Renee Weatherbee
Writer

Renee's Ramblings


 

INTRODUCTION:  This section is dedicated to my personal ramblings – it can be about anything, from a favorite product or service, to an opinion I feel strongly about, to a personal essay, to an attempt at adding humor to my otherwise boring day.  Whatever posted here will be highly personal and is my feeble attempt at exposing myself to the world as a writer, something that doesn't come easy for me.  I welcome any comments from anyone who takes the time to read my ramblings and will respond back to you (unless you are being overly offensive, in which case, I’ll just ignore you.)  I don’t know if you’d consider this a blog – blogs are written by people who have a particular expertise in some subject – I have no expertise in anything.  Thus, my ramblings…

Any products or services mentioned here are my own personal opinion.  I am not currently being reimbursed or endorsed by any company for mention of their product or service (however, it’s not out of the question for this starving artist writer.  Any personal essays or opinions on this site are my own and I am fortunate to live in a country where I have the right to write about anything I so choose.  You have a right to read it, or not.  Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back often!


 

Writing Prompt:

You bump into an ex-lover on Valentine’s Day—the one whom you often call “The One That Got Away.” What happens?  (From WritersDigest.com)

 Posted:  June 16, 2014

Valentine’s Day 2015

There just beyond arms reach stood The One That Got Away.  He was looking a bit frazzled, with his shirt untucked, hair unruly and surprisingly tinged with gray, and yet, even with a bewildered look on his face, he was every bit as sexy as he was twenty years earlier.  She had two choices and a split second to make a decision.  She could walk up to him and say hello or turn and walk away before he noticed her.  She wondered if he would even recognize her.  Twenty years had definitely changed her physical appearance, she thought. 

She couldn’t help herself.   She took three steps forward and reached out and touched his arm.  “Jesse.  Hey!  It’s Rhonda.  How are you?” 

“Rhonda!  Hi!  Of course, I know it’s you.  What are you doing in this crazy place?  I thought you hated malls as much as I do.”

“Oh, you know, I waited until the last minute to pick up a Valentine for my daughter.  It’s been a hectic week at work and I spaced it off.  How about you, a little last minute shopping for the misses?”

“Huh. Umm no.  I’m not married.  Actually, I’m just trying to make my way to the pharmacy.  My mom asked me to pick up her prescription.”

“Oh.  How is Betty?  I haven’t heard anything about her in a long time.  How’s your Dad?”

“Dad passed away five years ago.  Heart attack.  Mom, she’s okay…just got some minor health issues.  She doesn’t get around much, so I help her out where I can.  Say, do you want to walk down to Starbucks for some coffee – we can catch up.”

“Sure.  I’m sorry about your Dad.  So you moved back here?  Last I knew you were in California working as a cameraman or something.”

“Yeah.  Here, order what you want.  I’ll get it.”

“I’ll have a iced mocha.  Thanks!”

“Just plain black for me.”  He paid the clerk and they sat down in a cozy corner booth.

“Yup. I stayed in California for about 17 years.  I moved back here three years ago.  Now I’m a cameraman for the local news, KNNA.”

“Oh. I watch that news every night.  I didn’t know you work there.  Why did you move back?”

“Well, being an only child, I felt like after Dad died that I should be closer to Mom.  I tried to get her to move out there, but she wouldn’t budge.  So I came home.  I’m okay with it.  I can always go back or not. I’m happy with my job here.  So are you married, Rhonda?”

“Divorced.  About three years ago, he left me for one of his students.  So cliché, huh? “

“Oh, I’m sorry, that must have hurt.”

“For a bit.  I’m over it.  Did you ever marry?”

“No.  I lived with a woman for ten years.  She was an actress, but never quite got famous.  She was good though.  She left me for a movie producer.”

“Dang. Looks like we are both dumpees.”

“Yup.  But hey, they did us a favor.  Did you become a teacher like you always wanted?”

“Yes and I love it!  I teach kindergarten.  I get such a kick out of the kids and I do my best to try to make their first year of school a wonderful  learning experience for them, because if it’s not good now, they might struggle the rest of their lives.  It’s a huge responsibility that I take very seriously.”

“You always did love kids.  How many of your own do you have?”

“Just Jessica.  She’s eleven.”

“Jessica?  After me?  Just kidding.”

“Well, sort of.  You and I grew up together.  I never forgot you.  We were best friends for a lot of years.”

“Oh I remember…until we became lovers and it changed things.”

“Yes.  Funny how that happens.  Why did you dump me anyway?”

“What!  I didn’t dump you.  You dumped me.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.  That’s right.  I was concerned that we’d never make it, because we had been childhood sweethearts.  You know, the odds were against us, so I got scared and sabotaged an almost perfect relationship.  Don’t think I didn’t have regrets. ”

“You did?  It took me years to get over you leaving me.  I never really got over you.  Every woman I dated I compared to you.  That might be why I never got married.”

“I’m so sorry.  I was an idiot back then.  I just wanted to do everything “the right way” and I ended up possibly ruining both our lives.  Well, that’s a bit dramatic- I mean, you had your dream job in California and I had Jessica and my teaching.  At one point, I even thought I loved her dad, but it didn’t take me long to get over him, so maybe I didn’t.  You’ve been back for three years and I didn’t know.  This city isn’t that big, you would have thought I’d have heard something, but then again, I moved to a new neighborhood and haven’t been back much.  How are things in Edmonton?”      

“Oh. Not much has changed.  I don’t live there, but Mom still does.  Well, I best get going and get Mom her meds.  It was great to see you today.  You don’t think…?”

“I don’t think what?”

“Well, that maybe it was meant to be us running into each other of all days, Valentine’s Day?”

“Humm.  I don’t know.  It’s possible.  What do you think?”

“I think that I’d like to make a date with you for next Valentine’s Day, 2015.  Are you free?”

“I guess I could pencil you in.”

“No!  You write that one down with non-erasable ink.  And I’ll be there.  I promise.  In the meantime, don’t you think you out to give me your phone number?”

“Why yes, I think I should.  275-8812. I have to get home to Jessica.  Happy Valentine’s Day, Jesse!”  She bent down and kissed him on the cheek and turned and walked away. 

When she got back to her car, she remembered the first Valentine he ever gave her.  They were in the sixth grade.  He made it into a treasure hunt and she had to search for clues all over his back yard until she found the handmade card with the bright red sparkling heart he had drawn with their initials inside.  He was so romantic, even back then.  It was one of the things she used to love about him.  She should have hung on to him, but there’s no going back, as her mother always used to remind her.  But forward, that’s a different story.  She couldn’t wait until next Valentine’s Day – he would make it astonishingly special, no doubt in her mind. 

 

 


Posted:  June 11, 2014

 

Dear Writer’s Block,

I really hate to have to tell you this, but I am dumping your lazy ass.  It’s not you, it’s me.  I can no longer be in a one sided relationship that offers me nothing.  It’s like this.  I give and I give and I receive nothing back from you.  There was a time that you served a purpose for me…you were the ready and easy excuse I had for not getting down to the business of writing.  Writing is and always has been my first love and while you have been a major temptation in my life, I never have really loved you.  You did not bring out the best in me.  In fact, when stuck in a rut with you, I felt miserable.  Sure we did things to waste time together…played computer games, watched mindless television shows, attempted to do some flower gardening together, wasted endless hours on facebook and Pinterest, became overly intoxicated more times that I care to admit, wasted gas driving around aimlessly while trying to figure out what was missing in my life while all along I knew that you were the one dragging me down and blocking me from being with the writer I am meant to be.  How dare you come into my life and seduce me like this!  You and I have parted ways before and suddenly you show back up in my daily life like you were never ever really gone.  This is the end…the final chapter, pun intended.  You are dead to me.  I am writing you out of my story!  You are no longer going to suck the creativity out of my brain.  You are no longer going to cause me to flit away hours and days doing useless activities.  You are no longer going to cause me to sit and stare at a blank computer screen.  You are no longer going to infiltrate my mind with your negative thoughts about how I don’t have time to write.  You are no longer going to fill up the slots of time I have available and cause me to spoil a perfectly good opportunity to jot down a few words.  You are no longer welcome in my thoughts.  If I counted up the hours you have clung to me, I shutter to think what it would add up to in just one year alone.  I have been plagued by you on and off for a lifetime, but you are not going to be a part of my future and my future starts now.  You have been the ruin of many a good writer, but I won’t let you ruin me.  I won’t let you deprive me of being myself and being the writer I am gifted to be.  Don’t call me, don’t text me, don’t think about me, don’t show up at my computer.  I am sorry if I hurt your feelings, but there is no other way than to be blunt about it.  You are a negative, no-good, unproductive piece of garbage and I never want to see you again.  Do you get the picture?

With deepest sincerity,

Rita Renee Weatherbee, Writer

 


 Posted:  June 8, 2014

Ailment:  Writer's Block Again???

Once again, I’m lost in that dreaded land of writer’s block.  One suggestion is to write lists, so the following A to Z list is a list of things that inspire me:

A         Abundance – By looking around and taking stock of all the blessings God has given me, starting with my family and friends, and then realizing that all the abundance of having decent jobs, nice homes, reliable transportation, etc., is inspiring.  I look at how incredible my daughters turned out and what good husbands they have and I feel God’s hand.  I see how God has blessed us financially and I am in awe of His goodness towards my family and I.  It inspires me to be a better person and to work hard at my God-given talents. 

B         Books  - One of my favorite pass-times is reading.  Whether it be historical fiction, a biography about someone I admire, a faith-based book or self-help book, a dramatic novel or sweet romance, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that didn’t inspire me in some way.

C         Covers – Being cozy under the covers and just taking a little snooze refreshes me and often gets the creative wheels spinning – most often a good idea will pop up right as I’m waking up.  Experts suggest keeping a tablet by your bed or where you nap, so you can write these moments of brilliance down before you forget them.

D         Dogs – Petting my dog relaxes me and helps to free my mind of all the chatter that goes on in there.  A ten to fifteen minute session of loving on your dog is healthy for both the animal and its owner and any healthy activity should keep the brain cells in good working order…so they say.

E         Exercise – While I know it’s good to exercise every day, I am proud of myself if I can walk or dance for a half hour at least four to five times a week.  Exercise helps keep you balanced and the more you feel balanced and at peace in your life, the more inspired you will be. 

F          Friends and family – Spending time with friends and family sharing stories, laughing and joking around, giving and receiving advice, showing affection and sharing in the celebration of special occasions can be the most therapeutic times – they leave me revived, refreshed and inspired in the moments when I am alone and need to be creative.

G         Girlfriends – I don’t have a ton of girlfriends.  I have a few close girlfriends (including my daughters and my sisters) – some I see often – some I see only occasionally any more, a few I haven’t seen in years – but each and every one of them inspire me with their gifts of themselves.  Each one has offered me advice, love, companionship, laughter, and a compassionate shoulder to cry on.  Without them, my life would be nothing.  Their own personal stories inspire and enlighten me and I am so lucky to have them in my life now or to have had them in my life in the past – each one of them has helped shape me into the person I am at this moment and I thank you all.           (Aimee, Angel, Amber, Arin, Arline, Arnell, Carla, Carrie, Cheryl, Donna, Jodi, Joni,  Karen, Melinda, Melissa, Michele, Patty, Susan, Sylvia, Tammy, Vickie, Vicky – thank you girlfriends of the past and present – no matter how long it has been since I’ve seen you, you still mean the world to me and I was in some way inspired, motivated and most of all loved by you and am so thankful for the gift of your friendship.)

H         Hearts – One of my new “mindless” past times is spending time on Pinterest pinning things to my boards.  Boards are displays of photos of things that inspire you, things you desire to have one day, great ideas that make you think about even more great ideas, recipes you want to try out, etc.  One of my boards is called “Love.”  I pin just about any photo with a heart in it as a symbol of “love,” the purpose being that the more I pin to my love board, the more other people are pinning from that board and the more “love” that is going around the world…silly, I know, but I like to think it’s my way of spreading some love.  This love board is about all the different kinds of love in the world – family love, romantic love, love and passion for doing things and even for things.  It can be images, quotes, song titles or poems. 

I           Images – When I’m feeling down, looking at images (photos) of my children and grandchildren lifts me up and makes me smile, because I can’t help but feel blessed by God, because of each of them and what joy they bring to my life.  I also love to pull up images (photos) of scenic places I’ve photographed.  I find getting out in nature uplifting and inspiring and spiritual.  I also enjoy spending time “pinning” on Pinterest and viewing hundreds of images a day….see “H.”

J          Journal – I have an online journal that I often type my thoughts and feelings into.  This helps clear my mind by sorting out some of the clutter.  I’ve used my journal to sort through some negative experiences and feelings.  I’ve often  looked at a blank page of my journal and whipped out a poem in twenty to thirty minutes.  Journaling sparks my creative juices. 

K         Kids – Kids are just plain so much fun to just sit and listen to and observe.  You can learn oodles about life by watching them at play or striking up a conversation with them.  They enjoy making you laugh, but often their innocence doesn’t understand what you are finding so amusing, but they don’t care, they just love to make people laugh.  Kids are so resilient and bounce back so fast.  If we could all act like kids again, we could get through anything. 

L          Love – Giving and receiving love is the most important ingredient in making a person whole and keeping a person’s mind and heart alive and thus, able to function in creative ways.  When we feel loved and love others back, there is a powerful force that goes on inside of us, whether it is the love of God, romantic love, family love, the love we feel toward our friends, love is what keeps us going, what motivates most of us and what needs to be felt in order to be truly happy.

M         Movies – Whenever I am feeling blah and need a boost I enjoy watching a movie.  There was a time that I watched at least 1-2 movies almost every night, but it seems that I came to a point when I didn’t think movies were being made as good as they used to be (does this make me an old fuddy duddy?)  However, there are movies that have given me great moments of inspiration – some of the great ones to me are:  “A Star Is Born” with Barbara Streisand and Chris Christopherson, “Love Story” with Ryan O’Neil and Ali McGraw, “Billy Jack” with Tom Laughlin, “Shaw shank Redemption” with Tim Roberts and Morgan Freemen, “Roots” the mini serious with a cast of thousands, “Mr. Holland’s Opus” with Robin Williams, “Coal Miner’s Daughter, starring Sissey Spacek, “Forest Gump” with Tom Hanks, “Saving Private Ryan” another Tom Hanks masterpiece, “The Miracle Worker,” (the one with Patty Duke as the teacher, Melissa Gilbert as Helen Keller)…to name just a few.  I am sure I need to catch up on today’s inspirational movies – I’ll add that to my bucket list, which brings up another movie I love, “The Bucket List” with my all-time favorite actor, Jack Nicholson – which brings me to another item on my bucket list – to see every one of the movies he is in. 

N         Notebooks – This may sound nerdy of me, but I love a brand new notebook – it represents to me endless possibilities for scribbling down thoughts and feelings, writing out goals and plans, and doodling mindlessly as you wait for the ideas to flow.  I like notebooks for making lists, too.  A fresh new notebook represents to me a new beginning – a starting over point where the future is wide open.

O         Ocean – Taking a walk alongside the ocean inspires many poets, writers, artists and musicians.  In fact, currently there are over 12,300 published songs with the word “ocean” in them.  Again, the vastness of the huge body of water is awe-inspiring and the sound of waves crashing is hypnotic.  It would be my dream one day to take a writer’s retreat by an ocean – maybe spend two or three months living in a beach house and writing almost non-stop (except for the time spent on the beach burying my toes in the sand) and soaking up the sun. 

P         Pajamas – Sometimes the simple act of climbing into my pajamas and crawling under the covers laying there just feeling grateful for a warm, comfortable bed, with clean, smooth and fresh sheets provides moments of inspiration. 

Q         Quotes – Reading someone else’s wise words often inspires me to sit down and write more about what their words mean to me and how their words inspire me. 

R         Road Trips – Road tripping, cruising down the highway with the radio cranked up, windows down, a cool breeze slapping me in the face, now that’s not only inspiring, to me it is rejuvenating, especially if I’m traveling roads I hadn’t yet explored.  It’s a great way to come up with fresh ideas. 

S         Stargazing – Stargazing does so many things for me…it brings back memories of sitting in the driveway in lawn chairs with my three daughters around me, all of us gazing up at the summer sky hoping to catch a glimpse of a falling star so we can make wishes.  It puts me in awe of the Creator of the Universe and how magnificent He is.  It gets me to pondering on life and remembering the good times.  Stargazing is a soul searching activity – we all need to do more of it. 

T         Testimonials – Reading about or listening to other people share their stories of how they overcame adversities in their lives is very inspiring.  It reminds us that we all have problems, but that there is hope that things will work out if we just let go and let God (my personal opinion).  Learning about other peoples’ examples of how they were able to do that reminds me that prayers are answered and that good things do happen in this world.

U         Unfortunate – Thinking about how unfortunate others are is inspiring in several ways.  It makes you appreciate all that you have and it inspires you to think of ways to help the less fortunate.  It’s a negative word that conjures up negative images, but it can spur you into action and by doing something for others, you get to feel good thus be inspired by how it makes you feel.  We often learn that while helping others is a great thing, we are surprised by how much it helps us feel better. 

V         Verses – Reading other people’s written verses and/or poems can inspire me to want to create something equally as profound, insightful and inspiring.  “The Road Less Traveled” by Robert Frost is my daughter, Amber Towers Petersen, and my top pics for inspirational poems.  I also get goose bumps from reading my all-time favorite, “Desiderata” by Max Erhmann.  It touches my soul. 

W        Writer’s Digest magazine – Subscribing to and reading this magazine brings me tons of inspiration and ideas – I especially like reading about new authors who are getting their first novels published and reading tips from seasoned authors.  Often there are inspirational quotes that help get the thought processes going again.  All writers need to do research about their craft and this is where I begin.  It makes me feel like a professional. 

X         Xantippe – This word is inspiring just by being a word.  Who knew that this means a nagging, irritating or peevish woman.  This word represents the fact that learning new word is not only educational, it is inspiring.  This particular word, just by reading its description in the dictionary, serves as a bit of prompting to work towards not becoming an “ole Xantippe.”  After all, who wants to waste time on this earth nagging.  Okay, I admit, I do enjoy irritating certain people just a little bit…I find I enjoy the devilishness of it…and it makes me laugh.  Laughter is inspiring. 

Y         Yellow – Each of us have our color preferences and my favorite color is yellow (as some might have guessed from my Pinterest Board titled Favorite Colors.  I find yellow so inspirational that my office is decorated in pops of yellow everywhere.  I read somewhere that if you want to come up with your best ideas, you should write them down on a yellow notepad.  Hmmmm.  Maybe that should be a requirement in schools – to use yellow notebooks only.  Imagine the possibilities!

Z          Zestos – Going to get ice cream is both refreshing and rejuvenating and I can’t think about ice cream without thinking about Zestos.  Zestos is a part of the culture in Pierre, South Dakota, where I raised my three daughters.  It’s a little drive up ice cream shop.  They would open up every year in March and people would hang their hopes on the fact that spring was, in fact, coming, because the Zestos reopened.  Going to the Zestos was a social event for many, as you would have to stand in line for some time and during that time end up visiting with ten different people also coming to get a treat.  It’s inspiring as a good memory of my daughters and how they loved going to the Zestos.  Now my grandchildren get to enjoy the same. 



 



 

 


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