There is nothing quite like staring at a blank page on my 22” monitor. I close my eyes and I start typing whatever comes into my mind. I don’t think about mistakes or grammar errors. I just type. This is what I call a brain dump. I clear my mind of anything and everything that inhibits me from letting the creative juices flow. I block out the world except for the sound of my keyboard and the ceiling fan. I start to see something emerging on the horizon. It is not clear yet, so I keep typing.
Our cat, Blacky, and I were out on the swing on our back patio this morning. He was beside me as I stroked his black shiny fur. He is our mighty hunter. We call him the Black Panther. He has a kingdom of roughly 55 feet by 75 feet that he keeps clear of rodents, squirrels and rabbits. The protector of the six raised garden beds my wife nurses. She is an Iowa farm girl who loves to have her fingers in the dirt. She has a green thumb. I tell her she could throw seeds off our black porch and they would grow.
This summer has been hard on the garden. We are short some twelve inches of rain. The grass crunches under our feet as we walk through the yard. Our tomato plants are withering, after producing a good crop. The winter was so warm that our blackberries bloomed early and were cut short by the heat. Our cucumbers gave out a couple of weeks ago. This is the first year she planted eggplant. We have a couple coming along. The sunflowers that remind me of my home in Kansas are starting to droop.
We made a trip to Baker Seed Company a few months ago and bought some heirloom seeds. I was amazed at the number of melons, cucumbers and other vegetables. Some I have never heard of. We bought some Chinese beans that grow up to eighteen inches long. They look something like licorice. We cut them into green been size and stir fry them with homegrown onions, tomatoes, green peppers, summer squash, cucumbers and shrimp( not home grown). We then spoon it onto a bed of whole grain brown rice and sprinkle with soy sauce.. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
The strawberry popcorn we planted has shriveled up. We water every other day obeying the city ordinance. The flowers are doing fine. The morning glories and the naked ladies are blooming. I enjoy macro photography so Barbara has planted wild flowers on the west side of the house to attract butterflies.
Tomorrow morning, after church, we will enjoy a brunch with some of our six children and fourteen grandchildren. I do all the cooking—bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns, coffee and toast. Barbara or one of the grandkids takes the egg orders from fifteen to twenty hungry people. I, Grampa Tom, have one rule—you can order your eggs anyway you want them, but you have to take them any way you get them. This tradition began a while back when we were suffering child/grandchild deprivation. So operating from that old saw “ if you feed them, they will come” we initiated a monthly brunch. Now they ask, when’s brunch? We catch up with family news, cousins play with cousins and just hang out for a bit. Of course the quiet that descends after is very welcome! It is a great life here in southwest Missouri.
My eyes are open now. I am a writer .My resident editor is my wife, Barbara. My first novel, Night of the Cossack, was published when I was sixty-nine years young.Scribbling from the sometimes creative/sometimes scattered mind of Tom Blubaugh