridge -- FEET-FIRST -- and then walked away with nothing but minor injuries?! (And one HECK of a story!)

 I mean, can you IMAGINE this??? Talk about the ultimate rush. That had to have been an experience that young man will NEVER forget. And I hope he yelled a joyous YEE-HAAAA the whole ride down.

Sometimes, it feels like we're all caught in an avalanche of time, doesn't it?  The days, the weeks, the years, they all fly by so quickly, and the best we can do is hold on for dear life, "ride it out", and hopefully, stay on our feet the whole way down.

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! What a ride!"

Don't you love that quote? Wish I knew where it originated. It's one that many people have sent me over the years, but never with attribution. Nonetheless, let's all aim to try to live this Wonderful Wednesday with that young man's glorious ride, and that glorious quote, in mind.

The other story is about a young bride and one of the first meals she prepared for her new husband.

It was a beautiful ham, but before roasting it, this lovely young bride whacked off a large chunk of the meat and chucked it straight into the garbage can. This immediately prompted her astonished (and financially responsible) husband to ask his dearly beloved why-oh-why-dear-heart was she trashing what looked like a perfectly good piece of meat. The sweet young thing batted her eyelashes and said she did it because that's what her mother always did. So, the next time they saw her parents, the young man asked his mother-in-law about her unusual ham-cooking method. She said she did it that way because that's how HER mother always did it. By this time, the young bride was as curious as her husband, and they could hardly wait to hear Grandma's response to the riddle about the wasted hunk of ham. When they asked her, she laughed, and said, "I didn't have a pan big enough to hold the whole thing."

Isn't it funny how we sometimes get caught in traditions without questioning the purpose or logic behind them? Perhaps, in writing, we may meticulously follow the "old rules" without questioning whether they still apply, or if they're particularly well-suited for our particular style of writing. For example, I'm a real stickler for grammar, but (gasp!) I don't always write in full sentences. Some writers say that in the pursuit of creativity, anything goes. Wanta end a sentence with a preposition? Go for it! Split an infinitive? Have at it! Lift your head to the heavens and say, "I am writer! Hear me roar!" Then write what you want to write the way you want to write it.

Or not. What do you think?

OK, so I didn't write about growing older today, but I simply must share this delightful poem with you. It was written by the inimitable Maya Angelou.

When I was in my younger days, I weighed a few pounds less,
I needn't hold my tummy in to wear a belted dress.
But now that I am older, I've set my body free;
There's the comfort of elastic where once my waist would be.

Inventor of those high-heeled shoes, my feet have not forgiven;
I have to wear a nine now, but used to wear a seven.
And how about those pantyhose --- they're sized by weight, you see,
So how come when I put them on, the crotch is at my knee?

I need to wear these glasses, as the print's been getting smaller;
And it wasn't very long ago I know that I was taller.
Though my hair has turned to gray and my skin no longer fits,
On the inside, I'm the same old me, it's the outside's changed a bit.

On that note, I'll say goodbye for now. Be kind to yourselves. And each other.


  1. I love both those stories, the quote (one of my favorites), AND Maya Angelou poem. Great way to celebrate Hump Day. :)

  2. I often see my students applying something they learned once to every situation they encounter, without thinking it through or considering whether it fits the situation.

    Thinking is hard, you know.

    Sadly, I sometimes see colleagues doing the same thing.

  3. I second the Wonderful Wednesday motion!!! :-))

    I enjoyed the stories, and the poem.


  4. Hi, Linda. I just KNEW you were one who'd appreciate the "Hump Day" title! Glad you liked the stories. Take care.

    Hi, Dianne. Students haven't finished growing their brains yet, I reckon. And ya know what they say ... if the only tool you have is a hammer, you begin treating everything like a nail. Take care.

  5. Oh, hi, Doris! We must've "doubled". Your comment snuck in while I was typing the other responses. Glad to hear you liked the stories and poem. Shoot, let's celebrate EVERY day!

  6. "Then write what you want to write the way you want to write it." Absolutely agree! I believe in breaking as many rules as you want - as long they make the message you are trying to make clearer and not more confusing. "Clarity over cleverness"

  7. I don't write in full sentences either, but I would never end a (written) sentence with a preposition. I can still feel the nuns smacking me with a ruler.

    Great post.

  8. Hi, Samantha. Clarity over cleverness ... I like that! (Unfortunately, I reeeeeeally like to be "clever", too. Guess I need to work on that.)

    Hey, Anne. I know what you mean about ending a sentence with a preposition. Even though I see it done more and more frequently in other written works, (even the newspaper!) the only time I ever cut myself any slack on that one is when it occurs within dialogue. Take care.