"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing." — Laurie Buchanan

Hiding in Plain Sight

Leaving most of the shenanigans up to Willa, Lexi — one of our two dogs — rarely gets into mischief. On the few occasions when she is naughty, she hides. Even though she’s in plain sight she feels, “If I can’t see them, they can’t see me.”

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Part of my calling includes speaking to large groups of people. As an introvert who functions as an extrovert, on these occasions I “hide” in plain sight.

Do you ever hide in plain sight?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Elementary My Dear Watson

Stopped at a traffic light, I see a Honda Element in front of me with the personalized plate WATSON. I immediately deduce that it’s a shrewd nod to “Elementary my dear Watson” and give them my thumbs-up approval for their cleverness! The only thing that could have made the sight better would have been the driver smoking a Calabash pipe and wearing a Deerstalker hat.

Watson

“Elementary my dear Watson” was the explanation detective Sherlock Holmes — master of disguise — gave to Dr. Watson, his assistant, when explaining the deductions he made. In this case, elementary means “basic,” and “obvious” to Sherlock Holmes — things often overlooked, or not pieced together by others.

What is elementary to you?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Carriage House Journal

You may remember our recent relocation from Crystal Lake, Illinois to Boise, Idaho. Upon arrival we enjoyed a three month lease — a stepping stone to find a home to purchase, or lease long-term. Last week we had the move-out inspection at the previous address because…

…we long-term leased the carriage house of one of the mansions in the Warm Springs Avenue Historic District. It perfectly suits our needs! We even donated our yard maintenance equipment because everything — and I do mean everything — is meticulously cared for.

Office View

My writing space is phenomenal! In addition to nonfiction work, this gorgeous view has triggered a spurt of fiction writing. My work in progress is titled Carriage House Journal — a series of short stories told in first person through the eyes of a mail carrier.

Office Windows

If you wrote a fiction story in first person, who would the main character be?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Riding my bike on the Boise Greenbelt, I’ve peddled farther from home than I’ve been before. The day is hot, flirting with 100 degrees. In the distance, mirage-like, I see light glinting off what looks like — from this distance — a ginormous set of braces.

Maybe it’s the heat inside my helmet, but my mind conjures visions of a lemonade-type stand with ice-cold beverages for sale. (I’m wearing a one-gallon CamelBak full of cold water, but this makes for much better reading)

Hard-packed dirt on many long stretches, the greenbelt is not all smooth blacktop. Streaks of sweat trail my dust-covered calves and ankles as I pedal closer to what I’ve confidently determined is a sanctuary for refreshment…

…only to discover that the shimmering flashes of light I’d seen earlier are from sun ricocheting off razor wire surrounding a storage facility. Oh, the disappointment!

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Like fools gold, just because something looks alluring doesn’t mean it’s genuine or valuable.

Have you ever experienced “all that glitters is not gold?”

© Laurie Buchanan

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Clinging Vines

When I was a little girl my mother would sometimes take me with her to shop for groceries at FedMart in Escondido, California. Before we entered the store she’d remind me to “Stay close” — encouraging me to “cling” to her so I wouldn’t get lost.

Clinging Vines

Before long I’d be mesmerized by the wide variety of items within easy reach and wander off. One time I remember looking up at a strange woman and in astonishment gasped, “You’re not my mother!” Mom knew I’d separated from her and was watching the scene unfold from behind. She reminded me — yet again — “Stay close.”

As an adult, I no longer have to “stay close” for fear of getting lost, but I do live close to certain ideas — Namaste‘ being one. I embrace the idea that there is a divine spark in each of us that deserves recognition and respect.

What do you cling to?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Blushing In Seattle

Last week Len and I drove to Seattle where my friend, Shirley Hershey Showalter, was speaking about her book, Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World, an engaging memoir that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Having only ever met online, it was a distinct pleasure to listen—in person—to Shirley read one of my favorite chapters from her book to an attentive audience at the ever-popular Third Place Books, and then get to know her a bit better over coffee afterward. It’s abundantly clear that she still has the same ready-grin and twinkle in her eye that’s evident throughout her book.

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Laurie Buchanan and Shirley Hershey Showalter

If you were to write a memoir, what would the title be?

© Laurie Buchanan

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As a writer, I love words! A slight change in spelling can mean a world of difference. A recent walk to the Idaho State Capitol building in Boise triggered my thought-process for this post.

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Capitol — with an O in the last syllable

  • The building in which a legislative assembly meets. I love this spelling tip: the o in capitol is round like the dome of a capitol building.

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Capital — with an A in the last syllable

  • A city that serves as the seat of government
  • Money, property, asset, or advantage
  • A capital letter (i.e., used at the beginning of a sentence or someone’s name)

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My personal favorite is when Capital is used as an adjective — That’s a capital idea! — Meaning excellent, jolly good, or spot on!

What was the last capital idea you had?

© Laurie Buchanan

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