It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for another Thursday 13. So here they are, 13 things from my world that begin with “S”, in no particular order:
1. Sand: I live near the beach–very near the beach. That’s lovely in many ways, although I don’t actually go to the beach very often. Long story. But I do get the “benefit” of the sand, which is everywhere all the time. It’s in the lawns, it’s in your cars, it’s in your carpet. Sand doesn’t vacuum up well either, so it tends to stick around where it’s tracked. I’m making it sound worse than it is, of course. It’s not that bothersome, but as anyone who has ever been to the beach knows, sand can find places on your body you didn’t even know you had.
2. Shade: I’m an avid shade seeker in warm weather, and I’m always amazed that there’s so little of it here in Florida. I’m used to the way things are out West, where property developers keep shade in mind. There are trees in parking lots, and if you’re lucky enough to grab a shady spot, you do. Maybe it’s because in the West, trees are an import–at least they are in the Salt Lake Valley, and so is water. Here in Florida, things grow everywhere. Back home, the problem is getting things to grow. Here, the problem is getting things to stop growing. That alone may explain the difference in the shade-to-parking spot ratio.
3. Sewing: I can sew, but I don’t do a lot of it–mostly because I haven’t had a sewing machine for years. When I was a kid, my mom made most of my clothes, which was cool and then not cool, and then cool again. Like most girls of my generation, I had to learn how to sew in Home Economics class in school because that’s just how it was. Girls needed to know how to cook and sew, so we were funneled through Home Ec classes to prepare us for our exciting futures as homemakers. I’m not sorry that I learned the skills I did when I was younger. I could plant a garden, can and freeze the fruits and vegetables that came out of it, sew up an entire wardrobe out of old curtains, and cook almost anything without using a box or a can–but I choose not to.
4. Swings: I used to love to play on the swing-set my parents put up in our back yard. My sister and I spent many happy hours on that thing. I’ve never liked to swing really high. My stomach does funny things when I get too enthusiastic. But I do love to swing. My sister and I made up a game that we would play almost every day called “Swing Base,” which was a swing-set inspired game a bit like baseball. We would swing high, then jump off the swing and run around the bases. Once the other person got back around to the swings, you had to stop running and wait for them to jump and begin their round. As I think about it, there was no real scoring system. I don’t remember that there was a way to “win” or “lose.” We just liked swinging, jumping, and running, I guess. To this day, whenever I’m around a swing-set, I find it impossible to resist.
5. Sandbox: The back yard of my childhood home was a treasure for children. Not only did we have that great swing-set, but my dad build a sandbox for us to play in–and play we did! Kids from all over the neighborhood gathered to play in our sandbox. Dad also bought a tarp for us to cover the box every night to keep water out, but mostly to keep neighborhood cats from using it as a litter box. I distinctly remember playing “gum factory” as a little girl. Years later, my granddaughters invented a game they call “mud butter” which, I think, is very much like “gum factory.” It tickles my heart.
6. Sister: I have one. She’s 3 years older than I am, and she’s great.
7. Sugar: Now that I’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, sugar is the bane of my existence. I am becoming very good at detecting when my blood sugar is either too high or too low, but I feel like my body is at war with itself all the time, 24/7. Not my favorite feeling, I can assure you.
8. Spaghetti: My mother’s homemade spaghetti is probably my favorite food on the planet. I can and will eat other spaghetti sauces, but spaghetti itself is not my favorite food unless it’s served with my mom’s sauce. It’s not a made up recipe or an old family recipe handed down from generation to generation. In fact, I think she got it out of the Betty Crocker cookbook many years ago. For many years, Mom made her spaghetti for my birthday dinner, which was a delicious treat until she started using ground turkey (shudder) instead of ground beef. It changed the taste–and not for the better.
9. Spiritual: I consider myself a spiritual person. I do not consider myself a religious person.
10. Shoes: I love shoes and I hate shoes. I am fascinated by other people’s shoes, but hate wearing shoes, myself. I wish I liked wearing cute shoes. I wish cute shoes were comfortable, but they rarely are. Shoes are the last thing I put on before I leave the house and the first thing I take off when I get back home.
11. Skating: Another of my favorite childhood pastimes was roller skating. My sister and I would tighten up our skates and roll all over our neighborhood. When I was six, I fell on the neighbor’s driveway and broke my arm. For some reason, we thought this particular neighbor was mean (even though the whole rowdy bunch of us routinely skated down her driveway onto her patio and banged into her fence to stop ourselves and she never complained.) Anyway, she came outside to see what was wrong (no doubt, alerted by my howling), but my sister refused her help and carried me across the street by herself. If I was six, she was just nine, so it was a Herculean feat. See what I mean when I say she’s great? That wasn’t the only time in my childhood she saved my butt.
12. Sunrise: I find the sunrise endlessly fascinating. Sunsets are nice, too, but I love the sunrise. Maybe it’s because it signals a new beginning, a fresh chance to get it right. Maybe because I love the colors. I love when the sky turns a pale shade of peach edged with lavender.. I’ve tried recreating that combination in afghans I’ve crocheted, but man-made colors are too bright. It’s not the same thing at all.
13. Seasons: There are may fine and wonderful things about living in Florida. I don’t miss the snow and ice of winter at all. Or maybe I should say that I miss the idea of snow, but not the reality. I don’t miss the slipping and the sliding, the shoveling, the treacherous driving…but I do miss having four seasons. I miss the sight of crocus and forsythia in the spring. Summer I get year-round, so I don’t miss that, but I miss fall. I miss cool nights and warm days, falling leaves, brightly colored hillsides. I miss the scents of spring and autumn, the way the soil changes. I miss crisp air. And even though I don’t miss some things about winter, I miss having one.